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Recruiting Cheat Sheet: Five-star to announce; UGA lands big one

Emeka Egbuka
Emeka Egbuka (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Welcome to your weekly recruiting cheat sheet. Here you'll find all the biggest college football recruiting stories from this past week and what to look for this weekend so you can know your stuff while you’re watching games.

MORE: Three-Point Stance on Ohio State, more | Who will be first five-star RB of 2022 class? | Will Florida take lead after Tristan Leigh visit?

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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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THE NEWS  

Shane Beamer
Shane Beamer (AP Images)

Gamecocks hire Shane Beamer  

South Carolina made it official on Monday, hiring Shane Beamer as its new head coach. The former Oklahoma assistant coach has also coached at Georgia and Mississippi State along with being a member of the staff under his father Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech, Tennessee and South Carolina. Full coverage of Beamer’s first recruiting moves and coaching staff updates can be found at GamecockCentral.com


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Vanderbilt coaching search  

It’s been almost two weeks since Vanderbilt fired Derek Mason and the Commodores are well on their way toward hiring their next head coach. Some of the potential candidates include Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea, Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold, former Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, Charlotte head coach Will Healy, USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. All the latest on Vanderbilt’s search for a new head coach can be found at VandySports.com


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Five-star coming off the board tonight

Five-star Emeka Egbuka, the No. 1 wide receiver in the Rivals250, is set to announce his commitment tonight at 8 p.m. EST. Oklahoma, Ohio State and Washington are the finalists, but Ohio State FutureCasts have been flowing in. Egbuka was just in Oklahoma last weekend to see what Norman is like and to throw with five-star Sooners quarterback commit Caleb Williams.


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Rivals250 QB Jaxson Dart lays out commitment plan

The second-highest ranked uncommitted quarterback in the Rivals250, Jaxson Dart, is poised to announce his commitment on Dec. 16, the first day of the Early Signing Period. USC, Arizona State, UCLA and Iowa State are the main contenders. Dart expects to be very busy leading up to his commitment and explained his plans here.

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Rivals250 RB Bryon Cardwell holding off on decision 

Notre Dame and Oregon have added a new twist to Rivals250 running back Byron Cardwell’s recruitment. Offers from those two schools have pushed the Southern California star to wait to sign his National Letter of Intent. USC, Cal, UCLA, Florida and Florida State have been involved with Cardwell for some time, but he isn’t going to commit without doing the research he needs to make an informed decision.

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Vegas four-star down to a final three  

Nebraska, UCLA and USC are the last teams left standing for four-star defensive lineman Tiaoalii Savea. The Las Vegas native has an offer sheet that features some heavy hitters like Auburn, Florida, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Penn State. Savea could be making his decision as early as the first day of the Early Signing Period since his original commit plans have fallen through with the cancellation of the Under Armor All-America Game.

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A top 2022 QB narrows his focus  

Ty Simpson has been very active taking visits on his own during the dead period and it helped him feel confident enough to announce a short list. The 2022 Rivals100 quarterback out of Tennessee named Florida, Texas, Auburn, Alabama, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Clemson, Ole Miss and UT-Martin his top 10 contenders, but Clemson looks like it could be the favorite. Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee are very much in the mix at the top as well. A decision isn't likely to come before the end of the college football season.

THE COMMITMENTS 

Nyland Green
Nyland Green (Rivals.com)

  Dawgs land important defensive back  

The biggest commitment of the week came on Tuesday when Georgia won a hard-fought recruiting battle to land a commitment from Rivals250 cornerback Nyland Green. Clemson was the Georgia native's other top contender, but teams like Auburn and Tennessee were also involved. Tuesday marked the conclusion of a long recruitment for Green that almost ended a number of times.

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Fighting Irish finishing up 2021 and making progress on 2022  

Notre Dame picked up five 2021 commitments last month and the Irish added another to their class this week in defensive end Devin Aupiu. The California native flipped to the Fighting Irish from UCLA. Brian Kelly and his squad now have the No. 10-ranked class in the 2021 cycle, but they’re doing even better in the 2022 class. Notre Dame sits at No. 7 with the addition of Rivals250 offensive lineman Ty Chan. The Massachusetts native committed to Notre Dame on Thursday, picking the Irish over Penn State and a host of other suitors.

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The heated battle between Ole Miss and Mississippi State rages on

Ole Miss and Mississippi State each had some recruiting wins and losses this week. The two programs were fighting over in-state linebacker John Lewis but Mike Leach won this round. In-state receiver Brandon Buckhalter originally committed to Ole Miss last year and then flipped to Mississippi State in February. Now he’s flipped back to Ole Miss. Defensive end Demarcus Smith also recommitted to Ole Miss after parting ways with Lane Kiffin and his staff in October. In-state offensive lineman Makylan Pounders was committed to Mississippi State until earlier this week, and now he’s committed to Ole Miss.

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  Florida State keeps in-state linebacker from heading west  

Linebacker Patrick Payton had been committed to Nebraska since May, but the Noles flipped him on Monday. The Miami native is expected to bring impressive pass rushing abilities to the Florida State defense. Florida State now holds 15 commitments, but it still ranks outside the top 40 of the team recruiting rankings.

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Tennessee adds depth on the offensive line

Tennessee added another offensive lineman to its 2021 recruiting class this week with Amari McNeill. The Georgia native joins offensive linemen Colby Smith, J’Marion Gooch and William Griffin-Parker in the Vols’ 2021 recruiting class. Tennessee was McNeill’s only SEC offer and one of his two Power Five offers.

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Terps reel in former Tennessee commit  

Speaking of Tennessee, one of their former commits flipped to Maryland on Thursday. Darrell Jackson, a Florida native, decommitted from Tennessee earlier this week after originally picking the Vols back in February. Jackson, a defensive end, is the 21st member of Maryland’s 2021 recruiting class.

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Penn State adds to its wide receiver corps

On Monday, Alabama native Harrison Wallace flipped from Duke to Penn State. The receiver had been committed to the Blue Devils since mid-October. Wallace is Penn State’s third receiver commit in this class if you include Lonnie White, who is listed as an athlete.


Other commitments 

Defensive tackle Luther McCoy committed to Minnesota

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Former Old Dominion quarterback commit Billy Edwards committed to Wake Forest

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Purdue landed a commitment from 2022 in-state linebacker Domanick Moon

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THE DECOMMITMENTS  

Quaydarius Davis
Quaydarius Davis (Rivals.com)

  Quaydarius Davis and USC part ways  

In a widely expected move, top 40 prospect Quaydarius Davis and USC parted ways on Thursday. The former Texas and SMU commit chose USC back in May. The Trojans now have only two receiver commits in their 2021 recruiting class.

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No. 1 tight end reopens his recruitment

Tennessee has lost a few commitments this week, but none have hurt as much as top 60 prospect Hudson Wolfe. The No. 1 tight end in the nation and an in-state prospect, Wolfe was a major priority for Tennessee and the Vols fought hard to keep him from picking Ohio State back in June. Ole Miss now has the momentum with Wolfe and he could end up signing with the Rebels next week.

Jay Jones, a Vols commit since July of 2019, also decommitted from Tennessee on Thursday. He is the fifth recruit to decommit from Tennessee since Thanksgiving.

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  Florida State loses a Rivals250 commitment  

Florida State lost a commitment from one of its top recruits, Rivals250 receiver Malik McClain, this week. The IMG Academy standout committed to the Seminoles back in August, choosing them over South Carolina, Texas A&M and Kentucky. Ole Miss appears to be the favorite at this point, according to the FutureCast predictions.


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Rivals250 DB decommits from UCLA

UCLA landed a commitment from Rivals250 defensive back Devin Kirkwood in May after a tough recruiting battle, but the Bruins weren’t able to keep him in the fold. Kirkwood decommitted from UCLA this week but doesn’t appear to be heading away from the Los Angeles area. USC is the heavy favorite to land his commitment, according the the FutureCast predictions.

Other decommitments 

Defensive back Derrveron Maxwell-Black decommitted from Pittsburgh

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Georgia Tech loses a commitment from offensive lineman Eli Richey

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WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEKEND

Along with Egubka’s commitment on Friday, keep an eye out for Texas three-star offensive lineman Remington Strickland’s commitment. He will be choosing between Texas A&M and Oklahoma on Friday evening. ... Also look for Hudson Wolfe to announce his commitment on Friday. Ole Miss is trending and he doesn't want to drag out his recruitment any longer.

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Five-star offensive tackle Tristan Leigh is finishing up his recruitment soon and getting in his final visits. The Fairfax (Va.) Robinson star visited Oklahoma last weekend and is heading to Florida this weekend. Ohio State, Clemson and LSU are still in this race and each has been in touch with him this week. Leigh is expected to sign during the Early Signing Period next week, but he will wait until Jan. 2 to reveal his choice.