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National Signing Day 2016: Afternoon Announcement Schedule and Predictions

Wednesday will reveal the destinations of some of the best high school prospects around the United States as national signing day kicks off. 

In what will be an all-day affair, recruits will be announcing their decisions beginning at 8 a.m. ET and could go until at least 8:30 p.m. ET, per 247Sports.com. However, we'll take a look at the prospects that will be making their announcements during the afternoon portion of the schedule. 

Here is the schedule of the most notable recruits that will be making their school choices on Wednesday afternoon. ESPN2 will be showing all the announcements from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET. 

One of the first recruits to make his decision on Wednesday afternoon is the No. 1-ranked player coming out of the class of 2016 in defensive tackle Rashan Gary

From Paramus, New Jersey, Gary is a 6'5", 293-pound lineman who has been unblockable at the high school level. He has the agility of a defensive end and the strength of an interior lineman along with the closedown speed to catch any kind of rusher. 

247 Sports' crystal ball predictions puts Gary at an 83 percent chance to head to Michigan. But Alabama is also looming. 

Another defensive tackle, No. 9 national recruit Derrick Brown will also be making his decision during the afternoon session. Unlike Gary, Brown is more of a run-stopping defensive tackle who is packing on almost 30 more pounds. 

Per 247Sports, it looks like Brown's decision will be coming down to either Georgia or Auburn. 

There are two other top-20 prospects, in No. 11 Mique Juarez and No. 15 Lyndell Wilson, both of whom are linebackers.

These are just some of the plethora of young, up-and-coming stars that will be lighting up the gridiron on Saturdays very soon. A number of schools are going to be very happy come the conclusion of national signing day as their rosters are going to improve big time. 

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Joejuan Williams to Vanderbilt: Commodores Land 4-Star CB Prospect

One of the most talented and versatile defensive backs in the Class of 2016 made his final collegiate decision on Wednesday, as Joejuan Williams committed to play for Vanderbilt. 

According to 247Sports, the Hendersonville High School standout is a 4-star player. Williams is an intriguing player for many reasons, but chief among them may be his size. At 6'2" and 195 pounds, he is very big for a cornerback, which could potentially lead to a switch to safety.

Per Andrew Ivins of Rivals.com, Notre Dame was among the schools during the recruiting process that expressed interest in trying him at both cornerback and safety.

Williams figures to get a look at multiple positions in 2016, which undoubtedly increases his value since he is capable of being utilized in so many different situations.

Due to his overall talent level and ability to do so many different things on the field, he was courted by a number of top schools, including Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss and many more, according to 247Sports.

“Vandy pursued him for two years, and it’s a big thing that they got him. He’s a homegrown guy, but he’s also one of the biggest signees they’ve gotten," said Chris Smith of Scout.com, per Adam Sparks of the Tennessean.

Williams had no shortage of factors to consider when making his decision, but per Michael Bratton of FoxSports.com, entering a winning atmosphere was chief among them:

It remains to be seen if Williams made the right decision in that regard, but he can certainly help contribute to a winning cause if his impressive skill set translates to the college game.

He already has a leg up on the competition due to his size, and he still has time on his side in terms of preparing to make the jump. Players aren't always able to make a smooth transition from high school to college, but Williams seems to have everything he needs to be an impact player right off the bat.

The exact role he will play has yet to be determined, but all signs point toward Williams being a special player regardless of where he is ultimately placed on the field.


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Dontavious Jackson to FSU: Seminoles Land 4-Star LB Prospect

Class of 2016 4-star inside linebacker Dontavious Jackson committed to Florida State on Wednesday, per Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com.

Jackson is ranked as the 90th-best prospect in the nation, the fourth-best linebacker prospect in the nation and No. 13 out of all recruits coming out of Texas, according to 247Sports.com.

The 6'2", 239-pound linebacker holds solid athleticism at the position, but what is most impressive about him is his ability to identify a play, exhibit enough patience to make his move and execute his plan of attack. 

He's quick enough to catch some of the most elusive runners and strong enough to throw them around like rag dolls. With that kind of skill set, it wasn't a surprise seeing him compete at the Under Armor All-America Game.   

Jackson will be an added boost to Florida State's run defense, and if he is able to develop his ability to pressure the passer, he is going to be a well-rounded force over time for the Seminoles defense. 


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Keyshon Camp to Pittsburgh: Panthers Land 4-Star DT Prospect

The Pittsburgh Panthers made a critical late addition to their 2016 recruiting class on Wednesday when defensive tackle Keyshon Camp joined the fold, head coach Pat Narduzzi announced: 

The 6’4”, 275-pound Camp is a 4-star prospect, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, and the No. 264 overall prospect in the class of 2016, No. 27 defensive tackle and No. 38 player from the state of Florida.

The Florida native drew interest from many of the best programs in the country, including Ohio State, Michigan and USC. Lindsey Thiry of the Los Angeles Times said Camp took official visits to Michigan and USC during the season. 

He was actually part of the Trojans’ class until January, when he decided to open up his recruitment again. He shared his mindset at the time on Twitter:

Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com noted the decommitment came closely after Ohio State offered him a scholarship. The Buckeyes turned to Camp when fellow defensive line prospect Rashard Lawrence elected to attend LSU instead of joining Urban Meyer’s class, but he chose to attend Pittsburgh instead.

Camp’s decommitment from USC was just one twist in his recruitment. He initially decided to stay close to home (Lakeland, Florida) and join Miami’s class, but he ultimately elected to keep his options open with nearly a year remaining until signing day and decommitted.

Camp also drew plenty of interest from Missouri during his recruiting cycle, but the Philadelphia Eagles hired Tigers defensive line coach Chris Wilson. Wilson was a critical figure in Camp’s recruitment, and Ryan Donnelly of Rivals said that hire “could be interesting in the recruitment” of Camp.

It is no wonder so many schools pursued the defensive tackle. He is a physical presence who can stuff runs up the middle and force pressure right in a quarterback’s face. If he fills out even more at Pittsburgh, he will be capable of occupying multiple blockers at once and creating more openings for his teammates to attack off the edge.

Scout Florida analyst Corey Bender discussed Camp in 2015, per Allen Trieu of the Detroit News, and said the defensive lineman “really caught everyone’s attention” at The Opening Regional, which drove his stock way up.

The Panthers deserve plenty of credit for beating out blue-chip programs in pursuit of Camp. Coach Narduzzi impressed with an 8-5 record in his first season, and the program will only continue to improve if he lands recruits like Camp for the foreseeable future.

Narduzzi has a defensive background from years as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator, and he likely connected with Camp along those lines during the recruiting process. Pittsburgh was a middling 49th in the nation in scoring defense in 2015 and needs to bolster that side of the ball to consistently compete in the ACC.

Adding someone like Camp is a great place to start.

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Jauan Williams to FSU: Seminoles Land 4-Star OT Prospect

The offensive line is the foundation of every football team, and Jauan Williams is regarded as one of the best tackles in the 2016 class. Now, he will become a foundation piece for the Florida State Seminoles.

“I am going to Florida State,” Williams said, per Chris Nee of 247 Sports. “Because of Coach Trickett and Coach Fisher. They are great.

According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Williams is a 4-star prospect and the No. 15 offensive tackle in the 2016 class. 

At 6'7", 303 pounds, the Washington, D.C., native is built like a second- or third-year college offensive lineman, and he plays with a mean streak. 

Here's evidence of Williams' nastiness on the field from Nike's The Opening in 2015, per Barton Simmons of 247Sports:

JC Shurburtt of 247Sports described the video above as exemplary of Williams' game at this moment:

Now, this isn't a perfect rep. He's a little clumsy with his hands and upper body, but watch how well he moves his feet. Also, take note of the frame, which surely will become more developed (i.e. strong) within a college strength and conditioning program.

Williams is still learning to harness his size and physical gifts as a blocker. Using 247Sports' 1-10 scale, he rates as a six in run blocking and a seven in pass blocking. 

After being the leader for Williams services, Florida State was able to haul in the star offensive tackle. He told SB Nation Recruiting in December the Seminoles were his top choice, making life easier for head coach Jimbo Fisher. 

The Seminoles have put together another strong recruiting class, ranked fifth by 247Sports, with Williams only solidifying this program's spot among the nation's elite.

Even before Williams announced his decision, Simmons wrote that Florida State was well on its way to having the ACC's best recruiting class for 2016. 

"Not only does Florida State have the top class in the ACC," Simmons wrote, "the Seminoles don't seem like they're anywhere close to being done heading down the homestretch."

Even coming off a down year in 2015, which still saw the team win 10 games, Florida State is well stocked to make a return to the top of the ACC and compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff next season. 

There's clearly plenty of talent for Williams' new college coaches to work with. He's the total package in terms of what teams want a tackle to look like. 

Once everything clicks for Williams—and there's no reason to think it won't—there's no telling how great he can become. Development is a process, but that's why coaches get paid a lot of money.

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Deontay Anderson to Ole Miss: Rebels Land 4-Star Safety Prospect

Dynamic 4-star safety Deontay Anderson announced Wednesday he will play college football for the Ole Miss Rebels.

Anderson announced his commitment through a Bleacher Report video:

Anderson is the second-ranked safety in the 2016 class, the eighth-ranked player out of Texas and the 53rd-best prospect overall in 247Sports' composite rankings.

The Manvel High School star from Texas has all of the physical faculties to be an elite player in Ole Miss' secondary. Strong football instincts and a knack for stepping up in run support should help Anderson see the field quickly—on special teams at the very least.

Tom Lemming of the CBS Sports Network highlighted how fast Anderson is, citing his prowess as a track sprinter:

Where he has some room for improvement is in coverage. The 18-year-old did make strides in that area as a senior, hinting at just how strong of an all-around player he has the potential to be.

TexasFootball.com's James Lott wrote in August 2014 that he believes Anderson has the makings of being a pro someday:

This is one of the best HS football players I have seen this year. Jumps out at you in person up close, even as a freshman, leaving me to say 'coach, who the hell is that kid.' Offered as a sophomore by Alabama, LSU, Texas and others. One of the best 2016 prospects in the country. NFL safety in the making. Can change the outcome of the game by himself. Can fly. Sprinter on the track team.

Listed at 6'1" and 192 pounds by 247Sports, Anderson already has the length, strength and the style of play to be effective on the back end. Anderson shows a knack for preventing receivers from winning 50-50 balls, something that will come in handy as he adjusts to the NCAA level.

What should help Anderson in that regard is his demonstrated ability to act fast toward the ball once it's thrown. He flashes exceptional closing speed and can deliver crushing, well-timed hits. 

Another element to Anderson's game that may discourage opposing quarterbacks from throwing at him is his field vision. In addition to thriving in the defensive backfield at Manvel, Anderson has proved to be a great returner, so he could be deployed on kickoff or punt returns for Ole Miss if he doesn't fit into the team's immediate defensive plans.

The Rebels had the 104th-ranked pass defense last season and need tremendous improvement in that area to have a real chance at SEC contention. That isn't necessarily Anderson's forte, but he's the type of safety who can step into the box and help Ole Miss remain stout versus the run.

Stud defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche is headed to the pros as a 2016 NFL draft entrant, so his absence figures to loom large on the front seven. Any contribution Anderson can provide therein is a plus—or he could help the team with field position if he can step up as a return man. 

That type of feel for what to do with the ball in his hands makes Anderson a threat to take an interception to the end zone whenever he gets the opportunity.

Keep Anderson in mind over the next few years as his role with the Rebels evolves, because he should prove to be one of the better players in the country to come out of the 2016 class.


Recruit star ratings and rankings via 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.

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Ben Davis to Alabama: Crimson Tide Land 5-Star LB Prospect

Ben Davis, a 5-star inside linebacker from Gordo High School in Gordo, Alabama, announced Wednesday that he's committed to playing college football for the University of Alabama.

Davis announced his decision live on ESPN, putting on a houndstooth hat.

"I had to go with my heart," Davis said, per Greg Ostendorf of ESPN. "I'm rolling with the Tide."

Davis is a unique athlete with a 6'3", 240-pound frame, giving him an exotic combination of length and athleticism. The composite rankings at 247Sports list Davis as the top player in his home state, the best inside linebacker in the 2016 class and the No. 10 overall prospect.

While it's possible Alabama might deploy Davis at safety, he has a ton of upside as a pass-rusher that shouldn't be neglected. Already possessing adequate bulk to complement his refined and finessed skill set, Davis could quickly emerge as an unstoppable force off the edge in college.

Also working in Davis' favor is that he has the speed to roam sideline to sideline, and he has shown a flair for taking proper pursuit angles. That fast-twitch ability helps Davis when he drops into coverage as well, so it's understandable that 247Sports projects him as an inside linebacker.

Playing in Tuscaloosa, where his father, Wayne, became Alabama's all-time leading tackler, Davis may soon have a chance to carve out his own unique legacy.

Departing senior Reggie Ragland is arguably the best inside linebacker prospect in the 2016 NFL draft. He was a big reason the Crimson Tide front seven was so formidable, and as such, he helped coach Nick Saban win the fourth national title of his Alabama tenure.

Davis has all the tools to become a worthy successor to Ragland. Whether that happens right away or one or two years down the line is another matter, because Saban's consistently strong recruiting classes supply him with tremendous depth on an annual basis.

In addition to his defensive prowess, the highlights show how dangerous Davis can be with the ball in his hands. He has the tools to be converted into a tight end or massive outside receiver, depending on what Alabama wants to do with him.

Along with his immense talent, Davis shows tremendous discipline and a knack for consistently diagnosing plays, which hints at a high football IQ. He uses his hands well to disengage from blocks and sets the edge against the run. However, Davis may need to work on lowering his pad level, because he won't be able to skate by on pure athleticism.

Davis' versatility lends credence to the notion that he'll find his way onto the field early for the Crimson Tide.

There is a lot for Alabama to be excited about as it welcomes Davis into the fold as a big boon to its recruiting haul. He's a blue-chip prospect with a high ceiling, and all he needs to do is figure out which position suits him best.

As a true freshman, Davis should be expected to emerge either as a situational edge-rusher or a sub-package linebacker-safety hybrid of sorts.

Depending on how he fares throughout preseason practices and how much he capitalizes on a supporting role, Davis may even fill in as a starter sooner than anticipated.


Recruit star ratings and rankings via 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.

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Jamel Cook to USC: 4-Star Safety Decommits from FSU, Joins Trojans

Highly touted safety Jamel Cook had a change of heart on national signing day, as he decommitted from Florida State and instead decided to play his college football at USC.

Scout Recruiting was among the first to report Cook's decision:

According to 247Sports, the Miami native is a 4-star recruit who rates as the No. 2 athlete and No. 94 overall prospect in his class.   

Barton Simmons of 247Sports pointed to Cook's versatility as a big reason why landing him was such a major coup for the Trojans:

Flipping Cook was especially impressive on USC's part since head coach Clay Helton managed to go into his home state and steal him away from a premier program in the form of FSU.

The Miami Central High School product could be a huge weapon for the Trojans moving forward due to his status as a chess piece who can match up with opposing offenses based on need rather than being forced into one spot permanently.

Southern Cal needed to reload on the heels of a disappointing 8-6 season that was marred by controversy brought on by the firing of former head coach Steve Sarkisian.

The USC football program finally has some semblance of certainty once again, and the commitment from Cook suggests that the brand still has plenty of cachet in college football.

If Cook's decision is a sign of things to come for the Trojans on the recruiting trail in the near future, then they have a great chance to once again become a Pac-12 power and national title contender moving forward.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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Jamel Cook to USC: 4-Star Safety Decommits from FSU, Joins Trojans

Highly touted safety Jamel Cook had a change of heart on national signing day, as he decommitted from Florida State and instead decided to play his college football at USC...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

A.J. Brown to Ole Miss: Rebels Land 4-Star WR Prospect

Class of 2016 4-star wide receiver recruit A.J. Brown committed to the Ole Miss Rebels on Wednesday, according to Robby Donoho of WCBI-TV:

The Mississippi native was a top-three prospect in his state and listed as the fifth-best wide receiver in the nation, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. 

At 6'1", 220 pounds, he is a well-built receiver who is strong enough to overpower defenders while possessing the agility to get around them as well. That alone is going to make him a tough target to stop. 

He drew some impressive comparisons early on, including from Fantasy Insiders' Ben Pritchett:

Brown also has a strong, quick set of hands that can snatch the ball out of the air. It's a skill that can bail out quarterbacks who try to thread the needle into tough situations.

Take a look at some of his moves from The Opening:

The receiver got plenty of attention from the biggest personalities on the collegiate level too, as his Twitter shows:

As evidenced by The Opening footage above, Brown isn't afraid to get in his opponent's face in an attempt to play mind games with him. While unnerving your opponent is an important trait to have, Ole Miss should monitor the trash-talking, as it could get Brown into trouble with officials at some inopportune times. 

That should be the least of the Rebels' worries, though, as they have acquired one of the best young receivers in the nation. He'll be lighting up the stat sheets on Saturdays in the fall soon enough. 

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Tramonda Moore to Oklahoma State: Cowboys Land 4-Star OT Prospect

Tramonda Moore made a name for himself as one of the most physically imposing offensive tackles in the country at John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City. Now, following months of deliberation, he's headed to Oklahoma State. 

Moore finished his senior season year at John Marshall ranked just outside the top 100 players in 247Sports' composite rankings but graded out as the top-ranked player in Oklahoma among 2016 recruits.

The 6'6'', 330-pound force had offers from approximately 15 schools but narrowed his list down to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Alabama early in 2016, according to Bleacher Report's Damon Sayles

"I grew up an Oklahoma and Oklahoma State fan," Moore said, via Sayles. "They are my in-states, but all three schools are powerhouse universities."

Oklahoma was the odds-on favorite to land Moore, according to 247Sports, so his decision to shun the Sooners in favor of the Cowboys was a surprise. 

Shock aside, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has to be thrilled that his program landed a player of Moore's caliber. In fact, Moore is so physically gifted that he played on both sides of the ball at John Marshall High School. 

"Moore was unblockable by 3A linemen, and he was an equally imposing force as an offensive tackle, which is most likely to be his position at the college level," the Oklahoman's Scott Wright wrote. 

"I know at defensive tackle, I can move around and make a lot of plays, but a lot of coaches say my career is at left tackle. I want to play left tackle at the next level," Moore said, via Sayles.

A prospective cornerstone and bookend on Oklahoma State's offensive line, Moore should make a name for himself as he seeks to solidify his place as one of the nation's most physically imposing linemen. 

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Carlos Becker to FSU: Seminoles Land 4-Star CB Prospect

Florida State landed 4-star cornerback Carlos Becker on Wednesday, according to Alicia Rose DelGallo of the Orlando Sentinel

"The entire ceremony is being translated in sign language so [Becker's] mother, who is deaf, can enjoy entire ceremony," noted DelGallo.

Becker, a 6'2" and 185-pound corner from Osceola High in Kissimmee, Florida, is considered 247Sports' No. 15-ranked cornerback, the 24th-best prospect in the state of Florida and the No. 153-ranked prospect overall, according to the site's composite rankings.

Becker is a tall, rangy cornerback whose excellent length and leaping ability will serve him well, especially against bigger receivers.

Becker notched five interceptions during his senior season and finished with 10 overall in his time at Osceola. Though he couldn't lead his school to a state championship, he still acknowledged his own development as a player during his time in high school.

"I felt like I grew a lot since freshman year, just trying to lead the team to the state championship," he told Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel. "It didn't come out like how I wanted it to, but I just gotta deal with that."

Becker's signing rounds out an excellent class of cornerbacks for Florida State that also includes 5-star Levonta Taylor—one of the top recruits in the nation, who could start immediately—and 4-star Kyle Meyers, per 247Sports.

It also rounds out another excellent recruiting class across the board for head coach Jimbo Fisher and company.


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Erick Fowler to Texas: Longhorns Land 4-Star OLB Prospect

Edge player Erick Fowler, a 4-star recruit from the class of 2016, announced Wednesday that he'll play college football for the Texas Longhorns, per Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman.

Fowler is a product of Manor High School in Texas. The composite rankings from 247Sports have him as the 75th-best prospect in the country and the No. 7 outside linebacker.

Measuring at 6'1" and weighing 226 pounds, there's room for Fowler to add bulk to his frame as a means of becoming an even greater edge-rushing force, though he already does have adequate size for a rising freshman.

Even as a sophomore at Manor, Fowler was producing at a mind-boggling level, racking up 21 sacks, 73 tackles and two interceptions in 2013. Although Fowler's sack total dropped to 12.5 as a junior, the versatility and raw talent he brings to the gridiron is tantalizing.

The quickness Fowler flashes off of the ball allows him to effectively speed rush, though he could use additional, functional upper-body strength to better hand fight and disengage blockers on a consistent basis.

Until that area of his game improves, he will be hard-pressed to be a legitimate star in the trenches at the college level if Texas asks him to put his hand in the dirt. What may be better for Fowler is to be a playmaking linebacker, which would suit his skill set as it stands.

Wherever Fowler ultimately lines up, he has the skills to be a special player. A lot of that hinges on development and how he progresses through the Longhorns' program, which may test his patience if he doesn't see the field often early as he tries to settle into his proper position.

Fowler's collegiate career would benefit most from easing his way into the lineup. Should he sharpen up his technique, add to his pass-rushing arsenal and thus become craftier at shedding blocks, Texas ought to eventually see Fowler blossom into a strong starter.


Recruit star ratings and information via 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.

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Mykel Jones to Oklahoma: Sooners Land 4-Star WR Prospect

Mykel Jones, a 4-star wide receiver prospect from Patterson, Louisiana, announced his commitment to play college football with the Oklahoma Sooners on Wednesday.

"When I took the trip (to OU last weekend), I couldn't turn it down," Jones said, via Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World.

247Sports' composite rankings have Jones rated as the 48th-best receiver in the Class of 2016 and the No. 15 prospect overall out of Louisiana.

Jones flashes the ability to high-point the football, run solid routes underneath and make people miss with fluid jukes and lateral quickness.

The film of Jones' highlights shows him capable of turning on the jets and running away from defenders. The speed of the college game will be faster, but Jones seems capable of translating to the college level well in that regard.

Although he does have natural explosiveness and quick-twitch movement that make him slippery in the open field, Jones has to work on his functional strength to succeed in college.

Listed at 6'0" and 180 pounds by 247Sports, he is a bit undersized to be a threat on the outside at the moment. However, Jones could be a mismatch in the slot as a slightly taller version than most dynamic inside targets.

If Jones manages to bulk up by about 15 or 20 pounds, keeps his natural strengths intact and develops a more diverse route tree, he will likely blossom into a dependable starter for multiple years. 

The Sooners will be experiencing a lot of turnover on offense in 2016. Gone are stud signal-caller Baker Mayfield and dynamic leading receiver Sterling Shepard. Backup quarterback and former starter Trevor Knight also transferred to Texas A&M.

With uncertainty under center and the clear top target out of Norman, the opportunity may present itself for Jones to contribute right away. Oklahoma's spread system will also make the college transition easier in terms of picking up the playbook.

What may suit Jones best is to sit for his first year, focusing on adding weight and honing his craft, and then prepare to roll full-go for the 2017 campaign as a redshirt freshman. On the other hand, he may have too much raw playmaking potential to be standing on the sidelines for a whole season.

The tools are there for Jones to be a lethal option capable of lining up inside and outside. He may not be as touted as other pass-catchers in his class, but there's plenty of reason to be intrigued by Jones' upside and unique skill set.

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Jared Mayden to Alabama: Crimson Tide Land 4-Star CB Prospect

Alabama swooped in and signed the nation's No. 13 cornerback, Jared Mayden, on Wednesday, nearly one month after he decommitted from Oregon, according to Adam Friedman of Rivals.com. 

Mayden affirmed his commitment midway through his senior season but backed off on Jan. 6 via Twitter, citing his need to find the "right fit." He followed up on Jan. 24, announcing he would make his commitment on national signing day and listing Alabama and Oklahoma as finalists:

A day later, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban made an in-house visit to Mayden and showed off his dance moves to woo the top recruit, as Mayden showed in a Snapchat he tweeted:

The 6'1", 190-pound Texas native developed into one of the top prospects in the country with a knack for physicality against opposing receivers at the line of scrimmage. He has great closing speed and thrives in open space with finesse.

Alabama’s 30th-ranked pass defense lost Cyrus Jones and Bradley Sylve to graduation and returns four cornerbacks—Maurice Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Tony Brown and Minkah Fitzpatrick—but all have limited experience. 

Mayden maintained a relationship with new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt while Pruitt held the same position at Georgia.

If he improves his catching ability during fall camp, Mayden could move up the depth chart early in the season. 

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Tyrie Cleveland to Florida: 4-Star WR Decommits from Houston, Joins Gators

Wide receiver and potential special teams ace Tyrie Cleveland flipped his commitment from Houston to Florida during national signing day on Wednesday.

Derek Tyson of ESPN passed along the news, which gives the Gators an even more outstanding group of incoming wideouts.  

Mark Berman of Fox 26 provided comments from Cleveland about the choice:

Berman also highlighted some further insight into the decision from one of the receiver's family members:

Cleveland is a 4-star recruit who rates as the No. 33 overall prospect in the 2016 class and also checks in as the No. 2 receiver in the group, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. Losing a player of that caliber is a major setback for Houston.

Zach Abolverdi of SEC Country passed along comments from the coveted playmaker over the weekend about his visit to Florida. He said he felt comfortable with how the coaching staff treated him and came away confident he can make a quick impact.

"It's just the mental part of the game coming from high school to college that I have to get used to," Cleveland said. "They need to get me to know the plays and understand everything with the offense. Then I’ll be good to go."

Cleveland is a dynamic threat capable of making a multifaceted impact for the Gators.

His first involvement may come on special teams as a returner. He possesses tremendous acceleration and breakaway speed that makes him a threat every time he catches a kickoff or punt. The transition is a bit easier in that role, too.

That said, it probably won't be long before he starts seeing some snaps on offense. And once he becomes completely comfort with the Gators' system, he should develop into one of the team's most important players.

With the addition of Cleveland, it's shaping up to become a terrific day for Florida, which 247Sports currently ranks as the No. 6 class for 2016.


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Lavert Hill to Michigan: Wolverines Land 4-Star CB Prospect

Lavert Hill, the No. 12 cornerback in the 2016 class, per 247Sports, committed to the Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday, according to Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press.

The Detroit native is the fifth-best player in Michigan and the No. 135 overall prospect in the country, according to 247Sports, which has him rated as a 4-star prospect.

Hill, who is 5'10" and 172 pounds, showed some versatility in high school, catching two touchdowns in the final game of his career—a state championship victory. He was highly sought after by teams on both coasts, but he canceled a Jan. 13 visit to USC and another, presumably to Clemson, in late January, whittling his list down to three, per his Twitter account:

Michigan eventually won the battle for his services. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has quickly established himself as one of the game's most successful recruiters, landing the Wolverines the fifth-ranked recruiting class after just one season in Ann Arbor. He won the battle with Michigan State and Penn State for Hill, who ran a 4.41, 40-yard dash, per ESPN.com.

The cornerback recently talked about different coaches he met along the recruiting trail, including Harbaugh, per Jared Purcell of MLive.com. "Harbaugh, he's pretty good too. He was a pro coach so he knows what you need to get to the NFL. They can teach you that. He's very outgoing and energetic and stuff like that."

The Wolverines may have had the upper hand because Hill's older brother just finished his senior season with Michigan, but about a week before signing, Hill said his brother, Delano Hill, tried not to influence him too much, per Purcell: "He's just been telling me that it's my decision, really. He would like me to go to Michigan though because it's his school."

That's exactly what happened, and now Hill will join a Wolverines defense that finished third in the Big Ten last year, allowing just 16.4 points per game.

PrepForce.com shared a highlight video of the recently named Lockheed Martin Air Defender of the Year: 

It won't be easy for Hill to jump right into the starting lineup, but his versatility and athleticism should allow for him to at least compete for a spot on the Wolverines defense.


All recruiting rankings per 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

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