Tightest 2013 College Football Recruiting Battles Still Remaining
January is always a hot and heated month. Not as far as the weather goes, but as far college football recruiting goes. This is the home-stretch month where coaches are trying to re-solidify commitments and get last-minute visits, calls and other important recruiting tasks.
Conversely, for recruits, it's the month when the schools' recruiting battles for their services really tighten up and intensify. With national signing day soon approaching on Feb. 6, many uncommitted recruits still remain left on the board.
The following are the top 14 recruiting battles that are the very tightest in the country right now.
14. Quinton Powell, OLB
Powell is a 6'2", 200-pound OLB prospect from Florida who was committed to being a Gator for most of this recruiting cycle. He's since backed off of that pledge, but Florida still remains an option.
USC and South Carolina are also top choices for Powell, and he is likely to announce his pick on signing day. This is a tight race, as the Trojans have put the charm on him, as has South Carolina, and Florida still is in the thick of things too.
13. Andrew Billings, DT/OG
A 6'1", 305-pounder from Texas, Billings has excellent snap quickness on either side of the ball. He's a stout player that can get under his opponent's pads and dictate what he wants to do.
It's been a three-team race for Billings for quite some time, and Scout.com lists the trifecta as Texas, TCU and Baylor. Billings could opt to join a talented Longhorns class, perhaps be the headliner for the Horned Frogs, or go to Baylor and be a star.
This will be a fascinating conclusion to an interesting recruitment.
12. Isaac Savaiinaea, LB
Savaiinaea has whittled his list down to UCLA and Texas A&M, per Scout.com. He will announce on Feb 6 as well, and this is a pretty tight race.
The 6'3", 230-pound 'backer is from Hawaii and has solid instincts, speed and strength. He's struck a good relationship with each program's coaching staff, and his announcement could go either way.
11. Tyrone Crowder, OG
Tyrone Crowder is out of North Carolina, and he will decide between Clemson and Georgia. Each program has a very good shot at landing the big 6'1", 330-pound OG.
Crowder could choose to go play in the SEC and block for Mark Richt in Athens. Then again, staying in the Carolina region and playing for the family-oriented Dabo Swinney at Clemson is top notch too.
10. Robert Nkemdiche, DE
Nkemdiche is likely headed to Ole Miss, but there's got to be a good reason that he hasn't committed yet. LSU and Florida are those reasons, and his recruitment may be tighter than Rebels fans would like.
The Gators and Tigers are among the big boys in the SEC, which probably impresses a front-line recruit such as Nkemdiche.
Could he pull off a second shocker and not go to Ole Miss?
9. Marquez North, WR
Scout.com reports that North has a top three of North Carolina, Tennessee and Clemson. This is an extremely tight recruiting race, and I can honestly see the 6'3", 210-pound WR signing with any one of the schools.
Staying home and getting early playing time is an appeal for North to go to UNC. Clemson isn't too far either, and the Tigers would be a good fit.
Then, Butch Jones and the thought of jolting Volunteer football could also be very enticing. We'll likely have to wait until signing day to see what happens with this one.
8. Mackensie Alexander, CB
Alexander's recruitment has been perhaps the most fluid in the country this year.
Schools such as Florida State, Clemson, Alabama, Notre Dame, Boise State, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Rutgers, Nebraska and Rutgers have all been in the pot.
Honestly, no one really knows what Alexander will do and anything could happen here. So that can only mean that this recruitment is a pretty tight race.
7. Eddie Vanderdoes, DT
A one-time USC pledge, Eddie Vanderdoes is back on the market. Washington, Alabama, UCLA and Notre Dame are the main contenders rejoining USC down the home stretch.
Vanderdoes is one of the most torn players in the class, as he really understands that importance of his college decision. He liked USC for a reason, Alabama is, well, "Alabama," and the other schools are also good choices.
This could go down to the wire.
6. Vonn Bell, DB
Bell, as we've known for awhile, is down to Ohio State, Tennessee and Alabama. This has been a three-team race for months and the 6'0", 190-pound DB has done extensive research on each program.
He's in the middle of making his rounds to each school and will make a well-informed decision. He can't go wrong with any decision, so that makes it all the tougher.
5. Alvin Kamara, RB
Alabama or Georgia? Bulldogs or Crimson Tide? SEC East or SEC West?
Crowded backfield A or crowded backfield B?
Those are some of the thoughts running through Kamara's mind, as he'll be deciding between going to Athens or Tuscaloosa. A talented RB prospect from the Peach State, Kamara will be asking a wealth of questions to both schools' coaching staff between now and when he decides.
4. Antonio Conner, S
I still think Conner ends up at Ole Miss, especially with the jolt of Laquon Treadwell's commitment serving as a booster. Yet, don't count out Alabama and Auburn in this race.
Alabama is fresh off a national title, and the thought of winning and getting NFL-ready help the Tide here. Auburn could impress Conner on a visit and sell him with the early playing time angle.
I'd still be shocked if the pick were not Ole Miss, but this race could be tighter than we initially thought.
3. Laremy Tunsil, OT
The big 6'6", 295-pound LT prospect has a core five of Georgia, Alabama, Florida State, Florida and Ole Miss.
The 'Noles, Gators and Rebels are in the hunt, but this is really between the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide. I fully expect Tunsil to end up at either Alabama or Georgia, and the race is pretty tight.
Georgia has been on him since the beginning, but 'Bama is never one to let an elite prospect get away easily.
2. Reuben Foster, LB
Foster is the top MLB/ILB prospect in the nation and has committed and de-committed on two separate occasions.
First, Foster was an Alabama pledge but flipped to Auburn in the summer. Since then, he has de-committed from the Tigers, and it appears he has a list of Washington, LSU and Georgia to go along with eyeing both Iron Bowl schools.
This is a tight race because Foster has shown to be a little unpredictable. The school that makes the best and final impression on him may be the one to land him.
1. Montravius Adams, DT
Adams has a very tight recruitment going and it appears that not only will a school have to win him over, but also his mother too.
Schools such as Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Florida and Auburn are racing for the 6'3, 310-pound DT from Dooly County HS (Ga.). Predictions have been all over the place for Adams, and I can also see him heading to any of those five schools as well.
This super-tight race will probably be decided on signing day (Feb 6.).
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.