What Big Ten’s cancellation of 2020 football means to recruiting

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The Big Ten announced Tuesday that it has canceled the 2020 fall college football season due to the COVID-19 health pandemic. This is an incredibly fluid situation, but here are five recruiting questions to consider moving forward during these uncertain times.

BIG TEN CANCELS SEASON: Will try to play in spring

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1. What will happen to signing day?

Aubrey Solomon
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The usual dates of a December early signing period which has become the cornerstone of the recruiting world would probably be completely gone, at least for this recruiting cycle. The 2021 prospects most likely will not be able to take official visits through the fall if there is no football season and there was some speculation that they might not have been able to take trips even if there was a season because of logistical complications.

A National Signing Day in February is also in question because of similar issues. If prospects cannot visit campuses, it would be hard to fathom they would be asked to sign a letter of intent locking them into a certain program. There seems to be significant questions about what the recruiting rules will be come Sept. 1 and that leads to only more questions about the timelines for 2021 prospects to sign.

Other questions about that continue to lead down the rabbit hole. One is, how will coaching staffs know exact numbers for signing classes or limits on scholarship numbers if: 1. Players are opting out because of health concerns; and 2. What happens if 2020 players are awarded an extra year of eligibility? Will that count against total numbers allowed?


2. Do 2020 athletes get an extra year of eligibility if they don’t play in the spring?

In late March, the NCAA Division I Council voted to grant an extra year of eligibility to all spring sport athletes whose season was cancelled. The same thing might be expected for 2020 football players not only since the fall season has been canceled but if the Big Ten and other conferences cannot play in the spring as well.

Canceling the fall season does not guarantee a season will happen in the spring. More than anything, it pushes the timeline further down the road but many of the same issues and concerns will remain and according to the CDC the busiest months for flu transmission is from December through February but can last as long as May. Coupling coronavirus and flu through the winter and into the early spring, it’s hard to believe a spring season is a guarantee at all.


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Big Ten commits react to news of 2020 cancellation

Michigan quarterback commit J.J. McCarthy
Nick Lucero/Rivals.com

The news of the Big Ten canceling the fall football season spread like wildfire in the recruiting world. With so many top recruits already verbally committed to play for Big Ten teams, their reactions to the news was a mix of shock and sadness. Take a look at what some prospects that are committed to Big Ten programs think of the decision to cancel the fall football season.

FARRELL: Fear of lawsuits drives decision to pull plug on season

GORNEY: How Big Ten decision will affect the recruiting world

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CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

MORE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

Michigan commit J.J. McCarthy:

“I mean it’s 2020, so it wasn’t something that blew my mind, haha. This is out of everyone’s control and we, as well as Michigan, are taking it one day at a time. I feel for the senior college football players, but we all know tough times never last but tough people do. This will unite college football and in the future years, college football will be even more appreciated.”

Michigan commit Kechaun Bennett:

“I’m shocked because, the way Michigan was handling the virus, I assumed every other school was too. I thought everything was all right but I’m also worried this means my season might not happen too.”

Maryland commit Marcus Bradley:

“Very Crazy. Some players are only gonna be playing 2 years.”

Michigan commit Louis Hansen:

“That was tough to see, especially because I felt like the players and coaches advocating to play had some great arguments in their favor. It’ll be tough for me and the rest of the Michigan recruiting class too, because a lot of us haven’t experienced a Michigan game in person, which was something we were all looking forward to doing together. And most of my family hasn’t been able to make it out for a visit.”

Ohio State commit Kyle McCord:

“It’s really unfortunate. It’s probably going to be up to each of the conferences. I’m hoping it doesn’t affect anything with me getting there early.”

Ohio State commit Evan Pryor:

“I think it’s sad. There are guys depending on the season to get drafted.”

Penn State commit Landon Tengwall:

“Wow! My reaction is that some type of player panel or NCAA PA like the NFL has needs to be formed so we can have our needs met.”

Penn State commit Christian Veilleux:

“Very crazy, but I’m not surprised. COVID was going to win anyways so I think it’s better that they do it now opposed to half way during the season. I wish the season could go on, but the safety should be the priority. Ultimately, I think it’s a lose-lose situation for the NCAA and the teams/players.”

Iowa commit Brody Brecht:

“They should keep it in the fall. Moving it to spring won’t do anything. Covid is still going to be around. All the coaches and players want to play but yet they have no say in the final word which is kind of stupid. I get that they’re worried about players’ safety but those players are playing a very physical sport and are at risk of injury every time they step on the field. It doesn’t affect my recruiting though, still gonna be a Hawkeye.”

Ohio State commit Jantzen Dunn:

“(Jantzen) just feels bad for the players at Ohio State. Especially the seniors. He feels like this was going to be a championship season for them. It sucks for everyone but necessary. You have kids and coaches that have put in a ton of work and that will go unnoticed. I hope that we can get back to some kind of normalcy soon.” – Dunn’s father, Mitchell Dunn, via Dave Lackford, BuckeyeGrove.com

Penn State commit Lonnie White:

“That’s crazy to hear. All these players are putting the work in and don’t get to play. It’s sad.”

2022 Ohio State commit Gabe Powers:

“They have worked too hard for their season to be canceled like that. It’s discouraging to see so many players see their season cancelled and some careers ended because they can’t take that chance with the draft.” via Dave Lackford, BuckeyeGrove.com

Ohio State commit Jack Sawyer:

“It’s ridiculous. It’s hard to imagine fall without football.” via Dave Lackford, BuckeyeGrove.com

Penn State commit Liam Clifford:

“I’m definitely upset about the news of the season possibly being cancelled. I thought what all the college athletes did on Twitter in support of the hopes of having a season was awesome. It was really cool to see so many different players from different teams come together like that.” via Ryan Snyder, BlueWhiteIllustrated.com

Iowa commit Max Llewellyn:

“I can’t imagine the Big 12 and other conferences aren’t far behind them, and even if they do stick it out, I’m forever a Hawkeye regardless.”

Iowa commit Keegan Johnson:

“Nothing changes. I made a commitment, and I will honor that. Just have to adjust moving forward to the circumstances.”

Iowa commit Jordan Oladokun:

“It doesn’t (affect his recruitment). I mean I was a guy that was going to go in December so I have no clue if I still can or if it has to be changed.”

Iowa commit Jeremiah Pittman:

“It wouldn’t change anything really. But it is really unfortunate because not only was I not able to do my official, but I can’t go to games in the fall.”

Iowa commit Arland Bruce:

“It doesn’t really affect my recruiting, but it does affect me enrolling early depending on what the Big Ten does. If they move the season to the spring I most likely won’t go. I don’t want to lose a year of eligibility when there are two receivers Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith who are graduating and might be potential draft picks.”

Michigan commit Tristan Bounds:

“It doesn’t affect my recruitment at all. But as for my thoughts, the season should be played in the fall.”

Michigan commit Xavier Worthy:

“It sucks but I’m all Michigan. Nothing is changing.”

Nebraska commit Heinrich Haarberg:

“The Nebraska administration and coaches have handled this in my opinion the best in the country. They’ve put the athletes’ best interest in mind while still keeping them safe.”

Ohio State commit Jordan Hancock:

“I’m really surprised they cancelled so early. I am going to miss watching them play, but other than that, it doesn’t bother me.”

Nebraska commit Marques Buford:

“It’s crazy that they are choosing to remove the student-athletes from an extremely safe environment as far as protecting from the virus and to add on the players want to play and if there was a choice to opt-out on the season there should be one to opt-in as well. As far as my recruiting goes, I am 110 percent committed to the University of Nebraska and to the coaching staff there. I feel they’ve done a great job advocating for the players to let them play and the fact that they are one of the programs out of 12 to say ‘yes let our athletes play’ definitely stands out to me.”

Nebraska commit Malik Williams:

“Not really messing my recruitment up because I’m already committed so on my end no it doesn’t affect me.”

Nebraska commit Teddy Prochazka:

“I would hope they can figure something out and play this fall but if not it wouldn’t affect me I would still be able to graduate early and get there.”

Nebraska commit Branson Yager:

“I don’t have a whole lot to say other than let us play. We put our lives at risk when we step on the field every day. How are we going to let a sickness that you have to be tested for to know if you have it, stop us from our season and put us out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Nebraska wants to play and they all know the risks. Let us play. It does not affect my recruitment on my side of things. I am 100 percent committed to Nebraska. I am unaware what may happen to the program or to college football in general if we don’t have a season.”

Nebraska commit Seth Malcom:

“It doesn’t affect my recruitment at all. I believe Nebraska is doing all they can to play. If they decide to move it to the spring then that is the best scenario for the players and staff. I know health is No. 1 to Nebraska and I hope they are able to play. I can’t wait to be in Lincoln watching them in Memorial Stadium.”

Nebraska commit Latrell Neville:

“It definitely does affect me in a major way, mostly because I’m a mid-year guy so I don’t know what that would mean for me enrolling early.”

Ohio State commit Sam Hart:

“It will be upsetting if they do have to cancel or move the season but I understand that teams have to do what they have to do for the safety of the players, staff, and the people around them. I really hope they can find a safe way to play this fall and whatever the outcome is it will not affect my recruitment at all. I’m still a Buckeye.”

Ohio State commit Ben Christman:

“I’m still waiting to hear what’s going on there and in terms of my recruitment, I’m locked in and will sign with Ohio State in December.”

Ohio State commit Donovan Jackson:

“It won’t affect my recruitment at all. I’m just upset that it’s a possible solution.”

Penn State commit Zakee Wheatley:

“It makes me kind of unsure on how things will go for the 2021 class. I know a lot of players want to play and I think that if I was in that situation, I would want to play as long as there were things in place to help keep us safe. As far as I know, based on my conversation with Penn State, it has not affected my recruitment but everything is so crazy right now, who knows.”

Wisconsin commit Ayo Adebogun:

“It’s unfortunate they can’t play in the fall but it’s great that they still have a chance to play. Of what I know, the switch doesn’t affect recruitment very much.”

Wisconsin commit Jake Chaney:

“I feel like it might have a big influence on my recruiting because It might not allow me to leave for school early and if we don’t have a season at all will that grant seniors another year and take away some of our scholarships?”

Wisconsin commit Ricardo Hallman:

“It doesn’t affect my recruitment In any way I’m confident in the decision that I made. As far as the season possibly being moved to spring it’s going to be tough but I’m all for it as long as the guys get to play a season.”

Rutgers commit Tyler Needham:

“I think that right now it’s not really my place to be an advocate or try to push for a change one way or another, but there’s definitely going to be teams and players who will be impacted in many different ways whether they are good or bad.” via Richie Schnyderite, TheKnightReport.net

Rutgers commit Henry Hughes:

“Honestly I think canceling isn’t the worst idea. Corona is a very serious matter, and even though I would love to watch my team play, I completely understand the reason for the Big Ten choosing to cancel.” via Richie Schnyderite, TheKnightReport.net

Mind of Mike: Hey Big 12, SEC, ACC – don’t quit without trying

Several reports indicate Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has decided to cancel fall sports.
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The Mind of Mike is a dangerous place. Here are the latest thoughts from Rivals National Director Mike Farrell about what the Big 12, SEC and ACC should do.

RELATED: Yahoo Sports report on Big Ten, Pac-12 canceling fall sports | What Big Ten’s decision means to recruiting | Big Ten commits react

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

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Dear Big Ten. You didn’t even try. Shame on you.

Dear Pac-12. Get a spine and stop following the lead of the Big Ten. Shame on you.

I’m done talking about these two conferences for now, because we still have others to focus on — others who seem to want to play football.

Dear Big 12, SEC and ACC. Don’t listen to the above quitters. And I’m not talking about coaches or players in the Big Ten or Pac-12. It’s clear they want to play (or at least most do). Don’t listen to the presidents who voted to shut the fall down and postpone football to the spring. Don’t listen to the naysayers who didn’t even try to see if their protocols and safety measures would work and pulled the plug six weeks before they had to. Stay the course and remain patient.

As I’ve stated before, this isn’t about player safety. It’s about fear of litigation and poor optics. COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere. It’ll likely be here in the spring. It’s something we need to adapt to and putting our head in the sand won’t help. I thought that was the plan for college football but I’m apparently wrong.

MORE: Liability the driving force behind decisions to cancel, Farrell says

Yes, I get that I’m not risking my own health to play football and social distancing is impossible in a contact sport. But I also know the economic downfall of this country has taken a healthy toll on many from stress levels to mental health issues and more. And I know that losing college football will worsen that — from economic loss to other factors. More people will lose jobs now and more people will suffer because of this decision, which flies in the face of what players, parents and coaches want. All out of fear of litigation and poor PR.

The big question is this: Will playing college football increase the spread of COVID-19 or decrease it? An argument can be made for both sides, but you have to try first to see. Sure, a contact sport could lead to more infections, so that side of the argument is valid. But keeping the players safe, tested and supervised on a daily basis could also lead to fewer infections than a postponement of college football when athletes are out in the world without testing.

And what happens in the spring? What’s going to change in a few months?

I’m a realist. College football may have been a disaster this season with testing, diminished rosters, depth issues and perhaps even cancellation of games due to positive results. But at least try. Maybe things wouldn’t go off the rails. The NBA seems to be managing. Major League Baseball has had some issues, but it’s still chugging along.

Students are back on many campuses now and COVID-19 is a part of college life the same as it is in the real world. Let’s play football – or at least try – and watch the Big Ten and Pac-12 regret their decision. That’s all I ask.

New to Rivals.com? Click here and purchase a monthly subscription to your favorite team site for $9.95, and we’ll send you a free t-shirt code to BreakingT.com (up to $28.00 value). Use the promo code “Monthly2020.”

Pac-12 commits react to news of 2020 cancellation

Mavin Anderson
Nick Lucero/Rivals.com

The news of the Pac-12 canceling the fall football season spread like wildfire in the recruiting world. With so many top recruits already verbally committed to play for Pac-12 teams, their reactions to the news was a mixture of shock and sadness. Here’s a look at what some prospects that are committed to those programs think of the decision to cancel the fall football season.

RELATED: Pac-12 follows Big Ten, cancels fall football | Big Ten commits react to news of cancellation

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

MORE: Rivals Transfer Tracker


Arizona State commit Finn Collins:

“I mean, I think everyone has mutual feelings about the recent actions of the Pac-12 and Big Ten. It sucks because going another five months without football is going to be rough, especially when everybody is dying to play. But it does give us the opportunity to focus on ourselves and better our game. With the season moving to the spring it doesn’t affect any part of my recruitment. I would still be preparing to graduate early in January.”


Arizona State commit RJ Regan:

“I’m not surprised. I talk to my ASU coaches all the time and the plan is still to get there in January. But who knows what the NCAA will do about that situation.”


Arizona State commit Jaydon Williams:

“it’s not right. These players want to play. We work our entire life just to play on Saturdays and Sundays and for them to just take our future away is not right. (Associate head) coach (Antonio Pierce) and coach (Herm) Edwards are who I want to play for. I need them to help me become a better person.”


Arizona State commit Isaia Glass:

“I’m not sure yet, going to talk with my parents, but I don’t think it will affect much.”


Arizona State commit Martin Lucas:

“It sucks that they don’t get to play in the fall and I guess that means we probably don’t get to go on an official visit anytime soon, and I was really looking forward to doing that and only thing that affects my recruitment is that I won’t get to see what it’s like there for a while and see the coaches in person. I was also thinking about enrolling early, but I don’t know if we can do that now.”


Arizona State commit Marcus Mbow:

“It sucks, but 100 percent does not affect my recruitment.”


Cal commit Mavin Anderson:

“As far as my recruitment goes, nothing changes. I am not enrolling early and I am still 100 percent committed to play football at Cal, whenever that may be. On the other hand, the Pac-12 season being pushed back to the spring doesn’t shock me much. I feel like I have accepted the fact that a lot of things will be different regarding football (both high school and college) in order to optimize the safety of athletes. While it is unfortunate that the season will be pushed back, I believe an action like this is a necessary evil that will help clear things up in the near future.”


Cal commit Akili Calhoun:

“It’s sad, especially knowing the guys and knowing that they have been really anticipating their season. This won’t affect my recruitment/decisions at all. I’m still going early and am gonna be ready to work.”


Cal commit J. Michael Sturdivant:

“It’s insane that it happened, but I don’t see how it will affect my recruitment as of now. But everything is always changing now.”


Cal commit Bastian Swinney:

“Still 100 percent all-in on Cal. And it is what it is, if it keeps the players safer I’m all for it.”


Cal commit Jermaine Terry:

“I’m still enrolling early unless the rules change around that. It doesn’t affect me one bit.”


Colorado commit Trustin Oliver:

“All I can say is I’m limited on information but it’s hard for every junior college kid out there, and only time will tell what will happen in the future.”


Colorado commit Zephaniah Maea:

“With the Pac-12 postponing their season it’s really a good idea on what I’ll be doing. It’s a great feeling to know that I can play my senior season, because if the Pac-12 wasn’t postponed then I wouldn’t have played because I’ll be going up early to CU. I am strong with CU, strong commit.”


Colorado commit Chase Penry:

“The situation is pretty disappointing, but complaining about it won’t make anything better. I’m going to use this time to improve, and it’s a really high priority for me to find high-quality reps, honestly, wherever I can find them. Sometimes that will be in Colorado, but I expect to be on the road a lot this fall as well. I do hope the NCAA lifts the dead period sooner than later and allows kids to have face-to-face meetings with coaches. There’s obviously a way for recruits to get on campus and meet coaches in a safe way, so hopefully the NCAA can make that happen.”


Oregon commit Keanu Williams:

“It doesn’t affect any form of my recruitment with Oregon. I’m still locked in.”


Oregon commit Jackson Light:

“I feel bad for all of the players and coaches that don’t get to have football this year. They are family to me. It doesn’t affect my decision to go to Oregon at all. Hopefully things work out and I can still be on campus in January.”


Oregon commit Jaylin Davies:

“It doesn’t affect my recruitment at all. Still waiting to see what the next move is like for everyone else.”


Oregon commit Seven McGee:

“Does not affect my recruitment at all. It’s a lot going on in the world right now, so I couldn’t blame them.”


Oregon State commit Easton Mascarenas:

“I’m actually pretty sad that the season is canceled because the time period for football season within itself is just a fun time that everyone enjoys, and with the cancellation it kind of makes me worry about my high school season and if we’re gonna have one. With all this negativity I’m just trying to be optimistic and hope for the best and I’m just hoping we have football this year, regardless of when it is. As far as my recruitment goes, I really haven’t been on anyone’s radar since my commitment. But my recruiting is still open to anyone else that wants to offer.”


Oregon State commit Sam Vidlak:

“That does not affect my recruitment. I’m going to OSU and will be a Beaver. The only reason this would change is if the season were canceled and OSU kept a bunch of players that were supposed to graduate and didn’t have an offer anymore or something crazy and out of my control happened. But as far as I’m concerned I am 100 percent committed to Oregon State, and I’m under the impression that OSU is committed to me as well.”


Oregon State commit Henry Buckles:

“It’s a bummer that the student-athletes who have put in so much work won’t have an opportunity to play this fall. On the bright side, it’s great to have an opportunity in the spring for them to compete.”


Stanford commit Shield Taylor:

“As of right now, I’m still fully committed to Stanford. If our high school season gets canceled then I will focus on getting my body ready for college. I think the spring season for them would be best, health-wise, but it is unfortunate for the players.”


Stanford commit Caleb Ellis:

“The movement to the spring is definitely going to be a different experience for everyone, but the Pac-12 made the decision that they felt would be best for everyone. The movement will not affect my recruitment.”


Stanford commit Mitch Leigber:

“I’m disappointed that the season was canceled. I wanted to take a trip to Stanford and go to a few games. But ultimately it will not affect my commitment to Stanford.”


UCLA commit Tyler Kiehne:

“I’m sad. I was really looking forward to taking a game visit and watching the games throughout the season. But it doesn’t affect my recruitment at all. My decision still stands firm.”


UCLA commit Ezavier Staples:

“I’ve heard that if they move the season back then there’s a chance that signing day would be pushed back, and I planned on signing in December. So, that would be the only way it affects me.”


UCLA commit Devin Aupiu:

“It won’t affect my recruitment at all, but it will affect when I enroll.”


USC commit Calen Bullock:

“It hasn’t affected my recruitment, but I think it’s the best thing to do with all this COVID-19.”


USC commit Miller Moss:

“There are a lot of unknowns with the situation. As of now, my plans have not changed. I’m still going to be going to USC in January.”


USC commit Xamarion Gordon:

“As far as I know the Pac-12 pushing the season back, they are looking out for the players’ health and it is the right thing to do. This does not affect my recruitment at all.”


USC commit Michael Jackson:

“The Pac-12 decision to move their college football season to the spring doesn’t affect my recruitment at all. I’m still 100 percent committed to USC. My schedule hasn’t changed since March. Still training, lifting, gymnastics, still playing football actually (no pads). I just had to get creative and sort of create a season for myself. The plan a year and a half ago was to enroll early in January 2021 at the college that I chose. I’m still on track to do just that, but I will still need to seriously sit down with a few of my teammates, family and coaches before I can make a definite decision on early enrollment. What the NCAA determines for eligibility for 2021 early enrollees will also affect my decision to enroll early at USC.”


USC commit Julien Simon:

“I think it’s the right move when you’re concerned about the players health. Now, for the players that want to play and or need to play, it’s definitely a tough situation for them. This will not affect me and my recruitment at all. I am a Trojan no matter what.”


Utah commit Trey Reynolds:

“My thoughts are the same as the conference. I would like there to be a season, but if there is no way to protect the athletes there is no way they can have a season. This will affect me because I will not have ordinary spring football to get me ready for the 2022 season. In no way does it affect my commitment to Utah.”


Washington commit Sam Huard:

“Doesn’t affect recruitment, just would be too bad if other conferences are playing and the Pac-12 isn’t, but I understand the situation and reasoning for it. Trevor Lawrence said it best, and I agree with him, but it is what it is.”


Washington commit Dyson McCutcheon:

“I don’t think it affects my recruitment that much no matter when the season is played I’m sticking with UDUB. It does suck how the season is going to be all switched up and not normal, but I’m pretty sure me and my dad will talk on it and figure everything out.”


Washington commit Kuao Peihopa:

“I just feel bad for all the players. There’s been a lot of work put in, but at the same time I understand that safety always needs to come first. It does, however, make me wonder about scholarships and roster limitations (if) the seniors decide to apply for another year.”


Washington commit Zakhari Spears:

“I’m really disappointed. I won’t be able to watch games and visit campus again for a while. But there are bigger things at hand. Hopefully, we can get back to regular life with this sacrifice. In terms of recruitment, I’m all in with UW. I just hope we can get this virus taken care of sooner than later.”


Washington commit Robert Wyrsch:

“I’m very shocked to hear that and feel bad for the athletes that wanted to play. But it will not affect my recruitment at all. I’m 110 percent committed to the University of Washington.”


Washington commit Quentin Moore:

“It helps JUCO kids personally, because instead of two years at a D-I you can get three now. But for other guys that aren’t committed yet and don’t know where they are going it might have a negative effect. I think it’s good for me, because I will be able to go in and have more time to prepare myself for P5 football.”


Washington State commit Xavier Ward:

“My initial thought is obviously that I’m disappointed about it just like I’m disappointed that high school is playing in the spring, because I’m ready to play now. But I recognize the times we’re in and it doesn’t adversely affect my recruiting. I have a great relationship with WSU and it’ll only get better. All I know is that I’m gonna use the time to get better.”


Washington State commit Jayhvion Gipson:

“I’m just thankful teams are still able to even play.”


Washington State commit Brock Dieu:

“Kind of bummed I won’t be able to see Pac-12 football this fall, but glad it’s not all the way canceled. That does not affect my recruitment at all.”

Safety Daymon David weighing options in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC

Daymon David

Defensive back Daymon David carries an impressive offer sheet and the Reisterstown (Md.) Franklin star is getting closer to ending his recruitment. There are currently five teams that are doing a really good job recruiting David but the door is not completely shut on the other teams that have been pursuing him.

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

MORE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series


Boston College: “Coach Aazaar and coach Hafley can really make it work for me,” David said. “I feel as thought coach Hafley can develop me into one of the greatest DBs ever. I haven’t really followed the program but I always liked Luke Kuechly. I didn’t get to visit up there yet but I have done a virtual visit. The whole campus is like a castle and it’s really nice.”


Indiana: “Coach Jones at Indiana and I have developed a close relationship over this recruiting process,” he said. “I really like coach Allen and a bunch of guys on that coaching staff. Tiawan Mullen and I talk all the time. He tells me how I could come there and be like him. He’s one of the best in the Big Ten. I’ve seen how they’ve developed him. I took a virtual visit earlier this year and it was really well. The campus is really big.”


Michigan: “Michigan has a good tradition of putting out DBs and first rounders,” said David. “It’s also a really good academic school. That plays a big role for me. They play a lot of man coverage so they need safeties that can cover and I started out as a cornerback so I can cover really well. When I talk to the coaches we talk about their schemes, their practices, how they could use me, and how I could be a big time player there.”

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Commitment breakdown: Jason Marshall chooses Florida

Jason Marshall
Jason Marshall

Four-star cornerback Jason Marshall committed to Florida on Sunday, giving UF a Rivals100 talent in the 2021 class. Below, Rivals.com has a look at what the Gators are getting and what the program’s swell of momentum may mean for the future.

WHAT FLOIDA IS GETTING: Marshall is an elite athlete that anchored a star-studded Miami Palmetto High secondary last season. The Rivals100 prospect played a number of positions early in his career but recently settled into his role as a cornerback and has started to develop technically. He’s gotten stronger over the last calendar year and has the frame to add even more size in the year ahead. So while Marshall is not the fastest corner in the class, his length and athleticism allow him to play even bigger than his 6-foot-1 frame. Marshall has functioned as a kick returner in the past and could do the same in college. He needs to become more polished when it comes to technique and his backpedal, but his combination of size and athleticism will give him the opportunity to be an All-American-type prospect and possibly play on Sundays.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR UF: Florida desperately needed a victory over Miami to quell the Hurricanes’ momentum on the trail. Extracting a South Florida-based prospect from the legion in the midst of a Pandemic is obviously no easy task, so this is an extra impressive recruiting victory for Dan Mullen and company. UF is the most stable major program in the state, so it is expected to win its share of high-profile recruiting tussles. That said, success tends to compound. So if Florida is permitted to play this season and takes another step forward, these are the types of battles it can expect to win regularly.

Transfer Tracker: Villanova WR Changa Hodge headed to Virginia Tech

Changa Hodge

The Transfer Portal has changed the landscape of college football. So at Rivals we bring you the Transfer Tracker, where we analyze players entering the portal and rate them on what kind of impact they could make at their new home.

Next up in the tracker: Villanova transfer Changa Hodge, who is now headed to Virginia Tech.


CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State


TRANSFER RANKINGS: Quarterback | Running back | Tight End | Wide Receiver


A member of the Class of 2016, Hodge didn’t even have a Rivals.com profile or a ranking and landed at FCS program VIllanova.


After being mostly a reserve for his first three years at Villanova, Hodge had a break out season in 2019, catching 65 passes for 1,118 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was expected to be one of the stars of FCS, but with his season pushed back to the spring he quickly entered the portal and landed at Virginia Tech all in the same week.


“Hodge wasn’t on our radar at all coming out of high school but he’s been a big, physical impact guy who can get downfield and also block at the FCS level. Virginia Tech is getting a sure handed kid who is dangerous in the red zone and he will add depth immediately.” — National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell

Impact Rating: 6.4 out of 10


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Ten coordinator hires that stood out over the offseason

Bo Pelini
AP Images

The college football season faces dramatic uncertainties heading into the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. But there were plenty of offseason coordinator hires on both offense and defense and across the Power Five conferences that will have an impact once the sport gets going again. Here our 10 that especially stood out to us:

FACT OR FICTION: Jim Harbaugh should keep quiet about Ohio State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

MORE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series


Overview: Ohio State lost DE Chase Young and DB Jeffrey Okudah along with DB Damon Arnette and DL Davon Hamilton, but the Buckeyes are still loaded across the board even if some players are unproven. Bringing Coombs back to Ohio State from the Tennessee Titans should be the perfect solution since he has excelled at every job he’s ever had and he’s directed some of the best defenses in college football.

This could be another one, led by cornerback Shaun Wade, as Ohio State looks to return to the College Football Playoff. Also, Coombs’ short stint in the NFL will not hurt from a recruiting perspective.

Farrell’s take: Coombs was our national recruiter of the year in 2017, so he can recruit players and obviously coach them up. Jeff Hafley was great, but getting Coombs back at Ohio State makes it stronger than ever and he’s one of the best coaches regardless of position in college football.



Overview: Georgia has talent all over the field for Monken to work with, but much of it is unproven and a unique offense where cohesion and familiarity were important was not possible to occur during a pandemic.

Georgia’s new offensive coordinator has some interesting questions to answer in the coming weeks like will Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman or USC transfer JT Daniels, a former five-star who recently became eligible, be the starting quarterback? Which receivers will step up among a group that was lackluster at best last season after phenom George Pickens? Will an offensive line with some youth and inexperience but also incredible talent come together?

Monken spent the last few seasons bouncing around the NFL – and that won’t hurt recruiting – and if the Bulldogs can utilize their tight ends, that could be a big bonus, too.

Farrell’s take: Monken has plenty of experience and can’t be worse than his predecessor James Coley, who really struggled last season especially in boosting the passing game. Monken likes to throw downfield and that will be set up nicely by a strong running game. And his NFL experience will help recruiting.



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Fact or Fiction: MAC shutdown is first step toward canceled season

National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.

MORE FACT OR FICTION: Jim Harbaugh should keep quiet about Ohio State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

MORE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

3. The MAC shutdown is just a step towards the inevitable of shutting down
the season.

Thomas Hammock
AP Images

Farrell’s take: FACT. Yes, I know the MAC relies financially on non-conference games against Power Five programs, so things would be tough for those teams without those out-of-conference games. And maybe it makes sense to shut it down, but it won’t affect the big schools right? Wrong.

We live in a world of optics and one league shutting it down for health concerns will put pressure on others to do the same. I just feel this is a bad, bad sign for the rest of college football and I’ve been one of the more positive people about a season so far.

Gorney’s take: FACT. In a world where everyone thinks their opinion is the only right one, I have to be honest and say I have no idea where college football is headed right now. After the MAC canceled on Saturday and the Big Ten had a meeting Sunday, it felt like that conference was going to postpone or cancel, too, and then the floodgates would be opened for every other Power Five conference to follow suit.

I believe college athletes are best served on campus, surrounded by world-class medical professionals, engaged outdoors and in rigorous exercise, eating healthy food options and maintaining a routine that involves a tremendous amount of physical activity. I just don’t know if universities or conferences are going to take the risks inherently involved during a health pandemic. I’m leaning toward them not doing that and so I agree with Farrell that the MAC’s decision could lead others to not playing in the fall unfortunately.

2. Notre Dame does the best job recruiting OL in the nation.

Rocco Spindler
Josh Helmholdt / Rivals

Farrell’s take: FICTION. But it’s close. The addition of Rocco Spindler is another sign of how well the Irish recruit the position and how they have been capitalizing on the success of Ronnie Stanley, Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey in recent drafts. But I have to say Alabama still has the edge with the way the Crimson Tide consistently recruits five-star offensive linemen like crazy with Tommy Brockermeyer as the latest example and the likelihood of JC Latham ending up as with a fifth star.

Gorney’s take: FACT. Notre Dame and Alabama have the same number of offensive linemen in the NFL at nine, although the Irish have just 40 total players and Alabama has 65. That is a huge credit to the coaching staff in South Bend in terms of recruiting and then developing elite offensive linemen and taking guys like Nelson, McGlinchey and others and maximizing their ability.

Notre Dame’s offensive line is loaded once again this season and then recruiting has gone really well with Spindler being the latest example. Indiana’s top player is Avon offensive tackle Blake Fisher, an ND commit pushing for five-star status.

Of course, Alabama recruits well along the offensive line but Notre Dame does it best.


3. Leonard Taylor is underranked.

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2023 DL Stantavious Smith’s picking up offers


Stantavious Smith is a 6-foot-3, 250 pound sophomore defensive lineman at Dougherty High in Albany (Ga.). He had planned to make a big splash in the spring in front of college coaches, but that didn’t happen.

This off-season has been so different for football players, and for everyone across the world, but it has not slowed Smith down. He has put in a lot of work and the word has gotten out about the talent he has.

He has picked up offers from Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Florida State, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Those offers have come in over the last couple of months and it is just going to motivate him this fall.

“Getting these offers are big, but it just keeps me humble and working hard for more,” said Smith. “I expected to get offers, but not this soon, and it is just pushing me to work harder and not to let up.

“I am excited about the offers and I am ready for the season to start so I can get out there and show the work I have been putting in. I am going to stay hungry and show everyone why these schools offered me early.”

He has been excited each time he received an offer, but the one from the Seminoles may have meant a little more. Smith grew up a Florida State fan and has attended a handful of games in Tallahassee already.

“This offer was a big surprise. It was great to get the Florida State offer. It is early and it really means a lot. I have been there for three games and I love the hype, the fans and how they have had good defensive linemen.

“I have been watching Florida State on TV my whole life, so to have this offer means a lot to me.”

The offer from Georgia stood out too. He was in Athens last spring for the Bulldog’s spring game and although it wasn’t a real contest, the UGA fans caught his attention.

“Georgia is a home-state school and it a great fan base,” said Smith. “I was there and it was loud. They have fans everywhere and I like Georgia too.”

Not only is this 2023 prospect looking forward to getting on the field this season to play football again, but he is excited about getting out to visit different programs. He missed out on that this spring and summer so seeing what all is out there is something on his mind.

Smith is expected to start his sophomore year in August, so he still has plenty of time to evaluate colleges, but the communication has already started.

“I have talked to at least one coach from every school that has offered me and they tell me they like the player I am and the talent I have, but it is mostly about grades and taking care of those at my age.

“They want me to work hard on my grades, take care of those first and that is what I have talked most about with the different coaches so far.”