The 2021-22 NLI signing period opened in relatively quiet fashion on Wednesday, with fewer surprises and less drama than we’re accustomed to seeing in the early days. Here’s the biggest news.
Alabama Locks Down No. 1 Signing Class
It was a drama-free signing day for the Crimson Tide, which locked down all six members of its No. 1-ranked recruiting class early on. Alabama’s massive class contains three elite gymnasts and a Nastia Liukin Cup champion.
(If you’re curious about our full signing class rankings, keep an eye out next week!)
Star-Rated Canadians Make Their Choices
We entered Signing Day with a plethora of uncommitted internationals still on the market. Two big Canadian names surprised us: Three-star recruit Kyra Cato will be joining San Jose State while Rachael Riley becomes the third four-star in Rutgers’ incredible signing class.
New Commits at Every Level
New names who announced their commitments on signing day include:
- Kyra Cato – San Jose State
- Rachael Riley – Rutgers
- Camry Miller – Southern Utah
- Marley Peterson – Utah State
- Emily Johnson – Temple
- Kaya Forbes – North Carolina
- Olivia Zsarmani – Michigan State
- Madeline Kees – Northern Illinois
- Rubylyn Goad – Texas Woman’s
- Jonna-Marie Kirk – LIU
- Rachel Van Namen – Winona State
- Xiomara Jennings and Taylor Rendina – Bridgeport
Quiet Day For Florida
Florida signed only Kayla DiCello on Wednesday. Active commits Sophia Butler, Shilese Jones and JaFree Scott were quiet on signing day, meaning that their plans could still change.
Achampong Remains Unsigned… For Now
California wrapped up its signing day without locking down five-star commit Ondine Achampong… but the word “today” in this tweet might turn out to be significant. There’s no need to panic the British elite yet.
UC Davis Commits on the Move?
AnnMarie Gonzalez (three stars) and Samantha Wu (four stars) have both verbally committed to UC Davis in the past, but we’ve suspected for a while that they might be on the move. Their absence from Davis’ signing class adds certainty.
San Jose State and Utah State Make First Commits
Neither of these teams had a single commit prior to signing day that we knew of, but they added Kyra Cato and Marley Peterson, respectively.
Quiet Day for Central Michigan, Illinois, Eastern Michigan
While Illinois and Eastern Michigan each had one verbal commit who hasn’t signed yet, Central Michigan is the last remaining Division I team to be totally without a verbal commit for the college graduating class of 2026.
Fewer NLIs Signed Than 2021 Signing Day
In last year’s signing day tracker we listed 169 NLI signees; in this year’s version the count is currently at 108 (these numbers are unofficial as schools’ releases aren’t always clear about which signees are on scholarship). It has only been two days, but the difference is still notable. With COVID years counting against scholarship limits starting with the 2023 season, it is likely that coaches are being cautious with scholarship offers until the seniors on their teams make decisions about the extra year. We expect this trend to continue over the next few years until all of the COVID-era gymnasts have graduated.
READ THIS NEXT: Sisters Karley and Kennedi McClain Share Close Bond, Look Forward to Competing Together at Southern Utah in 2023
Article by Rebecca Scally and Jenna King; header photo courtesy of Kyra Cato
Like what you see? Consider donating to support our efforts throughout the year!
What are these star ratings you keep referring to?