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Tag:Matt Jones
Posted on: January 11, 2012 1:08 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 1:10 am
 

SEC Recruiting Reset

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Now that the 2011 season has come to an end it's time to move on to the next phase of the college football year: recruiting. With the SEC 
Recruiting Reset we fill you in on what you may have missed in the SEC and what you should expect to see between now and signing day.

TOP THREE CLASSES

1. Alabama. The new national champions continue to roll on the recruiting trail with what's currently nation's No. 1 class. The Tide already have five commitments from the Maxpreps Top 100 and 26 overall, nearly every one a blue-chipper. In particular, don't expect the passing game lockdown on display vs. LSU to change anytime soon; the highest-ranked three of those top 100 recruits are all defensive backs, and athlete Cyrus Jones (the No. 88 overall prospect) could play in the secondary as well. Sweetest of all is that much of the Tide's success has come at the expense of their SEC West rivals--the Tide just stole top safety (and No. 12 player overall) Landon Collins out of Louisiana from LSU, and flipping powerhouse running back T.J. Yeldon in mid-december was a huge blow to Auburn.

2. Florida. The bumpy transition from Urban Meyer to Will Muschamp meant that the Gators' 2011 class wasn't up to the program's usual standards, but that's not going to be an issue in 2012. Five of the Gators' 18 commitments are top 100 prospects, led by 6'6" five-star offensive lineman D.J. Humphries, No. 14 overall. Though (as always) the Gators are getting a huge boost from their home state -- as with Seffner (Fla.) five-star running back Matt Jones -- Muschamp hasn't hesitated to take the Gators national again, landing Humphries from Charlotte, linebacker Antonio Morrison (No. 76 overall) from Illinois, and tight end Colin Thompson from Pennsylvania.

3. LSU. As long as Les Miles is on the Bayou and winning games, there's going to be too much talent in Louisiana for the Tigers to not finish with one of the nation's best recruiting classes, and that's true again this year; 14 of the Tigers' 21 commitments are from their home state, with six more hailing from Texas, Georgia, or Florida. What is a surprise is that the single commitment from outside SEC country just so happens to be the headliner: top-ranked quarterback and No. 2 overall recruit Gunner Kiel, who'll be expected to solve the passing woes on display in the Superdome by no later than 2013.

TOP PLAYERS AVAILABLE

1. Stefon Diggs -- Many of the top local prospects across the Southeast have already made their decisions -- or have said so publicly, anyway -- but that doesn't mean SEC schools aren't still battling away over available prospects in other parts of the country. One of those is Olney, Md. wideout Stefon Diggs, a total-package burner who ranks as the cuntry's No. 18 overall prospect. Though Diggs has been highly noncommital about his recruitment and has discussed possibly waiting past Signing Day to sign, Auburn received one of his early visits and Florida has long been considered one of Diggs' favorites. The Tigers and Gators will have to fight off a long list of national suitors for Diggs' signature, however.

2. Josh Clemons -- This 6'5" safety/wide receiver prospect (and the nation's No. 54 overall recruit) hails from Valdosta, Ga., only minutes from the Florida-Georgia border. So it's no surprise the two schools believed to be battling it out over Clemons are, you guessed it, Georgia and Florida. The Gators may have a slight edge, but in a race still far too close to call, expect Clemons to take his decision down to the wire.

WORK TO DO

1. Ole Miss. No one will blame Hugh Freeze if the Rebels don't boast a top-25 class after their miserable 2-10 season and coaching overhaul, and early signs -- like the commitment of highly prized in-state defensive end Channing Ward -- are good. But he still needs to find a way to get his first class's numbers up; the Rebels are currently sitting on an SEC-low 12 commitments.

2. Auburn. The Tigers currently check in at No. 16 in the Maxpreps rankings and have four top-100 recruits, so it's not as if there's alarm sirens going off for Gene Chizik or anything. But with just 15 commitments as of Tuesday, Auburn is banking on a big finish with lots of big names choosing the orange-and-blue. If those names go elsewhere, Chizik could be left with the league's eighth- or ninth-best class.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.

Posted on: March 24, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 6:46 pm
 

Gamecock leading hoops scorer joins football team

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every now and again, you'll see even the best college football players dabble in offseason basketball, as those who remember Julius Peppers snaring rebounds for the Tar Heels or Matt Jones running the floor for the Razorbacks will recall.

But for obvious reasons -- season overlap, the risk of career-ending injury, etc. -- examples of players transitioning from the hardcourt to the gridiron are few and far between. Examples of really good basketball players doing so are virtually unheard of. So take note of what's happening at South Carolina, because you won't see it again anytime soon:
Bruce Ellington is making a move to play football for the Gamecocks.

A source inside the football office confirmed today that the freshman point guard has spoken this week with both basketball coach Darrin Horn and a couple of USC’s football coaches ...

It remains to be seen what becomes of Ellington’s basketball career ... Ellington led the Gamecocks in scoring this past season, averaging 12.8 points a game. He also averaged 3.2 assists a game.

That's right: so powerful is the pull of SEC football that its teams can recruit the best athletes off their schools' own basketball teams. Steve Spurrier confirmed this afternoon that Ellington's move was official; he'll play "somewhere on offense" for the Gamecocks.

How much of an impact will he make? At 5'9" and 200 pounds, the former high school quarterback is expected to be a slot reciver-slash-scatback. Given his role in leading Berkeley High School to a 2009 state football championship, if he can shake the rust off, it's certainly not out of the question for him to become a contributor. (He'll get a late start, though; NCAA rules regarding two-sport athletes will prevent him from taking part in spring practice.)

But however large a role he plays for Spurrier's Gamecocks, it's almost certain to be dwarfed by his role for Horn's. As good as this news might be for the football team, if Ellington turns his back on basketball for good, it's that much worse for the SC hoops team.

 


Posted on: February 21, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 11:11 am
 

Eye on CFB Recruiting Review, 2/21

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Hey, Eye on College Football reader, are you also reading our sister blog, the excellent Eye on Recruiting as written by the excellent Bryan Fischer (who you can folllow on Twitter here )? If not, why not? Don't you like being well-informed about the myriad goings-on in the world of college football recruiting? Because if you read Eye on Recruiting, you will be.

But we also know that not everyone is a hardcore recruitnik. For those of you who aren't, we're providing a new weekly public service: the biggest headlines and most interesting stories to come out of recruiting this past week as reported at Eye on Recruiting , all collected in one easy post right here. Enjoy:

  • Alabama hasn't wasted any time putting together their next loaded recruiting class, already adding their seventh and eighth commitments for 2012. One of them, highly-regarded Powder Springs (Ga.) running back Kenyan Drake, shows that Nick Saban's efforts in Georgia aren't slowing down anytime soon. Their SEC rivals at Florida are off to a fast start as well , with three commitments in the past week and five total; with Stone Mountain (Ga.) RB Mike Davis and Seffner (Fla.) RB Matt Jones in the fold, the Gators may be done at tailback already.
  • Though they've decided to back off from their usual stragey of locking up half their class by spring break, Texas is nonetheless up to six commitments already after Mansfield (Texas) defensive end Hassan Ridgeway pledged to the 'Horns over multiple other in-state offers.
  • How did the final 2011 recruiting hauls stack up head-to-head, position-by-position, in the Iron Bowl rivalry? Fischer has your answer , with the Crimson Tide having the edge but Auburn having nothing to hang their head about. Also examined are hte more lopsided comparsions between Texas and Texas A&M and USC and UCLA .
  • Among the teams nabbing their first commitments for the class of 2012 are Colorado, with legacy recruit Clay Norgard, and Georgia Tech, with Lakeland (Ga.) linebacker Junior Gnonkonde. Gnonkonde is a native of Cote D'Ivoire who came to the U.S. only three years ago.
  • This weekend's Nike Combine and National UnderClassmen Combine, both in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, allowed some of the best talent from the state of Florida (and elsewhere) to shine; here's the names you need to know from the Nike event, and a full rundown of both events is available here . The headliner was 6'2", 207-pound Clermont (Fla.) linebacker Justin Horton, who currently carries offers from USF and Louisville but will likely see his recruiting heat up in a big way after running a 4.58 40.
One more reminder: if you don't want to wait for these Monday recaps, simply read Eye on Recruiting . You'll be glad you did.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com