Friday, August 30, 2013
SEC recruiting mailbag
By Derek Tyson and Gerry Hamilton
It’s time to dip into the SEC recruiting mailbag and answer your questions. Because of the amount of questions we’ve received, we won’t be able to get to all of them today -- but we encourage you to ask again next week by tweeting your questions to @DerekTysonESPN or @HamiltonESPN and use the hashtag #SECRecruiting.
@ryandavidk: Do you expect to continue to see the top notch recruits picking SEC schools rather than B1G, Pac-12, etc...?
Defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard is one of several five-star rated players that could be headed to the SEC.
Derek Tyson: Currently the SEC has only one commitment from a five-star player (Lamont Gaillard to Georgia), but there is a real possibility the conference could land all 10 remaining uncommitted five-star players. Da'Shawn Hand is probably the most unlikely of that group, but he does have two SEC schools, Alabama and Florida, in his final three.
Looking at the ESPN Junior 300, there are several SEC targets among the top 15 players in the country. Teams such as Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Oklahoma, Florida State, Clemson, Miami and Texas will always get their fair-share of five-star prospects, but top to bottom, the SEC is showing no signs of slowing down as far as landing the top prospects in the country.
Gerry Hamilton: There are currently 10 five-star prospects in the ESPN 300 yet to commit. Of those, Alabama is very likely to get eight on campus for official visits and top-ranked offensive tackle Cameron Robinson (Monroe, La./West Monroe) will be making his decision on ESPNU’s College Football Daily on Wed., Sept. 4 at 1:30pm ET. The Crimson Tide is the favorite to land Robinson over LSU. Alabama is certainly the current favorite to land No. 9 overall Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Al./Hoover High). Alabama also enters the season as the favorite to land No. 11 Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross High), but Florida and home state Georgia provide real competition. No. 1 overall Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) will likely pick between LSU and Alabama at the end of the day. Five-star Texas prospects Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin) and cornerback Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen) will likely visit officially, as will inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) and defensive end Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge).
The net has been cast wide, and it’s hard to imagine Nick Saban and staff not closing as strong as ever. In the last four classes combined, the Crimson Tide have inked four five-star prospects. It’s not out of the question Alabama approaches that number in this class alone, but a whole season and a lot of official visits are still to be made.
@tcpipman: Why does it seem that Florida can not attract any top WRs?
DT: The Gators signed five wide receivers last year including three in the ESPN 300 and at least two, Demarcus Robinson and Ahmad Fulwood, are expected to make major contributions this year. Florida also has the No. 2-ranked wide receiver, Ermon Lane, committed for this year and the No. 1-ranked wide receiver, DeVante Phillips, committed for next year. It appears they are doing just fine recruiting the position.
Florida will need to continue to show improvement in the passing game during the season to continue to attract top wideouts but bringing in a record-setting quarterback, Will Grier, will also help attract top talent.
@ufdlp: Where do you think [David] Sharpe is leaning?
GH: Hard to go against Florida right now, but this recruitment doesn’t have the feel of one that is coming to a conclusion in the near future. Sharpe will attend the Georgia-Clemson game Saturday, and both programs are under serious consideration. There are family ties to Clemson, and Sharpe’s father likes Georgia. An official visit to North Carolina is also in the works, and Sharpe would like the chance to play basketball as well at the next level. Florida State has ace recruiter Jeremy Pruitt in its corner, of course, and USC has been mentioned as a possible official visit destination.