National Signing Day 2019: News and Predictions for Top Available Recruits

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2019

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: The Clemson Tigers take on the Alabama Crimson Tide during the College Football Playoff National Championship held at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Even though the college football season has ended, the business part of the coaching year isn't over yet. 

Most of the nation's top head coaches are out on the recruiting circuit looking to finish up their respective classes ahead of the 2019 season. 

The majority of top prospects committed during the December early signing period, but there are still a few coveted names left unsigned. 

In the buildup to National Signing Day on February 6, the country's coaches have an opportunity to persuade some of the best remaining recruits to join their teams through on-campus and in-house visits. 

                      

News and Predictions

Ishmael Sopsher, DT, Amite, Louisiana

Defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher is the best unsigned player in the 247 Sports player rankings

Even though he is down to seven schools, Alabama and LSU are neck-and-neck for the signature of the Louisiana native. 

A new twist was thrown into Sopsher's recruitment recently, as he revealed he wants to find a way to play with his older brother, Rodney, per Josh Bean of AL.com.

While there is plenty of pressure for Sopsher to stay in state and join up with Ed Orgeron's Tigers, he's looking for the best place for him and his sibling to develop, per Bean.

"The fans might tell me, you know, (to) stay in Louisiana and all that," Sopsher said, "but it's just about the best opportunity for me and my brother to go somewhere and get developed and be great."

Sopsher's brother is a junior college defensive lineman, and the new wrinkle could throw off some programs, but Alabama and LSU will do whatever it takes to bring in the best talent possible. 

Alabama could be the more intriguing option for Sopsher, as the Crimson Tide could lose as many as three key players on the defensive interior.

Isaiah Buggs is set to graduate, while Quinnen Williams and Raekwon Davis could opt for the NFL, with Williams being one of the top prospects. 

With an opening on the defensive line, Alabama will go hard after Sopsher and eventually reel in his signature because it gives him the best chance to play early in his college career. 

Prediction: Alabama

                            

Darnell Wright, OT, Huntington, West Virginia

The best offensive lineman in the class of 2019 could stay home in West Virginia.

Darnell Wright told Jason Jordan of USA Today that the Mountaineers are one of his two favorites along with North Carolina at the moment.

"I would say North Carolina and West Virginia are my favorites right now," he said. "West Virginia is my hometown school and I really like them, and North Carolina has a new staff and one of my teammates is there. I'll definitely take officials to those schools; the rest I'm not sure right now."

In the time since Wright spoke at the Under Armour All-American Game, West Virginia hired Troy head coach Neal Brown to replace Dana Holgorsen. 

One of Brown's first priorities needs to be securing the commitment of the top in-state recruit to solidify the team's offensive line. 

However, that task won't be as easy as it should be since the Tar Heels are ready to impress Wright with their new coaching staff, led by Mack Brown

Wright still has plenty of time to visit and get acclimated with the new staffs of his favorite schools, but if staying at home means a lot to him, he'll land in the Big 12. 

North Carolina is an intriguing option with Brown in charge of the rebuild, but there's no guarantee of success right away at a program that went 2-9 in 2018.

Prediction: West Virginia

                              

Jerrion Ealy, RB, Flowood, Mississippi

One of the best offensive talents in the class of 2019 reopened his recruiting Tuesday by decommitting from Ole Miss:

Running back Jerrion Ealy has interest from Clemson and Mississippi State among others, but his recruitment comes with a different type of wrinkle coaches aren't used to seeing.

He is also one of the top high school baseball players in the nation, and he has first-round potential for June's MLB draft as an outfielder. 

According to MLB.com, Ealy is the No. 18 prospect for the 2019 MLB draft, which means he might not see a college football field next year if he's a first-round pick.

From a football perspective, Clemson looks the best option, especially after it steamrolled Alabama in Monday's national championship. 

Mississippi State is an intriguing in-state option for Ealy, but there's no guarantee of contending for a title with the Bulldogs. 

Regardless of which football program he chooses, Ealy would start below incumbents on both depth charts, as Travis Etienne returns to Clemson and Kylin Hill is back for another season at Mississippi State.

Prediction: Clemson

                                

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Recruiting information obtained from 247Sports.

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