With two days until National Signing Day on Wednesday, eight players in the top 50 of the USA TODAY Sports’ composite recruiting rankings remain uncommitted.
TEAM RANKINGS: Class of 2017
Here is a look at the prospects for those players:
Marvin Wilson, defensive tackle, Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas)
Ranked No. 6, the 6-4, 329-pound Wilson has a final five of Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma and South Florida. If South Florida seems like an outlier, Wilson cited the relationship with new Bulls coach Charlie Strong as the reason for considering the school. Strong recruited Wilson when he was at Texas. LSU and Florida State are viewed as the favorites with Oklahoma possible, but Wilson put out a favorable tweet about Ohio State last week. Are the Buckeyes in this race or is Wilson just messing with their fans? ESPN’s Tom Luginbill said he thinks Ohio State is a darkhorse.
Aubrey Solomon, defensive tackle, Lee County (Leesburg, Ga.)
Ranked No. 25, Solomon is a former Michigan commit who is down to the Wolverines, Georgia, Alabama and Southern California. Solomon told Scout.com last week that he has made his decision and was planning to share his decision with close friends and family over the weekend. He said he was looking for a place that combined a strong academic reputation with recent football success. He has an up-and-down relationship with Michigan. He decommitted in August after he received a mailer from Michigan with his name misspelled and thanking him for attending an event that he didn’t attend. He had positive things to say after an official visit in November, but then was caught using an expletive about Michigan on a social media video. He then apologized. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh went go-karting and bowling with Solomon and his family during a visit to Georgia in mid-January.
LaBrayan Ray, defensive end, Clemens (Madison, Ala.)
Ranked No. 26, Ray is considered the No. 1 overall recruit in Alabama and the Crimson Tide hope to prevent him from leaving the state. Ray had 99 tackles and 11 sacks as a senior. He took an official visit to Alabama two weeks ago and visited Florida on the final weekend. Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Ole Miss are his finalists, but Florida is perceived as the one school that could lure Ray away from Alabama.
“They helped themselves, it was a great trip,” Ray told SECCountry about his trip. “It was a lot of fun and I definitely enjoyed things. This visit was different for me and it’s going to be a tough choice.”
Joseph Lewis, wide receiver, Hawkins (Los Angeles)
Ranked No. 31, Lewis is taking an unofficial and official visit to USC in the final two weeks and he has been considered a lean toward the Trojans. Nebraska is the other school in the running, and it could come down the final days. Teammate Greg Johnson, a four-star athlete in the Class of 2017, is down to USC and Nebraska, and the Cornhuskers got a commitment from another teammate, Eric Fuller, a four-star athlete in the Class of 2018. Nebraska has made a big impact in Southern California in this class with Calabasas wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and quarterback Tristan Gebbia and Cathedral (Los Angeles) receiver Jamire Calvin. Lewis’ decision might not be as much of a USC slam dunk as it could appear.
“It’s critical to USC given the losses they have had on the perimeter that they keep the best wide receiver in state,” Luginbill said.
Austin Jackson, offensive tackle, North Canyon (Phoenix)
Ranked No. 35, Jackson has had a comparably quiet recruitment and had expressed an interest at the Army Bowl in wrapping things up. He is down to Arizona State, USC and Washington. The 6-6, 280-pound Jackson took most of his visits during the season.
K’Lavon Chaisson, defensive end, North Shore (Galena, Texas)
Ranked No. 37, Chaisson tied the record with three sacks in the Under Armour All-America Game. He has left his visits for the end with LSU, Texas and Florida. LSU coach Ed Orgeron came by for an early morning visit followed by Texas coach Tom Herman before Chaisson flew to Florida last weekend for his final visit. He rated his LSU visit as a 1,000 on a scale of 1 to 10, but he is a key recruit for first-year Herman. Chaisson can get after the quarterback on every play and is quick off the line. He will be a significant addition for either LSU or Texas as most don’t consider Florida as a serious contender.
Jeff Thomas, wide receiver, East St. Louis (Ill.)
A speedy slot receiver who is ranked No. 40, Thomas opened eyes when he was named the MVP of the Under Armour game with records for touchdowns and receiving yards. Thomas was said to be leaning toward in-state Illinois but eliminating the Illini last week. Miami, Louisville and Oregon are his three finalists. He visited Miami last weekend and then got a visit from Ron Dugans, Miami’s wide receiver coach and passing game coordinator.
Jay Tufele, defensive tackle, Bingham (South Jordan, Utah)
Ranked No. 41, Tufele is closing with two Pac-12 visits: USC and Utah. The Utes are considered the favorite and the school has a history with players from Bingham. He visited Michigan in October and coaches checked in on him last week with an in-home visit. Michigan needs to add a defensive tackle, and it could be Tufele if it isn’t Aubrey Solomon. Tufele visited USC with another coveted defensive tackle, Marlon Tuipulotu, who then flipped from Washington. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and defensive line coach Larry Johnson made an in-home visit last Thursday before Tufele took his official to Utah, about 20 minutes way from home.