National Signing Day for prospects in the Class of 2016 started early this morning and will end at some point much later tonight as individuals from all over the country, particularly well-known alumni of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl, make all-important decision about their respective futures.
As most know, though still worth mentioning, many of the nation’s high-profile recruits played in one of three recent games. Each contest took place, of course, in an NFL facility and the student-athletes were fortunate enough to work with our NFL veteran coaching staff during the festivities.
The one-time professionals in attendance read like a who’s who list, including Mark McMillian, George Teague, Arlen Harris, Ken Stills, Byron Evans, Tony Banks, Eric Curry, Lorenzo Neal, Larry Centers, Mike Alstott, Jerry Wunsch, Chuck Darby, Dick Bell, Jeff Kopp and Greg Jones, to name a few.
For starters, West defeated East, 21-14, on Dec. 20 at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. Thereafter, North won against South, 35-0, on Jan. 9 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium. Lastly, Grey got the better of Blue, 28-14, on Jan. 16 at Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank Field.
Following the All-American Bowls, the Blue-Grey Football Selection Committee sat down with the brand’s NFL veterans for exit interviews and the collection of upperclassmen talent was the main topic of conversation. That said, and with it being National Signing Day, here’s a look at the best of the best.
Editors Note: Below is a somewhat comprehensive list of players who have committed, or signed National Letters of Intent. The plan is to add names over the course of the next couple of hours, days, weeks, and months. Of course, as more official announcements are made. Stay tuned for the details.
DALLAS COWBOYS’ AT&T STADIUM
Nick Starkel, QB, Liberty Christian (TX): The 6-foot-3 and 190-pound Texas A&M commit was one of the better leaders, both on and off the field, throughout the process.
Deuce Wallace, QB, Sevier County (TN): The 6-2 and 210-pound Vanderbilt commit never once let his nationally recognizable status overshadow a humble approach.
Kevin Davidson, QB, San Ramon Valley (CA): The 6-4 and 215-pound Princeton commit possessed a big arm, one of the livest around, regardless of the venue.
Paten Snell, QB, Scurry-Rosser (TX): The 6-3 and 190-pound Stephen F. Austin commit upgraded his college options with a memorable effort in the game.
Mike Green, RB, Grant (CA): The 6-foot and 200-pound Wyoming commit flew under the radar for a while. After the game, he developed as a valuable asset.
Morian Walker, RB, Valley Christian (CA): The 6-1 and 210-pound Utah State commit was a favorite of many: “I want him on my side in a battle,” McMillian said.
Triston Fairchild, RB, Papillion La Vista South (NE): The 5-10 and 190-pound Colgate commit had no trouble with running the ball inside, outside, or catching passes.
James Robinson, RB, Lutheran (IL): The 5-11 and 215-pound Illinois State commit looked for contact, and often times, then delivered his fair share of punishment.
Zach Farrar, WR, Southlake Carroll (TX): The 6-4 and 208-pound Oklahoma commit had plenty to say. And he backed up each one of his carefully chosen words.
Davion Curtis, WR, Temple (TX): The 6-foot and 180-pound Texas commit was explosive. His game is next-level ready as life soon continues for him in nearby Austin.
Tucker Spears, TE, Old Avon Farms (CT): The 6-5 and 240-pound Dartmouth commit emerged as the go-to-guy despite the presence of more well-known names.
Donavaughn Campbell, OL, Ponchatoula (LA): The 6-5 and 350-pound LSU commit figures to fit in particularly well once he arrives in Baton Rouge with Les Miles.
Frederick Mauigoa, OL, Tafuna (AS): The 6-4 and 290-pound Washington State commit possessed plenty of upside, “He might play in the NFL one day,” Ofahengaue said.
Sean Bailey, OL, Lambert (GA): The 6-6 and 315-pound East Carolina commit was more than just a big body. Athleticism is what most will remember about him.
Noah Johnson, OL, Fayetteville (AR): The 6-3 and 320-pound Idaho commit never flinched when the time came to take on what most would consider a tough task.
Nate Thompson, OL, Sachse (TX): The 6-6 and 330-pound Texas Southern commit typically won his one-on-one match-ups with the opponent across from him.
Madre Harper, DB, Arlington Lamar (TX): The 6-2 and 175-pound Oklahoma State commit would not be denied and got the better of exchanges. Too many to count.
Chandler Claterbaugh, DB, Flower Mound (TX): The 6-1 and 185-pound Air Force commit unselfishly was more than willing to go above, and beyond, the call of duty.
Dorian Banks, DB, Sevier County (TN): The 5-10 and 175-pound Tennessee commit just might end up exploring his options before he decides to join the Volunteers.
Gavin Lively, DB, Norton (KS): The 6-1 and 185-pound Kansas State commit was a hard-hitter and delivered several stops in crucial situations, with everything on the line.
Jeremiah Pritchard, LB, Silverado (NV): The 6-foot and 200-pound Hawaii commit received some rave reviews: “He’s going to be special, you can see it now,” Evans said.
Toron Morten, LB, Central (AL): The 6-1 and 230-pound Tennessee Tech commit had close to double digit offers before deciding the Golden Eagles were the best fit.
Si Kilinc, LB, Southside (AR): The 6-1 and 200-pound Jacksonville commit came in and made a difference right away with his run-stopping and pass-coverage ability.
Emmit Gooden, DL, Haywood (TN): The 6-4 and 290-pound Mississippi State commit battled through an injury. Nevertheless, his skill set was extremely impressive.
Joe Wallace, DL, Skyline (TX): The 6-1 and 325-pound Texas Tech commit was difficult to deal with based on his frequent lengths of stay in the offense’s backfield.
Lorenzo Neal, DL, St. Thomas Catholic (TX): The 6-3 and 315-pound Purdue commit did all the dirty work down in the trenches and deserves recognition for his effort.
Jacques Turner, DL, D’Iberville (MS): The 6-3 and 240-pound Southern Miss commit caused problems with bursts from off the edge. His speed was a factor throughout.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS’ RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM
Zerrick Cooper, QB, Jonesboro (GA): The 6-4 and 207-pound Clemson commit had the hype, plenty of it, surrounding him. He lived up to the advanced billing, too.
Lucas Johnson, QB, Mt. Carmel (CA): The 6-3 and 185-pound Georgia Tech commit will land in the ACC after nearly staying close to home at San Diego State.
Chris Oladokun, QB, Sickles (FL): The 6-2 and 180-pound South Florida commit won’t travel far for college: “You’ll see, and hear, a lot about him,” Stills said.
J.J. Taylor, RB, Centennial (CA): The 5-7 and 175-pound Arizona commit quieted talk from many of the naysayers with an eye-opening effort on the national stage.
Artavis Pierce, RB, Auburndale (FL): The 5-11 and 190-pound Oregon State commit plans to head out West, and once there, test his mettle in the Pac-12 Conference.
Cole Blackman, WR, Glen Allen (VA): The 6-2 and 195-pound Virginia commit endeared himself to the coaches with an ability to run precise routes all over the field.
Tyrek Tisdale, WR, Oak Ridge (FL): The 6-1 and 205-pound Maryland commit, when focused, and that was more often than not, no player was more effective than him.
Jelani Greene, WR, Newfield (NY): The 6-foot and 170-pound New Hampshire commit refused to lose any reps, regardless of practice or game type of situation.
Darius Miller, WR, St. Petersburg (FL): The 5-9 and 165-pound Alcorn State commit turned out to be a jack-of-all-trades, especially so in the passing and return game.
Jack Stoll, TE, Regis Jesuit (CO): The 6-5 and 230-pound Nebraska earned praise: “At his position, he’s probably one of best players I’ve seen in five years,” Wunsch said.
Brian Plummer, OL, South Carroll (MD): The 6-7 and 315-pound Maryland commit turned on a switch once the ball was in motion. That did not bode well for opponents.
Tyler Pritchett, OL, Auburn (AL): The 6-4 and 296-pound North Carolina commit was not vocal. Then again, he didn’t have to be. His play spoke volumes about him.
Sean Rattay, OL, St. John’s Jesuit (OH): The 6-2 and 293-pound Navy commit essentially ran the show from his spot at center and never once was rattled with pressure.
Caleb Bright, OL, Urbandale (IA): The 6-3 and 285-pound Bowling Green commit was, in some ways, a man on mission and proved he belonged among the nation’s elite.
Conner Olson, OL, Monticello (MN): The 6-5 and 288-pound Minnesota commit surprised some and impressed all: “That young man can flat-out play,” Teague said.
Michael Gerber, OL, Stoughton (WI): The 6-4 and 265-pound Army commit didn’t make many friends after winning several battles up front. Then again, that was his job.
Jacob Donnellon, OL, Gabriel Richard (MI): The 6-5 and 270-pound Eastern Michigan commit had a willingness to do whatever it took to succeed. Mission accomplished.
Lorenzo Taborn, OL, Sidney (OH): The 6-4 and 295-pound Bowling Green commit, at seemingly the last second, decided to play for the Falcons. Good choice, too.
Zach Lyle, OL, Northgate (GA): The 6-5 and 265-pound Air Force commit was a good example of a young man who takes care of business on and off of the field.
DeVonta Davidson, OL, Desert Ridge (AZ): The 6-4 and 310-pound Central Florida commit came from what seemed to be out of nowhere and left with quite a few fans.
Craig Watts, DB, Admiral Farragut Academy (FL): The 6-foot and 185-pound South Florida commit was ready for any, and all challenges, that were presented to him.
Isaac Steele, DB, Centennial (AZ): The 6-2 and 180-pound Arizona commit made the most out of his chances: “That young man, he’s a playmaker,” McMillian said.
Eric Sherkel, DB, Moshannon Valley (PA): The 5-11 and 195-pound Bowling Green commit was tested early and often. In the end, he received an above average grade.
DeLonte Berry, LB, Jefferson (WV): The 6-2 and 216-pound Navy commit proved to be the best out of talented bunch of backers. No easy task given his group of peers.
Tim Walton, LB, Cass Technical (MI): The 6-2 and 228-pound Syracuse commit turned some heads at practices. Little, or nothing, changed after the game was over.
Matt Otwinowski, LB, LaPorte (IN): The 6-3 and 227-pound Buffalo commit had an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time, normally around the ball.
Tristian Pipp, LB, Greendale (WI): The 6-3 and 229-pound Western Michigan commit didn’t have very many chances to shine. Injury, or not, his presence was welcomed.
Damon Wiley, LB, De La Salle (CA): The 6-foot and 235-pound Cal commit won over the powers that be: “He’s going to be a big-time Division I player,” McMillian said.
Reese Donahue, DL, Cabell Midland (WV): The 6-5 and 250-pound West Virginia commit had a motor that didn’t stop. He knew only one speed: Fast, with no breaks.
Bo Peek, DL, Plant (FL): The 6-3 and 295-pound Stanford commit was in attendance, but limited, for the most part. Still, there was an undeniable buzz around him.
Noel Brouse, DL, Parkland (PA): The 6-5 and 265-pound UConn commit did not meet much resistance. When he did, it came in the form of double-teaming tactics.
John Chiaramonte, DL, Central Catholic (FL): The 6-3 and 238-pound Air Force commit looked the part. And played the part. A physical specimen, he did well.
Noah Kramer, DL, Northridge (UT): The 6-3 and 295-pound Utah State commit traveled across the country and the trip was worth it based on his tremendous success.
Logan Miller, DL, Central Catholic (FL): The 6-4 and 240-pound Western Illinois commit was a force to be reckon with when he lined up and came off the edge.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS’ EVERBANK FIELD
Jalen Starks, RB, Crespi (CA): The 6-1 and 240-pound UCLA commit had an impressive body of work to start. Still, he added a couple of lines to his improving resume.
Jamauri Wakefield, RB, Providence (FL): The 6-foot and 208-pound Vanderbilt commit showed off the ability to run the ball up inside or to the outside, both equally well.
Will Mitchell, RB, Bolles (FL): The 5-7 and 180-pound Middle Tennessee State commit not only got the job done in the running and passing game, but also on returns.
Chase Smith, RB, Azle (TX): The 5-8 and 175-pound Stephen F. Austin commit didn’t let an often perceived lack of stature stop him from making a big difference.
Rick Wells, WR, Raines (FL): The 6-2 and 195-pound Florida commit took a business-like approach to his job. There was no arguing with his workplace results, either.
Kee Whetzel, WR, Countryside (FL): The 6-3 and 185-pound Oregon State commit created mismatch problems. No one could find a way to successfully stop him.
Juwuane Parchman, WR, Auburn (IL): The 6-1 and 195-pound Illinois commit was a late arrival. Still, he picked up the offense in a timely manner and contributed.
Christian Johnson, WR, Jefferson (WV): The 6-2 and 193-pound Towson commit drew attention each and every time that he lined up out wide or in the slot.
Rickey Nichols, WR, Blue Springs South (MO): The 6-2 and 175-pound Missouri State commit found a way to quickly develop in to a favorite of the signal-callers.
Gabe Lloyd, TE, New Lutheran (WI): The 6-5 and 235-pound Wisconsin commit provided a big target on much-needed first downs, and also, around in the red zone.
Austin Duncan, TE, South Gibson County (TN): The 6-2 and 200-pound Memphis commit did a number of different things well, each equally as good as the last.
Parker Boudreaux, OL, Bishop Moore Catholic (FL): The 6-4 and 302-pound Notre Dame commit was, most times without peer. A force to be reckon from start to finish.
Jaylen Miller, OL, Providence (FL): The 6-4 and 305-pound Duke commit played with intensity. Also, to his credit, he was smart when it came to expending energy.
Kevin Staton, OL, Indian River (VA): The 6-6 and 320-pound Norfolk State commit almost decided to jump on a plane and head to the West Coast at San Diego State.
Hunter Vaughn, OL, Legend (CO): The 6-8 and 270-pound Colorado commit showed several flashes of potential. His ceiling his high, there’s no doubt about it.
Ostell Martin, OL, Cass Technical (MI): The 6-5 and 329-pound Morgan State commit had no trouble with adjusting to the speed or physicality of practices or the game.
Bryce Brown, OL, North (IN): The 6-2 and 265-pound Purdue commit was about a versatile option as there was given the fact he line up all over, most notably at center.
Devon Robinson, OL, Winslow Township (NJ): The 6-6 and 300-pound Illinois commit could explore his options. For the time being, he’s off to the Big 10 Conference.
John Mays, OL, Ribault (FL): The 6-7 and 305-pound Coastal Carolina commit was, without a doubt, one of the more impressive athletes, especially from a frame standpoint.
Troy Pride, DB, Greer (SC): The 6-1 and 175-pound Notre Dame commit nearly stole the whole show. It’s reasonable to think he can make a major impact in South Bend.
Julian Love, DB, Nazareth Academy (IL): The 5-11 and 180-pound Notre Dame commit left a lasting impression: “His upside is right off the charts,” McMillian said.
Elisha Daniels, DB, Cardinal Gibbons (FL): The 6-foot and 185-pound Maryland commit can be left on one of those proverbial islands and relied on to shut people down.
Elijah Daniels, DB, Cardinal Gibbons (FL): The 6-foot and 185-pound Maryland commit was the last line of defense. Nothing got bye him in the air or on the ground.
Braxton Gunther, DB, Woods Cross (UT): The 5-11 and 180-pound Utah State commit was asked to do plenty. Let it be known, he responded to the many challenges.
Zuriel Davis, DL, Jackson (FL): The 6-4 and 340-pound UMass commit entered the game as a relative unknown. When all was said and done, that was not the case.
Jake Richardson, DL, Minnehaha Academy (MN): The 6-3 and 229-pound South Dakota commit did not take any plays off. He was focused solely on the task at hand.
Jake Bovard, P, Quakertown Community (PA): The 6-foot and 205-pound Air Force commit opened up plenty of eyes in the stands with his booming leg on special teams.