The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

National Signing Day 2021-2022

It’s NLI day!

To review:
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—i.e., 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 signing period, during which schools will finally reveal to us which gymnasts have signed on to join their programs for the 2022 competitive season. The large majority will be unsurprising since most of these gymnasts have been verbally committed to these schools since the womb, but there are always a few pieces of interest (usually regarding who doesn’t sign rather than who does).

So, let’s see what we see. If nothing else, this year will be a little different because typically these signing athletes would be tasked with replacing the routines contributed by seniors during the 2021 season, but with everyone being granted an extra year, that’s not necessarily the case this time. There will be more adding, without as much subtracting (potentially).

Many of the US Olympic hopefuls are planning to start college in the 2022 competitive season, but since a number of them have already signed with their schools during a previous period then deferred to pursue the Olympics, they won’t show up in these announcements. But, we are expecting to hear about McCallum, Eaker, Bowers, Suni Lee, Emily Lee, Aleah Finnegan, and Sloane Blakely among others in this week’s announcements.

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 post their official press release for (at least what appears to be) the whole class.

NLIs 2021-2022

OKLAHOMA Release Jordan Bowers
Danae Fletcher
Moorea Linker
Danielle Sievers
Danae Fletcher is slated to join for the 2021 season. Because Oklahoma’s freshman class wasn’t big enough. It’s been a long while since we’ve heard from Jordan Bowers (she did compete a second of L10 at a new gym in 2020), who headlines this class. Danielle Sievers is the younger sister of Iowa State’s Meaghan Sievers.
FLORIDA Release
Release 2
Sloane Blakely
Leanne Wong
Florida had previously signed Morgan Hurd and Riley McCusker to this class (just those nobodies), but added Sloane Blakely to the cool kids club today to make it an elite trio. As far as I can tell, we’re still waiting to hear about Shilese Jones, who has long been committed to Florida but wasn’t announced as part of last year’s signing class either. In Release Part 2: You Have to Wait Until Saturday edition, Florida also announced Leanne Wong as part of the group that will start in 2022 with Hurd, McCusker, and Blakely.
UCLA Release Alexis Jeffrey
Emily Lee
Jordan Chiles, Emma Malabuyo, Ana Padurariu, and Brooklyn Moors are also slated to start in 2022 after deferring 2021, joining these two signees. So it’s a class.
UTAH Release Kara Eaker
Grace McCallum
This is obviously a damn important class for Utah, with two of the most talented recruits and famous elites of the year both signing. This is a 90s Utah signing class. This is a “we’re trying to compete for titles again” signing class. (Per verbals, there were supposed to be a couple other L10s as part of this class, so we’ll see if that happens later and Utah was just too excited about Eaker and McCallum and was like, “EEEEE ANNOUNCE NOWWWWW” or if there are some changes to the class.)
MICHIGAN Release Abigael Vides
Jacey Vore
Ashley Lane
Vides is the name you’ll recognize from her senior elite sojourn. WOGA’s Deiah-Marie Moody had also verbally committed as part of this class but is not among the announced newcomers.
LSU Release Aleah Finnegan
Tori Tatum
Kaytlyn Johnson
Three elites to LSU, headlined by Aleah Finnegan, and we’re all very shocked she’s going to LSU. Never would have picked it. It was a bit surprising to see Tatum drop back to L10 after a really successful junior elite year in 2018, but that’s pretty much exactly what you want in a college recruit, someone with the elite skill set who isn’t totally beaten down by the elite process. Or, I mean, US elite is a dream…
DENVER Release Mia Hebinck
Momoko Iwai
ALABAMA Release Corinne Bunagan
Lily Hudson
Jordyn Paradise
Bunagan was a US elite for a second, who went on to represent the Philippines at worlds in 2018.
CAL Release Madelyn Williams
Ella Cesario
Jordan Kane
Mya Lauzon
Madelyn Williams is the star in this group, who shined in her short time as an elite. We were expecting British elite Amelie Morgan to be part of this signing class as well, but things sometimes happen later with non-US athletes.
MINNESOTA Release Marissa Jencks
Lauren Pearl
Olivia Reed
Haley Tyson
WASHINGTON Release Leah Smith
Lana Navarro
Ashley Blum
GEORGIA Release Maeve Hahn
Sarah Cohen
(Katie Finnegan was also supposed to be part of this signing class but is joining early for the 2021 season.)
KENTUCKY Release Jillian Procasky
MISSOURI Release Amari Celestine
Grace Anne Davis
Victoria Gatzendorfer
Alonna Kratzer
Jocelyn Moore
OREGON STATE
Release 1
Release 2
Natalie Briones
Phoebe Jakubczyk
Jade Carey will also be starting her competitive college career as part of this class, but she currently appears on the roster because she has started academically at OSU.
BYU
Jazlyn Wood
Mina Margraf
AUBURN
Release Sunisa Lee
Sophia Groth
Caroline Leonard
Sara Hubbard
Waiting on the full announcement, but we do have Sunisa Lee confirmed for Graba Part Deux.
ARKANSAS Release Cami Weaver
Frankie Price
Kalyxta Gamaio
Makenzie Sedlacek
Maddie Jones
NEBRASKA Release Ayzhia Hall
Halle Rourke
Emma Simpton
Savanah Warren
IOWA STATE
Release Hannah Loyim
ARIZONA STATE
Release Mallory Marcheli
Alex Theodorou
SOUTHERN UTAH
Release Ellie Cacciola
Katie Ours
Madeline Tyau
NC STATE
Release Peyton Childs
Hailey Merchant
Lauren Rutherford
ILLINOIS
IOWA
Release Josie Bergstrom
Alexa Ebeling
Kendall Laplante
STANFORD
Release Anapaula Gutierrez
Jimena Gutierrez
Brenna Neault
Katya Sander
ARIZONA
Release Alyson Fears
Emily Mueller
MARYLAND
Release Tasha Brozowski
Athlyn Drage
Josephine Kogler
Lindsay Bacheler
UTAH STATE
Release Molly Arnold
Trinity Brown
Brie Clark
Kielyn McCright
Brooke Wilson
PENN STATE
Release Elina Vihrova
Bella Salcedo
Jessica Johanson
Why did no one tell me that Elina Vihrova was coming to Penn State? I blame all of you individually.
WEST VIRGINIA
Release Brooke Alban
Anna Leigh
MICHIGAN STATE
Release Skyla Schulte
Gabrielle Stephen
BOISE STATE
Release Emma Loyim
Elaina McGovern
Alyssa Vulaj
NEW HAMPSHIRE
Release Alyssa Beaulieu
Gracy Mowers
KENT STATE Release Brynne Tsipis
Alyssa Guns
Grace Wehry
UC DAVIS
Release Keanna Abraham
Allie Gard
Emily Pires
Megan Ray
Bella Trejo
NORTHERN ILLINOIS
OHIO STATE
Release Stephanie Berger
Kaitlyn Grimes
Jenna Hlavack
Tori Vetter
PITTSBURGH
Release Hallie Copperwheat
Marisa Aiello
Nancy Kiner
Sidney Washington
GEORGE WASHINGTON
NORTH CAROLINA
Release Lali Dekanoidze
Julia Knower
Isabelle Schaefer
CENTRAL MICHIGAN
WESTERN MICHIGAN
BALL STATE
Release Ariana Gilley
Grace Sumner
RUTGERS
EASTERN MICHIGAN
TEMPLE
TOWSON
Release Clara Hong
Mia Davis
Lauren Keener
Caitlyn Allen
SAN JOSE STATE
Release Sophia Konieczny
SEMO
Release Madison Greene
Nyah Reader
Lindsay Ockler
BOWLING GREEN
Release Lexi Bornhorn
Emily Castiglia
Kennady Kreinbrink
Baylie Lawrence
Kathryn Weilbacher
ILLINOIS STATE
SACRAMENTO STATE
Release Ruby Mach
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