It’s NLI day!
NLI = National Letter of Intent
The National Letter of Intent is a document signed by future college athletes confirming their intent to attend and compete for a particular school. Signing the NLI signals the end of the recruiting process—all other schools must immediately 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.
Wednesday marks the beginning of this year’s NLI period, during which schools will finally reveal to us which gymnasts have signed on to join their programs for the 2020 competitive season. The large majority will not be surprises since most of these gymnasts have been verbally committed to these schools since the womb, but there are always a few little pieces of interest (usually regarding who doesn’t sign rather than who does).
So, let’s see what we see.
Note: Many teams 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 note them here once the schools provide their official press release.
|UCLA did not issue a release but did announce the three expected signings on social media. We also learned that Brooklyn Moors will be attending UCLA, but not until the 2021 season.|
|Oklahoma also has not issued an official release (the cool kids don’t even do releases anymore, you guys…) but did announce the signings of Vanessa Deniz and Brooke Weins on social media. This was also supposed to be the class of Ragan Smith, who has not yet signed. Nor has Kaitlin DeGuzman, originally a verbal for this year.|
|Florida’s announcement was an anticipated one because this is also supposed to be the signing class with Morgan Hurd and Riley McCusker, neither of whom are in the initial announcement. We know they’re both going for the 2020 Olympics, but we have seen people in the past go the “sign and defer” or “sign and wait to see if I’m going pro” routes.|
|LSU||Release||Bailey Ferrer (2019)
|We now have the official announcement on Ferrer for 2019, an essential addition to a small incoming class. The news among the rest is Kiya Johnson coming a year early for 2020 instead of 2021, just like Desiderio did for 2018 and Ferrer for 2019.|
|Paulson’s is the name you’ll know here after her successful senior elite season in 2017, but Jaedyn Rucker was also a gymternet sensation for her floor during the Nastia Cup this year.|
|GEORGIA||Release||Haley de Jong
|The Haley de Jong news hadn’t been reported previous to this week, so that’s another get for Georgia.|
|These latest two are new names, who hadn’t been previously announced as verbals to Alabama.|
|CAL||Release||Nevaeh De Souza
|Of note, this was also supposed to the signing class with Alyona Shchennikova.|
Natalie Morton (2019)
|Morton is a signing for the 2019 season, which expands Denver’s new class to four.|
Grace Hester (2019)
|Chrobok is among the top tier of Canadian elites, making the senior Pan Am team this year to compete the all-around.|
|PENN STATE||Release 1
|KENT STATE||Release||Karlie Franz
|BALL STATE||Release||Megan Phillips
|SAN JOSE STATE
|WILLIAM & MARY