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Kentucky Adds Quarterback To 2013 Class

Quarterback Reese Phillips from Signal Mountain (Tenn.) High School committed to Kentucky during a visit to Lexington on Wednesday.

“It’s pretty awesome up here,” Phillips told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “I was here 15 minutes and it was so home-like, so much like Chattanooga. It was just the people in Lexington in general. Everybody seems so nice and down to earth.”

Phillips chose Kentucky over offers from Memphis and Middle Tennessee State.

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Tight End Chooses Arkansas

Tight end Deondre Skinner from Patterson (La.) High School needed very little time to consider his scholarship offer from Arkansas.

Skinner gave a quick commitment to Arkansas defensive line coach Steve Caldwell when he called on Thursday.

“My coach told me I was supposed to call Coach Caldwell when I got home and I did,” Skinner told 247Sports. “He asked me if I was ready to commit. I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He told me coach (John L.) Smith wanted to offer me a scholarship and I committed on the spot.”

Skinner is the second prospect to commit to Arkansas’ class of 2013. The other is running back Kaleb Blanchard from Denham Springs (La.) High School.

Skinner chose Arkansas over offers from Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Louisiana-Lafayette.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 4/19/12

1. Kentucky signee Nerlens Noel has confidence the Wildcats can land forward Anthony Bennett.

2. Noel says he’s a “different player” from Anthony Davis but their goals are similar.

3. Did Ole Miss sign Robert Nkemdiche’s older brother to land the nation’s top prospect?

4. Auburn continues to make a strong impact on the recruiting trail.

5. Alabama running back signee Kenyan Drake looked back at the recruiting process.

6. Tom Luginbill looks at the quarterbacks in the ESPNU 150 list.

7. Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech lead for athlete Juwaan Williams.

8. South Carolina was the first school to offer speedy running back Justin Williams.

Here are some highlights of Juwaan Williams at Tucker (Ga.) High School.

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ESPNU Releases Its Top 150

The ESPNU 150 list for 2013 was released on Tuesday.

As expected, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche from Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga., is ranked the No. 1 player in the nation by ESPNU. Nkemdiche is uncommitted with Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Clemson still in contention to land his services.

The nation’s No. 2 prospect, linebacker Reuben Foster from Auburn (Ala.) High School, is committed to Alabama. Foster is one of six ESPNU 150 members to have committed to the Crimson Tide for 2013.

Foster, who gave his pledge to Alabama in July, has continued to visit other schools, including Auburn and Georgia.

“I am a hard-core Alabama fan and loyal to my commitment,” Foster said. “They know I am looking at these other schools. The Alabama coaches always tell me they know where I know where my home is. People have to understand that I never thought something like this would happen to me. I don’t have the means to see some schools that I want to see. I want to check out USC. I would like to see South Carolina. I would like to visit some other schools but they are so far away.”

Florida leads the SEC with seven commitments on the ESPNU list. Defensive tackle Caleb Brantley from Crescent City (Fla.) High School is the highest-rated prospect committed to the Gators.

The SEC has a total of 28 commitments among five schools on the ESPNU list. Georgia (6 commitments), Texas A&M (5) and Auburn (4) are the other schools represented.

Check out this breakdown from ESPNU.

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SEC Weekend Commitment Roundup

Several players decided to commit to SEC schools during the weekend. Here’s the update.

LSU

DT Tevin Lawson
Ā - Denham Springs (La.) High School

Lawson expected to commit to LSU when he arrived on campus during the weekend.

“I knew I was going to LSU,” he told ESPN.com. “I want to represent the state of Louisiana.”

OL K.J. Malone – Cedar Creek High School in Ruston, La.
Malone is the son of Hall of Fame basketball player Karl Malone. K.J. Malone figures to be a key part of LSU’s offense in the future.

DE Michael Patterson – Winnfield (La.) Senior High School
Patterson committed after watching LSU’s spring practice session Saturday.

“To be on the field and look at these guys makes me hungrier to get here and get on the field,” Patterson told TigerBait.com.

LSU has nine commitments for the class of 2013.

South Carolina

DE Alfy Hill
- Los Angeles Valley Community College
The Shallotte, N.C., native signed with Alabama in 2010 before being ruled academically ineligible. He briefly attended East Carolina before deciding to enroll in junior college.

Hill then decided to commit to North Carolina State before South Carolina convinced him to return to the SEC.

“It feels great,” he told PalmettoSports.com. “It’s just three hours from my house.”

LB Gerald Turner – Goose Creek (S.C.) High School
Turner became South Carolina’s third commitment for the class of 2013 when he chose the Gamecocks over Clemson and North Carolina. Turner told Sporting News:

“I feel like I can bring South Carolina’s defense to another level with my speed and quickness and I know I may be a little bit undersized, but they are used to playing with an undersized player – like Eric Norwood.”

Vanderbilt

DB Taurean Ferguson
– Jonesboro (Ga.) High School
Ferguson, who also had offers from Ole Miss, Cincinnati and Wake Forest, saw the best of both worlds at Vanderbilt.

“I picked Vanderbilt because I looked at it as four years to set myself up for the next 40 years,” Ferguson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m going there for the education and sports.”

Ferguson is Vanderbilt’s fifth commitment for the class of 2013.

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Running Back Jones Commits To Alabama

Running back Tyren Jones from Walten Senior High School in Marietta, Ga., has committed to Alabama.

“I’m committed to Bama,” Jones confirmed to ESPN.com via text message.

Jones is the second running back to commit to Alabama’s class of 2013. He joins Altee Tenpenny from North Little Rock (Ark.) High School.

Don’t expect Alabama to stop recruiting running backs for the 2013 class. Jones told Kipp Adams of ESPN.com that Alabama plans to recruit three running backs in 2013.

Of course, Alabama could always postpone a scholarship offer if it needs to create spots for its signing class.


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Peters Switches Commitment From Tennessee To Arkansas

Linebacker Otha Peters from Covington (La.) High School has switched his commitment from Tennessee to Arkansas.

Peters made the decision after taking an official visit to Arkansas last weekend, according to Covington coach Malter Scobel. Peters had been committed to Tennessee since July.

Questions about stability and the future of head coach Derek Dooley at Tennessee worked against the Vols, Scobel told the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

“Otha had some valid reasons to make his change,” Scobel said. “It wasn’t anything silly. Tennessee’s up against a different challenge than they are in Arkansas. Otha was very straightforward with Tennessee about the decision, and I think they still would like to have him.”

And Tennessee will continue to fight for Peters, who would be the third linebacker in the last month to decommit from the Vols. Dalton Santos recently switched to Texas and Khalid Henderson is considering Kentucky and Ole Miss after Tennessee recommended he look elsewhere in December.

The decision to tell Henderson to look elsewhere would look to be a mistake in hindsight. The Vols have offered a scholarship to Jacksonville, Fla., linebacker Kenneth Bynum, who is committed to Cincinnati.

Peters is the second linebacker to commit to Arkansas in the last week.

Vin Ascolese from North Bergen, N.J., committed to the Razorbacks during the weekend. A.J. Turner from Lepanto, Ark., has been committed to Arkansas since April.

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Vols Add Bourque To 2012 Class

Running back Davante Bourque from Crowley (La.) High School committed to Tennessee during an official visit this weekend.

“I committed because I felt like Tennessee was the best option for me,” Bourque told Volquest.com via text message.

Tennessee had an advantage with Bourque, who originally committed to LSU, because it can offer immediate playing time. The Vols are looking for someone to replace departing senior Tauren Poole.

Tennessee has 14 commitments to go along with seven early enrollees for the class of 2012.

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Three Schools Lead For Kwon Alexander

Linebacker Kwon Alexander from Oxford (Ala.) High School is focusing his recruitment on Alabama, Auburn and LSU.

“Alabama is a great school with a hard-nosed defense and great coaches,” Alexander told 247Sports.com. “Auburn is a good school and a good atmosphere. It’s like family out there. LSU has good players, it’s a good school and a nice place.”

Alexander would be a nice addition to any school. He’s considered the nation’s fourth-best outside linebacker by 247Sports.

Alexander has already taken official visits to Auburn, LSU and Florida. He said he will try to schedule an official visit to Alabama this month but hasn’t scheduled a trip.

“It will come down to trusting the coaches and how cool the strength and conditioning is,” Alexander said. “Also, a place that feels like family.”

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Lineman Leff Switches Commitment To Auburn

Auburn has received a commitment from offensive lineman Robert Leff from Fairhope (Ala.) High School.

Leff had been committed to Southern Miss but switched his commitment after Auburn offered him a scholarship on Tuesday morning.

“It’s playing in the SEC against the best of the best,” Leff told 247Sports.com. “That’s how you get better is playing against people better than you. If you don’t look for competition, you’re not going to get any better.”

Leff is Auburn’s 16th commitment for the class of 2012 and third offensive lineman to choose the Tigers.

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