SEC recruiting story lines for National Signing Day

February 4, 2014 

LSU commitment Leonard Fournette is regarded as the nation's top running back.

KIM KLEMENT — USA TODAY Sports

TOP AVAILABLE

Several top uncommitted prospects could wind up in the SEC. That includes Gardena, Calif., cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, who lists Florida, LSU, UCLA and Southern California among his finalists. The top-rated outside linebacker, Auburn (Ala.) High’s Rashaan Evans, has listed Auburn, Alabama and UCLA as his final choices. New Orleans five-star wide receiver Malachi Dupre’s list includes Alabama, LSU, Florida State and UCLA. Evans could have the biggest immediate impact in the SEC and is expected to pick Auburn.

RUNNING BACKS GALORE

SEC teams are hoping they’ve found future successors to departed star runners like Auburn’s Tre Mason and LSU’s Jeremy Hill. Four of 247Sports’ composite’s five five-star running backs appear bound for the SEC, including Georgia commits Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. LSU has top overall prospect Leonard Fournette, and Auburn’s biggest offensive pledge is Racean Thomas of Oxford, Ala. Analysts say Fournette is one of the best running back prospects in 10 years.

BEYOND BORDERS

SEC coaches have gone beyond their own states and regions to snare recruits. Alabama is expected to pull in players from at least 15 states. Texas A&M went beyond its own talent-rich state to pull in wide receiver Speedy Noil from New Orleans and quarterback Kyle Allen from Scottsdale, Ariz. Both are the No. 1 prospects at their positions, according to multiple recruiting sites. Kentucky dipped into Ohio for 11 commitments.

POSITION LEADERS

If recruiting rankings are like draft boards, where teams rank players overall and at their position, then the SEC has plenty of first-rounders. Seven SEC pledges are rated the best at their position in the composite rankings out of the 14 spots where the No. 1 guy has committed. Shurburtt said that’s sometimes a better gauge than the number of stars.

PASSING FANCY

Gone are quarterbacks Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger. It’s not easy to come right in and start at quarterback in the SEC, but five of 247Sports’ top six pro-style quarterbacks are entering the league. They’ve all already enrolled, including Texas A&M’s Allen, Florida’s Will Grier, Alabama’s David Cornell, Georgia’s Jacob Park and Kentucky’s Drew Barker.

The Associated Press

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