November 11, 2014

NLI Week 2015-2016

Ah, yes. NLI week. The time of year where schools can finally publicly acknowledge what they've known for the last 3-5 years and announce which gymnasts will be joining their teams for the 2015-2016 season. I'll be updating this post over the next week or so, beginning Wednesday, with the announced classes and links to the press releases from the major schools. Sometimes interesting things happen. Usually it's just the confirmation of verbals long since forgotten.

Just to review, NLI stands for National Letter of Intent, and it's what future student-athletes sign to signal an end to the recruiting process and a commitment to attend a particular institution, in most cases along with a scholarship agreement. Previously almost all of these gymnasts, especially the US ones, will have announced a verbal commitment to these schools, but verbal commitments are not official or binding. Once you sign the NLI, it's real.

It begins.

UTAH - Release
MyKayla Skinner, Shannon McNatt, MaKenna Merrell, and Erika Muhaw

The only question here is the Skinner deferral issue, and I expect she's planning on it. Also, if she makes the Worlds team next year, the lure of going pro may be strong in this one.

STANFORD - Release
Hailee Hoffman and Taryn Fitzgerald

Kristyn Hoffa and Monica Riley

MICHIGAN - Release
Olivia Karas and Emma McLean

FLORIDA - Release
Peyton Ernst, Alicia Boren, Lacy Dagen

Brittini Chappell, Drew Hendershot, Jessica Ling, Roya Shirley

PENN STATE - Release
Sabrina Garcia, Mason Hosek, Jessica Jones

LSU - Release
Lexie Priessman, McKenna Kelley, Kaitlyn Szafranski, Julianna Cannamela

-The pressure will be on that LSU class majorly to make up for the losses of Hall, Courville, Jordan, and Ranzy. Basically, all of their potential has to pan out for LSU to retain its current strength.

-Sarah Finnegan has also confirmed LSU is her choice, so basically one crazy-talented class leaves to be replaced by another 

UCLA - Release
Simone Biles, Madison Kocian, Macy Toronjo

UCLA confirms that both Biles and Kocian are planning to defer and go for the Olympic team. That was obvious for Biles but never overtly stated for Kocian. Still, since she made Worlds this year, it makes sense. I wouldn't say it's likely for Kocian, but it's not just a pipe dream. The problem for UCLA here is that (as of now), they'll only have one new gymnast for 2015-2016 in Toronjo. They're losing only Sam Peszek and maybe Ellette Craddock (redshirt possibility?) after this year, so they're not dropping all that many routines, but those Sam Peszek shoes are big ones to fill.

ARKANSAS - Release
Makenzie Anderson

MISSOURI - Release
Allison Bower, Madeleine Huber, Brooke Kelly, Morgan Porter, Michaelee Turner

IOWA STATE - Release
Meaghan Sievers, Sydney Converse, Madeline Johnson

ILLINOIS - Release
Rebecca Cuppy, Haylee Roe

DENVER - Release
Claire Kern, Kaitlyn Schou

GEORGIA - Release
Gracie Cherrey, Jordyn Pedersen, Sydney Snead

Pedersen is also planning to defer until after the Olympics, at least for now.

Sabrina Gill, Mariana Colussi-Pelaez, McKenna Singley

CAL - Release
Emily Howe

KENT STATE - Release
Carmen Joliff, Sarah Lippowitsch, Kennedy Plude

Ellie Pascoe-Long, Josalyn Ray

MARYLAND - Release
Shynelle Agaran, Megan McClelland, Macey Roberts

Skyler Memmel, Kasey Janowicz, Abbie Zoeller, Kailey Miller, Gianna Plaksa

-The [original] headline is "'Special' Class for CMU Volleyball." Great work, everyone.

OHIO STATE - Release
Casey Carvalho, Jamie Stone

Mackenzie Austin, Kelsey Chan, Madison Hargrave

NEBRASKA - Release
Kami Amemiya-Shows, Sienna Crouse, Catelyn Orel, Megan Schweihofer

ARIZONA - Release
Brittany Robertson, Charle Dembo, Skyler Sheppard, Danielle Spencer

Julia Beyer, Chelsea Eley, Lauren De Meno

Krista Collins, Kensleigh Owens, Brittany West

Natalie Hoffmann, Kamryn Bayer

NC STATE - Release
Caitlyn Fillard, Mackenzie Itcush, Maggie Tamburro, Nicole Wild

UC DAVIS - Release
Kara Jones, Yasmine Yektaparast

OKLAHOMA - Release
Nicole Lehrmann, Megan Thompson (walk-on)

Kirah Koshinski, Sarah Moore, Jaquie Tun, Tiara Wright, Carly Galpin (walk-on)

Rachel Cutler, Selena Ung

AUBURN - Release
Taylor Krippner, Samantha Cerio, Emma Engler, Emma Slappey

 Corinne Belkoff, Eileen Imbus, Katelyn Lentz, Morgan Wilson

KENTUCKY - Release
Sidney Dukes, Alex Hyland, Aubree Rosa, Katie Stuart


....78 millennia later......


ALABAMA - Release
Jenna Bresette, Abby Armbrecht, Amanda Huang, Avery Rickett

-Note that a few teams are announcing people and posting signing pictures on twitter before they do a real release if you want to keep track of that.

-All the coaches are really eager to tell us how outstanding these classes are. I really wish someone would go, "This year's class is just OK" some time.


  1. So a question... Dare Maxwell announced a month or so ago that she'd been accepted to Stanford on a full ride, but no sign of her in today's press release. What's the deal? Also, no Kyla...Think she's gonna make a last minute UCLA switch (Simone going there, could maybe start classes before enrolling full time, could start January 2017 w/ Simone rather than wait til Fall 2017 for Stanford)?

    1. Not sure about that, but it's not uncommon for the official announcements of Stanford gymnasts to be made late (presumably confirming various academic requirements/admission?). A couple years ago the McNairs weren't in the original announcement for their class and weren't confirmed officially until May of the next year.

    2. This is also the early signing with the regular period coming in April until school starts in August. Not as many girls sign in April but there will be signings then as well.

  2. Kristen Nogaki ( gave a verbal to Michigan, but is not in their release. ANy idea what may have happened?

  3. I wonder why florida doesn't have a press release yet even though rhonda has already announced the three signees. Also why haven't i seen anything in regards to oklahoma's signees

  4. interesting that Simone legally binding are these? Is there no way she can go pro now?
    (not that I think she SHOULD go pro now, I think she would be amazing in NCAA!)

    1. She could still go pro if she changes her mind. As I recall, Alicia Sacramone signed an NLI for UCLA before deciding to go pro and go to Brown, so there's wiggle room. Signing does indicate to me that she is serious about going to UCLA after the Olympics, not just holding a spot for herself just in case.

    2. thanks...that's what I figured. She does seem serious about it, which is a great sign.

  5. Another one wondering where Oklahoma is in this? (Sooner fan).

  6. Is lexie priessman deferring?

  7. Sarah Finnigan (sp?) has committed to LSU for 2015-16.

  8. Kentucky just announced their commits: