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SEC Recruiting Headlines – Afternoon Edition

1. Auburn commit Ricky Parks hasn’t played tight end in a while but he will in college.

2. Auburn has several players to keep an eye on between now and National Signing Day.

3. Arkansas is gearing up for the final stretch run before signing day.

4. Former Georgia commit Chester Brown was reportedly headed to Central Florida, but that decision might not be for sure.

5. Here’s a nice feature on South Carolina wide receiver commit Shaq Roland.

6. Kicker Tony Pappanastos is headed to Ole Miss. My apologies to the Rebels’ play-by-play man.

7. Alabama’s success in 2012 has created momentum for the Crimson Tide’s 2013 class.

8. Quarterback commit Alec Morris could be a sleeper for Alabama’s 2012 class.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 1/30/12

1. Four of the dozen best recruiting hires this year took place in the SEC, according to 247Sports.

2. Here’s an updated list of the SEC rankings, including Missouri and Texas A&M.

3. Former Georgia offensive line Chester Brown will sign with Central Florida.

4. Here are 10 potential big finishers as we approach National Signing Day.

5. Brandon Marcello of the Clarion-Ledger has a few items on Mississippi State recruiting.

6. Defensive lineman Arik Armstead will attend Oregon. Auburn was in the running.

7. Georgia Tech offensive line commit Will Adams could still sign with Auburn.

8. Don’t expect to hear much from defensive back Chris Moody until he decides between South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

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Lineman Brown Won’t Sign With Georgia

Offensive lineman Chester Brown from Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Ga., has decommitted from Georgia.

Brown has chosen not to disclose why he’s decommitting, only citing “personal reasons” for the decision. He insists the decision was “100 percent” his and not a negative toward Georgia.

“Everyone knows that I still have love for the Georgia family, especially for the Georgia coaches and everything,” Brown told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The decision I made, it hurt a lot to make that decision. It hurt me personally. Georgia was a place I told everyone was my home, and I felt like I could play there. But this was a decision that I came upon and it was a family issue.”

Brown told the AJC his recruiting will now be focused on Central Florida, Syracuse and Tulane. But those schools would be wise to notice Brown hopes to one day return to Georgia.

“I promised UGA that if everything works out like I am hoping and praying, that after a year at whatever college I go to, hopefully I will be able to transfer,” Brown told “I’m not really sure about that plan, but if everything works out I can do that. I still have love for the Bulldog Nation.”

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Malzahn Leaves Auburn For Arkansas State

After turning down Vanderbilt last year and being named in connection with Maryland, North Carolina, Kansas, Southern Miss and Ole Miss since, Gus Malzahn has agreed to become the next head coach at Arkansas State.

Read that again.  Arkansas State.

Now mull this one over: Malzahn will reportedly make about $850,000 a year at ASU… as opposed to the $1.3 million he makes each year at Auburn.

Four things may be at play here:


1.  Malzahn — a Fort Smith native — wants to get back to his Arkansas roots.

2.  Malzahn truly believes ASU gives him the best chance to win and further his career.

3.  Malzahn realizes that his stock has fallen since Cam Newton departed and he’d better get while the getting is good.

4.  Malzahn just wanted the heck out of Auburn for some reason.


Whatever his reasons for leaving, Malzahn is now the second coordinator Gene Chizik must replace on his staff.  Defensive coordinator Ted Roof saw the writing on the wall and left for Central Florida last week.

This latest move seems to be a fitting end to a year that left so many fans on The Plains disappointed.  Their Tigers went 7-5, were blown out in the Iron Bowl, and now go into the Chick-fil-A Bowl without their best player (Mike Dyer), their defensive coordinator, and possibly their offensive coordinator (if Malzahn jumps to ASU ASAP as expected).

Of course, we tried to warn folks back in August that AU would struggle with so many young, inexperienced players taking over so many key positions.  Remember when Tiger fans were so angry over “disrespect” from preseason pollsters who only had Auburn ranked around #15?

In our view, 2011 shouldn’t have been disappointing, it should have been expected.

At any rate, here’s what’s being said about Malzahn’s move:


Gus Malzahn leaving Auburn

Malzahn leaves Auburn

Auburn’s Malzahn moving on

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SEC Headlines 12/7/2011 Afternoon Edition

1. Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is reportedly closing in on the head coaching job at Memphis.

2. Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof is reportedly headed to the same job at Central Florida.

3. Auburn returns to the practice field Monday.

4. One A.P. voter will have LSU No. 1 on his ballot – almost regardless of the outcome against Alabama.

5. Stewart Mandel on the “Plus-One” plan: “If you’re the commissioner of another conference who places any priority whatsoever on giving your member schools an opportunity to compete for championships, you have no choice at this point but to support expanding to four. ”

Extras - 

6. SMU’s June Jones will be the next head coach at Arizona State. Or maybe not..



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Vols Land First 2012 Basketball Commit

Tennessee has received a commitment from wing prospect Derek Reese of Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla.

Reese, who chose UT over offers from Central Florida, North Florida and Jacksonville, will take an official visit to UT this weekend.

“I am excited to see a Tennessee football game for the first time,” Reese told “I have never been to a college football game at all, so that should be a great experience.”

Reese believes his experience at different positions has made him a valuable prospect. His offer came from UT after an impressive AAU circuit in July.

“My versatility is the biggest thing – just being 6-8 and being able to handle the ball and shoot the ball,” Reese said. “That is what they are looking for, and I think they can push me and get me better for the next level. I am going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.”

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Richt And Grantham Don’t See Eye To Eye On Effort Issues

In the minds of some Georgia fans, Mark Richt is only admitting the obvious.  Possibly.  But it’s not often you hear a coach make statements such as this:

“When you watch the film and you see another team played harder than we did, that’s sad, that’s my fault.  We had some games like that in my opinion.  I can name one for sure and that’s the bowl game.  It was most evident that game, maybe that’s the one in my craw and is the one I’m talking about most.”

Richt was referring to the Bulldogs’ 10-6 loss to Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl.  Oddly, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham — rather than taking a “none of us played well” attitude — disagreed strongly with his boss when asked about the effort of his defensive squad:

“Not on defense.  It ain’t happened on defense.  When you look at the Central Florida game, I thought the guys on defense were busting their tail.  Now, we didn’t finish the game the way that we wanted to, but to say that those guys outworked us, that ain’t right.  That didn’t happen.”

First, that comes across as a bit of insubordination on Grantham’s part.  Second, he certainly didn’t defend Mike Bobo’s offensive unit, did he?

Who knows how the question was posed to Grantham?  But it’s highly unusual to see a coordinator disagree with his head coach so strongly and so publicly.  Why it’s even more unusual than a head coach admitting that his team got “out-efforted” on the playing field.

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Kentucky Adds Two Defensive Lineman To 2012 Class

Kentucky has received a commitment from defensive end Langston Newton from Carmel (Ind.) High School.

Langston, the younger brother of Wildcats starting quarterback Morgan Newton, chose Kentucky over offers from Purdue, Bowling Green, Marshall, Miami of Ohio, Arkansas State and Western Kentucky.

Newton tweeted the following Thursday night: “I’m headed to the University of Kentucky #gocats.”

Morgan’s presence on Kentucky’s campus appeared to be a factor for Langston Newton. But it wasn’t everything he considered.

“They are a pretty close-knit family so that might seem like the perfect scenario,” Carmel coach Kevin Wright told the Indianapolis Star. “But I know Langston is his own person and he had an offer from Ohio State in track and field. It was interesting to see how it went back and forth through the summer on what he wanted to do.”

Kentucky also received a commitment from defensive end Tyrone Pearson from Seneca High School in Louisville, Ky.

Pearson, who was previously committed to Louisville, also tried to give a pledge to Central Florida. That commitment wasn’t accepted by Central Florida because he hadn’t visited the campus, according to

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Kevin Ware Is Headed To Louisville

Basketball prospect Kevin Ware has decided to play at Louisville.

The one-time Tennessee signee and Central Florida commit chose Louisville over Georgia. Ware, who attends Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., decided to commit to Louisville during an official visit on Monday.

“It has been a long journey, with a few twists and turns, and now it’s all done,” Ware’s stepfather, Wesley Junior, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Louisville is accepting Ware’s commitment despite questions surrounding his recruitment. Ware’s name came up last month in reports by ESPN and the New York Times regarding an NCAA investigation into the recruitment at Central Florida.

Ware’s name was linked to Ken Caldwell, who is associated with ASM Sports Agency and has been accused of pushing athletes to Central Florida.

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Kevin Ware Decommits From Central Florida

The recruiting saga of basketball prospect Kevin Ware has become more complex.

The former Tennessee signee from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last night that he’s no longer committed to Central Florida.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on right now, personal stuff that I don’t really want to speak about right now,” Ware said. “I spoke with my family about everything, and I decided it was time to back off on UCF.”

Ware, who was granted his release from UT following the firing of Bruce Pearl, insisted his decision has nothing to do with academics. He said he isn’t favoring any particular school.

“I’m interested in any college that’s interested in me,” Ware told the AJC.

That could include Georgia and Louisville, two schools that showed interest in Ware before he committed to UCF. Could UT enter the picture again?

“Tennessee hasn’t been in contact,” Ware said. “They’ve got other guards coming in.”

That’s true. UT coach Cuonzo Martin signed guards Wes Washpun and Josh Richardson after the Vols granted a release to Ware.

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