Follow live: State of Florida Recruiting HQ: Lake Gibson LB Barthiel signs with WSU

Jon Santucci
Treasure Coast Newspapers
Lake Gibson Gavin Barthiel (5) runs a kickoff return into the Spoto end zone for touchdown during first quarter action at Lake Gibson in Lakeland Fl. Friday November 13, 2020. 
ERNST PETERS/ THE LEDGER

The Early Signing Period officially is here. 

Wednesday is the first day high school football players can sign a National Letter of Intent and the USA Today Network will be tracking the top stories and news from around the state throughout the day.

Lake Gibson LB Barthiel signs with Washington State

Three-star linebacker Gavin Barthiel picked Washington State. 

Barthiel, who recently decommitted from Georgia Tech, announced his decision on Wednesday. He had more than a dozen Power 5 offers; Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina also were making a late push for the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder. 

Barthiel is rated the No. 54 linebacker and the No. 116 recruit in the state according to the 247Sports Composite. 

IMG CB Brown signs with Ole Miss

IMG Academy defensive back Markevious Brown signs with Ole Miss on Wednesday in Pahokee while his family looks on. Brown played his freshman season at Pahokee High School and grew up here.

Markevious Brown is headed to Oxford. 

The 6-foot, 170-pound defensive back opted for Ole Miss on Wednesday afternoon. Brown also had Arkansas, Auburn, Miami and Virginia Tech as finalists.

Brown, who was a standout at Pahokee before transferring to IMG, is rated the No. 28 cornerback in the nation and the No. 56 recruit in the state on the 247Sports Composite. 

IMG 5-star LB Sorey picks Bulldogs

IMG Academy linebacker Xavier Sorey drops into coverage against Bishop Sycamore (Ohio) in Bradenton, Fla., on Friday, October 16, 2020.

Xavian Sorey, one of the premier outside linebackers in the nation, signed with Georgia on Wednesday afternoon. 

The 6-foot-3, 214-pound Sorey is rated a five-star recruit and the No. 1 outside linebacker in the nation on the 247Sports Composite. 

Sorey had more than 20 Power 5 offers. His other finalists were Alabama and Florida. 

Sorey wrote a first-person story exclusively for the USA Today Network to explain his decision. 

Pensacola Catholic star CB McGhee picks LSU 

Damarius McGhee is headed to Louisiana.

Damarius Mcghee (6) carries the ball during the Catholic vs PHS football game at Pensacola High School on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.

The four-star recruit signed with the the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon. He also had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and several other Power 5 programs. 

The 6-foot-1, 163-pound McGhee is the No. 14 cornerback in the nation and the No. 28 overall recruit in the nation on the 247Sports Composite.

IMG DT Hundley headed to UCF 

IMG Academy three-star defensive tackle Anthony Hundley opted to stay in-state and signed with UCF.

Hundley decommitted from LSU in December. He also had offers from Florida State, Miami, Michigan and other Power 5 programs.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pound Hundley is rated the No. 37 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 85 overall player in the state according to the 247Sports composite. 

USF beats out Power 5 programs for Seminole standout WR

Sanford-Seminole speedy 3-star wide receiver Jimmy Horn Jr. surprised some by signing with USF over offers from Georgia and Oklahoma.

Horn, rated the No. 171 wide receiver in the nation on the 247Sports Composite, will join Seminole teammate Timmy McClain at USF.

Virginia DE Wilson signs with FSU 

Three-star defensive end George Wilson from Green Run High School in Virginia signed with Florida State on Wednesday morning. 

The 6-foot-5, 214-pound Wilson had been committed to South Carolina, but backed off that decision after Will Muschamp was fired in November.

According to the 247Sports composite rankings, Wilson is the No. 24 weak-side defensive end and the No. 365 overall recruit in the 2021 class.

More:Florida State recruiting: Three-star defensive end George Wilson commits, signs with FSU football

Sandalwood LB Jennings flips to Maryland

Sandalwood Saints linebacker Branden Jennings (44) runs down field during the second half of the Region 1-8A FHSAA high school football game Friday, November 20, 2020 at Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Florida. [Stan Badz/Special to The Florida Times-Union]

Sandalwood standout linebacker Branden Jennings will end up at Maryland instead of Michigan.

The four-star recruit initially committed to Florida State, but decommitted on October 12 and announced he was headed to Michigan four days later.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Jennings is rated the No. 7 inside linebacker in the nation and the No. 109 overall player in the country on the 247Sports Composite. 

Vero Beach DE/OLB Koht flips to Alabama

One of the first big surprises of the day came at Vero Beach where four-star defensive end Keanu Koht signed with Alabama. 

Vero Beach defensive end Keanu Koht works out during the first football practice of the season on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. Koht, the top ranked player on the TCPalm Super 11, signed with Alabama on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior had been committed to LSU since July, but put on an Alabama hat and unzipped his jacket to reveal an Alabama t-shirt during the school's ceremony.

Alabama was one of Koht's finalists before he announced he was headed to LSU and the school continued to recruit him throughout the process.

Koht, the No. 1 player on the TCPalm Super 11, joins a handful of players from the Treasure Coast at Alabama. The other are Jarez Parks (Sebastian River), Evan Neal (Okeechobee/IMG) and Tim Smith (Sebastian River).

Rice nabs Victory Christian's Jean

Victory Christian defensive back Jonathan Jean signs with Rice.

Victory Christian senior Jonathan Jean signed with Rice. The 5-foot-10, 175 defensive back was fourth on the Storm with 69 total tackles and intercepted three passes. 

Auburndale's Jaelen Stokes, Malichi Lowery and Aubrey Burks pose after a signing ceremony at the Lake Mirror Center in Lakeland.

Stokes to USF, 2 more Bloodhounds sign

Auburndale's Jaelen Stokes signed with South Florida, Malichi Lowery signed with Duquesne, and linebacker Aubrey Burks signed with West Virginia during a 90-minute signing ceremony at the Lake Mirror Center in Lakeland.

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