Monday, October 28, 2013
Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC
By Derek Tyson
As always, there was a lot of news around the Southeastern Conference this weekend. Tennessee and Texas A&M picked up ESPN 300 commits, and Alabama had a five-star visitor. Here's a closer look at the latest recruiting news in the SEC.
Biggest commitment: Despite losing to rival Alabama 45-10 on Saturday, Tennessee picked up a big commitment from ESPN 300 defensive end Dewayne Hendrix (O'Fallon, Ill./O'Fallon Township) on Sunday.
Hendrix, the No. 189 player in the country, chose the Vols over Florida, USC and Missouri.
"My mom and I had a long talk last night and we both thought it was the right time," Hendrix said. "We both felt like we knew it was Tennessee, but we just wanted to make sure and be 100 percent and check out a few other schools. We went out to Ole Miss, Illinois, Mizzou and USC."
The four-star athlete said Tennessee coach Butch Jones played a major factor in his decision to commit to the Vols.
"Coach Jones, how he was recruiting me -- was like no other feeling I've ever had," Hendrix said. "No other coach recruited me how he was. He calls me, inboxes me and every week we're talking."
With the commitment of Hendrix, Tennessee now has 28 commitments including 12 who are ranked in the ESPN 300.
Texas A&M also picked up an ESPN 300 commit, defensive end Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), on Thursday night.
Cunningham, the No. 234 prospect in the ESPN 300, joins five-star defensive end Myles Garrett, the No. 7 player in the country, as Texas A&M commits over the last week and a half.
The Aggies have the ninth-ranked class in the country. It is composed of 16 commitments, 11 of who are ranked in the ESPN 300.
Best weekend performances: Several SEC committed quarterbacks put up huge numbers this weekend. Here's a look at some of the top weekend performances.
QB Sean White (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School) -- Auburn commit: White was 19-of-33 for 389 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-24 loss.
QB Drew Barker (Hebron, Ky./Conner) -- Kentucky commit: Barker was 22-of-30 for 296 yards and three touchdowns and added a rushing score in a 32-20 win.
QB Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) -- Texas A&M commit: Allen passed for 296 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-41 loss on Friday night.
RB Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown) -- Georgia commit: Rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns in a 54-28 win on Friday.
Most important visit: ESPN 300 defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) took his second of three planned official visits over the weekend, this one to Alabama. The No. 4 player in the country watched the Tide handle Tennessee 45-10 on Saturday. Hand also plans to visit Florida sometime in the next few weeks before making his decision on Nov. 14. Michigan has been the team to beat for sometime, but was the Alabama visit enough to change his mind? Only time will tell, but judging by Hand's tweets on Saturday and Sunday, it appears he was impressed with Alabama.
Biggest question: Will Missouri's tough loss to South Carolina on Saturday night hurt the Tigers recruiting? It certainly doesn't appear that way. Even though the Tigers lost a hard-fought game against the Gamecocks, they are still 7-1 and are still in first place in the East.
Former LSU linebacker commit Sharieff Rhaheed (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Central), who visited Missouri over the weekend, expressed how much he enjoyed his visit to Columbia, Mo., in a tweet.
The Tigers already have nine commitments from the talent-rich states of Florida and Georgia and with continued success on the field, they will be able to land more players like Rhaheed.
Biggest answer: It appeared, at least for a while, that ESPN 300 offensive tackle David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence) would play college football in the SEC. That still might be the case, but it's no longer a certainty. Clemson has always been at least somewhat in the picture, but Florida State has come on strong as of late.
Sharpe, who previously said he would be in attendance for the Florida - Georgia game in Jacksonville, now will officially visit the Seminoles for their matchup against rival Miami this upcoming weekend.
There is still a ways to go in his recruitment, but as of now, it appears he is still relatively open.
Tom VanHaaren contributed to this story