NCF On The Trail: Andy Bauer

SEC signing day storylines 

December, 17, 2013
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With signing day 50 short days away, several questions remain in the SEC. Here's a look at the top storylines as signing day quickly approaches.

ESPN 300 WR Pack flips to Ole Miss

November, 23, 2013
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ESPN 300 wide receiver Markell Pack (Purvis, Miss./Purvis) flipped his commitment from Florida State to Ole Miss, according to the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger. Pack confirmed his decision in a text message.

[+] EnlargeMarkell Pack
Derek Tyson/ESPNMarkell Pack is the No. 12 wide receiver in the ESPN 300.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound athlete switched his pledge while on an official visit to Ole Miss. Pack is the No. 12 wide receiver in the country and the No. 92 player overall.

Pack also held offers from Clemson, Georgia, LSU and Mississippi State, among many others.

This comes as welcomed news for Ole Miss, as four-star offensive tackle Andy Bauer (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) recently flipped his commitment from Ole Miss to Missouri.

The Rebels' 2014 class is currently ranked 15th. They have 23 verbal commitments, including three who are ranked in the ESPN 300. Pack is the third wide receiver to commit to Ole Miss.

Florida State, meanwhile, still has 24 commitments, including nine ranked in the ESPN 300.

Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell, the No. 1-ranked wide receiver in the country in the 2013 class, enters Saturday's game with 53 receptions for 477 yards and five touchdowns for the Rebels as a freshman.

SEC recruiting storylines: Nov. 21 

November, 21, 2013
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It has been another busy week in the SEC. Alabama has had a rough week, while other programs will be getting visits from high-priority targets. Here's a closer look at the latest story lines in the Southeastern Conference.

Bama loses second recruit in three days


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SEC class rankings analysis 

November, 20, 2013
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There wasn’t a lot of movement in the RecruitingNation class rankings in the past week. Like last week, all 14 teams in the SEC are ranked in the top 40. This week, we’ll take a look at several prospects that will help shape the trends in future weeks.


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Mizzou, UK try to keep recruit momentum

November, 14, 2013
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While Missouri and Kentucky continue to zoom in opposite directions on the playing field, both appear to be having relative success off the field.

In the realm of recruiting, where futures are made -- and crushed -- Missouri and Kentucky are succeeding at an exciting pace, and for very different reasons.

For Missouri, it's quite simple: The Tigers have bounced back from a dreary 5-7 SEC debut in 2012 to become one of the nation's hottest teams. Mizzou is 9-1 (5-1 in SEC play) and sits at No. 9 in the BCS standings. At one point, the Tigers were unbeaten and as high as fifth in the BCS.

[+] EnlargeDorial Green-Beckham
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesThe physical attributes of ex-Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham might not outweigh the potential distraction he could bring to Oklahoma.
The Tigers control their SEC Eastern Division destiny and have a legitimate shot at a BCS bowl game. Because of that, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, who entered the year with a relatively warm seat below him, said he's seen a spike in interest in Mizzou on the recruiting trail.

"I don't think there's any question about that. Yeah, it's been very, very positive," said Pinkel, who is 99-62 in 13 seasons as Mizzou's head coach. "That's a benefit that happens with success.

"It's nice to have a lot of people interested in us."

Don't just take his word for it, either. At the beginning of the month, Mizzou had zero ESPN 300 commits, but in the past week has gained verbals from two -- offensive tackle Andy Bauer (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) and linebacker Brandon Lee (Indianapolis/Lawrence Central). Those two commitments helped the Tigers leap into ESPN's class rankings at No. 32. Since the season started, Mizzou has received six verbals to up its number to 26.

Pinkel welcomes this recruiting momentum, but he isn't shocked by the interest. To him, Mizzou has always had the appeal, even with last season's roadblock.

"We had a great reputation for winning and a consistency of winning, graduation, APR ranking and all those other things," Pinkel said. "It's not like a brand new staff that's just showed up somewhere."

At Kentucky, there is a new staff in town. In Mark Stoops' first year as Kentucky's head coach, he's seen he share of recruiting success without the wins. With only a couple of months to work with, Stoops snagged ESPN 300 members Jason Hatcher and Ryan Timmons -- along with junior college standouts Za'Darius Smith and Javess Blue -- in his first class. Smith leads Kentucky with 5.5 sacks, while Blue and Timmons are one and two, respectively, in catches and receiving yards.

But despite a 2-7 (0-5 SEC) season and no bowl game for the third straight season, the Wildcats are 17th in ESPN's class rankings with 25 commitments, five of which are ESPN 300 members.

Kentucky has had only two commitments since the season began, but Stoops said he feels confident that a class as good as this -- which could help solve the playmaker issue with the No. 7 quarterback, two running backs and five receivers -- can stay together come signing day, even with the on-field losses piling up.

"These guys know," Stoops said. "Most of these recruits knew we were going to be in for a tough year this year. They know we're progressing and working toward the future."

Both programs are trending up in recruiting, but neither job is done. For Mizzou, it's all about maintaining popularity in states such as Georgia and Florida, while keeping Missouri and Texas talent in check. Pinkel and his staff made Atlanta and southern Georgia a major priority with their billboard/letter-sending strategy last year, and he expects to keep making inroads in such a fertile area.

"It's important, I think it is," Pinkel said of recruiting in the heart of the Southeast. "It's great high school football. Obviously, you want to have a place in the geographical areas in which you play your games. That's why that was very important to us."

For Stoops, he just wants to hammer home is message that better days are coming. So far, a rough first season hasn't dented Stoops' recruiting success and he doesn't think it will in the waning recruiting months.

"I think anybody who is a fan of our program or involved in our program -- in any shape or form -- or in the future of our program would like to see us win some more games, but nobody is deterred," he said. "Everybody knows where we're headed and we're moving toward good things."

Questions for signing day: SEC 

November, 12, 2013
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With signing day three short months away, several questions remain in the SEC. Here's a look at the top questions to ask as signing day quickly approaches.

1. Where will Leonard Fournette go?


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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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Early Offer: Mixon all mixed up 

November, 7, 2013
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Just when it seemed clear on what four-star running back Joe Mixon was thinking, an official visit to Florida State has seemingly brought his decision back to square one; two of the top recruits in Ohio were hoping to make a decision in early January, but the success of their high school teams might change those plans; Missouri and Tennessee made nice climbs in the latest RecruitingNation class rankings.

Mixon mixed up

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Early Offer: Show Me State resurgence 

November, 5, 2013
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: What a difference a few months make for the Missouri Tigers and their efforts to land top talent in St. Louis; one of the nation’s top tight end prospects is slated to announce on Friday, and he still has everybody guessing; is Tennessee in line to steal a commitment away from one of the best defensive tackles in the junior college ranks?

Missouri comes up big in St. Louis
There has been a lot of grumbling by Missouri fans over the last year about a perceived lack of success in St. Louis by Gary Pinkel and the Tigers. However, after the Tigers’ fast start on the field this season many of those worries diminished. They have all but evaporated now after St. Louis DeSmet four-star offensive lineman Andy Bauer committed on Monday. The Under Armour All-American had been a long-time commitment to Ole Miss after originally committing to the Tigers early in the process. He decided again on Monday to reverse course for what looks to be the final time, helping give the Tigers their first ESPN 300 commitment and second four-star prospect.

Scouts' Take: Mizzou regains Bauer 

November, 4, 2013
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ESPN 300 offensive tackle Andy Bauer (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) kicked off Missouri's current class in April 2012. After a stint as an Ole Miss pledge, he's back with the Tigers. See below for how our scouts believe Bauer will fit into coach Gary Pinkel's plans.

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ESPN 300 OT Bauer back with Mizzou

November, 4, 2013
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The top-ranked player in Missouri has decided to stay home after all.

ESPN 300 offensive tackle Andy Bauer (St. Louis/De Smet), a one-time Missouri commit, announced Monday morning that he has decided against playing for Ole Miss and recommitted to Missouri. Bauer, who originally committed to the Tigers during his sophomore season, released a statement on Twitter, thanking the Ole Miss staff and explaining his decision to return to Missouri’s class.

“This was a very tough decision and one that was not taken lightly,” Bauer said in the statement. “My relationships with Coach Gary Pinkel, Coach Josh Henson, Coach Cornell Ford, Coach Bruce Walker, Coach Alex Grinch and the rest of the staff at Mizzou have me very excited about my future there.

“I am very close with my family, and the opportunity to be geographically close to them was too much to pass up. Almost my entire family has attended Mizzou, and it is tradition for me. My heart has always been there.”
It was around this time last year when Bauer, the nation’s eighth-ranked offensive tackle and No. 82 player overall, decommitted from Missouri. In March, the 6-foot-6, 304-pound Under Armour All-American gave coach Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss his verbal commitment. Bauer, however, said Missouri has always been in the race and "never stopped recruiting" him.

Henson, Missouri’s offensive coordinator, has known Bauer since he was a freshman, and he and Ford, the cornerbacks coach and Bauer’s area recruiting contact, kept Bauer as a top priority for the class. With the decision, Bauer again became the Tigers’ highest-ranked commitment. Missouri now has 25 commitments, and Bauer is the first ESPN 300 pledge of the class.

“I am excited to be able to play for and represent my home-state school,” Bauer said. “I want to be a part of bringing a championship to the state of Missouri and Mizzou.”

SEC recruiting storylines: Oct. 24 

October, 24, 2013
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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.

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Best SEC recruiters 

October, 15, 2013
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Editor's note: For a look at the national recruiter power rankings based only on Class of 2014 success, click here.

It's no secret that Southeastern Conference has been the top conference in the country as far as recruiting over the last several years. The league currently has six teams ranked in the top 11 of the team recruiting rankings. Here's a look at the top 10 recruiters around the ultra-competitive conference.

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SEC class rankings analysis 

October, 9, 2013
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Each Wednesday, ESPN RecruitingNation updates its national class rankings. For an in-depth look at the SEC, check out our conference rankings:

1. Alabama, 21 commits: The Crimson Tide sit atop the RecruitingNation class rankings with a class that features 15 ESPN 300 prospects, including most recent commitment Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera), the No. 96 overall prospect. Alabama remains in the hunt for several five-star prospects, including No. 1 overall Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) and No. 9 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover).


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UA Game jersey tour: Andy Bauer

September, 25, 2013
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Senior offensive tackle Andy Bauer (St. Louis/DeSmet Jesuit High) was presented his honorary game jersey for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The presentation on Friday was part of the three-month American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the All-America game.

Bauer, an Ole Miss commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh-annual Under Armour All-America Game, a nationally televised competition spotlighting the country’s top high school seniors. The game is set for 4 p.m. ET Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.

“I would like to thank God for blessing me with many gifts, and allowing me this opportunity,” Bauer said. “To be selected to play in the Under Armour Game is a huge honor and privilege. Thank you American Family Insurance and Under Armour for nominating me. I would like to thank my wonderful mom and dad for their love, support and care throughout my whole life. My brother Robin and sister Libby are both huge inspirations in my life, and I would not be here without their love. I can’t thank them enough.

"I would like to thank Coach Mahoney for always being there for me throughout my high school career. He’s been like a father figure to me, and pushed me to be the best I could be. I would like to thank Coach Fedder for being my offensive line coach throughout high school, and pushing me to be the best I could be as well.”

For Bauer, like many others in the Under Armour All-America Game, the chance to play against the best of the best was key in his decision to accept the invitation.
“It’s a big honor, and I can’t thank everyone enough for helping me achieve it. I’m very excited to go to Orlando and represent my family, friends and school. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the game, and I knew it was one of the most prestigious games in the country and I wanted to play against the best players in the country. When I got the invitation, I accepted it immediately. I’m looking forward to going against kids that are rated very highly and considered among the best in the country and gauge myself against that talent and play against the best.” He said.

The 6-foot-6, 304-pound Bauer is the No. 57 ranked prospect overall, and the No. 7 offensive tackle in the class. He committed to Ole Miss over Missouri, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State and others.

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