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By JC ShurburttNational signing day is less than one week away and while the majority of the nation's top uncommitted players have declared their college destinations, there are many who have yet to announce. Here's a breakdown of the uncommitted and where things stand heading into crunch time.
Seantrel Henderson, OL, St. Paul, Minn./Cretin Derham-Hall
Player rank (position rank): 7 (1)
Ohio State is the team to beat for the nation's top offensive line prospect, but Southern California believes that it has a legitimate shot and has made a push down the stretch. Also, Henderson had a good trip to Miami during the weekend. With all that being said, the Buckeyes' chances are greater than 50 percent.
Projection: Ohio State| Confidence: High
Demar Dorsey, ATH, Lauderdale Lakes, Fla./Boyd Anderson
Player rank (position rank): 12 (2)
Dorsey and Florida parted ways earlier this week, leaving Florida State as the front-runner for his services. The Seminoles are confident. Dorsey was scheduled to visit USC officially this past weekend. Could the Trojans steal one?
Projection: Florida State | Confidence: High
Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, Portland, Ore./David Douglas
Player rank (position rank): 17 (2)
There is confidence in Lincoln, Neb., that Odighizuwa will follow in the footsteps of another great Portland defensive lineman, Ndamukong Suh, and head to Nebraska. Oregon, UCLA, Oregon State and others are also finalists.
Projection: Nebraska | Confidence: High
Marcus Lattimore, RB, Duncan, S.C./James F. Byrnes
Player rank (position rank): 19 (2)
Lattimore will decide between Auburn and South Carolina at 6 p.m. Tuesday during a news conference at his family church in Spartanburg, S.C. He had his final in-home visits with the two coaching staffs on Friday and Saturday last week. In a situation that is this close, give the edge to the home team.
Projection: South Carolina | Confidence: Medium
Markeith Ambles, WR, McDonough, Ga./Henry County
Player rank (position rank): 23 (4)
Ambles backed out of a commitment to Tennessee after head coach Lane Kiffin departed for USC. The Trojans are now heavily involved and it's expected that he will join perhaps the top class of receivers in the country in Los Angeles. But don't count out surging North Carolina or even the Vols when all is said and done.
Projection: USC | Confidence:Medium
Christian Jones, OLB, Winter Park, Fla./Lake Howell
Player rank (position rank): 27 (2)
Jones will announce his decision on signing day on ESPNU. Florida State is the team to beat as he has strong family ties, but Jones has been pretty adamant about the possibility that he breaks the mold and heads elsewhere. Florida would probably be that next team to watch.
Projection: Florida State | Confidence: High
Sean Parker, S, Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne
Player rank (position rank): 49 (5)
Parker recently took an official visit to Washington; the Huskies, along with Michigan and USC, are the finalists. Parker will announce his decision on ESPNU. There are some in California who like the Wolverines' chances to land him, but you just never know.
Projection: Michigan | Confidence: Medium
Chaz Green, OT, Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic
Player rank (position rank): 52 (4)
USC will get the last crack at Green, and Kiffin and company had him almost wrapped up when they were at Tennessee. At this point, Florida has to be considered the team to beat as we head toward signing day, but watch out for the Trojans. Green will announce on ESPNU's Signing Day Special.
Projection: Florida | Confidence: Medium
Christian Green, ATH, Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic
Player rank (position rank): 53 (9)
Like Jones, Green has family ties to Florida State (he's the cousin of former Noles great E.G. Green). In the end it is hard to see him spurn the Garnet and Gold. With that, Georgia has been a team that has been in the mix for some time, so it will be worth watching on ESPNU when he announces with his teammate, Chaz Green.
Projection: Florida State | Confidence: High
James Stone, OL, Nashville, Tenn./Maplewood
Player rank (position rank): 100 (9)
Alabama has always been a strong player for Stone, but in-state Tennessee is trying to make a last-minute push for the Under Armour All-American. This is going to be more interesting that what was once thought, but it's still tough to go against the team that has been the strongest longest.
Projection: Alabama | Confidence: High
Adrian Coxson, WR, Baltimore, Md./City College
Player rank (position rank): 101 (16)
Coxson was committed to Penn State for a good chunk of the process, but now it appears that the 6-foot-2, 194-pounder will play college football in the Southeastern Conference. Florida is a team that has been high on his list for some time and barring something unforeseen, the Gators should add another important piece to their class come national signing day.
Projection: Florida | Confidence: High
Corey Lemonier, DE, Hialeah, Fla./Hialeah
Player rank (position rank): 94 (9)
Lemonier is down to Florida State and Auburn and could be yet another prospect who contributes to a brilliant finish by Jimbo Fisher and his staff. The Tigers have had a good year recruiting and are definitely a factor, but something about this situation has said "Seminole" for a while now.
Projection: Florida State | Confidence: High
Damien Robinson, OT, Olive Branch, Miss./Olive Branch
Player rank (position rank): 104 (10)
Robinson is yet another man of mystery who will decide down the stretch. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are right there. Tennessee also got involved late. Both in-state schools have had good years recruiting. The Bulldogs have done a little better with the Magnolia State prospects this cycle and there is some confidence in their camp.
Projection: Mississippi State | Confidence: Medium
Dietrich Riley, S, La Canada, Calif./Saint Francis
Player rank (position rank): 108 (10)
It's a Los Angeles battle between UCLA and USC for Riley, who appeared ticketed for Troy prior to the departure of Pete Carroll to the Seattle Seahawks. Riley was expected to visit SC this past weekend. Can Kiffin and the Trojans sway him back? Maybe, but you can't dismiss the job the Bruins have done.
Projection: UCLA | Confidence: Low
Ivan McCartney, WR, Miramar, Fla./Miramar
Player rank (position rank): 109 (18)
There is confidence in West Virginia that the Mountaineers will land McCartney, who is one of the most talented prospects at his position in the country. McCartney would be a huge get for West Virginia, which figures to take a hit recruiting in South Florida with the departure of Doc Holliday to Marshall as the Herd's head coach. With that, Miami had him in during the weekend.
Projection: West Virginia | Confidence: Medium
Willis Wright, ATH, Miami/Miami Springs
Player rank (position rank): 121 (19)
Wright will announce his decision on national signing day. He made an official visit to Miami earlier this month, but a report in the Miami Herald speculated recently that he could end up at West Virginia or Florida International. There is little doubt that Wright will make some team very happy on national signing day, but there is not enough information to say for sure where he will end up.
Projection: Florida International | Confidence: Low
Ricky Heimuli, DT, Salt Lake City/Brighton
Player rank (position rank): 133 (13)
Heimuli is down to UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State and Utah. The Bruins, Huskies and Utes are believed to be the teams to beat. Nobody seems to really know for sure what Heimuli is going to do, so go with the home team. Projection: Utah | Confidence: Low
J.R. Ferguson, DT, Chatham, Va./Hargrave
Player rank (position rank): 136 (14)
Some say that LSU and California have the best shot at Ferguson. Others believe that Florida State or Miami will sneak in at the last minute and swipe him. The Tigers seem to be fading a bit with this one after confidence was high for a while. For some reason, this has always had a "Miami" feel to it, but there has been a lot of Golden Bears buzz for a while.
Projection: California | Confidence: Low
Recruits look at schools for a variety of reasons, everything from academics to campus life to uniforms to which school can get them ready for the NFL, just to name a few. We asked our college football bloggers to name the best of the best by conference.
|Category||ACC||Big East||Big Ten|
|Best recruiter||James Coley, FSU||Dave Wannstedt, Pitt||Larry Johnson, Penn State|
|Best closer||Dabo Swinney, Clemson||Dave Wannstedt, Pitt||Jim Tressel, Ohio State|
|Best facilities||NC State||Connecticut||Penn State|
(Raymond James Stadium)
|Best game-day atmosphere||Clemson||West Virginia||Penn State|
|Best chance to play as freshman||Miami||Louisville||Wisconsin|
|Best uniforms||Wake Forest||Cincinnati||Penn State|
|Best campus life||North Carolina||West Virginia||Wisconsin|
|Most tradition||FSU||Syracuse||Ohio State|
|Most likely to get players to NFL||Miami||Pittsburgh||Michigan|
|Best recruiter||Jackie Shipp, Oklahoma||Ed Orgeron, USC||Nick Saban, Alabama|
|Best closer||Mack Brown, Texas||Rick Neuheisel, UCLA||Rodney Garner, Georgia|
|Best facilities||Oklahoma State||Oregon||Florida|
|Best game-day atmosphere||Texas A&M||Washington||LSU|
|Best chance to play as freshman||Baylor||Washington State||Tennessee|
|Best campus life||Kansas||Cal||Florida|
|Most likely to get players to NFL||Texas||USC||Alabama|
ESPNU is the place to be for national signing day.
Be sure to tune in to the ESPNU 150 Signing Day Special on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET. Some of the ESPNU 150 players scheduled to announce on the show include:
There will be interviews with Florida commit Ronald Powell (ATH), the nation's top-rated recruit, and head coaches Brian Kelly (Notre Dame) and Skip Holtz (South Florida).
So join Scouts Inc.'s Tom Luginbill, Craig Haubert, Todd McShay and former Ohio State running back Robert Smith as they break down all the news starting at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday.
These three teams could be big winners on signing day:
Florida State Seminoles
With the departure of Bobby Bowden, a notorious recruiting closer, we're going to find out how Jimbo Fisher is on the in-home visit. Uncommitted prospects DE Corey Lemonier (Hialeah, Fla./Hialeah) and Christian Green (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic) could be two key pickups for FSU down the stretch.
Could the Canes be a dark horse for Seantrel Henderson (Saint Paul, Minn./Cretin Derham)? They have plenty of talent visiting South Florida for the weeks the city is hosting the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. We'll see how much that plays into their favor.
Lane Kiffin has done a great job of keeping this current class he inherited intact. We expect him to make additional splashes between now and signing day. We wouldn't be surprised to see safety Dietrich Riley (La Canada, Calif./Saint Francis), who visited USC this past weekend, and recent Florida decommit Demar Dorsey (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Boyd Anderson) end up Trojans.
These three teams could slip on signing day:
The rich keep getting richer; the Gators are composing an all-time recruiting class. At some point, players committed to Florida could look at the depth chart and start thinking about heading elsewhere. The Gators and five-star prospect Demar Dorsey (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Boyd Anderson) recently parted ways.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Fighting Irish still have a chance to land some talent come signing day, but with two key losses they could slip out of the rankings. No. 16 rated RB Giovanni Bernard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) recently dropped the Irish and committed to North Carolina days later.
With Lane Kiffin gone, the Vols cold lose some of their firepower on the trail -- this has been evident with several defections that have taken place in recent weeks. They might not have enough coming in these final weeks to stop one or two teams from passing them in our final class rankings.
These players might not be in the top 150, but they will make an impact before all is said and done:
Tommy Rees, QB, Notre Dame
Ress (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) has a lightning quick delivery that you can't coach. He has adequate-to-good size and the frame to continue to add bulk and strength. He could be Brian Kelly's next Zach Collaros -- a quality player who nobody recruited heavily.
Dontae Williams, RB, Oregon
Williams (Houston/Aldine) went a little bit under the radar due to an injury that limited his junior season production. He is a strong, explosive RB who maybe a great complement to the stable of undersized speed backs currently in Eugene. Eventually, he should be a feature-type runner. He also has nice hands to get into the screen game.
Bjoern Werner, DT, Uncommitted
Although Werner (Salisbury, Conn./Salisbury School) has yet to pick a school, he's a prospect with a lot of upside. A native of Germany, Werner has the physical tools with size and athleticism to play quickly. As he continues to grow more accustomed to the game in the States, he could develop into an excellent college player.
The late additions of Jackson Jeffcoat (Plano, Texas/Plano West), the No. 1-ranked defensive end in the country, and Jordan Hicks (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West), the No. 1-ranked linebacker in the country, by the Texas Longhorns is a change of pace for the Big 12 champions.
In recent years, the Longhorns have struggled to close some of the elite prospects in the country -- Jarvis Jones went to USC in '09, Dre Kirkpatrick to Alabama in '09 and Darrell Scott to Colorado in '08 -- but if you include the commitments of receivers Mike Davis (Dallas/Skyline) and Darius White (Fort Worth, Texas/Dunbar Senior), the Longhorns have secured four of the top 20 players in the country in January.
Before the verbal commitments from Jeffcoat and Hicks, the Longhorns already had the No. 2-ranked recruiting class this year, behind Florida's monumental class. The fact that Texas has 10 percent of the ESPNU 150 recruits and is not No. 1 proves how strong the Gators' class is.• Read Gerry Hamilton's entire take
When it comes to rating college football prospects, there is strength in versatility. That's why some of the biggest movers in the final update of the 2010 ESPNU 150 were prospects who can do more than one thing on the football field.
This includes the new No. 1 prospect in America, athlete Ronald Powell (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde). Powell, who has committed to Florida, also has been moved to the athlete category, a move that best represents the possibilities he has as a college football player.• Read the full story
It takes four years to truly evaluate a recruiting class. We're taking a look back at how Scouts Inc. did in 2006.
• Hits and misses
• Reranking the classes
• Reviewing the ESPNU 150
• The All-2006 team
When it comes to our class rankings, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. As was the case last year, the SEC is far and away the most prevalent conference in the top 25. Florida's historically talented class leads the way while Alabama, Georgia, Auburn and LSU are in the top 10.
Top 25 (pre-signing day edition)
LSU tops 2009 class
With elite athlete Russell Shepard and safety Craig Loston at the top, LSU's class was the nation's finest. The Tigers were followed by Alabama, Texas, USC and Florida.
Complete 2009 class rankings
Miami tops 2008 class
Miami hauled in 12 ESPNU 150 players and focused on defense, landing the top three LBs and the top DT. The Hurricanes were followed by Clemson, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
Complete 2008 class rankings
USC tops 2007 class
USC went for quality, not quantity. The Trojans landed the nation's top three players, including top-ranked RB Joe McKnight. The Trojans also signed eight other players who ranked in the top five of their respective positions. USC was followed by Florida, Texas, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Complete 2007 class rankings
Florida tops 2006 class
Tim Tebow. Percy Harvin. Is that any good? No wonder Florida, which had 11 ESPNU 150 players in the class, ranked first. The Gators were followed by USC, Texas, Georgia and Notre Dame.
Complete 2006 class rankings