Recruiting is the lifeblood of a program, so it never takes a back seat in the world of college football.
And while it may seem as if we've had more early commitments this year than ever before, we have also seen plenty of de-commitments as well as top players who remain undecided on their next destination.
With the recruiting “dead period” commencing this past Monday and going through January 3, 2013, let’s take a look at the 20 best high school players who have yet to make a verbal commitment to a school.
I have been tracking some of the top prep players throughout the summer and fall, and some have already given a pledge. However, many of the biggest programs in America continue to hotly pursue the top talents who have yet to make up their minds.
Today, let’s take a look at a revamped Top 20, with new names added to the list to take the place of those top athletes who have given their verbal. Of course, keep in mind that nothing is official until next February when each prep player sends in his Letter of Intent on National Signing Day.
1. DE Robert Nkemdiche: Grayson High School; Loganville, GA
The 6-5, 265-pounder makes his debut on this list after de-committing from Clemson in November. The nation’s best overall player could play end, outside 'backer in a 3-4 scheme or even tackle in a 4-3, but no matter where he lines up he will be explosive. He may visit Ole Miss, Alabama and even LSU in January before making his final decision. The Rebels remain the favorite to land his services because his brother plays in Oxford and his mother wants him to attend the school. It would be a huge coup for Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, who had a standout debut campaign in Oxford and who is poised to bring in a strong class.
2. OT Laremy Tunsil: Columbia High School; Lake City, FL
The 6-6, 295-pounder had the top undeclared spot until Nkemdiche de-committed. Tunsil has great athleticism for an offensive tackle with the body type to add weight without losing effectiveness. Georgia and Alabama are at the top of his list, and some recruiting experts feel that the Bulldogs have the edge. Ole Miss and Florida State also remain in the mix as well, as Tunsil may take official visits.
Mackensie Alexander's recruitment is anyone’s guess.
3. CB Mackensie Alexander: Immokalee High School; Immokalee, FL
The 5-11, 175-pounder de-committed from Tennessee in March after his stock was rising, and his recruitment is now anyone’s guess. He has offers from major powers such as Alabama, LSU and Florida State, but Florida may have the edge. This one is completely unpredictable. Notre Dame could also have an outside chance.
4. DT Montravius Adams: Dooly County High School; Vienna, GA
The 6-3, 281-pounder has taken a lot of visits, but Clemson and Georgia may have the edge. Alabama, Auburn and Florida, meanwhile, still have an outside chance. He has good quickness for his size, and the Bulldogs could be in line to keep Adams in-state.
5. OLB Matthew Thomas: Booker T. Washington High School; Miami, FL
It has been assumed for awhile now that the 6-3, 205-pounder will decide between Miami (FL) and Florida State. He could still visit Georgia and Alabama, but look for him to stay in-state. The ‘Noles may have the edge.
6. WR Laquon Treadwell: Crete-Monee High School; Crete, IL
The 6-3, 195-pounder reportedly has Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss as his finalists after a recent visit to Norman. He plans to visit Oklahoma State in January, and he visited Ole Miss in early December. After the trip to Oxford, he declared the Rebels the team to beat. Can Hugh Freeze land the nation’s best receiver?
7. LB Reuben Foster: Auburn High School; Auburn, AL
The 6-2, 242-pounder is a former Alabama and Auburn commit. Both schools are still in the race, but Georgia has all of the momentum at this moment. Texas A&M, Miami (FL), South Carolina and Washington are still mentioned, but expect the linebacker/running back to stay close to home.
8. DE Tim Williams: University Laboratory School; Baton Rouge, LA
The 6-4, 230-pounder has been pursued by top programs such as Alabama, LSU, Florida, Florida State and Miami (FL). Those are his favorites, and it’s too early to tell on which school he is leaning.
9. WR Robert Foster: Central Valley High School; Monaca, PA
The 6-3, 190-pounder turned heads at the U.S. Army All-American Combine, and Alabama has made Foster its priority at receiver for this cycle. The receiver recently narrowed his choices when he tweeted that he will pick between Alabama and Pittsburgh on December 21. If the Panthers can keep Foster in-state, he will be the gem of Paul Chryst’s 2013 class along with Pennsylvania offensive tackle Dorian Johnson.
10. S Leon McQuay III: Armwood High School; Seffner, FL
The 6-2, 183-pounder plans to make his announcement on January 4 at the Under Armour All-America Game, and he plans to enroll in college for the winter term. USC, Michigan, Florida State and South Florida are options, but he has visited Vanderbilt six times and has strong relationships with James Franklin and his staff. McQuay III also can play cornerback.
CONTINUE TO PAGE 2 FOR PROSPECTS NOS. 11-20
11. WR Stacy Coley: Northeast High School; Oakland Park, FL
Miami (FL) is hotly pursuing the 6-1, 173-pounder, but Florida State and Ole Miss continue to be in the mix as well. He is a smooth runner and has good height and length. He just needs to add strength to his frame.
12. ATH Kendell Beckwith: East Feliciana High School; Jackson, LA
The 6-3, 225-pounder played both quarterback and defensive end — yes, QB and DE —in high school and is one of the more intriguing athletes in this class. He can be successful at the next level as a dual-threat QB, receiver, defensive end or outside linebacker. As a defender this season, he recorded 91 tackles, including 23 for loss, and 17 sacks. He will declare his college choice at the Under Armour All-America Game, with Alabama and LSU the likeliest options.
13. S Antonio Conner: South Panola High School; Batesville, MS
The 6-2, 200-pounder has five schools that he plans to visit in January, but his decision will likely come down to Ole Miss and Alabama. Mississippi State, Georgia and LSU are also in the mix. I think he will stay in-state and continue his high school's pipeline to Ole Miss.
There has been a lot of buzz about Derrick Green landing with Michigan.
14. RB Derrick Green: Hermitage High School; Richmond, VA
The 6-foot, 215-pounder is a bruiser who has very good speed and explosiveness. His top six reportedly consists of Michigan, Auburn, Tennessee, Oregon, Ole Miss and Miami (FL). There has been a lot of buzz about the Wolverines landing his services.
15. S Tahaan Goodman: Rancho Cucamonga High School; Rancho Cucamonga, CA
The 6-2, 184-pounder grew up a USC fan, but scholarship limitations may prevent him from becoming a Trojan. UCLA has been gaining ground, and Tennessee has not yet been eliminated.
16. S Priest Willis: Marcos De Niza High School; Tempe, AZ
The 6-2, 199-pounder has very good size for the safety position but has the speed and range to play corner as well. He's a physical athlete who holds a lot of offers, but he is attracted to LSU and has a long relationship with Tigers secondary coach Corey Raymond.
17. WR Jordan Cunningham: University School of Nova South; Fort Lauderdale, FL
The 6-1, 175-pounder has good athleticism and speed and is not afraid of making a tough catch. Cunningham has good awareness of surrounding defenders and has good body control. Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Miami (FL), Alabama and Stanford are in the mix.
18. ATH Max Redfield: Mission Viejo High School; Mission Viejo, CA
The 6-2, 181-pounder was formerly committed to USC, and the Trojans remain in the race to land his services. Redfield decommitted from the Trojans roughly three weeks after his official visit to Notre Dame, but USC coaches recently had an in-home visit with him. Redfield maintains that he already knows which school he'll choose, but he does not plan to make it public until the Under Armour All-American game.
19. S Vonn Bell: Ridgeland High School; Rossville, GA
The 6-0, 190-pounder is versatile enough to play at a high level at cornerback because he has good ball skills and good speed. But he's also a hard hitter who can play well at the safety position. He is down to Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee. The Crimson Tide may have the edge, but look for Butch Jones to do his best to bring him to Knoxville.
20. RB Alex Collins: South Plantation High School; Plantation, FL
The 5-11, 195-pounder is a former Miami commitment who recently visited Florida. The explosive athlete will visit Miami (FL), and Arkansas could be in play as well because Bret Bielema recruited him when he was at Wisconsin.
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