Wednesday, February 6, 2013
SEC recruiting primer
By Dave Hooker
ESPN RecruitingNation has signing day covered. Follow ESPNU’s coverage, chat with analysts and get breaking news on our Signing Day Live page beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET through 7 p.m. ET. For more on what to expect on signing day, check out the SEC conference breakdown .
Bold Prediction for the SEC:
Ole Miss' class will eventually be ranked in the top five nationally with the addition of No. 1 overall prospect Robert Nkemdiche from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson and possibly ESPN 150 prospects Chris Jones from Houston (Miss.) High and Antonio Conner from Batesville (Miss.) South Panola.
Biggest need: Florida wants immediate help at defensive tackle. Jarran Reed from Scooba (Miss.) East should be able to provide that if he decides to sign with the Gators on national signing day.
Biggest recruit: The Gators have two five-star commitments: cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III from Tampa (Fla.) Wharton and running back Kelvin Taylor from Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades. No other school in the country can say that.
Biggest need: The Bulldogs would like to pick up another top offensive lineman. They looked destined to land Laremy Tunsil from Lake City (Fla.), but the competition has heated up for him lately.
Biggest recruit: With 12 ESPN 300 commitments, Georgia has plenty of star power. However, it's impossible to overvalue the commitment of Brice Ramsey from Kingsland (Ga.) Camden, a quarterback the Bulldogs can build around.
Biggest need: The Wildcats would like to further upgrade the tailback position. Aregeros Turner from Copley (Ohio) High looks like the most likely candidate.
Biggest recruit: On Tuesday, Kentucky picked up a pledge from ESPN 300 prospect Ryan Timmons from Frankfort (Ky.) Franklin over tough competition from Florida.
Biggest need: Missouri has athlete prospects that should be able to play receiver, but only one true receiver prospect. Another one or two in the 2013 class would be a good thing.
Biggest recruit: Josh Augusta is Missouri's highest-rated prospect. The ESPN 300 prospect from Peoria (Ill.) is also the type of defensive tackle needed to compete in the SEC.
Biggest need: After losing out on some top linebackers, that position is still a need for the Gamecocks. Yannick Ngakoue from Washington (D.C.) Friendship, Jonathan Walton from Daphne (Ala.) Bayside and Skai Moore from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University are all very strong possibilities.
Biggest recruit: Steve Spurrier has had great success with quarterbacks but not great success recruiting great quarterback prospects. He did this year with Conner Mitch from Raleigh (N.C.) Wakefield.
Biggest need: The Volunteers need two things: more star power and a tailback. Tennessee is in the running for a handful of highly rated prospects, so it seems likely the Vols will land at least one or two. Tailback is another matter. After missing on several other running backs, it seems unlikely the Vols will address that need in 2013.
Biggest recruit: Safety Vonn Bell from Rossville (Ga.) Ridgeland has been a Tennessee fan all of his life and actually lives within the state's borders. It would be a severe dent in Tennessee's class to let Bell get away. He is considering Alabama and Ohio State.
Biggest need: Vanderbilt's class is solid and well-rounded, but another offensive lineman would bolster the class. Moore would be a nice pickup as well.
Biggest recruit: Brandon Vandenburg from Palm Desert (Calif.) College of the Desert is one of the top junior college players in the country. He should provide immediate help at tight end.
Biggest need: The Crimson Tide would like to add another defensive tackle to its 2013 class. That's why they're chasing five-star prospect Eddie Vanderdoes from Auburn (Calif.) Placer.
Biggest recruit: Five-star prospect Derrick Henry is a freakish athlete. The standout from Yulee (Fla.) High could play tailback, linebacker or tight end in college. Wherever he plays, he'll likely help the Crimson Tide.
Biggest need: The Razorbacks missed out on landing a power tailback. They'll need that in Bret Bielema's system. Fortunately, they have one committed for the 2014 class.
Biggest recruit: Landing quarterback Austin Allen from Fayetteville (Ark.) High was huge. He's a quarterback to build around and he brought two highly regarded teammates as well.
Biggest need: Auburn would love to land an athletic scatback type for Gus Malzahn's multiple offense. Cornelius Elder from Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth would fit the bill quite well.
Biggest recruit: Landing and, subsequently securing, Carl Lawson from Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton was a huge pickup. He is the nation's No. 2 overall prospect and stealing him from Georgia speaks volumes.
Biggest need: Defensive end and defensive backs are the main focus for the Tigers down the stretch. The good news for LSU is that they're in on several top prospects at both positions.
Biggest recruit: With 15 ESPN 300 prospects committed, it's hard to pick just one top commitment. However, securing Kendell Beckwith from Jackson (La.) East Feliciana was huge. It would have been a shame to let him leave the state.
Biggest need: The Bulldogs have three offensive linemen committed. They'd like another. Deon Mix from Batesville (Miss.) South Panola looks like a likely pickup.
Biggest recruit: Undoubtedly, the Bulldogs' biggest commitment is Jones, a defensive end who shot into the ESPN 150. He shot up the ESPN 300 since he committed to State in June. Now, the Bulldogs just hope they can hold onto him.
Biggest need: After missing out on some top safeties, defensive back is a position that needs to be addressed. Conner would certainly fit the bill.
Biggest recruit: It's hard to top the nation's No. 1 overall prospect, Nkemdiche. His potential addition to the class should send shockwaves throughout the conference.
Biggest need: With 32 commitments, the Aggies don't need much more out of this class. Their main goal is just to make sure they don't get any negative surprises on national signing day. Defensive backs and linebackers would be a welcome addition.
Biggest recruit: Stealing Ricky Seals-Jones, from Sealy (Texas) High, from the Texas Longhorns was an in-state coup. It's hard for Aggie fans not to get excited when imagining him in their already potent offense.