Four-star outside linebacker Willie Gay is down to four schools in his recruitment, and the Campus Insiders staff gave its predictions on where the Mississippi prospect will end up committing on National Signing Day.
The dead period is about to set in and throw recruiting stories out of whack. When the dead period hits, coaches will have to rely on their staffs’ work and hope their programs can stay in the hunt through the magic of cellphones for a number of recruits.
One prospect that programs are hoping to snag when National Signing Day (NSD) rolls around is 4-star prospect Willie Gay, from Starkville, Mississippi.
Gay is the No. 6 outside linebacker and No. 89 overall player in the 2017 recruiting class. He decommitted from Ole Miss in October and is now down to the Rebels, LSU, Michigan and Mississippi State as his final four schools.
With two official visits (OVs) having been spent in Ann Arbor and Oxford, Gay is set to spend two more in Baton Rouge and Starkville in January.
The Campus Insiders staff came together and offered predictions as to where Gay will fax in his National Letter of Intent to on Feb. 1.
A couple of months ago, I felt as though it was certain Gay would end up at Ole Miss. Then he flirted with Florida and Michigan, with the Wolverines seemingly making a big impact on his recruitment.
I don’t buy Mississippi State’s stock in this one; the fact he’s from Starkville isn’t enough to make him a Bulldog. Jim Harbaugh, Chris Partridge and Don Brown have made him feel wanted, and he’ll end up in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines are building a stout defense, and Gay will want to be a part of it. I’m picking Michigan as the team he signs with on National Signing Day.
It’s going to be between LSU and Michigan. Ultimately I expect Ed Orgeron to make a hard push for Gay.
LSU is expected to get an OV in January, just before NSD. Orgeron can sell Gay on playing for the new-look Tigers and ushering in a new era in Baton Rouge. It’s still close enough to home, as compared to Ann Arbor, and linebacker is a position of need for LSU. While athlete Patrick Queen, who could play either safety or outside linebacker at the next level, is committed, Gay would be the cornerstone of the class at linebacker. Orgeron can sell him on that, and ultimately pulls it off in the end following a fantastic visit for Gay.
LSU. Gay isn’t a make-or-break commitment for Ed Orgeron, but he is certainly a pivotal recruit. Among the reasons Orgeron was awarded his new position was his ability to recruit. Here we have a defensive player (Coach O worked extensively on the defensive side of the ball) who has decommitted from a division foe – that makes for a nice coups.
With Gay taking a late visit to LSU before NSD, the Tigers staff must close this deal. They’re not landing home-state prospect Dylan Moses, who is firmly entrenched with Alabama, so plucking a recruit out from under Ole Miss, as well as Mississippi State, would be a very nice consolation. The Tigers need an OLB more than Gay’s top suitors, so we can be fairly certain that will be part of the pitch.
Dave Aranda just notched a big raise. Orgeron just landed his dream job. Part of the reason was for winning games. The other part was for their ability to lock down premier recruits at the 11th hour. Time to prove that Joe Alleva’s faith (and paychecks) isn’t misguided.
It doesn’t help Mississippi State’s cause that Dan Mullen was a reported finalist for the Oregon job, although recruits these days understand the business and that coaches leave quite regularly. Ultimately, I think he will choose LSU, which has a defensive coordinator in Dave Aranda that is one of the best in the business. Plus, the Bayou Bengals have a need at Gay’s position, which has produced a plethora of NFL Draft picks in the school’s recent history.