NLI Week 2017-2018

On the bright side, at least we’ll all be dead soon.

Anyway, Wednesday marks the beginning of NLI week, the annual period during which schools finally reveal to us which gymnasts have signed on to join their programs for the 2018 competition season. The large majority will not be a surprise since most of these gymnasts have been verbally committed since the late 1860s, but there are always a few little pieces of interest (usually regarding who doesn’t sign rather than who does).

To review:
-NLI = National Letter of Intent
-When a gymnast signs an NLI, it signals the end of the recruiting process and confirms a gymnast’s intent to attend the school in question. At this point, all other schools must cease recruiting.
-The NLI is accompanied by the athletic aid (scholarship) agreement. Gymnasts can’t sign NLIs if they are not receiving athletic aid, though they can receive athletic aid without signing an NLI.

So, let’s see what we see.

The cool thing these days is to announce the signees one-by-one on twitter, so if this information is urgent to you, keep checking there. I’ll add teams here once they issue the formal release about the entire class.

FLORIDARelease
Megan Skaggs and Vanasia Bradley

Two former elites for Florida. (Former elite??? Florida??? Well I never!) Skaggs competed elite through 2015 and into the senior division, while Bradley was a junior elite until her 2013 injury.

In addition to this pair, Alyssa Baumann is also slated to join the entering 2017-2018 class, but she signed her NLI last season with her original class.

MICHIGANRelease
Sydney Townsend and Lauren Farley

A Canadian worlds team member and a WOGette.

UTAHRelease
Sydney Soloski and Alexia Burch

Burch (which I’ve already typed as Butch twice, we’ll have to watch that) was originally a 2018-2019 in her verbal at collegegymfans, but she’s joining for the 2018 season now. Sarah Smith, who finished 9th in Senior D this year at JO Nationals and was originally listed as part of this class, is nowhere to be found as yet.

SOUTHERN UTAHRelease
Hannah Nipp, Mikaela Defilippo, Morgan Alfaro

ARIZONARelease
Payton Bellows, Sydney Freidin, Adra Parks

PENN STATERelease
Ava Verdeflor, Alissa Bonsall, Lauren Bridgens, Kourtney Chinnery

You may remember Verdeflor, a WOGA gymnast, from competing internationally for the Philippines.

GEORGIARelease
Emily Schild, Marissa Oakley, Ashley Foss

Durante the Younger is also supposed to be part of this class. I suppose they’re working something so that she doesn’t have to be part of the 12. Danna’s like, “I will totally pay your tuition if it gets me another beam routine. WORTH IT.”

ALABAMARelease
Bailie Key, Kylie Dickson, Alonza Klopfer, Lexi Graber

We have the Bailie Key confirmation.

“I am a people person and the moment that I walked onto the campus I noticed that the coaches took interest in me as a person, not just as a gymnast,” Key said. “I felt like they cared about my goals and the plans for my future. They went out of their way to provide all the information I needed to make the best decision for me. I wanted to be a part of a team that had integrity, character and were serious about their academics. Alabama had it all.”

Meanwhile, Kylie Dickson is again changing her nationality, this time to Bamarus.

CALRelease
Kyana George, Alma Kuc, Victoria Salem, Nina Schank

MICHIGAN STATE Release
Anne Maxim, Madison McHale, Lea Mitchell
Walk-on: Michelina Lupinetti, Isabelle Wittebort

STANFORDRelease
Kyla Bryant, Rachel Flam, Taylor Lawson, Lauren Navarro, Catherine Rogers

Stanford needs this class to a degree it is impossible to quantify. That’s why Kristen is basically penning love poems to them already. Stolen your heart?

“I love this group of young women and their families,” said Stanford head coach Kristen Smyth. “They are character kids, leaders and role models. This bond started four years ago and they have stolen my heart throughout the recruiting process. Through perseverance, and sacrifice they have achieved their dream of competing together and representing Stanford at the highest level.”

MARYLANDRelease
Audrey Barber, Karrie Thomas, Emilie LeBlanc, Collea Burgess, Sabriyya Rouse

MINNESOTARelease
Lexy Ramler, Lexi Montgomery, Ona Loper

Getting Ramler is a big ol’ coup for Minnesota.

ILLINOISRelease
Nicole Biondi, Grace Gough, Kylie Noonan

LSURelease
Gracen Standley, Reagan Campbell

NC STATERelease
Lauren Kent, Tori Prati

WASHINGTONRelease
Jennifer Oh, Geneva Thompson

WEST VIRGINIARelease
Jessie Bastardi, Sydney Marler
Walk-on: McKenna Linnen

AUBURNRelease
Meredith Sylvia, Ashley Smith, Drew Watson
Walk-on: Sydney Bassett, Allie Riddle

UCLA – Release
Nia Dennis, Pauline Tratz

Pauline Tratz is the news here. She made Germany’s test event team and was in the mix for the Olympic team because of a 5.6 D on floor floor.

DENVERRelease
Lynnzee Brown, Emily Glynn, Mia Sundstrom

OHIO STATERelease
Danica Abanto, Jenna Swartzentruber, Morgan Lowe

BYURelease
Haley Pitou, Abbey Miner, Abby Beeston, Melanie Lockhart

OREGON STATERelease
Savanna Force, Alexia Gonzales, Kaitlyn Yanish

BOISE STATERelease
Emily Muhlenhaupt, Tatum Bruden, Rachel Obmann

PITTRelease
Jordan Ceccarini, Haley Brechwald, Sophia Bochenek

NEBRASKARelease
Kynsee Roby, Anika Dujakovich, Torri Hutchinson

ARKANSASRelease 1, Release 2, Release 3 (Ugh…one please…)
Kailey Gillings, Sophia Carter, Sydney Laird

OKLAHOMARelease
Anastasia Webb, Evy Schoepfer, Jordan Draper, Abigail Matthews

17 thoughts on “NLI Week 2017-2018”

  1. Re: Georgia, there were only three slots available after the signing of Vega (unless someone’s not getting one next year), so it was suspected Durante would be out of this class. She’ll either get free tuition because of mom or severely reduced. Why waste a scholarship on someone who won’t be paying any money in the first place.

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  2. Surprised no one has mentioned this yet…

    What does that Bailie Key quote say about her de-commitment from the Gators and their program?

    Also, is Ernst still an odds-on favourite to join Bama as a spring signing or walk-on in this class or is she going somewhere else?

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    1. Yep. Sounds like she’s insulting Florida’s integrity without directly naming them.
      But who knows? Could be as simple as she was recruited be Faehen and wanted to train with her?
      Still wondering about Ernst, also.

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  3. Pretty surprised by Bama signing Dickson. Besides the drama she brings with her (what’s that Bailie said about character and integrity?? Spoke too soon!!), she has neither difficulty nor consistency. I wouldn’t have pegged her as scholarship material for a top 6 school. She didn’t even qualify as elite in the US, did she?

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    1. Dickson did qualify elite and competed at the Secret Classic. She was inconsistent as an elite but that doesn’t mean much when you water down and do college-level skills. Everyone deserves a fresh start and much of Dickson’s “fame” wasn’t her fault anyway. She didn’t commit any felonies or even do anything close to that bad. Alabama not signing her due to other people not being happy her coaches had her take advantage of an opportunity to go to the Olympics would be downright stupid.

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    2. In fact, it’s person like you who made the drama. Dickson benefits from a rule of the FIG to compete internationaly. She knows that there’s no chance she can do that for team USA because of the depth of the team. Plus she competes for a weak country, so, I don’t see the point of USAG to make drama about that. I don’t know her but she seems to be a very king person and she probably can be a good college gymnasts (because you know, elite and college are not the same thing, you can be a good elite gymnast and a bad college gymnast).

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  4. oh so many rough names here. so so many. america. just name your kid something we can spell.

    also your first sentence is 100% correct. may NCAA gym save us from the Trump administration.

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