COVID High School Blog: Rivals100 DB to join Badgers a year early
Here is the latest news on high school football stars and their COVID-19-forced decisions regarding this season.
MORE COVID BLOGS: Latest news regarding college players' decisions
CLASS OF 2022: Top 100
RIVALS100 WISCONSIN COMMIT RECLASSIFIES TO 2021
Wisconsin's first and only commitment in the 2022 class has decided he will become part of the 2021 class instead. Four-star safety Braelon Allen announced on Thursday that he would be graduating high school at the end of this school year and enrolling at Wisconsin in June as part of the 2021 freshmen class.
“I just had enough credits to graduate so the idea came up and I talked to my coaches and counselor and the coaches at UW and it just seemed like the best idea,” Allen said.
While the state of Wisconsin has allowed fall high school sports to go forward, the Fond Du Lac school district decided independently to suspend all fall sports. Allen and his teammates have been working out, but not conducting full practices or playing in games.
Ranked as the No. 85 overall player in the initial Rivals250 for the 2022 class last month, Allen may already be outgrowing the safety position. He was one of the biggest defensive backs at the All-American Bowl Combine last January and should have no issue making an early entrance into college, at least from a physical standpoint.
Wisconsin's 2021 recruiting class currently ranks 16th overall and third in the Big Ten with 18 total commitments. The addition of Allen will bump the Badgers up another three spots in the overall team recruiting rankings. The Badgers have two fifth-year seniors and two fourth-year juniors expected to start in their defensive backfield. Arriving next summer as opposed to the following summer may give Allen a better shot at locking down one of those spots for the future.
PITT COMMIT ELLIOT DONALD OPTS OUT
There will be football in most of Pennsylvania this fall but one of the state's top players won't be participating. Defensive lineman Elliot Donald, from Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic, won't be playing his senior season. Nephew to NFL All-Pro Aaron Donald, Elliot has been a key piece to the recent success Central Catholic has had navigating the WPIAL conference but he won't be there to help the Vikings repeat as the Class 6A WPIAL champions. Donald committed to Pittsburgh in late July but it doesn't look like he'll be able to enroll early. He will be avoiding in-person classes this fall, finishing up his coursework online before moving the short distance to the Pittsburgh campus upon graduation.
PHILADELPHIA CATHOLIC LEAGUE STARS HEADING TO COLLEGE EARLY
News broke Monday that the Philadelphia Catholic League would be postponing its football season. The League is home to many high-profile football recruits and many of them know where they are going to play at the next level.
Four major prospects already know their plans. Rivals250 prospects Kyle McCord, Jeremiah Trotter and Marvin Harrison Jr. will all graduate early from Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph's and enroll early. McCord and Harrison are committed to Ohio State and Trotter is committed to Clemson. Also planning to graduate early is four-star athlete Tysheem Johnson. The Philadelphia (Pa) Neumann-Goretti star will take online classes to finish out his classroom requirements. He is considering Alabama, Arizona State, LSU, Maryland, Ole Miss, Stanford and Texas A&M.
FIVE-STAR TUNMISE ADELEYE PASSES ON SEASON
Five-star defensive end Tunmise Adeleye is not expected to play high school football this fall, sources familiar with the situation tell Rivals.
Adeleye, a native of Katy, Texas, transferred to IMG Academy (Fla.) at the beginning of the year for his senior season but has since returned back home to the Houston area and will complete the school year at Katy (Texas) Tompkins. However, Adeleye is not expected to suit up on Friday nights.
Adeleye committed to Ohio State in April but decommitted from the Buckeyes earlier this month. Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M were all finalists for one of the nation's best prospects. Adeleye will likely announce his college decision in December.
One of the nation's top tight ends has decided to skip his senior season of high school football and focus on the next step of his journey - playing for the Oregon Ducks.
Four-star Terrance Ferguson from Littleton (Colo.) Heritage announced on social media Wednesday that he was finished with his high school career and that he's "on to the next chapter." Ferguson committed to Oregon over Auburn, Tennessee, USC and Wisconsin.
Over the last few weeks as there was uncertainty about Colorado's timetable to returning to play high school football, Ferguson said he was seriously considering a move to Arizona to play his senior season with fellow Oregon commit Ty Thompson at Gilbert (Ariz.) Mesquite, but that did not materialize.
When the Pac-12 announced it was postponing its fall football season to the spring, Ferguson said that decision did not influence his commitment and that he was sticking with the Ducks. Colorado moved its high school football season to the spring and so Ferguson has opted out of that so he can get to Eugene sooner.
AUBURN COMMIT OPTS OUT
Eight Mile (Ala.) Blount four-star defensive tackle Lee Hunter has opted out of his senior season. He was just practicing last week, and the state of Alabama opens up regular season games this week, but Hunter has decided to not play.
He is committed to Auburn, but still in communication with Florida State, Georgia and a few others. This is big news for Blount as the school was looking to make a run at a state title this fall. – Chad SImmons
Top 2022 prospect in Delaware transfers to Florida
As the COVID pandemic forces states to postpone the high school football season, more players from around the country are looking for new homes so they can play this fall.
Four-star quarterback Braden Davis, son of former Tennessee All-American Antone Davis, has become a heavily recruited prospect and is hoping to continue that momentum this fall. Davis would have been the highest-rated prospect in Delaware's 2022 recruiting class but there won't be a fall football season in Delaware so Davis found another option.
Davis is transferring from Middletown High School in Delaware to Minneola (Fla.) Lake Minneola for his junior season. Auburn, Clemson, Michigan State, Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee, LSU, Florida, Penn State, Alabama, Texas A&M, and many others have extended offers to Davis already. – Adam Friedman
SAWYER TO SKIP SENIOR YEAR, PREPARE FOR POSSIBLE SPRING BIG TEN SEASON
The Midwest's highest-ranked prospect in the 2021 class, Pickerington (Ohio) North defensive end Jack Sawyer, announced on Friday, Aug. 14, that he would forego his final high school season and prepare to enroll early and potentially play the spring Big Ten season at Ohio State.
While previous decisions by top high school prospects to forego the 2020 fall football season were largely based on health concerns, Sawyer's decision does not appear to be directly related to COVID-19. In his announcement, the five-star prospect alluded to the uncertainty of fall high school football in the state of Ohio - which currently plans to play a six-game regular season - and the Big Ten moving its season to the spring.
Sawyer plans to graduate early and enroll at Ohio State in January, and would conceivably be eligible to play in that season unless future changes to eligibility for that spring season are made by the conference.
After starring as a defensive end for Pickerington North as a sophomore, Sawyer took on the additional duties of playing quarterback in his junior season. He would suffer a torn knee ligament in the final game of his junior season, but showed up to a camp in July without a brace and looking in the best shape of his career. Pickerington North is scheduled to open its season against crosstown rival Pickerington Central on Aug. 30 in a game that is set to be televised by ESPN. Sawyer was one of the key reasons that game was earning national attention, but now he will not be playing in that contest. He is the highest-ranked prospect in Ohio State's 2021 recruiting class, which currently ranks No. 1 in the country.
MARYLAND CANCELS FALL SPORTS, THORNTON IN LIMBO
It was announced on Thursday that the MIAA, the conference that boasts talent-laden programs like Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh, Baltimore (Md.) Gilman, Baltimore (Md.) Mount St. Joseph's, and others, is postponing fall sports.
There are a number of major college football prospects that play in this conference but none of the seniors are rated as highly as wide receiver Dont'e Thornton Jr. The Rivals100 prospect had an outstanding season at Mount St. Joseph's last season and is focused on opportunities at Oregon, USC, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Virginia, and Florida State. Unfortunately, none of colleges that are pursuing his commitment will get a chance to see him play high school football again.
"I’m just gonna sit out for the season and keep training and getting ready for college," Thornton said. "We’re thinking about early enrolling. I'm just gonna stay at my current school and finish my classes."
The latest on Thornton's recruitment can be found here.
NORTH CAROLINA POSTPONES UNTIL FEBRUARY
The major governing body for high school sports in North Carolina, the NCHSAA, announced on Wednesday that it was postponing the football season. Football in North Carolina will now start in early February but many of the state’s top 2021 prospects will already be in college.
Some of the Tar Heel State’s best are planning on staying put this fall and getting ready to enroll in college in January. Some of the other big names include:
Other players are working toward graduating early but their plans are not finalized just yet. Some of those players are:
– Adam Friedman
CHAPPELL WILL SKIP SENIOR YEAR
Tyreek Chappell has played his last high school game. The news that the Philadelphia Public School League has suspended athletics until at least Jan. 1 means Chappell, an early enrollee, won't have a chance to play his senior season at Philadelphia (Pa.) Northeast.
The Texas A&M commit is an early enrollee and won't try to transfer to another school to play one more season before heading to College Station. – Adam Friedman
FOUR-STAR QB CLEARS UP PLANS
There is a report circulating that four-star quarterback Peter Costelli is skipping his senior year of high school football to enroll early but that's not necessarily the case. The Mission Viejo, Calif., standout cleared things up Sunday morning:
"If the college season plays in the fall then I will enroll early but if it gets pushed back to the spring then I will just stay and play out my senior year," Costelli said.
That's definitely a major distinction and considerably important both for Mission Viejo and the Utah football team depending on when Costelli gets to campus. The four-star is rated as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the 2021 class.
CLEMONS COULD PLAY TWO SEASONS IN ONE ACADEMIC YEAR
Darrius Clemons has made a decision after the Oregon School Activities Association announced recently that the high school football season would be moved to the spring. The 2022 four-star athlete said Saturday he plans to play this fall at Pleasant Grove, Utah, and then there is some consideration to move back to Portland (Ore.) Westview for the spring season if it happens in the state.
The temporary move to play in the fall and then hopefully return to his home state to play in the spring is the first we've heard of this situation for anybody in the 2022 class as most changes are coming in the 2021 group who are opting to skip their senior seasons of high school football and enroll early in college.
Clemons said he would like to get more film to top national programs including Clemson and Ohio State since both are showing interest. With new offers from Notre Dame and Stanford, the 2022 four-star is already on the radar of almost every program with more than 20 offers but his interesting decision to move to Utah so he can play in the fall is definitely unique during the coronavirus pandemic.
TOP OREGON PROSPECT MAKES DECISION
The top-rated player in the state of Oregon, four-star linebacker Keith Brown, has decided not to play his senior season of high school football and will instead enroll early at Oregon, where he committed in November.
The Oregon School Activities Association announced recently that the high school football season would not start until March. For Brown, it was a challenging decision but did not come as a complete surprise.
"I had the plan of enrolling early since sophomore year so enrolling early was easy," Brown said. "The decision to not play was kind of a no-brainer. I would rather get to (Oregon) early than risk injury during a high school season." – Adam Gorney
FERGUSON CONSIDERING MOVE
Nothing has been finalized yet but four-star tight end Terrance Ferguson is considering a move to Arizona to play in his senior season this fall after the Colorado High School Activities Association announced the high school football season would not start until February or March.
The Oregon pledge said he plans to enroll in Eugene early but if Arizona has a season in the fall he's considering attending Gilbert (Ariz.) Mesquite, the home of four-star quarterback Ty Thompson, who's also committed to Oregon. – Adam Gorney
Colorado players forced into decisions about fall
The Colorado High School Activities Association said Tuesday that the high school football season would be moved from the fall to February and March. That has sparked
Three-star quarterback Luke McAllister is looking outside the state of Colorado to play his senior season after the state association moved the start of high school football to February and March. The Colorado State commit from Monument (Colo.) Palmer Ridge could be the first of many from the state looking for a new state.
"As of right now, I’m looking for anywhere I can play my fall season," McAllister said. "I’m still planning on graduating early."
Florida commit Kamar Wilcoxson says he has reclassified and will join the Gators this fall. The four-star defensive back’s recruitment may have been shortened but it certainly didn’t lack for drama. Wilcoxson actually committed to UF on three occasions during the last couple of years and also made a brief cameo as a Tennessee pledge. Wilcoxon also transferred from his home state of Georgia to IMG Academy but never played a down at the Florida-based school.
Wilcoxson chose the Gatos over a number of major offers.
Jordan Hancock opts out
Ohio State commit Jordan Hancock made the decision over the weekend to not play football at Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett this fall. Georgia has pushed their season back two weeks, and is set to start playing games early in September. Hancock's mother just beat cancer and his father has underlying heart issues, so Hancock thought long and hard over this the last few days, then announced his decision. He is still going to train with his trainers and he has yet to decide if he will play in the All-American Bowl or not in early January. Hancock is set to graduate from North Gwinnett in December and then move to Columbus.
Kaleb Higgins will skip senior year
Three-star athlete Kaleb Higgins is expected to skip his senior year of high school football at Folsom, Calif., and enroll early at Cal. Higgins, who is originally from Texas and whose brother Elijah plays at Stanford, is expected to play defensive back for the Golden Bears. He's not the only Cal pledge expected to be in Berkeley early as four-star tight end Jermaine Terry and three-star defensive end Akili Calhoun Jr. plan to skip their senior seasons as well. – Adam Gorney
Four-star Beavers to enroll at USC in January, skip senior season
Four-star athlete Anthony Beavers plans to skip his senior year of high school football and enroll early at USC. Last week, it was announced that California high school football would not occur in the fall and would be pushed to a December or January start time. The Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne prospect said Wednesday that he plans to not play this season and will instead head to the Trojans early.
Other top California prospects including five-star Korey Foreman and four-stars Beaux Collins and Jaylin Davies have said they plan to skip their senior years of football to enroll in college early. USC quarterback commits Jake Garcia and Miller Moss have not announced their intentions yet but there is a good chance both won't play in high school and instead head early to college.
Linthicum enrolling to Clemson early
Like the rest of the players in Montgomery County, Md., Ryan Linthicum's season has been canceled. The Clemson commit is set to graduate early and will enroll in January. There are some other high school teams from around the country that have asked Linthicum if he'd be interested in transferring to play his senior season but Linthicum has decided to stay put at Damascus, Md.
Huard to stay for senior season
Five-star quarterback Sam Huard originally intended to graduate from high school early and enroll at Washington for spring practice, but COVID-19 has apparently changed those plans. According to a social media post by Femi Abebefe of KOMO in Seattle, the Burien (Wash.) Kennedy Catholic standout will play his senior year of high school football in the spring and then head to Washington later on.
No. 1 player plans to skip senior season
The nation's No. 1 player, Korey Foreman, is "definitely" planning to skip his senior season of high school football at Corona (Calif.) Centennial now that the start of the season is expected to be delayed until at least December or January.
The five-star defensive end recently posted on social media that, "If they make me choose between my senior year or going to college please believe I'm headed to my first camp no questions asked."
Domani Jackson staying in class of 2022
There was some smoke this week that five-star cornerback Domani Jackson could reclassify to the 2021 class so he could get to college sooner, but Wednesday at the Winner's Circle workout in Corona, Calif., Jackson said it's not true and he plans to stay in the 2022 class. That's big for Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei because Jackson is one of the best prospects in the rising junior class with USC, Clemson, Michigan, Texas and many others involved in his recruitment.
Collins will head to Clemson early
Four-star receiver Beaux Collins has decided to skip his senior year of football at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco and enroll early at Clemson. He will miss the season in California because it's not expected to start until December or January at the earliest. This is bad news for Bosco since Collins is one of the top receivers in the 2021 class but good news for the Tigers since Collins committed in January and really has not wavered from his pledge.
“When I heard the news that it was pushed back to January, I was shocked, kind of,” Collins said. “It wasn’t really a hard decision if I was going to leave or if I was going to stay because I already talked it over with my parents if this was happening what I was going to do. I was pretty sure of what I was going to do.” — Adam Gorney
Grimes will enroll this fall at UNC
Tony Grimes had been planning on graduating early and only had one class left to take before he fulfilled his graduation requirements. Grimes announced his commitment to North Carolina on June 30 and knew then that it was unlikely he would get to play his senior season.
He revealed to Rivals.com that day that he planned on enrolling in an online course to finish out his high school graduation requirements so he could enroll at North Carolina for the fall semester.— Adam Friedman
Henderson has no plans to transfer for fall
The longtime Ohio State commit had been looking forward to another productive fall season at Hopewell, Va., but he won’t get that chance. Many schools around the country have been trying to get TreVeyon Henderson to transfer so he could play for them his senior year but recently Henderson announced on Twitter that he’d remain in his hometown to train and get ready for Ohio State. He plans on graduating early and enrolling at Ohio State in January. — Adam Friedman
Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard duo will graduate early
Marcus Bradley was hoping to play out his senior year before graduating in the spring and heading to Maryland. Now that Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard won’t be playing this fall, Bradley is looking for other options. He doesn’t appear to be interested in transferring and is exploring ways he can graduate early and enroll at Maryland in January.
Like his teammate Bradley, Ryan Barnes was looking forward to playing his senior season at Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard. News of his senior season getting canceled has forced the Notre Dame commit to focus on getting ready to enroll early. Barnes, who has decided not to transfer to play his senior season, has been planning all along to graduate early. — Adam Friedman
Prather reacts to Montgomery County (Md.) decision
Prather’s senior season was canceled on Tuesday but the West Virginia commit isn’t interested in transferring to another school to try to play this fall. Instead Prather is working toward graduating early so he can get started in the West Virginia program in January. While those early graduation plans aren’t solidified just yet, Prather is working hard to take advantage of that opportunity. — Adam Friedman
McCarthy transfers from Illinois to Florida for senior season
One of the first prospects in the 2021 class to make a major move in anticipation of a canceled or diverted 2020 football season, J.J. McCarthy announced in mid-May that he would be transferring to IMG Academy for his senior football season "due to the uncertainty of fall sports in the state of Illinois." — Josh Helmholdt
Canadian heading to Rutgers early
Canada is dealing with similar questions as the United States about how and when to play football this school year. Rene Konga was in a position to bypass that uncertainty and enroll in college early, so in July he announced intentions to reclassify to the class of 2020 while simultaneously committing to Rutgers. Konga is expected to join Rutgers for camp to start the 2020 season. — Josh Helmholdt