NCF On The Trail: Sharieff Rhaheed

National signing day is a huge day for future college football stars. It's a crazy day for fans. And it's a very important day for college coaches.

Signing days can make or break programs, as those noisy fax machines provide an early glimpse into the future.

Some coaches make a killing on signing day, some kick back because their classes are already pretty much taken care of, and others sweat and grind down those nails. On Wednesday, the SEC should yet again bathe in the glory that is a successful signing day, but there are still some coaches who need to have big days as they guide their programs forward.

Who are some of those SEC coaches this year? Let's take a look:

Bret Bielema, Arkansas: It's no secret that Bielema's first season in Fayetteville wasn't much of a success, but a strong closing on signing day could provide this program with some much-needed momentum. What Bielema needed in this class was depth up front on both sides of that ball and help at receiver, linebacker and in the secondary. Getting eight total linemen helps, and ESPN 300 defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson (El Dorado, Ark./El Dorado) could make an immediate impact.

Still, the Razorbacks are looking to secure letters of intent from ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell), who visited Fayetteville on Jan. 24. He'd be a major snag, as would be four-star linebacker Sharieff Rhaheed (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Central) and Florida State athlete commit JoJo Robinson (Miami/Miami Northwestern). Finding another receiver and getting any of these targets would certainly bolster a class that currently ranks No. 32 in the ESPN RecruitingNation class rankings and would provide Bielema with the quality players he needs to help get things going at Arkansas.

Will Muschamp, Florida: The Gators have been hot on the recruiting trail since the 2013 season ended. It's almost as if last year's 4-8 record didn't even happen. But Muschamp is still holding out hope on a handful of talented prospects who could help make an immediate impact for a Florida team looking to get back to national relevancy. Five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) would be a major get for the Gators, who need depth at the linebacker/defensive end hybrid Buck position. Florida is also looking for another playmaker on offense, and five-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) could be that guy. Florida would let him play either side of the ball, and the Gators' track and field program is very attractive to Jackson.

Florida also needs another receiver and is looking to add depth at quarterback and on the offensive line. Former Florida State wide receiver commit C.J. Worton (Homestead, Fla./South Dade) could join this class, while current FSU quarterback commit Treon Harris (Miami/Booker T. Washington) is seriously considering the Gators. ESPN 300 offensive tackle Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara) is fresh off a visit to Florida and would be a big addition at a position that needs help going forward. Muschamp did really well in January, but there are still guys at positions of need that Florida needs to close with.

Derek Mason, Vanderbilt: He was way behind the 8 ball before he even stepped on Vanderbilt's campus, but Mason grabbed some major momentum over the weekend with six commitments. After dipping into single digits after Mason arrived, Vanderbilt is back up to 17 verbals in this class. Mason has already done a good job of filling this class back out, but he'd like to add some more quality bodies on Wednesday.

Keep an eye on ESPN 300 defensive tackle Nifae Lealao (Sacramento, Calif./Capital Christian), who is fresh off of a visit to Vandy. He's someone who could provide early help up front. The Commodores are also still in the hunt for Tennessee ESPN 300 defensive end commit Derek Barnett (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy). Grabbing another wide receiver and running back would also be a nice way to close as Mason looks to provide Vandy's fan base with a little more excitement on signing day.

Most important targets: SEC 

January, 28, 2014
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The Southeastern Conference already has commitments from six of the top 10 players in the country and has a real possibility of landing two more before signing day. With several key targets still remaining, here’s a look at the top remaining targets in the SEC.

Alabama
CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover)
6-foot-0, 180 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 15


Humphrey is a big, athletic cornerback with great size and would be a natural fit in Nick Saban's system. FSU is also very much in the picture for the five-star defensive back, but with the Seminoles losing defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to Georgia, the Crimson Tide might have a slight advantage. Alabama will have to fight to keep this dynamic defensive back from leaving the state. With his skill set, Humphrey has a chance to play early in his college career.

Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

October, 28, 2013
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As always, there was a lot of news around the Southeastern Conference this weekend. Tennessee and Texas A&M picked up ESPN 300 commits, and Alabama had a five-star visitor. Here's a closer look at the latest recruiting news in the SEC.

Biggest commitment: Despite losing to rival Alabama 45-10 on Saturday, Tennessee picked up a big commitment from ESPN 300 defensive end Dewayne Hendrix (O'Fallon, Ill./O'Fallon Township) on Sunday.

Hendrix, the No. 189 player in the country, chose the Vols over Florida, USC and Missouri.

"My mom and I had a long talk last night and we both thought it was the right time," Hendrix said. "We both felt like we knew it was Tennessee, but we just wanted to make sure and be 100 percent and check out a few other schools. We went out to Ole Miss, Illinois, Mizzou and USC."

The four-star athlete said Tennessee coach Butch Jones played a major factor in his decision to commit to the Vols.

"Coach Jones, how he was recruiting me -- was like no other feeling I've ever had," Hendrix said. "No other coach recruited me how he was. He calls me, inboxes me and every week we're talking."

With the commitment of Hendrix, Tennessee now has 28 commitments including 12 who are ranked in the ESPN 300.

Texas A&M also picked up an ESPN 300 commit, defensive end Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), on Thursday night.

Cunningham, the No. 234 prospect in the ESPN 300, joins five-star defensive end Myles Garrett, the No. 7 player in the country, as Texas A&M commits over the last week and a half.

The Aggies have the ninth-ranked class in the country. It is composed of 16 commitments, 11 of who are ranked in the ESPN 300.

Best weekend performances: Several SEC committed quarterbacks put up huge numbers this weekend. Here's a look at some of the top weekend performances.

QB Sean White (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School) -- Auburn commit: White was 19-of-33 for 389 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-24 loss.

QB Drew Barker (Hebron, Ky./Conner) -- Kentucky commit: Barker was 22-of-30 for 296 yards and three touchdowns and added a rushing score in a 32-20 win.

QB Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) -- Texas A&M commit: Allen passed for 296 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-41 loss on Friday night.

RB Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown) -- Georgia commit: Rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns in a 54-28 win on Friday.

Most important visit: ESPN 300 defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) took his second of three planned official visits over the weekend, this one to Alabama. The No. 4 player in the country watched the Tide handle Tennessee 45-10 on Saturday. Hand also plans to visit Florida sometime in the next few weeks before making his decision on Nov. 14. Michigan has been the team to beat for sometime, but was the Alabama visit enough to change his mind? Only time will tell, but judging by Hand's tweets on Saturday and Sunday, it appears he was impressed with Alabama.

Big weekend for the Tide 

October, 27, 2013
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While the big visit weekend for Alabama will be in two weeks for the showdown with LSU, the Crimson Tide still played host to a number of prospects in the 2014 and 2015 class over the weekend.

Of course, the most high-profile prospect in town this weekend is No. 4 overall and five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va,./Woodbridge High), who is in Tuscaloosa for his official visit.


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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: Nobody projected the Missouri Tigers to be the No. 5 team in the country, but the Tigers have impressed on the field and now they have a chance to impress off of it with a large contingent of players visiting this weekend; can Alabama change the momentum in the recruitment for Da'Shawn Hand; Oregon is hoping to wow key targets with College GameDay in town.


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Best available among recent decommits 

October, 8, 2013
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With just about four months until national signing day there are still some very good prospects available and among that group are some who, at one point during the process, were verbally committed to a program, but have since reopened their recruitment. For 2014 we have already seen dozens of decommitments, and while some have already recommitted, several have since remained open. Here are the best from that group:

Alin Edouard (Hialieah, Fla./Hialeah): Of the top thirty quarterbacks in this class, regardless of classification, Edouard is the only one among that group that remains uncommitted. After decommitting from Miami, which still holds commitments from two other QB prospects, Edouard is a promising prospect. A good athlete that could potentially play another position in college, he possesses very good arm strength, a quick release and the tools to develop at the QB position. With most of the top QB prospects committed at this stage, the four-star dual-threat signal caller became a key target for programs still looking to add a QB to their 2014 class.

Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./MLK): Back on the market, Green is still not amongst the top five available CBs, but he is a good prospect and is a tough loss for South Carolina’s class. He doesn’t possess elite speed, but the ESPN 300 defender is simply a good football player. Possessing good length, deceptive playing strength, good footwork and ball skills, he can offer some scheme versatility and be effective as both a man and zone corner. Georgia could benefit from the in-state four-star decommitting, but the Gamecocks could still potentially bring the talented DB back into the mix as well.

Sharieff Rhaheed (Fort Pierce, Fla./Central): A one-time LSU verbal, Rhaheed reopened his recruitment a few months ago and is currently the top-rated uncommitted OLB in the 2014 class. The ESPN 300 defender is an athletic and tough prospect at the position with promising upside. He will need further coverage experience but he demonstrates the tools to quickly find and get around the football and make plays. A new verbal doesn’t look imminent, but the four-star could still end up in the SEC when he does commit again.

Josh Casher (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul’s): Of the top ten center prospects, only Casher remains open after decommitting from Auburn. At 6-foot-1, the ESPN 300 prospect lacks ideal height, but is tough and has very good playing strength. He can use his shorter stature to consistently win the leverage battle and has good feet. Casher can get the job done in both run and pass blocking. If Casher possessed more ideal height he could be rated even higher amongst the top interior prospects in this class, but the four-star can still be a very good guard or with more experience, center.


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SEC class rankings analysis 

August, 21, 2013
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There wasn't much change among SEC schools in the latest recruiting class rankings update. LSU moved up one spot, giving the conference six teams in the top 10. Alabama held on to its No. 1 spot for the second week in a row. Here's a closer look at how the rankings break down:


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Sharieff Rhaheed decommits from LSU 

July, 3, 2013
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The recruiting process was supposed to be over for ESPN 300 linebacker Sharieff Rhaheed (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Central).

The ESPN 300 pick pledged to LSU in March. But Rhaheed never stopped looking at what was out there and he said contact between him and the LSU coaching staff drifted off. That led to Rhaheed's decommitment from the Tigers over the weekend.


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LSU recruiting: Positions of need 

July, 2, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU is targeting many of the top athletes in the ESPN 300, some because the Tigers' strong brand name makes it an attractive option and others because the fertile Louisiana recruiting base is strong this year, even by the state's lofty standards.

Leonard Fournette
Alex Scarborough/ESPNLSU has its eyes on top recruit Leonard Fournette.
But what needs is LSU trying to meet?

That's a little trickier to figure out at LSU than many other schools because the frequency of underclassmen departures. But we can take a guess based on likely attrition.


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ESPN 300 analysis: LSU Tigers 

June, 17, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- It's been since Jordan Jefferson in 2008 that one could find a Louisiana quarterback who met the four-star threshold.

Back then, before RecruitingNation issued stars, Jefferson was given an 80 score, which translates to four stars.

Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway) broke that drought this year. And now he's done something no Louisiana quarterback has done in the RecruitingNation era.


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Weekly commitment roundup 

March, 29, 2013
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ACC
Boston College
Isaac Yiadom WR Worcester, Mass./Doherty
HT: 6-foot-0 WT: 170 pounds

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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Now it's official.

LSU landed its eighth football commitment Tuesday night when 2014 defensive end Sharieff Rhaheed (Fort Pierce, Fla./Central) had the commitment he tried to make last week validated after a visit to LSU's campus.

Rhaheed, an athletic 6-foot-2, 205-pound athlete whose abilities can translate to either defensive end or linebacker, might either be LSU's second linebacker commitment or its first defensive end commitment. If he bulks up, he has a high motor and speed that might make him a speed rusher. If he plays linebacker, he has the speed that can make him effective on the blitz or covering ground sideline-to-sideline.

Rhaheed admitted that he called LSU "out of the blue" with his commitment last week without ever having visited LSU's camp. But the LSU interest was genuine, so the invitation was sent out to for Rhaheed come to campus this week. He visited Tuesday, taking in the campus with his mother, visiting with head coach Les Miles, and watching the Tigers' afternoon spring practice.

Asked why he would be so interested in a school he had not seen before, Rhaheed told ESPN's Josh Moyer, "It's just their scheme, the area, and the fact they're in the SEC. They were one of the first schools to show me interest my sophomore year, and I just really like them."

Now that he's seen the campus and the visit went well, it's official.

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