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Nick at Nite: Buzz around the Mid-South one week ahead of Signing Day

We’re less than a week from the opening of the Early Signing Period, and the buzz continues to generate around the Mid-South region. Here’s the latest with some of the region’s top prospects.

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A few weeks back, there was some confidence that was beginning to generate on the Oklahoma side about the Sooners’ chances to flip Katy (Texas) Paetow five-star defensive end David Hicks Jr., but that confidence has cooled as Signing Day nears.

Oregon remains persistent in its push, especially after a recent return trip to Eugene, but my expectation is that Hicks signs with Texas A&M on Dec. 21.

All three programs have either gone in-home with Hicks or will at some point this week.

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Denton (Texas) Guyer five-star safety Peyton Bowen remains at the center of flip rumors as Oklahoma and Oregon push ahead of the Early Signing Period to pull his pledge away from Notre Dame.

I put in a prediction back in November in favor of the Sooners, and I still feel confident in that pick as we go inside of one week before his final decision will have to be made. However, I would expect movement before then.

Oregon has also made a late push with Bowen, but it’s not expected that the Ducks will be able to make up much ground before the five-star puts pen to paper.

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Everything remains status quo with Denton (Texas) Ryan five-star linebacker Anthony Hill ahead of a big in-home visit with the Texas staff on Thursday night.

The Longhorns immediately emerged as the favorite following his decommitment from Texas A&M, and that remains the case at this point. The Texas staff will work to get Hill in for one more unofficial visit this weekend before he makes his decision next Wednesday.

Texas A&M has gained some recruiting steam in recent weeks, and the Aggies have been able to stay in contact with Hill, but I see their chances at slim for now.

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Arlington (Texas) Martin five-star cornerback Javien Toviano will make his decision on Thursday, and the buzz still resides with LSU ahead of his announcement.

Texas A&M and Texas have had sporadic contact in recent weeks, but it hasn’t been consistent enough to land his pledge leading into the final hours.

Toviano will announce his decision live on Rivals’ YouTube page starting at 12:00 p.m. CT.

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Manor (Texas) four-star defensive end Princewill Umanmielen has experienced an awkward recruitment, to say the least.

Kansas State has been the only school to host the Central Texas pass rusher for an official visit, but Nebraska is the program that is making up the most ground late in the process.

Umanmielen’s family has a prior relationship with Nebraska’s newly hired head coach Matt Rhule from when Umanmielen’s younger brother, Princely, was being recruited by Baylor in the 2020 class, and that relationship picked right back up upon the Huskers offering Princewill in recent weeks.

Rhule has already gone in-home with Umanmielen and the Huskers are set to host the four-star for an official visit this upcoming weekend. I’m entering a new FutureCast in favor of Nebraska to land Umanmielen.

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Ole Miss has been able to generate a lot of steam with New Caney (Texas) four-star running back Kedrick Reescano since his decommitment from Michigan State, and that steam has reached a boiling point ahead of his decision.

Penn State and Oklahoma State have hung around in this recruitment, but I see this one as the Rebels’ to lose down the stretch. I’ve entered a new FutureCast Prediction in favor of Ole Miss here.

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Waco (Texas) Connally four-star athlete Jelani McDonald took an unofficial visit to Texas for the Longhorns’ game against TCU, and when we look back on this recruitment, it might be easy to say that that visit did more harm than good for Steve Sarkisian‘s squad.

Since then, the Horned Frogs have been hot in pursuit and have quickly closed the gap in this recruitment.

This will be a two-horse race down the stretch, and although my FutureCast is in for Texas, I’m beginning to lean TCU with less than a week to go. However, Texas will get one more shot on an official visit this upcoming weekend with most of its commits expected to be in attendance.

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Brazosport (Texas) four-star athlete Randon Fontenette is closing in on a final decision in the coming days, and I continue to like where TCU sits.

The Horned Frogs staff has thrown an all-in approach at the South Texas two-way star, who will most likely play safety at the next level, and it’s definitely resonated as his decision approaches.

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Galena Park (Texas) North Shore four-star safety Jayven Anderson will play in a state championship this weekend, which will make it difficult for him to take a final visit before potentially signing. However, it’s starting to look more likely that Anderson will push to February.

Houston has been involved here for the longest, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see some Power Five programs with new coaching staffs looking to fill spots throw their hat in, such as Arizona State, Colorado or Nebraska.

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Recent Baylor decommit Taurean York was all but set to make a commitment to Duke this week after he pulled his pledge from the Bears on Sunday, but Texas A&M has come in with an offer late and is making a noticeable push.

The Aggies are working to get York on campus this upcoming weekend, and that will be crucial towards getting York to change his mind ahead of the Early Signing Period.

The door is open for the Aggies, and we will see if they can work towards getting York back to College Station before a final decision is made.

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