National Signing Day: No. 1 football recruit Rashan Gary selects Michigan Wolverines

By The Sports Xchange   |   Updated Feb. 3, 2016 at 1:47 PM
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National Signing Day 2016: College football recruiting updates

Top recruit defensive tackle Rashan Gary selected coach Jim Harbaugh's Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday as high school football players made their commitments on 2016 National Signing Day.

Gary, the No. 1 overall player rated by ESPN and Rivals.com, is a 6-foot-4, 287-pound prospect who runs a 4.74 time in the 40-yard. His choice was down to two schools -- Michigan and Clemson -- after he had offers from nearly every major program in the country. The five-star New Jersey native was the Most Valuable Player at the Under Armour All-American game.

National champion Alabama entered Wednesday with the ninth-ranked class, according to ESPN, but the Crimson Tide moved up to No. 7 and could still have a shot at finishing at No. 1 after landing cornerbacks Shyheim Carter, Jared Mayden and Aaron Robinson and top-ranked inside linebacker Ben Davis.

The Crimson Tide also landed pledges Tuesday from cornerback Nigel Knott and offensive tackle Scott Lashley.

Clemson won the first big battle of national signing day after cornerback Trayvon Mullen, the No. 18 player according to ESPN and second-ranked at his position, committed to the Tigers. He was projected to either pick LSU or Louisville.

"I just went with my heart," Mullen said on ESPNU. "I have a real opportunity to come in and play at Clemson, and that was important. But the different feel that I got while walking around campus at Clemson told me it was the right place for me."

Texas and UCLA also landed top commits for the 2016 class.

Safety Brandon Burton got signing day started when he announced for UCLA live on ESPN's "SportsCenter" at midnight ET Wednesday. Burton, who is ESPN's No. 255 overall player and the 13th-ranked safety in the nation, selected the Bruins over Oklahoma, Florida State, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

"I have a really good relationship with all of their coaches," Burton said on ESPN. "With all of the experiences with them, I know they're not lying to me and they're being upfront and honest about everything. I just felt really comfortable with them. I think we have a chance to do something special on signing day. Just you watch."

Texas landed safety Brandon Jones and outside linebacker Erick Fowler flipped to the Longhorns from LSU. Texas also added defensive tackles Marcel Southall and Chris Daniels, giving them three four-star defensive tackle commits in the last 24 hours. On Tuesday, four-star defensive tackle D'Andre Christmas-Giles selected the Longhorns.

Other key commitments:

--Tight end Jake Hausmann, a four-star prospect, was the first player to send in his national letter of intent to Ohio State. The Buckeyes' 18 players signed Wednesday joined the seven players who early enrolled last month.

--Four-star defensive end Connor Murphy selected USC over Michigan.

--New Georgia coach Kirby Smart kept a key pledge home from four-star athlete Mecole Hardman, the No. 48 player by ESPN. Hardman committed to the Bulldogs over Tennessee and Alabama.

--Defensive end Brian Burns picked Florida State over Florida.

--Blue-chip safety Nigel Warrior, the son of former Tennessee star Dale Carter, chose the Volunteers.

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