13 Player Commitments and More than 30 College Head Coach Interviews Set for 11-hour ESPNU National Signing Day Special

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13 Player Commitments and More than 30 College Head Coach Interviews Set for 11-hour ESPNU National Signing Day Special

February 3, 2014

Pictures: ESPNU’s National Signing Day History Downloadable Images

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On Wednesday, Feb. 5, ESPN’s ninth year of comprehensive, multiplatform National Signing Day coverage will be highlighted by 13 live player commitments and interviews with more than 30 college head coaches during the ESPNU National Signing Day Special on ESPNU. The 11-hour special will begin at 8 a.m. ET with defensive end Solomon Thomas’ commitment, a recruit ranked in the top 25 of the ESPN 300, top five at his position, and one of eight players ranked in the top 75 overall set to announce on ESPNU.  The entire ESPNU telecast will be available on WatchESPN and will also be simulcast on ESPN2 from 5-5:30 p.m.

Player Announcements and Interviews:  Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (No. 9), defensive end Lorenzo Carter (No. 14) and wide receiver Malachi Dupre (No. 17), ESPN 300’s highest uncommitted recruits, headline ESPNU’s player announcements. Offensive tackle Damian Price, outside linebacker Rashaan Evans, and athlete John ‘Juju’ Smith rank in the top five at their positions.  

Running back Leonard Fournette, ESPN 300’s No. 1 recruit and LSU commit, and quarterback Josh Rosen, No. 1 QB in the class of 2015, will be interviewed during the telecast.

The following players are expected to announce their college decision on ESPNU within the hour listed:

Time (ET) ESPN 300 Rank, Player & Position Hometown Final Schools
8 a.m. No. 25 Solomon Thomas* (DE) Coppell, Texas Arkansas, Stanford, UCLA
  No. 127 Braden Smith (OG) Olathe, Kan. Auburn, Texas A&M, TCU
10 a.m. No. 26 Damian Prince* (OT) Forestville, Md. Florida, Maryland, South Carolina
  Terrence Alexander (CB) River Ridge, La. Arkansas, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Stanford
  Kenny Young (ILB) River Ridge, La. Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M, UCLA
  No. 194 Mattrell McGraw (S) River Ridge, La. Oregon, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC
  No. 17 Malachi Dupre* (WR) River Ridge, La. Alabama, Florida State, LSU, UCLA
11 a.m. No. 67 Damien Mama (OG) Bellflower, Calif. Alabama, BYU, USC
  No. 52 Rashaan Evans* (OLB) Auburn, Ala. Alabama, Auburn, UCLA
2 p.m. No. 9 Adoree’ Jackson* (CB) Gardena, Calif. Florida, LSU, UCLA, USC
3 p.m. No. 14 Lorenzo Carter* (DE) Norcross, Ga. Florida, Florida St, Georgia, LSU
  No. 249 Myles Autry (ATH) Norcross, Ga. Florida State, Georgia Tech, Georgia
4 p.m. No. 24 John ‘Juju’ Smith* (ATH) Long Beach, Calif. Notre Dame, Oregon, USC, UCLA

(Times are subject to change) *Indicates a top five player at his position

Twitter Exclusive Announcement: At approximately 12:30 p.m. ET on National Signing Day, defensive tackle Poona Ford will make his college commitment via the @ESPNU handle. It is the first time a student athlete will use an ESPN Twitter handle to announce his decision.  Following his announcement, the ESPN 300 recruit will be in-studio to talk about his decision.

Preceding his commitment to Missouri, Purdue or Texas, Ford will live tweet his Signing Day experience using his personal twitter handle (@PoonaF_2).  Fans can track and interact with the Hilton Head, S.C. native by tagging their own tweets with #WhereWillPoonaGo.

All day Wednesday, fans can take part in Signing Day by tagging their tweets #SigningDay and following @ESPNCFB, @ESPNU and @RecruitingESPN for player announcements, highlight packages, and analysis in addition to updated school rankings throughout the day.

Campus Access:  With reporters on 12 college campuses, both ESPNU National Signing Day Special and SportsCenter features on-campus updates and interviews with the following head coaches:

  • Gary Andersen, Wisconsin
  • Bret Bielema, Arkansas
  • Art Briles, Baylor
  • Larry Fedora, North Carolina
  • Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
  • Kyle Flood, Rutgers
  • James Franklin, Penn State
  • Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss
  • Al Golden, Miami
  • Brady Hoke, Michigan
  • Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
  • Butch Jones, Tennessee
  • Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
  • Mike London, Virginia
  • Gus Malzahn, Auburn
  • Urban Meyer, Ohio State
  • Les Miles, LSU
  • Jim Mora, UCLA
  • Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
  • Will Muschamp, Florida
  • George O’Leary, Central Florida
  • Bobby Petrino, Louisville
  • Rich Rodriguez, Arizona
  • Nick Saban, Alabama
  • Scott Shafer, Syracuse
  • Bob Stoops,  Oklahoma
  • Charlie Strong, Texas
  • Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
  • Dabo Swinney, Clemson

Note: Additional head coaches will be interviewed as well

Studio Coverage: ESPNU National Signing Day Special will originate from ESPN’s studios in Charlotte, N.C. with Rece Davis and Dari Nowkhah serving as hosts. ESPN national recruiting director Tom Luginbill will be a staple throughout the day with analysts Mike Bellotti, David Pollack, Danny Kanell and Robert Smith.  Recruiting analysts Gerry Hamilton and Craig Haubert will give further insight into what impact each freshmen class will have on their respective teams.

RecruitingNation.com: Fans can interact with experts on RecruitingNation.com via live chats beginning at 8 a.m. ESPN.com’s recruiting destination will also provide hourly class rankings and further analysis on every recruit in the ESPN 300.

Exclusive ESPN3 Content: ESPN’s flagship recruiting program, Recruiting Nation, will carry three, half-hour exclusive Signing Day Live shows on ESPN3 anchored by reporters Derek Tyson and Tom VanHaaren.

  • 10 a.m. Recruiting Nation: Signing Day Live: Watch here
  • 2 p.m. Recruiting Nation: Signing Day Live: Watch here
  • 6 p.m. Recruiting Nation: Signing Day Live: Watch here

Additionally, ESPN3 will carry four shows which focus on National Signing Day at Florida State, Georgia Tech, NC State, and Pittsburgh.

  • 8 a.m. Pittsburgh Signing Day Special Watch here
  • 8 a.m. Georgia Tech Signing Day Special Watch here
  • 3 p.m. NC State Signing Day Special Watch here
  • 6:30 p.m. Florida State Signing Day Special Watch here

The 24-hour college sports television network airs more than 650 live events annually and offers over 1,000 original studio shows. ESPNU has seen a steady increase since its inception on March 4, 2005 and is now in over 74 million households. The brand is also available in high definition on ESPNUHD, now in over 20 million homes. The network has long-term carriage agreements with all 10 of the top multichannel TV providers – Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV (Channel 208), DISH Network (Channel 141), Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse.


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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