Port Nyckoles and Jaden Rashad check-in ahead of National Signing Day

Port of Nyckoles

Port of Nyckoles
Picture: AP

Only four unsigned top 100 college football recruits remain on the National Signing Day — Early Signing Day. Of that select group, Nyckoles Harbor, the No. 1 athlete in the Class of 2023 from Washington DC Archbishop Carroll, is the highest-rated uncommitted recruit left roaming for a future address.

The port of Nyckoles is special

Cornerback no. 1 2023 Cormani McClain, Colorado Buffaloes signee Deion Sanders, gave his tough commitment earlier this month, but has yet to sign his National Letter of Intent. Harbor — who at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds is a speed demon inside the Escalade; Usain Bolt at the Games — has been weighing his options and is scheduled to make an announcement Wednesday at 10 a.m. PT.

Harbor’s freakish athleticism was highlighted by the 20.79 200m he ran as a junior competing in the 2022 Texas Tech Under Armor High School Classic. The speed, physicality and technique and his production during high school outline why the array of positions he could play at the next level is unprecedented, so much so that comparisons to Harbor range from Javon Kearse to Darren Waller. Harbor’s final list of schools under consideration is just as eclectic, from Maryland, Michigan and Oregon to South Carolina.

So where should Harbor go?

If he intends to rush the passer and fulfill his destiny as an elite pass rusher, Harbor’s best bet might be the Wolverines, who have produced plenty of first-round running back terrors during Jim Harbaugh’s eight-year tenure. Maryland is an obvious sentimental local choice, and if NIL money weighs on his process, Under Armor’s checks would likely be substantial if he chose the alma mater of its founder, Kevin Plank. Oregon has deeper Nike pockets, but it’s also cross-country skiing for an East Coast kid.

Harbor’s signing to South Carolina would be the program’s biggest win since Jadaveon Clowney committed to his home state Gamecocks over Clemson two weeks after Signing Day in 2011. However, unlike Clowney, Harbor has aspirations to operate on the offensive end at the next level. If Harbor envisions himself as a dual-threat receiver, only Oregon and South Carolina present superior options at the quarterback position. NFL prospect Spencer Rattler has taken an active interest in Harbor’s recruitment, but Oregon still has Heisman candidate Bo Nix.

Ultimately, though, Michigan sounds like a mix of both worlds as an academic institution and for Harbor’s football development — unless Jim Harbaugh goes out of town for the NFL.

What about Jaden Rashad?

The most anticipated Signing Day announcement comes from Jaden Rashada, who will sign his second Letter of intent in the last few months. After Rashad’s $13 million contract evaporated at the University of Florida, he was back on the open market as soon as Florida released him from his LOI. No school has had as dramatic a recruiting cycle as Florida, which also withdrew its offer Marcus Stokes, after a video of him hurling a racial slur surfaced online. Who knows if they would have made the same decision knowing what was to come with Rashad?

The Pittsburgh (California) quarterback is reportedly deciding between Arizona State and TCU, which honestly doesn’t seem like much of a choice, even after the Sun Devils chased Herm Edwards. The likely starter for the Horned Frogs in 2023 is Chandler Morris, who initially transferred from Oklahoma before losing his job to Max Duggan. Sam Jackson (no relation to who you’re thinking of), their highly touted 2021 prospect, recently left for the California Golden Bears, and the transfer window is empty.

During the early signing period, the head coach Sonny Dykes he complained about the lack of fullbacks in his class. “The only thing we haven’t done is the quarterback contract.” Dykes told reports in mid-December. “We’re trying to figure out what’s next at that position. A lot of things just took place in the very waiting to see what will happen here and where we will go from here”.

Dykes has entertained the transfer route, but Rashada could be ideal. He possesses the athleticism that TCU’s Air Raid offense covets, the craftiness of moving behind the line of scrimmage and a live arm that fits the archetype of what worked so well with Max Duggan’s mobility as a runner. Most importantly, it’s not the state of Arizona.

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