football Edit

How things stand with uncommitted Rivals250 standouts

J.T. Tuimoloau
J.T. Tuimoloau

The late signing period is about one week away and there are still some top prospects that remain uncommitted. Here is a look at where things stand heading into the final days:


MORE: Who should be the No. 1 prospect in 2021?

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

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

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series



When it comes to Tuimoloau’s recruitment, a lot centers around rumors and hearsay because the five-star defensive end rarely, if ever, talks about his top schools and even when he does, Tuimoloau doesn’t offer much.

A few weeks ago, the chatter was that Oregon and Alabama had emerged as the front-runners, but Ohio State is still very much in the picture here. Some believe the Buckeyes are once again the favorites. USC still feels like it has a chance as well because defensive line coach Vic So’oto has a great relationship with Tuimoloau and his family. The word is Tuimoloau still really wants to take visits, but he will have to hurry with signing day coming up.


Toss-up is the word now being thrown around for what Johnson is going to do as the high four-star running back is still torn between Texas and Texas A&M. The Aggies looked to be in the strongest position heading into last weekend but there is serious appeal at Texas as well as new coach Steve Sarkisian is intriguing Johnson and his family with the job he did with Najee Harris and other running backs at Alabama. A last-minute trip to Austin could happen this week, but Johsnon is staying off the grid in large part, so pinning down his intentions is difficult.


The feeling down the stretch is that Florida and Georgia have emerged as the front-runners although Alabama can never be counted out. The Gators fired their secondary coaches but others are filling those spots so it’s probably not as big of a deal as it was to Arnold a few weeks ago. And Georgia coach Kirby Smart can really sell his program and the opportunity for early playing time to Arnold. Alabama has made it clear that it feels Arnold is one of the top safeties in the class so that could be a selling point, but the bet now is he goes somewhere in the SEC East.


Over the last few weeks, Malone has been busy on the road seeing Florida State and Texas A&M and both schools are ones to watch in his recruitment but this past weekend the four-star defensive tackle visited Ole Miss - a long-time front-runner - and it feels like the Rebels have closed this one up.

Lane Kiffin and his staff including Chris Partridge and GA Marquise Watson have done a fabulous job keeping Malone in the mix for the Rebels’ 2021 class and after some major visits recently, the trip to Oxford could have sealed it up for Ole Miss and the four-star DT from New Jersey.


Davis is coming off an important visit to Ohio State as the Buckeyes try to convince the four-star linebacker it’s the best fit but all signs still point to USC being the front-runner. The Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei standout who flies all over the field to make plays took his parents to Columbus this time so there is a seriousness to this trip but after Korey Foreman, Ceyair Wright, Domani Jackson and others pledged to the Trojans, it would be really surprising if Davis doesn’t end up there as well.


Alabama and Texas A&M are making this one very interesting and both SEC powers have a legitimate chance to land the four-star receiver from Walker, La., but the closer signing day gets, the more LSU looks like the pick here. History is on the Tigers’ side as LSU almost always lands the top in-state receivers although the Crimson Tide and the Aggies have had a nice chunk of players in recent years from there. Still, position coach Mickey Joseph has made Thomas a priority and if the four-star picks LSU, the Tigers would sweep the top-five prospects in the state, something that has not been done since 2011.


Florida State has been the front-runner for a long time but that somewhat came into question when the four-star receiver from Louisiana did not commit during the early period. That was expected but because of a playoff run Hill wanted to postpone things until February. It does not appear there have been any significant changes in the last few weeks as the Seminoles still look way out in front for Hill’s signature.


Boston College, Michigan and Penn State are the finalists for Rooks and his father recently complimented all three programs during a recent interview with BlueWhiteIllustrated but it sounds like the Nittany Lions have the edge and could be the slight front-runner for his commitment. The Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep standout recently visited State College with his family. That trip, coupled with how aggressive and focused Penn State’s recruiting efforts have been make it look like the Nittany Lions have the edge heading into decision day.