National Signing Day 2019: Tracking Top 15 Uncommitted CFB Recruits

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2019

National Signing Day 2019: Tracking Top 15 Uncommitted CFB Recruits

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    Darnell Wright
    Darnell WrightAndrew Ivins/247Sports

    A handful of impact high school standouts waited until national signing day to choose their college. 

    The headliners of that group are 5-star offensive tackle and No. 10 prospect in the class Darnell Wright from Huntington High School in West Virginia and 5-star running back and two-sport star Jerrion Ealy, who has a chance to be a game-changer in the backfield and in the outfield.

    Below, we have the decisions of the top 15 recruits who came into national signing day uncommitted as well as two high-profile recruits who flipped allegiances. 

Notable Signing Day Commitment Flips

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    WR George Pickens (Auburn to Georgia)—No. 24 overall, No. 4 WR

    Pickens committed to Auburn in July 2017, and even when he wasn't among the school's early signings, he maintained a strong commitment to the program. That changed Wednesday when he flipped and signed with Georgia.

    As Josh Bean of Alabama.com wrote: "Georgia lost out on Jadon Haselwood, the nation's No. 1-ranked receiver who was a longtime Georgia commit, after he picked Oklahoma, so Pickens is a fantastic late pickup."

    Pickens hauled in 69 catches for 1,368 yards and 16 touchdowns during his senior season at Hoover High School in Alabama.

                

    DE Khris Bogle (Alabama to Florida)—No. 71 overall, No. 3 WDE

    Bogle committed to Alabama during the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 5, but that didn't stop him from taking official visits to Florida (Jan. 25) and Miami (Feb. 1) leading up to national signing day.

    In the end, the Gators pried him loose from that commitment, adding him to a class that has jumped into the top 10 nationally.

    At 6'3½" and 212 pounds, he'll obviously need to add strength. However, he was dynamic during his senior season at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Florida, racking up 54 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and two forced fumbles.

15. DE Ja'Darien Boykin (SIGNED—LOUISVILLE)

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    247SportsNo. 318 overall, No. 19 WDE

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 235 lbs

    School: Jones County HS (Gray, GA)

    Status: Signed with Louisville

    Louisville landed a big early commitment on national signing day when defensive end Ja'Darien Boykin chose the Cardinals over Colorado State and Miami.

    The 4-star weakside pass-rusher is now the top recruit in a class that ranks 88th nationally.

    247Sports wrote: "As a senior, Boykin recorded 52 tackles and 13 sacks in 11 games. He also forced and recovered a pair of fumbles. For his career, he totaled 208 tackles, 32 sacks and forced five fumbles. He also spent time on the offensive side of the ball, rushing for 88 yards and eight touchdowns on 11 carries in 2018."

    He should see immediate action as a freshman and could develop into an impact player.

14. OLB Eugene Asante (SIGNED—NORTH CAROLINA)

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    247SportsNo. 282 overall, No. 17 OLB

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 212 lbs

    School: Westfield HS (Chantilly, VA)

    Status: Signed with North Carolina

    Virginia Tech looked like the clear front-runner for outside linebacker Eugene Asante throughout the recruiting cycle, but North Carolina picked up some late momentum after he made an official visit on Feb. 1.

    He's now the third-best recruit in a Tar Heels class that ranks No. 32 nationally.

    A 4-star outside linebacker, Asante climbed 1,170 spots when the composite rankings were updated Jan. 31.

    247Sports explained the reason for that late helium: "Asante is a late bloomer because he was recruited as a running back until halfway through his senior season."

    His coverage skills are still a work in progress, but he has the speed and instincts to develop into a standout linebacker.

13. QB Lance LeGendre (SIGNED—MARYLAND)

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    247SportsNo. 279 overall, No. 9 DUAL

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 205 lbs

    School: Warren Easton HS (New Orleans, LA)

    Status: Signed with Maryland

    Originally committed to Kansas, dual-threat quarterback Lance LeGendre opened his recruitment back up Aug. 1, and Florida State looked like the overwhelming favorite to land him heading into national signing day.

    Instead, he'll head to Maryland in what will no doubt be one of the day's bigger upsets.

    LeGendre was the only quarterback graded a 4-star or better who was still on the board heading into the day, and he'll join a Terrapins program that will give him a chance to compete for the starting job.

    247Sports wrote:

    "LeGendre is a true dual-threat. He throws the ball well on the run and can make plays happen with his feet. He may not be as fast as Maryland quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, but he is bigger. His arm talent may be better than any on Maryland's roster, especially with Kasim Hill sidelined for another season with another torn ACL. LeGendre will have to touch up his footwork a bit, but should be useful early on, at the very least as a backup during his first season in College Park. Even still, he should have a chance to compete for the starting job immediately."

    Even if he doesn't earn the starting nod for Week 1, he should get a chance to start at some point in 2019.

12. DE Isaiah Foskey (SIGNED—NOTRE DAME)

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    247SportsNo. 211 overall, No. 13 WDE

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 233 lbs

    School: De La Salle HS (Concord, CA)

    Status: Signed with Notre Dame

    While Henry To'oto'o was an enigma throughout the recruiting process and leading up to his commitment to Tennessee, his high school teammate, Isaiah Foskey, was the opposite.

    Notre Dame garnered all 18 crystal ball predictions for the 6'4" defensive end, and his only other official visit was to Penn State on April 6.

    Foskey had essentially already signed with the Fighting Irish, but he saved his official announcement until Wednesday so he could be part of the festivities with To'oto'o and his other De La Salle teammates.

    Foskey is the 16th 4-star recruit in a Notre Dame recruiting class that ranks No. 14.

11. ILB Daniel Heimuli (SIGNED—WASHINGTON)

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    247SportsNo. 199 overall, No. 13 ILB

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 225 lbs

    School: Menlo-Atherton HS (Menlo Park, CA)

    Status: Signed with Washington

    A commitment to Washington from high school teammate Noa Ngalu no doubt helped make the Huskies the front-runners for inside linebacker Daniel Heimuli.

    "If I did something, he would be there too. If he did something, I would be there too," Heimuli told Mike Vorel of the Seattle Times. "Whenever we went to go eat, it'd be us two. Whenever we went to go work out, it'd be us two. Whenever Coach needed something, it'd be like, 'Ask Daniel,' or, 'Ask Noa.' We were a combo. Wherever he's at, I'm at. Wherever I'm at, he's at."

    Heimuli earned Defensive MVP honors at the Polynesian Bowl with six tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and a sack.

    While missing on outside linebacker Henry To'oto'o was disappointing, it was still a productive day for the Huskies, as Heimuli joins an excellent recruiting class that ranks No. 17.

10. ATH Devonta Lee (SIGNED—LSU)

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    247SportsNo. 166 overall, No. 8 ATH

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 212 lbs

    School: Amite HS (Amite, LA)

    Status: Signed with LSU

    By locking up Amite teammates Devonta Lee, LSU will walk away from the 2019 recruiting cycle with eight of the top 10 recruits from the state of Louisiana.

    The Tigers beat out Alabama, Kentucky and Texas A&M to land the talented Lee.

    "They need me. They say I’m a priority," Lee told Josh Bean of Alabama.com last month while talking about LSU's recruiting pitch. "They want me to come over there and make plays and be their playmaker and be their alpha dog and play with some first-rounders."

    Playing time as a freshman was a priority for Lee, so expect to see him on the field in some capacity this fall.

9. DT Jaquaze Sorrells (SIGNED—SOUTH CAROLINA)

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    247SportsNo. 157 overall, No. 14 DT

    Height/Weight: 6'2½", 310 lbs

    School: Winter Park HS (Orlando, FL)

    Status: Signed with South Carolina

    South Carolina already landed the No. 8 prospect in the nation and the No. 1 defensive tackle in this year's class in Zacch Pickens.

    Now they'll add another standout interior lineman to the recruiting haul in 4-star Jaquaze Sorrells.

    The No. 14 defensive tackle in his class will look to help solidify a porous run defense that allowed 199.5 rushing yards per game during a 7-6 season.

    The Gamecocks edged out Alabama and Penn State to land the Winter Park High School standout. He was an early commit to Florida before reopening his recruitment on Dec. 31, 2017.

8. OG Enokk Vimahi (SIGNED—OHIO STATE)

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    247SportsNo. 124 overall, No. 7 OG

    Height/Weight: 6'4½", 263 lbs

    School: Kahuku HS (Kahuku, HI)

    Status: Signed with Ohio State

    USC was the early favorite for standout offensive guard prospect Enokk Vimahi, and he didn't even receive an offer from Ohio State until Jan. 4.

    Nonetheless, new head coach Ryan Day swept in late and signed the 4-star guard.

    He joins 5-star center Harry Miller and 4-star tackle Ryan Jacoby as blue-chip offensive line recruits in another stacked class from the Buckeyes, which ranks No. 15 in the nation.

    With tackle Isaiah Prince and guard Michael Jordan headed to the NFL, restocking the O-line was a clear goal for the Buckeyes during this recruiting cycle.

7. ATH Mark-Antony Richards (SIGNED—AUBURN)

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    247SportsNo. 90 overall, No. 4 ATH

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 195 lbs

    School: Wellington HS (West Palm Beach, FL)

    Status: Signed with Auburn

    There were 18 crystal-ball predictions for Mark-Antony Richards, and they all had him signing with Auburn, so this one wasn't much of a surprise.

    Still, it's a huge addition for Gus Malzahn's team as the Tigers look to rebound from a disappointing 8-5 season.

    "Richards is a do-it-all type of recruit who can run the ball with the best of them but who can also catch the ball out of the backfield and line up in the slot if needed," Rivals.com wrote.

    His brother, Ahmmon Richards, was a standout receiver at Miami, and there was some belief the Hurricanes could to lure him away from Auburn. He also took an official visit to Florida.

    While the top two rushers from last season—JaTarvious Whitlow (150 carries, 787 yards, 6 TD) and Kam Martin (103 carries, 458 yards, 1 TD)—both return for the Tigers, Richards is talented enough to carve out a multi-purpose role as a freshman. That could include time at defensive back.

6. DE Charles Moore (SIGNED—AUBURN)

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    247SportsNo. 69 overall, No. 6 SDE

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 268 lbs

    School: Louisville HS (Louisville, MS)

    Status: Signed with Auburn

    After it lost 5-star receiver George Pickens when he flipped to Georgia at the last minute, Auburn added 4-star defensive end Charles Moore to a recruiting class that ranks No. 12.

    After he decommitted from Mississippi State on Jan. 7, Auburn became a quick front-runner to land Moore. A prior commitment from his best friend4-star defensive end Jaren Handy—no doubt aided in its recruiting pitch.

    247Sports likes his long-term upside, writing: "[Moore] has plus athleticism for his size and can take his game to another level when he gets locked in to a college strength and conditioning program. Projects as an upper tier Power Five starter and future NFL draft pick."

    He slots in as the No. 3 recruit in the Auburn 2019 class behind linebacker Owen Pappoe and quarterback Bo Nix.

5. CB Kaiir Elam (SIGNED—FLORIDA)

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    247SportsNo. 48 overall, No. 6 CB

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 182 lbs

    School: The Benjamin School (North Palm Beach, FL)

    Status: Signed with Florida

    The top cornerback available Wednseday is headed for Florida, as the Gators beat out SEC rival Georgia to land Kaiir Elam.

    A two-way standout at The Benjamin School in Florida, Elam tallied 48 tackles and eight interceptions during his senior season. He also caught 91 passes for 1,475 yards and 14 touchdowns, so he possesses some obvious ball skills.

    Elam joins No. 5 cornerback Chris Steele atop a Gators recruiting class that now ranks No. 9.

    Flordia finished 13th in the nation by allowing just 180.8 passing yards per game last season, and the secondary should remain a strength thanks to this year's incoming talent.

4. DT Ishmael Sopsher (SIGNED—ALABAMA)

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    247SportsNo. 47 overall, No. 5 DT

    Height/Weight: 6'3½", 334 lbs

    School: Amite HS (Amite, LA)

    Status: Signed with Alabama

    A first-team All-American by both MaxPreps and USA Today, Ishmael Sopsher was the top uncommitted defensive lineman in the class heading into Wednesday.

    LSU was the favorite to sign him, but Alabama was lurking on the periphery, and the Crimson Tide made a strong enough late push after his official visit on Jan. 25 to land him.

    The Tigers also tried hard to lure 4-star defensive end Byron Young away from his commitment to Alabama but were unsuccessful. It was a big day for the Tide and a tough day for LSU on the defensive line side of things.

3. OLB Henry To'oto'o (SIGNED—TENNESSEE)

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    247SportsNo. 44 overall, No. 3 OLB

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 230 lbs

    School: De La Salle HS (Concord, CA)

    Status: Signed with Tennessee

    As the top defensive player still on the board entering Wednesday, outside linebacker Henry To'oto'o was one of the tougher guys to nail down among the unsigned recruits.

    Alabama was pushing hard down the stretch with an official visit Jan. 25 and an in-house visit from head coach Nick Saban on Jan. 31. Washington was also a strong contender and the early favorite after an official visit Sept. 29.

    In the end, Tennessee landed one of the nation's top linebacker recruits.

    His sideline-to-sideline speed and good instincts should allow him to see the field as a freshman, and he has the upside to develop into a game-changing player for the Vols.

    The De La Salle High School star tallied 76 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, four sacks and two fumble recoveries as a senior.

2. RB Jerrion Ealy (SIGNED—OLE MISS)

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    247SportsNo. 29 overall, No. 3 RB

    Height/Weight: 5'10", 200 lbs

    School: Jackson Prep (Flowood, MS)

    Status: Signed with Ole Miss

    Jerrion Ealy's commitment could be a moot point if he pursues a pro baseball career in June.

    He's one of just four athletes ever to earn Under Armour All-America honors in both football and baseball, and Baseball America recently ranked him as the No. 14 prospect in the 2019 MLB draft. The bonus money that comes with being a first-round pick in baseball could be enough to lure him away from pursuing both sports on campus.

    At any rate, the 5-star running back chose Ole Miss over Alabama, Clemson and Mississippi State on Wednesday.

    Rising senior Scottie Phillips sits atop the running back depth chart for the Rebels after he rushed for 928 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. There should still be plenty of touches for Ealy as a freshman, though, and the door would be wide open for him to seize the starting job as a sophomore.

1. OT Darnell Wright (SIGNED—TENNESSEE)

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    247SportsNo. 10 overall, No. 2 OT

    Height/Weight: 6'6", 320 lbs

    School: Huntington HS (Huntington, WV)

    Status: Signed with Tennessee

    Tennessee has long been viewed as the favorite to land Darnell Wright, and the Volunteers got their guy over Alabama, North Carolina and West Virginia.

    An athletic 6'6", 320-pound left tackle who was an Under Armour All-American, Wright took his official visit to Tennessee on Feb. 1, and the Vols were able to lock up the nation's No. 2 offensive tackle prospect.

    He'll join fellow 5-star Wanya Morris—who ranks No. 28 overall in the class and No. 6 among offensive tackles—as potential cornerstone bookends on the offensive line.

    It was an excellent national signing day for Tennessee, which also hauled in To'oto'o. The Vols have the No. 12 recruiting class in the country.

                    

    All rankings referenced in the article refer to the 247Sports composite rankings.