SEC Football News on Saturday Down South

SEC hogging most of the nation’s top safety talent

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Safeties … the old cliché goes that they’re the quarterbacks of the defense. While it is a cliché, it also is true. Some outstanding safeties have left the SEC to go on to have huge careers in the NFL. It’s a hard-hitting, instinctive position. And no good SEC team will win without a good one back there.

Related: SEC’s top offensive guard commits

Here are the top five current safety commitments for SEC schools, coming from the high school ranks. Keep in mind that some of these kids could also slide over to corner when in college, and there may be elite cornerbacks who could slide over to safety.

Related: SEC’s top defensive tackle commits

Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to ratings follow the composite rankings.

1. Jamal Adams—LSU commit

  • Hebron (Carrollton, Texas),
  • The skinny: Adams is the No. 2 safety in the nation, and both Texas and Texas A&M let him escape the Lonestar State. He was one of LSU’s big-time announcements on live TV during all-star week, and he and Paris make quite a dynamic duo.

2. Edward Paris—LSU commit

  • Timberview (Texas), 6-1/200
  • The skinny: So, LSU has a hard-hitting instinctive, ball-hawking defensive back coming in? What’s new, right? Paris is a baller. He was born to play safety. He’s another great example of how LSU can go into talent-rich Texas and pluck elite talent.

3. Laurence ‘Hootie’ Jones–Alabama commit

  • Neville (Monroe, La.), 6-2/220
  • The skinny: Hootie went back and forth in December. First he was undeclared, then picked Alabama, then stepped back, then went back to Alabama. The Crimson Tide are happy to have him solidly back in their camp.

4. Todd Kelly—Tennessee commit

  • Webb School (Knoxville, Tenn.), 6-2/200
  • The skinny: With Kelly and McDowell (see below), Tennessee easily has the best pair of safeties in this class. First of all, Kelly is just the type of in-state product the Volunteers needed to keep home—so that’s a plus. Also, this is another one of those smart kids you want in the secondary.

5. C.J. Hampton—Ole Miss commit

  • Meridian (Meridian, Miss.), 6-2/200
  • The skinny: Hampton wavered a bit with Ole Miss last week, decommitting for a few days before coming back on board with the Rebels. He has come on strong since the beginning the summer, turning heads along the way. Alabama wanted him bad, and Nick Saban coaches the DBs–so you know this kid is a good one.

Here are the SEC’s top ranked commits by position prior to National Signing Day:



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Comments 2

  1. Can’t wait to see CJ Hampton and Tony Conner in the Ole Miss secondary. With All-American Cody Prewitt coming back for his senior year to help teach Hampton the ropes, the Conner/Hampton duo should be exciting to watch.

  2. Love the writeup, but I did notice two problems in the A&M analysis – Hoza Scott (OLB) isn’t going to qualify academically, so he’s not going to be helping A&M in 2014, if ever. And Cedric Collins (CB) was medically forced to retire from football during his senior season. Turned out he had a neck condition that should have prevented him from ever playing football. A&M is still honoring his scholarship, so he counts against the 2014 numbers but he’ll never actually see the field (at least as a player).