Published January 29, 2014 - 11:32amNEW: Follow on facebook -
We’re just a week away from National Signing Day, and things are about to get crazy. It happens every year.
This year, several top prospects have already committed, and that means we’re looking for signing day surprises outside of a few top prospects.
Here are the biggest storylines heading into the final week:
Just how dominant will it get?
The SEC just destroyed everybody in last year’s final team rankings. The conference finished with 12 of the top 26 classes in the country. Kentucky and Missouri were the only two not to finish in the top 26, and they finished 34th and 43rd respectively. Yes, the SEC is losing talent right and left to the NFL Draft, but they’re reloading with the best high school prospects in the country. Of the top 50 players in the country, 23 of them are committed to SEC schools. Then, throw in that 11 of the top 50 are uncommitted, and the SEC owns nearly 60 percent of the top 50 committed prospects. That’s dominant. But just how dominant will it get exiting National Signing Day? That will be something to keep an eye on.
The race to No. 2
Alabama has all but sewn up the No. 1 overall class in the country, according to multiple agencies. The Tide are also waiting on four uncommitted prospects in the top 50, too. Texas A&M is right on the heels of Alabama, as is LSU. Tennessee, Georgia, Auburn and Florida are all sitting in the top 10 right now. The race to No. 2 will be fascinating to watch unfold on National Signing Day, and Florida could close as one of the strongest teams in the country, despite going 4-8 in 2013.
Where is Adoree Jackson going?
Adoree Jackson is the country’s highest rated uncommitted prospect, and he said he’s down to four schools: Florida, LSU, UCLA and Southern Cal. Jackson’s family is from Illinois, but he went to high school in California. Jackson is a superior athlete who can play either corner or receiver (or both), and he could be a cornerstone to a program. He’s that elite, and he’s that explosive. Jackson’s favorite seems to be Florida, while the family’s favorite seemed to be Tennessee. USC may be a hat on the table, or it may be a mutual decision between Jackson and his family. Jackson wants to run track in college, and he is an Olympic-type talent. Florida has the best track program of the three. Jackson’s highlight tape is just silly. Could he pull a shocker and sign with Tennessee? It’s not likely, though.
Related: Jackson schedules announcement
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The Big 3
While Adoree Jackson is the country’s top uncommitted prospect, the other big four five-star prospects in the top 20 consist of CB Marlon Humphrey (just committed to Alabama), LB Rashaan Evans, WR Malachi Dupre and DE Lorenzo Carter. Rashaan Evans is an Auburn-Alabama battle. The Louisiana-native Malachi Dupre has always seemed like an Alabama-LSU battle, but FSU is now in the picture. Georgia-native Lorenzo Carter has three SEC teams in mind in Georgia, Florida and LSU, with FSU also in the picture as the big four. Will all four stick around and stay in state?
National Signing Day surprises
We know there are going to be surprises on National Signing Day. Which prospects are going to make unseen flips? Which prospects that seem like locks to SEC programs will pull a stunner? One player may be Louisiana WR Malachi Dupre, who has long thought to have been an LSU-Alabama battle, but he’s now trending with FSU and recently took a visit to Ole Miss. Another top WR prospect in Travis Rudolph is currently committed to FSU, but some think he could flip to Florida. Several have mentioned Alabama RB commit Bo Scarborough may flip to Ole Miss. Which prospect will pull the biggest shocker? It will be fun finding out.
Right now, the SEC West has the top three classes in the conference. Also out of the top 10 classes in the country, the SEC West has four of them, while the East has three. With respect to the top 10 players in the country, seven (seven!) are committed to SEC West programs, while one remains uncommitted in Adoree Jackson. The West has started to show some separation over the last few years, in terms of dominance and overall talent, and it looks like the division is in control with a week to go.
Can he salvage it?
Vanderbilt had 20 commitments when James Franklin was hired at Penn State, but now the Commodores have just nine commitments with a week until National Signing Day. Can Derek Mason and his staff salvage some type of recruiting class?
Photo Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports