Alabama Crimson Tide: Jordan Sims

Recruiting hits and misses: SEC West

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
11:10
AM ET

Now that the fax machines are quiet, the 2014 signing classes have been announced and before we start looking ahead to 2015, let's take a moment to examine how each of the SEC schools did in filling immediate needs via recruiting.

We're checking out what all 14 teams did to fill holes, and we're looking at which holes still remain. We'll start with the SEC West (click here for the SEC East):

ALABAMA

Needs filled: It was obvious Alabama needed help at cornerback, and the Crimson Tide went out and got two of the best in the country in five-star prospects Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey. Pass rushers were also a priority, which makes five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and four-star outside linebackers Rashaan Evans and Christian Miller key pickups. Cameron Robinson, yet another five-star prospect, could end up starting at left tackle next season on the offensive line.

Holes remaining: The Crimson Tide could have used another marquee receiver and lost out on No. 1 wideout Malachi Dupre to LSU. With Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Vinnie Sunseri both heading early to the NFL, the Tide also might have come up short at safety.

ARKANSAS

Needs filled: The Hogs’ passing game was in need of a jump-start, and getting an ESPN 300 player out of Miami the caliber of JoJo Robinson adds another playmaker to the equation. Arkansas’ offensive line class is equally impressive with four-star prospects Brian Wallace and Frank Ragnow and three-star prospect Jovan Pruitt joining Denver Kirkland and Dan Skipper from last year’s class.

Holes remaining: The highest-ranked player in the Hogs’ class was defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson of El Dorado, Ark., which was big considering they need help everywhere on defense. But they missed out on a pair of highly ranked defensive ends in Solomon Thomas and Demetrius Jackson.

AUBURN

Needs filled: Gus Malzahn called ESPN 300 prospect Tre' Williams the key to the class, and he should provide an immediate boost at linebacker. With Chris Davis departing, the Tigers also needed to replenish at cornerback, which is where four-star prospects Kalvaraz Bessent and Stephen Roberts come in. Both were ranked in the top 10 nationally at their position. With Greg Robinson leaving early for the NFL draft, it was good to add muscle on the offensive line with ESPN 300 prospect Braden Smith, who could play guard or tackle.

Holes remaining: The sting of losing Evans, who’s from Auburn, to Alabama could be felt for a while. He's the kind of explosive athlete who would fit on any defense, and the Tigers need more of those guys, particularly at linebacker.

LSU

Needs filled: The loss of running back Jeremy Hill early to the NFL draft was lessened by landing Leonard Fournette, the No. 1 overall prospect in this class. It only got better for the Tigers’ offense on signing day when the country’s No. 1 receiver, Dupre, said he would play his college football on the Bayou. Safety was a real sore spot on defense last season, so getting ESPN 300 prospect Jamal Adams was a major pickup. Adams is rated by ESPN RecruitingNation as the No. 2 safety in the 2014 class.

Holes remaining: Robinson would have been a nice centerpiece on that LSU offensive line, but Alabama came into West Monroe, La., and swiped the five-star prospect. The Tigers also lost five-star athlete Speedy Noil of New Orleans to Texas A&M.

MISSISSIPPI STATE

Needs filled: Junior college signee Jocquell Johnson is already on campus and will battle for a starting job next season on an offensive line that’s losing two starters, including All-SEC guard Gabe Jackson. The Bulldogs also added a pair of playmakers at receiver in ESPN 300 prospects Jamoral Graham and Jesse Jackson. Flipping 6-foot-6, 265-pound defensive lineman Cory Thomas from Tennessee on signing day added some more punch to an already deep and talented defensive line in Starkville.

Holes remaining: More secondary help would have been nice, which is why losing cornerback Tee Shepard to Ole Miss on signing day was a downer. A couple of the offensive linemen the Bulldogs wanted, Jordan Sims and Sean Rawlings, also opted for Ole Miss.

OLE MISS

Needs filled: The Rebels wanted to continue to stockpile talent on the offensive line after reeling in Laremy Tunsil and Austin Golson a year ago and did that with four-star prospects Rod Taylor, Tyler Putman and Sims. Upgrading the defense was also a priority, which is why beating Alabama for ESPN 300 safety C.J. Hampton was so important along with getting ESPN 300 defensive end Garrald McDowell out of Louisiana. Flipping junior college cornerback Shepard from Mississippi State was a nice signing day coup.

Holes remaining: You can never have enough defensive linemen in the SEC, so losing defensive tackle Michael Sawyers to Tennessee was a blow. The same goes for ESPN 300 defensive end Davon Godchaux, who stuck with his commitment and signed with LSU.

TEXAS A&M

Needs filled: With Johnny Manziel taking his show to the NFL, Texas A&M has to find a quarterback. Early enrollee Kyle Allen is an ESPN 300 prospect and ranked as the No. 1 pocket passer in this class. Noil, another early enrollee, should help fill a void with big-play receiver Mike Evans headed to the NFL, and the Aggies also loaded up on offensive linemen, including a pair of junior college signees. Any help on defense was a priority, which makes five-star defensive end Myles Garrett one of the keys to the class.

Holes remaining: The Aggies are still thin at safety after swinging and missing on several of their top targets in this class, including Adams, Steven Parker II and Mattrell McGraw. They also had ESPN 300 safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner committed but lost him to Boise State when Marcel Yates took the defensive coordinator job there.

SEC recruiting storylines: Oct. 17 

October, 17, 2013
10/17/13
2:00
PM ET
Taking a look back at the week that was in SEC recruiting and looking ahead to future visits as teams build toward signing day:

Aggies could make big splash Saturday

SEC recruiting mailbag

October, 11, 2013
10/11/13
11:00
AM ET
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, but we encourage you to ask again next week by tweeting your questions to @DerekTysonESPN or @HamiltonESPN and use the hashtag #SECRecruiting.

@Drew_Vaughn_55: [Who are the] top targets still on Auburn's board?

[+] EnlargeRashaan Evans
Miller Safrit/ESPNHomewtown four-star LB Rashaan Evans is a top target for Auburn, but other SEC teams are involved, too.
Derek Tyson: This will certainly change from now until signing day, but as of now the top remaining prospects for the Tigers appear to be four-star linebacker Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn), defensive end Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing), four-star center Josh Casher (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul's Episcopal), offensive guard Jordan Sims (Birmingham, Ala./Homewood) and wide receiver Myron Burton Jr. (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge).

@LSUPETERadams: How serious is Hootie Jones about Bama?

Gerry Hamilton: There is no doubt Laurence "Hootie" Jones is very serious about Alabama. He has been on campus at least two times since July, and he is sitting on I-20 in Monroe at Neville High. Why is that important? One, because it's easier to get a prospect out of Louisiana in the northern part of the state, and two, Alabama has tons of momentum and that includes O.J. Smith (Bossier City, La./Airline High), Cameron Sims (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish High) and No. 3 overall Cameron Robinson (Monroe, La./West Monroe High) all being from that very important I-20 in the Pelican State. With that said, one has to consider LSU the front runner for Jones until he actually pulls the trigger for a program other than the Tigers. There is competition and quality depth at whichever school Jones picks, and he is a very talented and confident player, so this is not a decision that will come down to looking at depth charts.

@Watup_Haun: Can Vol Nation steal Clifton Garrett? #vols

DT: The No. 3-ranked inside linebacker Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) told me after Tennessee's hard-fought overtime loss to Georgia that his experience actually helped the Vols' chances of landing him. The problem for Tennessee is LSU had such a commanding lead going in to the visit it might be too much to overcome. The Vols certainly improved their chances, and Florida and Ole Miss are still very much in the running, but as of now I think LSU is still probably the team to beat.

@driverag: Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) didn't visit the Gators last Saturday. Is that bad news? Any chance they can still get him?

DT: Noil said on Sept. 1 that his top three consisted of Florida, USC and Texas A&M, which is good news for Florida fans considering the home-state team, LSU, is not listed. However, Noil and his teammate Gerald Willis III have both moved their visit to Florida back twice. The more they continue to to push back their visit to Florida, in my opinion, that is not a good thing for the Gators. Until they actually get on campus again, it's really hard to determine just how serious they are about Florida. Despite what they are saying publicly, LSU is still very much in the picture. A victory over LSU this weekend by Florida could certainly go a long way as far as their recruitment.

SEC 2014 recruiting scenarios 

October, 8, 2013
10/08/13
8:00
AM ET


With signing day still several months away, schools will add and in some cases lose committed prospects. Here is a look at the best and worst case scenario for each SEC school.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SEC recruiting storylines: Sept. 19 

September, 19, 2013
9/19/13
2:00
PM ET
Fans in the SEC are still trying to catch their breath after a wildly entertaining game between Alabama and Texas A&M. With that said, there are plenty of hot topics on the recruiting front throughout the SEC.

[+] EnlargeLaurence Jones
Greg Ostendorf/ESPNLaurence Jones will be one of the big names in attendance when LSU opens SEC play with Auburn on Saturday.
Impressive visitor list for Florida
Last week it was Texas A&M hosting a star-studded group of visitors. This week, it will be Florida when the Gators play host to Tennessee. On the official visitor list are the No. 11-ranked prospect overall Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), who has a top three of Alabama, Georgia and Florida; No. 25 Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron), No. 59 Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) and three-star tight end DeAndre Goolsby (Derby, Kan./Derby), who had an official visit to Oklahoma on Sept. 6. Among the uncommitted unofficial visitors in the 2014 class are three-star defensive tackle Cory Thomas (McCalla, Ala./McAdory) and No. 257 overall Jordan Sims (Birmingham, Ala./Homewood). The class of 2015 list of unofficial visitors scheduled to be in attendance includes No. 2 overall and LSU commitment Kevin Toliver II (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy), No. 6 Martez Ivey (Apopka, Fla./Apopka), No. 13 Jeffery Holland (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy), No. 48 CeCe Jefferson (Glen Saint Mary, Fla./Baker County), No. 77 Kendrick Norton (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy) and No. 158 Jake Fruhmorgen (Tampa, Fla./Plant), among many others.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SEC recruiting storylines: Sept. 12 

September, 12, 2013
9/12/13
2:00
PM ET
After a terrific start to the college football season with big games and potential momentum changing wins and performances, this weekend features the most hyped game yet -- Alabama at Texas A&M. The visit list of what could be dubbed “Super Bowl Saturday” in College Station continues to grow with the Aggies expected to host the most talented visit weekend in the programs history. Here is a closer look at some of the hot topics throughout the SEC:

Five-star visit list in College Station
Texas A&M is taking full advantage of the long-awaited rematch with Alabama. The visitor list for Saturday can only be defined with the word “loaded.” Whether it’s official visitors in the 2014 class or unofficial visitors for 2015, the list of who's expected is star-studded in the recruiting world. Expected to visit College Station over the weekend include the likes of No. 1 overall Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine High), No. 7 Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin High), No. 8 Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr), No. 25 Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron High), No. 29 Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Edna Karr), No. 81 Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/James Bowie High) and No. 158 Joshua Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Har Ber High). On the unofficial visit list are ESPN 300 members Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton High) and Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton High) in the 2014 class, along with a number of ESPN Junior 300 members, including running back commitments Rodney Anderson (Katy, Texas/Katy High) and Jay Bradford (Splendora, Texas/Splendora High) as well as uncommitted quarterback Kyler Murray (Allen, Texas/Allen High).

Gators all in on Sharpe
If there was any question if the Florida Gators were all in on No. 15 overall prospect David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School), it was answered earlier this week when four-star offensive tackle Benjamin Knox (DeLand, Fla./DeLand High) decommitted from Florida.

"At this very moment, I'm decommitting," Knox said. "Reason why because I haven't heard from them in over a month."

The Gators are making it clear to Sharpe that he is the top priority at offensive tackle. Florida currently has three offensive line commitments, all projected guards at the next level, and remain in the mix for No. 257 overall Jordan Sims (Birmingham, Ala./Homewood High).

Tennessee adds No. 25
Tennessee added commitment No. 25 this week with the addition of senior cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (Greensboro, N.C./Page High), but the Volunteers are not done in 2014. Four-star lineman Charles Mosley (Brighton, Tenn./Brighton High) is set to decide on Oct. 4 with the Vols squarely in the mix along with Alabama. Tennessee also remains in the mix for ESPN 300 prospects Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp High), defensive end DeWayne Hendrix (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon Township High), linebacker Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South High), cornerback D.J. Smith (Marietta, Ga./Walton High) and end Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett High) among others with defensive line and linebacker being a top remaining priority. Hendrix and Garrett are set to officially visit Knoxville on Oct. 4.

Visit list for Tennessee-Florida taking shape

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

The spotlight rarely shines on the big guys in the heart of the offensive trenches, but guards and centers play a key role in the success of an offense. The 2014 class offers a talentedand fairly deep group of interior offensive linemen and the most recent release of the updated ESPN 300 saw several move up in the rankings.

Offensive guard prospects like USC commit Toa Lobendahn and Florida State commit Corey Martinez were among those who made sizeable moves up in the latest rankings release. Center and Alabama commit J.C. Hassenauer moved into the 300.

Four of the top five OG prospects are already off the board, as well as nine of the top 10 centers. But if your team is still looking for talent, here are five to keep an eye on:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Summer recruit wrap: Alabama 

July, 23, 2013
7/23/13
9:00
AM ET
The summer is almost over. The majority of camps are complete as schools have turned their focus to the beginning of the season. For Alabama, the camp season resulted in a handful of new commitments as well a plethora of new scholarship offers extended to 2014, 2015 and even some 2016 prospects.

This week, we take a look at the top 10 storylines and trends from the summer and look ahead to what’s next for the Crimson Tide.

[+] EnlargeCameron Robinson
Tom Hauck for Student SportsAlabama is battling for OT Cameron Robinson who put on a dominating performance at The Opening.
1. Camps focus on rebuilding the line

The camp season affects all positions, but the best evaluation comes from the 1-on-1 drills between the offensive and defensive linemen. Alabama used its camps to find talent up front as the staff looks to rebuild both lines. ESPN 300 offensive guard Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) committed to the Tide in late May before the camps began. Since that point, Alabama has added three more offensive linemen including center prospect J.C. Hassenauer (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge), one of the stars of The Opening. On defense, Johnny Dwight (Rochelle, Ga./Wilcox County) was one of the top performers from the first camp. He earned an offer and committed on spot.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Jordan Sims (Homewood, Ala./Homewood) received an Alabama offer back in February, but he still had to prove to the coaching staff that he belonged in the Crimson Tide’s 2014 class. The ESPN 300 offensive lineman got his chance on Sunday when UA’s July camp kicked off.

“Everything went great,” Sims said. “I had a great camp today. The coaches thought so. I thought so. I went up against some great defensive linemen, great competitors. It was intense. There wasn’t one relaxed part about it. It was definitely intense.”


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The defending national champions are preparing to host their final camp of the summer next week, and some of the top 2014 and 2015 prospects nationally are expected to descend on the University of Alabama. The camp runs Sunday through Wednesday.

Here are five storylines to watch as the Crimson Tide's camp plays out.

Addressing the OL


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

When Homewood (Ala.) High School began practice this spring, four-star offensive lineman Jordan Sims decided to take a break from the recruiting process. He wanted to concentrate on his team as well as losing weight and getting back in shape.

Sims, the No. 8 player in the state, took his first visit in nearly three months on Wednesday when he made the short trip over to Auburn University.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Tales From The Road: Alabama 

May, 15, 2013
5/15/13
10:00
AM ET
Each week, Tales From The Road provides news and updates about where Alabama’s coaches are recruiting and which prospects are getting noticed.

This week’s targets: Alabama has traveled coast to coast this spring, but this week the staff is putting an emphasis on the Southeast, specifically its home state. UA assistant coach Lance Thompson plans to make a trip back to Mobile where he will no doubt make a stop at St. Paul’s Episcopal to see Auburn commitments Josh Casher and Tre' Williams. Kirby Smart made a stop at Montgomery (Ala.) Carver to see ESPN 150 linebacker commitment Shaun Dion Hamilton. He’ll also be spending a couple days in West Georgia, checking in with top programs like Sandy Creek, Newnan and Carver, the home of 2015 commitment Mekhi Brown.

Area of interest: There aren’t many Californians on the Alabama roster, but the staff seems to be putting more emphasis on the state with the 2014 class. Tide assistant coaches Greg Brown and Doug Nussmeier were both on the West Coast last week checking out prospects. The biggest name is ESPN 150 tight end Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada), the brother of UA offensive lineman Issac Luatua, but the Tide also have offers out to a pair of ESPN 150 offensive linemen, Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./John Bosco) and Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Ca./Centennial). All three prospects want to visit Tuscaloosa.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

HOMEWOOD, Ala. -- When spring practice began at Homewood High School, four-star offensive lineman Jordan Sims took a break from the recruiting process and focused on getting better. To help him with that, he hired a personal trainer.

In the last month, Sims has trimmed nearly 15 pounds and now stands at 6-foot-4, 330 pounds. How has the new physique helped?


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The last month has been a productive one for the University of Alabama in terms of recruiting.

Sure, the Crimson Tide still have just three commitments for 2014 -- far less than they’ve had at this time in years past -- but since the beginning of spring practice, they have hosted some of the nation’s top recruits. If the talent on campus this spring is any indication, Nick Saban is well on his way to another No. 1 recruiting class.

With just a week until A-Day, TideNation breaks down the recent visitors, position-by-position, beginning with the offense Thursday.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- A lot had changed since Jordan Sims (Homewood, Ala./Homewood) last visited the University of Alabama. The in-state offensive lineman has since received a scholarship offer, and the Crimson Tide hired Mario Cristobal to be the new offensive line coach.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Trey DePriest Won't Play In Opener
Alex Scarborough discusses Trey DePriest being suspended for Alabama's opening game against West Virginia due to an undisclosed NCAA infraction
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

SEC SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 8/28
Saturday, 8/30
Sunday, 8/31