All-American Bowl: Predictions on in-game commit announcements
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SAN ANTONIO - It is going to be a busy day of commitments at the All-American Bowl on Saturday. Here is a look at the eight expected announcements with a prediction on each.
Alabama has gotten much more heavily involved with Banks in the last few weeks and it could pay off on Saturday when the four-star cornerback makes his decision. Over the week here at the All-American Bowl, there have been a lot more whispers about Banks ending up with the Crimson Tide. Once an LSU commit, it looked like Texas A&M was the outright leader for the Spring (Texas) Dekaney recruit but that’s not so certain anymore. Florida State is also trying hard with Banks, who grew up watching the Seminoles and his dad played for the team. This one is really close to call.
Bell released a top five of Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue and throughout his senior season some of those teams have been weeded out with the Buckeyes and the Hawkeyes probably not having a chance as his decision approaches. The four-star receiver likes a lot of things going on at Indiana, especially how the Hoosiers are recruiting this cycle. He had a phenomenal visit to Penn State and likes that coaching staff. But Bell really liked it when Purdue coach Jeff Brohm stayed at that school and didn’t leave for Louisville after the season. With his offensive system, Bell could see it as a perfect fit playing for the Boilermakers.
This week at the All-American Bowl, Bogle said the decision of Mark Richt to suddenly retire from Miami shook a lot of recruits - including him - but it should not be a major issue since the four-star recruit was recruited by and had the best relationship with new coach Manny Diaz, the former defensive coordinator. There is no counting out Alabama, though, as the Crimson Tide have made Bogle a top priority and he said playing with the best of the best is appealing. Florida and Tennessee round out his top four and would be surprises at this point.
Ford did not arrive in San Antonio until late in the week because of a knee injury he sustained during the season. His recruitment has basically come down to two programs - USC and Washington - and this one could be a tough decision. Ford had an outstanding visit with the Huskies and he loves that coaching staff and the offense. USC is the hometown school that has recruited him for a long time and it’s no secret that the Trojans have had success keeping top recruits home in recent recruiting cycles. This is definitely a Pac-12 battle that has gotten really interesting in recent weeks.
A former Georgia commit, the Bulldogs have made his final four along with Oklahoma, Tennessee and Florida State. So much has been written and discussed when it comes to Haselwood’s recruitment and there are still some people who think he could pull a surprise at the All-American Bowl. The Sooners make the most sense, he could form a killer trio with Theo Wease and Trejan Bridges and the Big 12 power seems to be trending. But nothing would be a complete shocker when it comes to Haselwood’s decision this weekend.
The five-star athlete plans to have five hats on the table during his announcement on Saturday but this still feels like a two-team race between USC and Texas. If new USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury leaves for an NFL job after this writing, then all bets are off, but McCoy and his family had a fantastic in-home visit with Kingsbury recently and it’s well-known that a lot of top Mater Dei recruits end up playing for the Trojans.
But Texas is definitely hanging on. McCoy has a phenomenal relationship with position coach Drew Mehringer. He even said this week that if Mehringer wasn’t at Texas, he wouldn’t even be considering the Longhorns.
Steele laughed in amazement this week about his recruitment and how he never wanted to be the player who had been committed to two schools - UCLA early and USC recently - before backing off those pledges and being ready to make his final choice this weekend. Florida has definitely emerged as a top contender and Steele has talked about being challenged in the SEC and how many defensive backs the Gators have produced for the NFL.
Oregon has also been a top team for the five-star and his relationship with position coach Donte Williams is the best out of any other assistant recruiting him. Oklahoma is also definitely sticking around and the need for defensive help for the Sooners could sway him to Norman. South Carolina and USC round out his final five.
Over the summer, Georgia emerged as the front-runner for Stevenson and his relationship with the coaching staff and the Bulldogs’ development of defensive players were big factors in the SEC power pulling ahead. The departure of former defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who took the Colorado head coaching job, shouldn’t be a major issue. The retirement of Richt at Miami and the hiring of Diaz, the former Miami DC who took the Temple job only to come back to the Hurricanes, could be a serious draw, but it seems like Georgia has this one locked up for good.