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).
-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.
FLORIDA – Release
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.
MICHIGAN – Release
Sydney Townsend and Lauren Farley
A Canadian worlds team member and a WOGette.
UTAH – Release
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 UTAH – Release
Hannah Nipp, Mikaela Defilippo, Morgan Alfaro
ARIZONA – Release
Payton Bellows, Sydney Freidin, Adra Parks
PENN STATE – Release
Ava Verdeflor, Alissa Bonsall, Lauren Bridgens, Kourtney Chinnery
You may remember Verdeflor, a WOGA gymnast, from competing internationally for the Philippines.
GEORGIA – Release
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.”
ALABAMA – Release
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.
CAL – Release
Kyana George, Alma Kuc, Victoria Salem, Nina Schank
MICHIGAN STATE – Release
Anne Maxim, Madison McHale, Lea Mitchell
Walk-on: Michelina Lupinetti, Isabelle Wittebort
STANFORD – Release
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.”
MARYLAND – Release
Audrey Barber, Karrie Thomas, Emilie LeBlanc, Collea Burgess, Sabriyya Rouse
MINNESOTA – Release
Lexy Ramler, Lexi Montgomery, Ona Loper
Getting Ramler is a big ol’ coup for Minnesota.
ILLINOIS – Release
Nicole Biondi, Grace Gough, Kylie Noonan
LSU – Release
Gracen Standley, Reagan Campbell
NC STATE – Release
Lauren Kent, Tori Prati
WASHINGTON – Release
Jennifer Oh, Geneva Thompson
WEST VIRGINIA – Release
Jessie Bastardi, Sydney Marler
Walk-on: McKenna Linnen
AUBURN – Release
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.
DENVER – Release
Lynnzee Brown, Emily Glynn, Mia Sundstrom
OHIO STATE – Release
Danica Abanto, Jenna Swartzentruber, Morgan Lowe
BYU – Release
Haley Pitou, Abbey Miner, Abby Beeston, Melanie Lockhart
OREGON STATE – Release
Savanna Force, Alexia Gonzales, Kaitlyn Yanish
BOISE STATE – Release
Emily Muhlenhaupt, Tatum Bruden, Rachel Obmann
PITT – Release
Jordan Ceccarini, Haley Brechwald, Sophia Bochenek
NEBRASKA – Release
Kynsee Roby, Anika Dujakovich, Torri Hutchinson
OKLAHOMA – Release
Anastasia Webb, Evy Schoepfer, Jordan Draper, Abigail Matthews