B/R Recruiting Notebook: Athletes Enter Final Week of Visits Before Signing Day

Damon Sayles@@DamonSaylesNational Recruiting AnalystJanuary 23, 2017

Provo, Utah, 4-star safety Chaz Ah You tweeted last month that he will announce his verbal commitment Thursday. With the day approaching, he is considering holding off until after an official visit to BYU.
Provo, Utah, 4-star safety Chaz Ah You tweeted last month that he will announce his verbal commitment Thursday. With the day approaching, he is considering holding off until after an official visit to BYU.Credit: Student Sports

National signing day is now nine days away, and action is hot and heavy from coast to coast and outside the continental United States.

With one more week of official visits to come before Feb. 1, college programs are looking to make their last moves on some of the nation's top athletes.

Baylor enters the final recruiting weekend as arguably the nation's hottest team. The Bears have picked up 12 commitments since Jan. 15, including the latest pledge, 4-star wide receiver Gavin Holmes, who tweeted his announcement Sunday evening.

Gavin Holmes @gavinholmes_

Extremely blessed and excited to announce i am officially committed to Baylor University! #SicEm 🐻💚💛 #BaylorLit 🔥 #WRU https://t.co/S2LXQpqrNa

Along with Baylor, Georgia Tech also had a productive weekend. The Yellow Jackets landed three pledges during the weekend and managed to flip 4-star linebacker Jaquan Henderson, a onetime Tennessee pledge.

The ACC received big news Sunday when 4-star safety Hamsah Nasirildeen flipped his pledge from South Carolina to Florida State. The Seminoles now have Nasirildeen, 5-star cornerback Stanford Samuels III, 4-star safety Cyrus Fagan and 3-star cornerback Ontaria Wilson as members of their secondary class.

Hamsah @nasirildeen

I will do interviews on Tuesday https://t.co/XsBhHPGxXU

On Saturday, the inaugural Polynesian Bowl took place in Hawaii, and several athletes ended their recruiting processes. Oregon picked up two commitments from 4-star linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia and 3-star defensive tackle Austin Faoliu.

BYU added a 4-star pledge to its class in defensive end Langi Tuifua during the all-star game. Stanford landed 3-star linebacker Levani Damuni, USC added 3-star defensive tackle Brandon Pili and Oregon State added 3-star safety Charles Watson to its class. Isaiah Dunn, a 3-star cornerback, did not compete in the Polynesian Bowl but also committed to Oregon State on Saturday.

As we head into the final weekend of official visits for 2017 athletes, here are updates on some of the nation's uncommitted targets.


Commitment coming for 4-star Ah You?

Last month, Provo, Utah, 4-star safety Chaz Ah You tweeted he would announce his verbal commitment Jan. 26. A set announcement is now up in the air.

Ah You told Bleacher Report late Sunday night he plans on taking an official visit to BYU this weekend. He visited UCLA in November and Washington in December.

Whether that means he will still commit Thursday has yet to be determined.

"It's been 50-50 with [the BYU visit]," he said. "I was going to just not take my official and make my decision, but I thought I would just give them another look before I decided."

That has to be good news for the Cougars, who will get a final opportunity to impress the 6'2", 190-pound athlete with 23 reported offers. Ah You will take the trip to BYU after participating in the Polynesian Bowl.

Ah You said the visit will serve one purpose: to further build relationships with players and coaches.

"I've been around them but haven't spent a lot of time to actually interact with them," Ah You said. "I'm looking forward to that."


TCU visit follows Bama for 4-star Harris

Todd Harris
Todd HarrisCredit: Student Sports

A weekend official visit to Alabama went well for Plaquemine, Louisiana, 4-star safety Todd Harris. He told Billy Embody of Scout.com that he could see himself at Alabama.

That's the good news for Alabama fans. The bad news is that Harris, the nation's No. 9 safety, is still open with his recruitment and refuses to lean one way or another.

"I'm just taking time to make sure I make the correct decision," Harris told B/R on Sunday. "I still have a visit to TCU this upcoming weekend, so I'll know something by then."

LSU is the school believed to be in the lead for Harris, but Alabama and TCU are two schools to keep an eye on from now until national signing day. The Horned Frogs have a golden opportunity to slide in and score a huge commit for their defensive class.

"I want to see what the staff and school have to offer for me and my family," Harris said about the TCU visit.


WR Pouncey: Texas visit a '10 out of 10'

Winter Park, Florida, 3-star wide receiver Jordan Pouncey had heard about the atmosphere at Texas, and the official visit over the weekend supported everything he was told.

The visit, the third of four before national signing day, was one Pouncey scored "definitely a 10 out of 10." He said he was impressed with the facilities and was a huge fan of the energy of the coaches, particularly head coach Tom Herman.

"I've been a University of Texas fan since I was a little kid," Pouncey told B/R on Sunday. "I used to play quarterback right around the time Vince Young led the Longhorns to a national championship. Being there, I was shocked the whole time. The university really is larger than life."

Pouncey (6'2", 185 lbs) has now visited Notre Dame and Miami. He has an official to Tennessee scheduled this weekend.

As for having a favorite, Pouncey said he's still weighing all options, and the upcoming visit could be a game-changer.

"The main thing for me is the relationships with the coaching staff and how well I get along with the players on the visits," he said. "I don't want to go to a place where the coaches are weird and you hate the players. So far, I've gotten along well with the coaches and players on all the visits."


Is RB Ellison headed to the B1G?

Morgan Ellison
Morgan EllisonCredit: Student Sports

Fresh off an official visit to Indiana, running back Morgan Ellison out of Pickerington, Ohio, has a decision to make.

He isn't giving any inside information.

"I just know what I want," he said Sunday. "I think I know where I'm going, but I won't say anything right now."

Ellison has offers from Indiana, Ohio, Toledo, North Texas and several other programs. A onetime Ohio pledge, Ellison said he is looking for a school that has a certain homey feeling to it.

Indiana fans are hoping the official visit was enough for the 6'1", 225-pounder.

"Sometimes you go on visits, and you just don't feel it," Ellison said. "Sometimes, you go on a visit where you feel like home, like you're sitting eating with people from church and you're OK with everything. That's what I'm looking for."


Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All player ratings are courtesy of Scout.com. Follow Damon on Twitter: @DamonSayles


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