The updated ESPN 300 rankings have a new No. 1 in QB Justin Fields. It wasn't that long ago that Fields was unranked and seeking his first scholarship offer.
Quarterback Justin Fields has experienced a meteoric rise from a potential football recruit hoping for his first offer to the No. 1 prospect in the newly updated ESPN 300. He has a commitment and a decommitment under his belt, and has gradually generated interest from major programs. Now, all the attention is on him.
Here's a look at how Fields got to this point in his recruitment and what took place along the way.
April, 2016: Fields, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound unranked QB in the ESPN Junior 300, is unsure if schools are noticing his talent. While he has only finished his sophomore season, many prospects are already seeing offers roll in.
"I remember in April, he was talking to his speed and agility coach, and he was stressed about not having any offers," said Fields' mom, Gina Tobey. "Then his coach was like, don't worry about it, it'll come and sure enough North Carolina was the first to offer. His coach said when one comes, the floodgates will open and that's what happened."
May 5, 2016: Fields receives his first offer from North Carolina.
June, 2016: Fields receives offers from nine schools. As a testament to his academics as well as his athletics, Duke, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Harvard are among the schools that offer him scholarships.
"Harvard was one of the first offers that [Fields] had," Tobey said. "I wanted him to go to Harvard, but he said, 'Mom that's not enough football for me,' so I said, OK what about Duke? That still wasn't enough football for him."
July 17, 2016: Penn State holds a summer camp, which Fields attends. After seeing him in person, the staff makes Fields an offer the very same day.
September, 2016: Other big programs take interest in Fields. Arizona, Indiana, Louisville, Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss, South Carolina and TCU all throw offers on the table. Fields also travels to Penn State in September, marking his second visit to campus.
November, 2016: The Nittany Lions get another unofficial visit. Fields, who hails from Kennesaw, Georgia, also pays his in-state team in Athens a visit. The Bulldogs offer Fields shortly after the visit.
Dec. 1, 2016: Fields commits to Penn State.
— Justin Fields (@justnfields) December 1, 2016
"He was feeling a little pressure to commit," Tobey said. "If someone commits before me and I don't have that opportunity anymore, then I don't have that choice anymore. It was no pressure from the coaches, just his position.
"At the point he committed to Penn State, he might have had 20 something offers. At that point, Penn State had great academics and football tradition, so that was the happy medium for us."
Dec. 12, 2016: The ESPN Junior 300 rankings are updated with Fields at No. 8 overall.
February, 2017: Alabama, Oregon and Florida all offer Fields.
April, 2017: Florida State receives a visit from Fields, and the Seminoles extend an offer shortly.
"Schools kept coming and his stock kept rising," Tobey said. "Then he was second-guessing his choice. That was what we were afraid of in the beginning, but [prospects] feel so much pressure."
April 20, 2017: Updated ESPN 300 rankings are released. Fields is now a five-star and No. 4 overall.
June 6, 2017: Fields decommits from Penn State.
— Justin Fields (@justnfields) June 7, 2017
"The reason I decommitted was to make sure that Penn State was the best fit for me," Fields said. "Calling Coach (James) Franklin and the staff was probably the hardest phone call I've ever had to make, but I feel like it was the best decision for me and my family."
June, 2017: Now that he's decommitted, Fields visits Georgia, Auburn and Florida State on consecutive days from June 12-14. He stops by Florida on June 20. Finally, he and his family visit Alabama at the end of June -- a trip that coincides with his sister's softball schedule.
This was a big month for Fields; the five-star QB decommitted from the Nittany Lions, took four unofficial visits and added an offer from USC on June 25.
July 13, 2017: The ESPN 300 rankings are updated, and Fields moves up to No. 1 overall. Former USC quarterback Matt Barkley is the only QB other than Fields to ever claim the No. 1 spot in ESPN's rankings, so the Georgia native is joining rare company.
Fields will visit Auburn this weekend and make another trip to Georgia shortly thereafter. His sister, Jaiden, is committed to play softball for the Bulldogs.Read more at espn.com