Baylor recruit Devin Duvernay free to sign elsewhere after NLI error

ByMax Olson and Gerry Hamilton ESPN logo
Thursday, June 2, 2016

Top-ratedBaylorrecruit Devin Duvernayis free to sign elsewhere after the university confirmed Thursday that it failed to submit his NLI paperwork to the Big 12 offices.

Duvernay, ESPN's No. 3-rated wide receiver in the 2016 class, had been seeking a release from his national letter of intent after the sexual assault scandal that has rocked Baylor and cost coach Art Briles his job.

A Baylor spokesman confirmed to ESPN on Thursday that its compliance department has determined that Duvernay does not have a valid NLI and said that information has been relayed to Duvernay's family and the Baylor coaching staff. Susan Peal, the director of the national letter of intent program told ESPN that she could not comment on the specific case.

According to NLI provisions, Baylor had to file Duvernay's letter to the conference office within 14 days of the final signature, otherwise the NLI would be deemed invalid.

Henry Duvernay discovered the error while attempting to submit his son's release request. He was unable to access Devin's account with the NLI database and reached out to Baylor and the NLI office for their help.

Henry Duvernay told ESPN that Peal looked into the situation and determined Baylor did not send in Devin's signed NLI.

"She said Devin is not in the system," he said. "She had her people verify that, and he is free to go."

That means schools are able to again recruit Duvernay.

His twin brother, Donovan Duvernay, also signed with Baylor in February. Baylor did send in his NLI, so the family has submitted paperwork to request Donovan's release. They're two of the seven Baylor signees who sources have confirmed are seeking releases from their letters of intent.

Before the school confirmed to ESPN that Devin's NLI was invalid, Henry Duvernay said conversations with Keith Miller, Baylor's associate athletic director for compliance, had led to his belief that his son was again available to sign elsewhere.

"He didn't know what happened either," Henry Duvernay said. "I had two conversations with Miller and he didn't know what had happened. He said it didn't sound like Baylor is bonded to Devin, so [Devin] should be good to go."

The Duvernay family spoke with representatives from multiple colleges Wednesday who confirmed that Devin is again open to recruitment. He did not use all of his official visits during his initial recruiting process and can still take one more.

TCU and Texas are now considered favorites to land Duvernay, an Under Armour All-American who accounted for nearly 5,000 all-purpose yards and 40 touchdowns during his career at Sachse (Texas) High School.

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