Best fits for top remaining SEC targets
When a prospect picks a college, it’s important to pick a place that is a good fit in terms of what the prospect desires in a college experience. The reality is that there are numerous options that are fits in a broad sense. The bottom line ends up being comfort level facilitated by the relationships built during the process.
Here’s one man’s (my own) take on what the best fit would be for five of the top uncommitted prospects in the country considering Southeastern Conference programs. Keep in mind, I am not in the business of telling prospects where they should choose, this is merely a subjective analysis based on the factors involved.
Hometown/High School: Buford (Ga.) Lanier
National Rank: No. 9
Primary Suitors: Georgia, Auburn
Skinny: Brown is an elite defensive tackle prospect, one of the best overall prospects in the 2016 cycle and as one SEC assistant told me early on is a “clear five-star no question;” so, naturally they are all lining up for him. Both the Bulldogs and the Tigers have needs on the defensive line and the chance to play early exists at both schools. Tracy Rocker (Georgia) and Rodney Garner (Auburn) both are among the best at developing talent at his position, so it really comes down to proximity to home and the advantage there goes to Georgia.
Hometown/High School: Gordo (Ala.)
National Rank: No. 10
Primary Suitors: Alabama, Georgia, Auburn
Skinny: The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Davis is the country’s best inside linebacker prospect for this cycle, and he’s good enough to play wherever he goes. But, being an Alabama legacy, living close to Tuscaloosa, and also given the way the Crimson Tide develops bigger linebackers at a high rate, the best fit here is the school down the road– Alabama.
Hometown/High School: Torrance (Calif.) North
National Rank: No. 11
Primary Suitors: UCLA, Ole Miss, Alabama
Skinny: Juarez, a former USC commit, suddenly is the crosshairs of two SEC programs with both Ole Miss and Alabama vying for his services, along with hometown UCLA. Juarez has the size (6-1.5, 231 pounds) and the skill set to make an impact anywhere, but it’s in Oxford, Miss., where he is needed the most. He will instantly upgrade the raw talent level among the personnel at Ole Miss and it’s not a given that he will in Tuscaloosa. If he wants to go away from home, the best fit is at Ole Miss.
MECOLE HARDMAN JR.
Hometown/High School: Elberton (Ga.) Elbert County
National Rank: No. 13
Primary Suitors: Alabama, Georgia and others
Skinny: An electric, versatile athlete, Hardman is one of the most explosive players in the country, and the 5-foot-10, 169-pounder has gotten a major push from Alabama down the home stretch of his recruitment. He’s a fit in Tuscaloosa as he could upgrade the receiving corps or settle in and become one of the next great cornerbacks for the Crimson Tide. At Georgia, he’s certainly a player the Bulldogs could use, and the same types of opportunities await him in Athens as far as being an early, useful player. This is a tough call, but again, all things being equal, being closer to home is the better fit, so I’d go with Georgia.
Hometown/High School: Savannah (Ga.) Christian
National Rank: No. 14
Primary Suitors: Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Stanford
Skinny: Robertson can conceivably play a number of positions on the college level, but his best position very well could be receiver. It’s also important for him to go to a school with a nationally-recognized academic reputation. This is a tough one because his recruitment could very easily go in the way of any of the four schools. The fact that Notre Dame has a track record of a good passing offense with great wide receiver play, has the academic reputation that Robertson is looking for and also can match the history and tradition of his other suitors makes the Irish the “fit pick” here because they honestly check more boxes; so, let’s go Notre Dame.