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Top Five Wide Receiver Signees For 2014

RECAPExpect more passing in the SEC’s future.

Wide receivers like A.J. Green and Julio Jones and more recently Mike Evans and Jordan Matthews have made the SEC an attractive place for big-play athletes in the passing game.

The SEC will have plenty of talent at the wide receiver position arriving this fall. It should make for a fun year watching the newcomers play a key role immediately.

Here are the top five wide receiver signees in the SEC in the 2014 class.

1. Malachi Dupre – LSU

LSU gladly waited out the recruitment of Dupre, who was a must-get for the Tigers on signing day. Dupre (6-3, 188) has the ideal size to be a big play threat. With Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry off to the NFL, Dupre will have a chance to play immediately in LSU’s offense. He’ll team up with running back signee Leonard Fournette to create

2. Josh Malone – Tennessee

Like Dupre, Malone (6-3, 202) has terrific size coming out of high school. Malone enrolled early at Tennessee, which should prepare him to help the Vols immediately. Malone will team up nicely with Marquez North, who shined at receiver as a freshman for Tennessee last fall.

3. D’haquille Williams – Auburn

It’s scary to think what Auburn’s offense will be able to do now that it has a dynamic player on the outside. Williams (6-3, 210) arrived on campus last month with the goal of becoming the Tigers’ go-to option at receiver. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn promised a more balanced offense in 2014. Williams is the reason.

4. Speedy Noil – Texas A&M

Another elite athlete in coach Kevin Sumlin’s offense? The rest of the SEC can’t be too excited to see Noil (5-11, 190) choose Texas A&M, which will work quickly to find ways to get him the ball. Sumlin described Noil as “extremely explosive” on signing day. That sounds like a good fit with the Aggies, who already have Noil on campus.

5. Von Pearson – Tennessee

Pearson is another big athlete who has already enrolled for the spring semester. Pearson (6-3, 181) was ranked the nation’s No. 2 junior college receiver (behind Williams) by Rivals. Pearson has the athleticism to make big plays and the size to be an every-down target in Tennessee’s offense. The Vols’ passing game got a lot better on signing day.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 8/1/2013

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1. New Orleans five-star running back Leonard Fournette will make official visits to four schools and two of them – Alabama and Florida – are in the SEC. ”Alabama is the school that recruits him the hardest,” Fournette’s father tells AL.com

2. Calera, Alabama four-star recruit Ronnie Clark is being targeted by both Alabama and Auburn. “Alabama is on me tight. Auburn is on me tight. They are both on me like I’ve got shackles on my feet or something. That’s how tight it is.”

3. West Point, Mississippi running back Aeris Williams says he wants to be a Mississippi State Bulldog.  The four-star running back committed to the Bulldogs on Wednesday.  Williams chose MSU over Ole Miss and Florida State.

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4. Melvin Booker was a star  player at Missouri back in the early 1990′s.  His son, Devin, is a star recruit being courted by colleges across the country. ”I want Devin to go where he wants to go, where he feels comfortable with the staff,.”

5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin forward Kevon Looney has Florida and Tennessee in his top six.  

6. 2014 Springfield, Illinois point guard Larry Austin has reportedly narrowed his list to Kansas State and Tennessee and will make an announcement later today.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 5/2/2013

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1. The NCAA has suspended new rules that would have allowed unlimited electronic communication between college coaches and recruits.

2.Is Alabama vs. Georgia the top recruiting rivalry in the country?

3. Alabama has offered 2014 linebacking prospect Nyles Morgan.  The 6-2, 220 pound prospect has 31 other offers.

4. Lousiana running back Leonard Fournette is considered by many to be the top prospect in the country but right now he’s focused on track. “I’m leaving the recruiting stuff up to my parents right now. And I won’t focus on football until track season’s over.”

5. Kyle Allen is rated as the No. 5 quarterback prospect in the country in the class of 2014.  Texas A&M is after the Scottsdale, Arizona product.  ”Right now, the schools recruiting me the hardest that I’m feeling the most are probably UCLA, ASU, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.”

6. The Aggies have offered a trio of prospects from New Orleans -  linebacker Arthur McGinnis, wide receiver Tyron Billy-Johnson and athlete Deshawn Capers-Smith. The teammates are 2015 prospects.

7. Offensive lineman Bill Weber is getting attention from several schools including Arkansas and Missouri.  The Coppell, Texas lineman attended the Razorbacks spring game with teammate and defensive end Solomon Thomas.  He came away impressed with the knowledge exhibited by Arkansas fans.  ”The fans know their stuff.”

8. Nashville wide receiver Thomas Richard became Missouri’s sixth commitment over the weekend. Heres how his high school coach described him. “As far as ball skills go, Missouri’s getting as good as they can get in the 2014 class. I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of really good receivers, and he’s going to be up there with the top of them when his time’s up at Missouri.”

9. ESPN’s Chris Low: “Over the last three years (2010-12), nobody in the SEC has signed more ESPN 150 prospects offensively than Auburn.”

10. Alabama signee Reuben Foster on what opposing fanbases were telling him - “They told me, ‘I hope you tear your ACL,’ “

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11. LSU’s incoming class rated the 9th best by ESPN, 10th best by Rivals. Here is ESPN’s final 2013 ranking of recruits.

12. Kentucky is one of four schools still chasing top prospect Andrew Wiggins.  Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News says he’s worth the wait. “On the day Wiggins steps on an NBA court, and that’ll happen sooner rather than later, he’ll become one of the greatest athletes ever to play in the league.”

13. 2014 basketball prospect Emmanuel Mudiay on an in-home visit by Kentucky coach John Calipari:  ”He does a good job with his point guards, and that’s a big part that I really look into.”

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 4/30/2013

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfx1. The SEC had plenty of success in the NFL draft. And that makes for a strong sales pitch on the recruiting trail.

2. Football prospects see pro potential at Florida after the Gators had two players selected in the first round.

3. Top running back prospect Leonard Fournette showed recently he has plenty of speed to go with his size.

4. Tennessee signee Ryan Jenkins looks back at the process of choosing between the Vols and Clemson.

5. Several SEC schools remain in contention for defensive end Jesse Aniebonam from Olney, Md.

6. Defensive back Dominique Brown from Ocala, Fla., is keeping his options open while he waits for more offers.

7. These two Louisiana basketball prospects will face off in the SEC.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 4/18/2013

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1. Louisiana running back Leonard Fournette is widely considered the nation’s top running back prospect.  ESPN calls him the top player in the country, ranking him No. 1 in their top 150 list put out today.  ”To me, Louisiana has the best talent,” Fournette told Nola.com  ”To have that many guys ranked like that, that’s really a blessing. There’s great competition (in Louisiana) because they want something that you want, too. They want to play, they want to grind, they want to be successful, they want to be the No. 1. So, at the same time, it makes both of you better.”  Among the schools Fournette is considering are LSU, Alabama, Florida State, USC and Texas.

2. Three Alabama commitments made the ESPN list.

3. Rising junior running back Nicholas Brossette from Louisiana has longstanding offers from Alabama and LSU. Ole Miss, Texas A&M and UCLA have also offered.  He’s expected to be on hand at Saturday’s LSU spring game. Tiger Stadium is less than a mile from his high school.  He’s also expected to visit Alabama soon.

4. Cameron Robinson is considered the top offensive line prospect in the country.  He told AL.com Thursday he’s not sure if he will visit Alabama or LSU this Saturday. The West Monroe, Louisiana prospect says the two schools are way out front in his recruitment.

4. Here’s a list of visitors for Saturday’s spring game at Arkansas. Razorbacks are recruiting teammates Solomon Thomas and Bill Weber from Coppell, Texas.

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5. LSU has added a seven footer from Australia to its incoming class.  Darcy Malone from Canberra Australia is the sixth member of Johnny Jones class.  ”Darcy will be an impactful player at LSU for years to come.”

6. Auburn now has six members of its incoming class.  The latest signee -  power forward Matthew Atewe from Massachusetts.. Atewe’s signing puts Auburn one over the scholarship limit of 13. On Wednesday, small forward Dion Wade became the Tigers fifth commitment for coach Tony Barbee.

7. Kentucky is one of four schools in the race to land Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 prospect in the country. The Sporting News handicaps the race.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 3/15/2013

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1. Quite a week for Tennessee as the Vols appear to have another commitment. Alpharetta, Georgia running back Treyvon Paulk tweeted today he’s coming to Knoxville

The news of Paulk’s commitment comes a day after running back Jalen Hurd, considered the best prospect in Tennessee, committed to the Vols.  That’s now five commitments in six days for coach Butch Jones, an indication of how he’s changing perceptions of the program.

2. New Orleans running back Leonard Fournette is considered by many the top prize in the class of 2014.  He’s got some talented teammates as well.  One of those teammates, defensive back Jermaine Roberts, has moved Alabama to No. 1 on his list.  ”I’ll say the biggest thing that stood out about them was just how big the players are there.” Roberts, Fournette and offensive lineman Joseph Paul visited Alabama on Thursday.

3. Tallahassee, Florida linebacker Jacob Pugh has a top five that includes three SEC programs; Georgia, Kentucky and Alabama.  He recently took a visit to Tuscaloosa.  ”I liked the campus, the education, the coaches — most of all, the football,” he said. “I like the way Alabama uses their (pass rushers.)”

4. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee and now Auburn have the same message for Florence, Alabama quarterback Kendrick Doss - he’s a “perfect fit.”  He’s visited the campuses of all four. They all told me the same thing. They told me I was the face of the program.” Doss is a duel-threat quarterback on track to graduate high school in December.

5. One of the top prospects in the state of Arkansas had the chance to call the Hogs last weekend.  Warren, Arkansas lineman Jhamahl Bell was in attendance at the Razorbacks last regular season basketball game.  ”That was my first time being there live and doing it. It was cool, very cool. The second time I got it down pretty well.”

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6. With Tony Barbee’s status up in the air at Auburn, what’s the impact on recruiting? Missisippi All-Star TreShawn Bolden says a Barbee departure would eliminate Auburn. ”He’s a great coach. I would love to play for him.”

7. South Carolina coach Frank Martin will try to fill three more slots in the class of 2014. Martin already has one commitment  - point guard Marcus Stroman of Columbia.

8. Kentucky coach John Calipari was on hand this week to watch Christ Presbyterian Academy’s  Jalen Lindsey in a Tennessee state quarterfinal game. Kentucky hasn’t offered Lindsey a scholarship yet but Tennessee has. “I have a lot of respect for Coach (Cuonzo) Martin and all those guys. They keep up with me, and I have a lot of respect for those guys.” Lindsey, a 6-foot-7 forward, has been offered by approximately 20 schools.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 3/14/2013

recruiting-headlines-gfx1. Tennessee coach Butch Jones has landed a big one.  Five-star running back Jalen Heard took to Twitter this morning to announce that he’s committing to the Vols.  The Hendersonville, TN back becomes the fifth player in Tennessee’s 2014 class – the fourth in the last week.

2. New Orleans running back Leonard Fournette, considered the top back in the country, is paying a quick visit to Alabama and he’s bringing a few teammates with him  Cornerback Jermaine Roberts and lineman Joseph Paul both have offers from several programs.

3. Carrollton, Texas 2015 offensive line prospect Zach Rogers visited Arkansas over the weekend and came away impressed with new coach Bret Bielema.  ”He was a lot different than I thought he would be. I was more impressed than I thought I would be…”I could definitely see myself playing for him one day.”  Rogers also has offers from Texas Tech and UCLA. Razorbacks will have some prospects in attendance at football practice.

4. Kingsland, Georgia cornerback Kalvaraz Bessent is an Alabama commitment.  He grew up a Florida fan, so the move surprised a lot of people, including his high school coach. Jeff Herron.  ”I thought he would commit to Florida. He’d been a Florida fan all his life and was really leaning that way. But he went to Alabama for a junior day and was so impressed by every part of it.”

5. Opelika, Alabama cornerback Stephen Roberts has Alabama as his leader, with Auburn at No.2 on his list.

6. Georgia has 13 recruits that have enrolled early this spring.  Don’t expect this trend to go away anytime soon. Getting a jumpstart on a college career is an advantage that coach Mark Richt likes his athletes to have.   “We’ve never really had any kid come in at midyear and say that was a mistake for them.”

7. What do recruits think about proposed rules that would deregulate the process? ”The crazy thing is the nonstop text messages they can send you any time of the day. That is going to blow a lot of phones up.”

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 3/6/2013

recruiting-headlines-gfx1. New Orleans running back Leonard Fournette,  widely considered the premier running back of the class of 2014, is expected to take an unofficial visit Alabama this weekend. Fournette has already taken unofficial visits to LSU and Florida State. “I want a school with a good atmosphere and good people. I will just know when the feeling is right.” Fournette’s teammate, four-star cornerback Jermaine Roberts, who also has an offer from Alabama.

2. How strong is Auburn 2014 running back commitment Kamryn Pettway?  Strong enough to reporteldy squat 605 pounds. Says his high-school coach, ”Everything he does agility-wise is unreal for a kid his size.”

3. Mansfield, Texas safety Brandon Simmons likes Bret Bielema’s move from Wisconsin to Arkansas. “He went to the SEC so that’s the premier conference in NCAA football. Arkansas has been down for a couple of years but they’ve always been a great contender in the SEC.” Arkansas is one of 41 schools that has offered Simmons but as now, he only has one visit planned and that’s to Stanford.

4. Tennessee basketball appears to have interest in several players in the state of Kentucky.  Tennessee has watched 2013 guard Dominique Hawkins (so has Alabama and Purdue). Kentucky coach John Calipari and staff watched him play last night.  Tennessee has offered 2014 prospect 6-foot-8 power forward Shane Hall from Johnson Central and 2015 guard Camron Justice from Knott Central.

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