One of the biggest days of the offseason for college football programs is national signing day. High school seniors from around the country can actually sign on the dotted line beginning on Feb. 5, 2014.
Many of the top college prospects have already declared (not that it truly matters, given the fact that so many players change their minds), but there's plenty of buzz surrounding those who have yet to make a verbal commitment beforehand.
Here's a look at the top guys who have yet to decide, along with what's being said about their potential landing spots.
Adoree' Jackson, CB, Gardena, Calif.
Dynamic playmakers who can play both ways aren't common, which is why there's tremendous buzz surrounding Adoree' Jackson, who is currently the No. 8-ranked overall prospect and top cornerback heading into 2014.
A California boy, through and through, the 5-star cornerback is currently showing considerable interest in playing for USC or Florida, according to 247Sports.com.
That said, he's also interested in four other schools. He pared his choices down to six in a recent tweet:
I Wanna Thank God & All The Schools Who Recruited Me But The Wait Is Over My Top 6 Schools: Florida,LSU,Oklahoma,Tennessee,UCLA,USC— SWEET PEA (@AdoreeKnows) January 4, 2014
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is doing all he can to wrangle the top prospect, and Jackson's set for an in-home visit, according to sports talk host Vince Ferrara:
Jackson accumulated 17 interceptions and three defensive touchdowns in the past three years at Junipero Serra High School, and he has hopes of playing receiver at the next level if he signs with USC. Though not a big man, at 5'9.5" and 182 pounds, his quickness, speed and athleticism are all at elite levels.
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Birmingham, Ala.
Marlon Humphrey is a highly coveted 5-star defensive back who has a chance to make an immediate impact as a freshman. At 6'1" and 175 pounds, he possesses exceptional size, natural athleticism, fluid hips and is blessed with track-star speed.
In short, he's the prototypical dream package college programs are looking for in a defensive back, which is why he ranks 11th nationally overall and No. 3 amongst cornerbacks in the 2014 recruiting class.
Humphrey will likely play for either Alabama or Florida State in 2014-15, per 247Sports.com, with Alabama looking strong as his landing spot. It makes sense, given the fact that his father, Bobby, is the second-leading rusher in school history at 'Bama.
However, as noted by Andrew Bone of Rivals, the Humphrey family is serious about FSU as well and will be traveling to Tallahassee for a visit:
Bobby Humphrey tells me that nothing has changed with Marlon Humphrey's interest in #FSU. Family is excited about trip to Tally this weekend— Andrew Bone (@AndrewJBone) January 14, 2014
Either way, Humphrey will be headed to one of the premier programs in the nation. He's a player to keep your eye on during the next couple of years, and nobody should be surprised if he ends up taking his considerable talents to the NFL after he's done.
John Smith, ATH, Long Beach, Calif.
John "Juju" Smith is not only a tremendous athlete who will be a boon to any college program that picks him up, but the young man also possesses great character.
“Verbal commitments don’t mean anything, really,” he recently said, as reported by Mike Guardabascio of the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “I don’t want to be one of those kids who commits and decommits — the school I pick will be the one I go to.”
At 6'1" and 210 pounds, Smith is a hard-hitting safety who also made a name for himself as a receiver at Long Beach Poly. 247Sports lists USC and Notre Dame as his two top destinations, but he also has shown interest in Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State.
Smith originally had a visit lined up with USC on Jan. 17, but he moved it back a week, as confirmed by ESPN's Blair Angulo:
Confirming an earlier report, John "JuJu" Smith has pushed back his official visit to #USC for Jan. 24. He was sched to visit this weekend— Blair Angulo (@bangulo) January 15, 2014
Trojans fans wondering if this is a bad thing will be pleased to know Bone expects the talented playmaker to stay on the West Coast:
USC in good position for JuJu Smith as he'll likely stay on the West Coast. -@AndrewJBone— Baron&Bone (@Baron_andBone) January 14, 2014
USC will certainly be stronger if Smith decides to stay near his family in Southern California.
Player rankings and statistics courtesy of 247Sports.com.
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