Early National Signing Day 2020: Predictions for Top Football Recruits
The early signing period is almost here. Come Wednesday, many of the top high school football players around the country will be making their college choices official. Some have already committed, but once they send in their national letters of intent, their choice is locked in.
This year's early signing period is a three-day stretch. In recent years, this format has led to many top recruits taking advantage of this opportunity rather than waiting for the traditional signing day in February.
While some recruits' choices won't come as a surprise, there are sure to be a few shockers, particularly from the players who remain uncommitted. And some of those bombshells won't come until after the early signing period has come and gone.
Here are predictions for where several top uncommitted 2021 recruits will end up going to college next year.
Alabama Will Land 5-Star LB Sorey in Early Signing Period
One of the top recruits scheduled to make a decision during the early signing period is Xavian Sorey, a 5-star linebacker out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. It's known he will be heading to the SEC, as he recently trimmed his list to three schools: Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
Set to announce his signing Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET, Sorey is going to be one of the top defensive recruits in the 2021 class. And while it's plausible that he could sign with any of the three, what better spot for a standout linebacker to end up in than playing for head coach Nick Saban's vaunted Crimson Tide defense?
Alabama has churned out plenty of NFL-quality linebackers during the Saban era, and Sorey could be the next. He is the No. 20 overall recruit in the 2021 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings, and the No. 1 outside linebacker. He has a ton of potential, and with the Crimson Tide sitting as the No. 1 team in the country, the idea of joining them next season will be enticing.
It wouldn't be a huge shocker if Sorey chose Florida or Georgia instead. Rivals.com's Chad Simmons recently noted that Sorey has kept experts guessing by not doing many interviews and not revealing much of his thought process.
But three days before the SEC Championship Game, expect Saban to land Sorey and provide a huge boost to Alabama's future.
Oklahoma Will Edge Alabama for 5-Star RB Wheaton
Camar Wheaton, a 5-star running back out of Lakeview Centennial High School in Garland, Texas, has narrowed his list of colleges to two. He will be committing to either Oklahoma or Alabama. He just won't be announcing that decision until after the early signing period, as he's scheduled to do so on Dec. 23 at 5 p.m. ET.
It will be worth the extra wait for either the Sooners or Crimson Tide, though. Wheaton is the No. 26 overall recruit in the 2021 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings, and the No. 2 running back.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball gives Oklahoma a 100 percent chance of landing Wheaton, which makes sense. The Sooners have a high-powered offense in which Wheaton could thrive, plus they also have a former NFL running back (DeMarco Murray) on their staff. It seems like a great situation for Wheaton, who had high praise for the program back in August, calling his first visit "very good."
He added, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports: "Just wanted to get to know everybody and build a relationship with DeMarco Murray. He's super cool, very relatable. He gets things and seems like a very smart guy."
If Wheaton picks Alabama, it would be a surprise. The prediction here is that he will be heading to Oklahoma in 2021.
5-Star DE Foreman Stays Close to Home, Heads to USC
Korey Foreman, a 5-star defensive end from Centennial High School in Corona, California, was once committed to Clemson, but he decommitted in April. When he commits again Jan. 2 at 1 p.m., it's still possible he could choose the Tigers. However, there are other schools in the running, including LSU, Georgia and Arizona State.
Or Foreman could end up staying close to home, deciding to play for head coach Clay Helton at USC. He's the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2021 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings, so it would be a huge boost if the Trojans could sway him to stay in state and play for them.
As Greg Biggins of 247Sports recently noted, USC "has rallied significantly all year to a place now where many feel they could be the team to beat." It's far from a sure thing, but Foreman could find the idea of playing for a top program so close to home appealing, perhaps giving the Trojans an edge over the other schools.
There are going to be plenty of eyes on Foreman when he announces his commitment, and he's primed to have a great college career. Several schools will end up disappointed, but not USC, which will see its recruiting efforts pay off in a big way.