At least as far as college commits are concerned, the elite tier of the boys IMG Top 150 is getting harder to predict. Each year it seems fewer elite players commit as pro clubs skim the best off the top, pushing the onus to players further down the rankings board.
The effect is a rush on undecided players. When it became obvious Cam Lindley was not joining the Chicago Fire out of high school, there was a practical feeding frenzy around his commitment. North Carolina won, obviously, and used Lindley at least in part to cobble together a run to the 2016 College Cup. But scarcity drives demand, and as the Top 150 clearly shows, top college-committed recruits are more scarce than they’ve ever been.
That’s our focus in this week’s edition of the Top 150 Spotlight. There are indeed a handful of top players who still view college as the conduit between academy ball and the pros. And while it still may largely be a refuge for late bloomers, it also remains an enticing rung on the ladder for a scarce few major pro prospects as well.
These, so far, are the players college programs are desperately hoping to keep through next month’s Signing Day and into August camp. As we’ve learned, there are never guarantees.