NLI Week 2018-2019

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 2019 competition season. The large majority will not be surprises 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 that gymnast.

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.

Note: Lots of teams now will announce their classes one-by-one on social media, so if you’re desperate to know who has been signed by a particular school, keep an eye on that. I’ll put them here once they provide their official press release.

I have changed the organization to a table because it’s better.

NLIs 2018-2019

OKLAHOMA Release Olivia Trautman
Allie Stern
You’ll recall Trautman from her time competing as an elite from 2014-2016. Stern is a very interesting character in that she only became a Level 10 THIS YEAR and already got a scholarship to Oklahoma.
FLORIDA Release Leah Clapper
Sydney Johnson-Scharpf
Nya Reed
Savannah Schoenherr
Clapper and Johnson-Scharpf we know (Clapper originally verballed to Penn State before her elite sojourn and then moved on up in the world). Reed was interestingly un-verballed as recently as JO nationals this year. We tend to think of these top-school spots as being locked 15 years in advance, but not always.
UCLA  Release Margzetta Frazier
Sekai Wright
UTAH Release Cristal Isa
Adrienne Randall
Hunter Dula
Lauren Wong
For immediate purposes, the significant news is Lauren Wong joining early for the 2018 season. That should expand the options coming from the freshman class somewhat.

Cristal Isa joins Kari Lee as another gymnast who originally verballed to Arizona before switching to Utah.

Release 2
Release 3
Release 4
Griffin James
Asia DeWalt
Shallon Olsen
Emily Gaskins
I didn’t see that many NCAA coaches at worlds, but I did see Dana and Bryan there. This is why.
NEBRASKA Release Abigail Johnston
Sarah Hargrove
Megan Thompson
Kaylee Quinn
WASHINGTON Release Talia Brovedani
Madeline McLellan
Meaghan Ruttan
DENVER  Release Alexis Vasquez
Maddie Quarles
Alexandra Ruiz
MICHIGAN Release Abby Brenner
Abby Heiskell
Natalie Wojcik
Maddie Mariani
This is a class of L10 stars that Michigan has been looking forward to for a while now. They’re all legit.
OREGON STATE  Release Jade Carey
Madison Dagen
Leah Bivrell
Carey had verbally committed to Oregon State before she became a thing, and they have managed to hang onto her.
GEORGIA Release Rachel Lukacs
Samantha Davis
Mikayla Magee
Megan Roberts
It’s more or less a Ninja Level 10 rebuild for Georgia in the next couple classes, highlighted by Lukacs this year, probably the top L10 in the 2018-2019 national recruiting class.

Magee was originally a verbal for Utah until this June, when she switched to Georgia.

Note that the original signing release also included Abbey Ward, an L10 from Orlando Metro, who has since been quietly removed. OOPSIES! NO SCHOLARSHIP FOR YOU!

BOISE STATE Release Hope Masiado
Alexis Stokes
Sami Smith
KENTUCKY  Release Josie Angeny
Cally Nixon
Arianna Patterson
Ella Warren
AUBURN Release Derrian Gobourne
CAL  Release Maya Bordas
Milan Clausi
Talitha Jones
Abi Solari
MISSOURI Release Frances Bidwell
Hannah McCrary
Mya Mulligan
IOWA Release Alexandra Greenwald
Lauren Guerin
Bridget Killian
Jax Kranitz
Allie Gilchrist
Mackenzie Vance
ARKANSAS  Release Amanda Elswick
Kennedy Hambrick
Amanda Elswick is the younger sister of Heather Elswick. Kennedy Hambrick is not related to Myia Hambrick.
WEST VIRGINIA  Release Esperanza Abarca
Mackenzie Black
Kendra Combs
Rachel Hornung
“Butts Inks Four Mountaineers.” I can’t be expected to work under these conditions.
ILLINOIS  Release Mallory Mizuki
Shaylah Scott
Erin Weisel
SOUTHERN UTAH Release Caitlin Kho
Karley McClain
Shylen Murakami
Rachel Smith
Basically trying to trick you into thinking they signed Mai Murakami, Ragan Smith, and Konnor McClain.
GEORGE WASHINGTON  Release Deja Chambliss
Simone Banen
Olivia Raymond
Paige Apperson
OHIO STATE Release Claire Gagliardi
Kaitlyn Gilson
Colby Miller
Miriam Perez
CENTRAL MICHIGAN  Release Alaina Kosto
Morgan Tong
Sierra DeMarinis
ARIZONA  Release Kennedi Davis
Asia DuVernay
MacKinzie Kane
Alivia Kendrick
EASTERN MICHIGAN  Release Charlotte Reynolds
Carly Kosanovich
Brooke Hylek
Karalyn Roberts
STANFORD Release Grace Waguespack
Madison Burnette
Morgan Hoang
Wesley Stephenson
Evelyn Micco
Correct. That is five new scholarship gymnasts for next year to replace one senior this year.
IOWA STATE  Release Phoebe Turner
MINNESOTA Release Tiarre Sales
Kaitlyn Higgins
Abbie Nylin
PENN STATE Release Melissa Astarita
Dymiana Cox
BYU  Release Sadie Miner
Lexi Griffith
Rebekah Bean
Alexsis Rubio
Riley Danielson
Maddie Iannuzzo
Kendra Lindway
NEW HAMPSHIRE  Release Hannah Baddick
Hailey Luie
Mariella Miele
NORTH CAROLINA  Release Emery Summey
Drew Aldridge
WESTERN MICHIGAN  Release Sterlyn Austin
Carissa Ludwig
Carleigh Stillwagon
MICHIGAN STATE Release Sydney Ewing
Unfortunately, this is not LSU’s Sydney Ewing attempting to sneak back into NCAA gymnastics while wearing a fake mustache because you know how much I would have enjoyed that. It’s an entirely different person with the same name. Like we can deal with that.
ARIZONA STATE Release Stephanie Tripodi
UC DAVIS  Release Liah Bosworth
Cortney Cunningham
BALL STATE Release Marinia Livelsberger
Marissa Nychyk
Julia Wiest
Sandra Elsadek
NC STATE Release Katie Cox
Meredith Robinson
Cox is joining for January 2018.
BOWLING GREEN Release Tess Muir
SACRAMENTO STATE  Release Karissa Hoffman
Amber Koeth
Destiny Watley
SAN JOSE STATE  Release Tia Gin
Carli Orcutt
TWU Release Ellie Ambs
Sadie Bish
Domi Bonzagni
Isabel Goyco
PITTSBURGH Release Katie Chamberlain
Caitlyne Kline
Olivia Miller
Kiley Robatin
SEMO  Release Anna Kazinska
Emma LaPinta




31 thoughts on “NLI Week 2018-2019”

  1. What’s going on with Stanford? That’s two big Freshman classes in a row. Are they attracting walk-ons now?

    1. It’s Stanford, perhaps some of the gymnasts are really smart and can achieve and academic scholarship… Or if they come in on an athletic scholarship as an underclass person and then receive an academic one as a junior/senior.

      One of Stanford’s 2017-18 class juniors also medically retired, so they have that one to give out (Dare Maxwell). I’m sure one of the walk-ons received it for 2018 with the stipulation it’s just a one-year thing, and then it’s free to be used elsewhere in 2019.

      Does Stanford give typical scholarships? I know if you go to an Ivy League school (Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Brown, etc.) you receive financial aid based on your parents income/hardship status, but there are no athletic scholarships.

      1. I just meant in recent years it seems like Stanford’s team has been very small, so few if any walk-ons. I do wonder if the coaching change will make a difference there. But I guess it’s just a fluke they have so many scholarships to offer for those two classes.

  2. Copied from

    It seems very strange that LSU, the 2nd place team from last year, has no recruits for the coming school year. I know Christina Desiderio was originally in the 2018-2019 class but she started early.

    It will be interesting to see if LSU poaches any verbal commits, recruits late-bloomers, encourages their 2019-2020 girls to start early, or takes transfer athletes to fill out this class. They will have at least two scholarships to work with from Erin Macadaeg and Myia Hambrick graduating. I don’t think the other seniors, Lauren Li and Kylie Moran, are on scholarship.

    Any ideas of who they might recruit/who they are currently recruiting for this class?

  3. Hmmm I wonder if flordia had some late spots open because of the alabama exodus of 2016 (ie gaskins in this same class?)

    1. Probably. Gaskins and also Laurie Hernandez would have been in this class. I’m curious about the following class though seeing how there will only be one graduating senior in 2019 on scholarship (Boren) and 3 slated to join that fall…

      1. these gymnasts will be freshmen when Boren is a senior so they are not taking scholarships from her class but rather the current seniors McMurtry, Baker, McLaughlin, Slocum.

      2. Yeah, these gymnasts take from the current seniors, but the following class takes from Boren, and there’s supposed to be 3 of them. So that would make 14 scholarships.

      3. McCusker and Hurd will likely defer for a year so it would be 12 scholarship gymnasts

      4. True they will likely defer even if they end up not really having a shot/ going for it ala Kyla in 2016 (which isn’t a bad thing, she said it was great for her mentally pre college). But ALOT can happen in 2 years so we can never know.

      5. Yep, Peyton, Lacey, and Ashley all transferred, and Amanda is a walk on I believe.

  4. “I have changed it to a table because it’s better”. Yes love the table. Also Spencer UCLA must have been reading your JO blog in the spring cause instagram showed they picked up the “vault” of Sekai Wright aka girl who can stick a DTY.

  5. Glad to see Jade Carey sign with OSU! Whether she ends up going pro or not is a completely different story, but I was worried that she’d get poached by a “bigger” school. I like seeing the talent spread out!

  6. I believe on her Instagram account Canada’s Shallon Olson announced her big secret – she signed an NLI with Alabama.

  7. I don’t know when Trinity Thomas is going to college (with Chiles maybe?), but the girl was at a game at UCLA, with Flatley and Frazier last month, so she, at least, is considering it, the thing is that miss Val is out of scholarships for at least 20 years LMAO, poor girl. With the potential she has, any other decent college could give her a scholarship and take her.

    1. For some reason, I feel like because she’s not committed anywhere and she signs next year (!) I think she’s hoping for Stanford.

      1. I was thinking Stanford as well. She has said before that she’s planning on doing college gymnastics, so it’s weird that she hasn’t committed anywhere yet since I think she’s a HS junior, and I’m sure there are plenty of schools interested in her. I’m pretty sure she’d have to walk on at UCLA, though, because they definitely look full for at least the next 3-4 years haha.

      2. Chiles has already committed to UCLA but they’re so full. Miss Val hands out scholarships like candy, she needs to start saving it for the girls that are truly exceptional instead of “can you do anything related to gymnastics at all? Scholarship!”

    2. Scholarship athletes graduating from UCLA this year:
      Sonya Meraz
      Janay Honest
      Pua Hall?
      I think Peng is not on scholarship this year?
      So… 3? And only one going to Frazier so far, so two remain for 2018-19

    1. Signing now is early, while signing in April is late (or regular). 🙂

      Seriously, I don’t think there’s much difference – perhaps there’s an injury situation and the gymnast/school want to wait until the doctor gives full clearance, or maybe there’s an academic issue where the gymnast needs a specific course she waited until the last possible minute to take (i.e.: Who wants to cut up frogs so let’s hold off taking biology until the very last semester of high school.. 😉 )

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