SEC recruiting roundup: Auburn, Alabama land a massive commitment
Hello, and welcome to Saturday Down South’s Recruiting Roundup. In this piece, we will do our very best to keep you up to date on everything that’s happening on the recruiting trail in the SEC as we count down to 2017 National Signing Day.
It’s hard to stay on top of every little change that happens in the non-stop world of recruiting, so this series is meant to bring you the essentials in an easy, digestible way.
Now that the season is over, recruiting is going to pick up in full swing. Bowl games still remain, but for most teams, the focus is very much on the future of the program.
Let’s catch up on the biggest news from over the weekend.
Auburn lands top JUCO QB prospect: The Tigers have been aggressively pursuing Jarrett Stidham for the past few weeks, and that persistence finally paid off. The former Baylor quarterback announced his commitment to Auburn on Twitter Saturday afternoon.
This is a big commitment for Gus Malzahn and the Tigers. Stidham is rated the No. 1 JUCO prospect and is a dual-threat quarterback who can throw the ball well. During limited playing time in his freshman season, Stidham threw for 1,265 yards with 12 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
The last JUCO quarterback prospect ranked this highly to come to the SEC was a player by the name of Cam Newton. He also picked Auburn … and we all remember how that turned out.
Ole Miss adds a pair of JUCO commitments: Auburn wasn’t the only team to add a couple of players from the JUCO ranks. Ole Miss nabbed a pair of players Saturday, bolstering its growing recruiting class.
The first player to commit was Northeast Community College linebacker Brenden Williams. He has yet to be ranked but recorded more than 80 tackles in eight games this season. Williams played receiver in high school, but he has bulked up and flashed that athleticism at the linebacker position.
Ole Miss added a second JUCO player shortly thereafter when quarterback Jordan Ta’amu announced his commitment on Twitter. The 3-star dual-threat quarterback will likely do no more than provide depth behind projected Shea Patterson, but numbers are never a bad thing.
Aggies, Gators, Tigers and Tide each gain a commitment: Several other SEC teams added commitment over the weekend, including Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M.
Alabama’s commitment came from 3-star defensive end prospect Jordan Davis, from Memphis. Davis, a member of the Class of 2018, announced his commitment via Twitter on Saturday afternoon. There is still a ways to go, and Davis is someone whose stock could rise rapidly.
Florida had a bit of an interesting commitment on Saturday evening. Kyree Campbell, a defensive tackle prospect, spent the past semester at a prep school after failing to acquire enough credits to enter college as a member of the 2016 class. Campbell had committed to North Carolina for 2016, but that changed after he failed to qualify, and he is now a member of the Gators’ 2017 class.
Not to miss out on all of the fun, Missouri gained a commitment on Sunday night. Elijah Gardiner, a 3-star receiver, was long believed to be a silent commitment for the Tigers. Gardiner went public on Sunday, and Mizzou’s class now has 18 members.
One of the bigger commitments of the weekends came when 4-star JUCO defensive end Michael Clemons made his pledge to Texas A&M. Clemons is a massive 6-foot-6, 240-pound pass rusher, who could likely add plenty of muscle to that big frame. Rated the No. 2 JUCO defensive end, Clemons also had Auburn, Missouri and Ole Miss in his final five.
Alabama QB commit has a new suitor: Tua Tagovailoa, the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback prospect, is committed to the Crimson Tide. He’s still receiving plenty of attention, however. In a big move, LSU offered the 5-star quarterback shortly after Ed Orgeron took over on a permanent basis. He reaffirmed his commitment to Alabama after that offer, but there has been another interesting development.
Willie Taggart, the new head man at Oregon, went to Hawaii to meet with Tagovailoa in person shortly after taking the gig. It’s the type of splash the Ducks need, and Tagovailoa didn’t rebuke Taggart the way he did LSU. In fact, the two took pictures together, which the quarterback posted on Twitter.
Oregon obviously fared well with Marcus Mariota, who also starred at the same high school in Honolulu as Tagovailoa.
This is likely much ado about nothing, but Crimson Tide fans want to see Tagovailoa on campus sooner rather than later.
Final push for 5-star RB Cam Akers: One of the most-coveted prospects in the country, Cam Akers’ recruitment has been a wild one. Supposedly nearing his decision, Akers has already met with some of the nation’s top head coaches.
Among the teams in the mix for the nation’s No. 2 running back prospect are Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee. No timetable for his commitment has been given, but whichever team lands Akers will have cause for a big celebration.
Dylan Moses signs financial aid papers with Bama: The nation’s No. 8 recruit has signed a financial aid agreement with Alabama. Dylan Moses, a 5-star linebacker and the No. 1 prospect at his position, has been committed to the Crimson Tide since October. He took an official visit to LSU over the weekend, but that apparently didn’t do anything to change his mind.
On Sunday, Moses announced on Twitter that he was signing the agreement and planned to enroll early at Alabama in January. This is fantastic news for Crimson Tide fans, and Moses is a big part of what is shaping up to be another special recruiting class.
LSU gains verbal commitment from 2019 OL prospect: While this year’s recruiting cycle is in full swing, LSU is already looking towards the future. To get an early jump with one of the top upcoming prospects, the Tigers became the first program to offer 2019 offensive lineman Kenyon Green.
The 4-star offensive tackle announced the offer on Twitter and also revealed he would be verbally committing to Orgeron’s program.
Mississippi State in the mix for talented JUCO WR: Mississippi State is looking to reload its receiver corps with Fred Ross heading to the NFL. The Bulldogs may have found someone capable of helping fill that void at the JUCO level.
Stephen Guidry, a 3-star receiver from Hinds Community College, released his top two schools on Saturday, and Mississippi State is in the mix. The Bulldogs will have to compete against Arizona State for Guidry’s services, but location could play a role.