National signing day takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and while some players have committed to certain schools, there is still an unpredictable nature to their ultimate decision.
Just because a player has committed to a school doesn't necessarily mean he will sign there, and that could make for some huge surprises come the big day. Other players simply haven't made up their minds yet, thus further giving an opportunity to multiple schools for their services.
Let's take a look at some of the top recruits in this year's class and examine why they are so unpredictable.
Vonn Bell, 5-Star Safety
Alabama and Ohio State were the two early favorites to land Bell (per 247Sports.com), but after an enjoyable recent trip to Tennessee (per Patrick Brown of the Chattanooga Times Free Press), the Volunteers are now in serious contention for the talented safety.
Just this week, Bell met with Alabama and Ohio State, who made their respective last-second pitches.
JC Shurburtt of 247Sports.com let us in on just how hard this decision is for Bell:February 2, 2013
Looks like this one will come down to the wire.
MacKensie Alexander, 4-Star CB
Alexander has several teams in contention for him with Auburn, Mississippi State, Clemson and Rutgers being at the top of the list (per 247Sports.com).
Initial reports had Alexander committed to Mississippi State, but Luke Stampini of 247Sports.com refuted that news:
Mackensie Alexander denies committing to Miss. St. Take it for what it's worth. mississippistate.247sports.com/Board/59413/No…— Luke Stampini (@LukeStampini) January 19, 2013
JC Shurburtt of 247Sports.com projected that Alexander will land with Auburn:January 30, 2013
Just when you thought things might be clear for this defensive stud, Shurburtt threw a wrench into everything, admitting nothing is certain about Alexander's future:
We will stick with that prediction, but honestly, MacKensie Alexander could end up anywhere. bit.ly/1165QTP— JC Shurburtt (@jcshurburtt) January 30, 2013
News on Alexander has been all over the place, so take any information about his decision with a grain of salt at this point. The only way to truly know where he will go is to watch his announcement.
Altee Tenpenny, 4-Star RB
Toward the end of January, Tenpenny committed to Alabama and head coach Nick Saban (per 247Sports.com), but after a recent successful visit to his home school of Arkansas (per Richard Davenport of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette), that commitment isn't so certain:
North Little Rock running back Altee Tenpenny said he enjoyed hanging out with his two hosts, cornerback Tevin Mitchel and offensive lineman Cordale Boyd. He said the players told him the same as others and to be a Hog and stay in-state. He wants to go back home and talk to his parents and see how they liked the trip. He said the staff seemed down-to-earth and were hungry to win. He'll make his final decision on signing day.
Did you read that?
Tenpenny will make his decision on signing day, so clearly Alabama hasn't landed him just yet. Arkansas seems like a better choice from both playing time and sentimental standpoints, but there's no question Alabama will give him the best chance to win.
We'll see whether home or winning matters more.
Carl Lawson, 5-Star DE
Lawson has been committed to Auburn for nearly a year now, but he is also interested in Clemson and Tennessee (per 247Sports.com).
However, also listed in his preferred destinations is Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have by no means been a favorite all this time, but thanks to the hiring of a new defensive line coach, that could change.January 31, 2013 February 1, 2013
With a late entry into this race for one of the best defenders in the nation, Lawson could land at just about any of his desired schools.
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It’s no surprise that Urban Meyer is all over the signing day news ticker, but he may do more harm than good for this 2013 Ohio State recruiting class.
Meyer is making moves to shore up his newest class, going for his targeted recruits while making time to talk to “commits” at other schools.
That practice may backfire for Meyer, though, because his recruits are not sticking around if they don’t continue to get attention.
Two commits have already been in the news for potentially flipping their decision from Ohio State. Whether it’s true or not, the situation in Columbus is one to watch heading into signing day.
Here's the latest news out of Buckeye land.
Ezekiel Elliott Sticks With the Buckeyes…For Now
Elliott has been committed to Ohio State since April and serves as a main cog in Meyer’s class. A running back with 4.40 speed often does.
But there’s uncertainty coming from Elliott’s camp after he took a visit to Missouri, where he has legitimate family ties. Of the visit, Elliott told STL Today: "It’s one last look at Missouri and showing respect to my home school and to my mother and father’s alma mater."
While it seems Elliott was just taking a courtesy visit, a recruit’s word is just as good as a politician’s.
The Pursuit of 4-Star RB Dontre Wilson
Wilson hasn’t budged from his original commitment to the Oregon Ducks in May 2012, but he’s taking a few more visits just to be sure.
One of those excursions will be to Columbus to see what Urban Meyer and Co. have to offer (per Ty Duffy of The Big Lead).
It has been noted that Wilson will decide between Oregon, Ohio State and Texas. He also plans to visit the latter before he ends his recruiting process.
Texas will get the last look, but the Buckeyes look to be a player in this race more than ever.
Trey Johnson Takes a Visit to Merely Take a Visit
While a group of running backs decide if Columbus is right for them, one of the Buckeyes’ linebacker commits dispels a rumor about leaving Meyer and Co.
Four-star linebacker Trey Johnson did take a visit to Tennessee, as initially reported, but does not have any intention to leave the Buckeyes.
His high-school coach Todd Wofford comments that he has been sold on Ohio State for a significant period. He just wanted to take a visit (per Brad Bournival of ESPN):
He only took one before that and it was Ohio State. He took an official visit. It’s one of those things where it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. He knows what his job is and what his future is. He had an opportunity to take a visit, so he took advantage of it. He’s done, but the wolves haven’t stopped trying.
The recruiting experience is once in a lifetime, and it was very cerebral of Johnson to notice that. Hopefully that self-awareness will translate to football on the next level.
Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report.
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