Although many players have been committed for months, there are still a few surprises in store for National Signing Day on Wednesday. Among the biggest questions: Will TCU land Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack, one of the top-rated players in the country? Here are some storylines to follow:
1. Can TCU land Daylon Mack?
Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack, one of the top-rated players in the country, will announce his decision at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday morning live on ESPNU. And TCU is squarely in the mix — if not the favorite — along with Texas and Texas A&M. Mack decommitted from A&M in December, and just recently re-sparked a relationship with Charlie Strong and the Longhorns. TCU, meanwhile, has been on good terms with him throughout his recruitment. Sealing the deal with a signed National Letter of Intent would be a statement by the Horned Frogs and help fill the void left by graduated defensive tackle Chucky Hunter.
2. Texas A&M wins Lone Star Showdown
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Well, sort of. The Aggies and Longhorns won’t be competing on the field any time soon, but A&M won a major recruiting battle between the two rivals when Allen quarterback Kyler Murray reaffirmed his commitment to Kevin Sumlin. The three-time state champion, who went 42-0 as a starter for the Eagles, committed to the Aggies last May but seemed to waver on the decision in the last month. The speculation hit a fever pitch two weeks ago, when Murray tweeted a photo of a Texas jersey during a surprise visit to Austin. He ended the guessing game last Thursday, though, reaffirming his commitment to A&M in a tweet that was retweeted more than 8,000 times.
Texas, which made a late push for Murray, landed a quarterback Monday night when Kai Locksley of Baltimore switched his commitment from Florida State to the Longhorns.
3. Texas in line for Jefferson and more on defense
Charlie Strong did manage to land the state’s best player in Mesquite Poteet linebacker Malik Jefferson. The consensus five-star seemed like an inevitable A&M pledge before a late twist in his recruitment — partially prodded by the Aggies’ then-uncertainty at defensive coordinator — resulted in him committing to Texas. Strong, already with a solid defense in place, has also loaded up on premier defenders with commitments from LB Anthony Wheeler, DB Holton Hill, DB Kris Boyd, LB Cameron Townsend, DT Du’Vonta Lampkin and DE Charles Omenihu.
4. Stidham flips to Baylor
Stephenville quarterback Jarrett Stidham had been committed to Texas Tech for months before re-opening his recruitment and flipping to Baylor, where he’s already enrolled and taking classes. It was a drastic swing for both schools. After a 4-8 season, Tech was relying on the momentum of signing a consensus Top 100 national recruit who could compete immediately for the starting quarterback job. Now that’ll be the good fortune of Baylor, which will be looking to replace quarterback Bryce Petty after back-to-back Big 12 championships. 247 Sports rates Stidham as a five-star prospect; ESPN, Rivals and Scout have him as a four-star.
5. West Coast connection
The Pac-12 has become a formidable recruiting opponent for state schools in recent years, and this year was no different. Aledo’s Ryan Newsome (UCLA), Dallas Skyline’s Carlos Strickland (Cal) and McKinney North’s Ronald Jones II (USC) all committed to Pac-12 schools over offers from state schools. Another top player, Plano West running back Soso Jamabo will choose Wednesday between UCLA and Texas. The Bruins were also a finalist for Malik Jefferson.
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760