- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
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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.
@CrabtreeJameson: Is Auburn getting the attention of defensive recruits? Ellis Johnson and his coordinators have put in work.
Derek Tyson: As of now, six of Auburn's 14 verbal commitments are on the defensive side of the ball, including two ranked in the ESPN 300. There are still ESPN 300 targets on the board such as defensive end Andrew Williams and linebacker Rashaan Evans. Auburn is off to a 3-0 start, and despite being fourth in the conference in scoring defense, the Tigers are ranked dead last in passing defense and 12th in total defense. A win against LSU, which has the No. 3-ranked offense in the SEC, would certainly grab the attention of all recruits -- both on offense and defense.
@guru1039: Is UF still the frontrunner for OT [David] Sharpe? Should we read into his not visiting for UT game?
DT: At this point, I don't believe Florida is still the leader for the ESPN 300 offensive tackle. Sharpe really enjoyed his visit to Georgia for its game against South Carolina and his father also likes Georgia. Sharpe's AAU basketball team is also based out of Atlanta so he is used to traveling back and forth. Leaving the state is not a concern for him or his family. Florida and Clemson are certainly still in the picture, and there is still a ways to go for Sharpe, but if signing day were today, I'd have to say Sharpe would sign with Georgia.
@littlegambler: Did the close loss to Bama help or hurt A&M?
DT: I don't believe the 49-42 loss to Alabama last Saturday hurt Texas A&M in recruiting at all. In fact -- it probably helped. The Aggies showed it could compete with the most dominant team in college football. The offense, behind Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, was able to the move the ball against the vaunted Alabama defense. The A&M defense, however, struggled to slow the Alabama offense -- which can be a selling point to top defensive recruits such as Jamal Adams, Myles Garrett and Gerald Willis III, who were all in attendance. The opportunity to fill a hole on defense and earn early playing time as freshmen can be very appealing to recruits.
@LSUPETERadams: Any OTs showing interest in LSU for 2014?
DT: Unfortunately for LSU, most of the top 2014 tackle prospects are already committed. But don't be surprised if the Tigers revisit two of those, Andy Bauer (Saint Louis, Mo./De Smet Jesuit) and Bentley Spain (Charlotte, N.C./Providence), who are committed to Ole Miss and North Carolina, respectively. Bauer and Spain had high interest in LSU before committing elsewhere. The Tigers also offered the No. 15-ranked player in the country, David Sharpe on Wednesday. It might be too late in the process, but the Tigers are not giving up on landing a tackle in this class. LSU could also look to the junior-college ranks to try and fill that void.
5dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
7dEdward Aschoff and Greg Ostendorf