SEC Spotlight: Top remaining 2019 targets for each team
The opening of the Early Signing Period is just three months away, which means it is crunch time for programs across the country. In the SEC, there are schools looking to put finishing touches on their classes, while others need to kick it in gear to sign respectable numbers. This week we look throughout the conference and identify the top target remaining for each program.
Webb is a priority for some of the programs in the South, and despite the success Alabama has already had on the offensive line this cycle, the five-star out of Oxford, Ala. is still a top target. Webb is a prospect we feel is a safe bet to be a star in the trenches on the next level. He projects as a center and he is strong, smart, physical and dominant. Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and a few others are in this race too, so this will not be an easy win for Alabama. He will decide in December before enrolling in January.
The Razorbacks have struggled to start the year and are clearly in need of more weapons in the passing game. That’s where Knox comes into play. Knox has been one of Arkansas' top targets for the better part of 2018 and he could be getting close to making a commitment. After visiting Tennessee and Florida over the past month, Knox is likely done with trips. Will he stay close to home with the Vols or head west for Arkansas? Things are looking good but it will be a tight battle over the next few weeks.
What is clear is, Auburn needs a top running back in this class. Cain is a top target of the Tigers, but they will be in a fight for this one. LSU is a school some feel are trending here, but Auburn is set to receive an official visit from him next month. Cain has visited the Plains before, he likes the Tigers' offense and the team is in this one. The official visit will be crucial.
The Gators have a talented trio of wide receivers, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking to add more talent at the position and that’s where the Texas native comes into play. The playmaking wide receiver has been high on the school for a while and came away praising UF after it’s big win over rival Tennessee. Ohio State is still major factor so the Gators will need to keep impressing Higgins in order to stay in the hunt for his services.
Kirby Smart and Mel Tucker want to be big on the back-end of the defense and they have needs in the secondary. Stevenson is a top-40 prospect out of South Florida and the Dawgs have been on this young man for some time. He has made numerous trips to Athens in 2018 and he is exactly what Georgia is looking for in the secondary. Stevenson has a great connection with multiple UGA coaches and Georgia is viewed as the favorite by some.
The Wildcats' hot start to the season has caught the attention of several recruits, many of which were on hand to watch Kentucky upset Mississippi State on Saturday night. Unfortunately, one of the team’s main priorities, Robinson was on an official visit to Alabama. Robinson appears to be the next in-state recruit to weigh his options between the Tide and the Cats, but Kentucky fans and coaches are hoping this year’s hot start can help keep him close to home.
Defensive line is a real priority this cycle for Ed Orgeron and the Tigers, so no better place to start than in your home-state with a five-star defensive tackle. Sopsher has a great connection with Orgeron and the staff in Baton Rouge, he has visited there so often it feels like home and he knows he is a real priority. Alabama is viewed as the biggest competitor, but LSU is thought to be in a good spot. The way they have started off the season only helps. LSU may sign as many as six defensive linemen this cycle, and Sopsher will be a big key to the success level of this class.
There are a few that could be in this spot, but Hall, a hybrid out of Gulfport is one that Joe Moorhead and his staff want to add as an edge rusher in the Bulldogs' defensive scheme. Auburn and Florida State are two others in this race, and if one school has been trending, it is Auburn, so the longer Hall waits to announce his decision, the better it is for the in-state Bulldogs.
Dean is a top target for numerous schools and Ole Miss wants to keep him home. Dean Is very familiar with Oxford, he was back there a couple of weeks ago and he has been on that campus more than any other. His brother plays there, it is an in-state school and there is a chance he plays very early there, so there are reasons for the Rebels to feel optimistic about this one.
There are a few to choose from, but Williams seems to be the priority right now. The St. Louis product is coming off an official visit to Missouri this past weekend. The secondary is a big need for the Tigers in their 2019 class as they are expected to take four or five defensive backs. Williams has already taken an official visit to LSU and will take one to Alabama this weekend. He is expected to announce his decision within the next month, then sign in December and enroll at the school he signs with in January.
The Gamecocks already have an impressive defensive line class, headlined by five-star defensive end Zacch Pickens. But that doesn’t mean Will Muschamp and company aren’t looking to add even more talent, which is where Sorrells comes into play. The Orlando-area defensive tackle has been high on the Gamecocks for a while, but Alabama, Florida and others are still involved. If South Carolina can add Sorrells to their defensive line haul, it would give them one of the best groups at the position in the country in the 2019 class.
It’s clear the Vols need help at several positions based on the way the season has started, but there’s no bigger need than offensive line and no higher priority target than Wright. The five-star offensive lineman from West Virginia has been a regular on campus in Knoxville over the past year and would likely have a chance to step right into the lineup if he were to choose the Vols. Obviously a player of his stature has plenty of attention from other programs and Tennessee is battling Alabama, among others, for his commitment.
The Aggies class is nearly full, with only a few spots still available. That has narrowed the focus to a few prospects, with Stripling at the top of the list. The one-time Oklahoma commit is still considering the Sooners and it appears to be a two-way battle for his services heading into the heart of the fall. He’s been a regular on campus at Texas A&M during his recruitment and while his decision timeline is unknown, plenty think he could surprise and make a decision before the end of the season.
The Commodores have picked up four commitments this month and are hoping to add one more big one in Clark. The son of former NFL defensive back Ryan Clark, the younger Clark is down to a final four, with Vanderbilt firmly entrenched as a legit landing spot. The key to reeling him in could be getting him back on campus for an official visit. Clark visited in June but hasn’t been back since. Will the chance of playing in the SEC be a factor? Only time will tell.