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Signing Day Fearless Forecast

Making predictions when it comes to 17-year-old prospects and what they will decide to do is foolish, so it’s right up my alley. As we head into National Signing Day, here are 10 things to look for:

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Charie Strong
Charie Strong

1. The Texas Longhorns will finish strong, but how strong is strong (pun intended)?

Texas will certainly vault from its low status in the team rankings into the Top 25, but I don’t foresee a push into the Top 15 like last year. But what’s better about this season? It will be finishing with more recruits in its territory and this will pay more dividends if it closes out.

2. FSU could finish No. 1.

I picked Alabama earlier mainly because Alabama always closes strong, it has a few five-stars already on board as what are silent commitments and a couple others in play. Clemson has the most five-stars right now and ‘Bama could end up with the most, but FSU is in play for so many highly ranked guys, I wouldn’t be shocked if the 'Noles took it all. But 'could' isn’t really a prediction, right? So at the very least I’ll say – watch out for the ‘Noles and a very strong finish.

3. Someone other than Demetris Robertson will delay their decision beyond Signing Day.

It happens every year to at least one big-name guy and this year I could see one or two others getting cold feet when pen is set to meet paper. It’s just been that kind of year.

4. Everyone will be chasing an unsigned letter again this year.

It happened last year with Byron Cowart and in previous years with players like Cyrus Kouandjio, so this year, whose letter will we be tracking? I’m going to say once again it will be one of the ESPN television announcements, where a player picks a school and hours later still hasn’t signed.

Rashan Gary
Rashan Gary (Rivals.com)

5. Rashan Gary will pick Michigan.

Is this really a prediction? Not according to Michigan fans, who feel the hire of Chris Partridge, Gary’s former high school coach, locks this up. But make no mistake, Gary won’t be picking Michigan solely because of Partridge. Remember, everyone, including myself, was sure Da'Shawn Hand was going to pick Michigan back in 2014. Nothing is a lock in recruiting, not even this, but I think Jim Harbaugh gets the No. 1 player in the country. Clemson has made this a tougher call, be sure of that, and this prediction could be the kiss of death based on my Hand prediction in 2014.

6. Florida will tumble out of the top 10.

With 26 commitments, the Gators only have a few prospects left on the board and it will be interesting to see if they can pull a couple upsets here and there. But the Gators' 3.38 average star ranking is the second-lowest in the top 10 and they could tumble outside the top 10, especially if they lose a key commitment like Shavar Manuel or one of the few others who are looking around.

7. The Buckeyes will hold off Michigan in the battle of the Big Ten, but it will be close.

Michigan is signing a bigger class and has more kids to add down the stretch, but I still think Ohio State finishes ahead of it in conference and in the national rankings by a hair. But tell me, it isn’t more fun now with Urban Meyer and Harbaugh in the same conference?

8. There will be a major flip on Signing Day.

If I could pinpoint who it is, I’d play the lottery and be rich, but there are too many committed prospects who have taken late visits or thinking things over and are itching to make a change. Could it be Erick Fowler or Patrick Hudson to Texas, Tyrie Cleveland to Arkansas or Florida, Tyler Byrd to Tennessee or something less obvious? Who knows, but I expect a Rivals100 prospect to flip or at the very least a couple of guys in the Rivals250. Out on a limb right?

Mique Juarez
Mique Juarez (Rivals.com)

9. UCLA is going to kill it down to the finish.

Not only does UCLA get five star linebacker Mique Juarez, but the Bruins will finish with Devin Asiasi, Brandon Burton, Boss Tagaloa, Aaron Hansford and others. UCLA should enter the big day right at the end of the top 10 or so and they could push up higher with this finish.

10. Finally, I might as well predict all the remaining five-stars:

Gary – Michigan

Ben Davis – Alabama

Robertson – Georgia (eventually)

Juarez – UCLA

Mecole Hardman Jr. – Georgia

Jack Jones – USC

Caleb Kelly – Oklahoma

Jeffery Simmons – Alabama

Derrick Brown – Auburn

Terrell Hall – Alabama

Lyndell Wilson – Alabama