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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Five SEC Commitments Make Elite 11

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxThe SEC was well represented when the final Elite 11 quarterbacks were announced this week.

Five of the 11 quarterbacks chosen at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., are committed to SEC schools: Kyle Allen (Texas A&M), Drew Barker (Kentucky), KJ Carta-Samuels (Vanderbilt), Will Grier (Florida) and Jacob Park (Georgia).

Allen’s showing at The Opening this week was so impressive that ESPN ranked him the No. 6 overall prospect at the event. ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren wrote about Allen:

“The Texas A&M commit seemed very consistent throughout the week. He is fundamentally sound and does all the little things right. Allen played well in 7-on-7s and took to the coaching in the Elite 11 drills early in the week. His ability to perform under the stressful scenarios landed him in the top overall group for the week.”

MVP honors went to the only uncommitted Elite 11 quarterback. Sean White, who attends University School of Nova South in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., entered the week without having received as much attention as most of his Opening competition.

But he shined all week, impressing coaches and analysts at the event. ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, who served as a coach at The Opening, gave White high praise for his performance.

“His accurate isn’t just accurate,” Dilfer said. “It’s exact. It’s an NFL type of ball. I’m stealing this from Steve Young, but he has an artistic ball. He paints a picture with his ball.”

The accolades should help White receive more college attention. He’s still looking for his first SEC offer with his highest-profile invitations coming from Boston College, Cincinnati, Syracuse and West Virginia.

White, who said this week he would like to choose a college before his senior season begins, told SB Nation he’s spoken recently to coaches at Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

White said he’s developed a strong relationship with Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.

“I really like him a lot,” White said. “I’ve been talking to him pretty much every day, just building a good relationship with him. I think he’s a really good coach and a great guy.”

White said he plans to visit Wisconsin on July 12, followed by Auburn and South Carolina.

It was a disappointing week at The Opening for Alabama quarterback commitment David Cornwell, who was left off the final Elite 11 list. ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill explained the issues affecting Cornwell’s performance.

“He has a hard time consistently going from play to play and maintaining the body mechanics and the fundamental body control that you want to have for consistent accuracy,” Luginbill said. “I think that’s definitely going to be a challenge for David Cornwell going forward.”

It also shows the level of quarterback play that will enter the SEC. For Cornwell, who ESPN ranks the nation’s No. 2 pocket passer, to be left off the final Elite 11 list is a strong statement on the amount of talent at quarterback.

The quarterback position in the SEC has improved, with Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron and Aaron Murray entering 2013 as three of the nation’s top passers. Expect more talent to arrive in 2014.

 

Tennessee adds another legacy

Linebacker Dillon Bates from Ponte Vedra Beach (Fla.) High School gave Tennessee good news Wednesday night when he announced his commitment to the Vols.

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Jalen Ramsey To Announce Decision

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey from Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy will announce his decision this afternoon at 2 eastern time.

Ramsey, who’s widely considered the top prospect in the state of Tennessee, said last week that Southern California and Vandy are his top two schools. He’s expected to choose USC when he makes his announcement.

Ramsey visited USC twice last month and spoke with several Trojan commitments at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., earlier this month. They made a strong push to convince Ramsey to join them at USC.

“I think he’s going to be in Cardinal and Gold,” Trojans wide receiver pledge Eldridge Massington said during a recent ESPN chat.

Vanderbilt has continued to recruit Ramsey and has impressed the hometown product.

“They’re trying to recruit the best players and they’re out there coaching,” he told 247Sports while at The Opening.

Ramsey has considered other schools, such as Auburn, Tennessee and Washington, and they’ll likely continue to pursue Ramsey even if he commits to USC or Vanderbilt.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 7/11

1. Several defensive prospects from The Opening are considering Alabama.

2. Running back Ashton Shumpert is taking his time with the recruiting process.

3. South Carolina commit Connor Mitch hopes to be the Gamecocks’ quarterback of the future.

4. Ex-Georgia running back Derrick Henry will attend “Dawg Night” on Friday.

5. Georgie linebacker commit Naim Mustafaa plans to visit Tennessee and others.

6. Here’s a guide to the July recruiting period in college basketball.

7. Richmond, Va., running back Derrick Henry has several trips planned in the next month.

8. Running back Jordan Wilkins might be close to making a decision.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 7/9

1. The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., provided a nice challenge for many SEC prospects.

2. CBSSports has a nice package of notes from The Opening.

3. Brian McLaughlin from Sporting News has this rundown from The Opening.

4. Alabama QB commit Cooper Bateman made nice with Southern Cal’s future signal-caller.

5. Alabama TE commit O.J. Howard was one of the top offensive performers in Oregon.

6. Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy cornerback Jalen Ramsey was a defensive standout.

7. Kentucky is one of the schools standing out to basketball prospect Andrew Wiggins.

8. Memphis, Tenn., athlete Mack Weaver has strong interest in Arkansas.

Here’s what Alabama fans have to look forward to when O.J. Howard arrives in Tuscaloosa.

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