Top 5 uncommitted recruits heading in to National Signing Day

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Decision day looms for college football recruits around the country. A number have already made their decisions through a verbal commitment, but on Wednesday will mark the first time those solid verbals can be become official with the signing of a National Letter of Intent.

A handful of recruits have yet to make their decisions known. Here are the five players still undecided at the end of January with just days to go, according to Rivals.

1. DB Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, CA, Rivals)

Leading Candidates: Florida, USC, LSU, UCLA

This much seems certain, Jackson will be playing his college football in either the SEC or the Pac 12. Being the California native, it is no surprise USC and UCLA have been in the mix, but the Trojans look to have pick dup some steam in the recruiting game since Steve Sarkisian was named head coach. USC’s biggest need may not be in the defensive secondary, but the future outlook for USC seems more optimistic right now and that makes the Trojans a huge player heading in to signing day.

Prediction: USC

2. LB Rashaan Evans (Auburn, AL; Rivals, pictured)

Leading Candidates: Auburn, Alabama, UCLA

Considering Auburn just played for a BCS championship and knocked off Alabama to get there, it would be a major shock if the Tigers let one of the nation’s top linebacker recruits sneak right out of their backyard. Auburn’s defense was good last year but certainly not their strength. Adding some hometown star power would make a great addition.

Prediction: Auburn

3. WR Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, LA, Rivals)

Leading Candidates: LSU, UCLA, Ole Miss, Florida State, Alabama

Dupre has been making a number of visits in January leading up to signing day, but LSU still looks like a strong favorite for the Louisiana wide receiver. the 6’4” 175 pound receiver is the second highest rated recruit in Louisiana and second at his position in the country. With a need at receiver, LSU looks to have one locked in.

Prediction: LSU

4. OL Damian Prince (Forestville, MD; Rivals)

Leading Candidates: Maryland, Florida, South Carolina

Where the 6’5”, 292 pound offensive lineman from Maryland ends up is one of the more up-in-the-air decisions to be made. Maryland has long been a popular favorite for the instate lineman, but Florida and South Carolina appear to have been making a decent push. The wild card in the equation may be Penn State, and Florida State may be in the mix as well. This is a tough one to predict, but Prince would be a huge keep for Maryland if they can hold on to him.

Prediction: Maryland

5. DB John Smith (Long Beach, CA; Rivals)

Leading Candidates: USC, Notre Dame

Another recruiting battle that appears pretty wide open is likely to have two strong contenders in the field with days to go. The California wide receiver from Long Beach is believed to be choosing between USC and Notre Dame. Again, the momentum is a huge factor in this recruiting battle, and USC seems to have it at the right time. The Trojans had Smith on an unofficial visit and an official visit in January that followed up an unofficial visit in December.

Prediction: USC

Ex-WVU receiver Reggie Roberson announces transfer to SMU

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Former West Virginia wide receiver Reggie Roberson seems to have found his new place to call home. Roberson announced his commitment to SMU with a doctored image on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.

By rule, Roberson will have to sit out the 2018 college football season since he is transferring to another FBS program. He’ll be eligible to play again for SMU beginning in 2019, but he will do so with three years of eligibility remaining.

Roberson was a three-star prospect in West Virginia’s Class of 2017 and he played in 10 games as a true freshman for the Mountaineers last fall. In those 10 games, Roberson caught six passes for 30 yards. Roberson is a native of Texas, so moving to SMU will bring him a little closer to home than Morgantown, West Virginia can offer.

Syracuse recruiting director leaves to become scout for Buffalo Bills

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Syracuse recruiting director Asil Mulbah is heading to the NFL. With an announcement on Instagram, Mulbah announced he is joining the scouting department with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

“Excited to announce that I have accepted a position in the Buffalo Bills Scouting Department,” Mulbah said in his statement. “I’d like to thank Coach Babers, the SU football staff, and the players for an amazing two seasons filled with memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Mulbah has previous NFL scouting experience with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has been a part of the Syracuse program since 2016. Prior to his arrival at Syracuse under head coach Dino Babers, Mulbah made stops at Wake Forest and Bowling Green.

Nebraska’s starting center opts to retire from playing football

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Nebraska has a handful of centers vying for the starting job in the middle of the offensive line this season. However, one of those options will not be Michael Decker. On Saturday morning, via Twitter, Decker announced he is retiring from playing football. Decker was a starting center for the Huskers last season.

“Over the past [six] months, I have taken a step back and looked at my future career goals and decided that I can no longer [accomodate] football’s commitments,” Decker said in his statement. “It is finally time to see that these aspirations outweighed the lacking desire to continue playing the game. Which, given the team’s goals, would only hurt them by my participation.”

Decker started five games for Nebraska at the center position in 2017 as a sophomore. A knee injury in October brought his season to a premature end. That injury also sidelined Decker for Nebraska spring football this season, leaving his future with the program and the game in doubt.

Nebraska is now moving forward with 14 offensive linemen on scholarship. Hunter Miller seemed to get the most opportunities in the spring to work with the first-team offense, but Nebraska also expects to have Cole Conrad back for the fall. Conrad started seven games for Nebraska last fall.

Japanese college football coach resigns over controversial hit

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Masato Uchida, the head coach of Nihon University’s national championship football team in Japan, has resigned as head coach of the program in response to a devastating hit delivered by one of his players on an opposing quarterback in a recent game against rival Kwansei Gakuin.

A Nihon defender well behind a pass play sped toward a quarterback well after an attempted pass. With the quarterback leisurely jogging toward the sideline, the Nihon defender tackled the unsuspecting quarterback from behind at the legs. You can watch the video of the hit, which went viral in Japan, on YouTube. The quarterback was forced to leave the game and it has been reported recovery from ligament damage in his spine could take three weeks. Fortunately, no nerve damage was discovered.

“The responsibility for this series of problems lies directly with me. I will resign as head coach,” Uchida said on Saturday, according to the Associated Press. “I am quitting for the sake of the young players. We must create a new Nichidai. After the incident, I did not warn my players and that is my responsibility. It was my poor judgment.”

Officials from Kwansei Gakuin accused Nihon of intentionally trying to hurt the quarterback, but Uchida initially refuted such allegations. In light of the controversial hit, three games for Nihon have been canceled due to upcoming opponents opting not to play against them. The Kantoh Collegiate Football Association announced additional cancellations as well.