Posted: 5:08 pm Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
Where will they sign? Predicting the choices of the top three uncommitted football players in the area
By Jeff Greer
Nobody loves making predictions more than Matt and me. Nobody. (See this video for more.)
So, with a week to go before national signing day, we’re going to stick our necks out and tell you where we think the top three uncommitted prospects in the area will sign.
AVERY YOUNG, OT, Palm Beach Gardens
Everyone wants to know which school Young will pick on signing day. We do, too. Over the past year or so, we’ve talked with Avery, his dad, and his coach, Chris Davis. A lot. At no point in that process have we felt one way or another about a school — except there has been an on-going theme about one. The Young family talks a lot about Georgia being home. Maybe that will be the only tea leaf we need.
(For the full rundown on Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast recruiting, check out our Big Board.)
Young has visited Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Miami. He’s repeatedly listed Auburn, Florida and Georgia as his final three. Then, Young took an official visit to Miami this past weekend. We expect more than three hats on the table when Young announces his decision on ESPN (and in the Gardens auditorium) at 2 p.m. on signing day.
Jeff’s pick: That lingering feeling in my gut is unavoidable at this point. I think Young picks Georgia. When things started getting serious with Young, it seemed like Oklahoma had a good shot with him. Nick Saban started calling Young regularly, and any time ‘Bama comes after a kid, it’s no small deal. But everything keeps coming back to Georgia and the special connection Young has to the school. His dad mentioned that a week or so ago.
Matt’s pick: Auburn, Florida and Georgia are the clear leaders. In a long chat on Tuesday, Young said he thinks he knows where he’s going … then he doesn’t know. He likes all three. All three are selling him hard. He has close family a game-day drive from all three. He says he feels equally at home on all three campuses, and equally comfortable with all three coaching staffs. I’ll say he chooses Auburn, though I would not be surprised if I’m wrong. The only shock would be him choosing Miami (or Alabama, which is also pushing hard). I think it’s one of the top three.
TRAVARES COPELAND, ATH, Treasure Coast
If Copeland’s tweets are any indication, it’s been a hard process for the uber-athletic senior. He’s openly asked his friends on Facebook and Twitter which school he should pick out of his final three of FIU, Rutgers and West Virginia. All three want him to play receiver, though he’s also going to get some time in Wildcat formations. He played quarterback for most of his high school career. He wants to play early and often, regardless of position.
Copeland took official visits to each of his final three schools. Rutgers was first back on Dec. 2, followed by WVU a week later. FIU got Copeland down on its campus two weekends ago. His decision may be the hardest one to predict of these three.
Jeff’s pick: He was impressed by West Virginia’s ridiculous Orange Bowl performance, and rightfully so. The Mountaineers won a BCS bowl and scored 70 points in the process. Rutgers and FIU didn’t quite come close to that. When a kid has a chance to play in an offense like that for a school that stays in the national picture despite its conference affiliation, it’s hard to ignore. I’ll say Copeland picks West Virginia.
Matt’s pick: Copeland really seems at a loss. It seems either the stay-home option (FIU) or the better overall program (WVU) would be best for him. (Thursday morning update: Yeah, I changed my pick. I can do that.) Copeland would play the most at Rutgers or FIU, and FIU sees a little T.Y. Hilton in him. Plus, it’s warmer in Miami. FIU is my pick.
JAIME WILSON, WR, Glades Central
Wilson, Glades Central’s high-IQ, good route-running, strong-hands receiver, will be picking from three schools on signing day: Memphis, Western Michigan and Marshall. Now, the natural reaction when Marshall and Glades Central work together is that the kid will end up there. The Thundering Herd picked up two signees last year from Central, Davonte Allen and Robert Way. There are six local kids on Marshall’s roster, and of course, the school’s recruiting coordinator is Glades Central legend JaJuan Seider.
Though Wilson had been hoping that Miami and other bigger-name programs would come calling — and his talent certainly merits that hope — it appears as though the 6-foot, 180-pounder will be choosing from his current options. He takes an official visit to Western Michigan this weekend, and hasn’t been to Memphis or Marshall. He said Western Michigan was leading back in December.
Jeff’s pick: Nothing’s really changed since December, and the MAC will be an awesome spot for Wilson, who can be a star at that level. He has all the tools of a very good college receiver. It’s been a surprise that more schools haven’t gotten involved with him, but whoever gets him will be lucky. I say it’s Western Michigan.
Matt’s pick: While Marshall seems to make sense for pretty much any Glades Central kid, Western Michigan is the only official visit Wilson plans to take. He said the Broncos were leading, so we’ll take him at his word. He should do well in their spread offense.
There are other big-name players who remain uncommitted, namely Lake Worth quarterback Evan Moore, Seminole Ridge running back Gary Holmes and Atlantic receiver Chad Ward, but their statuses are not as clear as the three above. Holmes recently lost both of his Division I-A offers (Western Michigan and Middle Tennessee), while Ward’s commitment to FAU wasn’t accepted and his Middle Tennessee offer was pulled. Moore is still waiting for his first Division I-A offer. Those three will be players to watch in the coming weeks. And remember, they don’t have to sign on signing day. The spring signing period lasts through April 1.