The Latest on the Six Prospects Undecided in the SI99
John Garcia, Jr.
The Postseason SI99, SI All-Americans ranking of the top class of 2021 prospects nationally, was released on Friday and most of the members already know their college destination.
Six of the 99, however, remain undecided ahead of National Signing Day on February 3.
With the unofficial college football holiday exactly two weeks away, SIAA looks at the state of each of the SI99 member's recruitment as far as we know. This does not include Tennessee's sole SI99 member in Dylan Brooks, the Alabama defensive end who reportedly is seeking to get out of his National Letter of Intent following UT's dismissal of coach Jeremy Pruitt Monday.
(Prospects listed by SI99 ranking)
DE J.T. Tuimoloau / Sammamish, Wash. (Eastside Catholic)
The most critical singular get for a program two Wednesdays from now is the top overall defensive prospect in the SI99, technically considering Washington, Oregon, USC, Alabama and Ohio State. Much of the buzz remains around the two programs having played in the national championship game, specifically with runner-up Ohio State given long high praise of potential position coach Larry Johnson along with fellow Washington native Emeka Egbuka already having signed with Ryan Day's staff in December. Hard to count out Alabama and local Washington, for that matter, especially given how close to the vest Tuimoloau remains at the final stages of the recruiting process.
IDL Tywone Malone / Oradell, N.J. (Bergen Catholic)
The top interior defensive line prospect still available, Malone is fresh off of a Texas A&M visit, one of the self-guided variety thanks to COVID-19 recruiting restrictions. Florida State was the destination in a similar light earlier this month. No elite has as many programs still in the running like the New Jersey native does, though, with the Aggies and Seminoles flanked by Ole Miss, Tennessee, USC and local Rutgers all vying for the pledge. We can safely assume the Vols are all but out given the coaching changes in Knoxville, but the SEC feel remains with A&M and Ole Miss among programs holding the most buzz. Baseball is a major factor here, too, part of the reason why many in the industry envision Malone taking his talents somewhere down South.
LB Raesjon Davis / Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei)
The lone prospect still undecided in the SI99 having been committed to a program already, LSU is still in the picture for the Californian. Davis released a final group of Ohio State, USC, Oregon and Vanderbilt along with the Tigers just over the weekend. Suffice to say the Commodores would be as big a shock destination as any singular prospect's decision in the 2021 cycle, a return to Baton Rouge college plans would surprise in it's own right. Since backing off of the commitment, the feel on Davis has begun with local USC and Ohio State, where a visit is to be taken per SI All-American sources. Oregon could get him on campus before all is said and done, too, so don't count out the Ducks just yet.
S Terrion Arnold / Tallahassee, Fla. (St. John Paul II)
The two-sport star, who has flashed as a high-flying basketball standout of late, is still in the final stages of his own decision-making process. His public top three is in-state Florida, national champion Alabama and fellow SEC power Georgia, where his close friend and fellow SI99 member Xavian Sorey signed last month. There is an angle for each program, and SIAA sources hear several other programs like LSU continue to effort Arnold's signature. What is the status of the package deal proposed between Arnold and Sorey with the latter now in Athens for good? Arnold's camp admits that has become, as package deals often do, a relatively fluid situation. We see a Crimson Tide vs. Bulldog battle brewing over the final two weeks of the cycle, another Nick Saban vs. Kirby Smart showdown. Arnold is viewed a bit differently by each, with Alabama courting him at cornerback and Georgia targeting a hybrid/nickel role within their defense.
SLOT Destyn Hill / New Orleans, La. (Edna Karr)
One of the top slot receivers in the country, the Louisiana native has plenty of outside traits to boot if need be. His recruitment is just as fluid, it seems, though Florida State has been among the constants mentioned next to his name for the bulk of the recruiting cycle. Florida has also been involved of late and Alabama was mentioned in relation to one of its final spots before flipping LSU commitment Jojo Earle in December, but the ball remains in FSU's court for Hill at this time.
WR Brian Thomas / Walker, La.
Another Louisianan considering multiple SEC programs, Thomas has a larger group of contenders including Alabama, in-state LSU and Texas A&M at the forefront of the conversation. The Tigers have long been much more involved with Thomas compared to Hill, tipping their hand in the priority department along the way. After losing multiple commitments in December, including a wide receiver, the onus to secure the big in-stater is even stronger and that could be where things play out when pen meets paper.
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