SEC Spotlight: Five teams with recruiting buzz
The college football season is in full swing, but we here at Rivals.com always have an eye toward the recruiting trail. With that in mind, we take a look at five SEC programs who have positive buzz on the trail, even if the results don’t necessarily match it on the field.
What more can be said about the Wildcats' 5-0 start to the season? Even the most diehard Kentucky fan probably wouldn’t have predicted that the team would be in control of its own destiny and have a very real shot at playing in the SEC Championship Game this season, but that’s where we are.
Because of the program's success on the field, several highly-ranked recruits are starting to take notice, especially within the Bluegrass State. Prime target and four-star athlete Wandale Robinson is high on the list of programs like Alabama and Ohio State, but word is that he’s been so impressed with UK’s start that he’s likely to end up staying close to home. The same can be said for four-star linebacker Jared Casey, who is also looking at Oregon and Wisconsin. Rivals250 defensive end J.J. Weaver also recently trimmed his list and is believed to be a UK lean, setting up for a potentially epic in-state haul for the Cats. If they can keep winning on and off the field, 2019 could go down as a historic season for Big Blue Nation.
It did not look like Georgia would sign a full class of 25 earlier in the year, but as we inch closer to the Early Signing Period, it appears the Bulldogs will have room. That gives Georgia a real chance to finish on top with big names that are still left on the board.
The Bulldogs have a big need still at defensive back and four-stars Lewis Cine, Tyrique Stevenson and Kair Elam all could be called Georgia leans at this time. Georgia also appears to be in good shape with Rivals100 linebacker Nakobe Dean. Cine was on his official visit to Athens over the weekend and the other three will take their visits at a later date.
Ole Miss finished strong last cycle finishing with a top-25 recruiting class a couple of months after Matt Luke had interim tag removed from his title. He and his staff got off to a great start to the 2019 cycle and have the Rebels' class ranked in the top-15 with 27 commits.
The Rebels picked up a commitment from the No. 5-ranked prospect in Arkansas, Jadon Jackson, recently. Nakobe Dean, the top prospect in Mississippi, is their top target and Ole Miss should be in the race until the end. The Rebels are very involved with Raydarious Jones, Dean's teammate, as well. He is an athlete out of Horn Lake that is projected to play cornerback. Rivals100 rush end Khris Bogle is another big name that the Rebels are in the mix for. He will be a tough pull out of South Florida, but he continues to list Ole Miss as a contender.
Dan Mullen and Florida got off to a slow start with the 2019 class, but they have grabbed some momentum with recent commits and could close strong. The Gators finished with the No. 17 class in 2018 and their 2019 class currently sits at No. 22.
Florida flipped Rivals250 athlete Diwun Black from Ole Miss. Mohamoud Diabate and Jaydon Hill are two of the best prospects in Alabama and they committed to the Gators between late August and early September.
Florida recently had Alabama commit Justin Eboigbe in on an official visit and he is one to watch. Nay'Quan Wright is one of the top running backs in the Sunshine State and the Gators are the favorite to land him. They have some momentum with other in-state targets, like defensive end Lloyd Summerall and tight end Keon Zipperer. Florida is very much in play for Kaiir Elam as well.
The Razorbacks' season hasn’t gone according to plan, with losses to Colorado State and North Texas among the September issues. But when the calendar flipped to October on Monday, the program got some pretty big news, as Rivals100 wide receiver Trey Knox made his pledge to the Razorbacks.
Knox’s commitment is a sign that recruits aren’t worried about the team’s struggles and are buying into Chad Morris’ vision for the future. Arkansas now has a top-15 ranked recruiting class and a great chance to remain ranked high, especially with top targets like four-star Devin Bush and in-state tight end and legacy Hudson Henry still on the board.