2020 has been perhaps the craziest college football season in history. Amidst a global pandemic the world of collegiate football has kept going, dealing with cancellations, rescheduling, a delayed postseason and more. While conference championships have yet to take place, the Early Signing Period has arrived as one of the few dates on the calendar that remained unchanged.
The 2021 recruiting cycle has been affected like no other cycle in history as well, with a dead period cancelling visits both official and unofficial for the majority of the calendar year. The class of 2021 have had to adapt to virtual visits and make their decisions, many without seeing prospective schools in person. The coaching staffs across the country are dealing with extra years of eligibility for players and entries into the Transfer Portal that are higher than ever.
The 2021 football class for Liberty has been interesting to track. The Flames got up to 21 commitments and then lost several. It’s how recruiting goes right now in a world with the 2020 season not counting against current student-athletes eligibility and the likelihood of the NCAA allowing first-time transfers immediate eligibility. We’re currently expecting as many as 20 student-athletes officially join the Flames during the early period, including transfers and preferred walk-ons.
The December signing period opens Wednesday, and here’s an update on where things currently stand.
In the past week, Liberty has picked up commitments from Division I transfers TJ GREEN and JAYLON JIMMERSON. Green is a 5’11”, 200 pound running back from Utah where he appeared in 25 games over the past three seasons with 59 carries for 258 yards and 1 touchdown. He did not play in 2020 and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. Jimmerson comes from FCS program Incarnate Word. As a true freshman in 2019, the 6’0″, 190 pound corner played in 11 games and started two while finishing third on the team with 55 tackles with 3 tackles for loss and 1 sack. He also led the team with 4 interceptions and worked as the team’s kick returner. Both will be immediately eligible.
The Flames also have commitments from a couple of JUCO transfers in ROCKET RAHIMI and STETSON MOORE. Rahimi committed to Liberty in July. The 6’3″, 195 pound defensive back attends Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. He’s originally from San Antonio, Texas. As a freshman at Saddleback in 2019, he had 48 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, and 1 blocked kick. His 2020 season was canceled amid the COVID pandemic. Moore is a 6’4″, 230 pound athlete who could slot in at tight end or wide receiver. He comes to Liberty from Pearl River Community College where he had 9 receptions for 130 yards in 2019. He spent the 2018 season at FCS Mississippi Valley State where he had 4 receptions for 32 yards and 2 touchdowns in just 2 games before redshirting.
HIGH SCHOOL COMMITS
Liberty is expected to sign its highest rated recruit in school history in KHRISTIAN ZACHARY. ESPN ranks him as a 4-star rated prospect and a member of their top 300 recruits nationally. The 6’3″, 250 pound defensive end has a .8849 rating by 247Sports which is the highest rated recruit in school history. The Carrollton, Georgia prospect had offers from Alabama, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and several others.
3-star QB NATE HAMPTON is one of the gems of the 2021 class. The 6’6″, 230 pound quarterback is from Davie County High School in Mocksville, North Carolina. He had over 20 offers out of high school including Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Old Dominion, and several others.
Perhaps a future receiving target of Hampton’s at Liberty is 3-star wide receiver KYLEN AUSTIN. He’s a 6’1″, 170 pound receiver from Baltimore, Maryland where he attends St. Paul’s School. He had offers from Virginia Tech, East Carolina, Army, Virginia, and several others. As a junior in 2019, he had 33 receptions for 563 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Liberty has commitments from a trio of offensive linemen prospects in ANDREW ADAIR, MASON BUNDY, and HARRISON HAYES. Adair is a 6’4″, 310 pound 3-star rated prospect from Baltimore, Maryland and St. Frances Academy. Bundy is a 6’6″, 280 pound 3-star rated prospect from Fannin County High School in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Hayes was the first commit in the 2021 class for Liberty. The 2-star prospect is 6’4″ and 270 pounds from Pine Richland High School in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania.
CHRISTOPHER BOTI committed to Liberty in July. The 3-star rated prospect chose the Flames over a top 7 that included Army, Buffalo, FIU, JMU, Old Dominion, and UMass. The 6’2″ 280 pound defensive tackle is from Laurel, Maryland where he attends St. Vincent Pallotti. He had over 20 offers.
AMARIAN WILLIAMS was one of the first commitments in the class. At 5’11”, 165 pounds, he is a 3-star rated corner from Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, Texas. He chose the Flames over several FCS offers.
OTHER NAMES TO WATCH
Former Liberty commit WR Gamarion Carter was flipped to Vanderbilt. AHMAD WALKER had previously decommitted from Liberty, but there’s reason to believe the Flames could get him back in the fold this week. It’s also expected the Flames will bring in a couple of preferred walk-ons who will be officially added to the class.
Brunson is a 6’4′, 270 pound 3-star defensive tackle from Virginia Beach, Virginia where he attends Princess Anne High School. He just decommitted from Louisiana-Monroe in the past week and two different 247Sports recruiting analysts have predicted he will sign with Liberty. He also has offers from East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Minnesota, NC State, Northwestern, Pitt, Tennessee, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
Sagar is a Georgia Tech commit who Liberty just recently offered. The 6’4″, 215 pound 3-star rated prospect is from Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia. He also has offers from Boston College, East Carolina, Miami (FL), Syracuse, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
Lowe has entered the transfer portal from UTEP. The 5’11”, 175 pound corner is from Overland Park, Kansas where he attended St Thomas Aquinas.
Anthony is a 6’0″, 180 pound defensive back who is in the transfer portal after spending the 2019 season at Shepherd College. Liberty just offered him earlier this week. He appeared in 10 games at Shepherd in 2019, starting 5. He finished the season with 14 tackles and 2 interceptions. He’s originally from Richmond, Virginia where he attended Hermitage High School.
Smith has named a top 3 of Liberty, Northern Iowa, and Yale. He’s 5’11” and 170 pounds and hails from Waukee High School in Waukee, Iowa. It’s expected that the Flames are looking at him as a defensive back.
Ross is a 6’1″, 200 pound defensive back from Ellaville, Georgia where he attends Schley County High School. He is a three-star rated prospect and has offers from Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida State, Kentucky, UCF, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Florida, West Virginia, East Carolina, and Coastal Carolina. He plays on both sides of the ball in high school, seeing time at running back, wide receiver, and as a wildcat QB, as well as playing all over the secondary on defense. If the Flames were able to pull in Ross, he would be the highest rated recruit in school history, according to 247Sports, topping even that of Khristian Zachary. Ross is rated by 247Sports as the 33rd best safety prospect in the nation and 22nd best prospect in Georgia.
Stay tuned to ASeaofRed.com, your #1 source for Liberty Flames recruiting info. Be sure to save our football verbal commit page for the full run down of the commits. Also, give us a follow on twitter where many times recruiting news is first broken. Just a reminder for ASOR Club members, be sure to keep tabs on the Rumor Mill this week, as always.