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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Auburn’s Improvement Helps Recruiting

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxAuburn’s on-field success this season is already helping the Tigers on the recruiting trail.

Auburn has a 10-1 record following last week’s win over Georgia. That’s quite a jump for a team that won only three games last season, none in the SEC.

It shows what kind of impact coach Gus Malzahn was able to make just by returning to Auburn. And recruits have taken notice.

The Tigers received a commitment this week from cornerback Stephen Roberts from Opelika (Ala.) High School. Roberts, who previously committed to Alabama, wouldn’t have switched to Auburn if not for the Tigers’ improvement this season.

“I just had to wait and see how Auburn was going to do,” Roberts told AuburnUndercover.com. “They did pretty good, so that was what kind of made me change. They never gave up. They kept fighting like in the Georgia game; they could’ve lost that game. It shows the heart they have.”

Auburn showed defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey plenty during his visit last weekend. The Pearl River Community College standout switched his commitment from Miami to Auburn after his trip.

“They impressed me a lot — every part of them,” Stuckey told Auburn Undercover. “There wasn’t a part about Auburn I didn’t like. They’ve got cool coaches. They’re pretty straight forward with you and that’s what I like.”

Other prospects have taken notice. Linebacker Rashaan Evans from Auburn (Ala.) High School attended the Georgia game and admitted he got caught up in the excitement while he was with several Auburn commitments.

“Going to that game and having so much fun, the thought crossed my mind about committing,” he told AuburnSports.com. “It’s hard not to get wrapped up in it.”

It’s hard to not notice the immediate success Auburn is having under Malzahn. The Tigers’ 2014 class is ranked No. 12 in the nation with the additions of Roberts and Stuckey.

Auburn continues to recruit several highly-touted prospects, including Evans, wide receiver Travis Rudolph, defensive end Andrew Williams and junior college offensive lineman Jordan Prestwood.

Auburn hopes to continue its momentum on the recruiting trail. It shouldn’t be hard – prospects have caught on to what’s happening on the Plains.

“They’re doing an amazing job,” Evans said. “Coach Malzahn has changed the whole program around. In one year, everything’s changed.

“All the players are on board and they are getting their edge back. They have a chance. If they beat Alabama, they’re a contender for the BCS title. It’s crazy how they did it so fast. I was never expecting it.”

 

Ole Miss preparing for large group of visitors

Ole Miss will play an important game on Saturday when it hosts Missouri.

It will also be a key weekend for Ole Miss because of the large group of prospects that will be visiting the campus.

Junior college linemen Avery Gennesy, D.J. Pettway and Jarran Reed are all expected to visit Oxford this weekend, as are athletes athletes D.K. Buford and Jeremy Liggins, wide receiver Markell Pack and cornerback Tee Shepard. Linebacker Nyles Morgan from Crete, Ill., is also considering taking a trip to Oxford this weekend.

Ole Miss will be focused on another prospect this weekend who won’t even be on campus. Cornerback commitment C.J. Hampton from Meridian (Miss.) High School will be on an official visit to Alabama.

“I’m still committed to Ole Miss,” he told 247Sports this week. “I’m just checking out my options.”

Florida State is another option for Hampton, who visited Tallahassee last weekend. And Alabama will be more likely to make a hard run at Hampton following Roberts’ decision to switch his commitment from the Crimson Tide to Auburn earlier this week.

Still, Ole Miss is in the most favorable position with Hampton, who plans to attend the Ole Miss-Mississippi State game next week. David Johnson of Rebels247 wrote this week he believes Ole Miss is still the favorite to land Hampton.

“There is no doubt that Alabama is in the picture, but unless something changes, I believe Hampton sticks it out with his commitment to Ole Miss,” Johnson wrote.

 

Josh Malone signs with…

The answer is several schools.

Word started to travel last week that the highly-touted wide receiver from Camp Station High School in Gallatin, Tenn., had signed a financial-aid agreement with Tennessee. Malone has since signed the same agreement with Georgia, Clemson and Florida State, according to Rivals.com.

Malone, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 3 wide receiver by Rivals, will take his final official visit to Clemson this weekend. He’s scheduled to announce his decision on Dec. 4 before he enrolls in college in January.

Malone’s reason for signing with four different schools is the same reason several other mid-term prospects have gone ahead and signed. It allows schools to have unlimited contact with him until he enrolls in school or signs a national letter of intent. It also secures a scholarship for Malone, although he wouldn’t be in danger of losing an offer from any of the schools he’s considering.

Malone has been considered a “lean” toward Tennessee, according to 247Sports. Georgia and Florida State have both made favorable impressions during the recruiting process and Clemson hopes to do the same this weekend. There could be a long way to go in Malone’s recruitment over the next two weeks.

 

Springs to visit LSU

Defensive back Arrion Springs from Roosevelt High School in San Antonio, Texas, will visit LSU this weekend.

“After that visit, that should be it,” Springs told 247Sports.

Springs, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 3 cornerback by 247Sports, is committed to Oregon but visited Oklahoma last weekend. He maintained after the trip he is “100-percent committed” to Oregon.

LSU hopes to change that this weekend, although it won’t be easy. The Tigers could use a talented defensive back like Springs, who would fit in nicely with safety commitments John Battle, Edward Paris and Devin Voorhies.

LSU will try to sell Springs on the idea of playing with other elite defensive players in the 2014 class. The Tigers will make that pitch while hosting highly-touted linebacker Clifton Garrett, who has previously called LSU his leader but recently said the Tigers are even with Florida, Georgia and Ole Miss.

“After I take this last one to LSU this will basically be icing on the cake for me,” Garrett told Rivals. “It’s going into figuring where I see myself fitting into which program.”

LSU has 15 commitments for the 2014 class.

 

Sharpe delays announcement

Offensive lineman David Sharpe from Providence School of Jacksonville, Fla., had planned to announce his decision on Thursday.

That announcement has been put on hold.

 

Sharpe is considering Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida State. He has mentioned multiple times in the last few weeks that he’s ready to end the recruiting process.

Sharpe tweeted Wednesday that he is “crazy stressed” over recruiting. Recent poll results at 247Sports give Florida an “82 percent” chance of landing Sharpe, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 2 offensive tackle by the site.

 


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