Southeast Spotlight: Late bloomers who are making waves

There used to be a lot of prospects who saw their recruitment explode as their senior seasons got underway. That’s not as common now but rising seniors are still able to make waves during the offseason camp circuit.

Check out these late bloomers from the Southeast region who have seen their recruitment pick up speed.

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A well-traveled defensive back who moved from the Midwest to Tampa and has since changed schools, Littleton proves what speed and strong showings in coverage can do in short order. He is among the fastest verified sprinters in the state of Florida now and the offers have surged in this year, with an astounding 30-plus new offers to his name since January.

Alabama, Miami, Florida, Penn State, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa and UCF are just a few offers now in for Littleton. Ole Miss and Miami are his two most recent visits in a recruitment that is only at the early stages. He plans on cutting his list by more than one half in the coming weeks ahead of setting official visits.


Speaking of speed, Penson has plenty of it to his own name as a three-phase talent. He plays quarterback in high school but will work at wide receiver, running back or in the secondary in college. A state champion triple jumper, Penson has also been sub 4.5 seconds during football workouts this spring and it has led to double-digit offers since February began.

Penson has been able to supplement the straight-line speed on the track with top-10 marks in Georgia in both the triple jump and 110 meter hurdles, part of the reason programs are willing to buy in on him despite a lack of positional experience relative to his projection. Penson has added offers from Notre Dame, Missouri, North Carolina and Duke most recently. He had just three offers, one in the Power Four, prior to his 2023 season and subsequent monster spring.


Another do-it-all athlete who plays quarterback on Friday nights, Robinson’s rise is still in the early stages from a recruiting standpoint. He ran for more than 1,000 yards and threw for more than 1,000 as a junior and the SEC has come calling ever since. Georgia really kick-started this stretch of the recruiting process with their offer on March 19 and more than a dozen programs have followed since. That list includes Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Florida State and USC, among others.

Robinson has running back and secondary projections to his name, depending on the program, but he has transferable traits for each at 6-foot, 190 pounds. He has worked below the 11-second mark in the 100 meter dash this spring and perhaps more impressively, he hit 23 miles per hour in a workout earlier this month. Robinson is playing patient with the process amid his rise.


Most on this list had interest as juniors and saw it rise to another level, but Sellers is truly at the beginning of his recruitment. His first offers are still fresh on the table, kicked off by Nebraska on April 1. It was no joke, however, as the pass rusher has since added four more and taken in a visit with Kirby Smart and Georgia. LSU and Mississippi State are set to host him over the next two Saturdays as he seeks SEC offer No. 1.

The athletic profile for Sellers is classic late-bloomer, too. He was a basketball player who made the switch as a junior and flashed plenty as a twitchy edge rusher at 6-foot-5. Deeper digs into his background revealed another fact that won’t hurt in the benefit-of-the-doubt department. Sellers is the younger brother of former Alabama great and NFL linebacker Mark Barron. To say he has a big spring ahead could be an understatement.


Having the same name as other wide receivers before him, the class of 2025 Riverview (Fla.) Sumner standout has carved out his own run early this year. He had a handful of tenders in 2023, but a Jan. 17 extension from Oregon was the beginning of a steady rise to national recruit, as nearly two dozen more have come through since. The most recent came from Alabama, not long after he met his idol and Crimson Tide legend Julio Jones.

Now, the rising-senior has taken the first step towards the eventual end of the process in releasing his top 13 contenders on Tuesday. Williams has been busy on the road, most recently seeing Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama – three from the SEC that made his top schools list. UCF, the closest to home for Williams, already has an official visit penciled in for the first weekend in June. Miami gets him on campus the weekend prior.