Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Bold predictions: SEC
By Derek Tyson
With less than 24 hours remaining until the craziness that is national signing day, most recruiting classes are already filled up. There are, however, some key questions that need to be answered. Here’s a look at five bold predictions heading into national signing day.
1. Alabama will lose a commit The Crimson Tide have the top-ranked class, and really, it’s not even close. The class, which has 18 commitments ranked in the ESPN 300, is almost too good to be true. Could another college come in at the last minute and sway one of Alabama’s lesser-known recruits, like defensive back Chris Williams (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County), who made an official visit to UCF over the weekend? Only time will tell, but the bold prediction is that the Crimson Tide will lose at least one commitment on signing day.
Five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter is one of the top-rated prospects who has yet to commit.
2. Gators will finish strong Despite suffering through a 4-8 season, the Florida Gators have put together a pretty impressive class and they have a chance to finish even stronger. Florida is in contention for ESPN 300 prospects Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra), Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara), Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) and FSU commit Treon Harris (Miami/Booker T. Washington). Florida is also very much in the picture for three-star wide receiver C.J. Worton (Homestead, Fla./South Dade), a former FSU commit, and offensive tackle Derrick Kelly (Quincy, Fla./East Gadsden). If Florida can land any three of those six, the Gators would have to consider this a tremendous class.
3. SEC West will dominate the rankings Three SEC West programs -- Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU -- are ranked in the top five of the class rankings, and all seven SEC West division schools are ranked in the top 40. Barring an unexpected signing-day disaster, it looks as if the division as a whole will finish strong. Auburn, ranked ninth, could move up if it can land four-star linebacker Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn).
4. Georgia will also have a strong finish The Bulldogs hosted several big-name visitors over the weekend, including five-star defensive end Carter, four-star defensive end Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian) and South Carolina outside linebacker commit Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove). Here’s a bold prediction: The Bulldogs will surprise many and land two of those prospects. Georgia is already the front-runner for Carter, but the Bulldogs are considered by many to be a long shot to land Williams or Allen-Williams. Like Florida, Georgia has already put together a great class, so landing two of those players would be icing on the cake.
5. South Carolina will flip an FSU commit Defensive end Dexter Wideman (Saluda, S.C./Saluda) took only two official visits, to Florida State and South Carolina. The ESPN 300 defensive tackle remains tight-lipped about his recruitment. Florida State was his last official visit, which could be a factor for the four-star prospect, but in the end Wideman will stay closer to home and sign with the Gamecocks. At least, that is our bold prediction.