Underrated Recruits in the Class of 2021 That Excel on Floor

Because our rating system was based on scores and video review for all four events, gymnasts with one standout event were often rated lower overall. Of course, teams that are weaker on one event, or are looking to fill a hole, will look to event specialists to solidify those lineups. Recruits who excel on a single event may not have ratings that reflect how valuable they can be to their teams, so we wanted to highlight some standouts.

Bayley Barnett 

College: San Jose State
CGN Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Floor high scores: 9.825 (2020); 9.775 (2019)

Barnett is an elegant and expressive floor worker. She opens her routine with a front double twist, which is an E element, and competes two other twisting passes in combination well. She has the ability to draw spectators in with her beautiful choreography, a quality much appreciated in college. She will become a floor standout at San Jose State!

Gabrielle Clark 

College: Utah State
CGN Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Floor high scores: 9.650 (2019); 9.825 (2020)

Yep, that’s a Biles I. While Clark hasn’t competed it yet, the caption sure makes it sound like she plans to during the 2021 J.O. season, and she has already put a huge double layout on the competition floor. Not to mention that she closes with a solid two and a half. Look for Clark to be the next floor star for the Aggies.

Moorea Linker 

College: Oklahoma
CGN Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Floor high scores: 9.750 (2020); 9.800 (2019)

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you: Linker is capable of opening her routine with a double double! The 2019 L10 national champion (senior A) is a powerful floor worker and even when she doesn’t compete the Silivas, she opens her set with a huge full-in. In 2021 she could be one of the very few NCAA gymnasts to compete the double double.

Frankie Price 

College: Arkansas
CGN Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Floor high scores: DNC in 2020; 9.750 (2019)

Price is a floor powerhouse. She opens with a huge double layout, and her split positions are just divine: You’ll hardly find anyone else performing such high and ample oversplits. Arkansas is already strong on floor, but Price will be next level.

Lauren Rutherford 

College: N.C. State
CGN Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Floor high scores: 9.650 (2020); 9.775 (2019)

For Rutherford, gravity is just not a thing. All her tumbling passes have incredible amplitude and elevation. She competes two E skills: A huge full-twisting double pike with excellent form and a front double twist to front tuck. She will anchor the Pack’s floor lineup from the start.

Anna Leigh 

College: Uncommitted
CGN Rating: NR
Floor high scores: 9.725 (2020); 9.650 (2019)

Yes, that’s right! Leigh opens her routine with a super difficult front 2.5 twist. Very few elite gymnasts compete this skill because it’s SO difficult to get 2.5 twists around in the front position. Leigh, nevertheless, is an excellent twister: She makes her back 2.5 twist and her Rudi to layout step-out look easy. Impressive work!

Isabella Hughes 

College: Uncommitted
CGN Rating: NR
Floor high scores: DNC in 2020; 9.725 (2019)

Hughes brings such an elegant look to the floor that we could just watch all day long. Her tumbling is also impressive: She opens with a double layout, which is just a bit piked, and dismounts with a sky-high double pike. Her presentation, though, is what will make her an NCAA fan favorite.

Molly Rae Arnold 

College: Uncommitted
CGN Rating: NR
Floor high scores: 9.625 (2020); 9.700 (2019)

Amplitude and difficulty define Arnold’s floor work well. She opens with a stunning full-in, performs a difficult 2.5 twist to punch front and dismounts with a big double tuck. She has potential to challenge for a lineup spot for the best teams in the country.

Sara Wabi 

College: Illinois State
CGN Rating: NR
Floor high scores: 9.600 (2020); 9.700 (2019)

Illinois State has had some great floor workers in recent memory; Wabi will continue the tradition for the Redbirds. If her dance doesn’t pull you in, it’ll be the wolf jump full to double turn or excellent front double full that do it. Wabi could become a top floor worker in the MIC.

Marlee York 

College: George Washington
CGN Rating: NR
Floor high scores: 9.400 (2020); 9.700 (2019)

We’re always happy to see a triple full! It’s one of the least-performed E passes, and George Washington will be thrilled to have it. It doesn’t hurt that York also has a big personality while performing; she’ll shine in college.

Nikki Beckwith 

College: Penn State
CGN Rating: NR
Floor high scores: DNC in 2020; 9.650 (2019)

Beckwith has been in and out of the elite scene in her career, and it shows in her control. Her strong leaps and clean tumbling will be a highlight for the Nittany Lions. Add in the classic collegiate lunge, and this is a college-ready routine.

Alison Reeg 

College: Uncommitted
CGN Rating: NR
Floor high scores: 9.325 (2020); 9.625 (2019)

Don’t blink during Reeg’s second pass; yep, that’s a punch double front! It’s not too often we see an E pass not first up! Reeg has the tools to put together a unique and fun college set.

Maddie Kinsey

College: Air Force
CGN Rating: NR
Floor high scores: 9.600 (2020); 9.575 (2019)

Kinsey is such a fun performer; she draws you in from the first beat. Her performance quality, plus a sky-high double tuck and back layout two and a half to punch front make for an exciting routine from top to bottom.

Payton Gatzlaff

College: Uncommitted
CGN Rating: NR
Floor high scores: 9.475 (2020); 9.450 (2019)

Gatzlaff is a strong performer, with a great, unique quality of movement. She would fit in well at schools known for their unique and special choreography. We’ll be keeping an eye out to see what she brings to the floor in the coming season.


Article by Emily Minehart and Talitha Ilacqua

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