National Signing Day Predictions: Projecting Where Top Unsigned Stars Are Headed

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National Signing Day Predictions: Projecting Where Top Unsigned Stars Are Headed
Image courtesy of 247 Sports

Wednesday, February 5 is the day some of the nation's top college football programs will helplessly swing in the balance, as the top undecided prospects will choose their new homes.

Schools have done everything they can to this point to woo the nation's best high school players, but all any program can do now is await their decisions with bated breath.

These decisions are even important for programs such as Alabama, despite their top rank in the recruiting period so far. 

Three big names, in particular, remain available and have several top schools to choose from on the big day. How they pick will largely impact the collegiate football scene as a whole.

 

Note: All team rankings and prospect rankings based on composite numbers from 247Sports.com.

 

Adoree' Jackson, CB (No. 7)

Versatile stars who can immediately contribute, such as Adoree Jackson—the lone top-10 recruit who remains undecided, are the focal point of any smart recruiting class.

Jackson is just 5'9.5" and 182 pounds, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in speed as a returner and defender. Over the course of three seasons, Jackson used this impressive athletic skill set to record 114 tackles and 17 interceptions.

Luke Stampini provides just one example of what a recruit like Jackson can do for a school:

That does not even take into account the difference Jackson makes on the field.

Mike Farrell of Rivals bets Jackson ends up with the Florida Gators:

Florida is a strange pick for a kid who hails from California, but the allure of playing with stud defensive backs like Vernon Hargreaves III has to be strong.

Prediction: Gators

 

Rashaan Evans, OLB (No. 15)

A linebacker who can run a 4.51 40-yard dash at 6'3" and 220 pounds is quite the rare commodity at the collegiate level, so it is understandable that the nation's biggest programs have thrown everything they have at Rashaan Evans.

Evans is down to just Auburn, Georgia and Alabama, a pool he says he will pick from on the big day, via ESPN's Greg Ostendorf:

As Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee points out, Auburn seems like the logical choice for the star linebacker:

On the top of that list is Rashaan Evans, a 5-star outside linebacker from Auburn High School—right in head coach Gus Malzahn's own backyard. He's narrowed his choices down to Auburn, Alabama and UCLA, but cancelled an unofficial visit to the Bruins on the final weekend of the recruiting season.

The fit makes too much sense. Evans and his 77 (43 for loss) tackles and 17.5 sacks in 2013 are the perfect fit for a team that just played in the title game.

Prediction: Auburn

 

Travonte Valentine, DT (No. 35)

Travonte Valentine is the next big thing in the trenches at a major program.

Standing at 6'3" and weighing 338 pounds, Valentine is a mammoth nose tackle who can clog running lanes and open things up for those around him.

According to Jim Kleinpeter of The Times-Picayune, even Miami (Fla.) is starting to believe Valentine is headed to LSU:

Of course he is. As Sallee goes on to point out, Valentine would quickly join a long line of defensive tackle lineage at the program:

The 4-star prospect could join a long line of successful Tiger defensive tackles at what's becoming "defensive tackle U," including Glenn Dorsey, Bennie Logan, Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson. LSU is the favorite, but don't count out Miami making a late push for the south Florida star.

The fit is perfect. LSU has the staff in place to help mold Valentine into a star, which is clearly what he will want, along with a legitimate chance at success at the pro level. No other options make sense.

Prediction: Tigers

 

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