South: Class of 2019 five-star check-up
The clock is ticking for those who plan to sign in December during the Early Signing Period (December 19-22), which most five-star prospects in the South do, and there are some real storylines around the best in the South.
Recruiting analyst Chad Simmons takes a look at the class of 2019 five-stars in his states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Some are still open, some are committed and looking and some are locked in on the schools they are committed to.
Jadon Haselwood is one of the most talked about recruits in the country. He decommitted from Georgia last month, and even before then, while committed to the Bulldogs, he was taking visits and remained a hot topic. Since opening up, Miami has emerged as the school most link Haselwood to. Georgia is working hard to get him back and he will be in Athens for an official visit later this month. Auburn and Oklahoma have already had him in for official visits. Tennessee has quietly snuck into this race and is a team to watch. The Vols have made a big push and he is likely to visit Knoxville at least once between now and the Early Signing Period. This is one that could still go a number of different ways. Miami and Tennessee are the most talked about schools around Haselwood at this time with Georgia still hanging around.
Christopher Hinton took an unofficial visit to Georgia in October and that started the buzz about him looking around. Hinton was back in Ann Arbor for the Penn State game and he is actively recruiting for the Wolverines. He is locked in on Michigan and plans to sign in December.
Wanya Morris was in Athens Saturday for the Auburn game, but the Bulldogs are no threat to Tennessee. I don’t see anyone as a threat. Auburn is still recruiting him and I am not ruling out another visit to the Plains, but Morris is strong to the Vols. It is hard to see him turning. I honestly can’t see him anywhere other than Knoxville at this time.
Bo Nix is an Auburn commit and an Auburn recruiter. He is the face of the Tigers class and the Auburn legacy is locked in. He is going about his business and putting up big numbers this season as he tries to lead his team to another state title.
Trey Palmer is all LSU. He has said that he bleeds purple and gold. The in-state talent is locked in on being a Tiger and playing in Baton Rouge. He is the only receiver committed to LSU at this time.
Owen Pappoe has never been a boring prospect to cover. The talented athlete will have recruiting fans and college coaches on the edge of their seats until he signs his letter of intent. He is committed to Auburn, but is Tennessee the school trending? I say yes. What say you? Georgia had Pappoe on campus last weekend and the Bulldogs are in this, but as of today, Georgia is a distant third. Auburn and Tennessee look to be fighting this one out right now and he will be one all will be watching until December 19.
George Pickens is a name I have my eye on. He was back in Athens for another visit to Georgia for the Auburn game. Was he there to truly look at Georgia or was he there to see Auburn, the school he is committed to? Maybe a little of both. I don’t see Georgia as a real threat to Auburn at this time. Alabama is the school to watch. Pickens has visited Tuscaloosa this fall and he will be back. I think this race has tightened this fall and Alabama is a legit contender here. Florida State, Georgia and a few others are still working Pickens, but this one is likely going to come down to Alabama and Auburn.
Ishmael Sopsher does not say a lot, but he sure is talked about often. He is an elite interior defensive lineman and this is going to be a war between Alabama and LSU. Can Alabama take another top talent out of the Boot State? They have done it before and some feel the Crimson Tide have the edge. I hear more buzz around Alabama personally, but this is going to be a very tough one for Nick Saban. Sopsher is so close to Ed Orgeron, and he knows he is a priority for Coach O and that staff. Can he tell Orgeron no? That is the biggest question. This one will go all the way until February.
Kardell Thomas is taking visits, but he is really just enjoying the process. The monster offensive lineman out of Baton Rouge will stay in Baton Rouge. He is nasty on the field, but one of the nicest kids off the field. He is going to speak highly of Florida State, Penn State and whoever he visits, but his heart is with LSU and the Tigers have nothing to worry about.
Clay Webb is different. He has been fun to cover because he is who he is and he goes about his business a little differently than most other top recruits. He has never posted offers. He never talks about who he is visiting. He is one of the most reserved recruits I have ever covered. He will keep most guessing until he announces his decision. Does he already know where he is going? Some think Clemson. Some think Georgia. Alabama at one time was the school all had him locked into, but have the Tigers and Bulldogs passed the Crimson Tide? Webb was back at Georgia Saturday, a week after he visited Clemson. Those two schools seem to be in front based on what I am hearing. As of now, I do not think he takes any official visits before he makes his decision. Webb is not going to say much, if anything about his recruitment, so stay tuned, he will announce his decision next month.