National Signing Day 2016 live blog: College football recruiting updates
The race to National Signing Day 2016 enters its final stretch. SI and Scout.com have partnered to provide complete coverage of college football recruiting.
SI.com’s team of writers will provide running analysis of all the latest recruiting developments on National Signing Day. All times listed are ET. For additional coverage, check out Signing Day Central’s live show, breaking down the biggest commitments and news of the day. Keep tabs on where the top recruits are headed with the Scout 300, check out Scout.com’s up-to-the-minute class rankings and stay current with the latest commitments across the FBS.
And read Gabriel Baumgaertner's breakdown of No. 1 recruit Rashan Gary's commitment to Michigan.
6:30 p.m — Thanks for reading
We're still waiting on five-star linebacker Caleb Kelly's commitment at 8:30 p.m. tonight, so check back on SI.com then to find out where he's going. But this will do it for the live blog today. Thanks for following along. National Signing Day Live will continue breaking down the biggest commitments of the day and interviewing coaches until 7:30 p.m.
4:43 p.m. — Five-star Jones commits to USC
Five-star athlete Jack Jones committed to USC on Wednesday.
Jones is the No. 15 overall recruit in the class of 2016 and is the country’s top-ranked athlete, according to Scout.com. He was also considering Alabama and Texas A&M. Jones, one of the country’s best prep cornerbacks, is expected to contribute as a receiver and kick returner in college. In the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Jones padded the West’s 39–7 win with a fourth-quarter interception.
For more on Jones's pledge to the Trojans, read Zac Ellis's full report.
3:35 p.m. — Four-star Tagaloa picks UCLA
Four-star defensive tackle Boss Tagaloa committed to UCLA on Wednesday.
Tagaloa is the No. 87 overall prospect in the class of 2016 and the No. 12 player at his position, according to Scout.com. He selected UCLA over Michigan, Cal and USC, among other schools.
For more on Tagaloa's pledge to the Bruins, read SI.com's full report.
3:30 p.m. — Four-star Asiasi commits to Michigan
Four-star tight end Devin Asiasi committed to Michigan on Wednesday.
Asiasi is the No. 67 overall recruit in the class of 2016 and the No. 4 tight end, according to Scout.com. The De La Salle High product had narrowed his choices down to Michigan, UCLA, USC, Washington and Alabama in recent weeks.
The 265-pound receiver played at De La Salle alongside Boss Tagaloa, the nation’s No. 12 defensive tackle, per Scout.com, who committed to UCLA moments after Asiasi's pledge to the Wolverines.
For more on Asiasi's commitment to Michigan, read SI.com's full report.
3:20 p.m. — Five-star Juarez commits to UCLA
Mique Juarez is staying in his home state for college. The North Torrance (Calif.) High standout announced on National Signing Day that he is headed to UCLA.
Juarez chose the the Bruins after identifying UCLA and Ole Miss as his top two last month. However, he raved about his recent visit to Alabama and took his final trip to BYU. Ultimately, neither the Rebels nor those other schools could convince him to move away from the West Coast. The No. 1 outside linebacker and No. 8 player in the class of 2016, Juarez committed to USC last January but elected to reopen his recruitment in October, after the school fired former coach Steve Sarkisian. He had since been referred to as a UCLA “lean.”
For more on Juarez's commitment, read Chris Johnson's full report.
3:15 p.m. — Five-star Brown picks Auburn
Derrick Brown, the No. 9 overall prospect and the No. 4 defensive tackle in the class of 2016, according to Scout.com, has committed to Auburn.
The five-star recruit picked the Tigers over Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State and Tennessee, and he immediately provides a boost to coach Gus Malzahn's incoming haul. Brown, a 6’ 4”, 322-pound standout from Lanier (Ga.) High who was recently named the MaxPreps.com National Player of the Year, tallied 106 tackles, including 42 for loss with 13 sacks, as a senior.
For more on Brown's pledge to the Tigers, read Ben Glicksman's full report.
2:05 p.m. — Four-star Wilson commits to Alabama
Four-star linebacker Lyndell “Mack” Wilson has committed to Alabama, choosing the Crimson Tide over Georgia after visiting both schools in January.
The Montgomery, Ala., product is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 46 overall player in the 2016 class and the No. 2 inside linebacker.
Wilson, who is listed at 6' 2", 230 pounds, was an Under Armour All-America honoree this year but is perhaps best known as the recruit who dabbed with Alabama coach Nick Saban.
For more on Wilson's commitment to the Crimson Tide, read SI.com's full report.
2:00 p.m. — Five-star juco recruit Kongbo picks Tennessee
Five-star junior college defensive end Jonathan Kongbo has committed to Tennessee, he announced on Wednesday.
A 6' 6", 265-pound recruit from Arizona Western, Kongbo chose to play for the Volunteers over USC. He’s ranked as the No. 5 juco player in the class of 2016, according to Scout.com.
For more on Kongbo's pledge to Tennessee, read SI.com's full report.
1:13 p.m. — No. 1 recruit Gary commits to Michigan
The nation’s consensus No. 1 recruit, Rashan Gary, announced his commitment to Michigan on Wednesday afternoon. The 6’ 4”, 286-pound defensive tackle received offers from virtually every major program, but recently narrowed his choices to the Wolverines and Clemson. Considered the most NFL-ready recruit by Scout.com, the Paramus (N.J.) Catholic product will likely see the field next fall.
Long considered a Michigan lean, Gary springs the Wolverines’ class toward the top of the 2016 rankings. He is the best recruit signed by Jim Harbaugh since the coach landed quarterback Andrew Luck at Stanford in ’08. Michigan held off a late push from Clemson, the main challenger for Gary as Signing Day neared.
For more on Gary's decision, read Gabriel Baumgaertner's full report.
1:05 p.m. — LSU adds four-star Fulton to loaded DB class
Four-star cornerback Kristian Fulton committed to LSU on Wednesday, joining the Tigers’ highly touted recruiting class.
A 6-foot, 172-pounder, Fulton is ranked as the No. 3 cornerback and No. 34 overall recruit in the class of 2016. He joins five-star Saivion Smith, the No. 2 cornerback in this year’s recruiting class, and four-star safety Eric Monroe in forming a loaded secondary for LSU, a program that prides itself on its defensive backfield talent.
Fulton also considered Florida and Arkansas and took an official visit to Gainesville last week. Still, the Metairie, La., native settled on the home-state Tigers. He adds to an impressive haul for Les Miles in Louisiana. With Fulton’s pledge, LSU is set to add all of the top five players from the Pelican State and 12 of the top 14.
For more on Fulton's pledge to LSU, read Colin Becht's full report.
12:45 p.m. — Five-star Simmons commits to Mississippi State
Jeffery Simmons, a five-star defensive end from Macon, Miss., committed to Mississippi State on Wednesday afternoon. Simmons was deciding between the Bulldogs, Ole Miss and Alabama.
Standing at 6’ 4” and 270 pounds, Simmons is one of the best prospects to emerge from the state of Mississippi since five-star defensive end Chris Jones committed to Mississippi State in 2013. The Noxubee County High product finished with 105 total tackles, including 18.5 sacks, according to MaxPreps.com.
For more on Simmons's pledge to Mississippi State, read Gabriel Baumgaertner's full report.
12:35 p.m. — Four-star Dickerson commits to Florida State
Four-star offensive lineman Landon Dickerson has committed to Florida State.
Dickerson is the No. 76 player and the No. 4 offensive guard in the class of 2016, according to Scout.com. The Hudson, N.C., native was a U.S. Army All-American selection this season.
Dickerson, who held offers from schools throughout the SEC and ACC, chose the Seminoles over finalists Alabama and Tennessee. He joins a top-tier Florida State recruiting class that currently ranks No. 5 in the nation.
For more on Dickerson's pledge to the Seminoles, read SI.com's full report.
12:30 p.m. — Four-star Murphy picks USC over Michigan
Four-star defensive end Connor Murphy committed to USC on Wednesday.
The Phoenix native passed on an opportunity to play at Michigan, instead joining the Trojans' 16th-ranked class, according to Scout.com's team ratings.
Murphy is considered the No. 230 overall recruit and No. 27 defensive end in the class of 2016, according to Scout.com. He is a "great looking prospect from a physical standpoint," Scout says. "Has all of the tools to be a big time player. Is tall, long, has good strength and can run. Still developing and raw physically, but the future is bright as he continues to grow. Could potentially play DT, DE or even OT."
12:11 p.m. — Four-star Manuel flips from Florida to Florida State
Prized four-star defensive tackle Shavar Manuel committed to Florida State on Wednesday, flipping his commitment to the Seminoles from in-state rival Florida.
Manuel was long thought to be a Florida State lean, but trended to the Gators over the season and committed on Jan. 5. However, he kept his options open and took an official visit to Tallahassee over the weekend.
Lawrence Dawsey and Brad Lawing were the two primary recruiters here. Manuel is rated as the No. 10 defensive tackle and No. 84 prospect in the 2016 class.
11:45 a.m. — Four-star Malepeai flips from Oregon to USC
Four-star running back Vavae Malepeai flipped his commitment from Oregon to USC on Wednesday.
Malepeai is ranked as the No. 16 running back in this year's class, according to Scout.com. He had been committed to Oregon since June, but reportedly changed his mind after taking an official visit to USC last weekend.
For more on Malepeai's flip to the Trojans, read SI.com's full report.
11:30 a.m. — Four-star McCulloch commits to Texas
Jeffrey McCulloch, the No. 43 overall prospect and the No. 3 outside linebacker in the 2016 recruiting class, per Scout.com, has committed to Texas.
The four-star recruit selected the Longhorns over Alabama, Notre Dame, Stanford and Texas A&M. A 6’ 3”, 225-pound talent out of Houston, McCulloch has said he models his game after J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.
For more on McCulloch's pledge, read Ben Glicksman's full report.
11:20 a.m. — Four-star Craig-Myers picks Auburn over UNC
Four-star wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers committed to Auburn on Wednesday.
Craig-Myers, who had previously been committed to Auburn before opening up his recruitment, chose the Tigers over North Carolina. He also considered Florida State and Ole Miss before dropping them from his list of finalists last week.
The Tampa, Fla. native is the state’s top-ranked wideout and the 52nd overall player in the class of 2016, according to Scout.com.
For more on Craig-Myers's commitment to Auburn, read SI.com's full report.
11:15 a.m. — Four-star Becker commits to Florida State
Orlando (Fla.) Osceola four-star cornerback Carlos Becker has committed to Florida State. Becker chose the Seminoles over Ohio State.
Becker has been one of the fastest rising prospects in the country after a terrific senior campaign. The 6' 3", 185-pound defensive back went from an unheralded three-star talent to the No. 138 prospect in Scout.com's rankings. Rick Trickett and Charles Kelly were the lead recruiters for the No. 13 cornerback in the 2016 class.
11:10 a.m. — Four-star Davis commits to LSU
Four-star wide receiver Drake Davis has committed to LSU, he announced in an essay for The Players’ Tribune. Davis, a Baton Rouge native who played at IMG (Fla.) Academy, also considered Alabama.
For more on Davis's pledge to the Tigers, read SI.com's full report.
10:55 a.m. — Florida State poaches four-star Jackson out of Texas
Four-star linebacker Dontavious Jackson committed to Florida State on Wednesday, making the announcement live on ESPN.
Jackson is the No. 65 overall recruit in the class of 2016 and the No. 4 at his position, according to Scout.com. The Houston native was an Under Armour All-America selection this season.
Jackson, who had over 50 offers, chose the Seminoles over in-state power Texas, along with Alabama, Florida and Michigan.
For more on Jackson's pledge to Florida State, read SI.com's full report.
10:50 a.m. — Four-star Fowler flips from LSU to Texas
Four-star defensive end Erick Fowler flipped his commitment to Texas from LSU on Wednesday, reports Nick Castillo of the Dallas Morning News.
Fowler is the No. 21 defensive end in the class of 2016, according to Scout.com. He was a U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection this year.
The Manor (Texas) High product's decision comes after Longhorns coach Charlie Strong made a visit to the defensive end’s home last week. Fowler had previously called LSU his “dream school,” and had been committed to the Tigers since June.
For more on Fowler's flip to the Longhorns, read SI.com's full report.
10:25 a.m. — Four-star Brown commits to Ole Miss
Four-star receiver A.J. Brown has committed to Ole Miss.
The Starkville, Miss., native is the No. 5 receiver and No. 52 player in the class of 2016, per Scout.com. He chose the Rebels over Mississippi State and Alabama.
For more on Brown's pledge to the Rebels, read SI.com's full report.
10:20 a.m. — Four-star Cook flips from Florida State to USC
A four-star safety from Miami (Fla.) Central, Jamel Cook, surprisingly committed to USC on Wednesday afternoon.
The touted defensive back was widely expected to sign with Florida State after he committed to the Seminoles in February 2015 but had received increased interest from Alabama, Louisville, USC and LSU over the past months.
For more on Cook's flip to the Trojans, read Gabriel Baumgaertner's full report.
10:18 a.m. — Four-star Mathis picks Ole Miss
Ole Miss landed four-star tight end Jacob Mathis on Wednesday.
The 6' 6", 225-pound product is considered the No. 203 overall recruit and No. 8 tight end in the class of 2016, according to Scout.com. He is well known for his excellent pass-catching ability. "Hands. That is what stands out immediately when breaking down Mathis," Scout.com's evaluation of Mathis says. "Really knows how to catch the ball away from his body. Very strong hands—can catch the ball in traffic, high points ball well and is very consistent. Fluid too for his size and he is going to get bigger. Plays mostly wide receiver, but projects as a hybrid/tight end. Adjusts to the ball well and tracks the ball in the air. Versatile. Can move around."
Mathis adds to a loaded Ole Miss class that currently ranks No. 2 in the country.
10:15 a.m. — Five-star Davis commits to Alabama
Five-star linebacker Ben Davis committed to Alabama on Wednesday, becoming the second five-star recruit to join the Crimson Tide’s 2016 recruiting class.
Davis ranks first among all inside linebacker recruits and 11th overall in the class of 2016, according to Scout.com. His commitment marks a victory for Alabama over Iron Bowl rival Auburn, which had pursued Davis hard and hosted him for his final official visit this past weekend. The Under Armour All-America honoree was also considering Georgia, LSU and Notre Dame.
For more on Davis's pledge to the Crimson Tide, read Colin Becht's full report.
10:10 a.m. — Four-star Carter commits to Alabama
Four-star cornerback Shyheim Carter committed to Alabama on Wednesday.
Carter, a native of Kentwood, La., is the 98th ranked player in the class of 2016, according to Scout.com. He is the 17th commitment in Alabama’s class.
Carter chose the Crimson Tide over Ole Miss, Miami, LSU and Georgia, after making an official visit to Tuscaloosa at the end of last month.
For more on Carter's commitment to Alabama, read SI.com's full report.
10:00 a.m. — Four-star Anderson commits to Ole Miss in skydiving video
Four-star safety Deontay Anderson announced his commitment to Ole Miss on Wednesday in a video of him skydiving.
Anderson, an Under-Armour All-America honoree, visited Ole Miss, Texas and LSU in January before coming to a decision. Scout.com ranks him the No. 57 player in this class and the No. 4 safety in the country.
For more on Anderson's pledge to the Rebels, read SI.com's full report.
9:50 a.m. — Four-star Cleveland flips from Houston to Florida
In what can only be considered in a flip in the loosest of terms, four-star wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland committed to Florida on Wednesday.
The Westfield (Texas) High product pledged to Houston on Dec. 10 but continued to explore his options and referred to National Signing Day in a tweet as when he would “make his college decision.” Cleveland took official visits to TCU, Arkansas and Florida in the last three weeks but ultimately picked the Gators.
For more on Cleveland's flip to Florida, read Colin Becht's full report.
9:45 a.m. — Four-star Jones commits to Oklahoma
Four-star wide receiver Mykel Jones joined National Signing Day Live to reveal his commitment to the Sooners.
The Patterson, La., native spurned the SEC, passing on contenders Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee to pick Oklahoma. Jones is the No. 45 wide receiver in the recruiting class of 2016, according to Scout.com.
He joins a Sooners' class currently ranked No. 22 in the nation.
9:40 a.m. — Four-star Mayden commits to Alabama
Four-star cornerback Jared Mayden committed to Alabama on Wednesday.
Mayden is ranked 56th overall among recruits in the class of 2016 and is the fourth-ranked cornerback in the country, according to Scout.com. He was also considering Oklahoma and had pledged to Oregon before decommitting last month.
Mayden earned unusual attention during his recruitment when he posted a video of Alabama coach Nick Saban doing the Wobble during an in-home visit in January. “We had music playing the whole night, and before he left, we were telling him that he had to dance with us before you leave. So we played the Wobble and he started dancing,” Mayden told SECcountry.com.
For more on Mayden's pledge to Alabama, read Zac Ellis's full report.
9:35 a.m. — Five-star Jones picks Texas over A&M, Baylor
The top safety prospect in the country revealed his college decision on National Signing Day. Five-star Brandon Jones announced that he will attend Texas.
Jones’s recruitment boiled down to a battle between three high-profile programs from the state of Texas: Baylor, Texas and Texas A&M. That followed the release of a top 10 in December that also included Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, Oklahoma and Florida State. In the end, Jones went with the Lone Star State’s flagship university.
For more on Jones's commitment, read Chris Johnson's full report.
9:25 a.m. — Four-star Davis commits to Texas A&M
Four-star wide receiver Quartney Davis committed to Texas A&M on Wednesday, the school announced on Twitter.
Davis is ranked 90th overall among recruits in the class of 2016 and 14th among receivers, according to Scout.com. Davis, a Houston native, chose A&M over Ole Miss and Oklahoma State.
For more on Davis signing with the Aggies, read SI.com's full report.
9:20 a.m. — Four-star Mullen picks Clemson in surprise
Four-star cornerback Trayvon Mullen committed to Clemson on Wednesday.
It was a surprise commitment from the Coconut Creek (Fla.) High product, who was considered more likely to sign with either LSU or Florida State.
For more on Mullen's pledge to Clemson, read SI.com's full report.
8:55 a.m. — Four-star Hudson sticks with Baylor over Texas
The Longhorns gave their best effort to try to flip Patrick Hudson from his commitment to Baylor and got him to take an official visit to Austin, but the four-star guard stayed true to the Bears and faxed his letter of intent to Waco.
Hudson, the No. 68 recruit and No. 3 guard in this year's class, per Scout.com, is considered a "mountain of a prospect, dominating the competition on the 4A level," Scout.com says. "And because of his enormous frame and power when Hudson gains the leverage advantage, it’s over. He is raw as a prospect from a technique standpoint in pass pro, but for his size and frame he has good explosion and runs the field and pulls well—at times clearing lanes 10-15 yards away from the line of scrimmage. He is likely strong enough to compete at the college level early."
The 6'5", 320-pounder is part of a Baylor recruiting class currently ranked 13th in the country and second in the Big 12, according to Scout.com.
8:45 a.m. — Five-star Hardman commits to Georgia
Five-star athlete Mecole Hardman Jr. committed to Georgia on Wednesday.
Hardman is ranked 16th overall in the class of 2016 and is the country’s second-ranked athlete, according to Scout.com. He also considered Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State and Tennessee. Though Hardman can play offense or defense, he served as the starting quarterback for all four seasons at Elbert County High in Elberton, Ga. As a senior last season, Hardman rushed for more than 2,100 yards and passed for more than 700 yards.
For more on Hardman's pledge to Georgia and first-year head coach Kirby Smart, read Zac Ellis's full report.
8:30 a.m. — Five-star Burns commits to Florida State
Brian Burns, the No. 22 player and the No. 5 defensive end in the recruiting class of 2016, has announced he will play his college football at Florida State.
A 6’4”, 218-pound star from American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla., Burns picked the Seminoles over finalists Florida and Georgia. The five-star prospect boasts terrific speed for his size—he was clocked as having run the 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds—and was named the Sun Sentinel’s Defensive Player of the Year. He also apparently has a tremendous spin move.
For more on Burns's commitment, read Ben Glicksman's full report.
8:13 a.m. — Five-star Warrior commits to Tennessee
One of the nation’s top defensive backs revealed his college decision early on National Signing Day. Nigel Warrior announced that he’s headed to Tennessee.
The No. 2 safety and No. 20 player in the class of 2016, according to Scout.com, Warrior chose the Volunteers after narrowing his list to four schools last month: Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Tennessee. Warrior is a Volunteers legacy; his father, Dale Carter, earned All-America honors for the program before becoming a first-round draft pick in 1992. Yet the Tigers reportedly made a late push for Warrior, who took official visits to Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee and Ohio State.
For more on Warrior's pledge to the Volunteers, read Chris Johnson's full report.
7:00 a.m. — Welcome to SI.com’s National Signing Day 2016 blog!
The hype and anticipation has all led to this. National Signing Day 2016 has finally arrived. The futures of some of the most touted prospects will begin to take shape with the announcement of their college destinations. Thirty of the top 100 recruits remain up for grabs, including top-rated prospect Rashan Gary, No. 8 Mique Juarez, No. 9 Derrick Brown, No. 10 Jeffery Simmons and No. 15 Jack Jones.
Who will wind up with these prizes and the other top recruits? Which school will end the day with the best class in country? We’ll find out over the next 14 hours.
As Signing Day gets underway, here is a list of early announcements to watch:
• 8 a.m.: Nigel Warrior (No. 20 overall, No. 2 safety)
• 8:30 a.m.: Mecole Hardman Jr. (No. 16 overall, No. 2 athlete)
• 9 a.m.: Trayvon Mullen (No. 72 overall, No. 6 cornerback), Brandon Jones (No. 19 overall, No. 1 safety)
• 9:15 a.m.: Jared Mayden (No. 56 overall, No. 4 cornerback)
• 10 a.m.: Ben Davis (No. 11 overall, No. 1 inside linebacker), Deontay Anderson (No. 57 overall, No. 4 safety), Dontavious Jackson (No. 65 overall, No. 4 inside linebacker)