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Best Available: A look at the top unsigned wide receivers

Justyn Ross

THIRD 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 in December. 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 highest-ranked wide receivers still on the market.

RELATED: Top unsigned RBs | Top unsigned QBs

Schools in the mix: Clemson, Auburn, Alabama, Florida

Breakdown: Many thought Ross would be committed by now, especially considering there have been rumblings that he’s been a silent pledge to Clemson for some time. But the Early Signing Period came and went and Ross is still very much on the market. He’s set to visit Florida, Auburn and Alabama officially this month and all three schools appear to offer a path to early playing time. Will he be the next elite wide receiver to land with the Tigers in Clemson or will he be another five-star that elects to stay home with the Tide or Tigers? His January visits will be very important, with a decision likely coming Feb. 7.

Schools in the mix: Michigan, LSU, TCU, Auburn

Breakdown: Chase has already committed twice in this cycle, once to Kansas and once to Florida. Now both of those schools are out of the picture and he’s shifted his focus to a quartet of other options. Michigan was one of the first schools to jump in the mix after his Florida decommitment, while Auburn is also relatively new to the picture. LSU and TCU have been in the mix for the long haul and seem like the most logical landing spots. LSU obviously has the in-state factor in its favor and might be the favorite. Chase has an official visit to Baton Rouge coming up this month.

Schools in the mix: Florida State, Oregon, North Carolina, Florida

Breakdown: Thompson had been committed to Oregon for nearly six months when Willie Taggart left the Ducks for Florida State, and after that news it didn’t take time for Thompson to back off that pledge. Now he has fielded interest form several schools and still appears to be hammering out his official visit schedule for this month. He’s already visited Tallahassee and the Tar Heels and the Gators could be in line for trips soon. The 'Noles remain the team to beat at this point.

Schools in the mix: Texas A&M, Texas, Alabama, Oregon, TCU, Florida State

Breakdown: One of the nation’s most electric players, Waddle is fresh off an impressive week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and his stock is at an all-time high. He had an extended flirtation with Florida State when Jimbo Fisher was at the helm, and most think that now with Fisher at Texas A&M, the Aggies are in a great position. Texas has also been a factor throughout and Alabama has viewed Waddle as one of the most important targets in this year’s class. Oregon is the wild card, and Waddle’s close relationship with Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo is the main reason the Ducks are still a factor. All of Waddle’s official visits are in the books.

Schools in the mix: Oregon, Ole Miss, Arizona State, Georgia

Breakdown: Hall’s recruitment has been a little mysterious over the past month or so, as he’s hunkered down while zeroing in on his final options. Oregon has seemed like the school to beat since he officially visited in November, but he continues to look at other options. His close friend and former teammate, Matt Corral, is recruiting him to join him at Ole Miss, while Arizona State and Georgia are also in the picture. New programs could also emerge for Hall, who still has official visits remaining.