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.
The last 48 hours have left us with a lot to chew on.
Kirby Smart is headed to Athens, Ga., and his arrival is likely to not only shuffle the college football coaching landscape but the recruiting trail as well.
Five-star quarterback and longtime Bulldogs commit Jacob Eason decided to venture down to Gainesville, Fla., for an official visit — and it’s worrying Florida’s newest commit.
There is plenty more, but that is just a small taste of what we have in store for you today.
Check out the latest recruiting storylines around the SEC below.
Today’s need-to-know stories
1. Five-star QB and Bulldogs commit arrives to Florida’s campus for an official visit
Jacob Eason touched down on Florida’s campus on Tuesday for his last-second official visit.
The long-time Bulldogs commit has arrived at a unique time, too, as he will get to witness the Gators practice ahead of Saturday’s SEC championship game against Alabama.
Eason’s decision to take an official visit to Florida comes on the heels of Mark Richt’s departure from UGA. His father, Tony, told DawgNation shortly before Richt was fired that his son needed to have a backup plan — and it would appear Eason is doing just that.
“If things fell apart and things that are out of our control happen, you have to have relationships with other people as a backup or a ‘Plan B’ or whatever you want to call it,” Tony Eason said. “A contingency plan even. It would be stupid not to.”
Eason, the No. 2 quarterback in the country, is set to enroll in January.
2. Several recruits react to UGA’s hiring of Kirby Smart
Kirby Smart is on his way to UGA. DawgNation reported yesterday that the former Bulldogs defensive back would return as head coach to succeed Mark Richt.
The Alabama defensive coordinator has established quite the reputation working under Nick Saban for the last eight years. So what does it mean for the 17 commitments that the program had under Richt?
DawgNation quickly rounded up the thoughts of UGA’s current commitments for the Class of 2016 and 2017.
3. How Kirby Smart’s arrival to UGA will impact the nation’s No. 1 OLB
Lyndell Wilson postponed his commitment date early Tuesday morning, citing possible future head coaching changes as the main reason behind his decision.
He later confirmed to SEC Country on Tuesday evening that he delayed his announcement in order to specifically see where Kirby Smart would land. Upon hearing the news of Smart’s imminent move to Athens, Ga., as originally reported by DawgNation’s Chip Towers, Wilson was brief and to the point.
“I’m interested,” he told SEC Country.
Smart was Wilson’s primary recruiter at Alabama. It is likely the former Alabama defensive coordinator’s decision to leave will impact the 5-star linebacker’s recruitment in some way, shape or form.
Though he’s publicly named the Gators his leader, it’s clear Wilson will give the Bulldogs a serious look in the coming months.
4. New Gators commit has an unsettling feeling about Jacob Eason visiting Florida
Feleipe Franks committed to Florida a few days ago, and he isn’t thrilled about Jacob Eason, the longtime UGA commit, taking an official visit to Florida.
Franks, a 4-star QB from Wakulla High School (Crawfordville, Fla.), was asked how he felt about Eason visiting Florida on Tuesday.
“Not good,” Franks told SEC Country.
Eason, who is ranked as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the country, is exploring all of his options now that UGA has parted ways with Mark Richt.
Reportedly, Eason, who has been committed to UGA since July 2014, has his commitment in “a holding pattern.”
5. Les Miles’ news ‘reassuring’ for nation’s No. 1 ILB
Les Miles will return next year, much to the approval of the country’s top inside linebacker.
That would be Ben Davis, who received a face-to-face visit from LSU defensive coordinator Kevin Steele on Monday afternoon.
The 5-star prospect from Gordo, Ala., said he, Steele and Gordo coach Ryan Lolley spoke about Miles’ future during the visit.
“Coach Steele told me that inside the program, they aren’t even worried about it,” Davis told SEC Country. “The media caught up to it and blew it up more than it was. They said they weren’t even worried about it. It wasn’t on their minds.”
Davis, who is considering Alabama and LSU, among other schools, said the conversation was reassuring. He’s had many talks with Miles over the phone and on both unofficial and official visits.
The decision to retain Miles — at least for another year — should help the program’s chances of landing Davis. LSU is competing primarily with Alabama, Auburn, UGA and Notre Dame for his signature.
He is rated as the No. 17 player in the country in 2016.
6. Les Miles and Cam Cameron visited with former LSU QB commit on Tuesday
Les Miles has no intentions of backing away in his efforts to lure Feleipe Franks back to LSU.
According to NOLA.com’s James Smith, both Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron made an in-home visit to Franks on Tuesday, just days after Miles’ future in Baton Rouge, La., was clarified. Sunday marked the start of the recruiting contact period in which coaches can meet with prospective players face-to-face.
Franks, a one-time Tigers commit, committed to the Gators on Nov. 29 after a string of visits to the program. However, despite the recent change in events, it’s clear Miles and the Tigers’ coaching staff believe they have a shot with the 4-star quarterback from Wakulla High School (Crawfordville, Fla.).
7. Auburn QB commit believes he can start next season
At just 175.6 yards per game, Auburn ranks 107th in passing offense this season. The team’s top quarterback commit has taken notice of the Tigers’ struggles.
Woody Barrett, a 4-star prospect from West Orange High School (Orlando, Fla.), told SEC Country that he thinks he has a good shot at starting next season for Auburn.
“If I work hard at it, I can,” Barrett told SEC Country. “Nothing is given at the next level. If I put in the work, I believe I can come in and start.”
Barrett is ranked as the nation’s No. 4 dual-threat quarterback. He is expected to enroll in classes in January, which will allow him the opportunity to participate in spring practice.
8. Florida prospect upset with the Gators
Eddie McDoom wanted to attend the University of Florida, but there has been a hiccup.
McDoom, a 3-star wide receiver from West Orange High School (Orlando, Fla.), told SEC Country that the Gators have pretty much ceased communication with him.
“They haven’t really been talking to me, which is pretty upsetting,” McDoom said. “For them to come back and talk to me, I think I would put them back at the top, but they haven’t really said much so far.”
McDoom is rated as the No. 66 wide receiver in the country and the state of Florida’s No. 58 prospect overall.