Monday, October 21, 2013
Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC
By Derek Tyson
On the field there was some huge upsets over the weekend in the Southeastern Conference and off the field there was a ton of recruiting news. Here's a closer look at the latest recruiting news in the SEC:
Biggest commitment: After watching Texas A&M's defensive performance on Saturday, there is no question five-star defensive end Myles Garrett's (Arlington, Texas/James Martin) commitment to the Aggies on Friday was the biggest recruiting news of the weekend. Garrett had been a long-time Aggie lean and finally decided to pull the trigger.
For the Aggies, Garrett becomes their 15th commitment including 10 that are ranked in the ESPN 300. Garrett is the No. 7-ranked player in the nation.
In addition to Garrett's commitment, there were a few other commitments in the SEC this weekend. Kentucky picked up a commitment from three-star wide receiver Dorian Baker (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland Heights). For Kentucky, Baker becomes the fifth wideout to make his pledge to the Wildcats.
Tenneessee, after its huge win over South Carolina on Saturday, was able to land a commitment from junior college wide receiver Lavon Pearson (Quincy, Calif./Feather River CC). Pearson also held offers from Utah and Illinois. The Vols currently have the No. 3-ranked recruiting class in the country.
Vanderbilt, capitalizing on its victory over Georgia on Saturday, landed commitment from three-star defensive back Amani Oruwariye (Tampa, Fla./Gaither) on Sunday. The Commodores now have 19 commitments, all of which are ranked three-star prospects or higher.
Late on Sunday afternoon three-star quarterback Michael Scarnecchia (Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island) switched his commitment from UAB to South Carolina. For the Gamecocks, they now have 14 commitments including five 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 threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-13 win on Friday night.
QB Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Davidson Day) -- Florida commit: Grier passed for 329 yards and six touchdown. He also had rushing touchdowns of 83 and two yards in a 61-21 win.
QB Kyle Carta-Samuels (San Jose, Calif./San Ballarmine) -- Vanderbilt commit: Carta-Samuels passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns and also added a rushing touchdown in a 42-28 win.
QB Drew Barker (Hebron, Ky./Conner) -- Kentucky commit: Barker passed for 341 and four touchdowns with another two rushing touchdowns in a 53-6 win.
QB Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) -- Texas A&M commit: Allen threw for 365 yards and five touchdowns and added another rushing touchdown in a 50-49 win.
Most Important visit: ESPN 300 inside linebacker Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) took an official visit to Ole Miss this weekend to watch the Rebels defeat SEC West opponent LSU. Garrett has had LSU as his long-time favorite but after this visit to Oxford, Miss., the Rebels appear to be making up ground.
"It was a great experience," Garrett said. "It's something special here. It was wild -- I have never seen anything like it. The Grove was just crazy."
Garrett still has a long way to go with his recruitment but Ole Miss is certainly right near the top of his list.
Biggest question: Will Florida's recent offensive struggles hurt the Gators in recruiting? The Gators have commitments from ESPN 300 offensive weapons including quarterback Grier, wide receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead) and running back Dalvin Cook (Miami/Central) but Florida has been inept on offense in their last two games. Grier, Lane and Cook have said all the right things publicly, but if this trend continues, it will certainly be something to keep an eye on -- especially since Lane and Cook still have planned official visits to other schools.
Biggest answers: Missouri will start to play a big factor in southern recruits in the future. The Tigers displayed an attacking offense and defense in their big win over Florida on Saturday and Missouri already has nine commitments for this year from Florida and Georgia.
It might not happen over night, but coach Gary Pinkel and his staff are building a solid foundation that will get recruits excited. The Tigers will have the opportunity to play on national television several times a year and upgraded facilities are on the way. Missouri could be a force on and off the field in the SEC over the next several years.