SEC Recruiting Rewind is back in full swing today, and boy, do we have a lot to catch up on.
Saturday was an interesting day to say the least. If you’re a Florida fan, you probably can’t get over that late-game comeback or how Tennessee narrowly missed that would-be game-winning field goal as time expired. If you’re a Volunteers fan, though, Saturday’s loss felt like a gut punch to the Butch Jones regime.
Needless to say, the outcome of that contest should have a resounding effect on the recruiting trail. In fact, one of the country’s top-rated defensive ends has Florida out in front following the program’s win. I anticipate a few other recruits will reevaluate where they stand with Tennessee moving forward.
Speaking of moving forward, let’s get down to it. Here are Monday’s need-to-know stories.
Today’s need-to-know stories
1. Nation’s No. 1 prospect in 2017 is a big fan of Herschel Walker, will attend UGA-Alabama game
Dylan Moses told the AJC’s SECCountry.com that he’s always had an affinity for UGA great Herschel Walker. And it would appear that he also has some interest in the program itself. After decommitting from LSU last month, the 5-star linebacker from Baton Rouge, La., told SECCountry.com that the Bulldogs, among several other schools — LSU, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Alabama, to name a few — have recruited him heavily since Aug. 3.
Moses confirmed that he would be in attendance for the UGA-Alabama game on Oct. 3, and he could unofficially visit Texas A&M for its game against Alabama on Oct. 17. But as it stands, LSU still leads, according to his father.
2. South Carolina’s struggles concern one of the program’s top recruits
Marlon Character, a 4-star safety, according to Rivals.com, has a few concerns about South Carolina and the direction it’s headed under Steve Spurrier. Character told the AJC’s SECCountry.com that he “doesn’t know what to expect” from the program moving forward. According to the Grady High School (Ga.) product, he doesn’t even speak much to co-defensive coordinator Jon Hoke.
And to make things even more interesting, Character says his relationship with Auburn is the best it has ever been. Unlike the Gamecocks staff, he speaks regularly with defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson. He told SECCountry.com that he’s still committed to South Carolina, but it would appear that Auburn is closing in — and fast.
His father told SECCountry.com that the Tigers are a “very” close No. 2. Character actually almost committed to Auburn over the summer during an unofficial visit, so don’t be surprised if things change over the next few months.
3. SEC Country’s Recruits of the Week
Every Sunday, SECCountry.com will unveil its offensive and defensive recruit of the week based on their weekend performance. In order to qualify, recruits must have at least two SEC offers. This week’s honors go to Trevor Speights, a 3-star prospect from Texas, and Derrick Brown, the No. 1 player in the state of Georgia.
4. Ex-UGA commit says Bulldogs, Auburn are his “top schools”
One-time UGA commit E.J. Price didn’t want to address the recent reports that the Bulldogs had picked up another commitment on the offensive line. That should tell you something.
Though he didn’t offer up his thoughts, he did tell the AJC’s SECCountry.com that UGA — coincidentally — and Auburn are his lead schools at the moment. The 4-star offensive lineman from Archer High School (Ga.) recently took an unofficial visit to UGA and was impressed by the coaching staff’s preparation. He was slated to visit Auburn over the weekend with teammate and friend Jamyest Williams but canceled.
5. One-time Mississippi State safety spurns Bulldogs, Missouri for Vanderbilt
Zaire Jones gushed about coach Derek Mason and safeties coach Marc Mattioli in a recent conversation with the AJC’s SECCountry.com. A few days later, he committed to Vanderbilt over Mississippi State and Missouri.
The 3-star safety from Meridian, Miss., told SECCountry.com that Saturday’s loss to Ole Miss sealed his decision. He was impressed by the program’s resolve and resilience.
6. 4-star DE names Florida his leader following program’s win over Tennessee
Antonneous Clayton took a visit to Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, and it appears that he saw all that he needed to.
The 4-star defensive end from Dooly County High School (Ga.) named the Gators his leader shortly after the game ended.
Clayton is the first domino to fall on the recruiting trail following Florida’s signature win over a struggling Tennessee program.
7. Auburn lands 5-star basketball recruit
Basketball is returning, and we’ve got you covered.
Over the weekend, the Tigers secured a commitment from Austin Wiley, a power forward in the class of 2017. The 5-star and nation’s No. 21 prospect spurned Duke, North Carolina and Kansas in the process.
This is Bruce Pearl’s second 5-star recruit.
8. Alabama commit out for year with fractured kneecap
Over the weekend, Shawn Jennings, a 3-star athlete, announced through Twitter that he would miss the remainder of the season because of a knee injury. The Dadeville, Ala., native committed to Alabama last month.
9. 5-star DT talks leaders, reveals hats on the table
If National Signing Day were tomorrow, Shavar Manuel knows which schools would be in the running.
Over the weekend, the 5-star defensive tackle told the AJC’s SECCountry.com that LSU, Florida, Florida State and Auburn are his leading schools. He admitted that LSU and Florida are his co-leaders.
The IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) product is slated to take several visits in the coming weeks, including stops at Florida State and LSU.
10. Georgia WR commits to Arkansas over UCF
Kiel Pollard told the AJC a month ago that he may commit following an official visit to Arkansas.
Sure enough, the 3-star receiver from Colquitt County High School (Ga.) pledged to the Razorbacks a week after his Sept. 19 visit.
Pollard told the AJC’s SECCountry.com that his visit sealed his decision. He is rated as the No. 86 player in the state of Georgia.
11. Mississippi State lands commitment from 3-star
Drelan Porter, a defensive end from Batesville, Miss., committed to the Bulldogs over Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Memphis.
The South Panola High School standout is commitment No. 17 for the Bulldogs.
12. Auburn, Mississippi State looking at teammate of Georgia’s No. 1 player
We rolled out another edition of the AJC’s Friday Night Spotlight last week and showcased Tyler Taylor, a linebacker from Lanier High School (Ga.).
Taylor is a teammate of Derrick Brown, the No. 1 player in the state, but he’s also a name you should become familiar with. The 3-star linebacker is being recruited as an outside linebacker and is one of the most athletic players on a roster filled with Division I prospects. Auburn and Mississippi State, among others, have shown some interest in him.
13. JUCO DB decommits from Auburn
Jamarcus King, a defensive back from Coffeyville Community College (Kan.), announced through Twitter that he was decommitting from the Tigers and reopening his recruitment.
As it stands now, Auburn has only one defensive back commitment for next year’s class.
14. Soundbites and storylines from around the SEC
Butch Jones needs to prove he’s more than a recruiter … Ole Miss holds steady at No. 1 in SEC Power Poll … Twitter war breaks out between Ole Miss, Florida police departments ahead of Saturday’s game … Spot of ball mysteriously moves for Tennessee’s final kick of game … Texas A&M remains at No. 14 in recent AP poll … Florida comes in at No. 25, Alabama drops one spot