Welcome to SEC Country’s Weekend Recruiting Roundup, where we recap all the recruiting action over the previous 72 hours you may have missed. Plug in, sit down and get up to date with the news and notes as we approach National Signing Day 2017.
Stidham leads the way: The biggest recruiting news of the weekend — and, honestly, maybe this recruiting cycle — was Baylor-turned-JUCO QB Jarrett Stidham announcing his commitment to Auburn.
Stidham, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound dual-threat quarterback, announced his transfer from Baylor in July. He spent one semester at McClennan Community College in Stephenville, Texas, but because he was a full qualifier out of high school, he used the semester effectively as a redshirt year. A 4-star recruit and the No. 1 junior college player in the 2017 class, Stidham will be eligible immediately for the Tigers.
His recruitment came down to three SEC teams, narrowing his focus on a group in dire need of stellar quarterback play: Auburn, Texas A&M and Florida.
These last 6 months have been crazy and the craziness is finally over. Time to start my next chapter at Auburn University! WAR EAGLE! ? pic.twitter.com/BckaHMO6D3
— Jarrett Stidham (@Jarrett_Stidham) December 10, 2016
In the end, Stidham took his 10 games of experience (68.8 percent completions, 1,265 yards, 12 TDs, 2 INTs) to the Plains. Of course, the Tigers have recent experience with a JUCO quarterback-turned-star.
Ole Miss sees double: It was a rough year for the Rebels, and that manifested itself on the recruiting trail. Since the start of the season, Ole Miss had a league-leading seven de-commitments, and entering this weekend, its 2017 class stood at 10 commitments.
Hugh Freeze got some much-needed momentum back this weekend, however, by nabbing two junior college transfers with just three days before the JUCO signing day begins. New Mexico Military Institute dual-threat quarterback Jordan Ta’amu (formerly of Pearl City, Hawaii) and Northeast Mississippi C.C. linebacker Brenden Williams both pledged to the Rebels and are expected to sign on Wednesday. Each gives Ole Miss college-ready bodies to add to the depth chart.
It may be overlooked because of the rise of freshman Shea Patterson at the end of the 2016 season, but Ta’amu adds a fourth scholarship quarterback to the roster, joining Patterson, redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin and incoming signee Alex Faniel. With Pellerin serving as more of a run-option quarterback, and Faniel an untested incoming freshman, Ta’amu adds some much-needed security should anything happen to Patterson in 2017.
Aggies get 4-star defensive end: It isn’t 100-percent official, but Texas A&M will lose star defensive end Myles Garrett after this season. The Aggies also will lose senior defensive end Daeshon Hall, who combined with Garrett for 13 sacks this year and 19.5 the year before. The Aggies still have talent on the edge (Jarrett Johnson had 4.5 sacks this year) but their depth shifts to the interior in 2017.
So, yeah, landing 4-star JUCO defensive end Micheal Clemons out of Cisco College this weekend is a big deal.
Clemons was a relatively unknown recruit out of high school because of an injury his senior year, but this weekend he chose the Aggies over 15 other offers, which included Tennessee, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Missouri.
While he’s not a 5-star recruit, Clemons’ size does compare favorably to that of the man he’s going to be asked to replace:
LSU loses 4-star QB: After wrapping up an official visit to LSU, 4-star St. James (La.) dual-threat quarterback Lowell Narcisse backed off his pledge to the Tigers.
The one-time Auburn commitment has been wavering since Ed Orgeron took over as interim (and now full-time) head coach, says SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman. However, Narcisse hasn’t eliminated LSU, saying it is in the running along with Memphis and Auburn. A trio of Tigers.
LSU still has the commitment of another 4-star quarterback, Myles Brennan.
Who else committed to SEC teams this weekend?
- Raleigh (N.C.) 3-star running back Larry Rountree III committed to Missouri on Friday. He also had a Power 5 offer from Boston College.
- Missouri also picked up a commitment from Kemp (Texas) 3-star WR Elijah Gardiner, who also had an offer from Houston. Gardiner should fit in well with Drew Lock and the most pass-happy team in the SEC.
- Florida, in need of defensive tackles after two recent de-commitments, picked up a pledge from Wyoming Seminary Prep School DT Kyree Campbell. He was also receiving interest from Penn State. At 6-foot-4, 320 pounds, he certainly has the size to play in the middle of the Gators’ defense.
- On Monday, 3-star Miami (Fla.) defensive end Deandre Johnson flipped his commitment from Mississippi State to Tennessee. He had been committed to the Bulldogs since July.
- Likewise on Monday, 3-star Hollywood (Fla.) offensive guard Sabastien Dolcine de-committed from UCF and committed to Kentucky after an official visit to Lexington. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound lineman had been committed to the Knights since June.
- Sure, Tennessee got a 5-star recruit when offensive tackle Trey Smith committed to the Vols on Tuesday. But they also got an even better person for the school and program, says SEC Country writer Jesse Simonton.
- In-state recruits have flocked to Kirby Smart and Georgia this year, but the Bulldogs are still trying to secure the commitment of 4-star Grayson High (Loganville, Ga.) safety DeAngelo Gibbs. After winning a state championship on Saturday night (really, Sunday morning), Gibbs headed to Athens for an abbreviated official visit. He previewed that trip with DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell.
- Speaking of Gibbs — around 8 p.m. ET Sunday, the safety dropped an all-SEC top 5.
- The SEC is no stranger to 5-star recruits, but here are SEC Country’s 10 best 5-star recruits over the last 10 years.
- College assistant coaches do a lot on the field, but their real value is off the field. SEC Country’s Travis Durkee updated his SEC Recruiting Coaches Power Rankings.
- Big week ahead for the teams in need of immediate help (SPOILER ALERT: Most of them). Junior College Signing Day begins on Wednesday, and while JUCO players don’t have to sign that day, the ones that will enroll for spring semesters will either sign or announce starting then. Look out for big names like 4-star defensive end Isaiah Buggs and 3-star cornerback Keisean Nixon to announce in the next seven days, along with the other JUCO recruits already committed to SEC schools.