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Would Sumlin Leave A&M For USC? National Writer Says The Jobs Aren’t Even Close

Kevin SumlinBetcha Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com is getting some angry emails from the Lone Star State today.  That’s because he gave an opinion Texas A&M fans won’t like when asked to compare the job in College Station to the Southern Cal job that might soon be offered to Aggie coach Kevin Sumlin:

 

“If you’re Kevin Sumlin, you can dominate the Pac-12 South.  It’s really hard to dominate a division where Nick Saban is there, LSU is always going to get players and Auburn has gotten cranked back up — and that doesn’t even speak to (the rest of) that league.  If you’re USC, you can beat Oregon or Washington or whoever comes in there eight or nine out of 10 times for the best players in Southern California, if you really want them. 

And they have really good facilities and really good history.  To me, it’s not even close.  USC is a huge job there.”

 

There’s no arguing with a single point Feldman made.  The Trojan job is one of the top five jobs in the land and as a private school it can throw enormous money at any coach Pat Haden desires.

But would another coach from a major SEC program — thinkin’ ’bout you, Lane Kiffin — jump to LA?  It has been rare for big-name schools to swipe coaches from other big-name programs.  The exception to the rule has been Kiffin from Tennessee to Southern Cal and Bret Bielema from Wisconsin to Arkansas.  Aside from Bielema, here’s how the rest of the SEC’s programs hired their current coaches:

 

Alabama — Nick Saban from the NFL, not directly from LSU

Auburn — Gus Malzahn stepped up from Arkansas State

Florida — Will Muschamp was a defensive coordinator

Georgia — Mark Richt was an offensive coordinator

Kentucky — Mark Stoops was a defensive coordinator

LSU — Les Miles moved from Oklahoma State, so he goes in the Bielema category

MSU — Dan Mullen was an offensive coordinator

Missouri — Gary Pinkel stepped up from Toledo

Ole Miss — Hugh Freeze stepped up from Arkansas State

South Carolina — Steve Spurrier came out of retirement after an NFL stint

Tennessee — Butch Jones stepped up from Cincinnati

Texas A&M — Kevin Sumlin stepped up from Houston

Vanderbilt — James Franklin was an offensive coordinator

 

And that’s just the SEC, the bestest football league in the country.  So, yes, it’s rare to see someone jump from one major program to another.

As we’ve stated on many occasions, we view the Texas A&M job as a gold mine.  The recruiting base is there.  The money is there.  The facilities are improving/expanding.  There are plenty of reasons to believe Sumlin would stay put even if offered the USC job.

But…

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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Texas A&M Lands Legacy Cunningham

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxTexas A&M received good news Thursday when defensive end Qualen Cunningham from Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz., committed to the Aggies.

Cunningham, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 22 defensive end by ESPN RecruitingNation, chose Texas A&M over offers from such schools as Oklahoma, Oregon, Southern California, UCLA and Washington.

Cunningham will follow in the footsteps of his father, Rick Cunningham, who played on the offensive line at Texas A&M from 1988-89. Qualen Cunningham told ESPN he was glad to go ahead and make a decision.

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I had my list narrowed down to schools I felt comfortable with,” Cunningham said. “It just seemed like the best situation for me, individually, being able to play in the SEC. It’s a great school, and I’m really excited for it.”

Cunningham is the second 2014 defensive line prospect to commit to Texas A&M in the last week. Defensive end Myles Garrett committed to the Aggies last week. Texas A&M has a total of four defensive linemen committed to the 2014 class.

“I know the players that are going to be on the field are going to be the best players,” Cunningham said. “I just have to step up and compete, and at the end of the day, that’s all it’s about.”

Texas A&M’s 2014 class is quickly turning into one of the best in the nation. The Aggies’ class is ranked No. 7 in the country and fourth in the SEC by Rivals. Texas A&M’s 16 commitments is the fewest total of any school ranked in the top 10.

The news of Cunningham’s commitment was met with excitement by Texas A&M quarterback commit Kyle Allen. The fellow Arizona native has pushed publicly for Cunningham to commit to the Aggies. Allen tweeted:

“Q!!!! My boy you finally came to your senses ahah! Congrats man so happy for let’s ball out! #gigem”

Texas A&M added to its 2015 class earlier this week when defensive tackle Daylon Mack from Gladewater (Texas) High School committed to the Aggies.

Mack, whose offer list also includes LSU, Florida State, Miami, Oregon and Texas, is expected to be one of the highest-rated prospects in the 2015 class. He’s confident he will help Texas A&M as soon as he arrives in College Station.

“I really just feel like I can come in and help from day one,” Mack told Rivals. “I wouldn’t mind fighting for a starting job. I think I would win, too.”

It’s another in-state recruiting win for Texas A&M. All four of the Aggies’ 2015 commitments are from in-state prospects. Allen and Cunningham are the only two commitments in the 2014 class who live outside the state of Texas.

 

South Carolina lands a quarterback

Quarterback Michael Scarnecchia from Fleming High School in Orange Park, Fla., committed to South Carolina this week.

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Receiver LaRue Chooses Texas A&M

Texas A&M has added to its deep group of wide receivers in the 2013 class with a commitment from Sebastian LaRue.

The standout from Santa Monica (Calif.) High School committed to the Aggies on Friday.

LaRue, who previously committed to Southern California, joins a strong class of receivers that includes Kyrion Parker, Ricky Seals-Jones and JaQuay Williams, who has already enrolled at Texas A&M for the spring semester.

Texas A&M has 32 commitments for the class of 2013. Signing Day is Feb. 6.

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Defensive End Muhammad Will ‘Definitely’ Visit Alabama

Defensive end Alquadin Muhammad from Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., is beginning to schedule his official visits.

“The schools I’m definitely taking officials to are Alabama and Notre Dame,” Muhammad told 247Sports. “I’ll definitely probably take one to Michigan.”

Colorado, Miami, Oregon and Southern California are also in the picture for Muhammad, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 4 strongside defensive end by 247Sports.

Muhammad denied rumors that Notre Dame leads for his services but did share what’s important to him as he attempts to choose a school.

“It’s about building relationships and feeling comfortable for four years,” he said. “You’re making a decision that will play a big role in the rest of your life.”

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Brassell Hopes To Return To Ole Miss

Nickolas Brassell is hopeful he will return to Ole Miss next fall.

Brassell was a standout wide receiver/defensive back for the Rebels in 2011 before poor academic performance forced him to leave school in the spring. He transferred to East Mississippi Community College in May with the goal of regaining eligibility to play at Ole Miss.

“It’s a big possibility to go back there,” Brassell told ESPN RecruitingNation. “My plan was to leave and come back in December. I feel like we started something, and we’ve got to finish together. I’m just looking at how their season is this year.”

Brassell told ESPN that Ole Miss is the only school that keeps in regular contact, although Alabama, Southern California and Texas have reached out since learning of his new location. Alabama was a finalist when Brassell signed with Ole Miss out of Batesville, Miss., in 2011.

“Alabama is a great school,” Brassell said. “I looked at them out of high school a lot. I stayed at Ole Miss because it was a little closer to home.”

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Priest Willis Plans To Visit LSU

Defensive back Priest Willis from Tempe, Ariz., plans to take an unofficial visit to LSU on Friday.

Willis, who’s also considering Nebraska, Notre Dame and Southern California, has been recruited heavily by LSU since early in the recruiting process.

“I’m going to be looking at the atmosphere around the (LSU) campus,” Willis told 247Sports about his upcoming visit. “I hope to check out the academic side of things. Also, I really want to see what college would be like in the South. I’m looking forward to it.”

Willis has looked at the possibility of playing at the same school as safety Tahaan Goodman from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. LSU has continued to pursue Goodman. Still, Willis said his decision won’t be based on Goodman’s recruitment.

“We want to play football together at the next level,” Willis said, “but at the same time we aren’t going to force anything if it doesn’t work out. We aren’t going to go to a school just because we want to play together. If the same college suits us then that is where we will go. But really it won’t have that much of an impact.”

Both players could make a large impact at the next level. Willis is ranked the nation’s third-best cornerback and No. 23 overall prospect by 247Sports. The site considers Goodman to be the nation’s No. 6 safety 51st-best prospect overall.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 3/13/12

1. Robert Nkemdiche will visit LSU next while his trip to Vanderbilt looks to be on hold.

2. Florida will try to be out in-state schools for Tampa Bay wide receiver Richard Benjamin.

3. This Swedish quarterback could be a top prospect in the 2015 class.

4. Here’s a look at the nation’s top guards and centers in the 2013 class.

5. North Carolina recruits don’t seem affected by the penalties handed down by the NCAA.

6. Auburn has offered a scholarship to Crete, Ill., wide receiver Laquon Treadwell.

You’ll notice Treadwell, who also has offers Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Southern California and others, is a pretty good athlete.

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Leonard Williams Down To Two Schools

Defensive end Leonard Williams from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Fla., has trimmed his list to two schools.

Williams told Mark Wheeler of Rivals.com he’s considering Florida and Southern California. Florida and USC are Williams’ two most recent official visits.

That means Auburn and Florida State are out for Williams, who’s considered the nation’s 53rd-best prospect by Rivals.

UPDATE – Mainland head coach Scott Wilson told AuburnSports.com that Williams is still considering more than just Florida and USC.

“The report of Leonard narrowing his choices to a top two is incorrect,” Wilson said. “There will be a final process that we will go through that will probably start tomorrow. We will do pros and cons. That process hasn’t occurred yet. He’s still open and thinking and has to narrow some things down.”

It would seem Williams tried to do that when he said he was trimming his list of schools to Florida and USC. But according to Wilson, that hasn’t occurred just yet.

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Report: Fowler Jr. Won’t Visit USC

Defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. from Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Fla., has decided not to visit Southern California this weekend.

That report comes from Gerald Martinez of USCFootball.com.

Fowler, who’s committed to Florida State, took an official visit to Florida last weekend.

“It was cool,” Fowler said of his trip, according to ESPN.com. “We got to hang out with coach (Will) Muschamp and his family and the other coaches and their families.”

Did Florida show Fowler enough to convince him to switch his commitment? It’s tough to tell.

“It gives me some things to think about,” said Fowler, who plans to make a final announcement on Feb. 1, “but as far as switching my commitment, no it doesn’t give me anything to think about. I’m still committed to FSU.”

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Shanks Prepares To Take Visits

Florida State defensive tackle commit Justin Shanks has begun to schedule his official visits for the month of January.

The U.S. Army All-American from Prattville (Ala.) High School told MrSEC via text message he will visit Southern California on Jan. 13 and Florida State on Jan. 20. Shanks said his third visit will be to LSU or Tennessee.

Shanks’ plan to visit elsewhere should come as no surprise to Florida State’s coaching staff. He told MrSEC last month that he’s kept the Seminoles’ staff updated on his visit plans.

“They were like, ‘Go for it,’” Shanks said. “They said they want me to take my official visits.”

Shanks, who’s considered the nation’s ninth-best defensive tackle by Rivals.com, told MrSEC it would take a “surprise” for a school to convince him to switch his commitment from Florida State.

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