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Roundtable: Which team could finish strong before Early Signing Period?

Justin Flowe
Justin Flowe (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

In today’s Rivals Ranking Question of the Week, we ask the team of Rivals analysts to name a team in their region that could have a big finish to their recruiting class leading up to the Early Signing Period.

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ROB CASSIDY, Florida analyst

My response has to be Florida simply because the other two major schools in Florida are facing a bit of adversity this season, which seems to be having an impact on recruiting. Meanwhile, the Gators seem to be on stable footing and attracting attention from all sorts of prospects, including some committed elsewhere.

Keep an eye on Oregon commit Avante Williams when it comes to UF. Then, there's Rivals100 offensive lineman Marcus Dumervil. Four-star wide receiver Marc Britt, among others, could also be in play.

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ADAM FRIEDMAN, Mid-Atlantic analyst

North Carolina has a top-14 recruiting class and that’s impressive since the Tar Heels have struggled in the last month, but it could get even better. Recent Auburn decommit Trenton Simpson, a high four-star prospect who could move even higher, looks like he could be headed to Chapel Hill. Georgia and LSU are two others under consideration with Simpson.

Mack Brown also just flipped three-star receiver Stephen Gosnell, which is another tremendous recruiting victory for the program.

MORE: Could UNC finish No. 2 in ACC recruiting? | Fact or fiction: UNC will pounce on Simpson?

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ADAM GORNEY, National and West analyst

A coaching change might have to take place first but I think USC could see a huge recruiting haul late if Clay Helton is replaced and a marquee name takes the Trojans job. If that happens, I think USC could be back in the running for five-star linebacker Justin Flowe and I think the Trojans are already in great shape with four-star receiver Gary Bryant. Four-star receiver Lavon Bunkley-Shelton could be interesting, I think USC is in good standing with four-star cornerback Darion Green-Warren as well.

But if someone like Urban Meyer takes that job if it opens then there’s no telling who would flip to the Trojans since I think Meyer is one of the best recruiters in college football history. I’m just not convinced he would take the job.

MORE: USC 2020 commitment list

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JOSH HELMHOLDT, Midwest analyst

Nebraska fans would undoubtedly preferred to have a faster recruiting start in 2020 and not have to sweat out the final two months before the Early Signing Period, but the base of this class is solid, led by Rivals100 prospects Zavier Betts and Turner Corcoran. The class currently stands at 14 total commits, but likely ends up around 23 when all is said and done.

Top prospects such as Rivals100 receiver Lavon-Bunkley Shelton are scheduled for November official visits and Scott Frost's staff is also scouring the JUCO ranks for more talent.

MORE: Scott Frost's weekly press conference | Nebraska commitment list

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CHAD SIMMONS, Southeast analyst

I have to go with Georgia. With the Bulldogs sitting outside the top five right now, I fully expect them to finish up inside that group. Kirby Smart and his staff have been very selective on who they have pursued this class, and Georgia has numerous five-stars and Rivals100 prospects still out there uncommitted.

Georgia is in the top two to three for prospects such as Zachary Evans, Jordan Burch, Kelee Ringo, Noah Sewell, Darnell Washington and Arik Gilbert – all five-star prospects. Georgia is going to close strong, how strong is the only question.

MORE: UGA 2020 commitment list

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SAM SPIEGELMAN, Texas and Louisiana analyst

One team that could wind up finishing very strong is the Texas A&M Aggies. They're one of three or four serious contenders for five-star Zachary Evans and they remain in a good position to land EJ Smith, Garrett Hayes, Ty'Kieast Crawford, Alfred Collins and Devon Achane, who are all ranked inside the top-50 within the state.

I like Texas A&M's chances with Evans and maybe two or three of the other prospects mentioned. That could make for a nice close to Jimbo Fisher's 2020 haul.

MORE: Flip Watch for Texas, Louisiana prospects

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WOODY WOMMACK, Southeast analyst

Clemson does the bulk of its work early in the cycle but over the past few years the Tigers have reeled in some pretty big fish later in the process. I think that will be the case again this year.

The main prospect to watch is five-star linebacker Justin Flowe, who has been high on the Tigers for a while. Will Clemson's national brand continue to impress the West Coast prospect? A potential coaching change at USC could change things, but expect the Tigers to finish strong.

MORE: Clemson's commitment list

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