football Edit

Best Available: Looking at top unsigned running backs

Mychale Salahuddin

SECOND IN A SERIES: The first-ever Early Signing Period has changed the college football recruiting landscape dramatically, with a good portion of the nation’s recruits signing with the colleges of their choice. That has left some programs searching to fill spots, opening new doors for the players who elected to wait and sign in February. With the dead period now over and the month-long race to Feb. 7 now on, we take a look at the best available unsigned prospects at each position this week. Today we take a look at running backs.

MORE: Top unsigned QBs in 2018 class

Schools in the mix: Syracuse, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, USC

The situation: Salahuddin had been committed to USC for quite some time before re-opening his recruitment just prior to the early signing period. That opened the door for several programs to get back in the mix, most notably Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Both schools will receive official visits this month. Salahuddin has already visited UNC and USC, meaning he has one official visit remaining. Will another program try to get in the mix late?

Schools in the mix: Texas, Auburn, Arkansas

The situation: Ingram has been committed to Texas since May and it’s still very unlikely that he ends up anywhere except Austin. But that hasn’t stopped other schools from trying to get him to visit before Signing Day, with Auburn and Arkansas among those working behind-the-scenes. Ingram has official visits left to use so it will be worth watching to see if he indeed decides to take trips.

Schools in the mix: Oklahoma, Tennessee, Cincinnati

The situation: Thomas has been committed to the Sooners for months but passed on the chance to sign early last month. That opened the door for other programs to get into the mix and Tennessee was among the most notable to extend an offer. The Vols are planning on Thomas visiting this month and Cincinnati is another school that could host Thomas. Sticking with the Sooners still seems like the most likely option, but it looks like they will have some competition before Signing Day.

Schools in the mix: Florida State, Oregon, TCU, USC, Arkansas

The situation: Corbin had been committed to Florida State for months but then backed off that pledge in early December following the coaching drama in Tallahassee. Considering Corbin officially visited Oregon when Willie Taggart was the Ducks' head coach, most expect that he will end up back with the 'Noles. But USC and Arkansas are both in the mix and considering he’s already visited the Frogs and the Ducks, they could factor in as well.

Schools in the mix: Baylor

The situation: Hackett has been a longtime Baylor commit, but he didn’t sign early and there’s been some talks that he might be headed to junior college. Will he sign with the Bears regardless? That seems to be the plan, but Hackett was once committed to Texas Tech and it wouldn’t be out of the question to see some other schools come in and kick the tires before Signing Day.