With national signing day (Feb. 6) less than three weeks away, here’s a look at five storylines to keep an eye on from the always-competitive Southeastern Conference.
Was the addition of five-star receiver Laquon Treadwell just the start of a huge finish for Ole Miss? The Rebels are set up to make a move into the top five if things go as planned.
Will Ole Miss do the five-star sweep?
The Rebels are perhaps the biggest storyline in all of recruiting for the 2013 cycle and are set up for a monster finish and perhaps a spot in the top five in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings. On Thursday, Ole Miss landed five-star receiver Laquon Treadwell out of Illinois and the Rebels are considered the team to beat for five-star and No. 1 overall prospect Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson), five-star defensive end Elijah Daniel (Avon, Ind.) and five-star safety Tony Conner (Batesville, Miss./South Panola). Five-star defensive end Carl Lawson and five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) also are expected to officially visit. It’s been a remarkable run to date in this cycle under head coach Hugh Freeze and sweeping four five-stars that they currently lead on would be a tremendous finish.
Could Georgia finish big?
The Bulldogs certainly could. The nation’s No. 10 overall prospect, defensive tackle Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County), along with Tunsil and Foster all are prospects that Georgia has an excellent shot with. Add those to touted junior college defensive tackle Toby Johnson (Hutchinson, Kan./Hutchingson Community College) and four-star running back Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga.) to the list of possibilities and UGA, which currently has the nation’s No. 10 class, could move into the top five by national signing day.
Who will Auburn end up with?
The Tigers took their lumps on the field this season and what was once a top 10 recruiting class now sits at No. 20 in the 247Sports team rankings. All is not lost, though, for Auburn as Lawson still is on the commitment list and five-star linebacker Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala.) still is very much in play for Auburn (in fact, at this stage, it could be considered his likely destination). Land a few surprises like perhaps four-star Texas A&M receiver commit Tony Stevens (Orlando, Fla./Evans) and this class could end up approaching the top 10 by the time all is said and done.
Will Butch Jones land any surprises at UT?
Whenever a coach steps in at a program like Tennessee, it tends to have a revitalizing impact on recruiting during the first cycle and though those classes never are the best in terms of quantity or quality, there’s always a surprise. In this case, it could be Bell or Lawson, two five-star prospects who the Vols are in heavy on. The Tennessee staff wants Kamara badly, but it looks like UGA or Alabama will end up with him. While it’s not a certainty as to who just yet, it would not be a surprise to see the Vols land one, possibly two surprises in the end.
Which five-star rolls with the Tide?
It’s almost a near certainty that Alabama will land one of the remaining five-stars it is in on, but the question is who? Tunsill will likely pick either Georgia or the Tide, but most think the Bulldogs have a slight edge. Foster is somewhat in play, but Athens or Auburn are more likely in the end. Five-star safety Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) could be the guy or maybe five-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer), but competition with Ohio State and maybe Tennessee for Bell and USC and Notre Dame for Vanderdoes is stiff. Still, it’s hard to not see Alabama adding at least one more five-star prospect to the nation’s top class.
JC Shurburtt is the National Recruiting Director for 247Sports. Follow him on Twitter @jcshurburtt