Briefs on all the SEC football recruiting hauls

I am glad that Petrino got more defensive players than offensive players but time will tell if he can develop these three star players like he did in 2008 when that class later turned the hogs into a national contender in 2011. Below is an article from

Alabama (26): The national champs added to their bounty by signing the No. 1 recruiting class, according to ESPN, and No. 2, according to Scout. Highly regarded defensive back Landon Collins, receiver Eddie Williams and running back T.J. Yeldon were expected to sign, but so did top defensive tackles Dalvin Tomlinson (Henry County) and Korren Kirven, who choose Alabama over Virginia Tech. Including Tomlinson, the Tide signed eight Georgians, including linebacker Dillon Lee (Buford), defensive back Geno Smith (St. Pius) and running back Kenyan Drake (Hillgrove).

Arkansas (24): Bobby Petrino loves receivers, so he signed four, going into Mississippi to get D’Arthur Cowan (6-foot-3, 180) and into Oklahoma to nab Keon Hatcher (6-2, 195), to help make up for missing out on Dorial Green-Beckham, who signed with Missouri, and Courtney Gardner, who signed with Oklahoma. That doesn’t include Jeremy Sprinkle (6-6, 220), who played tight end and defensive end at White Hall, Ark. Defensive back Ray Buchanan Jr., the son of former Falcon Ray Buchanan, signed out of Peachtree Ridge.

Auburn (20): Auburn survived losing both coordinators to sign a class headlined by offensive tackle Avery Young (6-6, 292) out of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the ninth-rated tackle according to Rivals. However, the Tigers missed on defensive back Ronald Darby, who went to Florida State. Jovon Robinson (6-1, 220) was the only running back the Tigers signed, but they plucked five players out of Georgia, including speedy defensive back Jonathan Jones (Carrollton) and 6-7, 280-pound tackle Will Adams and receiver JaQuay Williams (6-4, 204) of Sandy Creek.

Florida (23): The Gators grew along the defensive front with the addition of Dante Phillips (6-6, 270), Jonathan Bullard (6-3, 263), Dante Fowler (6-3, 261), who had committed to Florida State, and Stephenson’s Jafar Mann (6-4, 293). The Gators also signed defensive lineman Quinteze Williams (Sandy Creek) and kicker Austin Hardin (Marist). Florida is No. 4 in ESPN’s rankings and No. 5 according to Scout.

Kentucky (26): Coach Joker Phillips nabbed linebacker Khalid Henderson (Pebblebrook), who committed to Tennessee in June, and three-star running back Justin Taylor (North Atlanta), who was going to Alabama before being told that he would have to grayshirt. Taylor gives Kentucky three Atlanta-area backs, joining Josh Clemons (Whitewater) and Marcus Caffey (Grady), who were freshmen last season. Henderson and Taylor were two of eight Georgians who signed with Kentucky.

LSU (22): Three players, including Gunner Kiel, the No. 1 quarterback in the nation, backed out their commitments to LSU in the past few weeks, but the Tigers still signed five players in the ESPNU 150. Les Miles grabbed linebacker Kwon Alexander out of Oxford, Ala., signing him despite the fact that Alexander missed most of his senior year with a torn ACL. Buford’s Vadal Alexander (6-6, 315) and Reid Ferguson (6-2, 235) already are enrolled.

Mississippi (17): Trae Elston (6-0, 183), who looked at LSU and Oklahoma State, gives new coach Hugh Freeze a top safety. He wants to build his offense around quarterback Bo Wallace, the junior college player of the year, who threw for 4,604 yards and 53 touchdowns to lead East Mississippi Community College to the 2011 national title. Channing Ward and Issac Gross should contribute on the defensive line, and Freeze likes running backs Jaylen Walton, I’Tavius Mathers and Kenno Loyal (Columbia).

Mississippi State (23): It was a balanced class with 11 defensive players, 11 offensive players and a specialist. Coach Dan Mullen likes versatile quarterback Nick Schuessler (6-4, 190), who led Grayson to the Class AAAAA state title, saying: “He’s going to do whatever it takes to win. As a coach, that’s what you want in the quarterback.” Linebacker Richie Brown (6-2, 225) of Long Beach, Miss., said he wants to play on offense and defense, and Nick James (6-4, 330) is the biggest of eight linemen, a group that includes Jordan Washington (North Gwinnett).

Missouri (19): The Tigers will begin life in the SEC with the No. 1 recruit in the nation and one of the top guards in the country after signing state products Dorial Green-Beckham (6-6, 220) and Evan Boehm (6-3, 290). Green-Beckham’s impressive stats include holding the national career receiving yards mark with 6,447 after a season in which he caught 119 passes for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns. Despite Green-Beckham’s presence, Missouri’s class is ranked 33rd by Rivals and No. 20 by ESPN.

South Carolina (25): Steve Spurrier signed Mr. Football in South Carolina for the fourth consecutive when he got receiver Shaq Roland, a 6-1, 173-pound receiver out of Lexington, S.C. The Gamecocks, as always, did well in Georgia, signing 12 players from the Peach State, including safety Chaz Elder (Banneker), running back Mike Davis (Stephenson), who had once been committed to Florida, defensive end Darius English (McEachern) and guard Joe Harris (Lithonia).

Tennessee (21): Derek Dooley didn’t sign any offensive linemen, but got three junior college players — defensive linemen Darrington Sentimore (6-2, 273) and Daniel McCullers (6-6, 380), and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (6-3, 205) — who should make immediate contributions. Sentimore played 11 games at Alabama in 2010. Dooley on McCullers: “When you see him, he looks like two people. It’s like a circus act.” Four Georgians — including Rivals four-star receiver Jason Croom (Norcross) — are in the class.

Texas A&M (19): The Aggies’ class includes 15 Texans, including Trey Williams (5-8, 175), considered the No. 5 running back in the country, and Thomas Johnson (5-11, 180), the No. 3 receiver, who originally committed to Texas. They provide weapons for first-year coach Kevin Sumlin, who was hired by Texas A&M from Houston in December. Quarterback Matt Davis and cornerback De’Vante Harris add to a class that was hurt when receiver Bralon Addison of Missouri City, Texas, went with Oregon.

Vanderbilt (21): The Commodores were hurt by Tucker defensive end Josh Dawson, who signed with Georgia after committing to Vanderbilt, but they signed versatile Brian Kimbrow (5-8, 170) out of Memphis and Andrew Jelks (6-6, 270), a Rivals four-star offensive lineman out of Paris, Tenn. Linebackers Jake Sealand (Tucker) and Darreon Herring (Stephenson), defensive back Paris Head (Buford), defensive end Stephen Weatherly (Shiloh) and defensive tackle LaDarius Banks (East Paulding) signed.

Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams runs back a punt for a touchdown against Tennessee at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011.  (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)<br /><br /><br /><br />

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