NCF On The Trail: Davonte Lambert

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Likely DaVonte Lambert (Waynesboro, Ga./Georgia Military), the nation’s top-ranked junior college defensive tackle. He will be expected to boost the interior trenches immediately for the Tigers. A few other players could make their presence felt at positions of need, including ILB Tre' Williams (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul’s Episcopal), who is physically prepared to make the jump, and this is a depth-issue area for Auburn. We do not see the same type of defensive freshmen impact in the 2014 class that we saw with the 2013 class, as we expect the majority of Auburn’s defensive commits in this class will redshirt.
The Class of 2014 is almost in the books, and that includes the junior college ranks as well. While there aren’t major changes in the final 2014 ESPN Junior College 50, there are some noteworthy moves.

No longer in the 2014 class

Early Offer: Auburn has big day 

December, 19, 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: Is there anybody hotter on the recruiting trail than Auburn after its success with junior-college recruits?; Arkansas needs talent at receiver, and the Hogs received good news when one of its former commits returned to the fold; Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy can’t wait to get a juco playmaker in the lineup.

Auburn scores big with juco recruits
The junior college midterm signing period opened on Wednesday and Auburn came away the big winners. Despite relentless pursuit by LSU, Auburn signed receiver D'haquille Williams, the nation’s No. 1 player out of Mississippi Gulf Coast College. The Tigers also announced the signings of his teammate, four-star linebacker/safety Derrick Moncrief, defensive tackle DaVonte Lambert (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military College), and offensive lineman Xavier Dampeer from Wesson (Miss.) Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Lambert, the No. 6 player in the ESPN JC 50, flipped from Tennessee to Auburn and gave the Tigers three of the top 14 players in the country. The Tigers are poised to crack the top 10 of the ESPN Class Rankings with more than a month left before signing day.

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The junior college midterm signing period opened on Wednesday and the Auburn Tigers came away as the clear-cut winners.

Despite relentless pursuit by LSU, Auburn signed receiver D'haquille Williams, the nation’s No. 1 junior college player, out of Mississippi Gulf Coast College. The Tigers also announced the signings of his teammate, four-star linebacker/safety Derrick Moncrief, and offensive lineman Xavier Dampeer from Wesson (Miss.) Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

[+] EnlargeD'haquille Williams
Courtesy of Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.D'haquille Williams, the No. 1 juco prospect, signed with Auburn and Gus Malzahn called him "a dynamic player who can run, catch, do all the things it takes to be a great wide receiver."
The good news continued Wednesday afternoon as defensive tackle DaVonte Lambert (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military College), the No. 6 player in the ESPN JC 50, flipped his pledge from Tennessee and said he was signing with the Tigers.

By the end of the day, the Tigers had inked three of the top 14 players in the country and are now poised to crack the top 10 of the ESPN Class Rankings with more than a month left before signing day. But make no mistake, Williams was the prize of the haul.

"He's a dynamic player who can run, catch, do all the things it takes to be a great wide receiver," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "If you look back we've had years when we threw it a lot. We are going to get more balanced next year. Anytime you have a dynamic player like him coming, that's a good thing."

Despite missing out on Lambert, it was still a banner day for the Vols.

Tennessee signed the nation’s No. 2 juco prospect in Lavon Pearson, an impact receiver from Quincy (Calif.) Feather River College. The Vols also landed No. 26 Dontavius Blair, an offensive tackle from Garden City (Kan.) Community College, and No. 40 Owen Williams, a defensive tackle from El Dorado (Kan.) Butler Community College.

All three are expected to see the field quickly at Tennessee and are a major part of the Vols’ second-ranked recruiting class.

"Von was as productive of a player as there was in all of junior college football this past season,” Tennessee receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Azzanni said. “He brings instant help as a threat on the outside to our offense.”’

Oklahoma State also came away a big winner with the addition of running back/receiver Tyreek Hill, No. 4 in the ESPN JC 50, out of Garden City. Hill had flirted with Texas and even took an official visit to Austin last weekend, but in the end he stuck with the school he committed to early in the process.

“It feels good to finally get this all out of the way,” Hill said. “I owed it to myself to make sure Oklahoma State was the right place for me. In the end, it was OSU and it wasn’t even close.”

Hill is one of the fastest players in the country, with a 200-meter time of 20.14 seconds and a 100 time of 10.19.

Several other teams filled major holes with commitments as the signing period opened Wednesday.

Kansas State landed Andre Davis (Santa Rosa, Calif./Santa Rosa JC), a receiver who is No. 36 in the juco rankings and is expected to complement All-Big 12 receiver Tyler Lockettnext season. Davis said he told the K-State coaches he plans on coming in and being better than Locket.

Florida State added to its offensive line depth with the addition of Kareem Are (Fort Scott, Kan./Fort Scott Community College), who is No. 45 in the ESPN JC 50. Are is a nice addition because he can play virtually every position along the offensive line.

Florida also landed a nice signing day surprise when Drew Sarvary, an offensive tackle from Tyler (Texas) Junior College switched his commitment from Texas Tech and signed with the Gators. UF needs as much help as it can get up front and Sarvary, a Tallahassee, Fla., native, jumped at the opportunity to stay near home.

Top 2014 junior college classes 

December, 3, 2013
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National signing day is quickly approaching, but first up is the midyear junior college signing period. The opportunity for juco prospects to sign with Football Bowl Subdivision programs starts Dec. 18, and several prospects have already made commitments. More commitments are likely to come between now and the start of the signing period, but with the release of the ESPN JC 50, let’s take a look at five programs (in alphabetical order) having success on the juco recruiting trail.

Arizona: The Wildcats have commitments from a half-dozen junior college prospects. Only one verbal, LB Antonio Smothers (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale CC) is in the ESPN JC 50. Smothers can give them a big, physical downhill run defender between the tackles. They might sit outside the top 50 in the recruiting rankings, but DT Jeff Worthy (Santa Ana, Calif./Santa Ana College) and OL Kaige Lawrence (Victorville, Calif./Chaffey) are solid pickups in the trenches. With the secondary featuring several upperclassmen, they also bring in some help with CB Patrick Glover (Gilbert, Ariz./Scottsdale CC) and instinctive and aggressive S Jamie Byrd (Dade City, Fla./Iowa Western).


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Top juco prospect comparisons 

December, 3, 2013
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For every recruiting class that includes junior college signees, there is a high-risk, high-reward proposition because most juco prospects are expected to provide immediate help while not having much time to do so. If you are a "two-to-play-two" prospect, your time is limited and the risk is higher. Below are three of our top 10 prospects in the ESPN JC 50, as well as current college stars we feel they resemble with their skill sets.


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SEC recruiting storylines: Aug. 15 

August, 15, 2013
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The college football season is quickly approaching, but there is still a lot of recruiting action happening around the SEC. Here is a closer look at some of the hot topics throughout the conference:

3-star ATH set to announce on Saturday


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Tennessee having tremendous success in the junior college ranks is a good thing for the Volunteers, Michigan's attempt to crack Ohio State’s Glenville pipeline, and why Florida State landing a player in Maryland is bad news for the rest of the ACC.

Tennessee rebuilds with juco players


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Vols add junior college DT Lambert

August, 13, 2013
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The Tennesee Volunteers continue to be one of the hottest teams in recruiting.

The Vols landed commitment No. 24 on Tuesday from junior college defensive tackle DaVonte Lambert (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military).

The 6-foot-2, 275-pound interior defensive lineman chose the Vols over offers from Florida, Auburn, Miami and Georgia, among others. Lambert announced his decision via Twitter and later confirmed his decision via text message.



The SEC is known for having big physical linemen on both sides of the ball. With Lambert's size and athleticism, he should help contribute early in his career in Knoxville.

Lambert becomes the fourth junior-college prospect to commit to the Vols, joining wide receiver Kameel Jackson (Arlington, Texas/Blinn College), outside linebacker Chris Weatherd (Carrolton, Texas/Trinity Valley CC) and wide receiver Eric Lauderdale (Fayetteville, Ga./Saddleback College)

Tennessee, which holds the No. 3-ranked class in the country, has 10 commitments in the ESPN 300 and 11 commits ranked as four-stars.

Weekend wrap: SEC 

August, 12, 2013
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Despite the college football season being just a few short weeks away, recruiting season is still in full swing. As always, there was lots of news in the SEC recruiting world, including a few commitments and a big unofficial visit that took place. and some upcoming decision dates. Now a few questions must be answered.

Here is a look at the weekend that was in SEC recruiting.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting each morning. Today's offerings: One rival coach says Stanford has the nation's most underrated class, Florida looks for a big week and Iowa’s big loss shows that Alabama can recruit anywhere in the country.

[+] EnlargeDavid Shaw
Ron Chenoy/US PresswireHis team might not get the recruiting fanfare of others, but David Shaw's Stanford Cardinal had a huge weekend on the trail.
Stanford shaking up Pac-12 race

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As we get closer to football season several SEC programs are continuing with their summer momentum and some big names could be on the verge of decisions.

Lorenzo Carter announces his top seven

Five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) announced his top five via Twitter on Wednesday. To no one's surprise, Alabama, Florida and Georgia made the cut, but Oregon, Notre Dame, LSU and Florida State were also on his list.

The Under Armour All-American is planning to trim his list to three sometime during his senior year and could take all five of his official visits before deciding.

Linebacker commits to Mississippi State

Talented linebacker/defensive end Gerri Green (Greenville, Miss./Greenville Weston) verbally committed to Mississippi State on Wednesday afternoon. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound defender chose the Bulldogs over offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

For Mississippi State, it now has 15 commitments including 12 that are ranked as three-star prospects or higher. The Bulldogs have the No. 34 recruiting class in the country according to the RecruitingNation class rankings.

Georgia close to landing a DB commit?

Loganville (Ga.) Hutchinson Community College cornerback Shattle Fenteng is set to announce his decision on Friday. The 6-2, defensive back has offers from Kansas State, Ole Miss, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Fenteng had a solid year at Hutchinson last year and told DawgNation writer Radi Nabulsi his school plans to use him in a way, similar to what Georgia likes to do with their current DBs.

“I had four interceptions and 16 pass breakups last year,” Fenteg said. “I had 57 tackles and two tackles-for-loss. We didn’t do any corner blitzes last year but we might do that this years since we are sophomores and more experienced. Georgia likes to do that.”

Decision dates and other notes

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Summer recruit wrap: Florida 

July, 23, 2013
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GatorNation looks at five themes of Florida's 2014 recruiting class to date:

Friday Night Lights will be loaded


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Georgia instant impact recruits 

June, 25, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Coaches are always looking for recruits who can have a major impact on their programs. Here is a list of prospects -- both commits and realistic targets -- that could make an impact for Georgia in 2014:

1. TE Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian)
HT/WT: 6-5, 228 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 94

Blazevich could easily see the field before any of the other commits or targets that Georgia is after in the Class of 2014. Arthur Lynch is a senior this year so Blazevich will join only two other tight ends -- Jay Rome and Jordan Davis -- on the roster when he arrives in Athens. Davis will bulk up and be the prototypical blocking tight end who replaces Lynch, while Blazevich will be an offensive threat downfield. He recently won the wide receiver MVP award at the Nike Football Training camp, a first for a tight end.


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ATHENS, Ga. -- While dozens of prospects were showing off their skills on Georgia's practice fields over the last two days at the Bulldogs' seven-on-seven camp, another potential member of their 2014 signing class was getting a closer look at the program.

Georgia Military College defensive lineman Davonte Lambert took an unofficial visit to UGA, where his cousin Cornelius Washington recently completed his college career.


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