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April 12, 2006The heart rate and blood pressure of certain college coaching staffs just took a sharp rise.
The late signing period begins today, meaning many are on the verge of finding out whether they landed or missed out on a key prospect.
More than 90 percent of the Rivals150 signed or committed in the fall, but those who didn't have been the source of some heated recruiting battles in recent months.
We take an in-depth look at each of the unsigned and uncommitted players who will have a big impact in the late signing period below (Rivals.com will be tracking all their impending decisions in the coming days and weeks).
Rank: No. 19
Position: Power forward
Schools in the hunt: Baylor, Kansas or Texas
The Skinny: Nobody seems to really know where this mega-talented 6-foot-9, 220-pound big man from Dallas is going. Not even his coaches. Kansas was considered the frontrunner after Mike Davis announced he was stepping down at Indiana, which eliminated the Hoosiers. But, LaMarcus Aldridge's decision to leave Texas and enter the NBA this past week gives Arthur a chance to take over his starting job right away and helps the Longhorns' chances. Baylor has been involved since the early stages of the recruiting process and also has a legitimate chance. Rumors involving Arizona and LSU are swirling too. He was talking about making an unofficial visit to Arizona, but those plans never materialized.
Rank: No. 27
Position: Small forward
Schools in the hunt: Duke or Rutgers
The Skinny: Don't expect this talented swingman to pick a school anytime soon. Thomas' uncle and longtime recruiting advisor Monty Montgomery recently said that he may not sign a letter-of-intent until May. They are probably waiting to find out what happens with his prep teammate and point guard Eugune Harvey, who is also seriously considering Rutgers. Thomas has said he will only go to the Big East school if Harvey joins him. It's tough to believe the Scarlet Knights would beat out Duke for any recruit, but they have a realistic chance here. It's rare that an elite prospect keeps the Blue Devils on hold for this long and it appears he is looking for reasons not to stay close to home.
Rank: No. 56
Position: Small forward
Schools in the hunt: Iowa, Kentucky, Memphis and Pittsburgh
The Skinny: Everyone in Smith's camp is staying quiet, but this multi-dimensional forward is leaning towards Pitt, which would be a good fit with his physical style of play. If he doesn't sign this week, which is a possibility, take that as a sign that he is listening to schools that just hired new coaches. Cincinnati and UAB may be making inquires.
Rank: No. 88
Schools in the hunt: Connecticut, Louisville and Pittsburgh
The Skinny: A lot of confusion and mystery surrounds this big man who was once committed to Pitt. No one appears quite sure which schools are involved or if he is academically eligible. He spent this past season at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., and still needed a qualifying test score in December. Don't expect him to sign anywhere anytime soon. This recruitment may even drag on into next season.
Rank: No. 96
Position: Shooting guard
Schools in the hunt: Virginia (committed)
The Skinny: This Nigerian native wants to sign with the Cavaliers, but they won't be sending him any letter-of-intent papers today. He has reached the academic requirements to get into the ACC school, but issues over his visa recently emerged. It sounds like those issues will get resolved, but it may take some time before he officially becomes a Cavalier.
Position: Combo forward
Schools in the hunt: Colordao, Purdue, Nebraska, Northwestern, Saint Louis and Wake Forest
The Skinny: This late bloomer from Overland, Kansas has been linked to several programs in several conferences in recent months. He took a visit to Wake Forest earlier this month, but the Demon Deacons may have not offered a scholarship yet. Don't be surprised if he chooses not to sign soon and hold out for more options.
Position: Point guard
Schools in the hunt: Illinois, Rutgers, Maryland
The Skinny: If Lance Thomas signs with Rutgers, Harvey wants to follow. If not, Illinois and Maryland are possible destinations. He and Thomas may be waiting to see just how interested the Fighting Illini and Terps are before making any decisions.