Thursday, November 21, 2013
SEC recruiting storylines: Nov. 21
By Derek Tyson
It has been another busy week in the SEC. Alabama has had a rough week, while other programs will be getting visits from high-priority targets. Here's a closer look at the latest story lines in the Southeastern Conference.
Bama loses second recruit in three days
There is no question Alabama still has the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the country, but this has not been a great week for the Crimson Tide. First offensive guard Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) backed off his pledge to the Crimson Tide and verbally committed to USC. Then on Wednesday, the No. 69-ranked player in the country, Stephen Roberts (Opelika, Ala./Opelika), switched his commitment from Alabama to Auburn.
Alabama still has 21 commitments though, including 16 in the ESPN 300. With the class Alabama was putting together, there were questions raised about just how many recruits they could take. Losing two ESPN 300 commits is never a good thing, but it will allow the Tide to make a move on some higher rated targets.
Travis Rudolph to visit Alabama
ESPN 300 wide receiver Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) will take his fifth and final offical visit to Alabama on Dec. 13. Rudolph has previously visited Tennessee, Auburn, Ohio State and Florida State.
FSU was thought to be the team to beat after his official visit there Nov. 1, but he has not yet named a leader publicly. Alabama is hoping to make a favorable impression on the No. 61-ranked player in the nation, who will announce his college decision at the Under Armour All-America game on Jan. 2, 2014
Sharpe delays decision
ESPN 300 offensive tackle David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence) was set to announce his decision at noon on Thursday, but his head coach, Bobby Raulerson, said in a text message Wednesday afternoon that Sharpe has delayed his decision until after Thanksgiving. It's unclear as to why Sharpe has delayed his decision, but he did send out a tweet that could give somewhat of a hint.
Sharpe is the No. 2-ranked offensive tackle and the No. 18 overall player in the ESPN 300. He will likely decide between Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State.
Mizzou expecting big visitor Nov. 30
The Missouri Tigers have used a big sesaon on the field to generate a ton of recruiting momentum off of it recently. First, the Tigers were able to land ESPN 300 commitments from offensive tackle Andy Bauer (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) and outside linebacker Brandon Lee (Indianapolis/Lawrence Central) and now Missouri will receive an official visit from ESPN 300 offensive tackle Brian Wallace (St. Louis/Christian Brothers College HS).
The Tigers have made their home state a recruiting priority this season and adding players such as Bauer and Wallace would be a big step to gaining recruiting dominance at home.
Nyles Morgan visiting Florida
The Gators might be struggling on the field this year, but they still have a top 10 recruiting class and are hoping to add to it. Linebacker Nyles Morgan (Crete, Il./Crete-Monee) will take an official visit to Florida for its game against in-state rival Florida State on Nov. 30. The Gators have had some injuries at linebacker, including freshman Matt Rolin and sophomore Antonio Morrison suffering season-ending injuries, and Morgan would help create depth immediately if he were to chose Florida.
The Gators, however, will have to battle Ole Miss and Vanderbilt for Morgan’s services. The Rebels and Commodores have been the two heavy favorites for some time and it might be a little to late for Florida to gain a commitment from the talented linebacker.
Georgia gaining ground on Carter
Five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) had a chance to visit Alabama, a school that was considered to be his favorite, for the LSU game on Nov. 9. Carter did not make that trip and instead attended the Georgia-Appalachian State game. His interest in the home-state Bulldogs has appeared to increase recently.
Florida and Alabama are certainly still in the picture, but there is no question Georgia has, at the very least, just about pulled even with the other two programs.