NCF On The Trail: Dameyune Craig

Top SEC recruiters 

June, 9, 2014
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It’s next to impossible to limit the list of top recruiters in the SEC to just five, but that was the assignment here. It’s no surprise to see an Alabama assistant at the top of the list with the recent run the Crimson Tide have been on, but those who follow it closely enough also know there’s some tremendous recruiters across the state at Auburn.

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 recruiting mailbag

August, 9, 2013
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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.

@cpage2911: who are the top SEC assistant coaches recruiting wise?

Derek Tyson: As evident by having 10 SEC schools ranked in the top 25 of the Recruiting Nation class rankings, the SEC is full of recruiting savvy coaches. The list is long and full of quality coaches, and I could make a case for a number of SEC coaches, but here's a glance at three coaches who stand out to me this year.

Auburn co-offensive coordinator Dameyune Craig is responsible for Auburn landing commits from five ESPN 300 members including Tre' Williams, Nicholas Ruffin, Justin Thornton, Kamryn Pettway and Stanton Truitt. Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson is the primary recruiter for four committed ESPN 300 prospects -- Dalvin Cook, Khairi Clark, J.C. Jackson and Duke Dawson. He is also the primary recruiter for ESPN 300 prospects Ermon Lane and Quincy Wilson, who the Gators have a shot of landing on Monday.

Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart continues to be an outstanding recruiter and has helped the Tide stand firm in the top five of the class rankings. Smart is the primary recruiter for ESPN 300 committed players Kalvaraz Bessent, Stephen Roberts, Shaun Dion Hamilton and Zach Whitley.

@SleeperAthletes: Out of all the #SEC states, which state is most heavily recruited?

DT: As far as sheer numbers, Florida is always one of the most heavily recruited areas in the country. In fact, 17 percent (52) of the prospects ranked in the ESPN 300 are from the state of Florida. Texas is the next state in SEC territory with 34 players on the ESPN 300 followed by Georgia with 29 players.

Louisiana might not have the total number of prospects as Florida, Texas and Georgia, but what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in quality. Three of the top 10 players in the country including the No. 1 overall prospect, Leonard Fournette, and eight of the top 50 players in the country are from Louisiana.

SECfan: Will an SEC team take home the recruiting championship again?

DT: Five of the top 10 recruiting classes are from the SEC including three -- Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia in the top five. When it's all said and done, though, I believe it will be a battle between Alabama and LSU. Alabama is at No. 2 while LSU is at No. 10, and with several key targets still available LSU could certainly jump to the top.

Louisiana natives and top 10 players including Fournette, Cameron Robinson and Speedy Noil are high on the Tigers. Linebacker Clifton Garrett, wide receivers Trey Quinn and Malachi Dupre, safety Laurence Jones and defensive tackle Gerald Willis III are just some of the top prospects considering LSU and the Tigers could end up with a monster class. Alabama, however, is still very much in contention for both Fournette and Robinson which could quickly cement the Tide as the top overall class. Bottom line is, yes, I believe the SEC will land the No. 1 recruiting class for the third straight year.

Tallahassee teammates visiting Auburn 

January, 18, 2013
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A pair of ESPN 300 teammates from Tallahassee will be on The Plains this weekend to visit Auburn.

And both will be making this their first official visit.

Lincoln High School standouts James Hearns, linebacker, and Taj Williams, wide receiver, are currently en route for an impromptu visit.

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Arshad Jackson (Lovejoy, Ga./Lovejoy), an undeclared tight end prospect, was in Tallahassee over the weekend to reacquaint himself with the Seminoles football program. And in a lot of ways, it was like hitting the reset button.


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Nicholas Ruffin is a fighter 

September, 19, 2012
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THOMSON, Ga. -- The Golden Lions of St. Pius X came up short against the Thomson Bulldogs 21-14 in the first ever meeting of the two Class AAA powers. The game featured three lead changes, four turnovers and one stellar effort from St. Pius X cornerback Nicholas Ruffin.

[+] EnlargeNicholas Ruffin
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.com2014 CB Nicholas Ruffin says Florida State and Vanderbilt are making the biggest recruiting impressions so far.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior was everywhere. He and the Golden Lions secondary held Thomson to just two completions through the air for 18 yards. On offense, Ruffin had seven carries for 40 yards and he hauled in two passes for 50 yards. He was on special teams and might as well have been running the concession stand, ticket booth and scoreboard. His potential at multiple positions has attracted top FBS schools.

“I have offers from Florida State, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Tennessee,” Ruffin said. “A lot of colleges are looking at me as a defensive back and some see me as a wide receiver. None so far at running back but hopefully they will come through. I will just keep working until that point.”

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