Thursday, November 14, 2013
SEC recruiting storylines: Nov. 14
By Gerry Hamilton
A week after LSU-Alabama took center stage in the recruiting universe, the Auburn Tigers will take the spotlight this weekend with a number of big-time prospects expected on the Plains.
Stellar visitor list expected on the Plains
Travis Rudolph, who is ranked as the No. 7 receiver in the nation, is visiting Auburn this weekend.
One big game in the SEC this weekend is Georgia at Auburn, and the trendy Tigers will play host to a number of top prospects headlined by official visits by No. 61-ranked Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman High), juco offensive tackle Jordan Prestwood (Tampa, Fla./Arizona Western Junior College) and juco defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey (De Funiak Springs, Fla./Pear River Community College), a Miami commit. Among the laundry list of unofficial visitors are No. 69-ranked prospect and Alabama commit Stephen Roberts (Opelika, Ala./Opelika High), No. 84-ranked Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn High) and No. 168-ranked Andrew Williams (McDonogh, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian).
Expected in the Class of 2015 are No. 12-ranked prospect Terry Godwin (Hogansville, Ga./Callaway High) and No. 141-ranked Roquan Smith (Montezuma, Ga./Macon County High) with No. 5-ranked Trenton Thompson (Albany, Ga./Westover High) a possibility, among dozens of others.
Tennessee offers Arizona State pledge
While Tennessee has 31 commitments in the 2014 class and seemingly has filled most every need, the Vols continue to look for another running back after injuries to both Jalen Hurd (Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech High), who is ranked No. 62 in the ESPN 300, and Treyvon Paulk (Milton, Ga./Milton High). With an offer out to No. 108-ranked recruit Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock High), who will officially visit one-time heavy favorite South Carolina this weekend, Tennessee coach Butch Jones and staff extended an offer to Arizona State commit Darrel Williams (Marrero, La./John Ehret High) last week. The 5-11, 203-pound Williams also picked up an offer from LSU last week as an athlete and is expected to officially visit Tennessee and possibly LSU.
Speaking of Scott, the elusive back with excellent pass catching skills will make an official visit to South Carolina this weekend. The 5-11, 184-pound Scott officially visited Tennessee on Oct. 4 and N.C. State on Nov. 1 and is scheduled to make an unofficial visit to Auburn on Nov. 30 for the Tigers' game against top-ranked Alabama. A trip to Florida State remains a possibility because of Scott’s strong relationship with Seminoles running backs coach Jay Graham. The Gamecocks and Volunteers are considered the favorites headed into this weekend.
South Carolina offers ESPN 300 WR
The Gamecocks continue to look to put the finishing pieces on their 2014 class, and that includes the wide receiver position. The latest prospect to be offered by coach Steve Spurrier and staff is Jamil Kamara (Virginia Beach, Va./Bishop Sullivan Catholic High), who is ranked No. 269 in the ESPN 300. The one-time heavy lean to Virginia has made official visits to Wisconsin and Michigan State, with Virginia scheduled for Nov. 29. The Gamecocks are a strong possibility to receive Kamara’s final official visit, and his recruitment is up in the air with the struggles of the Cavaliers.
South Carolina is also looking to fill a cornerback spot, and the staff is working hard on a trio of prospects.
Florida commit and No. 86-ranked prospect Chris Lammons (Plantation, Fla./Plantation High), No. 88-ranked D.J. Smith (Marietta, Ga./Walton High) and No. 120-ranked Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King High) are all considering the Gamecocks, with all three likely to make official visits.
Ole Miss has already hosted East Mississippi Community College offensive tackle Avery Gennesy (Southaven, Miss./East Mississippi Community College) and former Alabama defensive end D.J. Pettway (Pensacola, Fla./East Mississippi Community College), and this week the Rebels played host to talented defensive tackle Jarran Reed (Goldsboro, N.C./East Mississippi Community College). If Hugh Freeze and staff could land all three of the uber-talented trio, it would go a long way to filling needs on both sides of the lines in the 2014 class.
The 6-5, 320-pound Gennesy has Tennessee, Texas A&M and Ohio State on his list along with Ole Miss, while Pettway is considering Alabama, Tennessee and Florida State. Reed, a former Florida signee, has visited Tennessee and is also considering Kentucky. He is scheduled to officially visit Mississippi State Nov. 16.
Gamecocks still working to flip FSU commit
ESPN 300 recruit Dexter Wideman (Saluda, S.C./Saluda High) continues to be a verbal pledge to Florida State, but the Gamecocks remain the favorite to beat behind the scenes. The 6-4, 275-pound Under Armour All-America defensive tackle is a possibility to attend the Florida-South Carolina game on Saturday, and he has already been on campus in Columbia three times this season.
No. 65 Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee High) has long been thought to be a lean to the SEC, and that continues to be consistent. The 6-2, 225-pound Morgan made official visits to Ole Miss and Notre Dame in October and still has remaining trips to Florida on Nov. 30 and Vanderbilt in December or January. In addition, Texas A&M might be in line for Morgan’s fifth official with Tennessee also a contender.
SEC fight for ESPN 300 DT
No. 110-ranked prospect Garrald McDowell (Covington, La./Covington High) is another SEC battle unless one West Coast program can sway the Under Armour All-America selection. The 6-1, 257-pound McDowell will make official visits to Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Southern California. The home-state Tigers are considered the school to beat headed into the official visit process.