9 Remaining Burning Questions as 2014 National Signing Day Draws Near

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJanuary 12, 2014

9 Remaining Burning Questions as 2014 National Signing Day Draws Near

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    National signing day is rapidly approaching, but many interesting questions have yet to be answered. Sure, a lot of recent developments have taken place in the 2014 recruiting cycle, but many questions still linger.

    A series of recent coaching changes have impacted recruiting. Dominoes still have to fall among recruits making their decisions, plus the recruiting rankings are still fluid. Among other things, these occurrences have led to a new list of burning questions before national signing day.


Who Will Be the Next Big Decommitment?

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    With 5-star running back Dalvin Cook flipping to Florida State from Florida earlier this month, the season of late decommitments is under way.

    Jalen Tabor, a 5-star cornerback, flipped from Arizona to Florida Jan. 9, according to 247Sports. Which recruits are next in line to flip to another school?

Does Penn State's Class Stay Together?

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    Bill O'Brien is no longer in Happy Valley, as he bolted Penn State to be the head coach of the Houston Texans. 

    New head coach James Franklin is a great recruiter, but the Nittany Lions' class of recruits was put together by O'Brien, so not all of them will be warm to Franklin being at the helm.

    Will the No. 19 class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings split up? With the way Franklin recruits and motivates, not likely. 

Can Florida State Be Considered the Front-Runner for Marlon Humphrey?

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    Among the best uncommitted recruits still on the market is 5-star cornerback Marlon Humphrey. At 6'1" and 175 pounds, Humphrey has the size, short-area quickness, length and instincts to be a fantastic player in college.

    Alabama and Florida State are the main schools fighting over him, according to 247Sports. Humphrey is an Alabama native with ties to the Crimson Tide, as his father, Bobby, was a running back for 'Bama.

    If he was a lock to play in Tuscaloosa, Humphrey would have committed to Alabama by now. Since he's not, that leads one to believe Florida State is a major player in this race. 

How Does LSU Recover from Missing on Several Key Recruits?

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    Losing 5-star athlete Speedy Noil to Texas A&M, 5-star cornerback Tony Brown to Alabama and 5-star defensive lineman Gerald Willis to Florida was a disappointment for the LSU Tigers. 

    Although they did land 5-star running back Leonard Fournette and 5-star safety Jamal Adams earlier this month, the Tigers are in recruiting recovery mode.

    The best way for them to get over losing three of their top targets is by securing pledges from recruits such as 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter, 5-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson and 5-star receiver Malachi Dupre

Will Michigan State Beat Michigan for Malik McDowell?

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    Malik McDowell is a 4-star defensive lineman who is 6'7" and 290 pounds. Hailing from the state of Michigan, McDowell has Michigan and Michigan State among his finalists, per 247Sports

    For a good portion of this recruiting cycle, the prediction here has been the big defensive lineman would sign with the Wolverines. However, the Spartans won the Rose Bowl this year and have gained some momentum on the trail.

    Will MSU beat the folks in Ann Arbor for McDowell?

Where Will Lorenzo Carter End Up?

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    A 5-star defensive end from Georgia, Lorenzo Carter has huge upside. The 6'5", 232-pounder has excellent athletic ability and range, plus he has great quickness at the snap.

    Alabama was once thick in the mix, but Carter has all but eliminated the Crimson Tide, according to 247Sports. Georgia, Florida, Florida State and LSU are his top schools.

    While UGA would be the logical choice, it'll be interesting to see where Carter ultimately signs. 

How High Can USC Finish in the Recruiting Rankings?

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    Left for dead in the recruiting water a few months ago, USC is now No. 18 in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.

    The Trojans have landed recent commitments from 4-star tight end Bryce Dixon, 4-star JUCO defensive end Claudeson Pelon, 4-star offensive lineman Chris Brown, 4-star athlete Rahshead Johnson, 3-star cornerback John Plattenburg Jr., 3-star quarterback Jalen Greene and 3-star defensive end Don Hill.

    With 5-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson, 5-star athlete John Smith and 5-star offensive lineman Damien Mama all considering the Trojans, USC has a chance to finish with a top-10 class. 

Who Else Will Join Alabama's Mythical Class?

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    With four 5-star commitments and 14 4-star recruits, Alabama's 24-man class is No. 1 in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.

    The class has a chance to go down as one of the best collections of talent in college football recruiting history. Head coach Nick Saban and his staff have done an excellent job, but more gifted players could be soon added to the group.

    Alabama is still in the running for 5-star cornerback Marlon Humphrey, 5-star athlete John Smith, 5-star defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, 5-star offensive lineman Damien Mama, 4-star linebacker/defensive end Rashaan Evans, 4-star defensive tackle Matt Elam and 4-star defensive lineman Elisha Shaw

    The rich likely will get richer. 

What Will Happen with Texas' Recruiting Class?

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    Charlie Strong is now the head coach of Texas, which means the Longhorns' recruiting class will undergo some changes.

    Zaycoven Henderson, a 4-star defensive tackle, has already flipped to Texas A&M, per 247SportsTrey Lealaimatafao, a 3-star defensive tackle, has also re-opened his recruitment. Another 3-star defensive tackle, Courtney Garnett, has also rescinded his commitment to Texas.

    Strong not only has to build a staff and quickly learn to navigate the off-the-field politics at Texas, he also needs to make sure the Longhorns hold on to their recruiting class.

    That remains to be seen.


    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 and Cleveland Browns.