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. Nation’s No. 1 prospect will take an official visit to Ole Miss
Rashan Gary, a 5-star defensive tackle from Paramus Catholic (Paramus, N.J.), will be on Ole Miss’ campus this weekend for an official visit as he takes in the LSU game, his mother, Jennifer Coney, told SEC Country.
The 6-foot-5, 293-pounder already took an official visit to Michigan in September, and has one set up at Auburn on Nov. 28 and at USC on Jan. 15. That means there’s only one more coveted spot to get Gary and his family on campus for an official visit before making his commitment.
The schools fighting for the last spot include Alabama, LSU and UGA.
2. Alabama legacy on LSU visit: ‘They really want me down here’
When Ben Davis arrived in Baton Rouge, La., for his official visit on Saturday, he was greeted by defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and another surprise face —Leonard Fournette.
The message was clear: LSU was willing to pull out all of the stops for the country’s top inside linebacker.
“When I got in that morning, it really put in my mind that they really want me down here,” Davis told SEC Country.
It’s no secret that the Tigers have a pressing need at linebacker, and Davis certainly fits the bill as a plug-in player. Last year, Les Miles and staff failed to secure a single commitment at the position. Of course, the focus has since shifted: LSU has already landed verbal commitments from outside linebackers Michael Divinity (Marrero, La.) and Erick Fowler (Manor, Texas) in 2016.
Davis told SEC Country he’s focusing in on Alabama, Auburn, UGA and LSU at the moment.
3. Nation’s top athlete recaps first game at Auburn
Mecole Hardman, Jr., checked off a few firsts on Saturday during his unofficial visit to Auburn.
Take in a game at Jordan-Hare Stadium? Check. Watch Nova the War Eagle fly? Check. Gaze over Auburn’s $13.9 million scoreboard? Check. But why take the visit in the first place?
Hardman, Jr., said the trip was a chance to get eyes on two programs he’s considering in his recruitment. Saturday’s outcome also affirmed to the 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior that UGA was back on course in light of the recent rumors surrounding the coaching staff, particularly defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
Hardman told SEC Country he’ll likely take a few more unofficial visits to both UGA and Tennessee — two of his top schools — later this fall. He even proposed the possibility of taking another to Florida.
4. Auburn and Ole Miss to receive an official visit from the No. 1 running back in 2016
Less than two weeks after de-committing from Ohio State, Kareem Walker has added two official visits to his itinerary.
Per 247Sports.com’s Ryan Bartow, the consensus No. 1 running back in the country will visit both Auburn and Ole Miss. Bartow indicated Walker would head to Auburn the weekend of Nov. 28 and to Ole Miss the weekend after. He has already taken official visits to Michigan (Oct. 10) and Alabama (Nov. 7).
Per Bartow’s report, Walker’s fifth and final visit has yet to be determined.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior from Wayne, N.J., is considered a strong lean to Michigan, per 247Sports.com’s Crystal Ball predictions.
Walker is rated as the No. 2 prospect in New Jersey behind Rashan Gary, the top-rated recruit in the country.
5. Arkansas gaining momentum with Louisiana’s No. 1 cornerback
Arkansas is making strides not only on the football field, but on the recruiting trail as well.
The Razorbacks are generating momentum with Kristian Fulton, the nation’s No. 4 cornerback and third-ranked player in Louisiana.
“I hear from them every week,” the 4-star prospect said after receiving his Under Armour All-American jersey Tuesday. “It shows how much they really want me and how much they want me to come up there and help their secondary.”
Fulton, who attends Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.), has numerous ties to Arkansas. His current teammate Briston Guidry, a 4-star defensive tackle, is an Arkansas commitment. His former teammate Henre’ Toliver was a part of the Razorbacks’ 2014 recruiting class.
SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman has more on the status of Fulton’s recruitment here.
6. Missouri loses first commitment since Gary Pinkel announced his resignation
Tobias Little, a 3-star linebacker from Mays High School (Atlanta), announced that he has de-committed from Missouri.
Just five days ago, Little told SEC Country that the protests occurring on Missouri’s campus weren’t deterring him away from his commitment.
“I’m glad to see the coaches sticking behind their players and supporting them,” Little said. “That’s what a family is all about and that’s what I look forward to. Being a part of something special.”
But with the news of Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel’s resignation at the end of the season because of health concerns, it looks like Little is ready to explore all of his options.
Little committed to Missouri back on July 29. He’s rated as the nation’s No. 29 inside linebacker for the Class of 2016.