Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The List: Must-have SEC recruits
By Derek Tyson
There are still several months for before national signing day, but this week, we take a look at who we feel is the top remaining prospect on each SEC team's recruiting board. The list is in alphabetical order.
LT Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe)
6-foot-5, 330 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 3 Alabama already has a solid offensive line class but the addition of Robinson could make their OL class the tops in the country. Robinson was dominant out at The Opening last month and there is no question he is the top tackle prospect in the country this year. The Under Armour All-American will chose between LSU and Alabama. RB Leonard Fournette, could also be listed here for Bama, but the Tide have a stable of running backs, and left tackle is the second most important position on the field. Robinson has the look of a future top-10 draft pick.
DT Josh Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Har Ber)
ESPN 300 rank: 158 New Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has already assembled a top-40 recruiting class, and the Razorbacks still have several top targets available. To compete with the Alabamas and the LSUs of the SEC West, Arkansas must have a top notch defensive line. Landing a guy like Frazier is crucial on two fronts. First he brings size that can help anchor a defensive line and secondly, keeping the No. 2-ranked prospect in Arkansas at home will be huge for the Arkansas program going forward.
OLB Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn)
ESPN 300 rank: 150 It's pretty obvious why this Under Armour All-American is listed here. The talented outside linebacker is from Auburn and it is very important for new head coach Gus Malzahn to keep these kinds of linebackers at home. Georgia is also a team in the mix for Evans. Defensive end Andrew Williams could also be listed here for the Tigers, but Evans could be a key piece to filling out the remainder of Auburn's 15th-ranked recruiting class.
David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence Christian)
ESPN 300 rank: 15 The Gators will have their work cut out for them with Sharpe. The big tackle also likes Georgia, Clemson and North Carolina. With Sharpe living just an hour and half from Gainesville and the Gators not having much depth at left tackle, Sharpe is a priority in this recruiting class. Defensive end Lorenzo Carter could also be listed here, but Florida has some depth at defensive end and top-notch left tackles are hard to come by.
DE Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross)
ESPN 300 rank: 11 This five-star defensive end has a top seven of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame, LSU and Florida State. Carter has said Georgia is in his top three along with Florida and Alabama. The Bulldogs already have a top-five recruiting class and adding an in-state elite pass rusher like Carter would certainly ensure that the Bulldogs end up with a top-10 recruiting class when all is said and done.
DT Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin)
ESPN 300 rank: NR First year head coach Mark Stoops has the Wildcats off to a great start in recruiting. By adding Elam, a four-star defensive tackle, Kentucky would bolster a defensive line class that already includes four-star defensive end Denzel Ware and three-star defensive tackles Adrian Middleton and Tymere Dubose. Kentucky currently has the 16th-ranked recruiting class.
RB Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine)
ESPN 300 rank: 1 The five-star Fournette, Cameron Robinson and Speedy Noil could all be on this list for LSU. The Tigers have always been known for having a hard-nosed, run-first offense, and adding a potential all-SEC type player like Fournette is key. Look for the Tigers to pull out all the stops to try and keep this talented running back in-state.
ESPN 300 rank: 93 Keeping this in-state wide receiver at home would be huge for the Bulldogs. Jackson has offers from Ole Miss, Alabama, Missouri, Auburn and Alabama, but MSU appears to be the team to beat. The Bulldogs currently have the 34th-ranked recruiting class in the country, but getting an electric playmaker like Jackson would certainly bolster their recruiting efforts. This Under Armour All-American has the size and athletic ability to play early on the next level.
WR Nate Brown (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett)
ESPN 300 rank: NR This three-star prospect also has offers from Vanderbilt, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Illinois and Indiana. Recruiting-wise, the Tigers have had a rough go at it in the SEC so far this year. But adding a playmaker like Brown would help the Tigers get on the right track, and landing a player from a talent-rich state like Georgia could pay dividends for the Tigers in the future. The Tigers also offered a three-star wide receiver from Florida, Kenric Young, on Monday. Missouri appears to be looking to the southeast to find some playmakers this year.
ESPN 300 rank: 82 The Rebels landed one of the top defensive line classes in the country last year and are hoping to add Shaw to the mix this year. This massive defensive tackle is exactly what Ole Miss is looking for, especially playing against run-heavy SEC West teams every year. Shaw lined up next to Robert Nkemdiche could make a scary combination in the future.
DE Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett)
ESPN 300 rank: 40 Auburn, Alabama and Georgia are also in the mix for this talented defensive end. With all-everything defensive end Jadeveon Clowney likely headed to the NFL after this season, the Gamecocks are looking for young talent to help replace his production. It's a little unreasonable to think Sawyer could have that same type of impact, but he certainly has the talent to be a disruptive end early on in his career. South Carolina will have its work cut out for it, but Sawyer's good friend Bryson Allen-Williams could help the Gamecocks make a strong push for Sawyer.
DB D.J. Smith (Marietta, Ga./Walton)
ESPN 300 rank: 87 Smith has visited Tennessee several times, and the Vols appear to be the team to beat at the moment. New Tennessee head coach Butch Jones has done an incredible job of recruiting since taking over the job. Adding a player like Smith would likely cement the Tennessee class among the top 10 in the country. Smith is also considering, Arkansas, Georgia and Florida.
DE Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/Martin)
ESPN 300 rank: 7 Head coach Kevin Sumlin has already put together a top-10 recruiting class but adding a five-star defensive end like Garrett would put them on par with the top three classes in the country. This Under Armour-All American has everything you are looking for in a defensive end and has the production to back it up. At this point there is no question Garrett is the top prospect on the A&M's board, and the Aggies appear to be the team to beat for the No. 2-ranked defensive end in the country.
DE Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee)
ESPN 300 rank: 64 Vandy coach James Franklin is recruiting on a very high level, and the Commodores are in a good position to land Morgan, the No. 4-ranked inside linebacker in the country. Morgan visited Ole Miss this weekend and it is likely a two-team race with the Commodores having a slight edge. Vandy has the 23rd-ranked class in the country.