The decommitment of five-star Brenton Cox sent shockwaves throughout the recruiting world this week, but he is just one of more than a dozen ESPN 300 prospects to back off of commitments in the last week.
With the early signing period just 12 days away, two huge official visit weekends about to begin and a crazy coaching carousel having sent panic throughout the ESPN 300, here is a look at five prospects who could flip.
Justin Fields | QB, 6-3, 221, Kennesaw, Georgia/Harrison, ESPN 300 No. 1
Main competition: Florida, Texas A&M and Florida State
Fields has had positive conversations with new Florida head coach Dan Mullen and new Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher this week, and both schools are working hard to get the nation’s top-ranked player on campus this weekend or on the weekend of the 15th. The message is simple, come to Gainesville or College Station and have a terrific opportunity to start as a true freshman or go to Georgia and compete with entrenched freshman starter Jacob Fromm. For Georgia, Fields is a prospect it can’t afford to lose. The Bulldogs are on their way to signing the No. 1 class in 2018, and only a Fields decommitment could derail the momentum.
Emory Jones | QB, 6-3, 196, Franklin, Georgia/Heard County, ESPN 300 No. 20
Commitment: Ohio State
Main competition: Alabama and Auburn
Jones’ commitment to the Buckeyes has been shaky for months, and he has spent his senior season looking at schools closer to home. While Auburn would like to add a second signal-caller to the class to go with Joey Gatewood, it’s the Crimson Tide that are perceived to be the biggest threat to Urban Meyer. Jones has been on campus in Tuscaloosa multiple times this season, including an October official visit. Optimism is higher in Columbus than earlier in the season, but it’s difficult to forget what began as smoke early on has turned into a smoldering fire.
Joshua Moore | WR, 6-1, 171, Yoakum, Texas/Yoakum, ESPN 300 No. 36
Main competition: Alabama
Prediction: No feel
Moore has been committed to Nebraska since June, and is still committed after the hiring of Scott Frost. With that said, Alabama has received an official visit and Florida State has been heavily involved. With Fisher now in College Station and brother Jordan Moore committed to Texas A&M, the Aggies could figure prominently in Moore’s final decision. A number of programs continue to work to get the playmaker on campus, including Baylor.
Keondre Coburn | DT, 6-3, 334, Houston, Texas/Westfield, ESPN 300 No. 49
Main competition: TCU, Texas A&M, Alabama, UCLA
Since committing, Coburn has maintained he would make all five official visits. That continued theme coupled with a rough first year in Austin for Tom Herman has Longhorns fans feeling a bit queasy as Coburn posts social media pictures of in-home visits with competing coaching staffs. While TCU is set to receive an official visit Dec. 15, following this weekend’s trip to Texas, it’s Texas A&M that is perceived as the biggest threat. Should Fisher keep Terry Price as the Aggies defensive line coach, that would increase the chances that Coburn flips. The problem for the competition is Longhorns assistant coach Corby Meekins was Coburn’s high school coach before heading to the college ranks, and Meekins’ brother is currently the head coach at Westfield High.
Otis Reese | OLB, 6-4, 206, Leesburg, Georgia/Lee County, ESPN 300 No. 221
Main competition: Georgia
Reese has remained committed to the Wolverines. This recruitment has gone from Kirby Smart and staff hanging around, to the Georgia now operating with a tidal wave of momentum. The fact that Reese has been on campus as much as any target this season, Smart’s goal to lock down the Peach State and Georgia headed for the No. 1 ranked class makes this one it seems like the Bulldogs will win.