Countdown to Signing Day - December 9, 2020

Track college football recruiting news as it happens, all in one place
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As SI All-American tracks college football's top prospects in the class of 2021, there have been spikes in movement each day leading up to the Early Signing Period kicking off December 16.

From prospect commitments to decommitments, new scholarship offers, the shuffling of top schools to deciding whether or not to sign in December or wait until the traditional period beginning February 3, there hasn't been a lack of news items to stay on top of.

In our attempt to keep our audience informed each step of the way in the race for America's top college football recruiting class, we will chronicle the latest news as it comes across our desk in one-stop shop fashion.

(All times Eastern Standard Time)

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8:37 pm - Ole Miss scorching on the trail

After two more verbal commitments in Wednesday -- lineman Makylan Pounders and wideout Brandon Burkhaulter -- Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss have landed six prospects in the six days. To make matters more impressive within state lines, the two newest additions were once recently committed to Mississippi State. Don't look now but the Rebels are up to 17 verbal commitment and SIAA hears the program is still in on some major targets set to soon decide, including at least one currently committed elsewhere. More on the Grove Report

7:15 pm - Vandy loses first commitment since firing Mason

The seemingly inevitable went down Wednesday night as Vanderbilt lost the verbal commitment of Akron (Ohio) Copley pass rusher Antoine Campbell, he announced. The 6-foot-4 prospect, who was offered by UCLA over the weekend, had been committed to the SEC program since August. Vandy is now at 19 commitments in the class to date. Campbell tells SI All-American he plans on signing next week despite reopening his recruitment. 

6:00 - SI99 OT Leigh checking out The Swamp

After seeing Oklahoma alongside Caleb Williams last weekend, SI99 offensive tackle talent Tristan Leigh will visit Gainesville for the final weekend before the Early Signing Period. The Gators are in a battle with heavy hitters after Leigh including Ohio State, LSU, Oklahoma and Clemson, among others. 

More on the trip here.

5:53 pm - Notre Dame continues hot streak

Notre Dame has been one of the hottest programs on the recruiting trail since our November rankings. The Irish have now flipped EDGE Devin Aupiu from UCLA.

From California, Aupiu is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound EDGE who could work as a Vyper in defensive coordinator Clark Lea's system in South Bend. The Irish now have 24 commitments.

4:30 pm - Record-breaking QB Keyes will wait until February

Few prep careers are as decorated as 2021 passer Ty Keyes of Taylorsville (Miss.) High School. He not only just led the program to its third state title in four years, but now holds the Mississippi all-time total yards record in the process. The dual-threat backed off of a Tulane verbal commitment in the last week and will take his time in making a final decision, telling SIAA he will sign a National Letter of Intent in February and not December. Tulane offensive coordinator Will Hall left the program in favor of the head job at Southern Miss, one of Keyes' suitors. 

3:56 pm - McCoy to Minny

A program enjoying one of its best years in 2021 recruiting is Minnesota. The Golden Gophers have the No. 19 class in the country, per SI All-American's recruiting class rankings - which is higher than the likes of Texas and Florida State.

Head coach P.J. Fleck added to his burrow today by securing a commitment from IDL Luther McCoy out of Florida. McCoy's pledge gives Minnesota 17 commitments for the early signing period.

3:23 pm - Chatter on Emeka Egbuka ahead of Friday Announcement

Emeka Egbuka, the No. 1 WR prospect in the 2021 class, is expected to announce his commitment this Friday at 5pm PT. The No. 10 overall prospect in the SI99 visited Oklahoma last weekend, where he connected with QB Caleb Williams, a Sooner pledge and the No. 1 prospect in the country. Ohio State has also been well-linked to Egbuka, with his relationship with WR coach Brian Hartline being a factor. 

Yet, SI All-American was told earlier this week that a prominent Washington commitment has told several people Egbuka will be a Husky. 

Stay tuned. 

10:45 am - QB Jaxson Dart says USC coming consistently

The Utah state champion and America's leading passer remains uncommitted and considering his top five of USC, UCLA, Arizona State, Washington State and BYU. While he recently told SIAA that the Cougars have been on the case longer than any other finalists, USC appears to be making a move in the short term.

"It has heightened a little," Dart said of USC's push since Jake Garcia backed off of the Trojan pledge. "They’ve been as or more consistent than anybody else."

Dart plans on signing with one of the five programs next week. 

9:30 am - Overall Early Signing Period numbers to dip?

We are expecting the majority of FBS prospects to ink next week instead of signing in February, but there is an added hesitation to a large group of seniors due to the lack of information and visits altered by the pandemic. In recent years, upwards of 75% of the entire FBS recruiting class has signed in December, leaving select big fish and late risers for February. 

The majority likely still will sign this month, but we're anticipating the number closer to 60-40 in favor of December this time around. Factor in some coaching staff turnover going down later than usual (Vanderbilt, South Alabama, UL-Monroe remain open) and it pushes back the process even more towards February. 

9:00 am - Several options for Richey late in the game

Georgia Tech and Alabama offensive line prospect Eli Richey parted ways on Monday and the 48 hours that followed have been busy for the 6-foot-5, 300-pounder. He told SIAA Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, Minnesota and Virginia Tech are among those interested at this late stretch. Richey says whether or not he signs in December is still to be determined over the next week, something he shares in common with dozens of FBS prospects. 

8:10 am - Alabama A&M adds MLB legacy prospect

We missed this day-of, but Alabama A&M picked up a relatively big quarterback commitment from O'Fallon (Mo.) Living Word Christian quarterback Kaden McMullen. The son of former pro pitcher Mike McMullen stands 6-foot-4 and wrapped up a great prep career in 2020, finishing with 6,843 yards and 73 passing touchdowns to go along with 1,039 yards and another dozen scores on the ground. McMullen visited the north Alabama program over the weekend and came back ready to end his recruitment. 

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