The aim of SEC Country’s SEC Recruiting Rewind is to bring you pertinent recruiting news across the conference. We’ll get you caught up to speed with the latest on commitments and de-commitments and everything in between.
Today’s need-to-know stories
1. Five-star LB has Alabama, Auburn in top three
Markail Benton is one of the top prospects in the country in the class of 2017, and he has two SEC schools in his top three.
Benton, a 5-star linebacker from Central High School (Phenix City, Ala.), told SEC Country that his top three schools right now are Alabama, Auburn and Florida State, in no particular order.
The 6-foot-2, 227-pounder is high school teammates with Auburn cornerback commit John Broussard and Florida State linebacker commit Jamal Couch.
According to his 247Sports profile, 100 percent of recruiting analysts who have predicted Benton’s future school believe he will join Broussard at Auburn. Phenix City is close in proximity to Auburn, but Benton remains adamant that location is going to have no factor in which school he commits to.
Benton is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 outside linebacker and No. 1 prospect in Alabama for 2017.
2. Elite Georgia QB discusses his latest offer from Ole Miss
Davis Mills is as close to the vest about his recruitment as he is his team’s offensive signals.
But the 2017 four-star quarterback from Norcross, Ga., did shed some light on his most recent offer from Ole Miss.
“I’d definitely love to make it out there,” Mills told SEC Country. “I know how successful they’ve been recently. I’d love to get out there sometime this season and see what they have and to meet the coaches.”
Despite the offer, however, it appears Mills will likely step outside of the SEC’s footprint for his collegiate career. He’s garnered heavy interest from programs like Stanford and UCLA, and 60 percent of 247Sports.com’s Crystal Ball predictions peg him playing for the Cardinal.
3. Alabama commit already studying one of the Tide’s best
Xavier McKinney has been committed to Alabama for just more than a month, and the 2017 four-star defensive back is already taking notes from one of the Crimson Tide’s top performers — Cyrus Jones.
McKinney was in attendance for the Alabama-LSU game and came away impressed with Alabama’s handling of Leonard Fournette. SEC Country’s Will McFadden has more on McKinney and the status of his recruitment here.
4. Texas running back has UGA, Arkansas among final schools
Devwah Whaley, a four-star running back from Beaumont, Texas, has narrowed down his list of top schools to UGA, Arkansas and Texas, SEC Country has confirmed. He conceded he hasn’t yet eliminated Texas A&M, either.
The news comes just a week before Whaley is scheduled to take an official visit to Arkansas on Nov. 21. He previously took official visits to both UGA (Sept. 19) and Texas A&M (Nov. 6).
Back in September, speculation surrounded Whaley and the status of his commitment when SEC Network analyst Andre Ware said Mark Richt revealed to him that he had “another elite running back duo headed to UGA.” As it stands, Whaley is the only other high-profile running back being courted by the Bulldogs aside from Elijah Holyfield (Atlanta, Ga.), who committed to UGA in September.
Interestingly enough, the 6-foot, 209-pound senior from Central Senior High School conceded to DawgNation two months ago that he would silently commit to his school of choice before going public.
Whaley is rated as the No. 4 running back in the country, per 247Sports.com’s Composite Rankings.
5. Florida commit on South Carolina contest: ‘It shouldn’t have been that close of a game’
No. 8 Florida (9-1, 7-1 SEC) topped South Carolina (3-7, 1-7 SEC) on Saturday, 24-14, and SEC Country polled a handful of commits and targets from both programs for their reaction to the outcome.
6. Michigan prospect takes second look at Tennessee
Antjuan Simmons knows plenty about Tennessee even though it seems like he is well removed from the program.
Forget the fact that Simmons is just a junior and attends Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich. Simmons has an inside source when it comes to Tennessee info.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior is close friends with Tennessee running back John Kelly, who is from Oak Park High School in Detroit. That relationship is part of the reason Simmons visited Knoxville for the North Texas game on Saturday.
SEC Country’s Dave Hooker has more on Simmons’ recruitment here.
7. Four-star QB wants offers from three SEC schools
One of the top quarterbacks in the country, Chase Brice, claims 18 offers, but he is looking to add three more to the collection.
Brice, a 2017 4-star quarterback from Grayson High School, told SEC Country that he would like to receive an offer from Florida, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder visited South Carolina this past weekend for its game against Florida. In addition to that visit, Brice has made trips to Clemson and Michigan State this season, two schools that are considered by most recruiting analysts to be the favorites to land him.
Despite that, he doesn’t have any leaders and isn’t sure when he’ll make a final decision.
Brice is rated as the nation’s No. 11 pro-style quarterback and is the state of Georgia’s No. 27 overall prospect in the class of 2017.
8. Southeast prospect has arrived at a new top four
Mykelle McDaniel has a new leader and says he already knows where he’ll play college football.
McDaniel, a 3-star defensive end from Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.) told SEC Country two months ago that Florida was his leader. The Gators have now dropped two spots on his list. But apparently his list doesn’t matter too much because he knows where he’ll play come next football season.
“To be honest with you, I know where I’m going already,” McDaniel said in a recent interview. “I’m just going to hold it out and keep it a secret,” he laughed. “But the top four right now is South Carolina, Nebraska, Florida and Tennessee. That is in order.”
9. Recruit says Alabama is ‘definitely’ the top SEC program
Owen Pappoe may be a freshman, but that hasn’t stopped some of the top college football programs in the country from offering him a scholarship.
Pappoe, who will likely be one of the top prospects in the class of 2019, has offers from UGA, Auburn, Tennessee and Florida State, to name a few.
One school that he’s hoping extends an offer soon is Alabama. Pappoe gushed when talking about the Crimson Tide and his visit there two months ago.
“Alabama is just an entire different atmosphere than every other school I have been to,” Pappoe told SEC Country. “Alabama is definitely the top SEC school. I like them a lot.”