Tag:SEC
Posted on: January 10, 2012 11:59 am
 

Live Chat: Bryan Fischer talks Recruiting

Join recruiting blogger Bryan Fischer for a live chat at 1 p.m. ET to talk about the Top 25 Recruiting Rankings, which has Alabama at No. 1.

Can Alabama and Nick Saban dominate the college football world for the next few seasons? How are USC and Oregon doing recruiting wise? What should we expect on National Signing Day on Feb. 1? Join us to answer these questions and more.


Posted on: January 10, 2012 11:13 am
 

Georgia lands big committment from top 100 end

Posted by Bryan Fischer

After trailing for nearly all of his recruitment, Hamilton (Ga.) defensive end Jordan Jenkins surprised a lot of folks by staying home and committing to Georgia Monday night.

“Georgia is a better fit for me and my family together because I don’t want to go to some place where my mom is worried about me all the time," Jenkins said on Fox Sports South. I just want to go to a place I can feel comfortable, and I can go to the coach and I can confide in him and stuff like that. And that’s why I chose [Georgia].”

The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder qualifies as the biggest commitment defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has landed, with Jenkins picking Georgia over Alabama, Florida and Auburn.

"[It was] just that the depth chart wasn’t as deep, and my family … they didn’t exactly feel safe with me going to Alabama," he said. "And I love Alabama, I love them to death. My first few years ago, I thought I was going to end up at Alabama. I never would’ve thought I was going to Georgia."

Jenkins becomes commitment 16 for the Bulldogs and is one of their highest rated pledges with Maxpreps ranking him as the 13th best defensive end in the country and 97th overall in the class of 2012.

"Kind of a tweener size-wise but not talent-wise," analyst Tom Lemming said. "A dynamic ball player who is versatile, strong, hard to move off the ball, has proven to be a force against the run, and is an exceptionally affective pass rusher. His first step is explosive and he plays the game as it should be played, all out on every down. He plays best going downhill. A natural defender who could wind up playing DE or OLB in college. "

Posted on: January 9, 2012 12:45 pm
 

Missouri picks up Texas running back Hansbrough

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With Missouri's move to the SEC, many thought the school's productive pipeline from the state of Texas will start to dry up. For 2012 at least, those fears have no founding as the Tigers added the commitment of Arlington (Texas) tailback Russell Hansbrough over the weekend.

"I just gained a lot of trust in the coaches," Hansbrough told PowerMizzou.com. "I built strong relationships, and I wanted to commit before it was too late."

The 5-foot-7, 175-pound all-purpose runner was previously committed to Arizona State but, with the coaching change and a favorable depth chart situation at Missouri, Hansbrough decided to make a change with Signing Day fast approaching.

"They told me if I came in and worked hard, I would see time next year," he said.

Hansbrough becomes the Tigers' 18th class of 2012 commitment. He was ranked as the 12th best tailback in the country by Maxpreps and had 1,238 yards and 19 total touchdowns last season as a senior.

"Russell shows good field vision and he can find the open holes using blazing speed and quickness," analyst Tom Lemming said of Hansbrough. "He plays bigger than his size, runs hard, and shows the ability to finish off his runs. He catches the ball well out of the backfield and once he gets half a step on the defender, it's all over. Speed is the name of his game and he uses it to his great advantage."

Posted on: January 7, 2012 2:42 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 2:43 pm
 

Two-sport star Griffin commits to Texas A&M

By Maxpreps' Stephen Spiewak

Derrick Griffin, a 6-foot-7, 215-poiund two-sport star has committed to Texas A&M.

He confirmed the news to MaxPreps Friday night via text message.

The standout wide receiver and small forward for Terry (Rosenberg, Texas) also told MaxPreps that he plans to pursue both football and basketball when he arrives in College Station.

On the football field, he hauled in 36 passes for 509 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Griffin may be even better on the hardwood. He currently ranks as the No. 27 basketball recruit in the Class of 2013.

His size and blended skill set make him comparable to the No. 1 football recruit in the Class of 2012, Dorial Green-Beckham, who led his team to a state title in basketball as a sophomore.

At one time, Green-Beckham considered pursuing both sports in college but has since decided to focus solely on football.

Griffin's commitment is a great start to the tenure of new Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin.

Posted on: January 7, 2012 1:09 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 3:29 pm
 

Top 100 defensive back Deon Bush commits to Miami

Posted by Bryan Fischer

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Torn between staying home and playing for Miami or heading to the SEC to play for Alabama or Auburn, Miami (Fla.) cornerback Deon Bush couldn't really lose. The top five recruit defensive back finally made the though decision with a public announcement Saturday before the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl to stay home and play at Miami.

"It was a hard decison and all of them were a great schools," Bush said. "But I think I've got to put my city back on the map right now."

The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is another talented athlete out of the area. Bush is ranked by Maxpreps as the fifth-best corner in the country and cracks the top 100 at #65 in the class of 2012.

"Tall, he's a legit 6-footer with very long arms, a smooth backpedal and he can turn and run with the best of them," analyst Tom Lemming said. "Smart, technically sound, very fluid in coverage, can turn his hips, and gets in and out of his breaks quickly. He is excellent in man coverage and does everything effortlessly and athletically. Blessed with long arms, he has great acceleration."

Bush had seven interceptions and 40 tackles his senior year at Columbus High.



Posted on: December 27, 2011 6:28 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 7:06 pm
 

Top quarterback Gunner Kiel commits to LSU

Posted by Bryan Fischer

After decommitting from Indiana and delaying his decision several times, Columbus (Ind.) quarterback Gunner Kiel has finally pulled the trigger and committed to LSU.

"I can't wait to play in the SEC," Kiel told 247Sports. "A lot of people call it the NFL of college football and it will be an exciting time. It would mean a lot to be a starting quarterback in such a great conference at a great school. I really love the players and the coaching staff. They were all great to me on my visit and seemed very welcoming."

Ranked as the top signal-caller in the class of 2012 and number two overall recruit by Maxpreps, Kiel holds scholarship offers from just about every program in the country, including Alabama, Oklahoma, Michigan, USC and others. He surprised plenty of folks by committing to Indiana in late July and new head coach Kevin Wilson but opened things back up in October. He quickly scheduled official visits to each of his finalists, Notre Dame, LSU and Vanderbilt.

"To be honest I'm just reevaluating my decision," Kiel told CBSSports.com at the time. "I just want to go out and see other places and see if IU is the right place."

The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder threw for 2,517 yards and 28 touchdowns this season while also rushing for 11 scores. He led Columbus East to an 11-2 record his senior year and was named Indiana's "Mr. Football" by the Indianapolis Star.

Kiel's brother, Dusty, is a sophomore at Indiana and his uncle, Blair, played at Notre Dame.

The strong-armed and aptly named Gunner will enroll early in Baton Rouge after playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 7th.

The commitment of the top quarterback in the country is another big boost for the Tigers class of 2012, which now sits at 22 commits. LSU took three quarterbacks with last year's class and Kiel figures to battle talented junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger for the starting job upon arriving on campus. Prior to Kiel's pledge, Les Miles' next recruiting class was ranked 9th overall in the MaxPreps team rankings.



Posted on: December 27, 2011 6:28 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 7:06 pm
 

Top quarterback Gunner Kiel commits to LSU

Posted by Bryan Fischer

After decommitting from Indiana and delaying his decision several times, Columbus (Ind.) quarterback Gunner Kiel has finally pulled the trigger and committed to LSU.

"I can't wait to play in the SEC," Kiel told 247Sports. "A lot of people call it the NFL of college football and it will be an exciting time. It would mean a lot to be a starting quarterback in such a great conference at a great school. I really love the players and the coaching staff. They were all great to me on my visit and seemed very welcoming."

Ranked as the top signal-caller in the class of 2012 and number two overall recruit by Maxpreps, Kiel holds scholarship offers from just about every program in the country, including Alabama, Oklahoma, Michigan, USC and others. He surprised plenty of folks by committing to Indiana in late July and new head coach Kevin Wilson but opened things back up in October. He quickly scheduled official visits to each of his finalists, Notre Dame, LSU and Vanderbilt.

"To be honest I'm just reevaluating my decision," Kiel told CBSSports.com at the time. "I just want to go out and see other places and see if IU is the right place."

The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder threw for 2,517 yards and 28 touchdowns this season while also rushing for 11 scores. He led Columbus East to an 11-2 record his senior year and was named Indiana's "Mr. Football" by the Indianapolis Star.

Kiel's brother, Dusty, is a sophomore at Indiana and his uncle, Blair, played at Notre Dame.

The strong-armed and aptly named Gunner will enroll early in Baton Rouge after playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 7th.

The commitment of the top quarterback in the country is another big boost for the Tigers class of 2012, which now sits at 22 commits. LSU took three quarterbacks with last year's class and Kiel figures to battle talented junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger for the starting job upon arriving on campus. Prior to Kiel's pledge, Les Miles' next recruiting class was ranked 9th overall in the MaxPreps team rankings.



Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:29 pm
 

National notes: Movers & shakers in team rankings

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's getting down to crunch time on the recruiting trail, with just over a month until National Signing Day. With most of the Holiday season over with and attention turned to the new year, things are about to pick up even more as the decommits, recommits and surprises start happening.

The Eye on Recruiting has already given you some players ticketed for a rise on offense and defense in the recruiting rankings and now it's time to cast a critical eye on the teams that are looking to move up and a few that could be on their way down.

Team rankings movers

Alabama

Is there a better recruiter than Nick Saban? Currently, it's hard to argue with the man's success on the field and on the recruiting trail. He could be putting together an all-time great class in 2012 and just recently added lineman Alphonse Taylor and highly regarded running back T.J. Yeldon. Though they already have a quarterback in Alec Morris, the Tide are heavily pursuing dual-threat signal-caller Jameis Winston, one of the best players in the state and at his position, and top safety Landon Collins. If they can add Winston and close in on a few other top targets, Saban's team could vault to the top of the team rankings when everybody signs on the dotted line.

Ohio State

In just a short amount of time, Urban Meyer has made his presence felt in Columbus and nationally thanks to his recruiting acumen. The biggest splash has been made along the defensive line, where's he's grabbed commitments from the number three player in the country Noah Spence, tackle Tommy Schutt and end Se'Von Pittman. Though the NCAA handed out a bowl ban to the program, that probably won't deter too many recruits and playing for Meyer will be enough for some of them. They could land top 100 players like offensive tackle Jordan Diamond and athlete Davonte Neal so expect the Buckeyes to close well.

Notre Dame

The Irish and Brian Kelly put together a great group of defensive lineman last year and appear to have a balanced group of quality players at every position this year. California commits Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard seem solid and can make an impact right away after getting aclimated to South Bend. As is usual for Notre Dame, plenty of top recruits like Nelson Agholor, Arik Armstead and Gunner Kiel have the Irish on their short list and could turn a good class into a great one.

USC

The Trojans' great year in 2011 has proven they're one of the few schools who can shake off harsh NCAA sanctions and still play and recruit well. Lane Kiffin has a plan to deal with scholarship reductions and it will be put to the test in 2012 with 2012 being the first class limited to 15 players. USC has already signed a few top players early, such as linebacker Scott Starr and top JUCO safety Gerald Bowman. They have a chance at some top national guys Agholor and Andrus Peat so it's possible for it to be a small but great recruiting class for the Trojans.

California

Like their Pac-12 counterparts, the Bears could come on strong late with some top recruits. They're in good position to land Armstead and most consider five-star safety Shaq Thompson a lock to go to Berkeley. Ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi is a tremendous recruiter and with a great year out West for talent, should do pretty well. Cal's current group of commits, with quarterback Zach Kline and wide receiver Bryce Treggs, is a good start.

Team rankings shakers

Florida State

This is still a very good group of players but there's no doubt that the Seminoles class has taken hit in the past few weeks - thanks in large part to Alabama. Defensive end Chris Casher is a solid building block but future teammate Mario Edwards is looking hard at Oklahoma and Texas. Losing Winston would be a huge blow and there's a slim chance some, like Dante Fowler and Mario Pender, could pull a switch on Signing Day. Jimbo Fisher has done very well with the 2012 class but fans have a reason to be a little nervous at how they'll close.

Florida

A 6-6 season and losing offensive coordinator (and noted recruiter) Charlie Weis to Kansas have caused the Gators to slip a little. It still looks like they'll be a lock for a top 10 class come February with so many top 100 recruits but there's no doubt the uncertainty surrounding the program could come back to bite them. The loss of Weis in particular could hurt with possible pledges like Agholor and put a damper on Will Muschamp's first full recruiting class. Expectations are high with Meyer doing what he's doing in Columbus so a class that isn't filled with five-stars will further the perception that the program is slipping a bit.

Auburn

Will there be a meltdown on the Plains? It seems as though things haven't been going the Tigers' way recently with rival Alabama in the national championship game and stealing top commit in Yeldon. On top of that, defensive coordinator Ted Roof is gone and big time offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn surprisingly moved on to a head coaching job. This is still a very good class but they'll need to hold the current group together as well as snag a few top recruits to help reload an already young team.

Teams sitting pretty

Texas

Mack Brown has pulled in some impressive recruiting classes to Austin but this may be his best yet. The country's top running back and second-ranked wide receiver are headed to the 40 Acres and the depth of the group is one of the reasons why the Longhorns are the top ranked team in the latest Maxpreps rankings. There's no doubt that they should finish among the top three but it still remains to be seen if they can keep the top spot. Texas isn't completely done recruiting and could add a few impact players between now and Signing Day.

Michigan

Brady Hoke put together the bulk of this class before even coaching a game and has occupied the top team spot for most of the year. From top-to-bottom this might be the best class in the country with plenty of players who should come in and make an impact early  The Wolverines have seemingly filled all their holes and are still in the running for a few national recruits that could bolster their ranking so Michigan definitely has a shot at being ranked as the best.

Mora turning heads in Westwood

As soon as Jim Mora was hired in Westwood, the first question would be how well could the longtime NFL coach recruit at the college level? As it turns out, pretty well if early indications are to hold up in the future.

Mora's best recruiting job was the hiring of his assistants, notably ace recruiter Adrian Klemm, secondary coach Demetrice Martin  and former Arizona State offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. The trio, among others, have plenty of West Coast ties and have allowed the staff to hit the ground running despite being hired so late in the game. Keep an eye on this group poaching a few recruits from the Sun Devils once-promising class as well as a few Los Angeles natives.

December has seen the Bruins' class add several good players. Defensive backs Marcus Rios and Ishamel Adams are two players who could play early on defense and landing linebacker Kenny Orjioke out of Atlanta is a solid get for the staff. For the most part, the commitments prior to the new staff have hung in and seem sold on the direction of the program.

Though they're not anywhere close to getting elite talent, the signs out of UCLA are encouraging for a relatively inexperienced staff. The problem in the past has not been about recruiting however, it's been talent development and in that area things are still TBD. Still, given the progress on the recruiting trail, the coaching change has given plenty of Bruin fans something to smile about in a relatively dour year.

Video of week

I'm headed out to the Rising Seniors Bowl in Atlanta this year, which features some of the top juniors (class of 2013) in the state of Georgia. Among the headliners this week is linebacker Reuben Foster, an Alabama commit and easily one of - if not the - top players at his position next year. Here's some of his highlights:

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