- Gerry Hamilton, ESPN Staff Writer
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.
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.
Official visit dates changing for 5-stars
The official visit dates for No. 4 overall Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) have changed. The 6-foot-4, 262-pound Under Armour All-American was scheduled to visit Florida Oct. 5 and Alabama Nov. 8, but that has changed due to SAT testing. While the visits have yet to be locked in, it looks like Alabama will host Hand Oct. 26 with Florida taking its swing Nov. 9, just five days before Hand’s Nov. 14 announcement. Michigan continues to be considered the favorite to land Hand with Florida looking like the best bet to challenge the Wolverines.
Last weekend, five-star athlete and No. 8 overall Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) and No. 29 overall Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Edna Karr) officially visited Texas A&M. This weekend the talented duo and Under Armour All-Americans were slated to be in Gainesville, but the visit to Florida has been changed to Oct. 5. The 5-foot-11, 176-pound Noil has a top five of Texas A&M, Florida, USC, LSU and Oregon. And while Noil has listed a top three of the Aggies, Gators and Trojans, the in-state Tigers remain very much in the race for his signature.
No. 100 overall Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) was another prospect scheduled to officially visit Florida this weekend that has had a change of plans. The versatile 6-foot-2, 195-pound back has rescheduled his trip to Gainesville for Nov. 30 when the Gators play rival Florida State. Mixon visited California last weekend, and is scheduled to trip to Oklahoma Oct. 4 and Wisconsin Oct. 11.
Key visitors for LSU Saturday
The LSU Tigers will kick off SEC play Saturday against Auburn. As expected, with LSU playing a divisional game at night, there are several unofficial visitors scheduled to be in attendance. Two of note are defensive back and No. 24 overall Laurence Jones (Monroe, La./Neville) and No. 26 Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis). The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Jones is down to LSU and Alabama with the Tigers looking to put a halt to the Crimson Tide’s run along I-20 in the 2014 class. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Dupre has LSU at the top of his list, followed by UCLA, Alabama, Florida State and Clemson.
In the class of 2015, No. 27 overall T.D. Moton (Shreveport, La./Woodland) will be in attendance. No. 10 overall, defensive tackle Daylon Mack (Gladewater, Texas/Gladewater), had to reschedule his unofficial visit and now plans to be in Baton Rouge Oct. 26 for the Tigers game against Furman.
SEC decision for Adams
Under Armour All-American safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) has long been thought to be in a three-team race between Florida, Texas A&M and Texas. With the Longhorns struggling this season, and continued momentum building for the SEC teams in the race, it looks very likely that Adams’ recruitment will boil down to Florida and Texas A&M, with Ole Miss looking to play the spoiler role. Adams officially visited Texas A&M last weekend and will be at Florida this weekend before heading to Oxford Oct. 18. The No. 25-ranked prospect has trips tentatively set for Ohio State on Oct. 25 and Texas on Nov. 15.
LSU offers No. 2 OT
Wednesday night, No. 15-ranked prospect David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence) tweeted that LSU had offered. The athletic 6-foot-6, 288-pound tackle has Florida and Georgia at the top of his list with USC, North Carolina and Clemson working hard to get official visits.
The Tigers are also expected to offer No. 121 overall Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) this week as LSU is in the process of moving on after No. 3 overall Cameron Robinson (Monroe, La./West Monroe) committed to Alabama two weeks ago. Look for the Tigers to continue to evaluate and offer offensive line prospects in the 2014 class.
Missouri adds two from Georgia
Since joining the SEC, Missouri has found some success in the Peach State. While Missouri is working the states of Florida, Tennessee and the Mississippi junior colleges with frequency, Georgia is proving key for Gary Pinkel and his staff. This week, the Tigers picked up a pair of three-star prospects from Georgia -- wide receiver Nate Brown (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) and athlete Thomas Wilson (Buford, Ga./Buford). Missouri now has 22 commitments, including three from Georgia and five from Florida.
3dSam Khan and Greg Ostendorf