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Under-the-radar prospects who signed with Power Five schools

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

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Taajhir McCall
Taajhir McCall

National Signing Day is in the books and schools from around the country are celebrating major additions. Whether it be Georgia landing five-star wide receiver George Pickens or Auburn landing Rivals100 running back Mark-Antony Richards, the day also saw its share of surprises.

But it wasn’t just highly ranked players that pulled surprises, as a few Power Five schools went off the radar to land sleeper prospects. Here’s a rundown of six players that went from under the radar to major programs.

MORE NSD: Farrell Awards | Georgia crowned team champion | Mind of Mike | Winners and Losers | Ranking the flips




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McCall spent most of his recruitment mulling over options from Army and Navy, and it wasn’t until a late offer came in from Iowa last week that he even began to think he might have a Power Five future. After taking an official visit to Iowa City last weekend, McCall raved about the trip and it led to his signature coming in for the school on Wednesday. Could the long, rangy playmaker be the next great find by the Hawkeyes staff? Iowa fans are hoping so.

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The two-star Florida defensive back actually emerged on the recruiting radar back in December, when he surprisingly committed to Baylor. But instead of signing with the Bears during the Early Signing Period he elected to roll the dice, and as it turned out his gamble would lead to even more Power Five offers coming his way. He ended up decommitting from Baylor last week, following an official visit to NC State, and he made his pledge to the Wolfpack on Wednesday morning.

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Harris had a number of Group of Five and FCS offers, but Kansas and Washington State were the only Power Five programs that pulled the trigger on offers. As it turns out, the Jayhawks landed his commitment Wednesday. For the Jayhawks to reach into Alabama and land a prospect is unique, regardless of his ranking, and it shows the new approach of head coach Les Miles. A defensive lineman with the ability to play multiple positions, Jayhawks fans are hoping he will be a diamond in the rough.


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Sio didn’t even a have a scholarship offer on the table from the Beavers prior to Wednesday, but once one became available the Alaska native jumped on the chance to sign with the school. Because of limited exposure in his home state, Sio got on the radar of several programs after a positive showing at the Polynesian Bowl. Sio is raw, but he has great size and the Beavers coaches are hoping they can mold him into a contributor in Corvallis.

Johnson kept a low profile on the recruiting trail throughout his high school career despite playing for Texas powerhouse Manvel. He spent the better part of 2018 committed to North Texas, but after declining to decide early, he reopened his recruitment the day after Christmas. Shortly thereafter new opportunities started to come his way. A late offer and official visit to Syracuse led to his commitment and signing on Wednesday.

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Despite playing at California power Long Beach Poly, Reed flew under the radar all the way through the Early Signing Period. That’s when Kansas State and UCLA entered the picture, with both programs offering and hosting him for official visits in January. On Wednesday, he ended up spurning the local school to head to Manhattan. Reed is a tall, lean defensive back who will need to add weight, but K-State fans are hoping he got lost in the shuffle among a number of talented players on the Poly roster and that he will end up being a nice find.