The 2021 college football recruiting cycle has already been unlike any other in modern times. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, college football teams and recruits scrambled to find out information about one another. There were no on-campus camps, official visits, in-home visits or opportunities to see prospects work out in person. How big is a player, really? What are he and his family truly like? Is one school's campus and culture actually a better fit than another?
Like much of the country, schools and prospects tried to overcome these challenges using virtual meetings, visits, etc. And the vast majority of top prospects did sign with schools during the Early Signing Period in December. Of the 358 prospects rated four stars or better in the 247Sports Composite, only 30 remain unsigned. And of those 30, a significant number have committed within the last three weeks, intending to sign on National Signing Day on February 3.
Still, a number of unsigned prospects are worth a look with two weeks to go until the end of the Class of 2021's recruiting calendar.
Five-star DE J.T. Tuimoloau
247Sports Composite: No. 3
Tuimoloau is one of the best prospects to come along in a while. From just outside Seattle, Tuimoloau is a 6-foot-84, 280-pound defensive line prospect who has shown plus athleticism not only in catching passes in the 7-on-7 circuit but also on the hardwood. He is the No. 1 overall prospect in 247Sports' own rankings, and his finalists include Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, USC and Washington. Ohio State is believed to be the favorite, and the 247Sports Crystal Ball reflects that sentiment. "Coach Larry Johnson has a history and he has a long tradition of putting people in the league," he told 247Sports about the Buckeyes. "He knows what he's doing and talking about. Talking to coach [Ryan] Day, we have built a strong bond with the both of them. Coach Johnson is considered the top of what he's doing and he has a history and I've been able to watch it."
Four-star RB LJ Johnson
247Sports Composite: No. 40
Johnson is the No. 3 back in the country and a top 10 player in the state of Texas. He is expected to stay in the state with Texas and Texas A&M standing out. Thanks in part due to the relationship Johnson has with the Texas A&M staff and recent success with running backs, the Aggies are expected to beat out the Longhorns. But don't completely discount what new Texas coach Steve Sarkisian might be able to do in just a few weeks. "We're just getting to know him," Johnson's father told 247Sports. "LJ is just getting to know him. We met him briefly when we went to visit Alabama. The fact he's bring an Alabama type offense that features a running back, he definitely likes that. He seems to be pretty straight forward."
Four-star LB Raesjon Davis
247Sports Composite: No. 45
Davis is one of the most versatile prospects in the class of 2021. The Southern California linebacker has starred on Friday nights for Mater Dei and on the weekends on the 7-on-7 circuit. A former LSU commit, Davis recently updated his top 5 to include LSU, Ohio State, Oregon, USC, and Vanderbilt. The smart money is on USC to land Davis, continuing its strong winter close. "I grew up a USC fan and location is big for me," Davis told 247Sports analyst Greg Biggins. "I want my family to come see me play and at a school like USC, I know they can. I just talked to coach Helton yesterday and I have a good relationship with guys like coach Orlando and coach Hutchings."
Four-star DT Tywone Malone
247Sports Composite: No. 61
More than any other player on this list, another sport will factor into Malone's decision. The defensive tackle is an elite power hitter on the diamond. And all programs seriously in the mix for the New Jersey prospect have good baseball programs. Malone will have visited Texas A&M, Florida State, and Ole Miss by the time he makes his decision. Ole Miss is believed to have the edge going into signing day.
Four-star WR Brian Thomas Jr.
247Sports Composite Ranking: No. 79
One of the best athletes in the class, Thomas shows his skills on the hardwood and the gridiron. At 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, he's a tough draw for any opposing corner. Thomas is expected to choose from LSU, Alabama and Texas A&M, but the Tigers are the favorites due his relationship with receivers coach Mickey Joseph. If LSU lands Thomas, it would have the top six players in the state of Louisiana.
Four-star S Terrion Arnold
247Sports Composite Ranking: No. 106
Arnold is one of the most intriguing recruitments left on the board. Alabama, Florida, and Georgia all have legitimate chances to land the Tallahassee, Florida, prospect. The Gators may have a slight edge for Arnold, but the belief in the industry is their lead might have been greater before they made a change to their coaching staff in the secondary. Still, Arnold has been positive about the hire of Wesley McGriff, who he knew previously from Auburn. Arnold has had a long relationship with the Alabama staff and is one of the prime targets for the Crimson Tide to finish what could be the highest-rated recruiting class ever. Georgia was charging late for Arnold but just lost defensive backs coach Charlton Warren, the new coordinator at Indiana. In short, Arnold could go to any of the three schools.
Four-star WR Destyn Hill
247Sports Composite: No. 113
Hill rarely gives interviews, but one constant in his recruitment is his relationship with Florida State running backs coach David Johnson, who has strong connections in Hill's hometown of New Orleans. The Seminoles are a unanimous favorite among the 14 picks on the 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Four-star LB Trevin Wallace
247Sports Composite: No. 230
Wallace is one of the fastest-rising prospects in the Class of 2021. The linebacker had a huge senior season for his Jesup (Ga.) high school. Wallace was at one time committed to Boston College but better offers came in. Auburn is favorite here over Ole Miss, LSU, and Kentucky thanks mostly to his relationship with Auburn linebackers coach Travis Williams.
Four-star RB Byron Cardwell
247Sports Composite Ranking: 183
Cardwell has picked up more traction on the recruiting circuit of late. Impressive athleticism has turned into offers from Oregon and Auburn, among others. UCLA and Cal are also involved. Will Cardwell be willing to leave the West Coast and pick Auburn, or will he stay out West? Find out when he makes his decision on Jan. 25 -- before signing day.
Four-star DT George Rooks
247Sports Composite: No. 259
There is an ACC vs. Big Ten battle brewing for Rooks' signature with Boston College, Michigan and Penn State all in the mix. Rooks is an athletic prospect with a 6-foot-4 frame, which he uses to dominate his competition in New Jersey. He has visited all three schools. Rook had wanted to find out who Michigan would hire as defensive coordinator but has not commented publicly since Michigan hired Mike MacDonald of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Rooks' father, George, was a standout for Syracuse, winning Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 1991.