SEC football recruiting synopses

SEC football recruiting synopses

January 19th, 2014 by David Paschall in Sports - College

SEC Southeastern Conference

ALABAMA - As many as 15 Crimson Tide commitments were scheduled to make their official visits this weekend, with Rashaan Evans (6-3, 218) of Auburn, Ala., and Matt Elam (6-6, 325) of Elizabethton, Ky., the notable uncommitted prospects. Evans is the nation's No. 4 outside linebacker according to Rivals.com and is an Auburn-Alabama battle, while Elam is the No. 26 defensive tackle and is choosing between Alabama and Kentucky.

TENNESSEE -- The Volunteers benefited from James Franklin's departure at Vanderbilt this past week by snagging former Commodores commitment Jashon Robertson, a defensive tackle from Montgomery Bell Academy. Another former Vandy commitment looking for a home is Michael Sawyers (6-2, 307) from Ensworth, whom Rivals.com rates as the No. 17 defensive tackle prospect.

TEXAS A&M -- A former Texas commitment, defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson, recently switched his pledge to the Aggies, and Texas A&M is hoping similarly to flip Otaro Alaka (6-3, 210) of Houston. Rivals' No. 6 outside linebacker has been committed to the Longhorns since last spring but was scheduled to visit College Station this weekend.

LSU -- Several of Louisiana's top prospects have committed to the Tigers, but several have committed elsewhere. One big talent remaining is River Ridge's Malachi Dupre (6-4, 175), whom Rivals rates as the top receiver nationally. Dupre is trying to squeeze in visits this month to LSU, Alabama, Florida State and UCLA, but most analysts believe he will decide between LSU and UCLA.

AUBURN -- Although rival Alabama is in the process of assembling the nation's top recruiting class for the sixth time in seven years, the Tigers are on pace to notch a fifth straight top-10 class. Auburn will get an official visit from Evans next week, with this week's most notable scheduled visitor being Andrew Williams (6-4, 245), the No. 12 weakside defensive end out of McDonough, Ga.

FLORIDA -- Franklin isn't for everyone. Thomas Holley, the nation's No. 3 defensive tackle from Brooklyn, had been a Penn State commitment but felt his relationship with Florida's staff surpassed his desire to get to know the former Vanderbilt coach. Holley committed to the Gators this past Wednesday. Derrell Scott (5-10, 181), the nation's No. 8 all-purpose back out of Havelock, N.C., was scheduled to visit Gainesville this weekend.

GEORGIA -- Count Jeremy Pruitt among the busiest people in all of college football. The new defensive coordinator not only had to hit the road to meet commitments as well as 2014 and 2015 recruits following the NCAA dead period, but he had three new assistant coaches to help hire. Georgia's biggest remaining in-state target is Lorenzo Carter, the nation's No. 3 weakside defensive end from Norcross who was scheduled to be at LSU this weekend and will be in Athens on the 31st.

KENTUCKY -- The Wildcats have performed so well in recruiting with their nine four-star commitments that they can afford to be much more picky down the stretch. Among the visitors this weekend is Robert Olson (6-5, 265), an offensive tackle from Eden Prairie, Minn., who was scheduled to make the trip despite not yet having a Kentucky scholarship offer according to Rivals.

OLE MISS -- It was expected to be a light weekend in Oxford, but that will not be the case next weekend. Williams, who is in Auburn this weekend, is scheduled to visit Ole Miss, as could Sawyers, the former Vanderbilt commitment. Also scheduled for next weekend is Isaiah McKenzie (5-8, 165), a receiver from Plantation, Fla., who was scheduled to visit the Gators this weekend.

SOUTH CAROLINA -- The Gamecocks were scheduled to host 12 commitments this weekend, as well as the uncommitted Damian Prince (6-5, 292). The nation's No. 2 tackle prospect from Forestville, Md., visited Maryland last month and is scheduled to visit Florida on the 31st. Also scheduled in was cornerback Wesley Green (5-10, 168) of Lithonia, Ga., a former Gamecocks commitment.

ARKANSAS -- Making headway in Florida was evident last winter when the Razorbacks landed touted tailback Alex Collins, and they are hoping for additional productivity in the Sunshine State with linebackers coach Randy Shannon leading the efforts. Scheduled in this weekend were cornerbacks Lamont Simmons (6-2, 185) of Jacksonville and Cornelius Floyd (6-0, 170) of Miami.

MISSOURI -- According to the Rivals rankings, Missouri has just two of the state's top-10 prospects -- St. Louis guard Andy Bauer (No. 1) and St. Louis cornerback Raymond Wingo (No. 7). Scheduled in this weekend was Daniel Wise (6-2, 242), a strongside defensive end from Lewisville, Texas.

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Bulldogs were scheduled to host at least 10 commitments this weekend, as well as a junior college tight end seeking a second chance in the SEC. Darrion Hutcherson (6-7, 265) of Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College signed with Auburn in 2012 but failed to qualify academically. Hutcherson is expected to decide this time around between MSU and West Virginia.

VANDERBILT -- A weekend ago, the Commodores had 20 commitments. Now they have 11. Vanderbilt lost four-star commitments with Sawyers and defensive back Trent Sherfield of Danville, Ill., but they are still holding on to four-star defensive backs Emmanuel Smith of Murfreesboro and Kyle Gibson of Seffner, Fla. They have fallen from 26th to 64th in the Rivals team rankings.