Breaking Down Last Week’s Football Commitments from 2021 Recruiting Class
Dec 7, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooner head coach Lincoln Riley hoist the Big 12 Championship trophy after a victory the Baylor Bears in the 2019 Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
This year’s recruiting cycle has shown no means to slow down, and this week was big for the recruiting class as some of the nation’s top recruits were swooped up by the universities of their choice.
The past week (May 9 through May 15), 57 football recruits shared what institution they would be attending. Of those 57 players, 16 of them were four-star recruits.
Keep in mind that verbal commitments are non-binding and prospects in the class of 2021 won’t make any decision official until the Division 1 Early Signing Period, which begins on December 16.
With that in mind, here are the top prospects of each day who committed this week.
May 9: Katron Evans | DT | St. Francis Academy (MD.)
Composite Ranking: Four-star | 0.9266| No. 9 DT
The hot streak continues for head coach Jeremy Pruitt and the Vols. On Monday, four-star prospect Katron Evans verbally committed to Tennessee, making him one of seven incoming four-stars.
Evans picked Tennessee over TCU, Alabama, USC, Auburn, Arizona State, Florida, and Georgia. Evans is known as being an explosive and physical pass rusher.
It is crazy to think that last year the Bols has a somewhat mediocre class, but it seems that Pruitt has gotten the Vols pack on track.
May 10: Julien Simon | ATH | Lincoln (Wash.)
Composite Ranking: Four-star | 0.9571 | No. 5 ATH
It seems that the Trojans have put together a solid class, and this point was further proven when four-star prospect Julien Simon committed to USC on Tuesday.
Simon had roughly 20 offers and narrowed his interest down to Arizona State, California, Michigan, Oregon, Stanford, Washington, and Texas before pulling the trigger and committing to the Trojans.
Simon is known as a quick linebacker and safety and has the ability to diagnose plays before they happen. On the offensive end, Simon is an agile and quick receiver.
Last year, Simon racked up a total of 32 tackles, two sacks, four interceptions, and eight break-ups. On the offensive side of the ball, he recorded a total of 83 receptions, 1,033 yards, and 12 touchdowns.
It would be an understatement to say he will pay a heavy impact on the Trojans in upcoming seasons.
May 11: Corey Kiner | RB | Roger Bacon (Ohio)
Composite Rankings: Four-star | 0.92967 | No. 10 RB
The reigning National Champions have yet put together another good recruiting class.
Corey Kiner received a reported 20 offers and committed to the Tigers over Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M, USC, Wisconsin, and Cincinnati.
To make up for his average size, Kiner is known as a quick running back who runs hard but still maintains great balance.
Last year, Kiner notched 2,298 rushing and 40 touchdowns.
It will be interesting to see how Kiner responds to LSU’s unique offensive and running style.
May 12: Hunter Washington | CB | Katy (Texas)
Committed: Florida State
Composite Rankings: Four-star | 0.9116 | No.15 CB
The Seminoles have filled a big hole in their roster.
Washington received 29 offers and commited to Florida State over schools such as Arizona State, LSU, Arkansas, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas, and Virginia Tech.
The 5-foot-11 cornerback is one of the fastest and most athletic athletes in this class, running a 4.7 40-yard dash and posting a nearly-33-inch vertical.
His talent and athleticism could bode well for the future of the Seminoles.
May 13: James BlackStrain | WR | Holy Trinity Episcopal (Fla.)
Committed: Georgia Tech
Composite Rankings: Four-star | 0.9010 | No. 50 WR
James BlackStrain will be remembered as the heart and soul of this average Georgia Tech program.
Washington chose Georgia Tech over power-house schools Florida, Florida State, Mississippi State, North Carolina, and USC, among other choices. Washington racked up a total of 33 reported offers.
Last year, BlackStrain’s season was cut short due to a knee injury, but he still managed in 10 games to haul in 39 catches along with 750 yards and six touchdowns.
It’s a known secret that BlackStrain will have an immediate impact on the future of Georgia Tech’s program if he stays healthy.
May 14: Devin Kirkwood | ATH | Junipero Serra (Calif.)
Composite Rankings: Four-star | 0.9139 | No. 15 ATH
Devin Kirkwood is a key add-on to the 2021 UCLA recruiting class.
Kirkwood chose the Bruins over Colorado, Arizona State, California, and Notre Dame. Kirkwood received a reported 13 offers.
His primary recruiter at UCLA was defensive backs coach Brian Norwood. Director of player operations Ethan Young also assisted in the pickup.
As a junior, Kirkwood put up huge numbers. In 11 games, he posted 34 tackles, an interception, and six pass breakups.
Kirkwood will play a major role in the turnaround of the Bruins’ program.
May 15: Mario Williams | WR | Plant City (Fla.)
Composite Rankings: Four-star | 0.9797 | No. 4 WR
Possibly the biggest recruiting news this week, Mario Williams committed to Oklahoma.
This is huge news for Oklahoma as Williams will be filling the shoes of recent first-round draft pick Cede Lamb.
Williams received a total of 34 offers and picked the Sooners over former top schools Alabama, Florida, LSU, and Georgia.
As a junior, Williams recorded a total of 27 receptions for 800 yards in just 10 games.
Williams will become the sixth commitment in a somewhat quiet 2021 class for Oklahoma.
Oklahoma’s outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons should be credited with the pickup along with co-offensive coordinator Cale Gundy.
Williams is hyped up to be the next top Oklahoma receiver in a recent flurry of first round draft picks that have come out of Norman, Okla.