Three Southeastern Conference programs had big weeks last week and are on the rise in the national recruiting rankings.
LSU's Frank Wilson is No. 1 in the 247Composite Recruiter Rankings for this cycle and may not leave that spot.
On Saturday, the Tigers moved to the No. 1 overall class in the country with the pick-up of the nation’s top junior college prospect D’haquille Williams and a quick glance at which prospects are projections to the Tigers tells us that they may not relent their lofty perch. A deep top-end talent pool in Louisiana this cycle, combined with the Tigers getting out in front with multiple out-of-state elite prospects, creates the perfect storm for LSU to claim the recruiting championship.
LSU Quick Hits
-The Tigers could repeat what Ole Miss did last cycle and sign both the top JUCO (Williams) and top high school (Leonard Fournette) prospects in the country. Fournette is No. 1 overall according to the recruiting industry-generated 247Composite.
-2014 LSU Commit List shows three Texas prospects after the Tigers did not sign a single player from that state in 2013.
These Tigers got in-state four-stars Tre’ Williams and Justin Thornton, along with top JUCO safety Derrick Moncrief this past weekend, moving up 23 spots in the 247Sports team rankings to No. 15 nationally. Auburn may not be done, either, as they are in the mix for several more talented prospects, which could bolster them into the top 10 by the end of summer.
Defensive end Justin Thornton is one of five in-state verbals for Auburn this cycle, six if you consider JUCO star Derrick Moncrief is originally from Prattville, Ala.
Auburn Quick Hits
-Auburn was looking like a safe bet to land Williams until LSU made its push.
-The Tigers have two of the top five in-state prospects (according to 247Composite) committed and could end up with three.
-2014 Auburn commit list shows five of the seven verbals are from the state of Alabama.
Winning the battle for U.S. Army All-American Bowl quarterback Drew Baker (Hebron, Ky./Conner) was huge for the Wildcats in terms of the momentum created by keeping the state’s top overall prospect at home. Barker’s commitment moved the Wildcats to No. 23 nationally in the 2014 chase for the recruiting title and one look at the UK Crystal Ball page tells us that more talent is likely to join Barker in Lexington.
Kentucky Quick Hits
-Barker was the first in-state commit of this cycle for the Wildcats. The other five are from the state of Ohio.
Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart again has the Crimson Tide in several battles for top talent in his home state of Georgia. They will likely win more than their share.
-Speaking of recruiting the Buckeye State, Kentucky tight ends coach Vince Marrow is now No. 8 in the 247Composite SEC Recruiter Rankings. He was in on all five Ohio commits.
-Looking at four-star Matt Elam's Crystal Ball page, the Wildcats may be in line to keep another major talent in-state. Elam is a massive defensive/offensive line prospect that Alabama is making a push for.
What about Bama?
Currently, Alabama ranks No. 7 in the SEC in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings. This has caused some concern from Tide fans, who are used to seeing their team at the top of those lists nearly every cycle. There is absolutely zero reason for the worry, though, when you take a look at Alabama’s Crystal Ball projection page as it’s clear that the Crimson Tide has positioned themselves handsomely to land the many of this cycle’s top prospects.
-Don’t count out Texas A&M for five-star wide receiver Speedy Noil.
-For the Class of 2015, defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. (East St. Louis, Ill.) could be one of the most hotly-contested recruiting battles in both the SEC and the Big Ten.
-Now that Barker is bound for Lexington, South Carolina may not sign a quarterback in the 2015 class.
-Florida has a great shot at moving high on the list of Da’Shawn Hand once he visits Gainesville.
-Here’s a snapshot of Tennessee’s targets in Georgia for the 2014 cycle.
*Vanderbilt has had a good deal of success recruiting in Georgia during recent cycles and that trend doesn't seem likely to stop anytime soon.
The Commodores signed five players from there in 2012, which was second among states behind Tennessee, which had six Vandy signees.
This February, James Franklin's program inked seven Peach State prospects -- three more than it got from anywhere else.
Right now, Vanderbilt has eight 2014 commitments, and three of them are in Georgia. It would be a shock if the Commodores did not land a few more before all is said and done.
Thus far, an astonishing 43 Georgia prospects in the 2014 class claim Vanderbilt offers. That includes tight end Montez Sweat of Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson, who was offered Monday, according to his coach.
*Yes, first-year Arkansas coach Bret Bielema likes his linemen big. The Razorbacks have 29 known offers out to offensive linemen in the 2014 class. That includes 18 tackles, with 14 of them being 6-feet-6 six or taller.
*In addition to Hand, Lorenzo Carter of Georgia, another five-star defensive end, plans to make it to Gainesville, Fla., soon. Hand is the No. 1 strong-side end and No. 2 overall prospect in the 247Composite. Carter is the top-ranked weak-side end and No. 5 overall.
* Georgia's defensive line class could potentially be among the best in the country. If not the best.
Already, the Bulldogs have a verbal from four-star 247Composite tackle Dontavius Russell. Meantime, they lead for four-star tackle Lamont Gaillard and four-star end Davonte Lambert, and are in the top two with four-star end Kentavius Street and four-star tackle Elisha Shaw.
Also, Georgia is in the mix with the aforementioned Carter.
247Sports National Analyst Keith Niebuhr contributed to this report.
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