With National Signing Day around the corner, most recruits have committed, or even signed, with their chosen programs, but not all. Who are the top 10 still to throw their hat into the ring, and where are their preferred programs? Recruiting rankings courtesy of ESPN’s Top 300.
CB Adoree’ Jackson
Junipero Serra HS (CA)
One of the top corners in the country, Jackson is a natural athlete who overcomes his lack of great size with athleticism and anticipation. He has cut his list down to Florida and LSU from the SEC, and USC and UCLA from the PAC 12. Being a local boy can often help sway a recruit, and a couple of last-minute visits to the Trojans and Bruins suggest this may be the case.
DE Lorenzo Carter
Norcross HS (GA)
Tall and slender – but fast – Carter can contribute early, and rely on his natural ability to carry him while he learns his trade and adds some muscle. Carter has received offers from the length and breadth of the land, but has only made official visits to Florida, LSU, Florida State and in-state Georgia. The Bulldogs are selling hard to keep Carter at home, and the signing of former Outland Trophy winner Tracy Rocker as defensive line coach could tip the scales in their favor.
WR Malachi Dupre
John Curtis Christian HS (LA)
A tall, rangy receiver with decent speed and hands, his big play capability has seen a huge number of colleges offer scholarships, despite his relative lack of experience due to playing in a run-based offense. Dupre has made official visits to in-state LSU, Alabama, Florida State, Mississippi and UCLA. All 5 teams are recruiting hard, and Dupre won’t announce who he signing with until NSD, but the smart money’s on LSU.
WR Ermon Lane
Homestead Senior HS (FL)
A polished receiving option, Lane is quicker than he is fast, but he still presents a matchup nightmare due to his size and ball skills. Lane originally had a verbal commit to Florida, but has only officially visited Florida State. The lure of playing for the national champions looks to be too strong for Lane to resist, and his friend, running back Dalvin Cook, has also flipped to the Seminoles too. Lane is expected to announce his acceptance on Wednesday.
ATH Juju Smith
Long Beach Polytechnic HS (CA)
A big, strong player who is a threat to make a big play wherever he lines up, Smith could slot in as a receiver in a heartbeat, but may be better served cutting his teeth in the secondary. Smith has received plenty of offers, but looks to have narrowed it down to Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA and USC. Expect him to stay on the west coast, and Smith has ties to USC, which could give the Trojans the edge.
DE Solomon Thomas
Coppell HS (TX)
Other than his impressive size, Thomas doesn’t really pass the eye test – until he gets on the football field. He’s a productive defender who has superior technique to many of his peers, and may have a better career on the interior line than out at end. Thomas has eschewed the schools in his home state, favoring Stanford, UCLA and Arkansas. The Cardinal appear to have the edge heading into NSD.
OT Damian Prince
Bishop McNamara HS (MD)
Prince is a big and agile offensive lineman who hasn’t even come close to scratching the surface of his potential. He has a ton of offers on the table, but looks to remain close to home with Maryland, Florida State, Florida and South Carolina as his final four. However, home-state Maryland and Florida look like the most likely contenders.
OLB Rashaan Evans
Auburn HS (AL)
A high school defensive end who is a better fit at linebacker at the next level, Evans brings a lot to the table for a defensive coordinator to tinker with. Evans has narrowed his choices down to home-state options Alabama and Auburn, but also has UCLA in the mix, somewhat surprisingly. The Tigers are pulling out all the stops to not just keep Evans in state, but in the locale.
DT Malik McDowell
Southfield HS (MI)
Tall and strong, McDowell isn’t flashy, but has a good idea of the concepts of his position. That being said, don’t be surprised to see him on the other side of the ball, where his skills may be better suited to offensive tackle. McDowell hasn’t given any indicator as to where he may land, but he has made official visits to Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan State and Ohio State. Word on the street is he favors the Spartans, as he wants to stay close to his family, while his parents want him out-of-state so he can focus on college.
OG Damian Mama
St John Bosco HS (CA)
Mama is absolutely huge at 370 pounds, and will likely move inside in college after playing tackle in high school. He needs to keep his weight under control, but the right coaching staff could have a gem on their hands. Mama received plenty of offers, but only made official visits to Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Alabama, USC and BYU. The Trojans have been pursuing him all year, and head coach Steve Sarkisian recruited him while still at Washington, so don’t be surprised to see him stay in California.