Only four SEC schools have definite QBs (Arkansas, Auburn, Mizzou, South Carolina) on their commitment lists, so things could get busy–and fast. In the past seven days, the following (see below) has happened with the nation’s quarterback recruiting “domino effect”, leading some programs to change directions and move on and some to wonder what they should do next.
Here’s a look at the national QB recruiting news (that has at least a passive effect on the SEC) that has broken in just the past 7 days.
- One huge announcement came last week: The nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB, Torrance Gibson, named Tennessee his leader with Auburn and LSU the next two. One would think this announcement had a lot to do with the next “domino” on this list …
- Late Monday, 6-foot-7 QB Zack Gentry–who Alabama and Tennessee both liked a lot–picked Texas. Gentry was arguably Alabama’s top target since several others bypassed the Crimson Tide since Ricky Town’s decommitment in late January. And before Gibson’s apparent love affair with the Vols began taking flight a month or two ago, Gentry and Tennessee were tight. But Gentry is from New Mexico, and Texas is a heck of a lot closer to home and obviously a big-name program.
- Also Monday, Alex Manzone–who Michigan came on strong with late when other national targets went in other directions–chose the Wolverines. Though he never seriously considered any SEC schools, his decision could impact several others. Former Alabama assistant coach Doug Nussmeier had been in touch with several of the nation’s elite QBs since moving on to Michigan, but now it appears his work is done at the position.
- South Carolina’s top QB target, Lorenzo Nunez, came on board with the Gamecocks. Steve Spurrier and G.A. Mangus’ work is done at this position.
- Brandon Wimbush picked Penn State instead of Ohio State, meaning the Buckeyes are going to continue to hotly pursue Torrance Gibson. Also … a common theme: Alabama had offered Wimbush two weeks ago, to no avail.
- Washington D.C. area QB Nick Johns picked Virginia instead of Maryland, which may mean that nationally coveted QB Kai Locksley–son of Maryland assistant and former SEC assistant Mike Locksley–will understandably be staying close to home with Maryland. See, Locksley is being heavily courted by several SEC schools, namely Auburn.
- Also, huge Texas A&M target Kyler Murray–an Aggies legacy–announced that he’ll make his decision public in about two weeks. Expect Aggies fans to be happy with this decision.
So what does all this mean? Well, it means quarterback decision season is at full speed ahead, and more big decisions should be coming within a few weeks. Programs and even other quarterbacks may be resigned to making a decision without knowing what Gibson will do. They’ll probably just have to assume that Tennessee will get him … but it would be devastating for Tennessee if the Vols didn’t. Also, it sort of holds Auburn and LSU hostage too, and Ohio State to a certain extent since he says he wants to visit Columbus. They probably don’t want to add a quarterback yet, so they’re in a holding pattern knowing they’re on the outside looking in. At some point, they may have to cut bait and move on to a secondary target on their QB want list.
Meanwhile, Alabama has to be wondering what to do next. Gentry looked like a realistic target, but Texas came on Strong late … pun intended. One-time USC commitment David Sills, who is looking for a new home now that things have changed with the Trojans, might be a possibility as it was Lane Kiffin who offered him years ago. Another to keep an eye on is Travis Waller, a west coast guy who SEC schools are seriously sniffing. It still looks like Waller’s Oregon bound, but he is available. Dwayne Lawson and Deandre Francois are two Florida natives to keep an eye on, too. Their stock will rise now.
Welcome to the silly season of QB recruiting. Stay tuned, some new names are going to start popping up.