Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with thoughts on SEC recruiting, some huge SEC commitments and random recruiting thoughts.
1. Bouncing around the SEC
Let’s take a look at each conference over the next few weeks as we hit the summer lull in recruiting and see who’s been doing the best and who’s been struggling. We continue today with the SEC.
LSU is off to a great recruiting start and have been recruiting nationally for the first time I can remember. They have commits from all over the map and elite ones at that. Alabama, as usual, continues to roll on and reel in high-level commits and are involved with the nation’s elite at many positions. These two are running away with the SEC….for now.
Georgia will make a run to the top as we know and will be in the mix for the top class in the SEC. Some fans are down on Florida’s class, but the Gators are doing a very good job overall and have a lot of talent in the class. Texas A&M is a sleeping giant in recruiting and will only get better under Jimbo Fisher. Ole Miss is doing a very good job under Matt Luke, I love his recruiting strategy.
Some would put Florida at the top of the heap but the Gamecocks and Bulldogs are struggling a bit. South Carolina has some elite commitments like Marshawn Lloyd, but they need to close on more prospects they are finalists for and Mississippi State has a versatile class but are relying big-time on JUCO prospects which is always risky.
Quietly Impressive – Auburn
The Tigers may not have a big-name headliner, but they are killing it at linebacker and wide receiver and have some sleepers, especially along the offensive line.
Kentucky has a top 25 class and it’s not nearly filled but Justin Rogers is the clear headliner and made the nation take notice. Antonio Doyle may not be a name you’re familiar with but he’s a huge in-state get for Missouri and will be a leader of the defense for years.
Small But Good –Tennessee
Some are critical of Jeremy Pruitt as they expected recruiting to be at the level of Butch Jones, but he’s getting guys he covets and will turn them into ballers.
2. Running down the SEC's biggest recent commits
Commitments have come so quickly over the last few months that I’m going to break down the recent ones I like by conference, continuing with the SEC today.
OL Xavier Hill, Alabama – Hill is a massive offensive guard who is a road grader and could be a great one down the line if he re-shapes his body a bit.
ATH Corey Wren, Georgia – Wren is a speedy athlete who will start off as a slot receiver and will impact the return game as well but he could be utilized in many ways.
WR Marcus Rosemy, Georgia – Rosemy is one of the best wide receivers in the country and has put himself in the five-star discussion after a great performance at the Five-Star Challenge.
OL Richie Leonard, Florida – Leonard is an athletic lineman who probably projects more as a guard than a tackle but can play both.
DE Antwaun Powell-Ryland, Florida – Powell-Ryland is a powerful defensive end who isn’t the longest kid in the world but gets to the passer with effort and solid technique. He’s also good enough in space to play some linebacker.
ATH Fenley Graham, Florida – Graham isn’t big but he’s very fast and versatile and will likely end up as a corner for Florida and be a return man as well.
DT Dallas Walker, Texas A&M – A big athletic kid, Walker is a nice get at defensive tackle and a kid who can add weight while keeping his athleticism.
OL Akinola Ogunbiyi, Texas A&M – OK, so he has trouble making his mind up but this is a very coveted offensive lineman who will do his best work inside in the run game.
DB De’Arre McDonald, Ole Miss – A big, physical cornerback this is a key pickup at a position of need for the Rebels.
QB Robby Ashford, Ole Miss – Ashford is not overly consistent but he has great upside and when he’s on and in a rhythm he’s elite.
DE Jordan Davis, Mississippi State – Davis is a former Vols commit who should be able to impact right away as a JUCO rush end.
ATH Dillon Johnson, Mississippi State – Johnson could play wide receiver, running back, defensive back or even be a smaller linebacker. His versatility is intriguing.
ATH Lideatrick Griffin, Mississippi State – Griffin isn’t big but he’s very fast and electric with the ball in his hands.
LB Wesley Steiner, Auburn – He may be undersized for a linebacker, but he’s super athletic and can cover a ton of ground.
WR Ze’Vian Capers, Auburn – Capers is a big receiver who is very fluid and will be a matchup problem for teams.
WR Kalil Branham, Kentucky – A big, thick receiver who is very powerful and has sneaky speed, he’ll be a chain mover.
DE Samuel Anaele, Kentucky – He’s still very raw but he’s a tremendous athlete who gets off the edge well and will continue to add strength.
DB Joey Hunter, South Carolina – A big corner who could grow into a safety and will be very strong in run support.
RB Tee Hodge, Tennessee – A big, physical runner with sneaky speed, Hodge has added 30 pounds of muscle and will be a load to bring down in the SEC.
DB Keshawn Lawrence, Tennessee – A very good athlete with size and speed, Lawrence is still a bit raw but his ceiling is as high as anyone’s in the class.
LB Will Norris, Missouri – An important in-state commitment, Norris is a big, physical kid who projects as a heavy-hitting inside linebacker.
3. More thoughts rattling around the brain as summer crawls by
Again not much room to finish this out so here are a few random thoughts for you.
The wide receiver rankings will be interesting to follow when we meet in August to re-do them. Guys like Ohio State commitment Gee Scott and Georgia commitment Marcus Rosemy have put themselves in the five-star discussion in my book and we already have four five-stars at the position. Could this be the best year at wide receiver in the last many? It could be.
Is Wesley Steiner this year’s Nakobe Dean, an undersized linebacker with excellent athleticism? Dean was at one point a five-star but his lack of size scared me off a bit and I ended up leading the charge to drop him to a four-star. However, Devin White and Devon Bush are both shorter linebackers who just went in round one of the NFL Draft. So does height matter anymore at the position? Steiner will certainly get a boost in the rankings but how much will he move remains to be seen.
Clemson offensive line commitment Walker Parks didn’t dominate at the Five-Star Challenge or The Opening, but he could end up being a five-star by the end of the process. I love his athletic upside and frame.