National Signing Day, or the first day of college football’s Early Sign Period, came and went with lots of fireworks.
The SEC rose to the top of the team rankings, the number one pick completed a historic shift, and there is a renewed sense of optimism for most new talent-based shows heading into the spring and summer months.
But not all elite recruits put pen to paper to conclude the process, officially. In fact, a dozen SI99 recruits are not yet engaged, much less unsigned. The end may be in 24 hours for some, while most others will take the process to January or February, when the traditional signing window opens.
CB Denver Harris – The No. 6 pick in the country, regardless of position, had some buzz about making a decision during the week, but plans changed once his Helena Park (Texas) North Shore program reached the state championship. With their final game scheduled for Saturday, the current team will take priority and Harris is expected to let the world know of his college choice thereafter. Texas A&M, which has been the hottest recruiting program, seeks to keep Texas, Alabama and LSU at bay for the star of the state.
FROM Shemar Stewart – Stewart, an elite running back from South Florida, has been busy on the road this fall and dropped his top three and a date for a decision on Thursday. It seemed that the old man was going to leave the state for some time, but Mario Cristóbal and Miami are very much alive at the end of the process. Heavyweights Georgia and Texas A&M, which has made the biggest impact, round out the first group of contenders, though Stewart also teased a conversation with Deion Sanders this week. With Stewart it seems that February 2 is a long way off.
Slot Kevin Coleman – Coleman, the number one spot in America, is also a busy traveler, and that has helped him narrow down his list. Florida State had a lot of traction with the St. Louis native down the stretch with Oregon and USC receiving visits in November. The last weekend of the cycle featured Coleman in Miami, where he was able to reacquaint himself with Cristóbal in his new excavations and it could end up being the best possible scenario for the prominent recruiter. The Hurricanes only signed eight picks on Wednesday, but the skill and talent included is commendable.
CB Tomorrow Jackson – A long-time USC engagement from one of its pending high schools in Santa Ana (California) Mater Dei, a possible reengagement seems likely end-game. Alabama and Michigan had long recruited Jackson and raced to him throughout the fall, including for official visits, but a call Friday between the contenders seems to present more good news for Lincoln Riley’s first-class transfer class in Los Angeles.
IOL Devon Campbell – The contenders for the best available inside offensive line draft will have to wait until February to learn the Texan’s fate. Like many in the Arlington area, the coveted offensive lineman will make the choice between a pair of longtime rivals, the state of Texas and renewed Oklahoma. Prominent job recruiters Kyle Flood and Bill Bedenbaugh have another fought battle on their hands for the next six weeks or so.
FROM Omari Abor – Buzz has been all over the place with the Duncanville, Texas, pass rusher for the past six months. From the state of Ohio to Texas A&M to LSU, many have a diverse confidence in where cutting edge talent from the state of Texas will end up. According to SI sources, Abor is scheduled to announce his fate at the Under Armor All-America Game, which could mean that a silent signature will be sent on Friday night when the signing period comes to an end. ESPN will carry the game on January 2.
DB Kendrick’s Law – A top-tier athlete recruited on offense and defense under the show, Law ranks as one of the top nickel projections in SI. The Louisianan has LSU in search along with Alabama, Texas and the state of Florida. TCU had some interest to the future engineering student at some point, but it appears the SEC is in the best position to add Law’s commitment on Friday. Brian Kelly used a home visit with Law before welcoming the family to Baton Rouge on the last weekend of the contact period. It will be enough
LB Harold Perkins – The prize among linebackers still available is the Texan, who could very well play running back at the Power 5 level. Perkins pitched a top three from Texas, Texas A&M and LSU to start in December, leaving a month of impressions to be made. before his choice goes public in the UA game on January 2. This could be an old-fashioned state battle in the finale and Perkins landed several games on each campus throughout the season.
OT Josh Conerly – A towering offensive tackle from the Pacific Northwest, Conerly had long planned to wait for the traditional transfer window to make things official. That’s probably good news for new staff in Washington state under Kalen DeBoer, who needs a flagship recruit to finish the initial tour of the class. Michigan appears to be the main contenders considering that Ann Arbor was the site of Conerly’s only official visit to date. However, you will have the opportunity to take other trips during the January contact period, so shows like USC, Alabama, and others could potentially make a move.
S Jacoby Mathews – LSU’s long-time commitment and one of the best athletes in the state regardless of position, Mathews confirmed what many were hearing on the eve of signing day: He will wait. LSU is still very much alive in the race to keep you home, but Florida, Texas A&M, Texas and others still have time to persuade you to venture out. There has been talk of an announcement in January during the all-star circuit, but Mathews seems in no rush to make things official.
WR CJ Williams – A long-time commitment to Notre Dame that just opened things up again this week, there will be an effort on the part of the Marcus Freeman staff to bring him back. But the new opportunity down the road at USC, where by the time Williams announces he should include several teammates on board, it seems like it may be hard to pass up. As UCLA, Oregon and others try to make up ground, Williams is expected to make a call shortly after the calendar changes.
IDL Christen Miller – USC had Miller on the commitment list and it was a huge surprise at the time, but a lot has changed since then, including several contending coaching bodies. The constants in the race, at least of the local variety, have been the complete opposite in Georgia and Alabama. The state of Ohio and Oregon brought him to campus this fall, but Miller’s decision in early January has the SEC’s powers written all over it, as far as we know.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.