SEC East recruiting needs

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National Signing Day is only 15 days away, and let’s take a look at some key positions and major needs for each SEC East team.

Florida

Offense: Wide Receivers
Florida has no impact receivers currently on the roster, and no one who could create any type of separation from a defensive back this season. Florida has five wide receivers committed for next season headlined by 6-4, 190-pound Ahmad Fullwood and 6-2, 200-pound Demarcus Robinson. Fulwood could be the playmaker the Gators’ need at receiver, and Robinson is said to have the best hands in the country for any high school recruit.

Defense: Linebackers & Defensive Line
Two veteran linebackers in Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins are gone, and Will Muschamp needs linebackers to compete for playing time starting next season. He has five committed so far. The group is headlined by Alex Anzalone, the 6-3, 230-pound linebacker who was headed to Notre Dame.

Florida also needs defensive linemen. Three impact players return in Dominique Easley, Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler, but the depth is paper thin. The Gators have four defensive linemen committed and are working on others. Replacing Sharrif Floyd is key.

Georgia

Defense: Defensive Line & Linebackers
The biggest needs in recruiting for Mark Richt and the Bulldogs are at defensive line and linebacker. The entire defense will be different in 2012, and Richt has signed John Atkins, a 6-4 310-pound JUCO DT, to give help immediately. Of Georgia’s current 29 commitments, nine are front-seven players, with 17 total on defense.

Georgia also has their sights set on front-seven blue chip prospects in LB Reuben Foster, DT Montravius Adams, DE FSU commit Davin Bellamy and DL Toby Johnson, to name a few.

Kentucky

Defense: Every position needs playmakers and depth
The biggest position of need for Kentucky is “Yes”. The reality is the Cats need depth and playmakers everywhere except quarterback. But the offense will be better than what everyone thinks once Max Smith returns healthy in the air raid attack. And with the defensive-minded Mark Stoops now the headman, he’ll be looking to solidify the trenches. JUCO DE Za’Darius Smith is already enrolled. Stoops also has four other defensive linemen committed to help build depth an impact players. He also has Ole Miss JUCO commit Jarran Reed in his sights, too. Keep an eye on this one.

Missouri

Offense: Offensive Line
For Missouri, it begins on offense in the trenches. The struggles on offense were at every position in 2012 except running back, but it all started up front when several offensive linemen were injured. The Tigers have a mobile quarterback, which helps the sack numbers, but James Franklin and Corbin Berkstresser were running for their lives at times. The Tigers currently have three committed in Alec Abein, Harneet Gill and Clay Rhodes.

Defense: Defensive Line
Much like offense, the defensive line needs depth in the worst way. With Sheldon Richardson and Brad Madison gone, the Tigers need impact bodies. They landed a huge commit recently in Josh Augusta, the highest remaining tackle on the board. All total, the Tigers have six defensive linemen committed for 2013. That’s a great start for building depth at a position of need.

South Carolina

Defense: Linebackers & Linemen
The biggest need for instant impact players on defense is at linebacker. With Shaq Wilson, Demario Jeffery, Reginald Bowens and DeVonte Holloman all gone next season, there are three huge vacancies at the second level of the defense. There’s 10 returning linebackers on the roster, but seven them are currently freshmen. The Gamecocks also have four other linebackers committed in Larenz Bryant, Mohamed Camara, David Johnson and Gerald Turner.

The Gamecocks also lost Devin Taylor, and after next season Jadeveon Clowney and Chaz Sutton will be gone. USC has four defensive linemen committed currently, with two at defensive end and two at tackle.

Tennessee

Offense: Wide Receivers
The biggest vacancy heading into 2013 for the Vols’ offense is wide receivers. With Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson and Zach Rogers all gone, Butch Jones has a mass exodus of sorts at the position. Tennessee will turn to Vincent Dallas, Jacob Carter and others on the roster, but recruiting will be huge to replace talent level. The Vols have three receivers committed, headlined by Ryan Jenkins.

Defense: Defensive Line
As is the case with so many SEC teams, Tennessee needs depth on the defensive line. Linebacker and secondary have impact players already on campus, and with Darrington Sentimore entering the draft early, there are holes on the defensive line. Jason Carr was a big get, and Jones will have to make sure it’s imperative for him to stick. Also, current Auburn commit Carl Lawson is in the mix, too.

Vanderbilt

Offense: Quarterback
With Jordan Rodgers graduating and backup Austin Carta-Samuels being a rising senior, quarterback is a position of need for James Franklin. The versatile Rodgers was effective running and throwing, and the Dores have two quarterbacks currently committed with the All-American headliner Johnathan McCrary.

Defense: Defensive Line
The secondary and linebackers will be fine for 2013, but the defensive line loses three starters, including staple tackle Rob Lohr. Freshman DE Caleb Azubike will step into a starting role, and Franklin also has three other defensive linemen committed – two defensive ends and one tackle. It’s important that Franklin builds depth on the defensive line with some impact players moving forward. That’s what it’s going to take to get to the next level on defense.

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

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