The Early Signing Period is just days away, and while Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina will celebrate top-five recruiting classes, many others have work to do throughout the fall and winter months. In this week’s Evans Seven, we examine which programs have a lot on the line in the immediate future.
Nate Oats did a tremendous job of keeping John Petty and Kira Lewis in Alabama’s stable this spring, as each had originally planned to transfer elsewhere. How they might go about replacing the talented duo down the road remains up for debate. While many of their primary targets have yet to make their college decisions, the next few weeks could be vital to the immediate future of the SEC program.
On Nov. 16, Isaiah Jackson will make his college decision. Kentucky and Syracuse are involved, too, but the Tide need to nab him. The same can be said for Nimari Burnett, who is down to a final four and has been Alabama’s top priority dating back to Oats’ hiring. Keon Ambrose-Hylton is another player that is nearing his commitment, and Arkansas, Dayton, NC State and USC are also involved. Alabama needs to strike, especially in light of the recent infusion of coaching talent into the SEC.
Arizona struck early in the 2020 class with top local talent Dalen Terry. Others were expected to follow, but it has been crickets since that July commitment. Puff Johnson’s UNC commitment was a gut punch to the Pac-12 program, which puts even great emphasis on Kerwin Walton’s upcoming decision.
The Wildcats will lose four contributors to graduation and they might see both Josh Green and Nico Mannion leave for the NBA. That could also be a route that Zeke Nnaji takes. How they resupply their cupboard in Tucson is a much-monitored topic.
Ziaire Williams just visited last week, and Adam Miller has kept the Wildcats among his finalists. Can they push a 2021 prospect into reclassifying (Frank Anselem, for example) and where might they strike via the transfer market? They will have Jordan Brown and Brandon Williams at full strength next year, but more talent is needed if Sean Miller wants his Wildcats to remain among the top programs out West.