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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Malone’s Recruitment Goes Public

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxMark Richt said this week he believes Josh Malone could make an immediate impact as a freshman at Georgia.

Richt’s probably right. Malone is one of the nation’s most coveted wide receivers from Camp Station High School in Gallatin, Tenn. Richt was also correct when he called Malone a “dynamic player” and said Georgia would “love to have him.”

That’s the key. Georgia doesn’t have Malone yet, at least in terms of his commitment. He plans to announce his decision on Wednesday. What the Bulldogs have from Malone is a signed financial aid agreement.

Normally, coaches aren’t allowed to publicly discuss unsigned prospects. But because Malone signed the aid agreement with Georgia, Richt is allowed to give public praise toward one of the Bulldogs’ top targets in the 2014 class.

Malone also signed with Tennessee, Clemson and Florida State, which means coaches from those three schools are permitted to comment on the standout receiver. And they have.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher agreed with Richt’s assessment on Malone.

“He can be a difference maker with us too,” Fisher said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “He can be a difference maker here and is a guy we want very badly.”

Tennessee coach Butch Jones called Malone a “very, very talented young man.” Malone has been considered the top target remaining on Tennessee’s board.

“He’s a complete football player,” Jones said.

Does this mean we’ll see more coaches making public recruiting pitches to try to land prospects? Yes and no.

Malone is a unique case because he signed several financial aid agreements before actually choosing a school. Most mid-term enrollees have only signed a financial aid agreement with one school.

There will be more undecided prospects like Malone who sign with multiple schools to allow their coaches to have unlimited contact in the final few days before a decision is made. That was Malone’s motivation to sign with four schools.

“With my decision coming soon, I just wanted to give everybody a shot,” he told Rivals.

But that doesn’t mean every coach will get into a public back-and-forth for a prospect. While “never say never” has to apply in today’s world of recruiting, that could be seen more as a turn off to some prospects if coaches get into a heated public battle.

The more likely scenario is what we’ve seen with Malone – coaches making a quick case for the prospect and then moving on. Jones said this week he didn’t plan to comment publicly on Malone, but Jones did make sure to compliment Malone just to make sure he had a quote to go with the other coaches.

As for Malone’s recruitment, it will likely come down to the wire. He told Rivals he hasn’t made his decision and plans to meet with coaches from Georgia, Tennessee and Clemson over the next few days.

It could be a final private sales pitch that helps Malone make his decision.

“Honestly, I’m going to be surprised myself to see what happens,” he said.


Sharpe to visit Florida, then announce

Offensive lineman David Sharpe from Providence School of Jacksonville will take an official visit to Florida this weekend before he announces his college choice.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 6/5/2013

recruiting-headlines-gfxSEC Football

1. Florida is now going after Immokalee Fl.  cornerback J.C. Jackson after he decommitted from Florida State. He has plans to visit Gainesville this weekend with his parents.  “Florida is probably coming at me the hardest right now,” Jackson told the Orlando Sentinel.   In addition to Florida and FSU, Jackson has offers from Miami, Clemson, Minnesota, Ohio State, South Carolina and Tennessee. He is also drawing interest from Alabama and would like to visit Tuscaloosa this summer.

2. Rochelle, Georgia defensive tackle Johnny Dwight is Alabama’s ninth commitment in the class of 2014.  Dwight is rated a three-star prospect and had generated offers from LSU and North Carolina. Three of Alabama’s commitments are from Georgia.

3. Notre Dame commitment flushes out his feelings for Alabama but it’s not clear that Elijah Hood had ever generated any interest from the Crimson Tide. Hood has now apologized.

4. Top 2014 prospect Da’Shawn Hand won’t say which school offered him the chance to meet Michael Jackson but he did add this detail.  ”I said,  ‘Isn’t he already dead?’ The coach goes, ‘Well, all right, you can meet Tito.’ I was like, all right. OK, I’m done.”

5. Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee are among the favorites of five-star quarterback David Cornwell who’s eligibility in Oklahoma high school football is in question. Cornwell was home-schooled in the fall of 2011 in order to help care for his mother.

SEC Basketball

6. The son of Kentucky track coach Edrick Floreal will walk-on the UK basketball team.

7. A trio of top basketball prospects may not be a package deal after all.

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Turman Set To Announce Decision

Running back A.J. Turman from Boone High School in Orlando, Fla., will announce his college decision tonight at 6:30 eastern time.

Turman’s recruiting has been focused on Georgia, Tennessee and Florida State.

“All three of them are coming hard, so I’m not sure who I’d say is recruiting me the hardest,” Turman told the Orlando Sentinel last week.

Georgia, which received a visit from Turman earlier this month, is deep at running back. But the Bulldogs have impressed Turman with their 9-1 record this season.

“Georgia probably has the best program going on right now (among the schools he’s considering),” Turman said. “They’re winning a lot of games and I like all their coaches. They have a real solid offensive line and a good team and assistant coaches.”

The future of Tennessee’s coaching staff is in question. Head coach Derek Dooley isn’t expected to be retained next season. But it seems like the status of running backs coach Jay Graham is most important to Turman.

“(Dooley’s status) concerns me a little bit,” Turman said. “I hate to see them lose their coach but it doesn’t affect me that much because the running backs coach told me he would be staying.”

The proximity of Florida State is an advantage for the Seminoles.

“It’s close to home and I know a lot of people already up there,” Turman said. “A lot of kids I know go to school at FSU. I like the system they run with the running backs and it’s a nice program.”

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Lineman Salt No Longer Committed To Florida

Defensive lineman Visesio Salt from Mt. San Antonio Community College has switched his commitment from Florida to Utah.

Salt confirmed that move in a text message to the Orlando Sentinel, according to Florida beat writer Rachel George.

Salt, who’s considered the 10th-best junior college prospect by, likely won’t be a huge loss for the Gators.

Florida signed junior college defensive tackle Damien Jacobs and has commitments from high school defensive linemen Jonathan Bullard, JaFar Mann, Dante Phillips and Quinteze Williams.

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Report: Pease Visiting Florida, Then Alabama

Brent Pease is still the offensive coordinator at Boise State, but that could be changing soon.

Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun reported via twitter on Friday afternoon that Pease is currently in Gainesville.

“Brent Pease in Gville today, meeting with Saban on Tuesday. so it’s an either or”

Meaning Pease could become the offensive coordinator at either Florida or Alabama.

The Idaho Statesman reported Friday that Pease has already left his position at Boise State. But Broncos quarterback commit Nick Patti told the Orlando Sentinel that report isn’t accurate.

“I just got off the phone with coach Pete about it,” Patti said. “He’s talking with UF about offensive coordinator there. He just has no idea what he wants to do yet. I don’t think he has a plan yet.”

That plan should be decided by early next week.

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Receiver Howard Latest Tennessee Commit To Look Elsewhere

Add Alton “Pig” Howard to the list of Tennessee commits looking at other schools.

The wide receiver from Edgewater (Fla.) High School in Orlando, Fla., said Tuesday he’s considering other schools because of criticism surrounding Tennessee’s program.

“Well, I’m still considering (Central Florida), Florida, West Virginia,” Howard said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “(They’re) still number one, but at the same time they’ve been having some dilemmas. So I’m not 100 percent sure what’s going on. A lot of coaches have left on their own. I think I heard a couple coaches got fired.”

Tennessee has seen four coaches depart during the offseason, including former wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett. Darin Hinshaw will coach receivers next season after coaching quarterbacks for the Vols during the last two years.

Howard, who’s seen time at running back in Under Armour All-American practice this week, had originally planned to enroll in college this month but instead will wait until the summer. That will give him time to consider his options before National Signing Day on Feb. 1.

“You always have to have a backup plan, man,” Howard said. “Just in case things don’t go your way.”

Tennessee has seen several commits in the last week express an interest in looking at other schools.

Cornerback Kenny Crawley, safety LaDarrell McNeil and linebackers Otha Peters and Dalton Santos have all maintained they’re committed to the Vols but will look at other options before making a final decision.

Two prospects, linebacker Khalid Henderson and wide receiver Keithon Redding, decommitted from Tennessee during the weekend.

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SEC Headlines 11/27/2011 Part Three

1. Alabama wants a rematch with LSU.

2. Gene Wojciechowski: Alabama-LSU “became 99.9 percent official Saturday afternoon at Jordan-Hare Stadium.”

3. Chris DuFresne: “There remains a chance voters will rise up again and prevent LSU-Alabama II.”

4. Looks like the Chik-Fil-A or Gator Bowl for Auburn.

5. South Carolina likely headed to the Outback or Cotton Bowl.

6. Liberty or Music City Bowl likely for Mississippi State. Ditto for Vanderbilt.

7. Bowl projections from the Orlando Sentinel.

8. Kentucky 87 – Portland 63.  Lowest turnover total for the Wildcats since 1993.

9. USC 63  - USC 60.  Gamecocks fall to Southern Cal.

10. Arkansas 86 – Grambling  44. Freshmen score 53 of the Razorbacks total.


11. Former Les Miles assistant Larry Porter reportedly out at Memphis.  

12. Washington State coach rumored to be out - Mike Leach could be the target.

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Illinois Linebacker Chooses Florida

Florida has received a commitment from linebacker Antonio Morrison from Bolingbrook, Ill.

Morrison also considered Alabama, Tennessee and Oregon, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Morrison, who gives Florida 16 commitments for the class of 2012, is the third linebacker to commit to the Gators in this year’s class.

Morrison is the ranked the nation’s eighth-best linebacker by

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Florida Lands Talented In-State Running Back

Running back Matt Jones from Seffner (Fla.) Armwood High School has committed to Florida.

“I grew up a Georgia fan and they were the top, but Florida just took over,” Jones said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “I just like Coach (Will) Muschamp. He’s a great guy and so is Charlie Weis. They walked me through everything, me and my mom, and it was all great.”

Jones said he was also told he’s Florida No. 1 target at running for 2012. Jones, who stands 6-feet-2 and 200 pounds, said the Gators are also looking for a speedy runner who can also line up in the slot receiver position.

Jones made his commitment to Florida after visiting Gainesville last weekend.

“I was real happy, just so excited,” he said. “I knew I was going to commit when I got there. They were all jacked up … after I told them.”

Jones is Florida’s third commitment for the class of 2012.

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Florida Loses Committed Player To Florida State

Cornerback Nick Waisome from South Lake High School in Groveland, Fla., has switched his commitment from Florida to Florida State.

“After my official visits, I came back and sat down with the family and talked about everything,” Waisome told the Orlando Sentinel. “It just felt like Florida State is the best place for me.”

This is another sign that Florida State might be the team to most benefit from Urban Meyer’s departure from Florida. Waisome said he didn’t consider switching his commitment until Meyer announced his resignation on Dec. 8.

Waisome did say the hiring of Will Muschamp at Florida did not push Waisome to choosing Florida State.

Not really,” Waisome said. “(Muschamp is) a great coach and he has a great program there. I just felt FSU is where I need to be.”

Not really. He’s a great coach and he has a great program there,”
Waisome said of Muschamp. “I just felt FSU is where I need to be.”

Waisome’s decommitment leaves Florida with 15 commitments for the 2011 class. Linebacker Ryan Shazier decommitted from Florida last week, although he’s still considering the Gators along with LSU and Ohio State.

Florida wide receiver commit Ja’Juan Story is another prospect to watch. The Brooksville, Fla., was already considering Georgia and Oregon before Meyer announced his resignation.

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