Predicting Where Every Uncommitted 2018 Under Armour Recruit Will Sign
The Under Armour All-America Game is one of the premier high school football showcases, a chance to see some of the nation's top prep talent challenge each other. It also gives college football fans a preview of what's to come for their teams in the next wave of recruits.
That includes a handful of players who have yet to choose their colleges. Of the 100-plus players expected to suit up Jan. 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, 19 remain uncommitted.
That number is lower than a year ago, when 27 players had yet to decide their schools prior to the Under Armour game. The addition of an early signing period in December accelerated the process for some prospects, but there are plenty who still haven't decided.
That's where we come in. We've broken down how the recruiting has gone for these uncommitted players and take a guess at where they'll end up.
5-Star OT Nicholas Petit-Frere
Hometown/School: Tampa, Florida/Berkeley Prep
Height, weight: 6'6", 272 pounds
Ranking: No. 17 overall (No. 3 OT)
Nicholas Petit-Frere is the highest-rated uncommitted player in the Under Armour All-America Game and the third-highest unpledged player in the 2018 recruiting class. The still-growing pass protector is uncertain about his destination, as Michigan and Notre Dame are the only schools to land an official visit so far.
The other schools fighting hard to land him are Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Miami (Florida). Three of those teams will land a visit from Petit-Frere, but all remain in the hunt.
Jim Harbaugh is pulling out all the stops to get Petit-Frere, following up official and in-home visits by having the Wolverines conduct their Outback Bowl practices at his high school. Per Josh Henschke of 247Sports, Petit-Frere was able to "see firsthand what his potential position coaches could offer."
5-Star WR Devon Williams
Hometown/School: Lancaster, California/Antelope Valley
Height, weight: 6'4", 200 pounds
Ranking: No. 22 overall (No. 4 WR)
Devon Williams named Oregon his leader back in July, but since then he's taken unofficial visits to UCLA and Utah. Alabama and USC are also involved, yet he hasn't checked out Alabama since June and has yet to visit the Trojans' campus.
Things are about to ramp up in Williams' recruitment, though. Per 247Sports' Greg Biggins, Williams expects to visit USC on Jan. 12, go to UCLA on Jan. 19 and make an official visit to Oregon on Jan. 26, with a planned commitment announcement on ESPN on National Signing Day in February.
Since the Ducks have been No. 1 all along, there's no reason to suspect anything has changed. He didn't speak out when Willie Taggart left Oregon at the time, nor did he weigh in when the school elevated Mario Cristobal to the head job.
"There is a strong brotherhood at Oregon, and I think it's a rebuilding program," Williams told Biggins. "They're trying to keep the group together; coaches and commits and I have a strong comfort level there."
4-Stars: Bonitto to Griffin
4-star LB Nik Bonitto
Hometown/School: Fort Lauderdale, Florida/St. Thomas Aquinas
Height, weight: 6'2.5", 204 pounds
The Sooners are the favorites after pushing hard to get the No. 15 outside linebacker in the 2018 class, who is set to announce during the Under Armour game. He made an official visit to Norman on Dec. 15, right before the dead period, meaning the Sooners got to make a lasting impression that should pay off.
4-star WR Tommy Bush
Hometown/School: Schertz, Texas/Samuel Clemens
Height, weight: 6'5", 191 pounds
Bush has the unique blend of size and speed, clocking in at under 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He's been picking up a slew of new offers, including from Arkansas, Florida and Michigan, and he's already visited Georgia, Michigan State and Nebraska. He may still visit Baylor, too, and that school seems like the best fit since it has been loading up on speedsters.
4-star WR JaMarr Chase
Hometown/School: Metairie, Louisiana/Archbishop Rummel
Height, weight: 6'1", 195 pounds
A former Florida commit, Chase has checked out Michigan and TCU and has planned officials to Auburn and LSU in January. The Tigers usually have the advantage on in-state skill players, and while LSU may be parting ways with offensive coordinator Matt Canada, there are no plans for wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph—Chase's point man at the school—to go anywhere.
4-star WR Jacob Copeland
Hometown/School: Pensacola, Florida/Escambia
Height, weight: 6'0", 192 pounds
Copeland backed off his pledge to Florida after Dan Mullen replaced Jim McElwain as coach, opening the door for other SEC schools to steal the state's No. 10 prospect.
Jeremy Pruitt's decision to go to Tennessee keeps the Volunteers in the running but not enough to beat out the Crimson Tide. Copeland has scheduled a Feb. 2 official to Florida, so Alabama will want to lock him in before that trip.
4-star CB Olaijah Griffin
Hometown/School: Mission Viejo, California/Mission Viejo
Height, weight: 6'0", 170 pounds
Griffin, the son of rapper Warren G, decommitted from UCLA on Dec. 30, and now it looks like this California kid is interested in leaving the West Coast. He officially visited Tennessee on Dec. 15, less than a week after the Volunteers offered him.
On Sunday, he added an offer from Florida, while in late November it was Auburn that extended an offer. USC might be the only school to keep him from leaving home, but new Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt will win out.
4-Stars: Moore to Ross
4-star WR Joshua Moore
Hometown/School: Yoakum, Texas/Yoakum
Height, weight: 6'1", 170 pounds
Prediction: Texas A&M
As a do-everything player at the prep level, Moore's main fit in college is either as a dynamic pass catcher or impact defensive back. Since decommitting from Nebraska in December, he's added offers from Oregon and Tennessee. Oregon and Florida State have scheduled visits with him for January, but Texas A&M's edge is that twin brother Jordan Moore has already signed there for 2018.
4-star DE Jayson Oweh
Hometown/School: Blairstown, New Jersey/Blair Academy
Height, weight: 6'5", 236 pounds
Prediction: Penn State
Oweh will decide between Ohio State and Penn State during the Under Armour game. He visited those schools and Michigan, with Urban Meyer getting an in-home visit in December.
That could have been the deciding factor had 247Sports' Luke Stampini not indicated the "buzz" when Oweh and other players checked in at their hotel over the weekend was that the No. 5 strong-side defensive end was leaning toward Penn State.
4-star LB Merlin Robertson
Hometown/School: Gardena, California/Junipero Serra
Height, weight: 6'3", 241 pounds
Prediction: Arizona State
While schools like LSU and Oklahoma showed interest early, Robertson told 247Sports' Greg Biggins that the main three suitors now are Arizona State, BYU and Illinois.
The Sun Devils have an ace up their sleeve in the recent hiring of Antonio Pierce as linebackers coach. Pierce spent the last few years coaching high school in southern California, giving him a connection to Robertson.
4-star WR Justyn Ross
Hometown/School: Phenix City, Alabama/Central
Height, weight: 6'4", 201 pounds
Alabama and Clemson's Sugar Bowl clash on New Year's Day probably didn't influence Ross' decision as much as his official to Clemson did in November. Now everyone else is playing catch up, with Alabama as well as Auburn lining up visits for later this month.
Eighty percent of 247Sports' Crystal Ball predictions have him destined for Clemson.
4-Stars: Schwartz to Wonnum
4-star WR Anthony Schwartz
Hometown/School: Fort Lauderdale, Florida/American Heritage
Height, weight: 6'0", 172 pounds
Schwartz will make his college choice known during the Under Armour game, picking between Auburn, Florida and Georgia. He'll be doing so despite having not made any official visits to those schools, or to anyone. He's made plenty of unofficial visits to Auburn, though, and that figures to be the hat he'll pick Thursday.
4-star DE Tyreke Smith
Hometown/School: Cleveland, Ohio/Cleveland Heights
Height, weight: 6'3", 260 pounds
Prediction: Ohio State
Smith told Chris Swanson of TrojanSports.com that he's already picked his college from a final five of Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State and USC and told that school several weeks ago.
He's set to make the decision public during the Under Armour game, and based on 94 percent of 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions picking the Buckeyes, that seems like a safe bet. The third-best prospect in Ohio and the No. 4 weak-side defensive end in 2018 will fit right in on OSU's defensive line.
4-star WR Justin Watkins
Hometown/School: Clermont, Florida/East Ridge
Height, weight: 5'11", 172 pounds
From 24 total offers, Watkins has narrowed his choices to two: Alabama and LSU. The latter is one of three schools he's previously committed to, along with Florida State and Texas, though he's been unattached since backing off a pledge to Texas in June. Considering his track record, it stands to reason Alabama will be the next school to get his commitment.
4-star OT Dylan Wonnum
Hometown/School: Tucker, Georgia/Tucker
Height, weight: 6'5", 279 pounds
Prediction: South Carolina
It's all about the SEC for Wonnum, who in January will visit Auburn, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee. Only Auburn has its trip with him scheduled, but he had plenty of contact with South Carolina during the fall. The Gamecocks already have older brother D.J., a sophomore defensive lineman, on the roster.
Uncommitted 3-Star Players
3-star RB Maurice Washington
Hometown/School: Cedar Hill, Texas/Trinity Christian
Height, weight: 6'0", 175 pounds
With only six official offers and none since August, Washington is the kind of recruit who schools are just starting to notice. That includes Nebraska, which has a new coaching staff and has him in for an official visit Jan. 12 while other teams are scrambling to get him on campus.
3-star DE Caleb Okechukwu
Hometown/School: Washington, D.C./St. John's College
Height, weight: 6'4", 252 pounds
Prediction: Michigan State
With the early signing period having come and gone and many of the top prospects in the country already off the board, attention starts getting turned toward lower 3-star players like Okechukwu. Arizona was the most notable school on him early, but now California, Michigan State and others are showing interest.
3-star OL Josh Jefferson
Hometown/School: Washington, D.C./St. John's College
Height, weight: 6'2", 295 pounds
Prediction: Virginia Tech
Jefferson was a late bloomer who is just starting to get noticed by bigger programs. His seven offers are mostly from mid-major programs, along with Syracuse, but Virginia Tech has been on his radar for a while, and Maryland and North Carolina State are starting to show interest.
Jefferson can play guard or center, which adds to his value.
3-star LS Justin Mader
Hometown/School: Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia
Height, weight: 6'0", 215 pounds
247Sports only lists three scholarship offers for Mader, one of which is a Division II school. The others are service academies, though expect other teams to take an interest after seeing his long-snapping work during the Under Armour game.