College football recruiting: 2019 National Signing Day commitments, storylines to watch
The names and stories to watch for on National Signing Day
The finish line is here. National Signing Day is upon us and the 2019 recruiting cycle is almost in the books. We've already seen one action-packed National Signing Day in December with the Early Signing Period festivities, which has limited the pool of prospects deciding and the volatility in the team rankings, but the drama does remain.
Here are the major storylines to watch heading into Wednesday's final National Signing Day for the 2019 cycle.
Uncommitted names to watch
On Signing Day eve, there are currently seven uncommitted prospects in the Top100 of the 247Sports Composite team rankings. Here's the run down on each of them.
OT Darnell Wright: A longtime Tennessee lean, the Vols are the favorites to pry the West Virginia native away from Neal Brown and the new in-state coaching staff in Morgantown.
RB Jerrion Ealy: A one-time Ole Miss commit, the Rebels are charging once again and are trying to beat Alabama, Clemson and Mississippi State for a dynamic back that likely lands on a Major League Baseball roster sooner or later.
LB Henry To'oto'o: Alabama has long been a favorite to land the northern California native, but with lead recruiter Tosh Lupoi bouncing for the NFL, the door cracked open for Washington to steal the physical playmaker. Tennessee, Utah and Oregon are also involved.
DT Ishmael Sopsher: A Louisiana native that is critical to Ed Orgeron's goal of locking down his home state but also to Alabama's goal of adding depth and talent to the defensive front. This one is too close to call in the annual Bama-LSU slugfest.
CB Kaiir Elam: It's an SEC East battle for the Florida native with both Georgia and Florida looking like realistic possibilities heading into Wednesday. Miami and Colorado are on the outside looking in.
DE Charles Moore: You can always count on a little bit of drama in Mississippi, and Moore is keeping everyone guessing down to the wire with Auburn and Mississippi State as the favorites.
RB Mark-Antony Richards: Auburn is hoping to beat out Florida, Miami and Georgia for a do-it-all athlete that has a really high upside at running back.
Be sure to tune in to the 247 Sports Signing Day show beginning at 8 a.m. ET on Wednesday, featuring interviews with the top coaches from across the country.
Committed names to watch
This time of year, verbal commitments could essentially be meaningless. If you aren't signed, you're fair game. Here are the five committed prospects that I'll be monitoring most closely on Wednesday.
Florida State S commit Nick Cross: He held off signing in the Early Signing Period but remained committed to Florida State after that rough season in Tallahassee. Willie Taggart needs to finish the deal here, but Penn State got him on campus for an official visit last.
Alabama DE commit Khris Bogle: He didn't commit to Alabama until after the Early Signing Period, and even in that early-January pledge, Bogle was extremely conflicted. Florida and Miami are giving the Florida native plenty to think about amid significant coaching turnover in Tuscaloosa.
Ohio State OG commit Doug Nester: James Franklin is trying to take advantage of the departure of Urban Meyer and Virginia Tech is trying to keep a West Virginia native close to home, but Ohio State may still win out in the end.
USC WR commit Puka Nacua: This won't be the USC close that we're used to seeing, but if the Trojans can hang on to Nacua and fight off Oregon, Utah and Washington, then that is a big enough win.
Alabama DB commit Christian Williams: We actually don't expect Williams to sign with the school he is committed to. It is looking like Miami and LSU are the most likely destinations for the Alabama native with great ball skills
Teams that could make a move
These are the teams that hold the opportunity to make some serious noise throughout the day on Wednesday during National Signing Day as they seek to finish within the top 10.
Auburn: Gus Malzahn left some meat on the bone heading into Wednesday, and the chances of capitalizing on the opportunity look good. Auburn could realistically land as many as six new names, and if they're the right six, the Tigers could finish well inside the top 10 and even sniff the top five.
Penn State: Penn State is in the mix for a few guys, but the rise for the Nittany Lions is all about sweeping the flips of Cross from Florida State and Nester from Ohio State. If that happens, Franklin likely takes his first Big Ten recruiting crown.
Florida: The Gators sit inside at No. 11 nationally, and while they don't have a lot of room to work with, the names still on the board are big ones. Sweep Richards, Elam and Bogle, and Dan Mullen could be looking at a top-five caliber class.
Washington: Sitting at No. 17 heading into the day, Washington could knock on the door of the top 10 with a pretty realistic splash finish that would include a flip of USC wide receiver commit Nacua as well as the addition of four-star linebackers Daniel Heimuli and To'oto'o.
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