College Football Predictions: Where the Uncommitted Recruits in Top 50 Will Go
It's only July, but many of the nation's top college football recruits in the class of 2012 have yet to commit.
Many of these athletes have received dozens of offers from the top college football programs in the country and will likely wait until signing day on February 1st.
Still, it's not too early to look at, and even predict, where the top recruits will land.
That being said, here are predictions for where the top 50 uncommitted recruits will go.
**This list will only look at the uncommitted recruits from the Rivals 100, excluding the ESPNU 150.
No. 48 Ifeadi Odenigbo
Recruiting Info: Four-Star defensive end from Centerville, Ohio
Top College Choices: Stanford, California, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State
The 48th-ranked player in the country, Ifeadi Obenigbo, is the first uncommitted recruit in the Rivals top 50.
Luckily, predicting where Obenigbo will play football in college is a little simpler than pronouncing his name.
It really comes down to Stanford and California, both of which the Ohio linebacker/defensive end loved after visiting.
Both programs offer a computer science major, which is what Obenigbo plans to study at the school he attends and each are very prestigious academically.
Because of the relationship Obenigbo says that he has developed with the Stanford coaching staff and their reputation academically, he could easily play for the Cardinals in the future.
No. 47 Geno Smith
Recruiting Info: Four-Star defensive back from Atlanta, Georgia
Top College Choices: Auburn, Notre Dame, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee
Geno Smith is one of the few recruits currently undecided that is likely to commit before the start of his senior season.
Alabama and Auburn are the clear front-runners and although Notre Dame, Tennessee and Texas are all technically still in the mix, his decision will likely come down to the first two schools.
Smith's description of Auburn might indicate his leaning toward the Tigers:
"First with Auburn it’s their coaching staff and the relationship with those guys down there,” Smith said. “It feels like home when I went there for an unofficial. And they were the first to offer. That relationship just clicked right away."
No. 45 Jordan Simmons
Recruiting Info: Four-Star offensive lineman from Encino, California
Top College Choices: California, Washington, Oregon, Notre Dame, Colorado
As the 45th-ranked recruit overall, Jordan Simmons is the top offensive guard available in the 2012 recruiting class.
His 6'5", 335-pound frame makes him one of the biggest recruits in the country, solidifying him as a top target for some of the top college football programs.
However, his desire for on-the-field success might be secondary to getting a good education—especially one that can help him reach his goal of becoming a shoe designer.
Oregon seems to meet those requirements with their connection to Nike and their recent trip to the BCS National Championship Game.
No. 44 Joel Caleb
Recruiting Info: Four Star athlete from Midiothian, Virginia
Top College Choices: Georgia, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Oregon
When a player is offered as much as Joel Caleb, narrowing college choices and indicating visits is significant.
So, when Caleb told Hokie Haven that he was considering two visits to either Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee and LSU, one can't help but read into it.
In this case, Caleb's indication that he would visit West Virginia is significant because he is a native of Virginia and likely could have focused on out of state schools.
In addition to the possible underlying meaning of a visit to WVU, Caleb has also emphasized the positive impression he gets from the team:
"I like West Virginia, now they are really high on my board and I like the new offensive coordinator there who I think is the head coach," he said. "I like the school from what I've watched on YouTube. I like the looks of it and they're doing a good job recruiting me."
Prediction: West Virginia
No. 41 Yuri Wright
Recruiting Info: Four-Star defensive back from Ramsey, New Jersey
Top College Choices: Georgia, Notre Dame, Michigan, Rutgers, Colorado
Yuri Wright has said that he hopes to make his final decision at the Army All-American game in January, but with thirty scholarship offers and not much time between now and then, the choice will be tough.
Wright is one of the few elite cornerbacks in the Rivals Top 100 and has been heavily recruited by many of the top football programs in the country.
He recently narrowed his choices to seven schools and also indicated that he would take two of his five recruiting trips to Colorado and Georgia.
Official visits can often change the initial impressions of a recruit, but I expect Wright to put on a Colorado hat at some point.
No. 39 Josh Harvey-Clemons
Recruiting Info: Four-Star linebacker from Valdosta, Georgia
Top College Choices: Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Louisville, Alabama
Josh Harvey-Clemons is a player that hasn't had the kind of hype surrounding his recruitment that many of his peers have gotten, but might be one of the somewhat "hidden gems" of the class.
Harvey-Clemons has been listed as a linebacker on Rivals.com, but has been recruited to play everything from receiver to defensive back.
As of now, his top choices likely include Georgia and Florida State, but from the way Harvey-Clemons talked about his visit at Georgia, they seem to be the front-runner:
"I visited Georgia for a spring practice, and we walked around the campus. I got to spend time with the coaches and talk to the team as well. Georgia is big for me. I know they have a lot of new facilities and one of the top recruiting classes coming in. I really like the defense that they run, it is really similar to ours, and I think I would fit in good there."
No. 38 Avery Young
Recruiting Info: Four Star offensive lineman from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Top College Choices: Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech
Avery Young, like many other recruits, decided to shift his focus from recruiting to his senior football season for the late summer and fall months.
As a result, Young hasn't released a top five nor given many updates recently. However, Young had said previously that Georgia and Florida were at the top of his list.
Young has yet to visit the Georgia campus, but has remained in consistent contact with the coaching staff and has plans to make a trip out to Athens.
It's tough to tell now, but the Georgia Bulldogs are desperate on the offensive line and they just may get lucky enough to solve that problem.
No. 37 Devin Fuller
Recruiting Info: Four-Star athlete from Old Tappan, New Jersey
Top College Choices: Florida State, Michigan, Nebraska, Rutgers, Penn State
It's unusual for a top recruit like Devin Fuller to be entering his senior season of high school football and still waiting on an offer from the school he would ideally like to attend, but that's the case for the four-star athlete.
Fuller grew up an Oregon Ducks fan, but has yet to receive an offer from his dream school.
Until he receives an offer from Oregon, Fuller will need to weigh the options he currently has—which are many.
Fuller's top school's are ones that have indicated that they will give him the opportunity to play quarterback, which is Fuller's preferred position.
Barring an offer from Oregon, expect Michigan to be one of the final contenders in his recruitment.
No. 33 Rushel Shell
Recruiting Info: Four-Star running back from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
Top College Choices: Auburn, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee
Every year, players display different approaches to the recruiting process: some are very public and move quickly, while others keep to themselves and are slower to make their decisions. Rushel Shell is very much the second type of player.
Shell, although somewhat willing to talk to the media about the process, has not had much to reveal in terms of updates for quite sometime.
He has not narrowed down his choices at all and he doesn't even seem to know what his top choices are.
No. 31 Zach Banner
Recruiting Info: Four-Star offensive lineman from Lakewood, Washington
Top College Choices: USC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Washington, Oregon
There have been plenty of rumors surrounding Zach Banner and the prospect of playing alongside fellow top recruit and Washington native, Joshua Garnett, but it's high time that Banner gets recognized as an individual.
Banner, who is a ridiculous 6'9" and 310 lbs., is easily one of the biggest recruits in his class and for that reason has been one of the top recruited two-sport athletes in the country.
The elite offensive tackle was big on Oregon after performing well at "The Opening," which the university hosted. With both the football and basketball programs strongly pursuing Banner, the school could be a great fit.
No. 29 Tommy Schutt
Recruiting Info: Four-Star defensive tackle from Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Top College Choices: Florida, Notre Dame, Penn State, Wisconsin
Tommy Schutt is one of the top recruits in the country, yet his recruiting has been running under the radar, especially during the last two months.
Despite the lack of updates provided by Schutt about his decision making process, it seems that the original front-runners have remained his current front-runners.
Notre Dame has been somewhat the wire-to-wire favorite and even many Penn State fans seem to think Schutt is headed to South Bend.
Prediction: Notre Dame
No. 28 Kyle Murphy
Recruiting Info: Four-Star offensive lineman from San Clemente, California
Top College Choices: Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC, Oregon
Kyle Murphy, the southern Orange County standout from San Clemente, CA is perhaps one of the underdogs in the 2012 recruiting class.
The 6'7", 275-pound offensive tackle is currently rated as a four-star prospect, but when watching Murphy play, it's hard to believe that there are better prospects out there.
Murphy, who is an excellent student and boasted a GPA over 3.5, seems to be choosing between Oregon, USC and Stanford.
In the end though, with the his brother playing football at Harvard, I expect Murphy to take his talents to Palo Alto.
No. 25 Tracy Howard
Courtesy of Elite Scouting Services
Recruiting Info: Four-Star defensive back from Mirimar, Florida
Top College Choices: Florida State, Florida, Alabama, Miami, South Carolina
Tracy Howard is the nation's premier cornerback according to Rivals.com.
Being the best in his position has certainly given the four-star prospect his pick of the litter in terms of college choices.
The Florida native has the "big three" Florida schools—Florida, Florida State and Miami—high on his list, though has said that he will continue to look out of state.
It's early in the process for Howard, who seems to want to take his recruiting slow, but if Miami can put together a winning season in 2011, the Canes could be the team to land him.
No. 22 Joshua Garnett
Recruiting Info: Four-Star offensive lineman from Puyallup, Washington
Top College Choices: Stanford, California, Notre Dame, Washington, Oregon
The University of Washington legacy, Joshua Garnett has been one of the most recruited players on the west coast.
Recently, Garnett expanded his horizons by becoming one of the top recruits on the east coast when the Miami Hurricanes offered the offensive tackle.
The next few months could change a lot in the recruiting race for the Puyallup all-star, but as of now it looks like hometown Washington is the favorite.
No. 17 Landon Collins
Recruiting Info: Five-Star defensive back from Geismar, Louisiana
Top College Choices: LSU, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Tennessee
Louisiana has historically produced some of the best high school football talent in the country and they have done it again with Landon Collins at the top of the class.
The 6'0", 200-pound safety is the 17th-ranked player overall in the 2012 recruiting class and the last player that Rivals.com has rated a five-star prospect.
His shortlist includes five of the best college football programs in the country—four of the five in one conference.
For the past few months, Collins has listed LSU and Alabama as his top two choices and although LSU is closer to Collins' hometown, Nick Saban might be able to lead the nation's top safety away.
No. 16 Jonathan Bullard
Recruiting Info: Five-Star defensive end from Shelby, North Carolina
Top College Choices: Auburn, Florida, North Carolina, Clemson, Alabama
The 2012 recruiting class is rich with defensive ends, and one of the best players in that position is Jonathan Bullard.
Ever since high school teammate Rhaheim Ledbetter committed to Florida, the Gators have been the odds-on favorite in the race for Bullard.
Although Bullard's teammate will likely be in his ear about joining him in Gainesville, don't think Bullard is making his recruiting decision with orange and blue-colored glasses.
In fact, Bullard could surprise a lot of people if he decided to play for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina.
Prediction: South Carolina
No. 15 Andrus Peat
Recruiting Info: Five-Star offensive lineman from Tempe, Arizona
Top College Choices: USC, Florida State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Texas
Another top lineman prospect in the 2012 recruiting class is the offensive tackle from Tempe, Arizona, Andrus Peat.
The 6'7", 305-pounder is the 15th-ranked recruit in the nation and the last offensive lineman to receive a five-star rating from the people at Rivals.com.
Peat recently visited both Texas and Florida State, leaving both with good impressions.
Although he has yet to make any official visits, Peat has narrowed his choices down to Florida State, Texas, Notre Dame and Nebraska.
A lot can change between now and signing day, but right now the favorite might be Florida State.
Prediction: Florida State
No. 13 Noah Spence
Recruiting Info: Five-Star defensive end from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Top College Choices: Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania's top prospect, Noah Spence, has been pursued and offered by over forty Division I schools.
The big-bodied defensive end out of Harrisburg, has expressed interest in some of the ACC and SEC programs, specifically Miami.
Despite his proclaimed interest in some schools south of home, Spence will likely stay close to his home town and play for the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Prediction: Penn State
No. 12 Aziz Shittu
Courtest of ncaasports.org
Recruiting Info: Five-Star defensive tackle from Atwater, California
Top College Choices: Auburn, Stanford, California, USC, Washington
Aziz Shittu decided to commit to Stanford early on in the recruiting process, but has since chosen to look into a few of his other options.
Since decommitting, Shittu has listed USC, Arizona, Cal, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Washington in addition to Stanford as his favorites.
Shittu also mentioned that he could have interest in playing alongside another top defensive line recruit, Ellis McCarthy, which could influence his decision.
When it's all over, though, I see him playing for Cal.
No. 10 Shaq Thompson
Recruiting Info: Five-Star defensive back from Sacramento, California
Top College Choices: California, UCLA, USC, Notre Dame, Washington, Oregon
Shaq Thompson is another player that originally committed to a school—in his case Cal—and has since decommitted to reconsider his options.
The prospect from northern California knows one thing for sure—that he wants to remain on the west coast... or go to Notre Dame.
Thompson's time at USC has been especially influential and I see the five-star defensive back ending up with the Trojans.
No. 9 Nelson Agholor
Recruiting Info: Five-Star athlete from Tampa, Florida
Top College Choices: Florida State, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Texas
Florida standout, Nelson Agholor is the top "athlete" in the 2012 recruiting class and while he remains pretty quiet about where he will land, his high school football coach revealed a little bit of insight to CaneSport.com.
The local schools like Florida, Florida State, Miami and South Florida are all in the hunt, but in the end your guess is as good as mine.
Something just tells me this kid ends up at Florida.
No. 8 Stefon Diggs
Recruiting Info: Five-Star wide receiver from Olney, Maryland
Top College Choices: Auburn, Florida, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Miami, South Carolina
If not for Dorial Green-Beckham, Stefan Diggs would be the most sought after wide receiver in the 2012 recruiting class.
Still, even as the No. 2 wide receiver prospect, Diggs has been pursued by nearly every prestigious program in the country.
His favorites seem to be Auburn, Florida, Miami, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and hometown Maryland. However, his mother, who reportedly has a lot of say and influence in Diggs' decision, seems to like Maryland the best.
A mother's opinion has been influential in hundreds of recruiting decisions in the past and I don't see why that would change here.
No. 6 Ellis McCarthy
Recruiting Info: Five-Star defensive tackle from Monrovia, California
Top College Choices: California, UCLA, USC, Oregon, Florida, Washington
Ellis McCarthy, another top defensive linemen recruit, may be one of the first top recruits to announce his decision or at least give an indication about where he's leaning.
As of now, McCarthy has taken unofficial visits to Cal and UCLA as well as to USC about a dozen times.
He plans to use his official visits to look at some out of state schools like Oregon during the season, which may sway his decision, but as of now the odds-on favorite seems to be USC.
The Trojans are close to home, meet McCarthy's academic requirements and give him the opportunity to play early in his career.
No. 5 Darius Hamilton
Courtesy of northjersey.com
Recruiting Info: Five-Star defensive end from Ramsey, New Jersey
Top College Choices: California, Florida, Rutgers, Alabama, Tennessee
New Jersey's top recruit and the No. 5 overall recruit, Darius Hamilton will do one of the rarest things in college football recruiting and make a mid-season commitment.
According to Rivals.com, the 6'4", 245-pound defensive end, will make his announcement on October 1st in order to honor his deceased aunt.
Right now, Rutgers is the front-runner for multiple reasons, though Florida, Cal, Tennessee and Alabama are all still in the mix.
In the end, the hometown favorite prevails.
No. 4 Eddie Goldman
Recruiting Info: Five-Star defensive tackle from Washington, DC
Top College Choices: Auburn, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Alabama
Eddie Goldman is one of the most sought after defensive tackle prospects in the country and as of now, there are a good number of places he could potentially end up.
Goldman has narrowed down his top choices to fifteen, already taking visits to Cal, South Carolina and Alabama.
His most recent visit to Florida State, however, might have had a big impact on his decision.
Goldman and Florida State commit, Mario Edwards, spent a significant amount of time together there and Goldman even told Rivals.com that the two talked about the prospect of playing with one another.
Prediction: Florida State
No. 3 D.J. Humphries
Recruiting Info: Five-Star offensive lineman Charlotte, North Carolina
Top College Choices: Auburn, Clemson, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee
D.J. Humphries, the 6'6", 270-pound offensive tackle, might be one of the top recruits to announce his decision in the near future.
Earlier this month, Humphries announced his top five schools and named them in order.
"In order, they are Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina and Clemson," said Humphries, the nation's No. 1 offensive tackle. "I've done a lot of research on these schools, visited each one and have a good feeling about each. I planned to get it down to around five by the end of the summer and I'm happy with these choices."
Humphries also went on to explain the reasons for each of his choices. You can read about it at Rivals.com.
With Florida as the No. 1 school Humphries is looking at, I expect him to give a verbal in the near future.
Prediction: Florida (South Carolina is a sleeper)
No. 1 Dorial Green-Beckham
Recruiting Info: Five-Star wide receiver from Springfield, Missouri
Top College Choices: USC, Notre Dame, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas among others
Rivals.com No.1 overall recruit Dorial Green-Beckham has remained nearly silent about the recruiting process thus far.
He's one of the most talented wide receiver prospects since Calvin Johnson or Julio Jones and nearly every major college football program has given him an offer.
It's not likely that Green-Beckham will make any sort of announcement regarding his recruitment anytime soon. In fact, in an article by news-leader.com, Green-Beckham's father said that he may not narrow down his choices until September, if not later.
This kid is as talented as they come and his decision will be very influential in team recruiting rankings.