Posted on: February 3, 2012 10:05 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Signing Day and its aftermath appear to be over so it's time to recap everything that happened with the latest and greatest.
Great look at what went on behind the scenes in the recruitment of Dorial Green-Beckham. Emptying the Missouri Signing Day notebook.
Georgia's record-breaking recruiting rankings streak appears to be over.
Bobby Petrino and the Arkansas staff talked about their recruiting class.
Florida struck out on Signing Day with some uncommitted prospects.
Great story about Vanderbilt's recruiting class with a behind the scenes look.
Negative recruiting was a hurdle for Miami leading up to Signing Day but if Al Golden can keep it up, watch out for the Canes.
It was smooth sailing for Oregon despite the Chip Kelly uncertainty.
Here's everything new Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze had to say about his recruiting class.
Some recruiting wins notwithstanding, Derek Dooley needs to win at Tennessee now.
Darius Philon was more committed to Alabama than the school was to him.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 8:48 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Breaking down who won and who lost in the SEC on National Signing Day:
Mike Slive. Anyone who doubted Missouri's conference cred had to fall silent for at least a day as the Tigers introduced the nation's No. 1 recruit into the SEC East. The rest of the Tigers' class may not be as deep as many of their new league rivals', but when said class also includes a star as overpoweringly bright as Dorial Green-Beckham, it's hard to see any flaws.
Alabama. Yawn--just another No. 1-ranked class of 25-plus blue-chips for Nick Saban's perpetual recruiting motion machine, with the surprise signing of highly regarded Virginia defensive tackle Korren Kirven the icing on a cake the Crimson Tide had baked long before Wednesday. By his own admission, Saban said they "didn't have any surprises," for worse or -- this being Alabama -- better. Once Kirven had declared and top safety Landon Collins had finally gotten his mother on board, the drama in Tuscaloosa was over.
In fact, after a big Junior Day haul, Saban and Co. are already off and sprinting for 2013. Come next February, it's likely there won't be any surprises then either. It may not be exciting for anyone hoping for stunning announcements, big rankings swings, and overheated speculation -- the Tide may have used it all up in last year's Cyrus Kouandjio saga -- but it's the same lethally efficient formula that's netted Saban two national championships in three seasons. Nothing much changed for Alabama on Signing Day, but unfortunately for the rest of college football, that means nothing much has changed when it comes to the difficulty of knocking the Tide off their perch, either.
James Franklin. When Franklin's blazingly hot start last summer netted him a commitment from All-American running back Brian Kimbrow, the nation's no. 52 player, the response from many observers around the SEC was "That's impressive. It'll be even more impressive if he actually signs."
Not every one of those early Vanderbilt commitments made it across the finish line. But Kimbrow did, along with 20 other quality players that had the 'Dores in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25 a week beforehand. Vandy couldn't quite hang on to that lofty ranking, but even having the SEC's eternal doormat in a "top 25" conversation is an achievement for Franklin arguably on par with Saban's in Tuscaloosa.
Steve Spurrier's nerves. South Carolina isn't traditionally the first team you'd think of when looking for a comparison to Alabama when it comes to recruiting success. But the Gamecocks might be this year, thanks in part to joining the Tide in the team rankings top 10 (believe it or not, Carolina quietly finished third in the SEC). But like Alabama, the Gamecocks also enjoyed a pleasantly uneventful Signing Day, with 19 of the 25 Gamecocks who signed today having already committed before the 2011 season started.
“It’s been a peaceful Signing Day today, which was kind of nice,” recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. said. And when you peacefully land players like Shaq Roland and Jordan Diggs, doubly so.
Mark Richt's nerves. On the other side of the spectrum from Alabama and South Carolina, there was Georgia's National Signing Day. The day started with the disappointment of missing out on receivers Cordarelle Patterson (Tennessee) and JaQuay Williams (Auburn) (leaving the Bulldogs with just one wideout in the class), then picked up with a commitment from Maxpreps top 100 linebacker/safety Josh Harvey-Clemons. But that a.m. joy dissolved into p.m. worry as Harvey-Clemons grandfather and legal guardian reportedly refused to sign Harvey-Clemons' letter of intent. Adding insult to injury, Richt's premature public comments on Harvey-Clemons may have even constituted a minor NCAA violation.
With or without Harvey-Clemons, the Bulldogs are still going to boast a star-studded class with nearly as many top 100 recruits (five, or six) as any team in the country. But the potential of losing Harvey-Clemons to hated Florida with the Gators already sitting some 15 spots ahead in the team rankings is likely to cause a restless evening (or evenings) in Athens all the same.
LSU's in-state clout. There's about 105 FBS teams or so that would gladly trade classes with LSU's, especially after the addition of out-of-state gems like Oxford (Ala.) linebacker Kwon Alexander. But in a somewhat down year for talent in the Pelican State, the Tigers had to lock down the borders to put together a truly elite class, and that didn't happen--not only did Collins and highly-regarded linebacker Denzel Devall stick with their Alabama commitments, Texas shocked Les Miles by snatching away the Tigers' blue-chip linebacker Torshiro Davis. (Davis rubbed salt in Miles's wound by saying LSU's players "don't seem that happy.")
Those were the top three players in the state by many accounts, and LSU didn't land any of them. It's not the end of the world, but for a program built on an annual harvest of blue-chippers from the bayou, it's a worrying sign all the same.
Arkansas. As usual under Bobby Petrino, the Razorbacks signed a respectable-but-not-spectacular class that Petrino will no doubt turn into something far more than the sum of its parts once it comes together in Fayetteville. But to come as close as they reportedly did to signing the player that would have helped cement their status as a national power and come up short has to sting.
SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN
Auburn. On the good side: wide receivers JaQuay Williams and Ricardo Louis each stuck with their original commitments to the Tigers, offensive lineman Will Adams flipped from Georgia Tech, and top tackle Avery Young gave Auburn a top-100 cornerstone at Georgia and Florida's expense. On the not so good side: Eddie Goldman, Ronald Darby, Leonard Williams, Alexander and Jordan Moore all had Auburn as one of their finalists and all went in a different direction. Gene Chizik's boom-or-bust Signing Day somehow managed to neither quite boom nor bust.
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Avery Johnson, Avery Young, Bobby Petrino, Brian Kimbrow, Caleb Azubike, Cordarelle Patterson, Cyrus Kouandjio, Denzel Devall, Derek Dooley, Dorial Green-Beckham, Eddie Goldman, Evan Boehm, Florida, Gene Chizik, Geno Smith, Georgia, Georgia Tech, James Franklin, JaQuay Williams, Jeremy Ward, Jerry Hinnen, John Theus, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Diggs, Jordan Jenkins, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Jovon Robinson, Keith Marshall, Kwon Alexander, Landon Collins, Leonard Williams, Les Miles, LSU, Mark Richt, Maty Mauk, Mike Davis, Mike Slive, Missouri, National Signing Day, National Signing Day Winners and Losers, Nick Saban, Otha Peters, Pat Robinette, Ricardo Louis, Ronald Darby, Shaq Roland, South Carolina, Steve Spurrier, Steve Spurrier Jr., T.J. Davis, T.J. Yeldon, Texas, Torshiro Davis, Trey Granier, Vadal Alexander, Vanderbilt, Will Adams, Will Muschamp, Zeke Pike
Posted on: January 31, 2012 5:22 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Help is on the way for Arkansas's occasionally porous defense, though it's coming at the expense of suddenly backsliding Tennessee.
Already stung by Texas linebacker Dalton Santos switching his commitment from the Vols' "UT" to the Longhorn version this past weekend, Derek Dooley's class took another blow Tuesday when Covington (La.) linebacker Otha Peters committed to Bobby Petrino's Razorbacks following an official visit to Fayetteville. Peters was also visited last week in Covington by Petrino and new defensive coordinator Paul Haynes.
In addition to the Razorbacks and Volunteers, Peters also claimed offers from Texas A&M, Ole Miss, TCU and Nebraska.
Peters' high school coach Malter Scobel told the Times Picayune that Peters had concerns about Dooley's job stability after the Vols' lackluster 2011 season.
“Otha had some valid reasons to make his change,” Scobel said. “It wasn’t anything silly. Tennessee’s up against a different challenge than they are in Arkansas. Otha was very straightforward with Tennessee about the decision, and I think they still would like to have him.”
We don't doubt it--the 6'1", 220-pound Peters was named 5A All-State even in talent-rich Louisiana, having recorded north of 14 tackles per game.
The Vols and Hogs are two of five SEC teams clustered between 20 and 25 in the current edition of the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25, with Tennessee four spots ahead of Arkansas. But the way both teams are trending, that may not be the case for long.
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:58 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
- Great job by Andy Staples to track down all the decommitments and recommitments in recruiting.
Richie Brown doesn't know where he will commit to but it's down to Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Tennessee.
Defensive back Colin Blake decommitted from Texas A&M.
- Great, must-read profile of five-star athlete Nelson Agholor.
Arizona is hosting Trey Griffey and several other top recruits this weekend.
Bobby Petrino and staff checked in on one of the top 2013 recruits, Altee Tenpenny.
What's Adrian Klemm's recruiting pitch at UCLA? Find out here.
Bill O'Brien talked a little about Penn State recruiting.
Cornerback Brandon Beaver didn't make it to Oklahoma.
Georgia Tech picked up a commitment from Australian defensive tackle Adam Gotsis.
Athlete Chris Moody will head to Vanderbilt to play a multitude of positions.
Another athlete, Justin Hardee, has committed to Illinois while the program lost safety Zach Jackson to TCU.
Defensive end John Youngblood is the third player from Alabama to head to UCF.
Nebraska added all-around athlete LeRoy Alexander as their 12th commitment.
Running back Jeremy Hill finally heads to Baton Rouge after numerous issues.
Former UCLA commit Psalm Wooching flipped to Washington.
Tags: Adam Gotsis, Adrian Klemm, Altee Tenpenny, Andy Staples, Arizona, Bill O'Brien, Bobby Petrino, Brandon Beaver, Chris Moody, Colin Blake, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Jeremy Hill, John Youngblood, Justin Hardee, LeRoy Alexander, LSU, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Nelson Agholor, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Psalm Wooching, Richie Brown, Southern Miss, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Trey Griffey, UCF, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Washington, Zach Jackson
Posted on: December 21, 2011 7:10 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Even before the addition of Texas A&M to the SEC, Arkansas has always recruited the Lone Star State well and that has picked up under Bobby Petrino. The coaching staff added another Texan on Wednesday as Manvel (Texas) defensive end Taiwan Johnson surprisingly committed to the Razorbacks.
“I love the community there and the coaching staff was great,” Johnson told 247sports. “The Arkansas Razorbacks are doing some big-time things. It's a chance for me to play in the SEC.”
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Johnson held scholarship offers from Oklahoma State, Missouri, SMU and others but many expected him to pledge to Nebraska. He took visits to both Lincoln and Fayetteville but felt the Hogs provided the best opportunity and was the right distance from home.
“I have made up my mind so there was no point in dragging it out,” Johnson said. “This way, I can focus on Arkansas and come in and make an impact.”
Johnson becomes the 22nd commitment for the Razorbacks' class of 2012.
"Taiwan shows quick feet, long legs, does a good job of playing off blockers, and has really improved his quickness over the past year," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He turned into one of the better pass rushers in the district in 2010 and should fill out to 270 pounds in a couple of years. He does a good job of fighting double-teams, staying on his feet, and finding the ball. He also shows very good lateral quickness and does a good job of hitting moving targets."
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:08 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Excellent story about seeing Notre Dame through the eyes of a Chicago recruit this week.
West Virginia is hosting plenty of official visiotrs this weekend, including several from the state of Florida.
Likewise, Michigan State has plenty of top prospects coming into town for visits.
College coaches have changed how they recruit at state championship games such as ones in Georgia.
Bobby Petrino is having to recruit and search for a pair of coordinators at the same time.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke is making moves on the recruiting trail, as is the man who held his job, Rich Rodriguez.
There will be more players from Texas than any other when Army-Navy take to the field on CBS, which makes the state a big target for recruiting.
More on recent Iowa commitment Faith Ekakitie.
Penn State's Tom Bradley is still recruiting as he prepares the program for a bowl game and the future.
Oregon State added No. 21 in running back Chris Brown.
Washington picked up a commitment from defensive end Cory Littleton.
Louisville landed two players, defensive tackle DeQuan Ivery from Florida and JUCO tight end Ryan Hubbell.
Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:56 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 12:56 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
A few days after decommitting from Missouri, Allen (Texas) running back Jonathan Williams committed to Arkansas last Friday - flipping from a future SEC school to a current one.
"[Visiting] was something I wanted to do and something I felt like I needed to do to see if I'm making the right decision for college," Williams told HawgSports.com. "I've never seen fans like Arkansas fans before; everybody in the whole state goes up there for Arkansas. I got to walk around campus and see the dorms and stuff. I got to see different frat houses that people go to so it was a good experience."
The 6-foot, 195-pounder is ranked as the sixth best tailback in the country by Maxpreps and second best in the state of Texas. He held a double-digit number of offers but settled on the Hogs thanks in large part to a coaching staff that didn't stop recruiting him despite an early commitment to the Tigers.
"Coach Tim Horton is a good guy and I got to meet Coach [Bobby] Petrino, so I really liked the coaching staff as well," he said. "Their offense, I like it because it's a pro-style offense and it gets you ready for the NFL. They run the ball and pass the ball so you know it's going to be a balanced offense and that's what stands out to me."
Williams has been limited by various injuries his senior season but is expected to be a key component in the Eagles playoff run as a nationally ranked high school team. His commitment is Arkansas' 20th for the class of 2012 and the second at the running back position.
Posted on: September 2, 2011 7:56 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 7:59 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Stop if you've heard this before, but it appears that Texas A&M is departing the Big 12 for the SEC. While the move appears all but done to some, to Aggies' head coach Mike Sherman, things around the program could be the furthest thing from his mind. The talk in the media during the week might be all about conference realignment but his team it has been purposefully avoided.
“We’re a very matter-of-fact, work-every-day type of team,” Sherman said. “We don’t think too far ahead – we’re not that smart.”
While Sherman and his team may be focused on their opener against SMU this weekend, other coaches have weighed in on the move and, in particular, the possible affect on recruiting if the Aggies move East. Florida head coach Will Muschamp knows the back roads around the state from his years at Texas but said that his strategy wouldn't change much even if the move occurs.
"If that happens, so be it. I've been really focused on our game," Muschamp said earlier this week. "We're going to recruit the best players in the country. If some of those are in Texas, so be it. It's a great state for high school football. The coaches are outstanding in the state of Texas. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
Other SEC coaches, many of whom were only minimally aware of recent developments about the move, had no problem commenting on what - if any - affect the move would have on their programs.
"We're always going to recruit the state of Texas," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "We've had good success there in the last three years and we're going to work hard to recruit the best players in the country. I don't really have a lot of thoughts on Texas A&M because it'd be very premature for me to discuss anything about that."
"It's not going to hurt us," Mississippi State's Dan Mullen added. "Texas has not been a huge recruiting area for us. We do recruit a little over there so I'm sure it's not going to hurt us extending the footprint into the Houston area and, really, the whole state."
"I can understand why everybody wants to come to out conference," Ole Miss' Houston Nutt said. "The stadiums are full, you're on TV every game and it's just a competitive, competitive conference. The best in America."
If there is one program who might be looking at a bounce, it's Tennessee thanks to the ties of head coach Derek Dooley.
"I've recruited Texas my whole career," Dooley said. "Coaching at SMU and LSU and Louisiana Tech, I've recruited just about every part of Texas for a long time. We have two commitments right now from that state. There's a lot of talent down there but there's a lot of good teams recruiting them too."