National Signing Day 2010: Where the Top 15 Remaining Recruits Could Sign
National Signing Day is next Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Across the country, the top recruits will hold press conferences in school gyms announcing where they will play in the fall, and make those commitments official via contract.
Some players—notably Terrelle Pryor, and this year, safety Dietrich Riley—choose to extend the drama past NSD. But for others, the recruiting process is something that will finally and mercifully end on the first Wednesday in February.
That doesn't mean adding a little drama is out of the question. Here are 15 of the country's top recruits who will be announcing on National Signing Day. They are at various stages of narrowing their choices down. Any one of them could spring a surprise a week from now.
Seantrel Henderson, OL
The mammoth offensive lineman has had one of the most epic recruiting seasons of any player: taking all five officials, switching conference affiliations, and weathering coaching changes while compiling offers like playing cards.
It's almost not worth it to guess where his sympathies are—Miami, Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC, Florida and Oklahoma are all in the running.
Even if I'm not sold on the kid, his commitment will make whatever class he lands in truly special, and possibly break a few of the others.
Ivan McCartney, WR
McCartney could remain in his home state of Florida: He has the Canes, Gators and Seminoles all fighting for his services at wideout.
He also visited Oregon last September, but the Ducks are out of the picture, as well as suitors at Boston College and Pittsburgh.
West Virginia is the only other out-of-state school with a legitimate shot at him—one of Scout's main writers went so far as to pick the Mountaineers in an extended write-up.
He just scheduled his final visit to Miami's campus for this weekend.
His coach says he already has made his decision. Keeping it to himself has been a success, as there's little indication he favors anybody.
Sean Parker, S
Michigan liked their chances with Sean Parker based on how well his visit went and how badly its secondary played all year. There's clearly a need for defensive backs of Parker's caliber, and Parker has reciprocated the interest.
But Parker's visit to USC seemed to sway Parker's loyalty, and Rich Rodriguez tellingly used his one in-home visit the Monday after Parker returned from USC.
Parker will announce on signing day between the Wolverines, Trojans, and Cal Bears, who are also in Parker's top three.
Matt James, OT
James is at the center of a tug-of-war between Notre Dame and Ohio State.
He'll visit Notre Dame the weekend before signing day, and the Irish are optimistic that Brian Kelly's recruiting efforts won't be in vain.
But the Buckeyes aren't laying down. If they miss on Seantrel Henderson, James is a fine contingency plan, and grabbing both would be a huge step towards making this class as good as the Bucks' two previous classes.
Cincinnati, Tennessee and the rest of his suitors are all odd men out at this point.
Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE
Nebraska fans were optimistic that Odighizuwa would announce a week ago after an unofficial visit to Lincoln, NE, to get his academic ducks in a row.
But it now looks like Owa will wait until signing day to decide between the Huskers, UCLA, Oregon and Oregon State.
Nebraska has to like their chances based on the buzz, but Oregon and OSU were making a strong push up until recently. OSU's Mike Riley has recruited the in-state prospect intensely, and Slick Rick is no slouch with the snake oil.
Should be a really intriguing announcement.
Jordan Hicks, OLB
I could be wrong, but it looks like Ohio OLB Jordan Hicks' announcement won't come until National Signing Day. It might go past that date if he remains as tongue-tied as he's been for the past few months.
I almost feel sorry for the kid. He looked set to announce for Texas after a great visit, but Ohio State refused to take no for an answer and has been recruiting him like mad.
B/R's Tim Bielik likes the Buckeyes' chances the longer his official decision takes, but I still like Texas to land him on NSD. And there's always a chance Urban Meyer grabs another absurdly talented defensive recruit in a move no one saw coming.
Rashad Knight, CB
Knight also liked his visit to Michigan, where he caught the Wolverines' "upset" of UConn at Crisler Arena and was "blown away."
He visited Rutgers this weekend, and was leaning towards the Scarlet Knights prior to the Michigan visit. No word yet on his reaction to meeting Greg Schiano and checking out Jersey in person.
He will also check out Ole Miss' campus this coming weekend, and announce which of the three can expect his services on National Signing Day.
Markeith Ambles, WR
Southern Cal fans like their chances with WR Markeith Ambles, a former Tennessee verbal who decommitted after Kiffin departed to Los Angeles.
Ambles was spotted on SC's campus, taking in the USC-Washington basketball game over the weekend. It appears he was a Kiffin kid from the beginning.
LSU, North Carolina and the Vols are holding out hope that he can still be swayed for a final unofficial, but most indications are he'll announce for the Trojans on National Signing Day.
Corey Lemonier, DE
Corey Lemonier, a four-star defensive end, is down to Florida State, Miami and Auburn, with most insiders thinking it will be either Auburn or Florida State.
Depending on who you ask, he'll either join the outstanding class the Tigers have put together, or is a lock for Florida State.
Miami is a bit of a third wheel, and since Lemonier has already made his decision, and is merely waiting to announce, the lack of buzz means the Canes' chances don't look good.
Chaz Green, OT
Green's interest in Tennessee is listed as "high," but he's still taking a visit out to USC to check out Kiffin's new digs, and has Ohio State and Florida in his final four.
Any four of these schools have a shot. Florida's presented an absolute clinic at stealing recruits, and Ohio State could pursue Chaz heavily if they sense Matt James or Seantrel Henderson are slipping away.
Chaz could name a leader before National Signing Day, but he'll almost certainly need the next 10 days to decide for certain.
Ricky Heimuli, DT
Heimuli, a Salt Lake City prospect, has focused on schools out West to close his recruitment.
Recently, he narrowed down his choices to Washington (where he is taking his final official), Utah, Oregon, Oregon State, and UCLA.
No evident lean means the thick defensive tackle is a signing day toss-up. Any of those five schools would be inheriting a real plug on the interior.
J.R. Ferguson, DE
Ferguson's recruitment has spanned the country.
"Ego's" final list is still 10 plus schools long, so we won't know anything until he speaks on signing day.
Christian Thomas, TE
Thomas will decide between a list similar to Heimuli's: Oregon State, USC, Washington, UCLA, and Oregon.
The Trojans and Ducks already have dynamic commits at tight end, so I like OSU, UCLA, and Washington's chances.
But Thomas also says he's really taking an offense's successes into account, and the Ducks and Trojans have been getting a lot out of their tight ends as of late.
Thomas will visit USC and maybe Miami leading up to signing day, and announce his decision at a ceremony in Los Angeles.
Arie Kouandjio, OT
Arie Kouandjio will visit USC on Jan. 29, and has checked out Maryland (which he visited instead of Miami, who ran out of scholarships) and Alabama recently. He also visited New Mexico and Cal earlier in the recruiting season.
It's hard to say who leads for Kouandjio. Crimson fans liked the Tide's chances once he got on campus, but the buzz following his visit wasn't spectacular.
He might be one of the late steals from Kiffin that we've all been expecting.
We'll know a little more after his visit, but he's another one where National Signing Day will be the lone definitive moment.
Christian Jones, OLB
Jones seems to favor a different school each week without eliminating any of them.
Recently the rumor is that Jones is working to improve his grades to clear Notre Dame's academic advisors, and that Jones' father, a former Seminole, is upset enough about Bobby Bowden getting forced out to steer his son away from Tallahassee.
He canceled his visit to Miami this past weekend, and the Florida Gators look like they ran out of room (although anything is possible in Gainesville, as we've seen).
Jones plans on taking unofficials to Florida State and Southern Cal before his announcement.
I still like Florida State's chances most of all, but stay tuned; this one should come down to the wire.