It feels like 2008 all over again, doesn’t it?
Of course, Alabama has maintained its presence in the SEC for quite some time now, but it’s a bit odd to see Florida back in the mix of things following its 38-10 drubbing of Ole Miss on Saturday. One thing is for certain, though, these marquee wins by the Crimson Tide and Gators will pay dividends on the recruiting trail as the season continues.
Now, we have a lot of recruiting news to get you caught up on from over the weekend.
Today’s need-to-know stories
1. 5-star recruit: “It’s safe to say the real Florida Gators are back”
Following Florida’s impressive 38-10 win over No. 3 Ole Miss, several targets and commits from both programs offered up their opinion of the upset. One, in particular, Shavar Manuel, a 5-star defensive end from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), suggested the Florida of old was back.
2. Top-rated 2017 DE includes LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, among others, in top 10
Robert Beal, a 4-star defensive end from Norcross, Ga., admitted that he’s received over 129 letters in the mail in one day from Notre Dame, and another 100 or so from UGA. Needless to say, he’s a hot commodity in next year’s class — and for good reason.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound product from Norcross High School already has the frame of an NFL player and he’s even drawn comparisons to UGA standout Lorenzo Carter, who also played at Norcross.
Beal included LSU, Tennessee, UGA and Ole Miss in his top 10 on Sunday. Find out who else is on his radar here.
3. 4-star WR Drake Davis has official visits in mind, but nothing is certain
News broke Sunday that Drake Davis, a 4-star receiver from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), had his five official visits in mind. That list included Ole Miss, LSU, Texas A&M, Clemson and UCLA.
However, the AJC’s SECCountry.com confirmed that while those would be ideal visits, nothing should be etched in stone. Davis has yet to officially schedule them and that list could change.
As it stands, Ole Miss is the team to beat for the 6-foot-4 receiver. LSU and Texas A&M appear to be trailing right behind, but I’d give the Rebels the nod at this point.
4. SEC Country’s Offensive and Defensive Recruit of the Week
We have a lot of star power in this week’s edition.
Jacob Eason, a 5-star quarterback (Wash.), and Ben Davis, the No. 1 ILB in the country (Ala.), each get the nod this week for our offensive and defensive recruit of the week honors.
Eason, who is committed to UGA, threw for 321 yards and four touchdowns. Davis, on the other hand, registered 10 tackles, an interception, two receptions and one receiving touchdown.
5. 4-star DE Antonneous Clayton releases an official top five
It was reported last week that Antonneous Clayton, a 4-star defensive end from Vienna, Ga., had Florida out in front. On Sunday, he confirmed those reports.
The 6-foot-4, 218-pound defensive end from Dooly County High School released his top five on Sunday, one that included Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State and Oklahoma. Clayton took an unofficial visit to Florida on Sept. 26 and named the Gators his leader following the program’s comeback win against Tennessee.
6. Florida lands commitment from 3-star athlete
Following Florida’s rout of Ole Miss on Saturday, the program picked up its 21st commitment.
McArthur Burnett, a 3-star athlete from Pahokee, Fla., committed to the Gators. Burnett was in attendance for Florida’s homestand against Ole Miss as part of an unofficial visit.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound athlete from Pahokee High School reported 10 offers. He joins an already stellar recruiting class that has secured 21 verbal commitments.
7. Alabama commit and targets respond to Tide’s rout of Ole Miss
Saturday’s contest between Alabama and Georgia was not devoid of recruiting star power, as several of the country’s top-rated prospects were in attendance for the SEC showdown while others caught the game from home.
After the game, the AJC’s SECCountry.com caught up with a few Alabama targets for their reaction on the program’s convincing 38-10 win. Find out what they had to say here.
8. Missouri lands commitment No. 15
Missouri picked up its first SEC win of the year on Saturday, and the program simultaneously picked up another on the recruiting trail.
Tyreic Martin, a 3-star defensive end, pledged to the Tigers shortly after the program’s 24-10 win over South Carolina. He gives Missouri its 15th commitment in next year’s class and the second on the defensive line. Martin joins 3-star weak-side defensive end Tre Williams (Columbia, Mo.).
9. Recent Alabama commit will keep his options open
Xavier McKinney spurned Tennessee and Clemson for Alabama last week, but the Crimson Tide’s newest commit is still considering all of his options.
In an interview with the AJC’s SECCountry.com over the weekend, the 4-star safety from Roswell High School (Ga.) acknowledged that he has no intention of cutting ties with either program.
“I keep all of that open,” McKinney said. “I’m going to keep all of my options open still because I don’t want to close anything.”
10. Auburn still flirting heavily with Clemson commit
Auburn may be trying to pluck away one of Clemson’s top recruits.
Tre Lamar, a 4-star linebacker, told the AJC’s SECCountry.com over the weekend that the other Tigers continue to recruit him heavily despite his commitment to Clemson.
“That’s really the only competitor right now,” Lamar said. “I have a good relationship with the coaches up there (at Auburn). Just being able to talk to them about stuff outside of football as well as football. I can fit really well into that system as well.”
However, I wouldn’t read too much into it. Lamar maintained that he’s 100 percent to Clemson, but it’ll be interesting to see if he decides to take an official visit to Auburn this fall.
11. Georgia 4-star is high on Tennessee
LeAnthony Williams, a 2017 4-star cornerback from Roswell High School (Ga.), told the AJC’s SECCountry.com that Tennessee and Florida State are two schools that he is strongly considering at this point in his recruitment.
Williams plans to announce a top five on Nov. 4, which coincidentally happens to be his birthday.
Find out in this video interview who else the No. 25 prospect in Georgia is considering.
12. Soundbites and storylines from around the SEC
How Jim McElwain has transformed Florida into a contender … Auburn quarterback situation still in flux … Gainesville police officer dances with Florida player … UGA drops to No. 19 in recent AP Poll, while Florida climbs to No. 11 … Nick Saban gets a little emotional following Saturday’s win … Leonard Fournette calls out LSU for taking MAC team lightly