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Midwest Spotlight: Tracking recent decommitments

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Daxton Hill
Daxton Hill (

MORE SIGNING DAY: Early Signing Period Announcement Guide | Farrell's 10 bold predictions | Five players who could flip | Teams that should, shouldn't be excited

The post-season coaching carousel sets many dominoes in motion and recruiting is one of those dominoes. The period of time between the end of the college football season and the December signing period will see the greatest concentration of decommitments, in part due to the coaching carousel. Here is a look at how those dominoes have fallen in the Midwest since the regular season ended.


The post-season decommitment wave in the Midwest started with a pair of Central Michigan commitments out of Detroit’s Cass Technical School re-opening their recruitments in the wake of John Bonamego’s firing. Both prospects became among the first targets for the new staff after Jim McElwain’s hiring in Mount Pleasant. Dingle has since re-committed to the Chippewas, while McKinnie-Harper will decide between Central Michigan and Toledo on Dec. 19.


One of the strangest decommitments this post-season came from Anderson, who made his original commitment to Minnesota before his senior season. The Gophers had stuck with him even though he missed all of his junior season with a broken leg. Anderson announced his decommitment only to re-commit to the Gophers two weeks later after finding the market was softer than he had anticipated.

Meanwhile, it was a burgeoning market for Nicholson that prompted his decommitment from Eastern Michigan that same day. Missouri had offered Nicholson back in October. At the time Nicholson was solid with the Eagles, but once his team had finished their playoff run the three-star linebacker took a closer look at his options. After decommitting from Eastern Michigan Nicholson lined up and took an official visit to Missouri the weekend of Dec. 7. He then took an official visit to Toledo the weekend of Dec. 14 and is unsure whether or not he will be signing this week.


The 2018 Mr. Football in the state of Michigan, Finn lead Detroit King to a state title this past season while showing abilities as both a passer and runner and expertly orchestrating the Crusader’s offense. In the interim between Bonamego’s firing and McElwain’s hiring at Central Michigan, Toledo swooped in and scored the commitment flip from Finn.


A speedy wide receiver who attracted significant college attention this past off-season, including Power Five offers, Fox nevertheless committed to the home-state school just before the start of his senior season. Programs like Temple continued to push for Fox’s attention and following an official visit to their Philadelphia campus in early December, the Cleveland native switched his pledge to the Owls.


A five-month commitment to Texas came to an end for Houston earlier this month. At that point the Rivals250 prospect planned to hit the reset button, take this process out into the New Year and sign in February. Minnesota, which had offered last winter and was named in every iteration of Houston's top group thereafter until he pledged to Texas, never left off the gas with Houston even when he was pledged to the Longhorns. That persistence paid off and Houston took his official visit to Minneapolis the weekend of Dec. 7. P.J. Fleck wants all of his recruits signed in the early period and Minnesota’s goal now is to get Houston on board this week. Whether that happens remains to be seen.


Ross was a prospect who dropped from a three-star to a two-star following senior season film evaluation. Whether Cincinnati saw the same things we did and initiated the parting of ways with the local defensive back is unclear, but on Dec. 6 Ross announced he was re-opening his recruitment after six months as a Bearcat commitment.


The biggest commitment change in the region this post-season was undoubtedly five-star Hill flipping from Michigan to Alabama. What’s interesting is Hill already made a decision between these two schools just a couple months earlier. Although he officially had a top six from back in the spring, it was the Wolverines and Crimson Tide that emerged as the biggest players ahead of Hill’s September commitment to Michigan. When it comes down to it, though, five-star prospects expect to play for championships and while Alabama was beating Georgia in the SEC title game on Championship Weekend, the Wolverines were at home after dropping their 14th game in the last 15 tries against rival Ohio State. There has been some buzz that Hill could be re-considering this decision and Michigan may still have a shot, so this could be one to still watch leading into the early signing period.


Last week was a tough one for Western Michigan, which lost a pair of three-star commitments. Baldwin opened up his recruitment after landing offers from Power Five programs Rutgers, Virginia and Wake Forest. He took an official visit to Rutgers the weekend of Nov. 30 and one to Virginia the weekend of Dec. 14. A decision between those two programs is expected later this week.

McAdams, meanwhile, suffered an injury during his senior season and after discussions with Cincinnati coaches a decision to was made by both parties to part ways. Eastern Michigan stuck with McAdams, though, and the Eagles were rewarded with his commitment.


After losing Rivals100 quarterback Dwan Mathis’ commitment to Ohio State in the summer, we knew Michigan State would have to make a play for a quarterback at some point before this 2019 class ended. That quarterback ended up being Thorne, a Western Michigan commitment since last May who drew interest from several Power Five programs, including NC State where he officially visited in November, after a strong senior season. Thorne made an early-week official visit to Michigan State, took a couple days to consider his options and pulled the trigger for the Spartans last Friday.


Blakley was committed to Miami (Ohio) for eight months, but re-opened his recruitment this past weekend after an official visit with the Redhawks earlier this month. That remains the only official visit Blakley has taken, so he is a candidate to take this recruitment into January and sign in the late period.


The hits keep coming for both Western Michigan and Boston College, as both programs lost three-star linebacker commitments on Monday. Wahlberg had more than a half dozen Power Five offers when he originally committed to Western Michigan back in June including one from Purdue. That situation was re-examined by the three-star linebacker after a senior season in which he helped lead Mona Shores to a state title game. Wahlberg took an official visit this past weekend to Purdue, and made the decision Monday to change his commitment.

Ham also took an official visit to another Power Five school this past weekend, but in this case that destination was Colorado. Fellow state of Michigan prospect Jaren Mangham has been committed to Colorado since the summer and encouraging several from the state to join him in Boulder with new head coach Mel Tucker. It looks like Ham will follow that lead and sign with the Buffaloes on Wednesday.

Mueller was the only prospect on Kansas’ 2019 commitment list when David Beaty was fired as the head coach of the Jayhawks in November. The two-star running back had pledged to Beaty’s staff over the summer and stayed committed through the transition, even taking an official visit to Lawrence after Les Miles was hired as the head coach. On Monday, however, Mueller announced that he and his parents no longer saw Kansas as a good fit for him.


Arkansas has made its presence felt in Oklahoma during Chad Morris’ first full recruiting class and the Razorbacks are not afraid to dig for some diamonds in the Sooner State. Stromberg is a guy who had only Group of Five offers before he committed to Tulsa back in June. A strong senior season should have produced more Power Five looks, but apparently only Arkansas was paying attention. Stromberg landed his offer form the Razorbacks on Monday and flipped his commitment on Tuesday.