- With a short list that includes most of the nation's elite programs, Nicholas Petit-Frere is in high demand ahead of signing day.
National Signing Day probably won’t be as eventful this year as it has been in the past. Most of the top prospects in the class of 2018 ended their recruitments by sending in their National Letter of Intent during the end of the new, 72-hour early signing period last month. But there remain coveted prospects in the class who have yet to finalize their college decisions, including four with five-star ratings two weeks out from signing day, according to the 247Sports Composite. SI.com is breaking down each one of them before the cycle effectively draws to a close on Feb. 7. We already looked at Patrick Surtain Jr. and Tyson Campbell. Next up is Nicholas Petit-Frere.
Fast Facts: Nicholas Petit-Frere
Position: Offensive tackle
247Sports Composite rank (as of Jan. 26): No. 7 in the class of 2018, No. 1 OT
Height/weight: 6'6"/272 pounds
High School: Berkeley Preparatory School (Tampa, Fla.)
Petit-Frere is one of four offensive tackle recruits in the 247Sports Composite who currently boast five-star ratings. (The three others are Georgia signee Cade Mays, Clemson signee Jackson Carman and Oklahoma signee Brey Walker.) He was named a first-team All-American by MaxPreps and participated in the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando earlier this month. Petit-Frere “is the most athletic lineman in the 2018 class and he is just now scratching the surface of his potential,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Luke Stampini wrote in highlighting him as one of the top performers at the event.
This recruitment seems more wide open than that of Surtain, who sits right above Petit-Frere in the overall player rankings, and Campbell, the only other unclaimed top-12 recruit. Petit-Frere took official visits to Michigan and Notre Dame during the season and visited Alabama in January, with plans to visit Florida (Jan. 26) and Ohio State (Feb. 2) over the final two weekends before signing day.
Where he fits
What seems obvious is that Petit-Frere will either play college football in the Southeast or the Midwest. Which school has the best shot at reeling him in as signing day approaches, and the possibility that will change before February 7, are far less clear. Petit-Frere got another up-close look at the Wolverines last month when he saw them practicing at his high school in advance of their Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina on New Year’s Day.
If in-state program Florida were to sign Petit-Frere, it would give new head coach Dan Mullen another important recruiting win on the offensive side of the ball, following the Gators’ addition of four-star quarterback Emory Jones in December. Other contenders for Petit-Frere can point to more favorable recent on-field results. It’s worth mentioning one recent development that could affect Petit-Frere’s thinking: Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand’s recent departure for the Chicago Bears. The Irish promoted Jeff Quinn to take Hiestand’s place.