1. LSU — Brandon LaFell’s last-minute decision to withdraw from the NFL draft gave the Tigers a surprise star at receiver, but LSU was still scheduled to host Rueben Randle (6-foot-3, 195) of Bastrop, La., and Kendall Kelly (6-4, 210) of Gadsden, Ala. Randle and Kelly are expected to choose between Alabama and LSU, with Kelly believed to be favoring the Crimson Tide.
2. ALABAMA — The Crimson Tide aren’t stopping at D.J. Fluker as a top tackle prospect, as they were scheduled to host Brandon Moore (6-5, 313) of Montgomery and Bobby Massie (6-7, 335) of Hargrave (Va.) Military. Moore will decide between Alabama and Florida, while Massie is set to visit Georgia next weekend. The Tide also hope to close with Gadsden cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (6-2, 180) and North Jackson linebacker Tana Patrick (6-3, 215) and remain in the hunt for elite receivers Randle, Kelly and Patrick Patterson (6-3, 215) of Macon, Miss.
3. GEORGIA — Heading the Georgia wish list between now and signing day are receiver Marlon Brown (6-5, 205) of Memphis, receiver/tight end Orson Charles (6-2, 230) of Tampa, safety Jawanza Starling (6-2, 195) of Tallahassee, cornerback Greg Reid (5-9, 175) of Valdosta, Ga., and Hargrave’s Massie. The Bulldogs are in great shape with Charles and could be the team to beat for Brown and Starling as well.
4. FLORIDA — The Gators are in a couple of national skirmishes, fighting Penn State for linebacker Jelani Jenkins (6-2, 220) of Olney, Md., and Oklahoma for athlete Joshua Evans (6-2, 185) of Irvington, N.J. Scheduled to visit this weekend was Brown, who is considered a Georgia-Tennessee battle but admits being intrigued by the national champions.
5. SOUTH CAROLINA — With 10 four-star commitments, this will be Steve Spurrier’s second-best recruiting class in his five seasons at Columbia. His 2007 signing class was superior with 14 four-star signees and one five-star (receiver Chris Culliver).
6. ARKANSAS — The only four-star or better prospects in Arkansas this year are West Helena cornerback Darius Winston (Arkansas commitment), Fayetteville offensive lineman Colby Berna (Arkansas commitment) and Hoxie defensive tackle Derek Johnson (Texas commitment). That’s the fewest number since 2004, when eventual Arkansas fullback Peyton Hillis and LSU linebacker Matt Stoltz were the only two.
7. TENNESSEE — It doesn’t take a recruiting guru to recognize that Tennessee is trying to reclaim “Wide Receiver U” status. They already have James Green (Rivals.com’s No. 17 receiver) committed and are scheduled to have visits next weekend from Patterson (No. 4), Brown (No. 5) and Charles (No. 7).
8. MISSISSIPPI STATE — All was scheduled to be quiet this weekend in Starkville, but MSU would love to land Patterson and Olive Branch offensive tackle Aubrey Phillips to cap the league’s surprise class. Phillips committed to Tennessee in late December but is scheduled to visit the Bulldogs next week.
9. AUBURN — Gene Chizik has brought in some solid recruiters, but that has yet to translate into notable commitments. Scheduled in this weekend was Tyrik Rollison (6-2 185) of Sulphur Springs, Texas, the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback nationally by Rivals.com. He has told recruiting services he has work to do academically.
10. OLE MISS — Highlighting the scheduled visit list of 15 players is Patterson, who committed to Mississippi State before Sylvester Croom was fired and now is choosing among Alabama, Ole Miss and MSU. Defensive tackle Corey Gaines (6-0, 274) of Tallahassee was to continue his SEC West tour before picking Arkansas, Auburn or the Rebels.
11. KENTUCKY — The Wildcats have the best names in this year’s class with defensive tackle Mister Cobble, linebacker Qua (prounounced Kway) Huzzie and defensive end Donte Rumph. Huzzie is among three commitments from LaGrange, Ga., which continues a pipeline that has included linebackers Wesley Woodyard and Braxton Kelley and receiver DeMoreo Ford.
12. VANDERBILT — After swiping tight end Thad McHaney off the Ole Miss commitment list, the Commodores will try to do the same to South Carolina next weekend when safety Corey Addison is scheduled to visit. Vandy no longer lacks confidence in such matters, having swept the Rebels and Gamecocks each of the past two seasons.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...