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Signing Day 2013: The Battle For Missouri

state map missouriLooking at Wednesday’s signees — including junior college and prep school athletes — here’s a snapshot of the talent produced by the state of Missouri in 2013 (as graded by Rivals.com):

 

5-stars = 0

4-stars = 3

3- stars = 19

Total 3+ stars = 22

 

Here’s where the state’s 10 highest-ranked players are headed:

 

Missouri = 5

Kansas = 1

Kansas State = 1

Nebraska = 1

Ohio State = 1

Arrested Prior To Signing Day = 1

 

Loyalty:  There’s not much Mizzou can do about a local prospect getting nabbed by the law two days before signing day, but holding on to just five of the state’s best players simply won’t cut it.  The Show-Me-State doesn’t crank out tons of talent, so what’s there needs to be kept at home.  Consider it a new border war for the Tigers — close down the state’s borders.

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Recruiting Headlines – Signing Day Eve Edition

1. Here are the announcement times for tomorrow’s ESPNU broadcast.

2. Twitter exploded during Reuben Foster’s announcement on Monday.

3. Look at the jump in attention paid to LSU wide receiver commit Kevin Spears.

4. Robert Nkemdiche is expected to sign with Ole Miss. Here’s a recent interview.

5. QB Tanner McEvoy won’t sign with Florida. He chose Wisconsin instead.

6. Could Georgia sign OL George Adeosun? He’s never visited Georgia.

7.Alabama and Auburn have plenty to watch for on signing day.

8. Tennessee is hoping for a strong finish to the 2013 class.

9. Grantland has a signing day preview to get you ready for tomorrow’s madness.

10. The anticipation is building for Ezekiel Elliott’s announcement. (See video below.)

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Thought Of The Day – 2/5/13

Sorry about the swing and miss on yesterday’s thought/lyric of the day.  Judging from the emails, many of you like having a random song thrown your way each morning.  Well, with signing day rolling ’round tomorrow, this song felt like a good one to throw today.  It hit #4 in early-1988 which — incredibly — was 25 years ago.

 

“Sign your name across my heart.  I want you to be my baby.”

 

Sign Your Name – Sananda Maitreya

 

25 years ago?

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UGA’s Richt Has Hip-Replacement Surgery

mark-richt-smileMark Richt finally took care of an old swing accident — yes, a swing accident — that’s caused him to have hip pain for decades.  Georgia’s coach had hip-replacement surgery on Saturday.  During the fall, Richt had said that he would have the surgery between signing day and spring practice.  Instead, he had the procedure three days before signing day.  A school spokesman said, “He’ll have to tell you why (he had the surgery Saturday) and he’s still in the hospital.”

Richt — who’ll turn 53 in two weeks — is scheduled to hold a news conference on Wednesday, but spokesman Claude Felton said, “We’ll just have to see how he’s doing.” Rivals.com currently ranks Georgia’s class as the 10th best in the nation.

The 2013 season will be his 13th at the head of the Bulldogs’ program.

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Skipper Flips To Arkansas

Offensive lineman Dan Skipper from Arvado, Colo., switched his commitment from Tennessee to Arkansas on Monday.

Skipper made the decision after taking an official visit to Arkansas earlier this month.

“It really surprised me how much I liked it, I knew that going in,” Skipper told HawgSports.com. “I was surprised by the academic support staff, I think that was actually what sold me.”

It couldn’t hurt Arkansas that newly-hired offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and offensive line coach Sam Pittman were at Tennessee when Skipper committed to the Vols.

Skipper is the second lineman to switch his allegiance from Tennessee to Arkansas following the transfer of Chaney and Pittman. Honolulu lineman Reeve Koehler previously favored Tennessee but decided to commit to Arkansas on Jan. 19.

Arkansas has 17 commitments for the 2013 class, including pledges from three offensive linemen. Signing day is Feb. 6.

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Get Ready For Complaints: Bama Switches Recruit’s Scholarship To Grayshirt

grayshirtGet ready to hear plenty of moans and complaints, folks.  When the words “Nick Saban” and “grayshirt” are mentioned in the same sentence, messageboards explode with angry accusations and just-as-angry defenses.

According to TideSports.com, Alabama’s coach has asked injured offensive line commitment Bradley Bozeman of Roanoke, Alabama to take a grayshirt and join the Tide football team next year.  That’s a January of 2014 enrollment rather than a 2013 enrollment.  The 4-star prospect committed to Alabama in June, but he’s currently rehabbing from an ACL injury.

So is Saban exploiting a teenager’s injury in order to skirt the SEC’s 25-man “soft” signing cap?  Not according to Bozeman:

 

“Coach Saban switched my scholarship to a grayshirt.  I have known about it for about two months.  We have been keeping it on the down low.  We didn’t know for sure if that was going to be the option.  It was due to the ACL injury.  It will give me more time to get stronger…

Honestly, I think it’s the best decision for me.  I trust in the coaches.  They are going to make the right decision.  They won three out of the four national championships.  I am going to honor my commitment.  I am staying with them…

We are six to eight weeks ahead of schedule (in his recovery).  I squatted 400 pounds recently.  We are trying to be smart about it though.  The doctors told me I will be back to 100% by April.  They said I have probably been one of the best recoveries they have seen.”

 

You might remember that Saban and Alabama were mixed up in two ugly grayshirt stories that made national news last year.  Bama asked a Georgia running back named Justin Taylor to take a grayshirt just weeks before signing day.  He wound up signing with Kentucky instead.  Then an Alabama defensive line prospect named Darius Philon was asked to grayshirt a week before signing day (according to a teammate).  Though he put on an Alabama ball cap at his school’s signing day event, Philon wound up inking with Arkansas instead.

Taylor had been an Alabama commitment for a year.  Philon had been committed to the Crimson Tide for more than five months.

In Bozeman’s case, Saban at least gave the player a heads-up to the situation well in advance of signing day, though Bama coaches didn’t give him the final word until his visit to Tuscaloosa this weekend.

For those unfamiliar with the process, a grayshirted player signs his letter of intent in February only to delay his enrollment until the following year.  He does not report in the fall with other February signees.  The eligibility for a grayshirted player does not begin until he enrolls as a full-time student the following year.

Now that he’s the latest Alabama grayshirt to make news, all eyes will be on Bozeman to see if he does ink with Alabama… if he changes his mind as Taylor and Philon did… and if he indeed winds up a member of Saban’s football team this time next year.

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Report: Nkemdiche Planning To Visit Florida This Weekend

Robert Nkemdiche is considering taking a visit to Florida this weekend, sources have told 247Sports.

This report comes a week after the defensive end from Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga., said he was down to LSU and Ole Miss. From 247Sports:

“As is the nature with recruiting, this is a very fluid situation, but multiple people have confirmed the visit is being planned at the time, including Grayson High School head football coach Mickey Conn. If the trip to see the Gators in Gainesville does in fact take place, this would be Nkemdiche’s first official visit with signing day only three weeks away.” 

It would still be a surprise if Nkemdiche signs with any school other than Ole Miss, where his brother, Denzel Nkemdiche, plays linebacker. But with Robert Nkemdiche’s recruitment, it’s probably time to stop being surprised by anything at this point.

Signing day is 22 days away.

 

 

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How Do SEC Teams Have More Than 25 Commitments? Back-Counting

using-calculaterOver the past month, we’ve had a few folks ask us about our SEC Commitment Comparators.  “How do some SEC teams have more than 25 commitments when there’s a 25-man cap on signees?”  Well, since the day the SEC implemented its new cap on football signees we at MrSEC.com have referred to it as a “soft” cap.  That’s because it’s not quite the hard and fast rule the league made it out to be.

When league presidents voted in the new regulation in 2011 — ignoring a unanimous “don’t do it” vote from their own football coaches — they did not snuff out the practice of back-counting early enrollees.  And back-counting allows schools to count this year’s signees against the previous year’s class.

The NCAA allows each school to provide 85 scholarships to football players.  Each school can award 25 new scholarships per year.  There’s obviously some natural attrition built into that formula because 25 scholarships over four years would equal 100 scholarships total.

For the sake of example let’s take School X and assume their program has 85 scholarship players at the end of a season.  Now let’s say that 20 players exhaust their eligibility or leave after graduating.  School X would then have 65 players on scholarship heading into signing day.  But in January, School X loses five juniors who depart early for the NFL.  That drops the school’s number of total returning scholarship players to 60.

To max out at the NCAA-mandated 85 scholarships, School X should only be able to sign 25 new athletes on signing day, which is the supposed max anyway.  But.  If School X signed just 20 players the previous year it can still back-count five of this year’s signees against last year’s tally if those extra signees enroll early.  (On the positive side, this does reward student-athletes who have the grades to graduate high school/prep school/junior college early and enroll at School X at mid-year.)

So, let’s say School X signs 30 players this February instead of the 25 allowed by the SEC’s “soft” cap.  Five of those players — if they enroll early  — can be counted toward the 2012 number instead of the 2013 number.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Thought Of The Day – 1/10/13

A pleasant Thursday to all our readers out there.  We’ve got a number of things on the docket today, including an update on SEC recruiting as we speed toward signing day.

But first, we start the day with a bit of musical/lyrical inspiration for you, as is our custom.  Gonna guess there aren’t many of you out there who have the following song on your personal iPods, but the song and the artist are personal favorites of this MrSEC writer (not sure about the rest of our crew).

 

“I’m prayin’ for rain in California… so the grapes can grow and they can make more wine.”

 

Dean Martin Original Release LITTLE OLD WINE DRINKER ME

 

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Auburn Offers Ole Miss Commitment Barber

Auburn has offered a scholarship to Ole Miss running back commitment Peyton Barber from Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga.

Now, Barber has to decide if he will take a visit to the Plains before national signing day on Feb. 6.

Barber already has official visits scheduled to Tennessee (Jan. 11), Arizona State (Jan. 18), Ole Miss (Jan. 25) and Miami (Feb. 1).

Barber is the teammate of defensive end Carl Lawson, who’s committed to Auburn but has shown interest in other schools. Barber has previously helped recruit Lawson to Ole Miss.

“I do talk to Carl about coming to Ole Miss,” Barber told 247Sports. “Those talks go pretty well. He says he’s definitely interested in Ole Miss and likes Ole Miss. It would be nice to have him there with me.”

Barber told Volquest.com earlier this month that his commitment to Ole Miss is a “nine out of a possible 10.”

“After the trips I’ll probably think about things and then decide my final decision and announce on signing day,” he said.

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