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Sting Factor: The 10 biggest decommitments of October

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Chris Steele
Chris Steele (Nick Lucero/

MORE: Best two-team battles in the Southeast | Latest on Jadon Haselwood

The month of October was a lively one on the recruiting trail, with several big names backing off longtime pledges. Some players went back on the market to explore new and exciting options, while others “parted ways” with schools, likely because they were encouraged to by coaches at the initial school of their choice.

November is likely to see more of the same, as schools and prospects continue to play the game of musical chairs that is recruiting in advance of the Dec. 19 Early Signing Period.

With that in mind, we look back at the October decommitments at Power Five programs and rank the top 10 in order of “sting” to the programs that lost the verbal commitments.

Jadon Haselwood decommits from Georgia

There was no higher profile decommitment during October than Haselwood, whose late-night announcement on twitter sent shockwaves through the recruiting community. One of the nation’s best prospects regardless of position, losing him is tough no matter which way you slice it. Of the four players Georgia had back off their pledges in October, none hurt worse than Haselwood. Miami, Oklahoma and Auburn are among the programs competing with Georgia to land Haselwood now.

Sting factor: 10

Chris Steele decommits from USC

The news of Steele’s decision made waves nationally, especially considering how much fanfare he received when he first announced his plans to stay home and play for the Trojans. But a disconnect between him and the staff formed and now he’s back weighing his options. Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oregon and several others are now in the mix for Steele, while a reconciliation between him and the Trojans is still very much up in the air.

Sting factor: 10

John Emery decommits from Georgia

Emery’s decision to re-open his commitment came at an interesting time as the talented running back commit made it after watching his home-state LSU Tigers beat the Bulldogs in Baton Rouge. A longtime target for both programs, Emery is believed to be leaning toward LSU and it’s not that surprising considering the deep stable of talent Georgia has on it’s roster at the position already.

Sting factor: 7

Clay Cundiff flips from Kansas to Wisconsin

The Jayhawks have just one commitment now that Cundiff has flipped to Wisconsin so this is a pretty big blow to the program's class. The playmaking tight end will be tough to replace and his three-star ranking was the highest in the school’s small class.

Sting factor: 7

Cornelius Nunn decommits from Syracuse

Nunn’s decommitment from Syracuse is a big blow to the Cuse, especially because he eventually landed within the conference at Miami. The Orange staff did a great job evaluating and landing Nunn early and it was tough to see him slip away.

Sting factor: 7

Sampson James flips from Ohio State to Indiana

The Rivals250 prospect made headlines when he flipped away from the Buckeyes and landed at in-state program Indiana. It’s not often the Hoosiers edge out the Buckeyes for a prospect, especially one so highly-regarded. The Buckeyes have moved onto other options, but losing James is still notable.

Sting factor: 6

JaVonta Payton decommits from Ole Miss

Ole Miss has done a very nice job recruiting and developing wide receivers in recent years and landed an early commitment from the JUCO prospect Payton. But the lure of other programs closer to his native Nashville have emerged, with Tennessee as his most likely landing spot now that he’s back on the market. Payton can be replaced, but Ole Miss is behind the eight-ball when it comes to identifying new options.

Sting factor: 6

Marcus Banks decommits from LSU

LSU already has a loaded defensive backs class, but losing Banks hurts, mainly because it now looks like he’ll land at another program in the SEC West. Alabama and Texas A&M have emerged as the front-runners, while the Tigers have moved on from Banks and are exploring new options around the country. Cornerback prospects with the size and ability of Banks aren’t easy to find.

Sting factor: 6

Jalen Perry decommits from Georgia

Perry had been committed to the Bulldogs for months and it came as a surprise to many to see him put his name back on the market. But shortly after he decommitted, Georgia landed a commitment from Texas defensive back Lewis Cine and it was clear that this was a parting of ways between the two sides. Perry still has a number of high-level options, including Michigan, Florida, South Carolina and others.

Sting factor: 4

Bobby Wolfe decommits from Texas A&M

Wolfe recently decommitted from Texas A&M for the second time this cycle and unlike the first time, there’s not much of a chance for a reconciliation. The Aggies have moved onto other options and so has Wolfe, with Arizona seeming like the most likely destination.

Sting factor: 3