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Pearl Lands First Commitment At Auburn

Power forward Cinmeon Bowers from Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., became the first prospect to commit to coach Bruce Pearl at Auburn on Saturday.

Bowers signed with Florida State in November but was released from his national letter of intent in January after he was arrested for allegedly eating marijuana in order to conceal it from police officers during a traffic stop. Charges were later dropped.

Bowers told AuburnSports.com he wasn’t guilty of any wrongdoing during the alleged incident.

“About that incident, I was proven innocent,” he said. “I was falsely accused. People might think badly of me, but I don’t smoke. I was around the wrong people. People think I’m a bad guy – I’m a good guy.”

Bowers, who plans to sign with Auburn on Wednesday, believes he will be able to help the Tigers immediately.

“I looked at the depth chart and they need a four man,” Bowers told Auburn Sports. “I love the offense, they let the four man go and everybody shares the ball. It would be a great fit.”

Auburn signed two prospects – forwards Sam Logwood and Jack Purchase – during the fall signing period.

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DE Carter Stays Close To Home, Picks Georgia

PLAYER UPDATEThe fourth best player in the state of Georgia will stay home and wear the silver britches.  Lorenzo Carter — a 4-star defensive end from Norcross — was also considering Florida, LSU, Florida State and Notre Dame.

Carter’s LOI should lock the Dawgs onto most recruiting services’ top 10 lists.

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Updated Recruiting Rankings From 3 Different Sources

As faxes continue to fly and ball caps continue to be placed on prospects’ heads, the folks who make their living grading recruits continue to shuffle their national rankings.

Below are the most recent rankings from Rivals, Scout and 247sports…

 

  Rank   Rivals   Scout   247
  1   Alabama   Alabama   Alabama
  2   LSU   Florida State   LSU
  3   Ohio State   LSU   Ohio State
  4   Florida State   Tennessee   Florida State
  5   Tennessee   Ohio State   Texas A&M
  6   Texas A&M   Notre Dame   Tennessee
  7   Florida   Texas A&M   Auburn
  8   Georgia   Auburn   Florida
  9   Notre Dame   Florida   Georgia
  10   Auburn   Miami (FL)   Notre Dame

 

Outside the top 10, Rivals ranks Kentucky #14, Ole Miss #20 and South Carolina #25.  Scout lists Georgia #15, Ole Miss #17 and Kentucky #20.  Finally, 247sports ranks Ole Miss #14, Kentucky #21 and South Carolina #24.

 

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Rivals.com Updates Its Recruiting Rankings

rankingsThe folks at Rivals.com continue to update their recruiting rankings.  Their latest top 10 is as follows:

 

1.  Alabama

2.  Ohio State

3.  Tennessee

4.  Texas A&M

5.  LSU

6.  Florida State

7.  Florida

8.  Georgia

9.  Notre Dame

10.  Auburn

 

That’s seven SEC schools in the top 10.  Two other league members — Kentucky (#14) and Ole Miss (#16) — are currently in Rivals’ top 20.

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Florida Scores Big By Flipping QB Harris From Rival FSU

PLAYER UPDATEFlorida State might have beaten Florida on the field last year.  Florida State might have won the BCS title as well.  But Florida has won at least one in-state battle with the Seminoles today.

Dual-threat quarterback prospect Treon Harris — who’d been a Florida State commitment — changed his mind today and will instead sign with Will Muschamp and new Gator offensive coordinator Kurt Roper.  Without question it’s a nice swipe by Florida’s staff, though the idea of sitting behind Jameis Winston in Tallahassee likely played into Harris’ decision, too.

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SEC Headlines 2/1/2014

headlines-saturdaySEC Football

1. Quarterback Jacob Coker on his decision to transfer from Florida State to Alabama: “I didn’t really consider any other schools.”

2. Auburn A.D. Jay Jacobs knew former coach Gene Chizik’s fate was sealed during a blowout loss to Texas A&M in 2012: “I knew then there was no return there.”

3. Jordan-Hare Stadium and  Amazing Spiderman 2?

4. The full board of trustees at Kentucky give approval to a project to build new privately funded $45 million football training facility.

5. Two former Georgia Bulldogs with NFL experience want to join Mark Richt’s program.

6. “Georgia’s defensive staff, outside of Wilson, wasn’t exactly made up of world beaters on the recruiting trail.”

7. Arkansas confirms departure of wide receiver Melvinson Hartfield. Redshirted in 2013.

8. Which schools have signed the most four and five star prospects the last four years in the SEC?

9. Jon Solomon on some questions and answers regarding a college players union.

SEC Basketball

10. Add Missouri coach Frank Haith’s name to the list of coaches who’d like to get rid of one-and-done.

11. Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein and assistant coach Kenny Payne had an exchange at LSU this week.  John Calipari says he didn’t see it.

12. Georgia has missed Kenny Gaines the last two games - hoping the injured guard is back today.

Extra

13. Are the Colquitts the Mannings of punting?

14. Setting the lines for sporting events isn’t really a mystery. “It’s not rocket science. We’re not doing brain surgery here.”

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Auburn’s Malzahn Motivated To Get The Tigers Back To The Title Game

gfx-they-said-it4This season there won’t be any worrying about BCS computer scores or pollsters’ votes.  The two teams reaching football’s national championship game will have played their way into the ultimate game by way of a new four-team playoff whose field will be set by a panel of — and this is still up for debate — gridiron experts.

For Auburn, the journey to the first College Football Playoff has already kicked off down on the Plains.  Gus Malzahn has admitted that he’s had a hard time getting over his squad’s last-minute loss to Florida State in this year’s title showdown.  His boss — Auburn AD Jay Jacobs — sees his coach’s frustration… as well as his determination to be one-minute better in the upcoming season:

 

“He’s having a hard time putting it behind him.  It’s hard to say he’s more resilient now, because of how he was, but he’s got the throttle pressed all the way to the floor, trying to push it through the floor.  He can’t get back there quick enough.”

 

Malzahn won numerous Coach of the Year honors in guiding Auburn to a 12-2 record just one year removed from Gene Chizik’s 3-9 mark.  This year the Tigers will go from being the hunter to the hunted.  And as we point out so often, there’s not been a repeat SEC champion since 1997-98.  To work his way back into the playoff and then the title game this fall, Malzahn had better have the pedal to the metal.

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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Race Heats Up For Carter

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxLorenzo Carter’s recruitment is close to being wide open.

The defensive end from Norcross (Ga.) High School said so during an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week following his official visit to LSU.

“With the changes going on right now and the visits I’m taking, I’ve just got to sit back and just let it all happen,” Carter said.

A lot will happen for Carter in the next week and a half leading up to signing day on Feb. 5. He’ll hear from coaches at Florida, Georgia, LSU and Florida State. He maintains all four schools still have a shot at landing him.

LSU improved its standing with Carter during his visit to Baton Rouge.

“Going into the visit they were a little behind,” Carter said. “That was just because how late they came in but I think they did a pretty good job.”

Carter, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 4 weakside defensive end by Rivals.com, will take an official visit to Florida State on Sunday. The Seminoles have plenty to offer.

“Like LSU, they send defensive linemen to the NFL,” Carter said. “And they’re national champs.”

Georgia was fortunate to hire defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt away from the national champs. Pruitt, who joined Georgia’s staff on Jan. 14, has made Carter a priority for Georgia’s 2014 class.

“He reassured that I’m still the No. 1 guy on his board,” Carter said.

Georgia will receive Carter’s final official visit before signing day. He told the AJC people still tell him to “stay in state and represent Georgia.” It’s difficult to tell if that pressure will influence Carter’s decision.

“I’ve still got to look at other options,” he said.

A report from 247Sports cited multiple sources calling Georgia a slight leader ahead of Florida with LSU and Florida State both trying to make up ground in Carter’s recruitment. His father, Leo Carter, was asked by the website if those sources were correct.

“To be honest, the way you stated it, I would say it is probably exactly accurate at this point,” Carter said.

 

Kentucky lands defensive back Randolph

Defensive back Kendall Randolph from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Fla., committed to Kentucky on Tuesday.

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Coker Released From FSU, Likely To Land At Bama… But Are Expectations Too High Already?

jacob-cokerIt seems that Kevin Norwood did indeed know what he was talking about.  The former Alabama receiver leaked word last week that Alabama would soon be landing a 6-5 quarterback transfer from Florida State.  Today, Jacob Coker’s transfer from Tallahassee to Tuscaloosa is looking very, very likely.

According to ESPN.com, Coker has been released from his scholarship at FSU and is free to transfer.  If he graduates this spring as expected, he’ll then enroll at Alabama.  With a degree in hand, Coker could step in and compete for the Tide’s quarterback job this fall.

Coker is being built up as an elite quarterback and a potential savior for a Crimson Tide program that lacks a proven, pro-style quarterback as it heads into 2014.  Maybe he is.

But he was a three-star prospect coming out of high school.  He chose Florida State over offers from Arkansas State, Duke, Mississippi State and South Alabama.  That’s hardly Ohio State, Texas and Southern Cal.

In two seasons with the Seminoles, Coker saw action in 10 games completing 21-of-41 passes for 295 yards, one touchdown and one interception.  None of that is to say a transfer to Alabama won’t result in many more wins for the Tide.  But it also doesn’t appear — at least not on paper — that Coker should be getting quite the hype that’s currently being tossed his way.

If/when Coker does slip on a crimson jersey, the expectation level will be exceedingly high for a kid who’s thrown 41 passes at the college level.

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SEC Headlines 1/18/2014

headlines-saturdaySEC Football

1. Mississippi State has reportedly given a contract extension to defensive coordinator Geoff Collins who was being courted by Florida State.

2. Ticket prices going up at Mississippi State.

3. Gus Malzahn wins the  Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award -his  sixth national coach of the year award.

4. With new Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt making $850,000 a year, expect offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s contract to be revisited.

5. University of Kentucky receiver DeMarco Robinson arrested early Friday -charged with disorderly conduct.

6. Alabama running back Alvin Kamara will reportedly transfer.

7. Is AJ McCarron’s public image taking a beating?

8. Will Josh Holsey be a cornerback or safety for Auburn this fall?

SEC/College News

9. Division I administrators support the idea of giving the power conferences autonomy on issues such as stipends for athletes.

10. A Mississippi house bill would pay football players for bowl games after they graduate.

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