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RCS Atlanta survey: Prospects weigh in on new SEC hires

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

AUSTELL, Ga. -- The end of 2017 calendar year saw plenty of major coaching moves in the college ranks and the moves were definitely felt in the SEC, where Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Arkansas all hired new head coaches. With four months under their belts at new programs, the coaches have already had quite the opportunity to make impressions on recruits. Over the weekend at the Atlanta stop of the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp Series presented by adidas we asked several prospects what they thought of the hires and what they expect from the new staffs in 2018 and beyond.

RCS ATLANTA: Survey: State of Georgia program | Player predictions | Simmons Awards | Five teams with most buzz | Players who earned their stripes | Simmons' takeaways


Which SEC coaching hire caught your eye the most?

Jeremy Pruitt
Jeremy Pruitt (AP Images)

Tennessee. Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt, he was almost like a head coach himself at every school he has been at. He had the green light. I just believe he is going to turn that program around. It is almost like he put an all-star program together. Coach Tracy Rocker, coach Chris Rumph, they are going to turn it around.” — Four-star defensive end Derrick McLendon

“I like Dan Mullen going to Florida. I grew up a Florida fan, so I remember him as the offensive coordinator when Tim Tebow was there. I didn’t really like coach (Jim) McElwain. I think Coach Mullen understands the expectations. He will be able to adjust and he develops quarterbacks.” — 2020 wide receiver Donovan Moorer

“Probably Texas A&M getting Jimbo Fisher. It seems like he was doing really well at Florida State, but I guess some things went on there.” - Rivals250 offensive lineman Amari Kight

“Tennessee. I’ve talked with coach Pruitt. He’s pretty cool. He’s a good coach I think they’re going to do well.” – 2020 four-star quarterback Harrison Bailey

“The Dan Mullen hire at Florida – I’ve been following that hard.” – Three-star offensive lineman Riley Simonds

“I’m looking at Florida and Tennessee. Coach (Tracy) Rocker used to be at Georgia and recruit our area in Clayton County a lot and built a connection before he left, but now he’s at Tennessee, and that’s pretty good.” – Three-star Clemson tight end commit Jaelyn Lay

“Over at Texas A&M, Jimbo Fisher, that’s really the guy that I have looked at most.” – Three-star athlete Myles Farmer

“Tennessee, kind of, because they brought in Jeremy Pruitt. I think that he’s going to turn around the program because they have been down a little bit.” – 2019 defensive end Daniel Lavelle

“Florida – they’re new coach has a good rap sheet.” – Three-star tight end Garmon Randolph

Mississippi State has been the new staff hire that’s got my attention.” – Three-star linebacker Kevon Glenn

Which new head coach do you think will have the most success in 2018?

Dan Mullen
Dan Mullen (AP Images)

“Coach Pruitt at Tennessee. I’ve already seen he’s changing the culture there, getting players and everything.” — Kight

“Florida. When the coaches took over there I was really happy because they were recruiting me at Mississippi State and that picked right up when they went to Florida.” – Four-star linebacker Tyron Hopper

“Jimbo Fisher. He knows how to run a program and use his assets, and they have the manpower there.” — Five-star offensive lineman Clay Webb

“I feel like Coach Mullen and Florida will have a good season. I think they will have a better season than they had last year.” – Bailey

“Mississippi State. Nobody expected them to do what they did, beat LSU, beat other big teams. A lot of those guys didn’t go to the NFL this year, so I believe the new coach is set up. — McLendon

“I think Florida, probably. They got Coach (John) Hevesy from Mississippi State, and those recruits will probably switch over to Florida now with him there. Florida should be good, Tennessee is still rebuilding, but in a few years, they should be racking up the recruits.” – Lay

“Jimbo is still the Jimbo Fisher. He still coached up guys like Jameis Winston; he’s going to do his thing wherever he goes.” – Farmer

“Definitely Florida. They have the coaches and I believe they have the weapons to make some noise.” – Hopper

“I would like to see what Jimbo does at Texas A&M. After what he did at Florida State, I want to see him at A&M.” - Dent

“A lot of those guys have good teams, but I am picking Mississippi State because they didn’t lose that many guys and they had nine wins last year. So you bring in a coaching staff like that that can keep up with that or push them even further, they’ll have the most successful season.” – Glenn

“I think Tennessee, especially with (Jeremy) Pruitt, they’ll change the system around. I’ve been out to a few of their spring practices, and they’re really getting after it.” – Three-star athlete Emmanuel Jenkins

“Florida has a chance of being good, but Tennessee is probably going to have a turnaround season and surprise everybody.” – Lavelle

“Tennessee might be. They’ve got a good staff up there and their facilities are top-notch.” – Randolph

“Probably Mullen and Coach Jimbo will have the most success.” — Moorer

Which new head coach hired in 2017 will be the first to win an SEC Championship?

Jimbo Fisher
Jimbo Fisher (AP Images)

“Tennessee. Coach Pruitt.” — McClendon

“Texas A&M because they have some experienced players coming back and Coach Fisher has been there before and won a national championship.” — Kight

“Coach Pruitt and Tennessee. The coaches they brought in across the board will help them a lot.” – Bailey

“Coach Mullen. No doubt.” – Hopper

“Last year Mississippi State was alright, and a lot of people said they were going to beat Georgia, then it didn’t happen and they were kind of heartbroken … I think out of the teams with new coaches they have a good chance of winning a championship.” – Lavelle

“I’m going to stick with Mississippi State. I want to say Tennessee, but then again, you have a lot more uncertainty on that team. A lot of guys are going to have to step up, you have Georgia on that side of the conference. The only thing about Mississippi State is they have Alabama – they definitely have talent as we saw last year, they easily could have won the last game [against Alabama], they just needed to finish and they scored that touchdown at the last minute, so I definitely have to say if they can beat them, they’ll be good.” – Glenn

“Tennessee. I just think they’re going to make a drastic change this year.” – Jenkins

“I’m going to say Florida.” – Lay

“I would have to say Florida.” – Simonds

“I think Florida is probably the closest.” – Randolph

“I say Mullen at Florida. I talked to a Florida player and they seem loaded.” – Dent

“Mullen, being in the East, they can make (the championship game).” — Moorer