Thursday, October 24, 2013
SEC recruiting storylines: Oct. 24
By Gerry Hamilton
Taking a look back at the week that was in the SEC recruiting and looking ahead as teams build toward signing day, here is a peek at some of the top SEC recruiting storylines.
Nation's No. 4 to see Tuscaloosa
The nation's No. 4 prospect overall, Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge High), will make his official visit to Alabama this weekend after tripping to favorite Michigan in September. The 6-foor-4, 262-pound five-star will also officially visit Florida on Nov. 8 before announcing his decision on Nov. 14 at his high school.
Among the uncommitted unofficial visitors expected in Tuscaloosa this weekend are two-way lineman Charles Mosley (Brighton, Tenn./Brighton High), who is expected to decide between the Crimson Tide and in-state Tennessee, and ESPN 300 defensive tackle Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker High), who has missed his senior season thus far with a neck injury.
To say the last two weeks have been huge for the Missouri Tigers in the SEC would be an understatement. Already with 24 commits, including nine combined from Florida and Georgia, Gary Pinkel and staff are making the most of their growing momentum. The big news this week is ESPN 300 linebacker Brandon Lee (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central High) setting up an official visit to Columbia the weekend of Nov. 2, following this weekend's official to Virginia Tech. With a scheduled announcement on Nov. 8 and the Tigers receiving the last visit, things are certainly looking positive for the SEC East leader with the Hokies and Louisville the chief competition. Lee, who is set to graduate in December, previously visited California and is still considering Northwestern, Oregon and Penn State.
This weekend, Missouri will host an official visit for ESPN 300 defensive end Dewayne Hendrix (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon Township High), while four-star linebacker Nile Sykes (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic High) visits unofficially. The 6-4, 260-pound Hendrix is considered a Tennessee lean with Missouri, Florida and possibly Southern California remaining in the mix. Sykes is considered a Missouri lean.
ESPN 300 defensive end Dante Sawyer (Suwannee, Ga./North Gwinnett High), who is ranked No. 40 overall, is likely to officially visit as well. Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia are also in the hunt for Sawyer.
The Tigers also continue to pursue ESPN 300 offensive linemen Brian Wallace (Saint Louis, Mo./Christian Brothers High), Ole Miss commitment Andy Bauer (Saint Louis, Mo./De Smet Jesuit High) and Roderick Johnson (Florrisant, Mo./Hazelwood Central High), as well as junior college defensive tackle Calvin Heurtelou (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Community College), who is expected to choose between the Tigers and Tennessee.
Top SEC target visiting Ohio State
One of the top targets on the board at Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas A&M is junior college offensive tackle Avery Gennesy (Southhaven, Miss./East Mississippi Community College). After making an official to College Station in September and Oxford and Knoxville the last two weekends, the 6-5, 315-pound tackle will be in Columbus this weekend to check out the undefeated Buckeyes.
ESPN 300 defensive end Kentavius Street (Greenville, N.C./Rose High) will make his first official visit this weekend, to Oxford to check out Ole Miss. The 6-3, 255-pound Street is also scheduled to officially visit Florida State on Nov. 1 and Miami (Fla.) on Nov. 17. NC State also remains very much in the mix, and is expected to receive an official visit from the No. 33 overall prospect.
Six SEC programs in the mix for Rudolph
Under Armour All-America wide receiver Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman High) continues to consider Florida State, Florida, Miami, Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia, Clemson, Vanderbilt and Ohio State. The 6-1, 188-pound Rudolph has already made official visits to Ohio State and Tennessee, and will likely make trips to Auburn and Alabama officially. While it's possible neither Florida State nor Florida receives an official, that is not a negative in the recruitment of Rudolph, especially when talking about the Seminoles. Rudolph has also spoken with the Hurricanes staff of late, and the relationship between the South Florida star and Miami has taken a turn for the positive.
Tennessee or South Carolina for Scott?
To say ESPN 300 running back Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock High) had an impressive official visit to Tennessee on Oct. 4 would be an understatement of epic proportions. Once thought to be a heavy South Carolina lean, the Gamecocks now have a serious fight on their hands heading into Scott’s Nov. 16 official visit. While North Carolina, NC State and possibly Auburn will receive unofficial visits, this one is expected to be an SEC East battle at the end of the day.
Two SEC programs still in it with Malone
The No. 99 prospect in the ESPN 300, Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp High), has made official visits to Georgia and Tennessee thus far, and those are the only two SEC programs still with a shot at the talented playmaker. The 6-2, 190-pound wide receiver will officially visit Ohio State this weekend before making trips to Florida State and Clemson in November. Tennessee continues to be considered the favorite behind the scenes with a decision expected in December.
The Ole Miss recruiting Class of 2014 features something rarely seen in recruiting -- four prospects from the same school committed to one university. ESPN 300 Rod Taylor (Jackson, Miss./Callaway High), four-star wide receiver Dayall Harris (Jackson, Miss./Callaway High), four-star defensive tackle Breeland Speaks (Jackson, Miss./Callaway High) and three-star versatile defender Ronald Walker (Jackson, Miss./Callaway High) have committed to the Rebels. Speaks completed the quartet on Monday.
Hogs could snag Goolsby
One of the top targets remaining on Arkansas' offensive board is tight end DeAndre Goolsby (Derby, Kan./Derby High). The 6-4, 225-pound Goolsby officially visited the Razorbacks on Oct. 12 following officials to Oklahoma, Florida and Ohio State. Kansas State also remains in the hunt for Goolsby, who expects to graduate in December.