Class of 2021 Commitment Tracker
John Garcia, Jr.
SI All-American tracks the biggest decision news in the college football recruiting class of 2021 all in one place.
This piece will be updates as junior football prospects make early decisions early in the New Year.
DE Aaron Hall, Durham (N.C.) Southern
Duke keeps the 6-foot-6 defensive end in his home town and it doesn't take very long to see why. Aside from the dream frame coming off the edge, Hall is an accomplished pass catcher and basketball player. Once he adds bulk to his frame he will likely be able to hone in on one position, and one sport, for the first time while enrolled in the ACC. He already plays with great effort on either side of the ball but needs to add technique on defense to become a three-down prospect in college. Hall is the first Duke commitment in the 2021 class.
DB Demarko Williams, Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake
South Carolina dips in the the Atlanta area for another defensive back prospect. Williams plays mostly safety in high school with a strong downhill style despite standing under 6-feet tall. He has snap quickness out of his backpedal and brings the lumber upon contact, perhaps translating well to the nickel position when projecting him within the SEC. Williams' plays on offense make it seem like he has good straight-line speed and overall athleticism, not to mention ball skills.
QB Brock Vandagriff, Bogart (Ga.) Prince Avenue Christian
One of the biggest names in the junior class came off the board after spending time at Georgia over the weekend. Since the elite passer backed off of an Oklahoma commitment on New Year's Day, the industry trend was for him to land close to home in Athens. Vandagriff brings a great balance of precision and athleticism at the game's most important position and represents the first tangible gain for Kirby Smart's reassembled offensive staff as he adjusts to a more open concept of offense. Vandagriff is extremely comfortable on the move and possesses one of the quicker releases in the country. He can change speeds and throw with touch if needed, but has the velocity on the ball to play both outside the numbers and down the field.
LB Kolbe Fields, Metairie (La.) Archbishop Rummel
A read-and-react linebacker with the possibility of playing inside or out depending on his development, Fields flashes good instincts and plays against good competition as well. The first impression of the Oklahoma State commitment on tape provides efficiency in his path to the football with minimal risk. Improved coverage samples could make him a three-down linebacker in this day and age of college ball.
RB Amaad Foston, Milledgeville (Ga.) Milledgeville Academy
Virginia's latest junior commitment plays running back in an old-school, downhill offense and his game reflects as much. He runs with great leverage and balance but also blends in patience and better quickness than scheme and size would suggest. Foston has good initial burst and can make moves laterally when countering the power.
DB Javon McIntyre, Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Charter
An in-state commitment for the Pitt Panthers, McIntyre is a physical secondary prospect with plenty of room to improve from a technical standpoint. But his pop at the point of contact pairs well with his listed size (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) and he flashes some ball skills on tape as well. A versatile sub or safety role makes the most sense when projecting McIntyre into the ACC.
OL Josh Simmons, San Diego (Calif.) Madison
The massive, two-way lineman is the latest Californian to pick the Oregon Ducks. At 6-foot-5, 320-plus pounds he looks like an offensive lineman down the road but on tape he is just bigger, stronger and meaner than just about every player he lines up against. Simmons is comfortable giving ground on the O-line with a wide base and wider block radius. As a run-blocker, he looks like an ideal fit for a power spread scheme like Oregon's with his power and tenacity.
QB Caleb Hood, Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond
Will the in-state star play quarterback in Chapel Hill? That's a question many will ask over the next few years but the legacy prospect, who will be a four-year starter at QB for Richmond High School, picked North Carolina over the weekend. A great athlete and ball handler, Hood has the ability to read defenses at the mesh point as much as he does when they're in coverage. He appears quicker than fast but also has a physical element to his game that makes one think he can excel at multiple positions. Also a basketball player, Hood has plenty of tools no matter where he lines up in the future.
OL Cullen Montgomery, Bellaire (Texas) Episcopal
Oklahoma picked up another top area prospect along the offensive line in Montgomery. He plays right tackle at the prep level with a nice combination of size (6-foot-5, 315 pounds) and movement skill relative to the frame. He may not be built for getting to the second level on routine but is rock solid in short areas with enough length and pop to look efficient as both a pass and run blocker. Montgomery may slide to guard in college.
DL Mekhi Wingo, Saint Louis (Mo.) DeSmet
Staying in-state with Missouri, Wingo looks like the pass-rushing interior defensive lineman the Tigers have thrived with over the years. He registered 15 sacks in 2019 thanks to power and quickness on a 6-foot, 280-pound frame. He works with some polished moves off of the snap, particularly with his violent hands. Wingo's movement skill is among the best we've seen in the early stages of evaluating the class of 2021 and keeping him home is a big deal for new Missouri head man Eli Drinkwitz.
OL Jaelin Alstott-VanDeVanter, Mooresville (Ind.)
Hello prototype young offensive line frame. The Purdue Boilermakers kept this relative unknown within state lines before he had the chance to blow up and become a prized recruit outside of the region. At 6-foot-7, 260 pounds, Alstott-VanDeVanter is still clearly growing into his massive frame. His game is along similar lines in that he is still far from polished as a pass protector and with his footwork in general. At this stage he looks much more comfortable moving forward than retreating, but Alstott-VanDeVanter does show some pop and grit in getting low to match his opponents plane.
OL Donovan Jackson, Bellaire (Texas) Episcopal
Another elite Texan is leaving the state. One of the programs that has worked the state about as well as any other out-of-state school (just watch the upcoming NFL Draft) is Ohio State, who added Jackson Wednesday evening. The reigning offensive line MVP of The Opening Finals, the 6-foot-4, 308-pounder is about as polished as an underclassman can be. He is a balanced blocker versus the pass and the run, is physically developed and plays with the dominance one would expect given his national offer list. The only question remaining here is whether or not he's long enough to play tackle in the Big Ten. Either way, don't expect Jackson to sit very long in Columbus.
ATH Brashard Smith, Miami (Fla.) Palmetto
Florida is off to a nice start in the class of 2021, particularly within state lines and in neighboring Georgia. This grab, in the Miami area, is important on many fronts. First, UF has failed to get a running back committed in the current recruiting class of 2020 although the speedy Lorenzo Lingard is transferring in from Miami. Second, Palmetto High is loaded in the 2021 class with at least a quartet of no-brainer Power 5 prospects in defensive backs Jason Marshall, Corey Collier and lineman Leonard Taylor in addition to Smith. Three, getting any potential pipeline going ni Dade County is a big deal. As for the newest Gator's game, he has some three-down talent out of the backfield in that he's crafty and comfortable in space. Smith has enough speed to keep a defense honest but makes his proverbial money on his vision, ability to set up blocks and quickness. More on Smith to UF HERE.
DB Jaylen Johnson, Cincinnati (Ohio) La Salle
Ohio State's first addition of the New Year came from within state lines in Johnson. The defensive back probably projects best at safety with his 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame and downhill style. Johnson is versatile in that he can move well enough to cover a zone in space but fits a defense as an additional sure tackler who can make plays sideline to sideline if needed. Classic rover or new-age nickel linebacker type spots make sense here based on our first impression.
QB Santino Marucci, North Palm Beach (Fla.) Benjamin
Wake Forest lost a pair of current quarterbacks over the last two weeks but Dave Clawson and company also gained his arm of the future in Marucci. The Floridian is a good athlete at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds or so with a wrestling background, but he's known for his passing consistency and accuracy. There's a rock solid fit into what the Demon Deacons want to do on offense, part of the reason the junior popped when he did.
QB Preston Stone, Dallas (Texas) Parrish Episcopal
Sonny Dykes has turned the SMU program into one to watch in the Lone Star State and on the recruiting front, adding Stone is one of the most firm steps in that direction. The dual-threat, in-state star has been a known name since prior to his freshman high school campaign with an offer list to reflect as much. Stone is a fun prospect to watch in that he's athletic enough to extend virtually any passing play, with some gunslinger in his game considering he'll take some chances. He's also a very capable runner who can keep defenses honest all game long. It's not hard to picture a kid like Stone starting right off the bat should SMU's structure remain and on-field run continue.
LB Randolph Kpai, Sioux Falls (S.D.) Washington
Nebraska added Kpai to the commitment list shortly after the year began. The South Dakota native plays both ways on Friday nights, including at the position becoming more and more important for traditional linebackers to dabble with -- running back. Kpai just looks like he's playing at a different speed than his peers at this point, flashing in all three phases as a long striker with better speed than one would expect on a 6-foot-3 frame. We could see him developing into a new-age edge rusher, hybrid linebacker or even man the middle of a defense down the line.
LB Raesjon Davis, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
LSU added former Mater Dei cornerback and SI All-American Elias Ricks to its roster this month and another Monarch defender is headed to the SEC West in Davis. Like we said about Ricks in years prior, Davis looks like he's already in college with how physically developed he is. Already in the 6-foot-1, 215-pound range, he looks like he can play a different position in any three-down scenario. Davis moves well enough to rush the passer or play in coverage with serious downhill physicality when needed. Few linebacker types have the tape this junior already does and it may translate to playing very early, even in the SEC West.
QB Jake Rubley, Littleton (Colo.) Highlands Ranch
A big pro-style passer, Rubley picked Kansas State to kick off the year. He stands tall in the pocket with a strong, powerful release at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds or so. Rubley can take something off of the ball and play with touch if needed and also moves better than his size suggests. He just looks like the type of passer who racks up big numbers in the Big 12 and he'll have another year to polish up his footwork and get through progressions faster before doing so in Manhattan.