Early January’s all-star games are completed. The fanfare that goes along with them has also died down. As we approach National Signing Day on Feb. 7, schools will hone in on their top targets to fill a handful of remaining scholarships available for the 2018 recruiting class. There are also a few less prominent all-star bowls coming in the next few weeks, namely the International Bowl.
The International Bowl is a series of 12 games that take place from Jan. 12-19. The competitors range from Under-14 to Under-19 teams from the United States, and they play teams from other nations. Because the International Bowl is a national team competition, it does not count against the NCAA limit of two all-star games.
While most of the members of the U-19 National team, the top team in the bowl, are committed and signed to schools, a handful have yet to make their college decision.
Copeland is a 6-0, 190 pound wide receiver from Florida. He’s likely headed to Alabama, but he will make his final decision on Feb. 7.
Joseph Ogunbanjo, Linebacker
Ogunbanjo, a Texas linebacker at 6-3, 225 pounds, committed to Baylor on Aug. 1. He later made the decision to decommit and explore his options one more time. He will be going on a string of visits, starting with Baylor on Jan. 12., then Cal on Jan. 19 and Utah on Jan. 27. Ogunbanjo will be making his decision on Feb. 7.
Jaylon Reed, Cornerback
The 6-1, 170-pound cornerback from Mississippi was already committed to his in-state choice, Mississippi State. Reed officially decommitted on Dec. 9. It’s safe to say he won’t be returning to Starkville.
Thanks to Mississippi State and the fans for the opportunity. At this time I will be decommitting.
— Jaylon Reed (@TheJaylonReed) December 9, 2017
Nigel Bethel, Wide Receiver
Bethel, like many others on this list, was committed but has since reopened his recruitment. Bethel decommitted from Florida in December, but he won’t be going far. The 5-11, 160-pound pass catcher will be headed to either Miami or UCF.
Why should you tune in?
Will these uncommitted recruits walk away from the International Bowl with a plethora of new offers? No. College football teams already have tape on these players and generally know who they are going after to fill out their 2018 recruiting classes. Will it give fans a chance to see their teams’ future stars? Absolutely.
There are 38 signed players on the U-19 National roster. They bridge every Power 5 conference, so nearly all college football fans have a reason to tune in.
Let’s say you’re not into high-school all-star games. (I don’t get it, but okay.) What do you have to look forward to?
Quite a bit. The biggest is the 2019 recruiting class. Due in part to the early signing period from Dec. 20-22, schools are taking an early, heavy interest in next year’s class in an effort to get a leg up on the competition. Also of interest are the uncommitted 3-star talents in the 2018 class participating in the International Bowl. As the player pool gets smaller, teams are beginning to extend offers to players who fit in positions of need.
If you don’t like offers or high school all-star games, then what are you doing reading a recruiting article? If you do like either of those two things, check back next week for more recruiting news and follow our college recruiting Twitter account at @ArmchairCrootin.