Sting Factor: Biggest decommitments in November
A total of players decommitted from Power Five schools in the month of November as the Sting Factor was in full swing. Here is a look at the top 10 most impactful ones as we storm toward the Early Signing Period.
MORE STING FACTOR: Malachi Coleman backs off pledge to Nebraska | Collins Acheampong flips from Michigan to Miami
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ANTHONY HILL: Sting Factor: 9
The five-star linebacker chose Texas A&M over Texas in late July and it was a huge recruiting win for the Aggies, but his commitment did not last until the end of his senior season. The Denton (Texas) Ryan tackling machine re-engaged with the Longhorns and it looks like Texas is going to win out in Hill’s recruitment, although he has not committed yet – as was expected after a recent visit to Austin.
WALKER LYONS: Sting Factor: 8
One of the top tight ends in the 2023 class, Lyons committed to Stanford over USC, Utah, BYU and others this summer, but after coach David Shaw resigned at the end of the Cardinal’s season, the four-star from Folsom, Calif., reopened his recruitment. USC, Utah and Georgia have emerged as the frontrunners for Lyons, who could have the Trojans out front but things could still go various ways.
JADEN RASHADA: Sting Factor: 8
Miami scored a major recruiting win when the Hurricanes landed Rashada and it also spoke to the ability of first-year coach Mario Cristobal to recruit anyone from anywhere. But Florida was also a very high school on Rashada’s list, and he he visited the Gators right before making his decision in the spring. The Hurricanes won the battle, but Florida won the war as Rashada flipped to the Gators in November. It gave coach Billy Napier an elite play-caller as the in-state recruiting battles of FSU, Florida and Miami heat up.
COLLIN DIXON: Sting Factor: 7
Wisconsin desperately needs a jumpstart in the passing attack and Dixon could have been one of the answers, but he backed off his pledge in mid-November prior to the Badgers hiring Luke Fickell as coach. It doesn’t look like Wisconsin is completely out of this race but others are very involved now as Wisconsin has no receiver commits. Dixon had a huge senior season with 88 catches for 1,493 yards and 19 touchdowns.
KHALIFA KEITH: Sting Factor: 7
The bruising running back from Birmingham (Ala.) Parker was committed to Kentucky for about three months and it was a big recruiting win for the Wildcats since Keith is a big, strong, tough prospect and seems to fit in with UK’s offensive approach. But Keith backed off that pledge – leaving UK with no running back commitments – and a few weeks later he committed to SEC rival Tennessee. This one definitely hurts.
TRECH KEKAHUNA: Sting Factor: 7
Five-star receiver Zachariah Branch is the star receiver at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, but it was Kekahuna who put up the best stats this season with 57 catches for 1,240 yards and 22 touchdowns. That kind of production would have been overwhelmingly welcome at Wisconsin, which needs a spark in the passing game. But Kekahuna backed off his pledge to the Badgers in early November before Luke Fickell got the job, and it looks like Oregon could now be tough to beat in his recruitment.
JOSHUA MICKENS: Sting Factor: 7
Mickens’ relationships with members of the LSU coaching staff dated back to their time at Notre Dame, especially with assistant coach Brian Polian. So, when the Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central four-star defensive end committed to the Tigers, it wasn’t a huge surprise. But Ohio State has come in strong recently, and after a visit to Columbus in recent days Mickens backed off his pledge to LSU and it looks like he could now be headed to Columbus.
CHRIS TEREK: Sting Factor: 7
Terek committed to Wisconsin over the summer and it made sense since the four-star is a really talented offensive lineman and the Badgers made the Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Glenbard West standout a top priority. But as the Badgers moved on from coach Paul Chryst and there was uncertainty in Madison, Notre Dame stepped it up with Terek and he took a visit to South Bend. After that trip, Terek’s commitment was up in the air and in late November he decided to flip to the Irish.
COLTON VASEK: Sting Factor: 7
Vasek plays at Austin (Texas) Westlake. He’s a Longhorns legacy. The four-star defensive end was a top priority for Texas’ coaching staff. So when Vasek committed to Oklahoma, citing his relationships with many of the coaches in Norman, it was a big win for coach Brent Venables and his staff. But it wouldn’t last. As the Sooners struggled this season and Texas played better, Vasek decided to flip his pledge, especially as he stayed close with QB commit Arch Manning and others in the Longhorns’ class.
WINSTON WATKINS: Sting Factor: 7
A few days before Christmas, the 2025 receiver who’s now playing at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy made a very early pledge to Texas A&M. It was a big win for coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff because Watkins could end up as the top-rated receiver in his class. Through the Aggies’ disappointing season, Watkins stuck by his word but in recent weeks the IMG standout backed off his commitment as Ohio State, Clemson and others make another push. His cousin is former Clemson star Sammy Watkins, but a national approach will happen in his recruitment now.