The aim of SEC Country’s SEC Recruiting Rewind is to bring you pertinent recruiting news from 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. No. 1 athlete believes Alabama is the best fit for him defensively
The nation’s No. 1 athlete, Mecole Hardman, Jr., is heading to Alabama this week for the LSU game on an unofficial visit.
“I’m looking forward to that,” Hardman said. “That’s my first time ever seeing an Alabama game at their home stadium live. I’m really not going to it with any high expectations. I just want to be shocked.”
The senior feels Tennessee is the best fit for him offensively, but his decision will be based on more than that. Hardman goes in-depth with SEC Country’s Jeff Sentell on his college prospects in this recent interview.
2. Three-star DB Marlon Character flips from South Carolina to Auburn
Marlon Character’s decision to flip from South Carolina to Auburn was widely anticipated in recruiting circles. The 3-star safety from Grady High School (Atlanta, Ga.) made the decision on Monday, as confirmed by SEC Country.
Character came to the decision this past Friday, but opted to wait until Monday to break the news to secondary coach Lorenzo Ward. Character’s father told SEC Country his son will forgo any remaining visits, further solidifying his newfound commitment to the Tigers.
3. Florida State commit schedules official visit to Alabama
Several highly-rated recruits will be in attendance for Saturday’s game between Alabama and LSU, as SEC country has confirmed, but one prospect to keep an eye on who will be taking an official visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., is Janarius Robinson.
Robinson, a 4-star defensive end from Florida, is currently committed to the Seminoles, but recruiting circles believe he could be a possible flip.
4. Tennessee actively recruiting USC commit
Dead periods have little effect on the recruitment of Amari Rodgers. Sure, Tennessee’s coaches can’t call the 4-star receiver at certain times. However, the NCAA has no jurisdiction over his classmates.
The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Rodgers hears about the Vols constantly. There’s no way to avoid it. He attends Knoxville Catholic (Tenn.) alongside the children of several Tennessee coaches, including head coach Butch Jones, defensive coordinator John Jancek and offensive line coach Don Mahoney.
“I would say he definitely does,” Catholic coach Steve Matthews said. “I would say he hears a lot everywhere he goes in Knoxville.”
SEC Country’s Dave Hooker goes in-depth on Rodgers’ status with Tennessee here.
5. Five most important recruits Ole Miss must sign to finish 2016 class
Ole Miss has pieced together a rather impressive 2016 recruiting class because in large part of the additions of quarterback Shea Patterson (Bradenton, Fla.) and defensive tackle Benito Jones (Waynesboro, Miss.).
As it stands, the Rebels boast the No. 8 recruiting class in the country, per 247Sports.com, one that includes 19 verbal commitments and one 5-star (Patterson) and seven 4-star prospects.
How many more recruits Ole Miss plans on taking in 2016, remains to be seen, but we took a look at some of the top remaining targets the Rebels need to sign to finish this class here.
6. Pair of Miami commits want Alabama assistant to become next Miami coach
Three of Nick Saban’s Alabama assistants are likely to receive serious consideration for head coaching jobs this year, including offensive line boss Mario Cristobal.
The former Florida International coach has especially been connected to the Miami opening, and recruits are apparently jumping on the bandwagon.
The Hurricanes fired Al Golden after a 58-0 loss to Clemson two weekends ago.
Two days ago, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart reportedly said he’s “very interested” in the soon-to-be-open job at Virginia Tech.
7. Hidden gem JUCO defensive end could visit Auburn, Tennessee
Jonathan Kongbo has two official visits on the horizon. He’s just not sure of the destinations.
The 6-foot-6, 264 defensive end from Yuma (Ariz.) Western College is considering official visits to Auburn, Tennessee, Nebraska and Oregon State on Nov. 21 and Nov. 28.
“I’ve got to figure out which ones,” Kongbo said.
Kongbo spoke at length with SEC Country’s Dave Hooker about the status of his recruitment here.
8. Five-star athlete loves Shea Patterson, plans official visit to Ole Miss
Mecole Hardman, Jr., the nation’s No. 1 athlete for 2016, will take an official visit to Ole Miss on Nov. 21 for the LSU game.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of the coaches lately and think it is a great program,” Hardman told SEC Country. “Especially a program that is looking at me that is having great success over the years. I know Shea Patterson is committed to Ole Miss and he’s a great quarterback.”
The 5-star prospect from Elbert County High School views Patterson as a foundation for big things at Ole Miss, and he gave his impressions of the program to SEC Country’s Jeff Sentell in this recent interview.