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The Prospector: Things are pointing to a crazy ride on National Signing Day

Here we go.

The closing play of today's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio begins the final three-week visitation period before National Signing Day.

It would be wise to strap in tight for this wild ride, and we'll be right there every step.

Miami stands to gain the most today in Texas if even just one of the prospects listing the Hurricanes as a finalist come through for coach Al Golden.

Safety Deon Bush (6-1, 185) of Miami Columbus lists UM with Alabama and Auburn. With consensus top-rated safety in the nation Landon Collins committing to Alabama at Thursday's Under Armour All-American Game, that could bode well for the Hurricanes.

Tampa Jefferson defensive end Tyriq McCord (6-3, 222) will commit to Miami, Georgia, South Carolina or Southern Cal, so the odds are against UM here.

The third player listing the Hurricanes is Keith Brown, the most interesting situation of the lot. Brown joined Miami Norland teammate Randy “Duke'' Johnson as an early Miami commitment in September. After the Miami recruiting turmoil, however, Brown decommitted in favor of Illinois in November. Ten days later, Illinois fired head coach Ron Zook. Brown finally decommitted this week, and guess who has stepped in?

Charlie Strong might be in line to pick up the scraps with Louisville being the benefactor. And Brown is nobody's leftovers, being the top-ranked linebacker in the state in the Sentinel's Florida Top 100.

I would chalk this one up to Strong.

Amid all of the Miami turmoil, Golden has somehow managed to keep intact a 27-commit list that Rivals.com ranks No. 11 nationally.

The Gators also could be in line to have a big day in San Antonio if Shelby (N.C.) defensive end Jonathan Bullard comes through with a commitment. If so, he would join teammate and earlier UF commit Rhaheim Ledbetter, a 5-11, 190-pound safety on the Gators board.

The Gators have several prospects looming large in Miramar cornerback Tracy Howard and WR Stefon Diggs of Our Lady of Good Counsel High in Olney, Md. Gators fans and coaches loved Diggs at Friday Night Lights. He will announce signing day and be flashing his presence today in San Antonio.

Aside from the Army game, the Gators are also in the mix for the Sentinel's 2012 Florida Top 100 No. 1 prospect Nelson Agholor, a do-everything athlete from Tampa Berkeley, who is also high on Florida State and Notre Dame.

The Gators have 18 commits and are ranked No. 5 by Rivals.

Florida State will not see any commits for the first time in years from any of the All-American games, although they have been well represented by those already committed.

FSU, who had six commits in the Under Armour game, has fallen a bit in the national recruiting rankings (No. 8 by Rivals) after players like DE ÖDante Fowler Jr. of St. Pete Lakewood and DE Mario Edwards of Denton, Texas, have seen their individual rating lowered by Rivals.

The Seminoles' biggest gets or losses will come on National Signing Day, and the losses could come in the form of current commits. Can they keep Fowler, Edwards and QB ÖJameis Winston? Time will tell.

Then there is UCF: Any guess is probably as good a guess as even the UCF coaching staff has as to what type of class the Knights will finally be able to solidify for 2012. They have seven commitments and could sign as many as 18 players.

Things are looking to get pretty crazy as Feb. 1 approaches. Unlike the previous couple of years, there are going to be a lot of uneasy coaches standing at their fax machines that morning.

chays@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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