LINCOLN — There will be nerves.
Signing day drama will visit the doorstep of Nebraska football after all, as Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood defensive end Blake McClain will announce his decision for NU or South Carolina at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Though the 6-foot-4, 285-pound three-star prospect committed to the Huskers over the weekend, he confirmed via text to The World-Herald that he was “50-50” between the two schools. Later Tuesday night, McClain told goupstate.com — which covers South Carolina recruiting — that he'd made his decision and told both coaching staffs.
“It was very tough,” McClain told goupstate.com. “I did a lot of talking with my parents and we went through a re-evaluation of everything. But I think I made the right decision.”
The main factor in the Gamecocks' favor? Distance from Jacksonville to Nebraska.
South Carolina and NU both pounced on McClain the day he announced his decommitment from Florida State last week; the Huskers happened to be inside Sandalwood High School at the time and spent seven hours with McClain that day. The Gamecocks repeatedly pushed McClain to hold off on deciding by signing day so he could visit South Carolina.
McClain dropped the Seminoles after FSU asked him to grayshirt in order to make room for another defensive end. Sandalwood coach Adam Geis said in an interview Saturday that if McClain committed to Nebraska, the coach wouldn't allow him to still consider South Carolina.
“After what Florida State put him through, he's not doing that to someone else,” Geis said Saturday.
If McClain double-flips to South Carolina, Nebraska could explore contingency plans.
One of them is Lloyd Tubman, the three-star end from Louisville, Ky., who decommitted this week from Penn State. Tubman is scheduled to announce his choice between Penn State, Nebraska and Kentucky. Since Tubman just decommitted from the Nittany Lions and he canceled an official visit last weekend to Nebraska, Kentucky is believed to be the front-runner.
The second is Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast end Spencer Williams, who tweeted “decision made” Tuesday night — before McClain's wavering was widely known. He'll announce Wednesday, choosing from among Cincinnati — where he's technically committed — Missouri and Nebraska. Williams has rebuffed any reporter questions in recent days.
“I swear I've had like 898,445,999 reporters trying to ask me questions,” Williams tweeted Monday night. “Ask me all of the questions you please after I sign on Wednesday.”
Two more players with Nebraska in their final groups will announce Wednesday.
Ľ Four-star offensive lineman Kenyon Frison from West Valley City (Utah) Granger High School. He'll announce at 8:30 a.m. and pick from among Arizona State, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Utah.
Ľ Three-star wide receiver Desean Blair from Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood. Like McClain, he'll announce at 8 a.m. Blair is technically committed to Louisville, but has Missouri and Nebraska in his final group.