Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt

Bielema: Arkansas RB Collins Isn’t Transferring

alex-collinsArkansas running back Alex Collins isn’t going anywhere.  At least not according to head coach Bret Bielema who called social media “reports” that Collins would leave “completely clueless, baseless and senseless.”  

The sophomore-to-be finished seventh in the SEC last season in rushing yards per game with 85.5.  Overall he carried the ball 190 times for 1,026 yards and four touchdowns.  He earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors for his efforts.

But rumors have swirled that Collins might not be happy in Fayetteville, might be facing a multi-game suspension, and might be interested in transferring closer to his South Florida home.  You might recall that on Signing Day 2013 Collins’ mother raised a stink about her son going so far from home to attend college and play football.  Also, Collins was one of nine UA players suspended earlier this offseason, though no specific reason was given.

Bielema said Saturday — as he shot down those transfer rumors — that Collins has “really grown as a person.”  He added:

 

I think the thing about him is he’s had so much success in life, when he had a bump in the road he had a tendency to try to do things his own way.  And he had to learn how to do the things the way we are here.  I couldn’t be more pleased with where he’s at.  He had to grow a lot.  He had to earn respect from some of his teammates.  He’s doing that bit by bit now.”

 

Collins was part of a one-two punch at running back for the Razorbacks last season.  Junior-to-be Jonathan Williams finished with 150 carries, 900 yards and four touchdowns.

If Arkansas is to improve on it’s 3-9 (0-8 in the SEC) 2013 season, it will need Collins in the fold and on the field.

Post Comments » Comments (2)

 

 

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.

Post Comments » Comments (7)

 

 

Top Five Quarterback Signees For 2014

RECAPJohnny Manziel, AJ McCarron and Aaron Murray are all gone.

And that’s just the start of it. The SEC will look very different at the quarterback position next season thanks to the departure of so much talent.

The good news for the league is there will be plenty of talented quarterbacks arriving this fall.

Here are the top five quarterback signees in the SEC in the 2014 class.

1. Kyle Allen – Texas A&M

Allen enrolled early at Texas A&M with the hope of competing for the Aggies’ starting job. He won’t be the same kind of quarterback as Johnny Manziel, but that’s OK. Allen (6-3, 200) has all the tools to be a big-time college quarterback. Allen was ranked the nation’s No. 1 pro-style quarterback by ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. He earns our No. 1 spot as well.

2. Sean White – Auburn

White turned heads last summer when he was named the Elite 11 MVP. Former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer said White “paints a picture” when he throws the ball. White (6-1, 200) will likely have to wait his turn behind returning starter Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson, who showed plenty of ability as a freshman last season. But White will be in good hands as he learns from coach Gus Malzahn.

3. Will Grier - Florida

Grier was Florida’s most important prospect in the 2014 class. The early enrollee could see the field early depending on how Jeff Driskel plays when he returns from his leg injury this fall. Grier (6-2, 190) is exactly what Florida needs – a talented passer with the ability to run. He rushed for close to 3,000 yards during his high school career. Grier will have quarterback competition in his own class after Florida stole Treon Harris away from Florida State on signing day.

4. Brandon Harris – LSU

Harris will bring versatility to LSU’s offense. Coach Les Miles raved on signing day about Harris’ ability to throw the ball down field and make plays with his feet. Harris (6-3, 180) was ranked the nation’s No. 5 dual-threat quarterback by Rivals. Harris enrolled at LSU for one reason: “to compete and start as a freshman,” he said last summer. He’ll have a chance to do that this fall.

5. David Cornwell – Alabama

Like most quarterbacks on this list, Cornwell enrolled early to get a head start on his college career. Cornwell made it clear earlier this month he plans to compete for the starting quarterback position this fall. Incoming transfer Jacob Coker might have the upperhand in the competition, but Cornwell will have an opportunity. Cornwell (6-5, 240) is a big prospect with a tremendous arm. His skill set should fit in perfectly with coach Nick Saban’s offense.

Post Comments » Comments (8)

 

 

SEC Recruiting Notebook: Time For 2015

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxThe end of signing day doesn’t mean the end of recruiting.

National signing day came and went on Wednesday, which means one class is finished and the next one is just beginning. Except the 2015 recruiting period was already well underway.

All 14 SEC schools have at least one commitment for the 2015 class. Half of the league has five or more commitments for 2015.

It’s the latest trend as recruiting continues to speed up. Coaches continue to push for early commitments, which allows schools to recruit into the future. After all, schools are already evaluating younger players while recruiting the upcoming class.

There’s also more pressure for coaches to evaluate and send out offers. A school often stands a better chance of landing a prospect if it’s one of the first schools to offer him.

Defensive back Terry Godwin from Callaway High School in Hogansville, Ga., committed to Georgia’s 2015 class in January. The Bulldogs’ early offer gave them an advantage in their pursuit of Godwin.

“Ever since they offered me, they’ve been there since day one,” he told UGASports.com. “They’ve helped me focus on school work and the recruiting process. They’ve let me know what to look for in schools.”

Of course, prospects who commit early still have plenty of time to change their minds. Godwin admitted he still plans to visit other schools. Many other committed 2015 prospects will do the same before they sign with a school next February.

The SEC is off to a hot start with the top 2015 prospects in the country. Twenty-two of the Rivals100 prospects for next year’s class are already committed. The SEC has landed 13 of those prospects.

Here’s a look at the number of 2015 commitments for each SEC school.

Alabama – 7
Arkansas – 5
Auburn – 2
Florida – 1
Georgia – 3
Kentucky – 2
LSU – 6
Ole Miss – 4
Mississippi State – 5
Missouri – 1
South Carolina – 5
Tennessee – 7
Texas A&M – 7
Vanderbilt – 1

There’s a long way to go until the next national signing day on Feb. 4, 2015. But most of the SEC is well on its way to putting a class together.

 

Bielema: It’s the path, not the stars

Arkansas’ 2014 class finished near the bottom of the SEC rankings.

Read the rest of this entry »

Post Comments » Comments (12)

 

 

SEC Headlines 2/2/2014

headlines-sun3-150x150SEC Football

1. The modern fax machine turns 50 this year.  Why does it still dominate signing day?

2. What happens when 5-star recruits don’t play right away?  AJ McCarron: “It’s a little entitlement, and when they don’t play off the bat, they get a little ticked off and they don’t want to work.”

3. LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is reportedly keeping some very close tabs on recruits.  LA Times: “Why was it OK for Cameron to be on the same plane with three players? He is allowed to visit recruits one day per week.”

4. Why Alabama and Auburn coaches spent Saturday at the same birthday party - even took to the dance floor.

5. Attention recruiters – know your high school programs.   ”I get a lot of recruiters that will walk into my office, sit down across the desk from me, look me in the eye and say, ‘Hey, Coach. What kind of year did you have?’ I want to literally throw them out of my office.”

6. Just like four years ago, Georgia has made wholesale changes to its defensive staff.  But this time, recruiting has fared better in the transition.

7. Expect a quieter signing day at Tennessee this year.

8. Why is it that not a single name has emerged in an assistant coaching search at Mississippi State?

Super Bowl Sunday

9. Tennessee has the most players of any school suiting up for tonight’s game.  Here are a few other fact and figures - including a school you probably never heard of.

10. How Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson fared in college against teams from South Carolina.

11. Impact of a Broncos victory on Manning’s career? “Cement his status as not only the greatest quarterback in league history but also the best football player ever.” Keeping track of the “Omaha” calls.

12. Could former Florida star Percy Harvin be the difference tonight?

13. There are 15 NFL cities colder than the Super Bowl today.

14. Both NFL Rookies of the Year come from the SEC.  Alabama’s Eddie Lacy named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson named Defensive Rookie of the Year.

SEC Basketball

15. Status of suspended Arkansas players Michael Qualls and Alandise Harris? “Remains to be seen…”

16. LSU has a basketball team that’s generating some buzz in Baton Rouge.

17. Kentucky followed up a road loss at LSU with a road win at Missouri. Coach John Calipari:   “Are we this team (Saturday) or the other team (Tuesday).”

18. What about Missouri players other than Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson?  ”They were present but not accounted for in Missouri’s 84-79 loss.”

Extra

19. Don’t look, Auburn fans. Florida State celebrates national title.

20. Greg Easterbrook: “Nearly all the social impact of football occurs outside the NFL. It’s youth, high school, and college players society should worry about.”

Post Comments » Comments (22)

 

 

SEC Commitment Comparator – 12/17/13 Vs 12/21/12

blue-chipAs we barrel ahead toward the holidays, I wanted to put together a quickie version of our commitment comparator that examines who’s done what on the recruiting trail… compared to this time a year ago.  Next week we’ll put up our normal comparator complete with our own MrSEC.com recruiting rankings.  But below we’ll look only at the Quantity component of our rankings.

Longtime readers of the site know that we use Rivals.com’s recruiting rankings (we’ve found that their grades better predict future team success or failure).  For each star they assign, we assign a point.  We also award a point for any 0-star prospect.  We then tally the points to see which SEC programs are bringing in the greatest amount of talent.  (Usually, we also look at the Quality and High-End Commitments for each school, but not today.)

Below you will see how each SEC school is doing on the recruiting trail at the moment.  Below that, we’ll compare the totals to those of December 21st, 2012…

 

Quantity

  School   Commits   5-stars   4-stars   3-stars   2-stars   1-& 0-stars   Total Points
  Tennessee   34   2   16   15   0   1   120
  Alabama   23   3   13   7   0   0   88
  Kentucky   24   0   9   14   1   0   80
  Ole Miss   24   0   6   17   1   0   77
  Auburn   19   3   8   7   1   0   70
  Missouri   25   0   2   16   7   0   70
  Texas A&M   19   2   9   7   1   0   69
  Vanderbilt   20   0   6   14   0   0   66
  Florida   18   0   11   7   0   0   65
  Georgia   16   1   10   5   0   0   60
  LSU   15   0   11   3   1   0   55
  Miss. State   18   0   2  13   3   0   53
  S. Carolina   15   0   7   8   0   0   52
  Arkansas   17   0   2   13   2   0   51

 

And now let’s see who’s ahead of or behind last year’s pace…

 

  School   12/21/12   12/17/13   Difference
  Tennessee   47   120   +73
  Kentucky   46   80   +34
  Auburn   70   45   +25
  Missouri   52   70   +18
  Alabama   72   88   +16
  Ole Miss   67   77   +10
  Arkansas   45   51   +6
  Vanderbilt   65   66   +1
  S. Carolina   61   52   -9
  Miss. State   63   53   -10
  Florida   87   65   -22
  LSU   82   55   -27
  Georgia   104   60   -44
  Texas A&M   115   69   -46

 

To be sure, there are all kinds of factors involved in those 14 shifts from one direction to the other — a bumper crop of in-state students one year but not the next, the number of scholarships a school has available, involvement with big name prospects who might make their decisions on signing day, etc.  Still, it’s interesting to see where each program stood about this time a year ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Post Comments » Comments (17)

 

 

SEC Recruiting Notebook: Kentucky Is No. 1

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxKentucky has the nation’s No. 1 ranked football class for 2014, according to Rivals.com.

That’s an incredible statement.

Before diving into what Kentucky has done on the recruiting trail, it should be pointed out Kentucky isn’t ranked No. 1 by every scouting service. The Wildcats are ranked No. 7 by 247Sports, for example.

It’s also very unlikely Kentucky finishes with the No. 1 class or close to it on signing day. But the Wildcats are on pace to easily sign their highest-rated class in the history of the program.

Mark Stoops has changed the way Kentucky is viewed on the recruiting trail since he was hired as head coach in November. Less than three months after Stoops was hired, the Wildcats signed the nation’s No. 29 class for 2013, Kentucky’s best finish since Rivals started calculating team rankings in 2002.

Kentucky has 18 commitments for the 2014 class, eight of whom are from the state of Ohio. That will be critical as Kentucky continues to build relationships and create opportunities for future recruiting.

And without playing a game, Stoops has recruits believing Kentucky will be competitive in the SEC. That’s what sealed the deal for Bowling Green, Ky., defensive tackle Adrian Middleton, who committed to the Wildcats on June 15.

“I picked UK because Coach (Mark) Stoops is changing it around,” Middleton told CatsIllustrated.com. “He’s trying to make a championship program and I wanted to be a part of the family.”

It’s a group that’s received a lot of attention. Common knowledge of the recruiting process says schools like Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU will catch and pass Kentucky by signing day. But the Wildcats have become competitive in recruiting with their SEC opponents, something we’ve never seen.

“It’s a very impressive job by an aggressive staff,” Rivals analyst Mike Farrell told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “They have overcome a lot of things that previous staffs have never been able to touch. Football recruiting has become relevant in Kentucky, and that’s big news.”

That’s the news for Kentucky. The Wildcats have gained credibility despite a winless season in the SEC in 2012. They’ll continue to sell momentum on the recruiting trail as they try to lure more highly-touted prospects, including Elizabethton, Ky., defensive tackle Matt Elam.

Meanwhile, Kentucky fans, who are used to signing top basketball classes, can enjoy the nation’s top football class. Here’s proof.

uk1 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McMillan will return to Florida

Linebacker Raekwon McMillan from Liberty County High School in Hinesville, Ga., enjoyed last week’s trip to Florida so much that he’s decided to visit Gainesville again this weekend.

Read the rest of this entry »

Post Comments » Comments (11)

 

 

USC’s Spurrier Takes A Shot At ESPN, The Other USC

gfx - they said itA few hours ago we told you that South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has an untamed tongue.  It didn’t take long for him to prove that point once more.

Today both Southern Cal and South Carolina — the two USCs from either side of the country — held their Pro Day activities.  Marcus Lattimore’s return to action was cheered at one.  ESPN’s cameras were present at the other to provide live coverage of quarterback Matt Barkley’s workout.  Apparently ESPN’s choice didn’t sit too well with Spurrier who reportedly said:

 

“I noticed both USCs had their pro timing day today.  One of them finished #7 in the country, the other was not in the top 25, yet ESPN decided to go out to the one in California which did not finish in the Top 25 and televise their day live.  It’s interesting that (ESPN) doesn’t come around here on signing day, they don’t come around here on pro timing day, and yet they us to play all these Thursday night games.  Maybe we need to consider playing on that new network, FoxSports 1.”

 

Wow.  There are a helluva lot of digs in that one quick comment.  First, Spurrier smacks around the Trojans — and old buddy Lane Kiffin — over their disappointing finish last season.  Then he goes into full attack mode against SEC television partner ESPN.  The same ESPN that is expected to unite with the league on its brand new network.

While Spurrier may feel that the folks in Bristol don’t pay enough attention to his program, they certainly pay enough cash.  ESPN pays Mike Slive’s league $150 million per year.  That’s $2.25 billion over the course of a 15-year deal for the right to ask Carolina to move some games to Thursday.

Biting the hand that feeds?  Hey, we told you Spurrier gets lippy when he’s winning.

Post Comments » Comments (27)

 

 

USC’s Spurrier Thinks Committed Prospects Should Remain Fair Game

gfx - they said itIt was little more than a year ago when then-Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema complained of Urban Meyer — who’d moved from Florida to Ohio State — bringing his SEC recruiting tactics to the Big Ten.  In Jim Delany’s league, there had been a gentlemen’s agreement that kept Big Ten coaches from recruiting players who’d already committed to other Big Ten programs.  Meyer violated that unwritten rule and Bielema responded by saying this:

 

“We at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC — in any way, shape or form.”

 

Bielema spent one more year in Madison before moving to Arkansas this past offseason.

Well, Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution caught up with South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and asked him if he thought should be such a gentlemen’s agreement in college football.  According to Carvell, “that got a good laugh from the Ol’ Ball Coach” who then said:

 

“No, because the situation could change for a young man.  Then all of a sudden, maybe (the college where he’s committed) is maybe not the best place for him — whereas six months ago, it looked like the best place for him…

Sometimes things change from when a kid commits in the summer and by the end of his senior season.  Sometimes the coach may get fired, or whatever.  Something may happen — this, that or the other.  Maybe a kid gets a better offer.  It’s going to happen when you commit six months before signing day.”

 

Anyone else think that Spurrier — a man high-skilled in the art of needling — will poke a little fun at Bielema’s pas Big Ten/SEC comment during the SEC’s spring meetings in Destin?

Post Comments » Comments (3)

 

 

Alabama Tops The “Oversigning Index,” But It’s Not The All-SEC List Folks Make It Out To Be

gfx - by the numbersWrite the word “oversigning” somewhere on the internet and it won’t take too long for fans of other conferences to quickly blast away in capital the letters “S-E-C.”  Shortly after typing out those letters, fans of other leagues will soon begin to explain to you how oversigning has been the key to the SEC’s recent success.  (As if the biggest budgets, best facilities, priciest coaches, and the most fertile recruiting patch in the nation have nothing to do with it.)

Last night, CBSSports.com’s Matt Hinton posted what he calls his “oversigning index.”  At the top of his chart, the most egregious practictioner of the legal act of oversigning is Alabama’s Nick Saban:

 

“That should come as no surprise, given that Bama has consistently (and legally) operated on the edge of NCAA scholarship caps throughout Nick Saban’s tenure. Ostensibly, teams are limited to 85 scholarship players on the roster at any given time. In practice, because the NCAA doesn’t do a head count until the start of preseason practice in July or August, sometimes long after incoming freshmen and other newcomers have already arrived on campus, coaches can cross the line on national signing day as long as they’re able to come in under the cap six months later. Yet even after a concerted crackdown on “oversigning” by the SEC over the past three years, no coach in any league overshot the mark this year with such gusto.”

 

Ah, ha!  The winners of three of the last four BCS titles is also the champion of oversigning.  Oversigning must be the SEC’s secret weapon, a guarantee of success.  Right?

Uh, not necessarily.  Here’s who else made Hinton’s list of the top oversigners this past signing day:

Read the rest of this entry »

Post Comments » Comments (12)

 

 



Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC