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Mid-Afternoon Takes On Signing Day

Just wanted to give you a quick look at who’s closing well and who isn’t across the SEC today. 


GREAT DAY

Auburn – Commitments from Erique Florence, Gabe Wright, Cyrus Kouandjio (if he finally inks) make for a “nation’s best” type of day.  Teams winning national championships usually get a nice signing day boost the year after their title.  The Tigers are capitalizing immediately.  And this where it help to have all those departing starters.

Alabama – The Tide have picked up Brent Calloway and Jeoffrey Pagan on the day and it sounds like they still might have a sliver of a hope with regards to Kouandjio.  Either way, it’ll be another Top 5 recruiting class for the Tide.

Georgia — Mark Richt and company locked up just about all of the homegrown kids they were after.  The only key loss today of any kind was Jeoffrey Pagan who chose Alabama at the last minute over the Dawgs.  The commitment of top running back Isaiah Crowell is a great capper on a signing class that Richt desperately needed.  Coming off a 6-7 campaign, UGA’s coach needed to win back some Dawg fans.  A “Dream Team” class will do that.

Tennessee — The Vols lagged far behind the power squads of the SEC as recently as November.  No more.  Derek Dooley has closed strong for the second season in a row.  UT added Curt Maggitt and Antonio Richardson today.  Things would have been even better had Lane Kiffin not returned to the south and snagged Kentucky-native Lamar Dawson who was believed to be leaning toward the Volunteers.


NOT SO GREAT DAY

Florida — The Gators are going to wind up in the Top 15 in most recruiting rankings and will probably be in the Top 10 in some.  But the Gators have finished #2 in a number of tight battles this season and that’s worth noting because it’s so unusual.  We’re used to seeing Florida win the last-minute recruiting wars for five-star athletes.  Will Muschamp just had too much to overcome in a short period of time.

Mississippi State — The Bulldogs took a real hit over the course of the last month falling all the way out of the Top 40 in Rivals’ rankings.  The departure of Manny Diaz for Texas hurt.  In addition, Ole Miss grabbed five of the 10 best players in the Magnolia State while Dan Mullen could only ink three.  That has to be a bit disappointing as MSU has whipped Ole Miss the last two years running and finished 9-4 with a Gator Bowl victory this past season.

Kentucky — Joker Phillips and staff needed a solid effort today to rebuild some of the goodwill they lost during a 6-7 inaugural campaign.  Didn’t happen.  First, in-state linebacker Lamar Dawson inked with probation-riddled Southern Cal rather than say at home.  And now UK has also lost its highest-rated commitment — tight end Jon Davis — to Illinois.  When you lose in state prospects to Illinois and a school on harsh probation it doesn’t build confidence among the fanbase.

 


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