football Edit

Best available: Six recruits who didn't sign on Wednesday

National Signing Day is in the books, but not every prospect with major offers signed on Wednesday. Today we look at five players who had options but elected to wait past Signing Day to sign their letters-of-intent and give a peek behind-the-curtain at the circumstances that led to them going unsigned. Players who are committed and thought to be blueshirting were not included in the story.

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The highest ranked prospect in the Rivals250 who didn't sign on Wednesday, Thompson is still working to quality academically and was told to wait by the South Carolina staff. All indications are he intends to stick with the school, but Marshall made a late push and will likely have a spot for him if he wants it and Tennessee is also expressing interest in hosting Thompson for an official visit later this month. South Carolina has shown patience with Thompson throughout the process and now are asking the same in return.

An Army All-American, Sampson seemed bound for several different programs throughout his recruiting process. He was initially committed to Syracuse, only to back off from that pledge late in the fall. He later flirted with Ole Miss, Nebraska and Western Michigan, but Signing Day came and went without him making a commitment. Mississippi State and Arizona State also expressed interest, so it will be worth watching to see if a late spot opens up for the four-star.

A longtime Tennessee commit, Litaker backed off his pledge from the Volunteers late last week with the intentions of waiting past Signing Day. Miami, Oregon and Oklahoma have shown interest but Litaker chose to gamble on himself while recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the fall. On track to be 100 percent by April, Litaker could be a hot commodity for schools looking to fill a spot after the Signing Day dust settles.

Masina was zeroing in on Cal and Vanderbilt but ended up not signing after spots became tight at both programs. Masina also missed a crucial official visit weekend while participating in a January all-star game. Now he's playing the waiting game and has received interest from Arizona State. It will be worth watching to see if Masina elects to take official visits this month and which programs might enter the picture.

Mallory has his share of major offers, including Syracuse, Iowa State and Michigan State. The Spartans have seemed like the school to beat for quite some time and there was even some talk that Mallory might commit and sign on Wednesday. While that didn't happen, it's still a possibility that he finds himself in East Lansing before the end of the Signing Period in April.

Williams has more than 20 offers but had been zeroed in on Rutgers and Louisville down the stretch of his recruitment. Miami has also shown interest and Williams decided to wait past Signing Day and see how things shook out at various programs around the country. If nothing new pops up, he could take a spot at one of his Group of Five options or spend next year at prep school.