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January 27, 2013

Roundtable: The hardest reads

MORE: Team rankings: The path to No. 1

Each day leading up to National Signing Day, Rivals.com's analysts will convene at the Recruiting Roundtable and debate a current recruiting topic. Today's question: Which prospect left on the board is the hardest to read as his announcement nears?

Mike Farrell, National/Mid-Atlantic: I'll go with Mackensie Alexander since he's been impossible to figure out since day one and is very unpredictable. He has so many schools still left on his list, there are questions whether he's a package deal with his brother and his schools range from close to home to all the way up north. Try figuring this one out.

Adam Friedman, Mid-Atlantic: I would say either Yannick Ngakoue or Tashawn Bower. Ngakoue is a former Maryland commit but is having a tough time deciding among the Terps, South Carolina and Florida State. Bower is an Auburn commit but has taken visits to Florida State, Florida and LSU. It's difficult to get a read on either of these players.

Kynon Codrington, Southeast: This one is easy, Mackensie Alexander. Alexander is very hard to read and is all over map with his top schools and official visits. He is very unpredictable as far as his favorites go. One week it was Clemson; the next it was Texas A&M. Last weekend, there was a rumor he was committed to Mississippi State, but he responded to me via text that he did not commit. This week he was scheduled to visit Rutgers or USF, according to an assistant coach at Immokalee, then he arrived at Auburn for an official visit. To say he is unpredictable is an understatement.

Woody Wommack, Southeast: The toughest for me right now is probably the nation's No. 4 overall player, Carl Lawson. Whether it's him or his coach speaking, no concrete information seems to be available. He canceled his planned trip to North Carolina, and now there are some questions whether he'll end up taking his official visit to Auburn, the school where he's still committed. If he does make the trip to Auburn, look for it to come down to the Tigers and Tennessee, with Clemson still trying to stay in the race.

Josh Helmholdt, Midwest: There are not many Midwest prospects left undecided to choose from, but Chicago Simeon linebacker Reggie Spearman has had an interesting recruiting ride. An Illinois commit for several months, he officially visited the Illini, Iowa and Minnesota. I like Iowa's chances to steal the three-star prospect away on Signing Day, especially after he reportedly made an unofficial visit to Iowa City this weekend. However, Spearman is talking about making another unofficial visit to Illinois before signing day and is still throwing around the possibility of one more official visit that would likely go to Purdue. This recruitment could take a couple more turns over the next week and a half.

Jason Howell, Southwest: I'm going to stick with my region for this one, and when it comes to playing it close to the vest, Lancaster (Texas) defensive end Daeshon Hall is a master. He committed to Texas early in the process before deciding to de-commit and pledge to Washington. Now he is taking a few official visits. He continues to say he is committed to Washington, but TCU and Texas A&M are making a strong push. There is talk of Oregon being in the mix. The one thing about Hall is he loves to get after the quarterback, which causes some to think he may stick with the Pac-12 or the Big 12, but you better believe Texas A&M is going to make things interesting. Does he stay or does he go? That is the question, and there is talk this could go all the way to signing day.

Adam Gorney, West: From my region, Eddie Vanderdoes is too close to call and I'm not even sure he knows where he's going. The consensus is that UCLA or USC will land his signature, but his Notre Dame visit seems to be going well, he still has to visit Alabama next weekend and Washington cannot be counted out. The two California schools have done everything possible to get him, but I also think the Irish have a serious shot, so even though signing day is getting close it still might be too early to make an informed decision on his destination.



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