Sting Factor: Ranking 10 recent Power Five decommitments
The first opportunity for prospects in the 2020 class to sign is less than nine months away and some prospects are already rethinking their early commitments and heading back on the market to test the waters.
With that in mind, we look back 10 recent decommitments at Power Five programs and rank them in order of “sting” to the programs that lost the verbal commitments.
1. DEMOUY KENNEDY DECOMMITS FROM AUBURN
Kennedy committed to the Tigers last summer and it was a big addition for the school, as he is not only one of the top players in the state of Alabama but one of the top outside linebackers in the country. But after his commitment it didn’t take long for him to start looking around and he continued to take visits to several other programs, including LSU and Florida State. After a visit to the ‘Noles last month, Kennedy announced his commitment and has since visited Baton Rouge again as well. Losing him is a big blow and it will be made worse if he ends up landing at another program in the SEC West.
Sting factor: 9
2. AKINOLA OGUNBIYI DECOMMITS FROM TEXAS A&M
Ogunbiyi committed to the Aggies last summer and everything seemed to be going well until offensive line Jim Turner left the school for a job in the NFL in February. That led to Ogunbiyi looking around at several other programs, most notably Texas and Oklahoma. Ogunbiyi has already set up an official visit to Oklahoma and while he’s likely to consider the Aggies going forward, it appears the Sooners are now the team to beat in his recruitment.
Sting factor: 8
3. TERIYON "MOOKIE" COOPER DECOMMITS FROM TEXAS
Cooper was a prime target for the Longhorns for nearly a year and after getting him on campus in February, he quickly made his commitment. As it would turn out, that pledge didn’t last for long as a visit to Illinois led to his decommitment in early March. Pulling players out of St. Louis is always tough for out-of-state schools and the fact that the Illini have Cooper’s former high school coach on staff as well as some of his former teammates probably factored into his decision to decommit. While the Longhorns might still be in it going forward, putting so much time and effort into Cooper just to have him committed for a few weeks stings.
Sting factor: 8
4. MAJOR BURNS DECOMMITS FROM TEXAS A&M
Burns was an excellent early evaluation by the Texas A&M staff and he was offered in January and jumped at the chance to commit less than a month later. But after the Aggies caught wind of his talent so did several other schools and the offers have since poured in for Burns. The one that really shook things up came from LSU and was only a few days later when Burns decommitted from the Aggies. It’s always tough to pull Louisiana players away from the Tigers and it’s likely that Burns will now be facing the Aggies in the future instead of playing for them.
Sting factor: 8
5. GERALD MINCEY DECOMMITS FROM KENTUCKY
The Wildcats have made a concerted effort in the state of Florida and it’s paid some major dividends and it looked like Mincey might be the next big get for the school in the Sunshine State. He committed in February after visiting Lexington, but not long after the Big Three in Florida all extended offers. After taking visits and fields heavy interest from the Gators, Seminoles and Hurricanes, Mincey backed off his pledge to Kentucky. This one wasn’t a big surprise, but still stings for the Wildcats nonetheless, who will likely look elsewhere to replace him in the class.
Sting factor: 7
6. DARIN TURNER DECOMMITS FROM LSU
Turner committed to the Tigers as an underclassman and seemed set on going to Baton Rouge for quite a long time. But overtime communication between the two sides waned, while schools like Alabama, Tennessee and several others ramped up their pursuit of Turner. With a plan to take several visits over the next few months, Turner backed off his commitment and it’s unlikely he ends up back with the Tigers.
Sting factor: 6
7. DARION GREEN-WARREN DECOMMITS FROM OKLAHOMA
One of the top defensive backs on the west coast, Green-Warren appeared to be the next Californian headed to Norman when he made his commitment to the Sooners last summer. But with changes across the board on the defensive coaching staff since then, it has only been a matter of time before Green-Warren went back on the market. He made the call in early March and is now looking at programs like USC, This one is pretty close to a mutual parting of ways, mitigating some of the sting of losing a player of Green-Warren’s ranking.
Sting factor: 5
8. KUNDARRIUS TAYLOR DECOMMITS FROM OKLAHOMA
Taylor initially committed and signed with the Sooners as a four-star member of the 2018 class, only to head to JUCO instead of Norman. But his affinity for the school continued and he recommitted in January with the plan to sign in December. However, the Sooners have loaded up at wide receiver recently, including signing three five-star prospects in the class of 2019. Taylor now seems poised to look at other options and it’s unlikely he makes a third commitment to Oklahoma.
Sting factor: 4
9. JALEN HUFF DECOMMITS FROM OKLAHOMA
Huff’s story is similar to that of Green-Warren, as he committed to the old defensive staff, most notably defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks. Once Cooks moved on and the Sooners kept handing out offers to other defensive backs, it became clear a breakup was imminent. Georgia Tech quickly emerged as the front-runner for Huff, and the three-star prospect committed to the Jackets on Wednesday.
Sting factor: 3
10. ANTONIO BARBER DECOMMITS FROM TENNESSEE
Tennessee landed a commitment from Barber last spring and he was one of the early dividends of the program's push into the Carolinas. But as time went along, communication between the two sides became less regular while at the same time programs like NC State and North Carolina began to pursue Barber. After a few visits in March, Barber and the Vols parted ways and it’s a reconciliation seems unlikely.
Sting factor: 2