Carl Lawson, Jalen Ramsey in spotlight as Signing Day nears
National Signing Day for the class of 2013 is less than a week away, and there are plenty of uncommitted prospects to track between now and the time ink hits paper. Here's a breakdown of some of the bigger names still weighing their options before Feb. 6.
• DE Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga.): Lawson didn't take his official visit to North Carolina, so now his decision will come down to three schools: Auburn, Tennessee and Clemson. The touted defensive end will visit the Tigers this weekend, and with the sudden Auburn recruiting surge, Gus Malzahn and Co. will look to cement his commitment. Still, Tennessee has former Auburn assistant Tommy Thigpen and good friend Ryan Jenkins trying to sway him, and Clemson has been considered a contender for Lawson since Gene Chizik's ouster. The Alpharetta, Ga., product will not make an announcement -- he will simply inform the school of his choice and then thank the other two -- and it seems likely he'll finalize his decision at last minute. Flip a coin here, but I'll say Tennessee gets the signature.
• DB Jalen Ramsey (Nashville): Ramsey has long been committed to USC, but he has taken numerous official visits and been linked to Florida and Florida State in recent weeks. That could prompt drama on Signing Day. The firing of defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders doesn't help the Trojans' cause, but Ramsey never decommitted from USC despite having numerous chances to do so. In the end, I think he ends up staying closer to home -- with the 'Noles offering the better shot at immediate playing time.
• DE Chris Jones (Houston, Miss.): One of the hottest teams in the country right now is Ole Miss, and the Rebels appear to have a chance to land Jones after he took an official visit to Oxford last weekend. The five-star prospect was impressed with his visit, and he plans to take unofficial trips to Ole Miss and Mississippi State this weekend before making his final pledge. Hugh Freeze has won his fair share of head-to-head battles in the 2013 cycle, but I think Jones sticks with Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs.
• DT A'Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas): Robinson took his official visit to Texas last weekend, and while he has been very quiet publicly, it seems as though the Longhorns did everything possible to firm up his commitment. Robinson's mother has been a major player in his recruiting process from the start, and while Alabama and USC will continue to push for Robinson, it would be very surprising if he didn't decide to stay closer to home with the 'Horns.
• RB Altee Tenpenny (North Little Rock, Ark.): Tenpenny was originally scheduled to take an official visit to Auburn last weekend, but he changed his mind. That means his recruitment will come down to Alabama and Arkansas, which most analysts assumed it would. Not much has changed in recent weeks with Tenpenny, and both sides have a legitimate chance at landing him. New Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema has been pushing his run-first offensive history, and 'Bama already has a full stable of running backs. Call it a hunch, but my gut tells me he'll stay in state.
• DT Henry Poggi (Baltimore): Poggi committed to Michigan in June, and he stayed out of the limelight until his arrival at the Under Armour All-America Game in early January. At that time, rumors began to surface that he wanted to take a closer look at Alabama. Now, word came out that he made his way to Tuscaloosa last weekend. Michigan has a fairly strict rule of not allowing committed players take official visits to other schools, so this situation becomes even more interesting. Poggi still seems like a solid Wolverines' lean, but his recent visit with the Tide has to concern Brady Hoke.
• RB Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas): Long committed to Oregon, Wilson began to re-open his recruitment once Chip Kelly moved to the NFL. He took his much-anticipated official to Ohio State over the weekend, but he returned home without flipping to the Buckeyes. Part of this was likely because Oregon had a very successful in-home visit right before Wilson made his way to Columbus. The 5-foot-10 speedster still plans to check out Oklahoma State, and he could potentially schedule an unofficial visit to Texas. Come Signing Day, however, I think Wilson honors his verbal to Oregon.
• WR Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa.): It seemed like Boyd was going to visit Tennessee last weekend, then he changed his destination to West Virginia. Considering he's a Pitt commit, this would be a worst-case scenario for Panthers fans. Before his commitment to Pitt, it had long been thought that Boyd would come down to the Backyard Brawl rivals, so this visit shouldn't come as a huge surprise. The Panthers are still confident in their ability to sign Boyd, but the Mountaineers -- and Tennessee, to a lesser extent -- are certainly in the picture.
• Prattville, Ala., offensive lineman Austin Golson originally committed to Florida State in April, but he has taken official visits to North Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama since December. Last weekend, he went back to Tallahassee for an official visit, but -- barring a surprise -- it seems likely he'll end up at Ole Miss. FSU's offensive line recruiting has been interesting to follow for the past two years, and Golson is a big loss for 2013.
• UCLA continues to finish with a flourish. After the flurry of defensive back commitments, look for quarterback Asiantii Woulard to choose the Bruins on Signing Day. I expect four-star defensive end Kylie Fitts to join him as well. The Bruins still lead for five-star defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes, but the Placer, Calif., star just visited Notre Dame and has a pending visit to Alabama. His decision is still up in the air, but I think USC and Washington could be out of it.
• Interesting note on why I think defensive tackle Montravius Adams picks Clemson over Georgia (with an Auburn visit this weekend): Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has become a big enough name that Adams fears he could leave after next season, for either a head coaching job in college or an offer in the NFL. Clemson's one-two punch of Dan Brooks and Brent Venables could make the difference next Wednesday.
• Vonn Bell is still the toughest prospect to figure. I originally thought he'd head to Alabama, but now it appears his choice is between Ohio State and Tennessee. There is a lot of smoke about a silent Tennessee commitment, and I know Bell's parents loved Knoxville. But a reliable source told me that the Buckeyes still have the edge despite the excellent visit to the Vols. I'm going to say Ohio State, but not with a ton of confidence.
• There were some rumors on Monday that three-star running back Augustus Edwards had officially decommitted from Syracuse. That was untrue. However, it seems like a matter of time before Edwards flips from the Orange, as his decision is shaping up to be a two-way battle between Florida State and Miami. Edwards named Florida State his leader earlier this week after Jimbo Fisher stopped by to visit. But Miami will receive the final official visit this weekend, and this will likely go to the finish.
• Johnathan Ford has an offer from Georgia, and some are taking that as an indication that the Bulldogs believe four-star running back Alvin Kamara will end up at Alabama. Kamara has gone back-and-forth between the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide for several months now, and even though he took his visit to Athens last weekend, most analysts believe he'll land at Tuscaloosa.
• An interesting development in the Damon Mitchell saga occurred on Tuesday afternoon. The Georgia Tech commit had been throwing out feelers to other schools, but the Yellow Jackets seemed to nip that in the bud by telling him that if he took an official visit to another school, they would pull the offer. So where does this leave Mitchell now, with word that he plans to take an official to Arkansas this weekend? The biggest beneficiary might be Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights had an in-home visit with Mitchell a few days ago, and Mitchell is already very familiar with the coaching staff and campus. If Georgia Tech and Arkansas don't pan out, Rutgers will be waiting there to sign him.
• Florida entering the picture for juco quarterback Tanner McEvoy is unexpected, but it makes sense after the transfer of Jacoby Brissett. McEvoy will take an official visit to Gainesville this weekend, and it offers him a new opportunity since the Gators are relatively thin at the position. West Virginia was the likely destination for McEvoy before this development, and the Mountaineers probably still offer the best opportunity for early playing time. But the Gators, despite coming in late, are firmly in the mix.
• Four-star linebacker Myles Jack is another interesting name to watch. Committed to UCLA, Jack took an official visit to Washington last weekend and came away extremely impressed. Most assume it will come down to the Bruins and Huskies, but he still has an official visit scheduled with Florida State this weekend. Word is that he's getting pressure from family and friends on the West Coast to stay close to home. I have a feeling Jack will flip to Washington in the end.
• NC State experienced an unfortunate flashback when three-star athlete Marcus Edmond flipped to Clemson after taking an official visit to the Tigers this past weekend. If the move sounds familiar, that's because Kyrin Priester also flipped to Clemson after taking an official the previous week. Both players received recent offers from Clemson, and they had mentioned that the Tigers were "dream offers" for them.
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