Rivals250 four-star Jalen Tabor is one of the best defensive backs in the 2014 class. The Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy prospect is taking an active approach to recruitment, naming seven schools he is very interested in. Two of the schools on Tabor's list are SEC schools with controversy at the head coaching position.
"Coach (Derek) Dooley getting fired is shocking but it's kind of expected," said the 6-foot, 181-pound Tabor. "Hopefully Tennessee can get a new head coach that I can gel with.
"They're still in my top seven but I want to see who the next coach is. I'd like to see them get (Alabama Defensive Coordinator) Kirby Smart," he said. "For now, they're still in it but I need to see who the new coach is and if they're going to keep the same staff.
"I think (Auburn Head Coach) Gene Chizik would get more leeway because he won a national championship," said Tabor. "If they do fire him, they would definitely change in my eyes, depending on who the next coach is. Somebody might come in I already like from another school so I don't know yet."
There are three other SEC schools that Tabor has taken a liking to.
"I've been rooting for Alabama to get back in the national championship. I'm glad they back in it now," he said. "I definitely think they'll win it because you can't give a team like Alabama two chances at the national title, let alone one chance. I think they'll handle Auburn and Georgia. You cant give Coach (Nick) Saban a month to prepare for any team, especially with Notre Dame having a freshman quarterback. I think Alabama will win the national championship for the third time out of four years.
"South Carolina is in good standing with me right now," Tabor said. "They've got one of the best defenses in the country and I like how they play with so much energy. I like Coach (Steve) Spurrier and they have one of the best players in the country, Jadeveon Clowney, he's a beast. I would love to have him on my team.
"Florida looks really good right now. I like what their defense does, a lot of man-press and they're always coming after you," he explained. "The atmosphere they play in, the school and weather is all a good fit."
One ACC school that is under fire and another soon-to-be former ACC school are also piquing Tabor's interest.
"I think the bad case of injuries at Maryland make it tough to win a game, especially with all your quarterbacks injured," he said. "The program is going the right way and they're turning things around, especially with the move to the Big Ten. They just need a few more pieces to compete with the Florida States and Clemsons of the world. Once they get the quarterback situations straightened out they'll be in good shape.
"Miami might have a chance for a BCS bowl. Coach (Al) Golden has definitely turned that program around," Tabor said. "They were on the downhill and now they're on the way back up. They might play in the ACC championship for the coastal division.
"The sanctions could affect me depending on how bad they are," he said. "I saw Duke Johnson play in high school and I thought that college would be bigger and faster and he wouldn't be able to do the things he did in high school but he's doing the same things."