Recruiting: 5 burning questions heading into National Signing Day
National Signing Day is Wednesday. And while most of the top players already have signed or committed, there are some storylines to watch.
Here are five questions heading into National Signing Day.
More:Recruiting: Who are the top unsigned players heading into national signing day?
More:Recruiting in Florida: Best in class awards from the early signing period
What are the top announcements to watch on Wednesday?
First off, this signing day doesn’t have the same drama as last year. Especially since Cormani McClain already announced he would be signing with Colorado. In 2022, Shemar Stewart, R Mason Thomas, Jamarrien Burt, Ahmad Moten and Matthew McCoy were some of the players who waited until February to announce their decisions. Part of that was guys peaking late in the recruiting cycle and the wild coaching carousel that saw several Power 5 programs making changes – including Florida and Miami – also played a role. Wednesday won’t have the same number of major announcements, but there are a couple big names to watch.
Andrew and Michael Harris: The twin linebackers from Lake Brantley committed to UCF during the summer but decommited just days before the early signing period. The Knights still are in the mix but Maryland appears to be in the driver’s seat. The Harris twins plan to announce on Wednesday.
Javin Simpkins: The all-American running back from Miami Norland is a former Georgia Tech commit but appears to be focused on Michigan State and UCF heading into National Signing Day.
Devin Hyatt: The IMG wide receiver and younger brother of Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, who recently declared for the NFL Draft, has been relatively quiet heading into National Signing Day. Hyatt took official visits to Auburn and Kentucky.
Where does Miami stand after losing Cormani McClain?
The Lakeland five-star cornerback flipping to Colorado certainly hurts the Hurricanes class but it doesn’t ruin it by any means. The Hurricanes signed a top-five class in December, including offensive tackles Francis Mauigoa and Samson Okunlola and defensive lineman Reuben Bain. Miami also landed American Heritage cornerback Damari Brown, which helps fill the void. Miami and its collective could try to reallocate a portion of the NIL money it had earmarked for McClain to add another high school recruit, but the class is strong even if they stand pat.
More:Recruiting Q&A: What's next for Colorado commit Cormani McClain and Coach Prime?
How is Florida addressing quarterback in this class?
Obviously, things have not gone according to plan for the Gators when it comes to recruiting quarterbacks in this cycle. Nease’s Marcus Stokes committed in June but announced in November that his scholarship offer was pulled because after he posted a video of him rapping that included a racial slur. California four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada signed during the early signing period but requested – and was granted – a release after his $13 million NIL deal fell through. Florida added Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz during the early signing period and have commitments from a pair of preferred walk-ons (IMG's Parker Leise and Jordan Gile from Tennessee).
More:NIL Q&A: What's next in light of the Jaden Rashada situation at Florida?
So, what about Stokes and Rashada?
Stokes’ recruitment had been pretty quiet – publicly at least – until this week when a pair of HBCUs offered. Albany State (Georgia) offered on Tuesday and Alabama A&M offered on Thursday. Stokes also took a visit to West Florida on Wednesday. Stokes is supremely talented and will have options to play at the next level. For almost seven months, Rashada was committed to either Miami or Florida, but appears to be focusing on schools on the west coast. He visited Arizona State, where his father played, while Cal, Colorado and Washington also have been mentioned as possible destinations.
Where will Ellis Robinson IV commit?
The biggest in-state announcement on National Signing Day will be coming from a junior, not a senior. IMG cornerback Ellis Robinson, the nation’s top-ranked cornerback in the class of 2024, has a top five of Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, LSU and Miami. Robinson took an unofficial visit to Georgia just days after the Bulldogs won the national championship. Georgia is considered the front runner.
Jon Santucci is the statewide recruiting reporter for the USA Today Florida Network. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Florida recruiting: 5 questions heading into National Signing Day