Countdown To Early Signing

Countdown To Early Signing
Aquira DeCosta - Check Me Out Showcase 2017Aquira DeCosta

Aquira DeCosta helped move Baylor's class up to the No. 1 spot nationally.  *Photo by Glenn Nelson.

The Lead

Charli Collier will now play at Texas.
*Photo by Chris Hansen
The late summer and early fall recruiting season has been as busy as ever.  The No. 1 player in the ELITE 150 changed course.  Charli Collier, the 6-foot-4 post from Mont Belvieu, Texas, had previously committed to Connecticut and her change of heart lead her to stay closer to home and join the Longhorns recruiting class.

Only four players in the ELITE 150’s top 25 remain undecided – No. 3 Christyn Williams; No. 6 Olivia Nelson-Ododa; No. 15 Valencia Myers; and No. 25 Queen Egbo.

The latest headline was the relative coup d’etat  for Baylor when the Bears scored No. 2 Acquira Decosta of Sacramento, California, and No. 5 Honesty Scott-Grayson of Brick, New Jersey.  This five-star rated duo joined No. 4 Nalyssa Smith of Converse, Texas, giving Baylor a class that is now ranked No. 1 in the nation.  With the amount of talent expected to sign next month during the early signing period, Baylor could have a roster that could rival the 2012 National Championship Team. 


Clay’s Take On Baylor

Honesty Scott-Grayson is a playmaker in the backcourt.
*Photo by Chris Hansen.
Baylor has assembled one of the most talented recruiting classes in recent memory. With three five-star caliber prospects in DeCosta, Scott-Grayson and Smith, the biggest challenge for Mulkey's staff will be to get them all playing time. Add in Bickle and there is no shortage of potential production available at the 2 through 4 spots. They are still in the mix for in-state Elite 100 post prospect Queen Egbo as well. Only time will tell how well this class will perform in Waco but the foundation is set for the Bears to be a Final Four contender for years to come.


What About UConn?

Fair or not, the expectation for the Huskies is to sign a national title contending class every year. Not since Jacki Gemelos in the 2006 class have the Huskies received a commitment from the top player at her position and then lost that commitment before signing.  That year Geno Auriemma and his staff found little sympathy as the program did sign Tina Charles and won two national titles with her class.

Christyn Williams is the highest ranked player yet to 
choose a school. *Photo courtesy of
Connecticut still has a chance to sign a nationally ranked class depending on what its remaining targets decide to do.  The Huskies are in on No. 3 Christyn Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, No. 6 Olivia Nelson-Ododa of Winder, Georgia, and highly regarded international prospect Eziyoda Magbegor of Wellington, Australia.

By The Numbers

The Big 12 is rolling this recruiting class. With rougly a month before the early signing period, schools from the Big 12 have three of the top five classes nationally and seven of the top 30.  Baylor, Texas and Oklahoma are ranked 1, 2 and 5, respectively.

The Pac-12 has surged to national prominence in the last five years and judging by the continued recruiting success of the league’s programs that trend is here to stay a bit longer.  While the league has familiar faces recruiting well but newcomer Arizona has the nation’s No. 4 recruiting class, the highest ranked in the Pac-12 to date.  With Stanford and USC, the Pac-12 has three of the top 10 ranked recruiting classes and eight of the 12 schools are ranked in the top 30.

The ACC has no classes ranked in the top 5 currently but has six ranked in the top 30 currently.  Georgia Tech has the league’s highest rated class at No. 6.

The SEC is tied with the Big 12 with seven ranked recruiting classes and Tennessee currently claims the best in the conference with the No. 3 ranked class.

The Big Ten has some solid recruiting classes being built but only Maryland and Michigan have classes ranked in the top 30 so far.

Only three players ranked in the current top 15 are undecided – No. 3 Williams, No. 6 Nelson-Ododa, and No. 15 Valencia Myers of Solon, Ohio.  Myers is considering Florida, Ohio State and USC, among others.





Chris Hansen is managing editor of and serves on the McDonald’s All-American and Naismith Trophy selection committees.  He was a co-founder of and the national director of scouting for ESPN HoopGurlz from 2005 until 2012 and is the director of the Check Me Out Showcase.  He can be reached at



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