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Mid-Afternoon Takes On Signing Day

Just wanted to give you a quick look at who’s closing well and who isn’t across the SEC today. 


GREAT DAY

Auburn – Commitments from Erique Florence, Gabe Wright, Cyrus Kouandjio (if he finally inks) make for a “nation’s best” type of day.  Teams winning national championships usually get a nice signing day boost the year after their title.  The Tigers are capitalizing immediately.  And this where it help to have all those departing starters.

Alabama – The Tide have picked up Brent Calloway and Jeoffrey Pagan on the day and it sounds like they still might have a sliver of a hope with regards to Kouandjio.  Either way, it’ll be another Top 5 recruiting class for the Tide.

Georgia — Mark Richt and company locked up just about all of the homegrown kids they were after.  The only key loss today of any kind was Jeoffrey Pagan who chose Alabama at the last minute over the Dawgs.  The commitment of top running back Isaiah Crowell is a great capper on a signing class that Richt desperately needed.  Coming off a 6-7 campaign, UGA’s coach needed to win back some Dawg fans.  A “Dream Team” class will do that.

Tennessee — The Vols lagged far behind the power squads of the SEC as recently as November.  No more.  Derek Dooley has closed strong for the second season in a row.  UT added Curt Maggitt and Antonio Richardson today.  Things would have been even better had Lane Kiffin not returned to the south and snagged Kentucky-native Lamar Dawson who was believed to be leaning toward the Volunteers.


NOT SO GREAT DAY

Florida — The Gators are going to wind up in the Top 15 in most recruiting rankings and will probably be in the Top 10 in some.  But the Gators have finished #2 in a number of tight battles this season and that’s worth noting because it’s so unusual.  We’re used to seeing Florida win the last-minute recruiting wars for five-star athletes.  Will Muschamp just had too much to overcome in a short period of time.

Mississippi State — The Bulldogs took a real hit over the course of the last month falling all the way out of the Top 40 in Rivals’ rankings.  The departure of Manny Diaz for Texas hurt.  In addition, Ole Miss grabbed five of the 10 best players in the Magnolia State while Dan Mullen could only ink three.  That has to be a bit disappointing as MSU has whipped Ole Miss the last two years running and finished 9-4 with a Gator Bowl victory this past season.

Kentucky — Joker Phillips and staff needed a solid effort today to rebuild some of the goodwill they lost during a 6-7 inaugural campaign.  Didn’t happen.  First, in-state linebacker Lamar Dawson inked with probation-riddled Southern Cal rather than say at home.  And now UK has also lost its highest-rated commitment — tight end Jon Davis — to Illinois.  When you lose in state prospects to Illinois and a school on harsh probation it doesn’t build confidence among the fanbase.

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Alabama Signees (9:55AM ET)

Here’s the updated Alabama list of LOIs received:

Jeoffrey Pagan, DL
Ha’sean Clinton-Dix, DB
Wilson Love, DL
Ronald Carswell, WR
Ryan Kelly, OL
Trey Depriest, LB
Quinton Dial, DL
Aaron Douglas, OL
Phillip Ely, QB
Demetrius Hart, RB
Vinnie Sunseri, LB
Jesse Williams, DL

Pagan is a major get for the Tide and could be the first of many today.

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Pagan Picks Bama Over Georgia

The #4 defensive end in the nation has spurned Mark Richt’s “Dream Team” to head out of state.  Jeoffrey Pagan announced moments ago that he will play football at Alabama rather than Georgia.

Pagan is the 42nd best player in the nation according to Rivals.com.

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Pagan Favors Georgia After De-Committing From Georgia

Defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan from Asheville (N.C.) High School has de-committed from Clemson, the second time he has done such a thing during the recruiting process.

Pagan, who originally committed to Florida before re-opening his recruitment in November,

I’m not committed anymore,” Pagan told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee have all been linked to Pagan in the last month. He admitted that Georgia is leading the way.

“Oh yes, I’m excited about Georgia,” Pagan said.

Pagan shot down rumors that he is committed to Georgia. It could be an interesting final few days for Pagan, who earlier this month showed signs that his commitment to Clemson might not stick.

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Former Florida Commit Pagan Chooses Clemson

Defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan from Asheville (N.C.) High School has committed to Clemson.

Pagan, who was committed to Florida until he reopened his recruitment in November, gave his pledge to the Tigers during an official visit to Clemson this weekend.

“Clemson’s the closest thing to my family and my home,” Pagan told TigerIllustrated.com.

It will be interesting to see if any school has a chance to sway Pagan from his decision. He said earlier this week that he was still considering other schools, including Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

Pagan even expressed an interest in visiting Florida later this month to see what the Gators have to offer with new coach Will Muschamp.

“I’d love to be coached by somebody like that,” Pagan told the Gainesville Sun.

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Florida Could Still Land One-Time Commit Pagan

Florida’s recruitment of defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan took a hit when he decommitted in November around the time former defensive line coach Dan McCarney left to become the head coach at North Texas.

Florida has since hired a new head coach, Will Muschamp, and a new defensive line coach, Dan Quinn, who will also serve as Muschamp’s defensive coordinator.

Pagan’s interest in Florida has since been sparked again by the presence of Muschamp, who previously served as the defensive coordinator at Texas.

I’d love to be coached by somebody like that,” said Pagan, who attends Asheville (N.C.) High School.

He has plenty of other options to consider. Pagan’s list of schools includes Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Clemson, which might be the favorite to land Pagan on National Signing Day on Feb. 2.

“For me, it’s only an hour and 45 minutes down the road,” Pagan said of Clemson. “They treat me like I’m one of their own. I feel like a home atmosphere there. Plus, my mom, that’s an easy drive for her to come see me.”

Clemson has been successful recruiting many of the same prospects being targeted by SEC schools. Guys like running back Mike Bellamy, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and linebacker Lateek Townsend might often end up choosing schools in the SEC.

The Tigers currently have 24 commitments for the class of 2011, which is good for ninth overall in the Rivals.com team rankings.

Pagan’s visit schedule this month still appears to be up in the air. He visited Georgia last month but still has trips available to the other schools on his list.

Pagan told the Gainesville Sun he hopes to visit Florida on Jan. 28, which is the final weekend before signing day.

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Jeoffrey Pagan Decommits From Florida

Florida’s bad weekend got a little worse on Sunday when defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan decommitted from the Gators.

Pagan, who attends Asheville (N.C.) High School, had been considered a “soft” commitment to Florida for a while.

“I felt like I was missing out on some stuff and wanted to get back into everything so I’m not missing out on anything,” Pagan told GatorBait.net.

Pagan told the website he will consider Alabama, LSU, Clemson, Southern California and maybe Ohio State.

Pagan has scheduled one official visit to Clemson on Jan. 15.

Florida’s recruiting with Pagan took another hit during the weekend when defensive line coach Dan McCarney accepted the head coaching position at North Texas.

How might McCarney’s departure affect Florida elsewhere in recruiting? Edward Aschoff of the Gainesville Sun has a report. Read it here.

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Florida recruit Jeoffrey Pagan tears ligaments in knee, will miss all-star games

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Florida’s recruiting class took a bit of a hit when Asheville (N.C.) defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan tore his medial collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament. Pagan, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound DE, will miss the Dec. 18 Shrine Bowl and the Jan. 8 U.S. Army All-American game.

Pagan hurt his knee while playing fullback, filling in for a teammate who had torn his ACL.

From the Asheville Citizen-Times story:

“Pagan is scheduled to have surgery in the next two weeks once the swelling goes down in his knee.

“It just breaks my heart,” (coach Danny) Wilkins said. “There’s a kid who had a lot of stuff in front of him, it just made me sick to see him go down.”

According to the story, Wilkins said Florida coach Urban Meyer gave him a written promise that the Gators would honor the commitment if Pagan got hurt.

Pagan, rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com, was the second of Florida’s 18 verbal commitments in the class of 2011.


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