2014 College Football Recruits Who Could Decommit Before National Signing Day
February 5—college football's national signing day for the 2014 recruiting class—is a very long way away.
Between now and then, dozens of recruits will commit to one school, only to later rescind that pledge and choose another school.
The value of the verbal commitment is a conversation for another article on another day. For now, its the nature of the beast.
And since decommitting is bound to happen, let's take a look at a few blue chip recruits who are currently committed but could end up flipping to another program.
Markell Pack, WR
Markell Pack is a current Florida State commit and the No. 19 composite receiver according to 247Sports.com.
However, it appears as though the Purvis, Miss., native may be rethinking his commitment and considering the possibility of playing closer to home at Ole Miss.
In early June, Pack told Dave Johnson of 247 Sports that Ole Miss and Florida State were 50/50, though he was still committed to FSU.
This report came while Pack was at an Ole Miss camp just one week after he took an unofficial visit to Oxford.
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze showed during the 2013 recruiting cycle that he can close as well as any recruiter in the country.
So even though Pack is a Seminole right now, don't be surprised if he is a Rebel when all is said and done.
Joshua Casher, C
Stop me if you've heard this before: Alabama and Auburn are battling over a big-time in-state recruit.
The two rivals fighting over blue chippers is certainly nothing new, and this time that recruit is 247 Sports' No. 1 composite center, Joshua Casher.
The Mobile native has been committed to Auburn since March 31, but shortly after his commitment, he received an offer from Alabama, changing the situation.
In June he visited Tuscaloosa for a camp, though he did not participate because of injury, as reported by Mike Herndon of al.com.
Casher confirmed to Herndon that he is still committed to Auburn, though he is looking around and seriously considering the Crimson Tide:
I'm still committed to Auburn. But Alabama, it's a good school. I have a long way until signing day. Hopefully, nothing will come up and change my mind. I'm going to go on and visit other schools and truly enjoy the recruiting process and then weigh everything out.
Casher nailed it by saying that he has a long way until signing day.
And especially with Nick Saban and Mario Cristobal pulling on his strings, a lot can happen between now and then.
Craig Evans, DT
One of the most common reasons for players decommitting is coaching changes.
Wisconsin lost head coach Bret Bielema, who left for Arkansas this offseason, and the Badgers could be waiving goodbye to one of their top recruits as well.
In January, he told Nick Sunderland-Saied of the Wisconsin State Journal about how he is going to approach his recruitment going forward:
I feel like I didn't give any of the other schools a chance...Even though I was 100 percent in my decision for Wisconsin, I felt like I turned my back (on what) all the other coaches and all the other programs had to offer me. So, this time I want to be a little more fair with it and give everybody a chance.
That "everybody" is a rather long list that is only growing longer. Evans has considered rejoining Bielema in Arkansas (according to WholeHogSports.com), visited Big Ten Conference rival Michigan State and just received an offer from Alabama.
Stay tuned on the Evans saga, as it is far from finished.
Sharieff Rhaheed, LB
For many recruits, committing to a top school only results in an influx of offers from other programs.
This has been the case for LSU linebacker commit Sharieff Rhaheed.
Rhaheed committed to Les Miles and the Tigers in March, but has since seen a surge in attention from other programs.
In May, Richard Davenport of WholeHogSports.com reported that Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon paid the Fort Pierce, Fla., native a visit at his school.
Davenport also reported that Rhaheed intends to visit Arkansas this summer and that he held 13 offers at the time.
Now, less than two months later, he claims 18 Division I offers in his Twitter bio.
This kind of situation is pretty common and many recruits ignore the increased attention and stick to their commitment.
This could be the case with Rhaheed, but he could also just as easily be swayed in another direction by a different coaching staff.
Davion Hall, S/WR
Baylor has been a program on the rise lately and much of that is thanks to the success of Art Briles on the recruiting trail.
The Texarkana, Texas, native has been committed to the Bears since February but has also fielded a number of outside offers.
Powerhouse programs Alabama and Texas could be in play for Hall, but Baylor's biggest opposition for his services may be coming from Arkansas.
Hall visited Fayetteville in March and he later spoke to Richard Davenport of WholeHogSports.com about his visit and how he could be used on both sides of the ball for the Razorbacks.
Baylor may still be able to keep Hall from his SEC suitors, but it won't be easy.
Gavin Bryant, LB
It isn't often that both Auburn and Alabama allow one of the state's best football prospects to head to another SEC rival.
However, that is exactly the case with Tennessee linebacker commit Gavin Bryant.
The Jackson, Ala., native named Alabama his leader in March, but three months later announced his commitment to the Volunteers (Via 247Sports).
He told Greg Ostendorf of ESPN that he was simply tired of waiting for UA and AU, leading him to tab UT as his future school:
I want to play in the SEC, and Tennessee is an SEC school. I really didn’t want to leave the state, but Alabama and Auburn were holding back on me. Tennessee was neck and neck with Alabama and Auburn. I feel like Tennessee was better than all the rest of the schools I went to, so I went ahead and pulled the trigger.
Now that he is committed to Tennessee, he may have the attention of the coaches in his home state.
If either Alabama or Auburn comes calling once again, Bryant could end up staying home.
Tashon Smallwood, DT
USC defensive tackle commit Tashon Smallwood has his order of operations all wrong.
The Fresno, Calif., native committed to the Trojans during their Junior Day in February, but released his top five schools on June 24, according to a tweet from Adam Gorney of Rivals.com.
His new Top 5—USC, UCLA, Alabama, Miami and Arizona State—is a pretty impressive, power-packed list.
And it also solidifies the fact that his recruitment is far from over. The fact that he announced a list of schools he is considering, obviously means he is looking elsewhere.
Keep an eye on Smallwood as his recruitment continues, as it looks like USC is in for a battle.