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Recapping the Under Armour Game Commitments

By Matt Osborne
SouthernPigskin.com
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The nation learned the future plans of a handful of the country’s elite high school players at Thursday’s Under Armour All-American Game.

The college football bowl season very well may be drawing near to its close, but college football recruiting is a season which never ends.

And while many of the top prospects in the class of 2014 announced their college intentions much earlier in the process, the nation learned the future plans of a handful of the country’s elite high school players at Thursday’s Under Armour All-American Game.

The game, which was expected to become a proverbial fashion show of LSU verbal commitments, actually ended up being filled with more surprises than initially anticipated.

Heading into the day of announcements, five prospects – WR “Speedy” Noil, S Jamal Adams, DL Gerald Willis, CB Tony Brown and RB Leonard Fournette – were thought to be LSU leans. In the end, however, only two of those prospects gave their pledge to the Les Miles and the Tigers.

The two prospects to verbally commit to LSU were Adams and Fournette. Adams is a five-star safety from Texas, while Fournette is a New Orleans-native who is considered as the top overall prospect in the class.

Much of the excitement for LSU’s 2014 class heading into the afternoon was rooted in the fact that the state of Louisiana was overflowing with top-end talent in this recruiting cycle. The Tigers also have a relatively strong history of recruiting the Bayou State.

Unfortunately for Tigers fans, in-state prospects Noil and Willis ended up committing to other SEC programs.

Noil gave his verbal commitment to SEC West rival Texas A&M, citing the atmosphere of Kyle Field on his official visit as the main factor in his decision. While disappointing for LSU, the Aggies were known to be a real threat to land Noil’s services.

Willis, conversely, was previously thought to be a heavy LSU lean. A poll of 35 recruiting experts on 24-7 Sports’ “Crystal Ball” resulted in an overwhelming 94% predicting that Willis would end up in Baton Rouge. As it turned out, Willis will play his college ball for Will Muschamp and the Florida Gators.

Though not a Louisiana resident, Brown was also considered to be a heavy LSU lean heading into Thursday. Largely influenced by his official visit to Tuscaloosa to watch Alabama take on LSU on November 9, Brown verbally committed to the Crimson Tide.

A flurry of recruiting commitments will be made in the coming days as well, as the US Army All-American Game and the Semper Fidelis All-American Game still have yet to be played.

One thing is for certain: the next week will have a huge impact in determining the future of college football.

Matt Osborne - Matt Osborne currently serves as the director of recruiting and lead editor for Southern Pigskin. His work has been published in a number of national publications, including USA Today. Although he loves all levels of football, Matt's number one joy in his life is his relationship with Jesus Christ. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborne200. For media requests, please email Matt at matt@southernpigskin.com.