The final minutes of the 2014 recruiting cycle are ticking and more than 25 ESPN 300 prospects and 50 recruits ranked four stars or higher are still on the board. Thus, Wednesday is sure to have plenty of twists and turns. Here are 10 predictions for what we'll see on signing day.
The West is where most of the major headlines on signing day will occur, with four of the top eight players on the West Coast still on the board, including five-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), No. 3 athlete Juju Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) and No. 4 guard Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco). Heading into the final few hours before signing day, USC is in very good position with all three prospects, and I project the Trojans will land all of them, pushing them into the top 20 of the class rankings. Even if they miss on any combination of the three, the job new coach Steve Sarkisian has done down the stretch proved to a lot of observers that USC will be a force to be reckoned with in the Pac-12. Mama announces at 11 a.m. ET, Jackson at 2 p.m. and Smith at 4 p.m. -- all live on ESPNU.
My head tells me I'm going to regret making his prediction, because history tells me Auburn doesn't lose these types of battles for guys in its backyard. But I'm going to predict Alabama lands No. 2 outside linebacker Rashaan Evans. I know that bucks virtually every projection out there, and my head tells me the Tigers are the right pick, but with the way former five-star recruit and current Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster has been hanging out with his former Auburn (Ala.) High School teammate, you can't diminish the Tide's chances. At this point, Alabama and Auburn coaches aren't sure which way Evans is leaning, and both staffs pulled out all the stops by attending Evans' grandfather's 80th birthday party on Saturday night at a hotel in Auburn. Something just tells me Alabama has a better chance than most people think.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was asked shortly after the Allstate Sugar Bowl how the victory over Alabama would help on the recruiting trail, and he said it would provide the Sooners "a big boost." He was right. They have surged down the home stretch and it will continue on signing day. Oklahoma will land the No. 75 player in the ESPN 300 and No. 9 athlete, Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East), and No. 139 player and No. 9 safety Steven Parker II (Jenks, Okla./Jenks). The Sooners also are in good shape with three-star offensive tackle Kenyon Frison (West Valley, Utah/Granger), and if they reel him in, they could end up with the best class in the Big 12. Heading into signing day, the Sooners are just two spots behind Texas at No. 16 in the class rankings.