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SEC Recruiting Notebook: The Nation’s Top Target… Mom

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxThe story of Arkansas running back signee Alex Collins dominated headlines last week.

Collins, who attends South Plantation High School in Plantation, Fla., had committed to the Razorbacks two days before signing day and was set to sign with Arkansas on Feb. 6. But Collins’s mother refused to sign his national letter of intent, leading Collins to seek out his father’s help to get the letter signed.

A similar situation could have occurred with Florida State linebacker signee Matthew Thomas from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami.

Thomas told he wanted to sign with Southern California but his mother refused to sign his letter of intent. Unlike Collins, Thomas chose not to battle his mother on the subject.

“We couldn’t agree, but it’s my mom, I just did what I had to do,” Thomas told Noles247.

Thomas insisted he’s not upset about his mother’s refusal to sign a letter to USC.

“I think everything works out how it’s supposed to,” Thomas said. “I’m going to make the best of my situation. It’s not like I’m unhappy, I really like Florida State. It’s not a problem, I’m happy with my decision.”

How many prospects would be happy with a situation similar to the one involving Thomas? Obviously Collins wasn’t; he still signed with Arkansas instead of staying close to home as his mother insisted.

But there are many prospects who would react the same way Thomas did, simply saying, “It’s my mom.”

Last week, standout defensive end Chris Jones from Houston, Miss., signed with Mississippi State instead of rival Ole Miss. One major reason: his mother wanted him in Starkville. At least that’s what Ole Miss co-defensive coordinator Wes McGriff told

Ole Miss couldn’t sway Jones’s mother, but it was able to do so with other recruits. The Rebels staff made connections with the people closest to its top targets. With defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, it was his brother, who plays at Ole Miss, and mother, who made it clear Ole Miss was her top pick. With wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss’s recruiting started with his friend and former high school teammate (who signed with Ole Miss last February) and ended with his mother.

So with the 2014 recruiting period already underway, it should be obvious who coaches should target. It starts with the prospects, but with many, it will end with mom.

Hold off on those visits

The 2013 class featured many prospects who committed to one school (or two) but signed with another last week.

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