It’s time for the 2017 Under Armour All-America Game, and that means plenty of excitement and looming surprises on the recruiting trail.
Okay, I’ve had enough. I’m ready to leave Las Vegas and hop on a plane back to Chicago.
The holidays are fun, but I’ve had about as much of the unhealthy eating, couch laying, and “quality” family time that I can possibly take.
The one bit of good news about this weekend — aside from 2016 finally ending — is that we get to watch some of the country’s best high school football players go toe-to-toe in the 2017 Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando.
With that, let’s dive right into the bulk of the recruiting news going on right now.
Earlier this week we learned that 4-star defensive end Lagaryonn Carson was no longer a part of the Longhorns’ 2017 recruiting class, and I was highly disappointed. I’ve spoken to Carson many times over the past year, and he truly bleeds burnt orange. He was the first recruit to join Texas’ class, and he has actively recruited for the Longhorns and been a wonderful brand ambassador for them.
He told me he does not currently hold a scholarship offer from the new Texas coaching staff, nor has he spoken with Tom Herman about it. However, the staff is supposed to meet with Carson after the recruiting dead period ends to see if it can find a solution. Carson does not want to be anywhere other than Austin, and he won’t consider any options until the Longhorns ship has officially sailed.
The good news for Longhorns fans is I have been told by a source close to Texas’ 2017 recruiting class that there are two silent commits waiting in the wings: one on offense and one on defense. They’ll surely be great additions to the team and will fit right in with what Herman wants to do in Austin.
Goodbye, Dalvin; Hello, Three-Headed Monster
FSU fans will certainly miss watching Dalvin Cook roast defenses at Doak Campbell, but trust me, things aren’t going to drop off for the Seminoles’ running game.
On Tuesday, 5-star running back Cam Akers, a former Alabama commit, gave his pledge to Jimbo Fisher’s staff, and things just got a lot scarier for college football — especially the ACC. Florida State already had commitments from 4-star running backs Khalan Laborn and Zaquandre White. There is some buzz about FSU possibly losing either Laborn or White, but I don’t see that happening. I think Fisher holds on to the whole batch and fields a backfield of all three talented tailbacks.
The ‘Noles will quite literally run all over their opponents, and the combination of Akers, Laborn and White will be lethal. That Tallahassee trio will be fun to watch.
James Robinson’s Florida Future
It’s been a rocky recruitment for the 4-star wide receiver, but the Gators have certainly increased their efforts in trying to bring him to Gainesville. At one time, it seemed as though Robinson would head to Clemson. Then Florida hired Torrian Gray, and things changed in a big way.
Robinson and Gray have a great relationship, and that will be what ultimately lands Robinson in The Swamp. He and 4-star wide receiver Daquon Green will be two nice additions to Florida’s receiving core, as I expect Robinson to commit to the Gators over Oklahoma, who had been surging in Robinson’s recruitment until recently. Robinson has been showing out at the Under Armour practices, so Florida fans can get excited about that.
Marvin Wilson Is A Monster
The nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle has been eating offensive linemen alive at the Under Armour practices, and it really provides a flashback to last year when Rashan Gary and Ed Oliver dominated in the 2016 Under Armour All-America Game. Expect Wilson to put on a show come this Sunday.
I still believe Ohio State has a shot at landing Wilson, but LSU is definitely in the hunt with Florida State and Oklahoma. The fifth team in Wilson’s top five is USF, but I think that is purely out of respect for Charlie Strong. Plenty of the LSU commits have been in Wilson’s ear over the past few months, trying to get him to Baton Rouge, but with the momentum FSU has, having landed Akers and defensive end Joshua Kaindoh, I wouldn’t put it past the Seminoles to land Wilson, too.
Okay, so it’s not really turning. Alabama is still going to finish with a top-three recruiting class this cycle, so there is no reason for Crimson Tide fans to worry. However, Alabama is in the hunt for two players set to announce on Sunday, and I believe the Tide will miss out on both.
Five-star athlete DeAngelo Gibbs is one of them, but it appears as though Georgia will edge out Alabama for his commitment in what has been a closer race than expected. Xavier McKinney, a former Crimson Tide commit, is also going to announce, but he’ll most likely end up with Clemson instead of re-joining Alabama’s class.
LSU’s Next Batch Of DBs
The Tigers have made their claims for the DBU title over the years, and we’ll have the joy of watching the next crop of LSU defensive backs on Sunday. Kary Vincent Jr. could end up being the next elite cornerback to come out of Baton Rouge three years from now, and he’ll have help over the middle from 4-star safety Grant Delpit. I also believe LSU will end up adding 4-star safety Todd Harris to its class. All three are suiting up for Team Armour, too.
Anthony McFarland and Najee Harris
As you probably know, some people believe the country’s No. 1 player will stick to his Alabama pledge. Some believe he’ll flip to Michigan. I tend to favor the latter — and kudos to you if you picked up on the Robert Frost reference there.
And while Najee Harris will be playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl a week after the Under Armour game, your attention should be paid to Anthony McFarland. He was supposed to play in the UA game but can’t because of an injury.
I still believe the chatter that Alabama will look to replace Harris with McFarland if the former ends up flipping has serious legs. Maryland and Miami are also in the running for McFarland, but I believe he’ll take Harris’ decision into consideration for his own. And, with the Army game coming up soon, Harris will have to make up his mind within the next few days.