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Monday, February 3, 2014
Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC

By Derek Tyson

This was the final weekend before national signing day, and of course, there was a ton of news around the SEC. Vanderbilt added a slew of commitments, as did Alabama and Texas A&M. There were also some key visits and a decommitment from an SEC West school. Here’s a closer look at the latest recruiting news around the SEC.

Biggest commitments: After suffering 11 decommitments after coach James Franklin left for Penn State, Vanderbilt was in desperate need of a big recruiting weekend, and it finally got it.

The Commodores added six commitments, including three-star safety Tre Tarpley (Pittsburgh/Pittsburgh Central Catholic), who switched his commitment from Boston College, defensive end Hawkins Mann (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs), who switched his commitment from Nevada, quarterback Shawn Stankavage (Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons), who switched his commitment from ECU, three-star offensive tackle Bruno Reagan, who switched his commitment from USF, defensive end Charles Wright (Irvine, Calif./Beckman), who switched his commitment from San Jose and long snapper Davis Winkie (Cumming, Ga./South Forsyth).

The Commodores, who at one point were down to eight verbal commitments, are back up to 14 and hoping to add more before signing day. New Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason has certainly done a nice job of, at the very least, landing a respectable class after such a big transition.

Vanderbilt wasn’t the only school to enjoy recruiting success over the weekend. Texas A&M landed three-star safety Donovan Wilson (Shreveport, La./Woodlawn), who switched his commitment from Utah to the Aggies on Saturday. The Aggies also received a commitment from ESPN Junior 300 safety Larry Pryor Jr. (Sulphur Springs, Texas/Sulphur Springs). Pryor is the No. 91-ranked player for the Class of 2015.
Taking my talents to the university of Texas A&M #gigem #aggies #12thMan

— 0 Larry Pryor Jr." (@jr_2015Athlete) January 31, 2014

Kentucky received a huge commitment, both literally and figuratively, when defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin) committed to the Wildcats over Alabama on Thursday.
Officially Committed To UK !! #BBN Im Home !!!

— Matt Elam"69 (@FballIsLife69) January 30, 2014

The Wildcats, with the addition of Elam, are at 28 verbal commitments, including eight four-stars prospects.

Alabama is on pace to land the top-ranked class for 2014, but the Crimson Tide are also off to a hot start in 2015. Alabama received commitments on Saturday from ESPN Junior 300 wide receiver Daylon Charlot (Patterson, La./Patterson) and offensive guard Lester Cotton (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Tuscaloosa Central). Charlot is the No. 129-ranked player in the country for next year.

The Crimson Tide now have seven verbal commitments for 2015, including five in the ESPN 300.

Missouri landed a commitment from outside linebacker Walter Brady (Memphis, Tenn./Trezevant) over the weekend. The 6-foot-4, 226-pound athlete also had an offer from Middle Tennessee State.

Four-star offensive tackle Frank Ragnow (Victoria, Minn./Chanhassen) made his verbal commitment to Arkansas on Friday. The Razorbacks have put together a very nice offensive line class. It includes Ragnow, ESPN 300 offensive tackle Brian Wallace (St. Louis/Christian Brothers College), three-star offensive tackle Jovan Pruitt (Dallas/Bishop Dunne) and junior college transfer Sebastian Tretola (San Bernardino, Calif./Iowa Western CC).

Mississippi State landed a big commitment from junior college defensive back Tee Shepard (Fresno, Calif./Holmes CC) over the weekend. Shepard was originally the No. 22-ranked junior college prospect in the 2014 class, but will instead continue at Holmes CC and be a part of Mississippi State's 2015 recruiting class.

Ole Miss loses recruit:
Three-star wide receiver Charles Standberry (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) flipped his commitment from Ole Miss to Louisville over the weekend. The Rebels, however, are still in the running for ESPN 300 wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), who will make his college choice on Wednesday.

The Rebels still have 24 verbal commitments, including four in the ESPN 300.

Biggest visits: A lot of schools around the SEC will use the last weekend before signing day as an opportunity to bring the top juniors in the country in for unofficial visits. Georgia, however, used this opportunity to get the last crack at three significant recruits: five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), four-star defensive end Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing) and four-star South Carolina outside linebacker commit Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove).

Judging by tweets a few of the players sent out, it appears as if they enjoyed their time in Athens. Allen-Williams didn’t arrive at Georgia until late on Friday night so he could stay longer on Sunday and watch the Super Bowl at coach Mark Richt’s house.

— Bryson Allen-Wms (@B_Quatro4) February 1, 2014

Allen-Williams has been a solid commitment to South Carolina since April, but he has taken visits to Alabama and Georgia in consecutive weeks before signing day. He will be one to watch as signing day approaches.
They call me the #SelfieKing

— Andrew Williams (@DrewWill_79) February 1, 2014
Commits to watch: In addition to Allen-Williams, there are a few other committed prospects to keep an eye on as signing day approaches. Four-star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (Fayettville, N.C./Pine Forest) took an official visit to Miami over the weekend. He has been solid for the Bulldogs ever since he made his commitment, but an official visit to a school this close to signing day has Bulldogs fans and coaches a little concerned.

Florida athlete commit J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, Fla/Immokalee) has been wavering on his commitment to the Gators for a while now. There was talk he could take an official to Miami this weekend, but in a surprise move, he took an unofficial visit to Florida on Saturday. Florida coaches, however, still don't feel at ease because when Jackson returned from his unofficial visit to Gainesville, Miami head coach Al Golden was waiting on him for an in-home visit. His recruitment won’t be over until the ink is dry on Wednesday.

Four-star Alabama safety commit Chris Williams (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County) took an official visit to UCF over the weekend. He has been solid to Alabama since he committed to the Crimson Tide last March, but again, visits this close to signing day tend to worry college coaches.