College Football Recruiting: Predicting September's Biggest Commitments
The beginning of college football season throws recruiting back into high gear. Players will be visiting campuses and taking in the induplicatable gameday atmosphere.
While riding on that wave of adrenaline, which recruits will decide to pull the trigger and commit?
I've looked at 10 touted recruits who are entering the season with some semblance of favoritism towards a university and decided if this will be the month. Take a look to see if your team will benefit.
Demetrius Hart, RB
Four-star all-purpose back Demetrius Hart had to wrangle a little to get his official visit to Michigan for the UConn game cleared by the NCAA.
But in the end, Hart was successful, and will hit up Ann Arbor for what I assure you will be an insane game-day atmosphere, one that will surely set new highs for debauchery in the otherwise friendly college town.
Hart has nearly committed to Michigan on several occasions, but not pulled the trigger. But the Wolverines still do lead for him, and I'm betting that with a big win, Hart will finally make the decision and join the Wolverines' 2011 class.
Whether it's for the long haul will depend on how we play the rest of the year.
Brett Hundley, QB
Arizona quarterback Brett Hundley has had his decision narrowed down to Washington and UCLA for some time. He will be announcing his final choice on September 6th.
Some recent buzz suggests Hundley will pick UCLA. Hundley skipped out on a scheduled visit to Washington, and the fact that he set his announcement date after canceling the visit suggests the Bruins have him locked up.
This would be counter to the Huskies' unbelievable recent recruiting momentum, which resulted in the landings of 5-star tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and Kasen Williams. However, both were in-state recruits.
Distance probably cost UW this one, though in the end, it's hard to say Washington needed him more.
Doran Grant, DB
Doran Grant, a 5-star cornerback from Akron, OH, will visit Ohio State for their Week 2 matchup against the Miami Hurricanes.
If OSU's presumed lead with him is as strong as many are suggesting, then it's more than reasonable to assume that he will commit on that visit, particularly if the Buckeyes get an encouraging win. If he doesn't, this commitment could be more wide open than many are assuming.
Gabe Wright, DT
Gabe Wright was one of the 10 recruits with visits worth watching this fall. After an ill-fated visit to Georgia distanced him from the Bulldogs, Wright's attention turned to Florida State and Auburn, and the Tigers now appear to hold a stout lead.
Wright will visit Auburn on an official for the Clemson game on September 18th.
Win or lose, I think the game-day atmosphere coupled with the Tigers' lead will be enough to push him over the edge for a commitment.
Marcus Roberson, DB
As with Wright, defensive back Marcus Roberson is visiting Auburn for the Clemson game.
He also holds the Tigers in high esteem and has said many times he would like to get out of Florida, invalidating Florida's most vocal overtures.
This looks like an open-and-shut case. Watch for quite a celebration if Auburn not only tops Clemson, but grabs Roberson and Wright to boot.
Damian Swann, ATH
Four-star Georgia athlete Damian Swann surprised many when he told a Rivals affiliate that he was ready to commit any day now.
But to whom? Georgia and Alabama appear tied, but Swann rattled off a list of schools he's also interesting in seeing, including Florida State, LSU, and Ohio State.
Will Swann commit just to commit? If so, will it count for anything? My guess is Alabama's lead for him will result in a commitment, but he has yet to schedule an official.
Very peculiar. I'm guessing if he does pull the trigger, it will be to Alabama. But if his interest in other visits is legit, he may want to wait before he makes his decision official.
George Farmer and Marqise Lee, WR/ATHs
Five-star receiver and top 10 2011 recruit George Farmer has tempered his favoritism of USC...but can you blame him? The Trojans had the toughest summer of any school, and the negative recruiting, while not costing USC their lead, has taken its toll.
I predict that with play resuming on the field, Farmer's love for USC will be renewed, particularly if he catches an early game at the Coliseum.
Joining him is Serra HS teammate Marqise Lee, who jumped into the Rivals 100 in a recent reranking. Lee has vouched his desire to play with Farmer at the next level and, for whatever reason, his desire seems more legitimate than the typical fluff about a package deal to me.
If Farmer jumps, I predict Lee will end the process early and commit as well.
Stephon Tuitt, DE
Much was made of Stephon Tuitt changing the certainty of his favoritism for Georgia Tech and reopening his recruitment before the year kicks off.
I'd like to quote a statistic, but don't have one handy. Suffice to say, most of the time, a recruit's early favorite stays his favorite barring a major coaching change. Even a big meltdown on the field doesn't deter recruits most of the time, and Georgia Tech's possible struggles on defense are already a known variable.
He's planning on taking an official to Notre Dame on the 10th, but if he catches at least on Ga. Tech game in the month of September, I predict it will be what pushes him over the edge.
Stephone Anthony, LB
Despite an early lean to Clemson, 4-star linebacker Stephone Anthony has had Florida atop his list since a summer visit. He will return to Florida for their home game against Kentucky on September 25th.
Anthony has said he wants to wait until Signing Day, but 2011's recruiting class is littered with prospects who couldn't hold out against the heat.
With Florida targeting him as their top linebacker recruit in the class, I expect a decision to follow Anthony's visit in favor of UF.
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