NCF Nation: Erique Florence

True freshmen have been rolling onto SEC campuses this month to get a jump on summer school, and more are on the way for the second session of summer school.

Every year about this time, it’s the same question: Who among the true freshmen will make the biggest impact?

We’ll take our stab at it, breaking it down by division.

We’ll start with the West. One thing to keep in mind is that we’re only including true freshmen who weren’t on campus early and didn’t go through spring practice, so you’re not going to see guys like LSU’s Anthony Johnson, Arkansas’ Brey Cook, Auburn’s Reese Dismukes and Florida’s Jeff Driskel on this list.

We’ll do our impact newcomers (freshman early enrollees, junior college players, transfers, everybody) at a later date.

For now, here’s a look at who among the incoming true freshmen in the West might contribute right away. Edward will do the same with the East later today:


Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, S: Alabama boasts one of the best safety tandems in the league in Mark Barron and Robert Lester, but the 6-foot-1, 203-pound Clinton-Dix has the size and skill set to come in and make the Crimson Tide even stronger on the back end of their defense.

Cyrus Kouandjio, OT: One of the top offensive tackle prospects in the country last year, Kouandjio could provide some immediate depth. The Tide were already looking at moving All-SEC guard Barrett Jones to left tackle.


Tevin Mitchel, CB: The Hogs ended the spring a cornerback short in their secondary, which is where Mitchel comes in. He’ll get a chance to show what he can do this fall both as a lock-down cover guy and potentially as a return specialist. It was a real coup for Arkansas to get him away from Nebraska.


Erique Florence, S: The Tigers were hit hard in the secondary by personnel losses, and Florence was one of the most coveted safety prospects in the country last year. He’s a big-time talent with the size (6-2, 190 pounds) to come in and contribute right away.

Kiehl Frazier, QB: It’s never easy for a quarterback to go straight from high school to the SEC without the benefit of enrolling early and going through spring practice. But the Tigers haven’t settled on a quarterback, and Frazier is the type of run-pass threat Gus Malzahn is looking for in his offense.

Jermaine Whitehead, CB: There should be some fierce competition at cornerback this fall on the Plains, and Whitehead will be one to watch. Auburn was able to sway him late in the recruiting process, and he’s expected to vie for a starting spot from the time he walks onto the practice field.


Jarvis Landry, WR: If the Tigers are going to make a run at a national championship in 2011, they’re going to need a lot more production from their passing game than they got a year ago. Landry is dynamic in the open field and should complement Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard nicely.


Joe Morrow, WR: Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen has been outspoken about the Bulldogs’ need for more receivers. The 6-4, 200-pound Morrow gives them a different dimension with his size and ability to make plays over the middle.


C.J. Johnson, LB: As long as Johnson stays away from Twitter, he’s poised to play a major role at linebacker for the Rebels in 2011. Losing D.T. Shackelford to a knee injury threw the door wide open for Johnson, who could play in the middle or outside.

Tobias Singleton, WR: A lot of the attention in Oxford has been concentrated on who’s going to be throwing passes for Ole Miss this coming season. Singleton, who says he qualified academically, is one of those sure-handed, athletic receivers who could help spruce up any passing game.

Auburn beefing up secondary

February, 2, 2011
Losing a big chunk of its secondary from this past season, Auburn needed to replenish.

That process started earlier Wednesday morning when ESPNU 150 safety Erique Florence of Valley, Ala., signed with the Tigers, and most recently, with the signing of cornerback Jermaine Whitehead of Greenwood, Miss. Whitehead is one of the top prospects in the state of Mississippi and had originally committed to Mississippi State. He re-opened his commitment, and Ole Miss was working him extremely hard. But a visit to Auburn swayed him to the Plains.

Cornerback Jonathan Rose of Leeds, Ala., is already enrolled in school, and the Tigers are still waiting on safety Robenson Therezie of Miami. Therezie, ranked by ESPN as the No. 11 safety in the country, has yet to sign.

Good news for Tigers, Tide, Gators

February, 2, 2011
Three ESPNU 150 prospects ended the drama Wednesday morning and signed with SEC schools.

Safety Erique Florence of Valley, Ala., made his announcement on ESPNU and signed with Auburn. He's rated by ESPN as the No. 4 safety in the country. The Tigers are putting together an outstanding secondary class and could also add cornerback Jermaine Whitehead of Greenwood, Miss., later Wednesday.

Alabama picked up a signature from defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan of Asheville, N.C. Pagan, who at one point was committed to Clemson, had narrowed his choices to Alabama and Georgia. He's rated by ESPN as the No. 8 defensive end in the country and should help improve the Crimson Tide's pass rush. Alabama now has nine ESPNU 150 players in this class.

The Marcus Roberson odyssey ended with the highly rated defensive back prospect signing with Florida. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., product was initially committed to Texas Tech, but then said this Monday that he planned on signing with Auburn. By Tuesday, he said that had changed, and he ended up with the Gators. Roberson is ranked by ESPN as the No. 9 safety in the country, but may end up playing cornerback at Florida.