What every team in the SEC East must do to have a successful signing day
With only two official visit weekends remaining until national signing day, it’s coming down to crunch time for most of the programs around the Southeastern Conference.
Here’s what every program in the SEC East needs to accomplish to make sure that their signing day is a successful one.
The Gators must hold on to the commits that they have and could use a few more playmakers at wide receiver. Defensive end Brian Burns (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) is a big target that Florida is in good shape for and landing him could top off what perhaps would be one of the top defensive line classes nationally this cycle.
The Bulldogs must win some in-state battles, plain and simple. They can’t let five-star defensive tackle Derrick Brown go to Auburn, and getting athlete Demetris Robertson (a four-way battle with Alabama, Notre Dame and Stanford as the other players) to stay in-state would be gigantic. Even if Georgia pulls some surprises from out-of-state, it’s all window dressing compared to what the Bulldogs can accomplish in-state.
The Wildcats have a good class and actually filled some needs with the recent additions of JUCO quarterback Stephen Johnson II and JUCO defensive tackle Naquez Pringle. Flipping slot receiver Jordan Merrell (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dillard) from Cincinnati would add another playmaker to the passing game as well.
The Tigers need to keep everyone who is committed in the fold and it would be a bonus to get defensive lineman Tyreic Martin (Valley, Ala.) to re-commit. Other than that, the key is for Barry Odom and his staff to continue to add as much talent as possible to the overall roster on signing day, something that the Tigers should be able to do.
The Gamecocks have needs at virtually every position and it would be big for Will Muschamp and his staff to close on a number of the defensive line prospects that they are in on, seeing as how that’s a hard-to-find position and a spot that needs upgrading. Under-the-radar players like Jabari Wells (Atlanta, Ga./Carver) and Allen Cater (Kennesaw, Ga./Mount Paran Christian) would help and former Alabama running back Tyren Jones, who is now at Hutchinson Junior College in Kansas, would be an instant impact player.
The Vols are batting 1.000 under head coach Butch Jones with regards to legacy prospects and talented safety Nigel Warrior (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) is the latest. Alabama has been closing fast on him and the Vols need to make sure they land him. Tennessee also could use another defensive tackle or two to round out the class.
The Commodores quite simply need to continue to find players around the country that fit the school and the program, need to avoid any last-minute flips and need to continue to make good evaluations, which they have for the most part under Derek Mason. Don’t expect fireworks on signing day here, but don’t completely discount this class — there are some players with a real chance to be good in it.