Florida Gators: Johnnie Dixon

Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

December, 16, 2013
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The dead period in recruiting is now upon us and official visits will shut down until after the holidays. College coaches have done all they can as far as in-home visits and setting up and hosting official visits until after the dead period is over. Here is a closer look at some of the important in-home and official visits that have taken place recently.

SEC class rankings analysis 

December, 11, 2013
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Like the last few weeks, all 14 teams in the SEC have a spot in the RecruitingNation class rankings. Of course, Alabama remains on top of the rankings with Tennessee, Texas A&M, Georgia and Auburn all in the top 10.

Trending up: After flipping Kalvarez Bessent (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County) from Alabama, Auburn is up to No. 9 nationally in the class rankings, as well as No. 5 in the SEC. The climb will likely continue as the Tigers have prospects like No. 12 overall Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), No. 61 Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman), No. 84 Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Al./Auburn) and No. 201 Dontavius Russell (Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton) remaining on the board.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

December, 9, 2013
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With signing day less than two months away, the SEC regular season is now complete and recruiting will now become a primary focus for each of the conference’s 14 teams. As Feb. 5 quickly approaches there will be official visits, All-American games and different recruiting scenarios unfold. Here’s a closer look at the latest happenings in the SEC:

Biggest weekend performance: The high school season is just about over, but there are still a few SEC recruits in the playoffs. Here’s a look at who had some of the best performances.


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SEC class rankings analysis 

December, 4, 2013
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The latest update to the RecruitingNation class rankings features a number of moves due in large part to the release of the ESPN Junior College 50 rankings. Within the conference, Alabama still has a strong grasp on the top spot with all 14 schools in the top 35 classes nationally. Here's a look at the conference's rankings Insider.

Trending up: Both Texas A&M and Auburn are trending up thanks to the release of the ESPN JC 50. The Aggies jumped from No. 5 to No. 4 and into the top 3 in the conference rankings with junior college offensive linemen Avery Gennesy (Southhaven, Miss./East Mississippi Community College) and Jermaine Eluemunor (Rockaway, N.J./Lackawanna College) coming in at No. 13 and 15 in the ESPN JC 50. Auburn junior college commitment D'haquille Williams (Reserve, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) and Dalvon Stuckey (De Funiak Springs, Fla./Pearl River Community College) came in at No. 1 and 9 in the JC 50. Auburn jumped from No. 14 nationally to No. 12, and the Tigers are in striking position on several other highly-ranked prospects.

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Top five WR comparisons 

November, 14, 2013
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Wide receivers are a dime a dozen. They come in all shapes and sizes and in Costco size amounts. It’s the one position that can provide just about any roster the necessary talent to create plays because there is such a high supply. You don’t necessarily need the highest-profile player in recruiting to succeed at the next level. This has been proven over the years with the likes of Michael Crabtree, Justin Blackmon and even Amari Cooper, who was lightly recruited. Below are our top five players at the wide receiver position and who they remind us of.

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SEC recruiting storylines: Nov. 7 

November, 7, 2013
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It’s been a busy week in recruiting in the SEC already, but the beginning of the week is only the start with two announcements Friday that could impact SEC recruiting class, and the annual LSU-Alabama showdown that draws almost as many top prospects as a postseason all-star game.


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SEC ESPN 300 analysis 

October, 29, 2013
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Several SEC targets and commits made big moves in the updated ESPN 300 rankings. Georgia had two commits make big jumps, while Tennessee didn't fare as well. Could the SEC make a huge splash in the top 10 of the rankings? Here's a closer look at what the new ESPN 300 means in the SEC.

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SEC 2014 recruiting scenarios 

October, 8, 2013
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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.


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SEC recruiting mailbag

September, 13, 2013
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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.

[+] EnlargeKevin Sumlin
Scott Halleran/Getty ImagesHow will Saturday's game with Alabama affect Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M's recruiting?
@Gina_Lee_Garcia: What are the top skills that catch the attention of college recruiters visiting high school football games? #SEC mailbag

Derek Tyson: Obviously college coaches look for different skills at different positions. Offensive linemen, for instance, coaches are looking for things such as length, body frame (ability to add or lose weight), foot work, physicality, overall athleticism and do they have good bend at the hips? For wide receivers, key components include things like the ability to get off press coverage and get back into their route, ball skills, how the receiver is able to adjust to the ball in the air, ability to catch the ball with their hands and not their body and athleticism and speed.

I could go on for every position, but the bottom line is that there are key traits for each position that coaches are looking for. Prospects don't necessarily have to meet every trait, but the key is the coach wants to see enough of a player to know that prospect is worth spending time on and working with to become a starter on the next level.

@thereelTmac: Besides No. 2 , what else should Alabama, as a team, be most concerned about this Saturday?

Since this is a recruiting mailbag, I'll take a recruiting angle here. Alabama has dominated both on the field and in recruiting over the last few seasons. But a win, in front of several top recruits, could start to shift the tide (no pun intended) in the SEC West. A victory for the Aggies would prove that last season was no fluke, and in front of ESPN 300 prospects like Leonard Fournette, Jamal Adams, Speedy Noil and Gerald Willis III, it could make a lasting impression. Not just for this season either since a win like that would resonate with younger recruits. So, in my opinion, Alabama should be concerned with a power shift in recruiting, if the Aggies are able to pull off the victory. With that said, Nick Saban is still the best coach and recruiter in the country and will be able to pull in top recruits from all over the nation, but Kevin Sumlin is quickly turning A&M into a recruiting power.

@dagr8184: Where do you project the Gators to finish with their 2014 class in the rankings?

Florida currently has the No. 8-ranked class in the country. But with several key targets still on their board, the Gators could very well move up. Florida will host several visitors for the Tennessee game next week, including linebacker Clifton Garrett, athlete Speedy Noil, defensive tackle Gerald Willis III, safety Jamal Adams and defensive end Lorenzo Carter. The Gators are in serious contention for each of those players. Throw in five-star cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and ESPN 300 offensive tackle David Sharpe, and the Gators have a chance to end with a very strong class if they are able to land some of those players listed. At this point, I believe the Gators could finish in the 3-6 range of the class rankings when signing day is completed.

@Bama_man_Judd: [Who would be] a surprise Bama pickup? ... Just pick a Robinson-like shocker.

I wouldn’t say this is a big surprise and certainly not to the level of a Cameron Robinson, but in my opinion, I believe Alabama has a real chance to land ESPN 300 wide receiver Johnnie Dixon. Miami appeared to be the favorite for the four-star pass-catcher but other schools such as Ohio State and Alabama are very much in the mix. The Crimson Tide have identified Dixon as one of their top remaining receiver prospects, and Dixon will take an official visit there this fall. There is still a little ways to go for Dixon, but Alabama is right at the top of his list.

SEC class rankings analysis 

September, 11, 2013
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For the third straight week, there is very little change in the RecruitingNation class rankings. Thirteen of the 14 SEC teams are ranked in the top 40, including nine of the top 16, with top-ranked Alabama holding a big lead over any and all pursuers.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

September, 2, 2013
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With football season now in full swing, there was plenty of recruiting news over the weekend. From top high school performances to a five-star prospect ready to announce his decision, here is the latest news around the SEC.

Biggest commitment: There was only one commitment in the SEC over the weekend. Defensive lineman Braxton Hoyett (Pelham, Ala./Pelham) verbally committed to Mississippi State on Friday. Hoyett also had offers from Miami and UAB. The 6-foot-3, 274-pounder announced his decision via Twitter:

The List: Top SEC games for recruits 

August, 27, 2013
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Every SEC game is crucial for recruiting in some form or another. It was difficult to narrow down a top 10, but here's a list of the most important games of the year from a recruiting standpoint.

1. LSU at Alabama, Nov. 9

Not much else needs to be said about why this game is so important. LSU and Alabama will go head-to-head for many targets, including Leonard Fournette, Cameron Robinson and Laurence "Hootie" Jones and this game could play a big role in determining where these elite players will wind up.


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SEC recruiting mailbag

August, 16, 2013
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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.

@csull31: Can I get a comment on the direction Arkansas is headed with their new coaching staff?

Derek Tyson: Up -- that is the direction the Razorbacks are headed. New head coach Brett Bielema will have his work cut out for him to compete with the big boys from the SEC West, but it appears he is up to the challenge. Last recruiting cycle, in just a few short months on the job, Bielema was able to pull ESPN 300 prospects Denver Kirkland and Alex Collins out of Florida. This year, the Razorbacks already have a top 40 class, including 11 commits who are ranked as three-star prospects or higher. The SEC is a line-of-scrimmage league, and the Razorbacks were able to get one of the top junior college offensive lineman in the country, Jermaine Eluemunor, to switch his pledge from UCLA to Arkansas. It may take a few years for Arkansas to get to where Bielema wants his team to be, but it certainly appears as if the Razorbacks are headed in the right direction.

@QueBarbaro34: Who do you think will have the top 3 recruiting classes in the SEC after NSD?

DT: There are six teams in the top 11 of the team recruiting rankings, so a case could be made for several teams, but if I had to select three teams that would have the top three classes in the SEC, it would be LSU, Alabama and Georgia. Alabama already has the No. 1-ranked class in the country and still has several big targets such as Leonard Fournette, Cameron Robinson, Lorenzo Carter, Marlon Humphrey and Elisha Shaw remaining on its recruiting board. LSU, meanwhile, is in a similar situation. With prospects like Fournette, Robinson, Speedy Noil, Trey Quinn, Malachi Dupre, Gerald Willis III, Clifton Garrett and Laurence Jones left on their board, the Tigers could make a huge run as the recruiting season plays out. Tennessee has a very strong class and is currently ranked as the No. 3 class in the country, but that's including 24 commits. Georgia, on the other hand, has only 16 commits and it is ranked only two spots lower at No. 5. If the Bulldogs can land a few more prospects such as Carter, Raekwon McMillan or Josh Malone, Georgia could certainly find itself in the top three. Florida is another school that could make a big run toward the end. The Gators are limited in scholarships, but with prospects such as David Sharpe, Adoree' Jackson, Jamal Adams and Travis Rudolph left on their board, they could make a big run, too.

@SEC_Logo: How do recruits view all these new football facilities, how big of an impact do you think they play?

DT: In my opinion, facilities do play a role in a recruit's decision. Most of these top high school prospects want to attend a place that will prepare them for the next level. So if a school has top-notch training facilities, it only makes sense that a prospect would be more interested in that school. However, I think facilities are just one of many factors, such as on-the-field performance, proximity to home, chances of early playing time, academics and relationships with coaches, that ultimately determine which school a prospect will attend. If I had to rank the importance of each factor, I would say facilities would be near the bottom of that list.

Just for fun, I asked SEC blogger Edward Aschoff to tell me which schools have the top facilities in the conference. In no particular order and based on what he has seen, Aschoff said Alabama, Tennesee, Florida, Texas A&M, Georgia and LSU have arguably the top facilities among the SEC schools. It's interesting to note that all of those schools he mentioned are in the top 11 of the team recruiting rankings.

@THE_BOOMSTEIN: How do the 3 recruits from this past week set up the #Gators for other South Florida guys? #SEC

DT: By landing ESPN 300 defensive backs Chris Lammons and Quincy Wilson and wide receiver Ermon Lane, the Gators hit the jackpot in South Florida on Monday. Add in top 25 running back Dalvin Cook and ESPN 300 defensive tackle Khairi Clark, and the Gators have done exceptionally well in the area. It certainly can't hurt Florida's chances of landing other South Florida prospects such as wide receivers Travis Rudolph or Johnnie Dixon, but I think more importantly, it will help Florida in the future. The Gators already have a commitment from the No. 1-ranked wide receiver Da'Vante Phillips out of Miami Central and are in the mix for several other top 2015 recruits such as running back Jordan Scarlett, wide receiver Torrance Gibson, tight end Devonaire Clarington, cornerback Tyrek Cole, safety Kendrell McFadden and cornerback Tarvarus McFadden. By developing a pipeline in the talent-rich area, it will certainly help the Gators recruit younger prospects who see their friends leave South Florida and go on and have success in Gainesville.

@rbarguia: Where do Jamal Adams and Tony Brown land?

DT: With Brown, Alabama, Texas, LSU, Florida State and a few other schools are in the mix, but it's hard to ignore the fact that his older sister is headed to LSU to run track. There is still a ways to go in his recruitment, but as of now it looks like the Tigers could be the team to beat. If that is in fact the case, LSU could wind up with a top two or three class when all the pieces fall in to place. As for Adams, Florida, Texas A&M and Texas are all near the top of his list. The Gators might have the slight advantage because his godfather, Joker Phillips, is the receivers coach at Florida.

SEC recruiting storylines: Aug. 8 

August, 8, 2013
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As we get closer to football season several SEC programs are continuing with their summer momentum and some big names could be on the verge of decisions.

Lorenzo Carter announces his top seven

Five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) announced his top five via Twitter on Wednesday. To no one's surprise, Alabama, Florida and Georgia made the cut, but Oregon, Notre Dame, LSU and Florida State were also on his list.

The Under Armour All-American is planning to trim his list to three sometime during his senior year and could take all five of his official visits before deciding.

Linebacker commits to Mississippi State

Talented linebacker/defensive end Gerri Green (Greenville, Miss./Greenville Weston) verbally committed to Mississippi State on Wednesday afternoon. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound defender chose the Bulldogs over offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

For Mississippi State, it now has 15 commitments including 12 that are ranked as three-star prospects or higher. The Bulldogs have the No. 34 recruiting class in the country according to the RecruitingNation class rankings.

Georgia close to landing a DB commit?

Loganville (Ga.) Hutchinson Community College cornerback Shattle Fenteng is set to announce his decision on Friday. The 6-2, defensive back has offers from Kansas State, Ole Miss, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Fenteng had a solid year at Hutchinson last year and told DawgNation writer Radi Nabulsi his school plans to use him in a way, similar to what Georgia likes to do with their current DBs.

“I had four interceptions and 16 pass breakups last year,” Fenteg said. “I had 57 tackles and two tackles-for-loss. We didn’t do any corner blitzes last year but we might do that this years since we are sophomores and more experienced. Georgia likes to do that.”

Decision dates and other notes

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Buckeyes leap in race for WR Dixon 

July, 2, 2013
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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Four-star wide receiver Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) has always had Miami and Florida near the top of his list of schools, but after a recent visit to Ohio State, the Buckeyes and Canes are now his top two schools.


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No. 7 OLB Jerome Baker Flips To Ohio St.
Jerome Baker, the No. 70 overall player in the ESPN 300, changed his commitment Tuesday from Florida to Ohio State. National recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton explains what prompted the move.
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