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Tuesday, October 29, 2013
SEC ESPN 300 analysis

By Derek Tyson

Several SEC targets and commits made big moves in the updated ESPN 300 rankings. Georgia had two commits make big jumps, while Tennessee didn't fare as well. Could the SEC make a huge splash in the top 10 of the rankings? Here's a closer look at what the new ESPN 300 means in the SEC.

Who's rising: Several players made big jumps in the updated rankings. Uncommitted linebacker Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) jumped 66 spots, from No. 150 overall to No. 84 overall. Georgia running back commit Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown), who has rushed for more than 2,000 yards in only eight games this year, also made a big jump, from No. 106 to number 64.  Georgia quarterback commit Jacob Park (Goosecreek, S.C./Stratford High) moved up to the 94 spot. Park was previously ranked 157. Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) moved from No. 74 up to No. 55 in the latest rankings.

Who's falling: Not all was good news for SEC commits, as there were several prospects who dropped in the rankings. Tight end Jakell Mitchell (Opelika, Ala./Opelika), an Auburn commit, dropped from No. 224 to out of the top 300. Two Tennessee commits also fell out of the rankings, including running back commit Treyvon Paulk (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton), who was ranked No. 296, and athlete Vic Wharton III (Nashville, Tenn./Independence), who was ranked No. 242. Ole Miss offensive tackle commit Tyler Putman (Southaven, Miss./DeSoto Central) fell out of the top 300. Texas A&M cornerback commit Cedric Collins (Dallas/Skyline) also fell from the rankings. He was previously ranked No. 219. Another Tennessee commit, athlete Jalen Hurd (Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech), fell from No. 39 down to No. 62 after suffering a season-ending injury.

New entrant: Vanderbilt quarterback commit Kyle Carta-Samuels (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Prep), younger brother of current Vandy quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, made his rankings debut at No. 270. Georgia wide receiver commit Shakenneth Williams (Macon, Ga./Rutland) and uncommitted defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin) both made their first appearance on the list at No. 295 and 292, respectively. Outside linebacker Keith Holcombe (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Hillcrest), an Alabama commit, also jumped into the ESPN 300 at No. 284.

Biggest game: No game will have more recruiting implications in the SEC this year than the LSU at Alabama game Nov. 9. The Crimson Tide, as of now, are expecting at least seven ESPN 300 recruits for official visits. Several more key targets are also expected to unofficially visit for the game. The list of official visitors is headlined by five-star inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty Co.), athlete John "JuJu" Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly), the No. 38-ranked player in the country, and wide receiver Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer), the 39th-ranked player in the country.

Biggest question: Does the SEC have a legitimate chance to land seven of the top 10 players in the country? It's a real possibility. The No. 1-ranked player, Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine) appears to be down to Alabama and LSU. Offensive tackle Cameron Robinson (Monroe, La./West Monroe) and defensive end Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin) already are committed to SEC schools. The remaining uncommitted targets -- defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge), cornerback Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra), athlete Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) and Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) -- are all heavily considering SEC schools. Jackson and Hand are the wild cards, they both have legitimate interest in SEC schools, but Hand also likes Michigan, and Jackson is still considering Oregon and USC.