Reliving some recent major decommitments
The start of the summer really kicks in the fun for the upcoming recruiting cycle. The camps begin, the major summer showcases like “The Opening,” “Elite 11” and the Rivals “Five-Star Challenge” are coming.
It also means we’ll experience our first wave of decommitments. Texas A&M has already hit the ground running when it comes to losing verbal commitments, but expect other SEC programs to catch up soon.
From summer changes to signing day we took a look at some of the more interesting decommitments.
Robert Nkemdiche from Clemson to Ole Miss: Hard to believe that Nkemdiche was a Clemson commit, but most pundits didn’t think of it as much more than a placeholder for him to handle his recruitment in a quieter manner. For a change the pundits were right. Nkemdiche dropped Clemson like a bad habit and pretty much focused on Ole Miss, Alabama and Georgia down the stretch. Hard to believe that Nkemdiche and Dalvin Cook (more on him later) could have been on Clemson’s playoff team this year; I’m sure Alabama didn’t miss them.
Reuben Foster from Auburn to Alabama: Whenever a prospect gets a tattoo of the school he’s committed to it reminds me of Foster. The linebacker has since changed his Auburn tattoo and added some ink of the scripted ‘A’ logo for Alabama but his flipping between Auburn and Alabama made for a wild recruiting ride. Foster also entertained Georgia for a hot minute as well. At the end of the day he said he didn’t mean anyone harm and was just trying to make everyone happy. Not possible, but I hope he made himself happy.
Gregory Little from Texas A&M to Ole Miss: The Aggies have been losing five-star recruits for a while. Last summer Little made a “soft commitment” to Texas A&M only to change it to a non-commitment six days later by declaring that he already looked at Alabama and Ole Miss and thought they were both good fits. Eventually he decided Ole Miss would be the best fit. Little should see the field quickly … and Texas A&M all-world defensive lineman Myles Garrett will be waiting for him.
Dalvin Cook from Florida to FSU: The Gators have generally struggled to get players from Miami-Dade County from time to time. They didn’t get many during the Spurrier era but did much better under Urban Meyer. Cook to Florida, however, never seemed very solid. He committed to Clemson before his junior year and eventually flipped to Florida but continued looking. He made his final decision to go to FSU during practice for the Under Armour All-American Game.
Dante Fowler from FSU to Florida: Fowler had been committed to FSU for a while but was constantly flirting with Florida to the point of where most FSU message boards wrote him off. FSU’s staff continued to believe he would be in Tallahassee and was just having fun on social media.
Alas Fowler (pictured below tackling Cook) made the most obvious decommitment and flip on national signing day when he disclosed his poorly kept secret to ESPN during their signing day special.
Ricky Town from coast-to-coast: I love this one. Ricky Town of Ventura, Calif., decided to get a taste of the south and commit to Alabama because of his relationship with then-offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
After the 2014 season Nussmeier ditched Nick Saban for the same role at Michigan. Now that in itself is fine, but of course he sent Saban an email. Who sends a break-up email anymore? That’s so 2004. Maybe Town tried to reach Saban on “Friendster” first.
Anyway, Town chatted about this with AL.com and said that Saban never responded. I guess Saban couldn’t figure how to send a GIF with an inappropriate gesture. Anyway Town lasted about five days at USC before deciding to transfer there before the start of his freshman year. He’s now at Arkansas and God help him if he starts a game against the Tide. Blake Barnett, who decommitted from Notre Dame after Town’s decommitment, took Town’s spot.
Raekwon Davis from Alabama to Mississippi State (??) to Alabama (??): Hard to know if Davis decommitted to start, but it was my favorite “almost story” of the 2016 recruiting cycle.
Davis was a longtime commit to Alabama, but visited Mississippi State and flipped. Everyone reported this was a flip, Davis confirmed it at first but when Alabama fan sites called him, he denied he made the switch, or he switched at first but switched back later.
He ended up in Alabama’s class because Alabama wanted him and they generally get who they want. But for one shining moment it appeared that Dan Mullen had a recruiting win over Nick Saban.