Wednesday, February 5, 2014 is a fateful day for many schools in the realm of college football as national signing day will see some of the nation's top prospects select their school of choice.
The typical names currently sit at the top of recruiting rankings. Alabama, Ohio State and Texas A&M currently lead the way, but they can receive a big boost or be surpassed depending on how college football's holiday pans out.
With less than a month to go, here are a few of the top uncommitted players who hold the fate of several programs in their hands.
Adoree' Jackson, Cornerback (No. 7)
Adoree' Jackson is a rare prospect who can not only come in and contribute from the start—he can do it on both sides of the football.
Weighing in at 5'9.5" and 182 pounds, Jackson excels in coverage thanks to great ball skills and an eye-popping leaping ability. But his speed and return abilities make him a dangerous all-around weapon.
MaxPreps captures this best on Twitter:
Per Fox Sports' Lindsey Thiry, Jackson has narrowed his top schools to just six:
Jackson totaled 114 tackles, 17 interceptions and three touchdowns off picks in three years.
Teams on the West Coast appear to have an advantage given Jackson hails from California, so it is no wonder the cornerback is taking his time in picking between USC and new coach Steve Sarkisian, or UCLA and recently extended coach Jim Mora.
Regardless, one of the six will get an explosive player in Jackson as a centerpiece.
John Smith, Athlete (No. 13)
Raul Lara, head coach at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, has seen plenty of elite talent, such as DeSean Jackson, come through his school before making the jump to the next level.
Lara says John "JuJu" Smith is special, per ESPN's Erik McKinney:
JuJu is a special guy. I've coached a lot of guys who are in the NFL now, but he's unique. He's a true athlete. He could play receiver or defensive back. He could play linebacker; he did play running back for me. He played some tight end for me. And everywhere he plays, he excels.
JuJu lived up to that hype in 2012—just look at his numbers from both sides of the football:
|John Smith Stats|
Smith is an elite player who will find a starting role no matter where he lands. Per 247 Sports, USC and Notre Dame lead the way, with Alabama and Oregon right behind. Regardless of where he lands, fans would be wise to remember the name JuJu.
Lorenzo Carter, Defensive End (No. 14)
Lorenzo Carter is a star on the football field and the hardwood of a basketball court, but his 268 tackles the past two seasons speak for themselves.
Weighing in at 6'5" and 232 pounds, Carter is currently being courted by the best of the best and has his pick out of a list that includes Georgia, Florida State, LSU, Florida and Alabama.
Not bad. The Bulldogs are currently in the lead, per ESPN's Derek Tyson:
Mark Richt's team could really use the help after an 8-5 showing in 2013, but Carter fits any system and has his pick of the cream of the crop. Georgia clearly needs Carter the most, but the star defensive end has plenty of time to change his mind.
The fortunes of several top defenses ride on the outcome of his decision.