BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Quarterbacks Justin Fields and Matt Corral have a lot in common these days. They are both highly rated, ESPN 300 signal-callers. They were both longtime commits, and now they’re not.
Fields had been committed to Penn State since December, but decommitted from the Nittany Lions on June 6. Corral, a USC commit since February 2016, parted ways with the Trojans on June 17. Now they find themselves in a game of recruiting musical chairs.
They are back on the market in the middle of the summer, and only seven of the 28 ESPN 300 quarterbacks remain uncommitted. And the number of programs looking for a QB in the 2018 class has dwindled.
That also means there is some overlap in the schools targeting the two quarterbacks, causing uncertainty about where they will land and who will make the first move.
“I’ve narrowed it down to Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Auburn and USC,” Fields said. “I think I’m going to [visit] Auburn on July 13 or 14, and I might go back up to Georgia.”
Fields' top schools are similar to those of Corral, who has Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Miami on his list.
Corral is also planning visits in July, when he will see Alabama on July 21, Georgia on July 25, and eventually Florida. Each prospect would like to make a decision before the season starts, which means there are roughly two months to figure out the next step.
Fields, ranked No. 4 overall, and Corral, ranked No. 85 in the ESPN 300, spent some time together in Oregon at Nike’s The Opening. Despite the similarities in the schools they are considering, though, Corral said they did not talk recruiting once at the event.
Both are well-aware of the other, though. The schools recruiting them, particularly Florida and Georgia, have been open about the overlap.
“They’re all straight up with us. They tell me what they tell Justin; they tell Justin what they tell me,” Corral said. “[Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier] is straight up and he tells me how he’s recruiting me and how he’s recruiting Justin Fields, because everybody … [is] back and forth with me and Justin.”
Corral, as of now, is favoring Georgia because it is the only school the Long Beach, California prospect has visited outside of USC. That could change once he takes the rest of his visits. Georgia, however, might have a preference for Fields. He is from Kennesaw, Georgia, and keeping in-state players home has been an intense priority for the Bulldogs.
The timing also matters.
With the quarterback position, there is a high probability that the two will not pick the same school. That leaves the prospects and the schools in an interesting predicament.
If one school prefers Fields, who has seen his stock rise tremendously the past few months, and Corral wants to choose that school, how will the coaches handle that situation? Do they let Corral commit knowing they’re getting an excellent quarterback, or risk waiting for Fields and potentially land neither of the top prospects?
The prospects themselves and the coaches are in a standoff, resulting in quite a bit of intrigue as to how it will play out. Both recruits are confident in their abilities, though, and haven’t let on that either is paying too much attention to the other.
“I’m not worried about Justin and when he’s committing,” Corral said. “I’m worried about myself and when I’m committing.”