The Early Signing Period, where the bulk of the class of 2022 football recruits will sign with college programs, will open on Dec. 15. It means a week from Wednesday will tell a grand tale on the talent coming to college football rosters relatively soon.
Before that point, there is still much to be determined, even for the most coveted position group out there—the quarterback. Coaching changes, late visits and more factor into some late-in-the-cycle dominoes for the future of the QB spot.
Jacurri Brown in flux
Things change quickly in recruiting. A week ago Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes High School quarterback Jacurri Brown was rock-solid to Miami, meeting with Manny Diaz and his staff inside his south Georgia home. Ole Miss was beginning to get in contact, through Lane Kiffin but more consistently from offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. After the weekend, almost every element of the pitches he heard just days ago are different.
Miami fired Diaz on Monday, paving the way for the long-discussed Mario Cristobal hire to take place. Lebby appears on his way to Oklahoma to pair with new coach Brent Venables, just ahead of plans being finalized for Brown to take in Oxford for the first time. That trip is now off, as of later Monday morning, as Brown now has to sit back and see who Cristobal will bring in to run the Hurricanes' offense.
Swann to Vanderbilt
Several programs, typically those turning over the roster like first-year coach Clark Lea at Vanderbilt, will bring in multiple arms in the first full recruiting cycle. Auburn has tried, Texas and Notre Dame as well of late, but it's easier said than done. Vandy has done it, as of Sunday afternoon, in flipping AJ Swann from Maryland.
The Georgia native has always wanted to play in the SEC, and now he will get his shot to do so against the program he grew up rooting for, Georgia, every single year. He pairs with Texan Drew Dickey in a formidable QB duo to steady the rest of the Commodore close on the recruiting trail. Spring 2022 will be busy in the Nashville QB room as the freshmen battle veterans Mike Wright and Ken Seals for reps.
Maryland Making run at Meredith
One of the more surprising de-commitments among passers came late last week in Hoover (Ala.) High School's Bennett Meredith backing off a relatively recent pledge to Northwestern. Despite being committed for just more than one month, there is plenty of interest in the senior-riser, who led Hoover to a 12–1 record in 2021.
Arizona State hosted him for a visit in which he "loved" the first impression of campus, but Maryland will get a chance to match when they host him this coming weekend for an official visit. Other programs like Washington State, Troy, South Alabama and Rice have also made contact since the decommitment came down. Expect a final call before pen meets paper on signing day, with the Sun Devils and Terrapins in the best spot.
"Hopefully I’ll have a decision here pretty soon," Meredith told Sports Illustrated.
Lyddy Looking at three
A longtime commitment to Louisiana Tech, Louisianan Landry Lyddy was beginning to hear from additional FBS programs before Skip Holtz was let go in Ruston. Since, programs like Boise State and SMU have visited with him and extended scholarship offers his way. On Monday, La. Tech's new coaching staff, led by Sonny Cumbie, is expected to send multiple coaches to the Lyddy home for a new pitch.
The excellent ball distributor is still committed to the Bulldogs as of this writing, but each final pitch will continue to be heard, and a late official visit beyond state lines could be materializing late in the game. Cumbie's new staff has a shot, but it won't be easy with the others in pursuit, and we wouldn't rule out a Power 5 program jumping in the mix later in the game, either.
Others to eye
As the coaching carousel continues to spin, it's never too early to consider what could come of other quarterbacks currently committed to programs in transition. Gordo (Ala.) High School star Tanner Bailey has been committed to Oregon since March, but his coach is all but certain to be on the move to Miami. Who does Cristobal take with him? Any combination of names could cause for late curiosity to the athletic and tough signal-caller.
Henry Belin has been quiet on the trail since picking Duke in July, but the New Yorker has to begin to wonder what the process may look like late in the game. Fellow ACC programs Pitt and Syracuse were among his options before he picked the Blue Devils, as was Rutgers more locally in the Big Ten. Neither program has a verbal commitment from a QB on board in the class to date.
Don't Forget About the portal
Ohio State transfer Quinn Ewers and former Oklahoma star Spencer Rattler are dominating the transfer portal talk, but Dillon Gabriel's weekend trip to Ole Miss bears watching as well. He has ties to the aforementioned Lebby, the program's current offensive coordinator, dating back to their time together at UCF. That of course is big if Lebby is to remain in Oxford, though reports over the weekend suggest it's not very likely he stays in town.
As for Ewers, he has already been busy. Steve Sarkisian at Texas has spent time courting the one-time Longhorn commitment, but it was new Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire who was the first to get the freshman on campus for a visit. Whoever lands the well-known talent will see an immediate boost to the 2022 recruiting class, the group Ewers was initially a part of, given his national reach and relationships he built before reclassifying late in the summer.
Rattler's camp has been much quieter on the recruiting trail as far as we can tell, something we would expect to change relatively soon as the coaching carousel begins to wind down. The Arizona State rumor was shot down as quickly as Jayden Daniels's announcing his return to Tempe, so a close-to-home option like UCLA makes sense while the new staff at USC and Oklahoma will certainly play a part, right?