Earlier Thursday, ESPN's Gerry Hamilton reported that Baylor signee Devin Duvernay, the No. 4 wide receiver in the 2016 class according to 247Sports.com, has been released from his NLI with Baylor due to a clerical error.
According to Hamilton's report,
The family of top-rated Baylor recruit Devin Duvernay on Thursday told ESPN that the wide receiver is free to sign elsewhere after being told by the national letter of intent program that the university never submitted his NLI paperwork.
Duvernay, ESPN's No. 3-rated wide receiver in the 2016 class, had been seeking a release from his NLI after the sexual assault scandal that has rocked Baylor and cost coach Art Briles his job.
Sources with both the Big 12 and one conference school confirmed to ESPN that Duvernay did not have a valid NLI. Susan Peal, the director of the national letter of intent program told ESPN that she could not comment on the specific case.
This is an insane misstep on Baylor's part, but it may not have actually mattered much if everything else hovering over the university hadn't happened. Duvernay would likely have still enrolled at Baylor, but because of the large-scale scandal, he's now free to pursue other options.
According to ESPN's Max Olson, TCU and Texas are the frontrunners for Duvernay's services. TCU recruited Duvernay rather heavily over the course of his high school career, and now has a second shot at landing the stud receiver.
Duvernay also has a brother, Donovan, who is still attempting to get out of his NLI with the Bears. It has largely been speculated that they are a package deal.
It's not clear whether or not TCU would have room for the Duvernays, should they both want to come to TCU, but with the transfers of Zach Allen and Tevin Lawson, it would seem that the Frogs could make it work. However, with the timing of Lawson's transfer, I'm not sure if his spot was already filled by John Diarse or a signee to the class of 2016.
It's also important to note that there may be a member of the 2016 class that does not make it to campus (I'm not hinting at anyone in particular, but there always seems to be a player or two who have to go the JUCO route).
As for how this affects the 2017 class, adding the Duvernays would give the Frogs another stellar wide receiver option, and a solid cornerback, both of which are needs in the 2017 recruiting cycle. This would free up TCU to use their limited spots on other positions of need (i.e. in the trenches).
We'll keep you updated as this story develops.