Committed High Profile Recruits Who Could Flip Before National Signing Day
Even well before National Signing Day, which will take place on Feb. 5, the Class of 2014 has been defined by a couple of 5-star flips in recent weeks.
No. 12 overall prospect Dalvin Cook left the Florida Gators for the Florida State Seminoles, choosing the new national champs over a team that went 4-8. But Will Muschamp got a nice consolation prize, poaching No. 24 overall prospect Jalen Tabor away from Arizona.
With less than a month remaining in the cycle, players are running out of time to decide on their college futures. While those who are firm in their commitments have begun enrolling in their universities and becoming eligible for Spring ball, others have wavered to ensure the right choice.
This is far from over. Per the 247Sports composite, who else in the top 50 might flip?
Note: All rankings and visit dates courtesy of 247Sports.
ATH Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
Composite Rank: 2
Jabrill Peppers has made it clear—crystal clear—that he "100 percent" plans on going to Michigan, saying as much in a radio interview this December, according to Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com. If I had to bet, I would choose to believe him.
Nick Saban tends to get what he wants in recruiting, almost without exception. And Saban wants Peppers bad. Putting a versatile, two-way talent like Peppers in the Crimson Tide's system would cause nightmares for the rest of the SEC.
B/R's team of lead writers discusses Peppers briefly in the video above, and they, like myself, seem confident but not quite sure he'll honor his vow to Ann Arbor. He hasn't had the success he'd hoped for luring other prospects to Big Ten country, in large part because the Wolverines have trended down these past two seasons.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Right?
RB Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
Composite Rank: 18
Joe Mixon has long been a candidate to flip, even before we knew where he'd commit. Because his top group of schools was so eclectic, consisting of teams from every corner of the country, it's been hard to pinpoint his priority.
As it stands, the top-ranked all-purpose back in America will play for the Oklahoma Sooners. He's been energetic and vocal in his commitment on Twitter, giving fans in Norman less and less reason to fret about his departure.
But that doesn't mean they should stop entirely. Jim Mora Jr. and the UCLA Bruins don't plan on stopping their pursuit of Mixon, and they have the local angle working to their advantage.
This is worth keeping an eye on, if nothing else.
ATH Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
Composite Rank: 23
Bo Scarbrough can do a little bit—okay, a lotta bit—of everything on the football field, and he's projected to play either running back or receiver at the next level.
He might not like that uncertainty, though. If Scarbrough decides he wants to play running back and only running back, Alabama might not be his best option. Remember that Derrick Henry fella' who exploded in the Sugar Bowl?
He was only a true freshman.
Scarbrough has taken an assortment of visits this fall, most recently at Ole Miss, Notre Dame, UCLA and Florida State. If those schools are willing to give him carte blanche and choose his own position, and Alabama is not, there's a good chance he could flip.
WR Ermon Lane, Florida
Composite Rank: 26
Ermon Lane's good friend Dalvin Cook, the No. 12 overall player in the class, flipped his commitment from Florida to Florida State. So what's keeping the big wide receiver from following?
Since committing to the Gators in August, Lane has received a coaching visit from FSU's Time Brewster, and he's scheduled to take an official visit to Tallahassee on Jan. 31.
Back in November, Lane told Josh Newberg of 247Sports that he was "80 percent" committed to Will Muschamp and the Gators. But that was before Cook abandoned ship, before FSU beat Florida by 30 points in the Swamp and, of course, before the Seminoles hoisted the crystal football.
This is one to keep an eye on.
Update: Lane did, in fact, decommit from Florida on Friday evening, announcing the move on Twitter. It would be a surprise if he didn't end up at Florida State.
WR KD Cannon, Baylor
Composite Rank: 29
If Joe Mixon does stay at Oklahoma, he might try to flip wide receiver KD Cannon over to the Sooners, who could desperately use speed and playmaking on the outside.
Those attributes are what made (and make) him such an ideal prospect at Baylor, which has turned similar players like Kendall Wright and Tevin Reese into superstars these past few years. But there's no telling what kind of impact OU's Sugar Bowl win might have had.
Beating Alabama is something that all blue-chip recruits can respect, especially since most of them have been recruited by Nick Saban and seen their fellow prospects commit there. Baylor, by contrast, lost the Fiesta Bowl to Central Florida.
For entertainment purposes, I would love to see Cannon stay in Baylor, where Art Briles and Phil Montgomery could turn him loose in a big way. But he's got some thinking to do.
OLB Christian Miller, Alabama
Composite Rank: 34
Christian Miller has bounced around the SEC powerhouses during his recruitment. Once committed to play for the Florida Gators, he backed out of that pledge and chose Alabama over Georgia in July of this year.
Even when I first got into the recruiting scene, I was really big on Georgia because I was a big fan of (former linebacker) Jarvis Jones and their 3-4 defense. I really saw myself playing in the 3-4 system like that. You know, that really got my attention, plus they weren’t far from home.
So I was thinking early on, before I even heard from them, that Georgia would be the perfect school for me. But it took so long for me to hear from them. I honestly think if I would’ve heard from Georgia earlier in the process, I would’ve ended up falling in love with them and landing with Georgia.
Well, Miller has heard from Georgia now, and he's got an official visit coming up on Jan. 24. If the Bulldogs knock him off his feet, it wouldn't be a shock to see him flip.
OG Roderick Taylor, Ole Miss
Composite Rank: 48
Ole Miss didn't have the same recruiting success in 2014 as it did the class before, so it can ill-afford to lose Roderick Taylor, whom 247Sports' subjective rankings call the best offensive guard in the class.
That could be a problem, though, with Taylor set to visit LSU on Jan. 17. He'll be joined by high school teammate and fellow Rebels commit Breeland Speaks, a 4-star defensive tackle, whose recruitment is so open that he's also visiting Arkansas.
Les Miles has a way of sneaking up on teams this late in the cycle, though it might be hard to lure this Callaway duo away from in-state Mississippi. But it won't be impossible.