SEC: Jay Woods

A lot is new for Vanderbilt this season, which means there's a chance for some of the younger guys to earn their stripes in Nashville this fall.

The Commodores watched only three true freshmen play in 2013, so there's plenty of room -- and field space -- for these guys to improve in 2014. With Derek Mason now in charge, no position will be safe.

[+] EnlargeJordan Cunningham
Kim Klement/USA TODAY SportsJordan Cunningham has the most receptions of any returning Vanderbilt receiver.
Class recap: Former Vandy coach James Franklin made plenty of waves throughout the recruiting world with some solid hauls during his three years with the Dores. His 2013 class was the nation's No. 22-ranked class that included 26 signees. Five of those signees were ESPN 300 members. The Commodores signed three ESPN 300 wide receivers and the nation's No. 1 junior college tight end in Brandon Vandenburg. However, Vandenburg was dismissed before ever playing a down after he was one of four players dismissed from the team amid sex crimes investigation last summer.

Second-year star: WR Jordan Cunningham (6-foot-1, 178 pounds)

Recruiting stock: Cunningham was Vandy's top-rated recruit in the 2013 class. He was ranked as the 13th-best receiver nationally and received attention from a plethora of schools nationwide. He held nearly 50 offers and was courted by SEC powers Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native eventually chose Vandy over Florida State, Miami and Stanford.

2013 in review: Cunningham played in all 13 games last fall, earning his first-career start at South Carolina. He also ranked third on Vandy's team with 15 catches for 123 yards. While Cunningham didn't make it into the end zone last season, and his longest reception was just 14 yards, he showed flashes of being a big target for whichever quarterback takes over for the Commodores this fall. In Vandy's win over Austin Peay, Cunningham led all receivers with seven catches for 67 yards.

2014 potential: With Jordan Matthews gone, the quarterback situation far from settled, and the Commodores looking for anyone to step up at wide receiver, Cunningham will be given plenty of opportunities to be the go-to guy. His 15 receptions from last season are actually the most of any player coming back for Vandy, so there's inexperience all around him. Cunningham has the big-play ability to be a real game-changer. He has solid speed and isn't afraid to make plays over the middle with his size. He'll need some help in order avoid constant double teams, but Cunningham possess the athleticism to create his own space.

Also watch for: As mentioned earlier, Vandy is still trying to figure out its quarterback situation. Redshirt freshman Johnny McCrary was in the thick of the competition with redshirt sophomore Patton Robinette, who saw plenty of time last fall. The thing that makes McCrary an exciting player to watch is his size (6-4, 222 pounds) and his athleticism. Redshirt freshman running back Ralph Webb could be a very solid player for the Commodores this fall. He'll share carries with vets Brian Kimbrow and Jerron Seymour, but the coaches were pleased with his play this spring, and he could be a budding star for the Dores. Redshirt freshman linebacker Nigel Bowden has a chance to get a good amount of reps and has the makings of a breakout player. Another redshirt freshman with plenty of upside is defensive tackle Jay Woods, who was one of Vandy's top signees from the 2013 class.
Now that the pens have been put to paper, the classes have been announced and most of your attention has turned to the 2014 recruiting season, it's time to take a look at how each school in the SEC did when it came to immediately filling needs.

We're checking out what all 14 teams did to fill holes, and we're looking at which holes still remain. We'll start with the SEC East:


Needs filled: LB, OL, DB, WR, DT -- The Gators had one of the most complete classes out there, finishing second in the ESPN class rankings. Florida landed the top cornerback prospect (No. 3 nationally) in Vernon Hargreaves III, defensive tackles Caleb Brantley and Jay-nard Bostwick, linebackers Daniel McMillian and Matt Rolin, and safeties Keanu Neal and Marcell Harris. The Gators also added five wide receivers, including ESPN 150 members Demarcus Robinson and Ahmad Fulwood.

Holes remaining: DE -- Will Muschamp seemed thrilled with his class, but he probably would have liked to get a least one more defensive end. The Gators missed on a few, including Tashawn Bower, who almost picked the Gators before signing with LSU. Four-stars Jordan Sherit and Antonio Riles were the only defensive ends in this class.


Needs filled: ILB, S -- The Bulldogs had to replace a few bodies at middle linebacker, and did so by signing four. The star of the group is four-star ESPN 300 member Johnny O'Neal, who is the No. 5 inside linebacker in the county. Tim Kimbrough and Ryne Rankin, both ESPN 300 members, also signed with the Dawgs. Georgia also signed five safeties, including two junior college standouts. The top safety in this class is ESPN 150 member Tray Matthews.

Holes remaining: Elite OT, elite RB, elite DT -- Mark Richt was pleased with his 32-man signing class, but he knows it could have been better if a few elite players had signed with Georgia. The Dawgs barely missed on top offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), No. 4 running back Alvin Kamara (Alabama) and No. 2 defensive tackle Montravius Adams (Auburn).


Needs filled: DL, WR, OL -- Mark Stoops brought in a pretty balanced class overall, but he really struck gold in these three areas. He brought in five defensive linemen, including ESPN 300 defensive end Jason Hatcher, who flipped from USC. He should get a chance to play early, along with junior college defensive end Za'Darius Smith, who might be the gem of the class. Getting receiver Ryan Timmons to pick the Cats over Florida was big, and he's joined by two other receivers, including junior college standout Javess Blue. Stoops also signed four offensive linemen.

Holes remaining: RB -- The Wildcats signed true running back Jojo Kemp and athlete Khalid Thomas, but with the injury issues at running back last season and the loss of senior CoShik Williams, Stoops probably would have liked to sign at least one more running back.


Needs filled: DT -- Gary Pinkel got a standout in defensive tackle Josh Augusta. With defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who was Missouri's top overall player last fall, taking his talents to the NFL this year, the Tigers had to find someone who could come in and help fill that void up front. Augusta has the size, strength and athleticism to make an impact early.

Holes remaining: Elite RB, DB -- The Tigers were in the race for the top player in the state of Missouri -- ESPN 150 running back Ezekiel Elliott -- but he spurned the Mizzou to sign with Ohio State. Getting a player like Elliott would have been a major addition to this class. It's also never a bad idea for SEC teams to get some quality defensive backs. Mizzou signed two true defensive backs -- safeties Shaun Rupert and Duron Singleton.


Needs filled: LB, DL, OL, RB -- The Gamecocks had to gather a bunch of linebackers in this class, with all their starters departing, and they did precisely that. Steve Spurrier signed six, including ESPN 300 inside linebacker Larenz Bryant, who could contribute early. Spurrier also signed four defensive linemen, including three ends -- which will come in handy after Jadeveon Clowney leaves for the NFL. ESPN 150 defensive tackle Kelsey Griffin is a big body who could contribute immediately. The Gamecocks signed two running backs, including ESPN 150 member David Williams, and five offensive linemen.

Holes remaining: DB, WR -- Spurrier said during his signing day news conference that he wasn't going to take any average receivers, so the Gamecocks signed one -- four-star Jasper Sasser. Still, the Gamecocks handed out a few offers and missed on a couple of prospects, and with Ace Sanders leaving, a top-tier receiver would have helped. South Carolina loses some quality bodies in the secondary, and signed only two defensive backs.


Needs filled: QB, WR -- With Tyler Bray gone, Justin Worley returns as the only experienced quarterback. Butch Jones signed two ESPN 300 quarterbacks in Riley Ferguson and Joshua Dobbs, who flipped from Arizona State on signing day. This should provide some good competition for Worley. And with Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson leaving, the Vols had to stock up on receivers. Jones signed five, including ESPN 150 member Marquez North, to give the Vols 10 scholarship receivers.

Holes remaining: DB, DL, OL, elite RB -- The Vols would have liked to add to their depth in the secondary, but signed only one true defensive back in junior college cornerback Riyahd Jones. Receiver Cameron Sutton could move to defensive back if needed. The Vols signed six total linemen (three defensive, three offensive), but Jones said Wednesday that he would have liked to add to that number. Tennessee also missed out on elite running back Derrick Green, who signed with Michigan. He was a major priority for Jones' staff.


Needs filled: WR, TE, QB -- With Jordan Matthews graduating after 2013, James Franklin needed a replacement, and he might have found him in ESPN 150 receiver Jordan Cunningham. He also grabbed ESPN 300 members DeAndre Woods and Carlos Burse, and picked up four tight ends, including four-star Mack Weaver. With Jordan Rodgers graduating, Vandy signed two quarterbacks.

Holes remaining: DT, OL -- The front seven is always very important in the SEC, but Vandy came away with only one defensive tackle in ESPN 300 member Jay Woods. Losing two seniors, Vandy would have liked to get at least one more true defensive tackle. After signing a good offensive line group in 2012, Vandy signed only two in this class.

DawgNation links: SEC media days

July, 19, 2012
SEC media days -- David Ching writes: Taking the podium for Georgia at SEC media days Thursday, Mark Richt set to addressing -- right off the bat, of course -- the Isaiah Crowell dismissal.

Video: An interview with Georgia receiver Tavarres King.


Kipp Adams writes: Insider Already one of the hot names at UGA in the 2014 prospect class, an impressive showing at Mark Richt Camp and Dawg Night earned Herschel Walker’s nephew, tight end Milan Richard, an offer from the Bulldogs.

Adams: Insider Four-star defensive lineman and ESPN 300 member Jay Woods has whittled down his dozens of offers to a top six, and it’s no surprise that the in-state Georgia Bulldogs are right up there.

Ching: Around the Hedges in 80 Days -- 44 days to kickoff Insider
There is a reason every major recruiting service ranked incoming UGA freshman Jordan Jenkins among this year’s top 70 prospects: His relentless motor and quick first step seem to predict stardom, particularly once he refines his technique.

DawgNation links: Wiggins rises in 150

June, 6, 2012
Kipp Adams writes Insider: In the latest ESPN 150 rankings, four-star Georgia cornerback commit Shaq Wiggins bolted more than 50 spots up the list, while three other UGA commits held steady.

Adams Insider: Newly ranked four-star athlete Greg Taboada of Atlanta was surprised by his inclusion in the ESPN 150, considering football had only recently superseded soccer as the sport of choice for this the player with Spanish heritage.

Adams Insider: Prospects don’t come any more versatile than newly appointed ESPN 150 four-star athlete and two-way player Rashard Fant, and UGA is taking notice.

Radi Nabulsi writes Insider: UGA commits and targets pepper the newly released ESPN 300 list.

DawgNation links: Meet Ky Priester

April, 27, 2012
Radi Nabulsi writes Insider: Sunshine State receiver and UGA commit Ky Priester endured more than a year of frustration with an injury, and a difficult home life. Then he moved to Georgia and his whole world opened up -- on the football field.

Nabulsi Insider: In this week's team mailbag, DawgNation answers questions about the offensive line and the diamonds in the rough, as well as UGA's drug policy.

David Ching writes: Surprisingly, no Bulldogs were selected in first round Thursday night, after projections pointed to versatile offensive lineman Cordy Glenn going in the top 20. Now Glenn waits with the rest of UGA’s draft-hungry alum for Friday’s Rounds 2-3.

Nabulsi Insider: Defensive lineman Jay Woods covets his 20th offer, which came from his childhood favorite Georgia Bulldogs.

DawgNation links: Athlete is commit No. 14

April, 9, 2012
Kipp Adams writesInsider: Athlete J.J. Green wasn't sure he would commit to the Bulldogs -- until he visited Georgia. The talented two-way player sealed the deal Monday with a verbal commitment.

Adams Insider: With three commits Friday, UGA's Class of 2013 is filling up fast. ESPN 150 Watch List member Reggie Carter didn't want to miss out, so he joined in Monday as the Bulldogs’ No. 13 commit.

Adams: DawgNation’s "Five guys" – a watch list of who’s next for potential in-state UGA offers.

Adams Insider: After being somewhat adamant in December that he wanted to play football anywhere but at home in Georgia, DL Montravius Adams is singing a different tune now.

David Ching writes Insider: With leaders including stalwart nose guards John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers, UGA's already impressive D-line is building on its strengths -- and terrorizing the O-line.

Ching Insider: Cornelius Washington is splitting time at DE this spring, and teammates and coaches expect him to be "a monster" once he gets comfortable in his dual role.

Radi Nabulsi: Georgia’s Abry Jones talks D-line and "chippy" spring practice.