Rumor Mill: Latest news heading into Early Signing Period (updates)
With the early signing period just hours away, the rumor mill has been kicked into high gear with numerous prospects around the country. Here is all the latest news compiled in one place leading into Wednesday:
GEE HEADED ELSEWHERE?
There is growing buzz that four-star safety Khari Gee, who has been committed to LSU since mid-May, might not be a part of the Tigers' recruiting class. Gee has not de-committed and says nothing has changed but if he does not sign Wednesday then watch out for other schools to get much more involved.
Georgia Tech could be a school looking much better for Gee but it looks 50/50 at best that he signs someplace this week. It's more likely that the College Park (Ga.) Woodward Academy standout just needs more time to figure out what's going on in his recruitment.
PAC-12 FLIP COMING FOR TERRY?
Arizona State is trying to flip four-star tight end and Cal commit Jermaine Terry and right now it could be 50/50 whether it happens. The Richmond (Calif.) Kennedy standout has been committed to the Golden Bears since February and he was the third overall pledge in the class.
Over the last few months, Terry had not given many hints that he was looking at other programs but the Sun Devils have come into the picture and there is now mutual interest.
MATHEWS READY TO MAKE DECISION
Auburn and Georgia Tech have battled back and forth for three-star defensive end Ian Mathews from Columbus (Ga.) Pacelli Catholic and both the Tigers and the Yellow Jackets have held the edge in recent weeks.
However, even without a coach yet after Gus Malzahn was fired, Auburn has the most buzz with only hours to go until the early signing period. He's taken numerous visits to Auburn and the campus is less than an hour away.
BIG TEN SCHOOL FOR ROOKS?
Penn State is starting to trend for the commitment of four-star defensive end George Rooks from Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep but Boston College is still battling for his services. Rated as the No. 13 strong-side defensive end nationally, Rooks could sign on Thursday but that has still not been finalized.
Sapp will now sign early
Tyreak Sapp had always intended to wait out his recruitment and sign in February but it now looks like the No. 29 prospect nationally plans to sign on Wednesday - and that could be welcome news for Florida. The Gators commit had been flirting a lot with Alabama recently and if his recruitment dragged out a few more months it seemed like the Crimson Tide could have flipped him but if Sapp signs on Wednesday, it's pointing toward Florida wrapping this one up.
Dickerson could wait to sign
Omaha (Neb.) Westside is expected to have a signing ceremony on Wednesday morning but four-star Minnesota commit Avante Dickerson is rumored to not be signing his letter of intent to Minnesota at that event and he could wait until February. Nebraska has made him a priority and it would make sense since the local prospect lives only about an hour away from Lincoln. Dickerson had committed to Minnesota before seeing it despite numerous trips to Nebraska, so there could be some second thoughts going on with his recruitment.
Goodwin trending toward LSU
Four-star running back Armoni Goodwin de-committed from Auburn in late November and it was a complete surprise as the Trussville (Ala.) Hewitt Trussville standout looked locked in with the Tigers. Auburn continued to recruit him and it was still considered the lead school in his recruitment but then coach Gus Malzahn got fired in recent days. Goodwin still plans to sign on Wednesday and while the Tigers and others are in it, things could be trending toward LSU now.
Earle waiting for HS playoffs to end
Aledo, Texas is still in the midst of a playoff run and so high four-star receiver JoJo Earle does not plan to sign with LSU this week. Earle has not hinted at a de-commitment or a flip from the Tigers and he's been committed since late April, but it does give the in-state schools an opening to keep recruiting him with LSU having some off-field issues to contend with. Texas is making a major play for the eighth-best receiver in the class along with some other in-state schools.
Kendall may sign early after all
Drew Kendall has tossed back and forth the idea of signing early or waiting until February and now it looks like he could sign by Friday although the four-star offensive guard from Boston (Mass.) Noble and Greenough School has not finalized any plans yet. Boston College, Stanford and Duke are the three standing out most in his recruitment.
Brooks thinking February
The rumor is Tennessee is working hard to get four-star defensive end Dylan Brooks signed and locked in on Wednesday, but the Roanoke (Ala.) Handley standout would prefer to wait until February to sign. This is interesting timing because before Brooks' pledge to the Volunteers, Auburn was a big-time school in his recruitment. With the Tigers conducting a coaching search, Brooks might wait to see who gets hired at Auburn and then recalibrate his stance heading into the late signing period.
Aggies may win SEC battle for five-star
Texas A&M remains confident that it can land the five-star defensive end from Katy (Texas) Tompkins even after he just returned from another trip to Florida. Alabama seems to be sliding out of the race here as the Aggies and Gators take the lead.
Kiffin tries to flip Michigan LB commit
Ole Miss is not giving up in the pursuit to flip Colson, a Michigan commit who’s been pledged to the Wolverines since late May. Chris Partridge and Devin Bush Sr. have been tasked with trying to flip Colson and while many believe Colson is not going anywhere, the Rebels are doing their best to try to convince him.
Louisiana RB on flip watch after LSU offer
Diggs has been committed to Notre Dame since late July and he was cruising right along to the early signing period but LSU offered in the last week and now there is some thinking for Diggs to do in the final days. He has called playing for LSU a “dream” and if he flipped it wouldn’t be a complete shock especially after Audric Estime landed an offer from the Irish, but Notre Dame is still confident it can land Diggs in this class.
Michigan RB trending toward Georgia
Notre Dame is slipping in the race for the four-star running back and Georgia still seems to be hanging on by a thread for his signature. That would be a major recruiting victory for coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs in the Midwest and a huge loss for Michigan, which is looking to keep local talent home and for any kickstart to its offense.
Notre Dame trying to lure Michigan State commit
It was unlikely that the Michigan State commit was going to sign this week and now that Notre Dame came through with a late offer it’s almost guaranteed Estime will hold off. There is a strong possibility that the four-star running back could flip to the Irish and if he visits South Bend before the late signing period then it’s nearly set in stone. It’s thought that the Notre Dame offer is a game-changer in his recruitment.
Miami appears to lead for Garcia
The former USC commit who’s originally from California but finishing his senior season at Loganville (Ga.) Grayson had Miami and Florida State high on his list. With McKenzie Milton transferring to play for the Seminoles, who are also focused on a major 2022 QB, the Hurricanes have to like their chances. There is a rumor of one other team involved in Garcia’s recruitment, but the source is not giving up a name although some think it might be Arkansas.
Four-star may follow Lea to Vanderbilt
With Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea taking the Vanderbilt job, Kollie could flip with the Commodores and Louisville being the most serious contenders. If the four-star linebacker does not sign on Wednesday, then it’s probably much more likely that he doesn’t end up in Notre Dame’s class and he could follow Lea to Nashville. If not, Louisville is working hard to flip as well. Notre Dame is not letting go of Kollie easily, though, and coach Brian Kelly could be trying to close him.
Oklahoma still holding off Florida for Leigh
Like many top prospects, Leigh is planning to sign this week and then announce his decision on Jan. 2 during the All-American Bowl ceremony on NBC. The five-star offensive lineman visited Florida this past weekend and the rumor was the Gators made up a lot of ground but Oklahoma still has to feel very good about its chances.
Lewis may end up a Vol after all
Tennessee and Maryland are the top two for the four-star linebacker as Auburn was a surprise omission, but it’s clearly not a viable option for him since Gus Malzahn was fired and the Tigers are just starting their coaching search. Lewis and Maryland coach Mike Locksley have really just starting building a relationship so while the Vols were hurting after losing Lewis’ commitment in late November, he could be headed to Knoxville anyway. Lewis is expected to sign Wednesday and then announce on Jan. 2.
Texas Tech QB commmitment reconsidering options
With Texas Tech dismissing offensive coordinator David Yost, Morton said he is “going to take some time to reflect on the situation before moving forward.” That is not a decommitment but Morton does want to see who the Red Raiders bring in to replace Yost. Committed to Texas Tech since October 2019, the four-star quarterback is already hearing from Miami, TCU, Purdue, Oklahoma State, Texas and Kansas.
Mississippi State trying to lock down Nabers
Mississippi State is making a major run at in-state four-star receiver Antonio Harmon and the thinking was that happened because Nabers could flip to LSU. But there are many who believe the Bulldogs could just be looking to add another talented receiver in this class and that Nabers isn’t going anywhere but Starkville.
Arkansas trying to flip Norwood
Arkansas is trying to flip Texas A&M commit Dreyden Norwood from Fort Smith (Ark.) Northside and there might be some mutual interest. When Norwood committed to Texas A&M in July, many were surprised by the decision because it looked like he’d stay in-state and play for the Razorbacks since they were his first offer.
Price could sign early after saying he will wait until February
A former South Carolina pledge who backed off it when Will Muschamp was fired, Price could still sign this week with the Gamecocks, Tennessee and Mississippi State leading the way. The Bulldogs are considered the new favorite but Oklahoma and Ole Miss are also in his top five. Price said he would wait until February to sign but that timeline might move up to this week.
SEC battles rages for No. 1 prospect
There continues to be chatter that the new No. 1 prospect in the 2021 class is more serious than ever about Georgia although he reportedly did not take a last-minute visit to Athens as had been rumored over the weekend. Smith could be concerned with the off-field issues around the LSU program and that could be making the Bulldogs more attractive heading into signing day. Some believe that and others don’t and think Smith still ends up in this LSU recruiting class.
Georgia, Alabama, Florida duke it out for IMG four-star
Georgia is considered to be the front-runner for the four-star linebacker from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy and the rumor is that Alabama is actually in second place with Florida in third, although many think the Gators are battling for Sorey’s commitment. What all that means is that the Bulldogs have to really like where they stand heading into his decision.
Arizona State fighting to hold onto Louisiana LB
Arizona State has gone all over the country for talent under coach Herm Edwards and they think they have a stud in three-star linebacker Gharin Stansbury, who’s been committed since July. But others are pursuing the Franklin, La., standout hard over the last few weeks with Texas and Penn State trying to flip him.
Penn State, Jackson State target Georgia commit
Penn State is turning up the heat on the Georgia commit who’s at Scranton (Pa.) Lackawanna C.C. and is originally from Hyattsville, Md. Another school that is making a move is Jackson State as new coach Deion Sanders is trying to steal a big-time four-star, although it’s unclear how serious that has become.
After Muschamp, Malzahn dismissals, Wilson looking at Florida State
Wilson was committed to South Carolina under former coach Will Muschamp and then it looked like Auburn had jumped out in the lead for the three-star defensive end from Virginia Beach (Va.) Green Run. However, that looks like it changed as well after Gus Malzahn got axed and now Florida State could be making major strides in getting Wilson’s signature.