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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Florida Expects Big Weekend

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxFlorida hopes to impress a large group of highly-touted prospects this weekend when they visit Gainesville to watch the Gators play Tennessee.

Florida enters the game with an eight-game winning streak over Tennessee, which only has four wins against the Gators in the last 20 years. Florida, which has a 1-1 record this season after losing to Miami on Sept. 7, needs another win against Tennessee to turn its momentum back in the right direction.

Florida could also use a boost in recruiting. The Gators are in fine shape with their 14 commitments for the 2014 class, but they’re still playing catch up to several SEC teams.

That’s why Florida has invited a long list of prospects to campus this weekend. The list of players expected to take official visits this weekend includes safety Jamal Adams from Lewisville, Texas, defensive end Lorenzo Carter from Norcross, Ga., linebacker Clifton Garrett from Plainfield, Ill., tight end DeAndre Goolsby from Derby, Kan., and wide receiver Speedy Noil and linebacker Gerald Willis III from New Orleans.

Five of the official visitors are ranked inside the Rivals100. Goolsby is ranked No. 168 overall by Rivals.

Other top prospects plan to take unofficial visits to Florida on Saturday, including running back Bo Scarbrough from Bradenton, Fla., and offensive lineman David Sharpe from Jacksonville, Fla.

How important will this weekend be for Florida? Rivals analyst Mike Farrell wrote he expects it to play a large role on the Gators’ signing class.

“I think this is a weekend that as National Signing Day approaches we’ll look back at this as one that was make or break for Florida. I think Florida leads for Adams and Carter; I think they are in the mix for Garrett and are probably long-shots right now for Noil and Willis, but they still need to impress them all. This is an atmosphere game; if the fans are out there booing the team because it struggles on offense or if they lose it could be a fall-apart situation for the group that will be on campus.”

Carter has named Florida his leader in the past but held off recently on calling the Gators his top choice. Carter told Rivals he doesn’t want to create speculation before he takes his official visits.

“It’s too early to name a leader,” Carter said. “I named (Florida) as a leader after my visit there. It was a great visit, but my leader would change after every visit if it was like that. So I just have to wait it out. It is a cluster of leaders with Georgia, Florida, and Bama.”

Florida has some ground to make up with Garrett, who’s favoring LSU and showing increased interest in Oregon. But he told Rivals he’s still open-minded despite LSU’s lead for his services.

“I just want to see who is going to (bring) that wow factor,” Garrett said. “Once I get on campus at these schools, I think I am probably going to get that feeling and know which school is going to be the one.”

Running back Joe Mixon from Oakley, Calif., has canceled his visit to Florida. Instead, the Gators will try to impress Scarbrough, who’s continued to show interest in Florida despite his commitment to Alabama.

“I’m pretty solid right now, but we’ll see what happens in the end,” Scarbrough told 247Sports last week.

Florida is in very good shape with two elite defenders who won’t be visiting this weekend: cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and linebacker Dwight Williams from Gardena, Calif. The Junipero Serra High School teammates are both favoring Florida, according to Rivals.

Zach Abolverdi of the Gainesville Sun called Florida’s chance of landing Jackson “outstanding.” He wrote in part:

“UF track coach Mike Holloway is a major player in Jackson’s recruitment and has already given the five-star prospect personal workouts. Holloway is the only track coach Jackson speaks with — or at least he was for a while — and he appears to be closest with the football coaches at Florida.”

 

Report: Tennessee leads for Malone

Wide receiver Josh Malone from Camp Station High School in Gallatin, Tenn., announced plans this week to take official visits to Georgia, Tennessee, Clemson and Florida State.

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Wow Headlines 2/7/2013

SEC Wednesday Night Basketball
Georgia 68 – Tennessee 62
Auburn 49 – Alabama 37
LSU 57 – Vanderbilt 56
Ole Miss 93 – Mississippi State 75
Missouri at Texas A&M Thursday night
Check out complete National Signing Day coverage at MrSEC.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/mrsec

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Top Commit Nkemdiche Having To Fill Out Paperwork Again

mrsec-breaking-newsOle Miss has gotten off to a tremendous start on National Signing Day.  But the day hasn’t been perfect. 

The #1 player in the country — Robert Nkemdiche who announced he would go to Mississippi early this morning — filled out part of his Letter of Intent incorrectly.  UM officials have sent him another letter to fill out correctly.

No biggie, but Rebel fans want Nkemdiche signed, sealed, and delivered.  As soon as possible.

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Robert Nkemdiche Chooses Ole Miss

NkemdicheThe nation’s number one football prospect is headed to Ole Miss. Robert Nkemdiche made the announcement just moments ago on ESPNU.  The defensive end from Loganville, Georgia will join his brother, Denzel, a linebacker for the Rebels. He had also considered LSU and Florida, making a visit to Baton Rouge this past weekend.  We’re off and running on National Signing Day with Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss Rebels having the first big catch of the day.

 

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WOW Headlines – 2/5/12

Former Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley has been officially named receivers coach for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys
Dooley’s new job will not impact his $5 million buyout from Tennessee
Ex-Mississippi State WR Chad Bumphis has angered some Ole Miss fans via Twitter by telling prospects “DON’T go with the money!”
Ole Miss stands to finish with a top 10 recruiting class leading to rumors of rule-breaking
Reports out of New Orleans say Georgia defensive defensive corodinator Todd Grantham will interview for the same position with the Saints
In SEC hoops action Tuesday night, Arkansas beat Florida 80-69 and Kentucky beat South Carolina 77-55
Tennessee’s Kenny Hall will not be suspended after getting arrested for driving on a suspended driver’s license
Follow SEC football, basketball, and recruiting at twitter.com/mrsec
Follow all 14 SEC schools tomorrow on National Signing Day at MrSEC.com

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Wow Headlines 2/2/2013

Saturday SEC Basketball Finals
Missouri 91, Auburn 77
Georgia 67,  South Carolina 56
Arkansas 73, Tennessee 60
Alabama 58, Vanderbilt 54
LSU 69,  Mississippi State 68
Kentucky 72, Texas A&M 68
Florida 78, Ole Miss 64
Follow the SEC and the countdown to National Signing Day at MrSEC.com

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WOW Headlines – 2/1/13

A number of Arkansas players are denying claims from ex-coaches that some on the team quit during last season’s 4-8 campaign
Alabama defeated Arkansas 59-56 in SEC hoops action on Thursday
USA Today has discovered that Ole Miss G Marshall Henderson spent time in jail last spring for a parole violation linked to alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine use
Texas A&M is preparing to negotiate pay raises for head football coach Kevin Sumlin and his assistants
This weekend’s SEC basketball games: Auburn at #17 Missouri… Georgia at South Carolina… Tennessee at Arkansas… Alabama at Vanderbilt… LSU at Mississippi State… Kentucky at Texas A&M… #16 Ole Miss at #4 Florida
Follow the SEC and the countdown to National Signing Day at MrSEC.com

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Adams ‘Might Commit’ Before Signing Day

Defensive tackle Montravius Adams from Dooly County High School in Vienna, Ga., is considering announcing his college decision before National Signing Day on Feb. 6.

“Stay tuned, I might commit before Signing Day,” Adams told 247Sports.

So when could a decision come? Perhaps on Jan. 4 when Adams plays in the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando, Fla.

Adams still has plans to visit Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Oregon and Southern California. He was in Athens to watch Georgia’s 51-44 win over Tennessee on Saturday.

“I did not see a lot of defense being played,” Adams told ESPN RecruitingNation. “I saw that I could come in and help them prevent teams from scoring that many points on them next year. I think their players there are great and they are playing really well. They could be playing for multiple national championships the next few years.”

Georgia senior nose tackle John Jenkins has done his part to sell the Bulldogs to Adams. The two spoke after Saturday’s game.

“(Jenkins) thinks I could be that guy to come in and play his role next year,” Adams said. “When I first met him he said he would be like a brother to me. So it meant a lot to hear that from him, a guy about to go in the first round of the NFL draft. I hope I can be that type of player in college.”

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SEC Headlines – 5/17/12

1.  Some big-time basketball programs are raiding mid-major schools for their early graduates (in hopes of getting them to transfer.)

2.  Alabama’s Nick Saban has wrapped up his spring speaking tour.

3.  Will youth be a problem for Auburn again this fall?

4.  The high school coach of former Arkansas receiver Quinta Funderburk says he will transfer to Syracuse (not at Virginia were many initially suspected).

5.  AthlonSports.com looks at whether or not the Razorbacks can win the West without Bobby Petrino.

6.  Razorback basketballer Devonta Abron has transferred to TCU to join ex-LSU coach Trent Johnson.

7.  Mike Anderson’s team will play in this year’s Las Vegas Invitational.

8.  Here’s a closer look at Mississippi State’s athletic spending in 2011.

9.  Three Ole Miss football players are in danger of not being eligible this fall.

10.  This writer says Texas A&M will be a perfect fit with the SEC.

11.  This scribe doesn’t believe Steve Spurrier’s plan for crowning division champs has any hope of being adopted.

12. A pair of ex-Georgia football players have found new homes.

13.  Safety Corey Moore needs to have a big year for the Dawgs.

14.  Kentucky’s John Calipari is after yet another transfer, this one from Virginia tech.

15.  The fountains outside Rupp Arena turned blood red yesterday, but it wasn’t a prank by Louisville fans (or an act of Charleston Heston.)

16.  Here’s a closer look at South Carolina’s athletic budget in 2011.

17.  Derek Dooley says he’s stayed in touch with previous Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer.

18.  Vanderbilt running back Lafonte Thompson — who switched his commitment from Virginia Tech to Vandy on National Signing Day 2011 — is being allowed to transfer away from the Commodores.

19.  Quarterback Corbin Berkstresser has been suspended by Missouri after his arrest for leaving the scene of an accident earlier this week.

20.  Tiger defensive back Robert Steeples is transferring to Memphis.

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Kelvin Taylor Commits To Florida

Running back Kelvin Taylor from Glades Day High School in Belle Glade, Fla., has committed to Florida for the class of 2013.

Taylor’s father, Fred Taylor, was an All-American running back at Florida before he spent more than a decade playing in the NFL. Kelvin Taylor, who chose the Gators over Alabama, said his father never pushed him to Florida.

“My dad has been great help,” Taylor told ESPN.com. “He just told me to pick the best school and pick the school that I love. He just told me to stay focused and keep working hard and everything else will come. But he and my mom and family have all been a great help through the process.”

His father was also pleased to see Kelvin plans to follow in his father’s footsteps. Fred Taylor tweeted a congratulatory message to his son on Saturday morning.

“Congrats to my son @ImKelvinTaylor on his commitment to the best university in the world #GATORNATION”

Taylor had previously planned to wait until National Signing Day to announce his decision. But Taylor, who said he plans to enroll in college in January, decided now is the right time to announce his choice.

“I just wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way,” Taylor said. “I felt more comfortable at Florida, and I wanted to focus more on my high school career, so I just wanted to get it done with. I also want to enroll in January, so that’s another reason I decided to make the decision early.”

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