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. Recruiting fallout continues for South Carolina
On the heels of Steve Spurrier’s retirement, South Carolina has endured several setbacks on the recruiting trail. Those woes continued on Thursday, when 4-star wide receiver Bryan Edwards de-committed from the program, per reports.
Edwards’ decision marks the third recruit to de-commit post-Spurrier, leaving the Gamecocks with 15 commitments in next year’s class. Marlon Character (Atlanta, Ga.) and P.J. Blue (Montgomery, Ala.) have de-committed as well.
2. Son of NFL star addresses Alabama rumors
Nigel Warrior has been rumored to have Alabama as his favorite school, but he squashed that speculation on Thursday.
Warrior, a 4-star safety from Peachtree Ridge High School (Suwanee, Ga.), thinks the rumors of him favoring Alabama stem from his numerous visits to Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“That’s just all talk,” Warrior told SEC Country. “I’ve seen them play against really good teams, and I’ve liked what I have seen.”
The son of former NFL All-Pro and Tennessee Volunteers star Dale Carter said the six schools that he is strongly considering — Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, UGA, Florida and Ohio State — are all on equal ground.
3. It’s a two-way race between Florida and Tennessee for OL
It’s a two-way race between Florida and Tennessee for Marcus Tatum, but the three-star offensive tackle is tabling his decision until the playoffs are over.
“It’s a battle between them two,” Tatum reaffirmed to SEC Country.
The 6-foot-6, 255-pound senior from Daytona Beach, Fla., maintained both schools have shown him and his family enough, from the coaching staff to the players in the locker room.
But there are two other factors that could potentially help steer him towards his decision: Academics and teammate Jachai Polite, who committed to Florida on Nov. 12. Tatum said he and Polite are ‘extremely close’ both on and off the field.
4. No. 1 CB in 2017 to visit Ole Miss, Florida this month
Deangelo Gibbs has two more visits on his agenda this fall and both will be to SEC programs.
The five-star cornerback from Suwanee, Ga., confirmed to SEC Country on Thursday that he’ll likely conclude his fall itinerary with unofficial visits to Ole Miss (Nov. 21) and Florida (Nov. 28) over the next two weekends. He will be accompanied by teammate and four-star linebacker Breon Dixon.
Gibbs, the top-rated cornerback in 2017, told SEC Country the offers continue to come in on a weekly basis, forcing him in turn to reevaluate his recruitment. His upcoming visits will likely give him a better sense of where each program stands, but Gibbs said his recruitment hasn’t been easy.
“I’m wide open, as you know,” Gibbs told SEC Country. “When I say it’s hard, it really is. I pick up a new offer almost every week. It’s like every time you get a new video game.”
5. Missouri commit having second thoughts on heels of Pinkel’s retirement
Caron Baham received a very intriguing phone call Thursday morning.
“Today, I got a call from Tennessee,” the longtime Missouri commit said. “So I’m guessing they’re going to be offering (a scholarship) pretty soon too.”
The 6-foot, 190-pounder has been committed to Missouri since May, but said he’ll visit Tennessee if the Vols extend a scholarship offer.
“I thought they would be one of my first offers, but I guess they held back on it because I jumped on Missouri so fast,” the 3-star athlete from John Ehret High School (Marrero, La.) said.
Baham’s recruitment has been a wild ride since his spring commitment. Baham suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his first game this season. Missouri’s dedication after the injury made his bond with the Tigers grow stronger, especially with coach Gary Pinkel.
But things have changed in light of Pinkel’s resignation. SEC Country’s Dave Hooker has more here.
6. Brother of NFL star wants South Carolina offer
Connor Heyward, a 3-star wide receiver from Peachtree Ridge High School, currently has seven offers and is looking to add at least one more from South Carolina.
“It’s not too far from home. It’s SEC football. Who wouldn’t want to play in the SEC? I like their school’s tradition,” Heyward told SEC Country.
The 6-foot-1, 202-pounder said he hears from Gamecocks coaches often, but his interest in the program is in a holding pattern as he waits to hear who the next head coach will be.
“South Carolina has definitely expressed a lot of interest in me right now,” Heyward said. “I like South Carolina, but with (former Coach Steve) Spurrier not there, the coaching situation isn’t solidified yet. I want to see who is going to be the new head coach. It could be (Alabama defensive coordinator) Kirby Smart, unless he goes to Virginia Tech.”
7. LSU commit believes team will bounce back from recent woes
LSU may be faltering late in the season, but linebacker commit Michael Divinity hasn’t lost faith.
Divinity, a 4-star linebacker and the fifth-rated prospect in Louisiana, remains solid on his commitment to LSU despite the Tigers dropping back-to-back games to Alabama and Arkansas.
In fact, he maintains the utmost confidence that LSU is bound for a rebound.
“Everyone has their games, and in those (last) two games, Alabama came out on top and Arkansas came out on top,” Divinity said Wednesday after receiving his Under Armour All-American jersey. “LSU is going to bounce back. I promise you that. They’re going to bounce back.”
8. Tennessee coaches’ on commit’s recent visit: ‘They were worried’
Tennessee coaches were a bit taken aback when one of their most coveted prospects took an impromptu official visit to another SEC team last weekend.
“They were worried when they found out because I didn’t tell them before I left,” the Tennessee receiver commitment told SEC Country. “After I told them what it was all about, they weren’t worried and they said “Have fun.”
So why did Jeff George, a three-star receiver prospect from Dodge City Community College (Dodge City, Kansas), decide to take an official visit to Auburn last weekend?
“Just to see some other places and to get out of Dodge City,” said George, who committed to Tennessee in June. “It was cool. It was a cool experience to look around a little bit to see what everybody else has to offer.”