This week’s news, notes and buzz from the Southeastern Conference...
At No. 5 in Alabama according to 247Composite, Ronnie Clark is currently the highest ranked in-state commit for Alabama.
For openers, let's take a quick look at the commit lists of all 14 SEC programs and show you how many in-state verbals each currently has.
Note: With JUCO prospects, we used the state in which they played high school ball.
Auburn: 7 of 15
Alabama: 4 of 21 (one commit is from Alabama, but transferred to Florida for his senior year)
Arkansas: 3 of 17
LSU: 9 of 15
Mississippi: 11 of 21
Mississippi State: 12 of 18
Texas A&M: 13 of 14
Florida: 9 of 14
Georgia: 9 of 17
Kentucky: 2 of 24
Missouri: 6 of 24
South Carolina: 6 of 12
Tennessee: 5 of 25
Vanderbilt: 4 of 18
Obviously, these numbers mean different things to different schools.
Sometimes, it gives us an idea of which teams are doing the best on the home front. And it also can hint at which states have the most talent. In the case of Alabama, though, the low in-state commitment numbers seem to illustrate the program's broad regional and national appeal, as the Tide has commits from 12 states.
TIGERS, VOLS GO JUCO ROUTE
Auburn and Tennessee filled major needs in recent days, with both digging into the JUCO ranks.
Four-star JUCO OT Dontavius Blair committed to Tennessee on Tuesday.
On Sunday, the Tigers landed Xavier Dampeer, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound center-guard from Copiah-Lincoln Community College (Miss.). Rated a 3-star and ranked as the No. 2 center in the 247Composite, Dampeer was scouted in person by Auburn coach Gus Malzahn the previous weekend, and offered two days later.
He'll likely play center on the Plains.
Meantime, on Tuesday the Vols hit a homerun with their commitment of four-star tackle Dontavius Blair of Garden City C.C. (Kan.). He's the nation’s No. 4 junior college prospect and the No. 2 JUCO offensive tackle in the industry generated 247Composite.
Early playing time was key for Blair. There's a chance the Vols will lose all five starters on the offensive line from the 2013 roster.
For Auburn, Dampeer was commit No. 15. Look for the Tigers to sign up to 25 in this cycle.
Of Auburn's 15 verbals, four are JUCO players. All four could be asked to contribute early.
Blair is the 25th public commit for Tennessee.
BAMA'S SAFETY DANCE
Missouri commit Nate Brown is putting together some impressive performances this season.
Last week, Alabama won a major in-state battle with Auburn to land Ronnie Clark, a top-100 prospect from Calera. The No. 5 player in the state according to the 247Composite, he's the highest-ranked in-state commit to date for the Tide in this cycle.
Clark is rated as an outside linebacker. But he has been told it will be up to him whether he plays there or at safety. The Tide could take one more safety, and appear to be very much in the hunt with Ole Miss commit C.J. Hampton.
Can South Carolina get four-star cornerback Wesley Green of Martin Luther King (Ga.) back on the commit list? Right now, the Gamecocks are optimistic. Green, who de-committed earlier this fall, visited South Carolina last weekend along with 2015 defensive end/teammate Arden Key -- who de-committed from South Carolina at the same time at Green -- and the trip went well.
Green, the No. 16 cornerback in the 247Composite, also is being pursued by schools such as Georgia, Ole Miss and Tennessee, but only has one official set, and that's to South Carolina.
Meanwhile, Key, the No. 70 overall prospect for 2015 in the 247Composite, told 247Sports that South Carolina is still his leader. Of note, he was offered by Alabama on Tuesday night.
-With each week, Missouri's pickup of receiver Nate Brown from Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett looks a little bit better. That's because Brown, a three-star prospect and the No. 64 receiver in the 247Composite, is tearing it up. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder has 25 catches for 400-plus yards in five games. Now the kicker: Of those 25 receptions, 11 have gone for touchdowns, including a 53-yard, one-handed grab last Friday.
-Two SEC programs have gotten offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt of Georgia, the No. 1 overall prospect in the 247Composite for 2015, to visit this fall -- Auburn and Georgia. Hyatt was at Georgia for the LSU game; last weekend, he saw the Tigers beat Ole Miss. Hyatt likes both, but Clemson is still the team to beat in our eyes. Hyatt, though, might not announce for a long time.
-Last year, Arkansas swiped talented running back Alex Collins from the Sunshine State. Now, the Razorbacks have convinced five-star running back Dalvin Cook of Miami, a Florida commit, to official. He'll be in Fayetteville (Ark.) when the Razorbacks play host to Auburn on Nov. 2. Arkansas may seem like a longshot, but having former Miami coach and Miami native Randy Shannon on the staff certainly helps.
-Jesse Jackson's verbal to Mississippi State didn't generate much buzz outside the Magnolia State, but it's a pickup the Bulldogs badly wanted. The No. 45 receiver in the 247Composite, Jackson -- of Petal (Miss.) is a big target at 6-feet-2, 195 pounds. The Under Armour All-American chose Mississippi State over Auburn, which had made a late push.
-As of today, you will find 10 SEC teams in the top 25 of the recruiting team rankings. Missouri, which is last in the league, still ranks a respectable 37th nationally.
-Mississippi State and Ole Miss each have four commits ranked in the top 10 for Mississippi in the 2014 class (247Composite).
-Florida leads the country with three 247Composite five-star commits. Nobody else has more than one.
-Vanderbilt's 18 commits are from 10 different states.
-Alabama not only has the country's No. 1 class, but the Tide's average-rating-per player of 92.80 easily leads the SEC. Georgia, at 91.89, is next.