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).
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.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.
|I didn’t see that many NCAA coaches at worlds, but I did see Dana and Bryan there. This is why.|
|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
|Carey had verbally committed to Oregon State before she became a thing, and they have managed to hang onto her.|
|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
|Amanda Elswick is the younger sister of Heather Elswick. Kennedy Hambrick is not related to Myia Hambrick.|
|WEST VIRGINIA||Release||Esperanza Abarca
|“Butts Inks Four Mountaineers.” I can’t be expected to work under these conditions.|
|SOUTHERN UTAH||Release||Caitlin Kho
|Basically trying to trick you into thinking they signed Mai Murakami, Ragan Smith, and Konnor McClain.|
|GEORGE WASHINGTON||Release||Deja Chambliss
|OHIO STATE||Release||Claire Gagliardi
|CENTRAL MICHIGAN||Release||Alaina Kosto
|EASTERN MICHIGAN||Release||Charlotte Reynolds
|Correct. That is five new scholarship gymnasts for next year to replace one senior this year.|
|IOWA STATE||Release||Phoebe Turner|
|PENN STATE||Release||Melissa Astarita
|KENT STATE||Cami Klein
|NEW HAMPSHIRE||Release||Hannah Baddick
|NORTH CAROLINA||Release||Emery Summey
|WESTERN MICHIGAN||Release||Sterlyn Austin
|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
|BALL STATE||Release||Marinia Livelsberger
|NC STATE||Release||Katie Cox
|Cox is joining for January 2018.|
|BOWLING GREEN||Release||Tess Muir|
|SACRAMENTO STATE||Release||Karissa Hoffman
|SAN JOSE STATE||Release||Tia Gin
|WILLIAM & MARY|