Top uncommitted prospects looking at the SEC
These 15 uncommitted prospects all are ranked in among the top 50 nationally in the 2016 cycle and all have Southeastern Conference programs solidly in the mix for their services.
They are among the “headliner” prospects to keep an eye on as they all are expected to make selections between now and signing day (some sooner than others).
Derrick Brown, DT, Buford (Ga.) Lanier
Will Georgia, long considered the favorite to land the uber-talented Brown, end up inking him? Brown plus Julian Rochester plus Trent Thompson in the last class would give new head coach Kirby Smart and staff quite the trio of young, talented tackles. Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and others also are in the mix. Brown is the No. 8 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings and is a U.S. Army All-American.
Isaac Nauta, TE, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
Nauta was committed to Florida State for a good portion of the cycle before backing out in August. He then appeared to be headed for Georgia and most still believe the Bulldogs are the team to beat. He will announce his commitment at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl this week. His other two finalists are Alabama and Michigan. Nauta is a native of Buford, Ga., and is the No. 9 overall prospect in the 2016 cycle per 247Sports Composite rankings.
Ben Davis, LB, Gordo (Ala.)
Davis, the No. 12 overall prospect in the 2016 class per 247Sports Composite rankings, is an Alabama legacy and is expected to ultimately pick the Crimson Tide. That being said, he has three official visits lined up for January — Notre Dame, Auburn and then a visit to Tuscaloosa. Will he end up at Alabama or pull a shocker and head elsewhere? The prediction here is that he still winds up in T-Town.
Lyndell Mack Wilson, LB, Montgomery (Ala.) Carver
Wilson, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker prospect in this cycle, has official visits lined up to Georgia (Jan. 15), Alabama (Jan. 22) and Florida (Jan. 29). The Crimson Tide is thought to be the leader, but you can’t rule out the Bulldogs or Gators here — both are legitimate players to pull the shocking steal out of the Yellowhammer State.
Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches (Texas)
The 5-foot-11.5, 193-pound Jones, who is ranked as the No. 1 safety prospect in this class, is expected to stay in-state when all is said and done. The question will be will he head to the SEC and Texas A&M or elect to head to the Big 12 and Texas. Jones’ official visit to Austin is scheduled for Jan. 15. Auburn and others also are in the mix for his services.
Mecole Hardman, Jr., ATH, Elberton (Ga.) Elbert County
Hardman, who is the top-ranked prospect at the athlete position in the 2016 cycle, is perhaps the one Peach State prospect that is hardest to predict. Georgia has always been in good shape (it’s tough to pull a kid out of Northeast Georgia away from the Bulldogs) but Alabama, Tennessee and others are major players. This is one to watch closely moving forward.
Rashard Lawrence, DT, Monroe (La.) Neville
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Lawrence is expected to commit in the next 10-12 days and LSU is battling Ohio State (Alabama also is in the top three) to keep the five-star prospect in-state. It’s never easy for opposing schools to come into Louisiana and snag elite talent, particularly along the defensive line. This is a heavyweight recruiting battle with Urban Meyer and legendary defensive line coach Larry Johnson on one side and Les Miles, legendary defensive line coach Ed Orgeron and current top-ranked recruiter Bradley Dale Peveto on the other.
Demetris Robertson, ATH, Savannah (Ga.) Christian Prep
Like Hardman, Robertson is one of the top-rated prospects at “athlete” in this 2016 class and like Hardman his recruitment is somewhat open. Alabama is still a top choice. He once was committed to the Crimson Tide. Georgia is still up there. Notre Dame, Stanford and several other programs are in the hunt as well. Whichever school lands him, however, will be getting a great, versatile prospect.
Trayvon Mullen, CB, Pompano Beach (Fla.) Coconut Creek
When you talk about Mullen and the SEC, the question is this — can LSU continue its streak of landing elite defensive back talent out of the state of Florida? The Tigers are considered one of the favorites for the 6-foot-1.5, 172-pounder. Florida State and Clemson are also in the thick of things here. Mullen is a U.S. Army All-American.
Nate Craig-Myers, WR, Tampa (Fla.) Catholic
Craig-Myers, who was once an Auburn commit, could very well end up there at the end of the day. He has an official visit to the plains set for Jan. 15, along with one to Ole Miss on Jan. 29. Florida State, Florida, North Carolina and others are also battling for th big-bodied wide out, who is the No. 3 wide receiver prospect in the 2016 recruiting cycle.
Kristian Fulton, CB, Metaire (La.) Archbishop Rummel
Fulton, the nation’s fourth-ranked cornerback prospect, could be another elite recruit that pushes in-state LSU to the No. 1 class this cycle. The Tigers are considered the team to beat with Florida, Arkansas and Alabama, which recently offered, also contenders.
Jeffery Simmons, DE, Macon (Miss.) Noxubee County
Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama are considered the three major players here for Simmons, a 6-foot-4, 262-pound standout defensive lineman from the Magnolia State. He also visited Tennessee officially in November and the Vols are a fourth SEC team that has to be considered “in the mix” for the nation’s third-ranked strong-side defensive end prospect. Simmons is a U.S. Army All-American.
Deontay Anderson, S, Manvel (Texas)
Ole Miss and LSU are no strangers to swiping talent out of the Lone Star State. Both are in good shape here, along with Texas A&M and Texas. The 6-foot-1, 182-pound Anderson is more likely than not to end up in the SEC unless he ends up picking the Longhorns. Official visits to LSU and Texas are already scheduled for January.
Shavar Maunel, DT, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Manuel is expected to stay in-state and sign with either Florida or Florida State. LSU somewhat in the mix. Manuel, who is originally from the Tampa area, is the seventh-ranked defensive tackle prospect in the class and played in the Under Armour All-America Game.
Landon Dickerson, OT, Hudson (N.C.) South Caldwell
Tennessee, which has been strong with Dickerson from the start, is battling Florida State and to a lesser extent Auburn (and don’t count out Virginia Tech as he is a Hokies legacy) for the services of Dickerson. The 6-foot-5, 293-pound Under Armour All-American is one of the more gifted offensive tackle prospects in this class and has the raw ability to contribute to whatever program he picks as a true freshman. There aren’t many tackles you look at and say “he can do it” in his first year, but Dickerson is one of them.