football Edit

Tracking Midwest de-commitments since the start of December

With the early signing period looming on Dec. 20, we take a look around the Midwest at some of the more notable changes with the region’s top prospects.

RELATED: Commits of the week | Recruiting status of each Big Ten program

Video Analysis: What Johnny Adams will bring to the Cal Bears

Ball State knew it had itself a steal when Adams pledged to them over the summer, but it had to also know the chance Power Five schools would eventually come calling was very high. After a breakout season, the Cal Bears offered Adams and following an official visit to Berkeley this past weekend the Indianapolis native flipped his commitment to the Pac-12 program.

UPDATE: Bentley commits to Pitt

This was more of a mutual parting of ways with Kentucky than a straight de-commitment. Bentley took an official visit to Pittsburgh the weekend of Dec. 1 and that apparently did not sit so well with the Wildcats. Bentley then took an official visit to Louisville the weekend of Dec. 8, but announced he was committing to Pittsburgh a day after returning home.

Crook-Jones committed to Kansas, the first school to offer him a scholarship, last February not long after the 2017 class had signed their letters of intent. As his senior year progressed, however, Kansas State started turning up the heat on the Kansas City-area prospect. Crook-Jones took an official visit to Kansas State with his teammate, Shane Cherry, the weekend of Dec. 8, and before they left both had committed to the Wildcats.

Demens made his commitment to UCLA in October, but less than a month later the Bruins fired head coach Jim Mora Jr. Demens remained committed to UCLA throughout the coaching transition and into the first ten days of Chip Kelly's tenure, but announced his de-commitment on Dec. 4. Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Michigan and Michigan State were some of the schools Demens had considered strongly in the past.

On the same day Nebraska welcomed Scott Frost as their next head coach, Goodrich stepped away from his six-month commitment to the Cornhuskers. Goodrich’s decision was not a reaction to the Frost hire as it preceded the latter by several hours, but this is a recruitment that will be watched closely going forward on one of the region’s few remaining uncommitted top 100 prospects.

Article 12/5: Tyrik Henderson resets his recruitment

This is another situation that was a mutual parting of ways. Henderson had been committed to Minnesota since last April and was one of the class’ biggest cheerleaders. Indiana, Purdue and Nebraska are some of the schools showing interest, but no new offers have been made. Henderson will schedule official visits soon and expects to sign in February.

Reed had been committed to Penn State since April and was not looking around as recently as October, but a day before he was supposed to leave for his official visit to State College he re-opened his recruitment. Michigan and Virginia Tech were part of his top three before the Penn State commitment, but his Virginia Tech connections are no longer in Blacksburg. Reed does have a former teammate at Nebraska, and we know Scott Frost is looking to fill out his first class in Lincoln.

Article 12/6: Markese Stepp sets first official visits

This is one of the longest-tenured commitments in the Midwest’s 2018 class to end. Stepp pledged to Notre Dame prior to his junior season, but the two parties separated amicably at the start of the month. The interest in Stepp since that de-commitment has come from across the country. He originally planned to officially visit Purdue Dec. 15 but has switched that visit weekend to Louisville. Stepp has also discussed a January official visit with Alabama.

Walker ended his six-month commitment to home-state Big Ten program Illinois on Dec. 5 in what looks like a mutual decision by both parties. When he committed to Illinois at the end of the spring his only other offers were from FCS programs like Illinois State and North Dakota State. He took an official visit to Northern Illinois the weekend of Dec. 8 and committed to the Huskies on Dec. 15.