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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Under Armour Game Shows SEC’s Recruiting Dominance

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxSEC hats were easy to find during the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Thursday.

Five of the seven prospects who announced their college decisions during the game chose an SEC school.

LSU led the way by landing commitments from safety Jamal Adams from Lewisville, Texas, and running back Leonard Fournette from New Orleans.

The day could have been better for LSU. The Tigers missed out on defensive back Tony Brown (Alabama) from Beaumont, Texas, and receiver Speedy Noil (Texas A&M) and defensive lineman Gerald Willis III (Florida) from Edna Karr High School in New Orleans.

The two prospects who chose non-SEC schools: cornerback Jalen Tabor from Washington, D.C., chose Arizona and receiver Travis Rudolph from West Palm Beach, Fla., picked Florida State.

Fournette was the biggest get for LSU. The nation’s No. 1 prospect according to ESPN chose the Tigers over rival Alabama.

“I chose LSU because I felt home there,” Fournette said. “I have a great relationship with both coaches, coach (Les) Miles and coach Frank (Wilson). The decision was made (Wednesday) when I was talking to my parents late at night about what school I wanted to attend. I was kind of going back and forth, so at the end of the day I prayed on it and I woke up and I felt that LSU was going to be the place for me.”

Expectations will be high when Fournette arrives in Baton Rouge. That’s fine with him. Fournette told ESPN he hopes to win a national championship and the Heisman Trophy as a freshman at LSU.

“I know that’s a lot to say, but I can handle the pressure,” Fournette said.

The SEC will be plenty to handle as the conference continues to bring in more talent. Of the 91 committed prospects playing in the Under Armour All-American game, 42 have chosen SEC schools. The ACC has the second most commitments with 17.

The SEC’s depth of recruiting talent is still growing. The league has nine of the top 15 classes for 2014, according to Rivals. The ACC has three of the top 15. The Big Ten has one.

LSU will continue to be a school to watch on the recruiting trail. The Tigers are targeting several highly-touted prospects, including receiver Malachi Dupre from New Orleans and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson from Gardena, Calif.

LSU has Rivals’ sixth-ranked class in the nation. Still, the Tigers would be in better position if they had landed more prospects on Thursday.

The decisions by Noil and Willis to leave the state surely hurt the Tigers’ recruiting effort.

“It felt like home when I went on my official visit (to Texas A&M),” Noil explained of his decision. “I look forward to taking my talents to A&M.”

Willis’ mother, April Justin, wanted her son’s talent to be on display at LSU. Justin, who voiced her displeasure when son Landon Collins chose Alabama in 2012, made it clear she didn’t agree with Willis’ decision to choose Florida.

“LSU’s still No. 1,” Justin said on ESPN.

Alabama is still No. 1 in recruiting. Brown’s commitment will only help as the Crimson Tide attempts to finish with the top-ranked signing class for the sixth time in seven years.

Roll Tide, roll,” Brown said.

 

White continues to impress

Auburn quarterback commit Sean White took home MVP honors from the Under Armour game.

White, who was an alternate selection to play in the game, completed 10-of-12 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns in helping lead Team Highlight to a 31-21 win. White was motivated to prove he could play with some of the nation’s best players.

“I just came out with a chip on my shoulder. … I’ve always felt like I’m a little bit under-rated and I just really wanted to to prove what I can do and I think I did that,” White said. “It was just a fun week put on by Under Armour.

“It was an amazing experience and really prepared me for the next level. A lot of quarterbacks don’t get this opportunity to play against top-level competition before they get to go to college, so it was great.”

White, who attends University School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is ranked the nation’s No. 8 pro-style quarterback by Rivals.

 

U.S. Army announcements scheduled

There are 11 prospects scheduled to announce their college decisions tomorrow during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

Eight of the prospects are considering SEC schools. Here’s a look at those eight prospects and the school’s they’re considering:

DT Matt Elam – Alabama and Kentucky
WR Frank Iheanacho – Arkansas, LSU, Missouri, Texas A&M and Oregon
CB Marshon Lattimore – Alabama and Ohio State
LB Nyles Morgan – Vanderbilt and Notre Dame
DT Elisha Shaw – Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss and Florida State
DB Erick Smith – Alabama and Ohio State
OL Brian Wallace – Alabama and Arkansas
LB Dwight Williams – Florida, Georgia, LSU, Clemson, Florida State and Oklahoma

 

Cook loss hurts Florida

Running back Dalvin Cook from Miami Central High School gave Florida bad news this week when he switched his commitment from the Gators to Florida State.

Now, Florida will focus on battling Cook on the recruiting trail. He told 247Sports this week he will try to lure wide receiver Ermon Lane of Homestead (Fla.) High School to Florida State. Lane has been committed to Florida since August.

“I’m going to recruit Ermon Lane like no other,” Cook said. “I’m going to be his recruiter.”

It will be critical for Florida to hang on to Lane, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 2 wide receiver by 247Sports. The Gators missed on Rudolph, who would have had an opportunity to help Florida right away.

The Gators have three receivers committed in the 2014 class. They’re also pursuing junior college receiver Eric Lauderdale, who visited Florida in November. He has trips planned to Arizona State and Oregon later this month.

Florida has 19 commitments in the 2014 class, which is ranked No. 10 nationally by Rivals. That’s sixth best in the SEC.

 


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