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Published Jan 27, 2021
East Coast Spotlight: Predictions for National Signing Day 2021
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Adam Friedman  •  Rivals.com
Rankings Director and National Transfer Portal Analyst
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@RivalsFriedman

The Late Signing Period for the 2021 class will open on Feb. 3. Although the Early Signing Period has become the signing period in college football recruiting over the last few years, there are still several storylines to follow and recruitments to wrap up. Here are several predictions about what will transpire in the East region over the next few weeks.

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RELATED: Midwest predictions for NSD 2021 | Southeast predictions

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

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  Rivals100 DT Tywone Malone will stay east of the Mississippi River  

Malone, the highest-rated uncommitted defensive tackle in the nation, just finished a series of visits that included Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Florida State. A dual-sport star, Malone is placing a lot of weight in playing both football and baseball at the next level. He’s learned a lot about both programs at all three schools, but Ole Miss is the only one that he has visited multiple times. Florida State made a strong impression when he was in Tallahassee with his family and Texas A&M impressed as well.

Momentum has swung from school to school, based on which one he visited last. Ole Miss got the last visit and it sounds like the Rebels have the most going for them right now.

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Penn State will add another defensive lineman

The Nittany Lions signed 15 prospects in December and just one of them was a defensive lineman, but they could be in line to add another one soon. Rivals250 defensive lineman George Rooks has been flirting with committing for a couple months but has held off as long as he can. Rooks has been watching to see what assistant coaches move around so he has a clear picture of the situation he is going into before he picks a school.

Michigan, Penn State and Boston College are the finalists, but it seems like Penn State is in the best position. He took a visit to Happy Valley on the second day of the Early Signing Period in December and held off committing. It seems like James Franklin and his staff will get him when it’s all said and done.

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  Former Vols commit will stay in the SEC  

The tumultuous offseason Tennessee is in the midst of has been well documented and offensive tackle Colby Smith has kept an eye on the situation. The North Carolina native didn’t sign with the Vols during the Early Signing Period just in case something like Jeremy Pruitt getting fired happened, and now he has some options. Auburn is the frontrunner to land Smith’s next commitment, but watch out for Louisville and Kentucky because they’re coming on strong as well.

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Expect a fairly quiet day in the East on NSD 

Malone and Rooks are the only two players in the East rated at least four-stars that haven’t committed yet, and there is just one other four-star that hasn’t signed, so the fireworks and drama in the East region come Signing Day will be very limited. Most of the players in the region did not have a football season this past fall or winter and they devoted their time to sorting out their recruitment. Almost all of them were successful and ended up signing during the Early Signing Period back in December.

If there is going to be any serious drama in the next few weeks, it could come from 2021 players that may have already signed but want to get out of the National Letter of Intent due to a coaching change or because of assistant coach movement. These types of decisions could be made in the next two or three weeks.

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