ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - Eight top prospects made their future colleges known Wednesday night in the Under Armour High School All-America Game at Tropicana Field. Rivals.com analyst Chris Nee has all the recruiting news covered from the Red Team's 24-22 victory.
Bray picks Auburn
Lagrange (Ga.) Troup athlete Quan Bray made a verbal commitment to Auburn on Wednesday night. Of course, we need to strongly stress the non-binding nature of the verbal commitment here.
Bray acknowledged this week that he still intends to take more official visits in January.
The 5-foot-11, 178-pound athlete included Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Florida among his other finalists.
Bray, a four-star recruit, is the No. 16 ranked athlete in the country, No. 120 overall.
Bray, who has taken an official visit to Auburn and Georgia, plans to see his other three finalists before he signs in February.
"I will take all of my visits," Bray said earlier this week. "I have only taken two so why not take the rest of my visits and see? I want to see something new. Maybe I will see something that changes my mind; you never know."
Bray is considered the No. 16 athlete in the nation.
Blackmon to Oregon
Fontana (Calif.) Summit athlete Devon Blackmon announced he was headed to the University of Oregon on Wednesday night.
"When I went there on my trip, it felt like a family and I knew (assistant coach) Scott Frost would take care of me," Blackmon told the ESPN broadcast.
The announcement ended one of the more interesting recruitments.
Blackmon had plenty of fun along the way, talking about each of his finalists on Twitter and in interviews, leading to rampant speculation of him going here or there. In the end, Oregon won out over UCLA and USC.
The 6-foot, 175-pounder is ranked as the No. 6 athlete in the country and No. 46 overall recruit.
Therezie picks Auburn
"They have one of the best academic business programs that I want to go to school for," Therezie said on the ESPN broadcast.
The four-star prospect is considered the No. 18 safety in the nation.
"Auburn is a big school," Therezie said earlier this week. "They are a great family. It is just a place where you feel a lot of love."
Academically, Therezie reported a qualifying test score and said he should not encounter any issues with qualifying.
Therezie is a Florida native, but he already has been part of Alabama's biggest rivalry. He picked Auburn over Alabama. Florida and Tennessee also received strong consideration.
Townsend chooses Southern Cal
Of course, that could change.
Townsend, who made an earlier trip to TCU, is still planning on taking a trip to Miami later this month.
"It might not be 100-percent completely solid of a commitment just yet," Townsend said earlier in the week. "(Miami) probably wouldn't let me visit if it was. I have to give them a chance."
The 6-foot-4, 242-pound Townsend is considered the No. 4 strong-side defensive end and No. 43 overall prospect.
Grant picks Ohio State
Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary's Doran Grant, considered to be the top cornerback recruit in the country, verbally committed to Ohio State on Wednesday night.
Grant said Ohio State's tradition of success was a key.
"With the Buckeyes, they are a strong contender every season, year-in and year-out, they are always good," Grant said. "They are consistent and play good ball."
A 5-foot-10, 171-pounder, Grant is a four-star recruit and ranked No. 33 overall. He attended the same high school as LeBron James.
Jackson picks Tennessee
It was an announcement Jackson never expected to make.
Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 315-pound lineman, made a verbal commitment to Miami months ago, but decided to re-open his commitment after the school fired head coach Randy Shannon.
Jackson is a three-star recruit and ranked as No. 13 at guard.
Miami and Michigan State were considered to be the other finalists.
Gorman heading to Florida
Miami (Fla.) Monsignor Pace defensive back Jabari Gorman verbally committed to Florida.
"It's a new program (under first-year coach Will Muschamp) and I want to be part of an upcoming program, and win a national championship," he told the TV audience.
Gorman decided on Gainesville after an official visit to the Florida campus in mid-December, when he met Muschamp.
"I have talked to him a good bit," Gorman said previously. "I talked to him right after he was hired, when they announced it, because I was on my visit (to Florida). He is a secondary guy. That is good for me going in there because he is a secondary coach who wants secondary players. He wouldn't be recruiting me if he didn't think I was fit for him program."
Gorman also cited distance from home as one reason he opted to remain in the Sunshine State for his collegiate career.
Gorman is ranked the No. 10 safety in the nation and No. 174 prospect overall.
Dickson to Alabama
"They have a great coaching staff and I think I fit in just fine with their program," Dickson said during the ESPN broadcast.
Whether he eventually signs there remains to be seen. Dickson, a 6-3, 238-pounder, said earlier in the week that he was planning on taking a visit to Auburn later this month. Georgia also was considered to be a finalist.
For now, the pick is Alabama.
"Great school," Dickson said earlier this week. "Great coaching staff; great surroundings."
The four-star prospect is ranked No. 135 overall and No. 3 at weak-side defensive end.