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Sting Factor: Which October decommitments hurt most?

Roderick Robinson
Roderick Robinson

With the Early Signing Period approaching and coaching changes already happening, there have been a lot of decommitments and flips. Here is a review of October’s biggest decommitments and where they ranked on Adam Gorney's Sting Factor.

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OCTOBER RECRUITING WINNERS: ACC | Big 12

HARSIN OUT AT AUBURN: Harsin had to go, but Auburn shares blame | Teams that will benefit | Who should be next?

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100

TRANSFER PORTAL: Stories/coverage | Message board

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Sting Factor: 9

Robinson has emerged as one of the best running backs in the 2023 class and so UCLA struck gold when it landed his commitment in May. The four-star, who’s rushed for 1,804 yards and 27 touchdowns this season, took visits to Texas A&M and Georgia and once he got back from Athens, a flip to the Bulldogs happened.

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Sting Factor: 8

The New Caney, Texas, four-star running back committed to Michigan State in January and his commitment lasted almost to the Early Signing Period but in the final days of October Reescano reopened his recruitment after visits to Ole Miss and Oklahoma State. Texas A&M could also be making a push for one of the best running backs in the 2023 class.

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Sting Factor: 7

The three-star safety from Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County probably would have stayed committed to Georgia Tech if there wasn’t a coaching change and if his close contact coach Mike Daniels didn’t leave but those things happened so Bonner is looking around. NC State and Wake Forest are two teams to watch early on but others could get involved as well.

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Sting Factor: 7

The move to the Big 12, Cincinnati’s impressive offense and many other factors played in the Bearcats’ favor when Elzy committed to them in July. But three short months later the Chicago Simeon four-star receiver was back on the market. Could Illinois’ incredibly impressive season sway Elzy to head a few hours south to Champaign?

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Sting Factor: 7

Oklahoma State has a bunch of talented prospects in its recruiting class but the three-star athlete from Waco (Texas) Connally is a multi-sport star and there’s a chance he could end up at Texas Tech as the Red Raiders have made a serious push. So has Texas and others since McDonald’s versatility stands out so much.

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Sting Factor: 6

The Benton, Ark., running back in the 2024 class committed to Arkansas last November and it looked like his recruitment would be drama-free. But Russell backed off his pledge to the Razorbacks as Tennessee, Ole Miss and others have stepped it up.

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Sting Factor: 6

Kelley committed to Virginia Tech in early September and it was a big win for the Hokies but after Clemson offered in recent weeks it became clear that the Tigers would be able to flip him. Central (S.C.) D.W. Daniel has been a breeding ground for top Clemson players over the years and Kelley has followed suit by pledging to the Tigers in the last few days.

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Sting Factor: 6

Michigan State has a strong offensive line class even without Wedin but it would have been so much better with the four-star in it. Instead, the Tampa (Fla.) Carrollwood Day standout backed off his pledge and has since flipped to Auburn.

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Sting Factor: 6

The Houston (Texas) Dekaney four-star receiver has a great relationship with Texas position coach Brennan Marion so when he committed to the Longhorns in June it wasn’t a complete surprise. But Wilson, who has 52 catches for 901 yards and nine touchdowns this season, backed off his Texas pledge and by the end of the month decided to stay home and commit to Houston.

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Sting Factor: 6

The Cypress (Texas) Cypress Ranch three-star linebacker has kept his recruitment close to the vest but an early commitment to Baylor looked like it was going to stick – until LSU got involved. Assistant coach Matt House was involved and then after Brathwaite visited Baton Rouge recently, he decided to flip his pledge.

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Sting Factor: 6

The Orange Park, Fla., four-star offensive lineman committed to Florida State after a summer visit to Florida and then flipped to Florida after multiple visits. Kearney said he followed his heart and had lots of conversations with family and it led him to the Gators. This Sting Factor would have been higher if FSU didn’t recruit so well along the offensive line in the 2022 class.

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Sting Factor: 6

When Porter committed to Northwestern this summer he cited the great relationships he built with the coaching staff and players plus his cousin, Justin Cryer, was a part of the recruiting class which was another major draw. It was huge for Northwestern as well since the four-star from Cypress (Texas) Cypress Ranch but it wasn’t to be as he backed off his pledge with Mississippi State, Michigan State and others pushing.

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Sting Factor: 6

Whittemore’s brother plays at Florida. The three-star athlete is from Gainesville. A lot was lining up for Whittemore, who plays quarterback in high school but is expected to be a receiver in college, but instead he flipped to Mississippi State after a visit to Starkville.

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Sting Factor: 6

The sting for Williams would have been much higher if the Long Beach (Calif.) Poly four-star linebacker was in the 2023 class but he’s a 2024 recruit with a lot of time for USC to get him back in the class. SEC schools, Oregon and many others are pursuing him but there’s a good chance Williams ends up committed back to USC.

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Sting Factor: 6

Wilson was committed to Auburn for just over a month and probably would have stayed with the Tigers if not for coach Bryan Harsin’s firing on Halloween. North Carolina was the other school high on Wilson’s list but now that the Lakeland, Fla., three-star offensive lineman is back on the market, others could be getting in the mix.

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Sting Factor: 5

Watson has bounced around in his recruitment a little bit with commitments to SMU and then Colorado but a coaching change in Boulder led the three-star receiver to look around again. After visiting Kansas State this past weekend, the College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated standout pledged to the Wildcats.

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Sting Factor: 4

The Frankfort (Ky.) Franklin County three-star running back grew up a Kentucky fan and he made an early commitment to the Wildcats but it just wasn’t going to work out. So Moorman has been hearing from West Virginia, Memphis and others as Kentucky has a pledge from three-star Khalifa Keith and is looking for another running back in this class.

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