In a National Signing Day ceremony at his high school, Duncanville cornerback Ennis Rakestraw committed to and signed with the Missouri Tigers over the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The announcement was an emotional moment for Rakestraw, as his decision ended one of the most meteoric recruitments since the institution of the early signing period. And it ended with an upset — Alabama was considered the favorite in the final moments after a flurry of 247Sports Crystal Ball projections in favor of the Crimson Tide from Tuesday into Wednesday morning.
Missouri was the first of those three schools to offer the late-rising prospect, officially entering Rakestraw’s recruitment in mid-October, long before his stock took off in late December and early January thanks to remarkable performances in the state tournament. Offer timing is an important factor for a lot of recruits, but there was only one Crystal Ball prediction temporarily in favor of the Tigers before that was switched to the Crimson Tide.
Texas was the home-state school that already boasted a signature from teammate Ja’Quinden Jackson and has the advantage of proximity over both of the other major competitors. Despite offering Rakestraw less than a month ago without the presence of a new cornerbacks coach at that time, the Horns were able to get him on campus last weekend for an official visit.
The new cornerbacks coach, Jay Valai, apparently made an impression on Rakestraw in a short period of time.
However, Rakestraw described Alabama as his dream school when the Crimson Tide offered and and on Wednesday morning as momentum pointed towards Tuscaloosa. That late surge was initially taken as a sign that head coach Nick Saban and his staff were making a late push for Rakestraw, too.
Ultimately, the time that Missouri spent recruiting Rakestraw won out for the consensus three-star prospect, who is ranked as the No. 893 player nationally and the No. 71 cornerback, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.