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. Florida quarterback commit Jake Allen to miss rest of season
Florida’s quarterback of the future will miss the rest of his junior season with a lower back injury.
Jake Allen, a 4-star prospect from St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort. Lauderdale, Fla.), confirmed to SEC Country he would recover in six weeks. The 6-foot-3, 191-pounder committed to Florida in July and has been one of the Gators’ biggest recruiters.
“Whoever is interested in Florida and has an offer, I’m talking to them,” Allen said in a recent interview.
2. 4-star WR Keith Gavin has Alabama, UGA in top three
Gavin, a 4-star wide receiver from Wakulla High School (Crawfordville, Fla.), conceded to Derek Tyson of ESPN that his three preferred schools are Alabama, UGA and Florida State.
The 6-foot-3, 211-pounder de-committed from FSU in August. According to his 247Sports profile, he hasn’t reported an offer from UGA.
Gavin has visited Alabama and Florida State numerous times, but he has not visited UGA.
3. Former Florida State quarterback transfers to Auburn
John Franklin III, who transferred from Florida State to East Mississippi Community College this past summer, will transfer to Auburn after this season.
Franklin was offered by Auburn in October. The Florida native, who also ran track at Florida State, has drawn comparisons to former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall. Florida State used Franklin’s speed to simulate Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and Oregon’s fast-paced offense in practice leading up to the 2014 College Football Playoff semifinals.
Franklin completed 58.2 percent of his passes in nine games for East Mississippi Community College this season. He threw seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Franklin also rushed for 451 yards and nine touchdowns.
4. New Orleans WR commits to LSU
Class of 2018 wide receiver Devonta Jason committed to LSU on Wednesday night.
Jason, a 4-star prospect at Landry-Walker (La.), is rated the No. 4 player in that recruiting class and second among wide receivers.
“(It took) a lot of thinking overall, but it didn’t take much for my decision,” Jason said. “Because LSU was always my dream school.”
SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman details Jason’s commitment here.
5. Florida pursuing top Auburn commit
Though Brodarious Hamm has been committed to Auburn since last summer — a decision that followed his de-commitment from Tennessee — it appears his recruitment may not be over just yet.
On Wednesday, the 4-star offensive lineman from Spalding County High School (Ga.) conceded that Florida has been recruiting him aggressively with the help of Gators offensive line coach Mike Summers, and there is mutual interest between both sides.
However, Hamm acknowledged it would “take a lot” for him to reconsider his status with the Tigers.
“I would probably have to take a visit [to Florida] and see what is going on,” Hamm told SEC Country.
6. South Carolina picks up commitment No. 16
South Carolina lost a commitment in Marlon Character on Tuesday, but it picked up another late Wednesday evening.
Griffin Gentry, a 2-star defensive end from Birmingham, Ala., announced his commitment to the Gamecocks through Twitter, giving the program its 16th commitment and fourth defensive lineman overall in next year’s class.
The 6-foot-2, 255-pound senior from Homewood High School reported four offers. He is rated as the No. 103 player in Alabama.
7. Texas A&M lands an official visit from son of former NFL star Randy Moss
Thaddeus Moss, son of NFL legend Randy Moss, is going to take an official visit to Texas A&M.
Moss, a 4-star tight end and the No. 9 player at the position according to Rivals.com, tweeted Tuesday night that he will be at Texas A&M this weekend. Moss has more than 30 reported offers, and the Aggies were the latest one, which he reported last week.
A senior tight end for one of North Carolina’s top programs, Moss has also reportedly received offers from Alabama, UGA and Florida. He had previously scheduled an official visit to UGA for the Alabama game on Oct. 3, but canceled because of major flooding in South Carolina caused by Hurricane Joaquin.
8. Top Tennessee recruit remains ‘100 percent’ committed
Volunteers commit Chidi Okonya likely won’t visit Tennessee again until early next year, but that shouldn’t worry fans.
“As of right now, I find myself fully committed — 100 percent,” Okonya told SEC Country.
Okonya, a 4-star defensive end from Riverdale High School (Riverdale, Ga.), won’t be able to get back on campus before the end of the year because of the holidays, a wedding that he will be attending in California, his participation in the Semper Fidelis Bowl game and school work.
He plans on taking his official visit to Tennessee in January. As of right now, it’s the only school he knows for sure that will get him on campus.
The 6-foot-7, 230-pounder did say he may take an official visit to Duke, which was the first school that offered him.
9. OL leaning toward Florida, visiting Tennessee this weekend
Florida fans should be on guard as Marcus Tatum heads north. However, there isn’t much reason to fret when one of the Gators’ key targets takes an official visit to Tennessee this weekend.
“I would think Florida would be,” the 3-star offensive lineman from Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland said when asked which school leads for his commitment. “Not much, just by a little. Not extreme. Not impossible (to overcome).”
Tatum was in Gainesville recently. He saw Florida’s exciting comeback to beat the Vols 28-27 on Sept. 26. He said he, his teammates and mother all enjoyed the experience.
“They’re doing a really good job,” Tatum said. “That coaching staff is doing a good job. Just good things going on in Gainesville.”
SEC Country’s Dave Hooker goes in-depth on Tatum’s recruitment here.
10. Tennessee recruit draws comparison to ex-LSU star Odell Beckham, Jr., emulates him
Tennessee fans might have do a double take if they see Amari Rodgers in Neyland Stadium on Saturday. They might think an NFL star is in attendance.
Rodgers, who told SEC Country he will visit Tennessee this weekend, could be confused for former LSU standout and New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. That’s by design.
“I admire Odell Beckham,” the 4-star receiver from Knoxville Catholic (Tenn.) said. “Almost every night before I go to sleep, I watch his highlights. I try to be like him as much as I can in my game. I try to high-point the ball and catch everything that comes my way and just be a great route runner like he is.”
Rodgers, who committed to Southern California in June, has even bleached the tips of his hair to look more like Beckham. The similarities don’t stop there. They’re even more apparent on the field.
Find out more about Rodgers and his comparisons here, courtesy of SEC Country’s Dave Hooker.