UPDATE, Sunday 2 p.m.: Xavier Washington told Steven Goldstein of PurpleWildcats.com that Northwestern currently leads his recruitment. His offer was extended to a full one—no longer a "gray shirt." Expect a decision by tomorrow. Jared McGee has not yet been reached today.
UPDATE, Sunday 8 a.m.: We're on high alert "commit watch" throughout today, or possibly leading into Monday.
No new names have emerged on the recruiting spectrum, leaving open the possibility that one of the two targets will join the official 2014 class and participate in this season's training camp.
Four days before National Signing Day, Northwestern holds one available scholarship. With the de-commitment of Jordan Thomas, the Wildcats explored several options to complete their 2014 recruiting class.
But now, here are the facts. Both prospects visited Evanston this weekend, Xavier Washington and Jared McGee, technically received "gray shirt" offers, which would delay their eligibility until Jan. 2015.
McGee appears an overwhelming favorite to flip from his UTSA commitment and join the NU program. Steven Goldstein of PurpleWildcats.com added insight to the Washington case by reporting him being torn between schools (Insider).
McGee informed PW that all of the 2014 offers were out, as told to him by the coaching staff. Washington's offer was initially reported without the caveat—but he was originally offered as a gray shirt.
So one scholarship left, with two candidates as N/A? What does it mean?
First, they were clearly looking to other candidates at some point. The Wildcats could be scheming, though leads would have emerged by now if this were a continued pursuit. But someone had, or still has, an extended offer to join the 2014 recruiting class. Someone not named Xavier Washington or Jared McGee.
Second, they might have recruiting leverage. There's no way Fitzgerald would accept gray shirt commitments from two players while not using his 2014 scholarship. It's possible that Washington or McGee will see his "gray shirt" extended to an unconditional scholarship sometime before National Signing Day. That, or there's a mystery candidate at-large, or more unlikely, Fitzgerald pockets the scholarship for 2015.
Scrambling without Jordan Thomas, NU appeared to find a strong backlog of available 2014 players. Locked in a situation that doesn't make sense—but one that will end up fine–the Wildcats are closing their recruiting class in dramatic fashion.