Thursday, January 28, 2010

SEC Recruiting Class: The Lizard King rebuilds his army

Florida is responding to its butt-whipping by Alabama, the loss of Tim Tebow and the long-weekend retirement of Urban Meyer by building a 2010 recruiting class that ranks with the all-time best.

The fact that Meyer has reacted to defeat with a burst of even more manic energy (the same obsessive drive that has many around him worried about his longterm health) is not so surprising. But even the most avid Gator followers have to be stunned that obvious questions about their coach's future apparently had no bearing on the decisions on so many of elite members of the 2010 class. In fact, many of the best kids chose Gainesville after Meyer's "I'm gone/I'm back" theater.

A few other tidbits.

You remember Gabe King of Greensboro? Started out as the state's top prospect; declared ineligible because of a residency scandal; moved to Oregon and was seen being fitted for a beak as an Oregon Duck. Now at the very close of recruiting, Oregon has rescinded its scholarship. Could it be that some school back east found something inappropriate about King's relocation to the edge of the Oregon campus? Well, if it quacks like a Duck. King continues his dogged pursuit of a higher education with a visit to California this weekend.

Also scheduled for a Cal visit: King's former high school teammate Keenan Allen. Allen committed to Alabama months back. But Tide fans are now sweating their star recruit's frame of mind. Allen's half brother was a quarterback at Buffalo, who transferred out after Turner Gill left to coach Kansas. Now the brothers are visiting schools together. Both have offers from Clemson (the presumed runner-up in the original KA Sweepstakes) and next comes the trip to Berkeley. Two scenarios appear to be in play here: By going on these visits, Allen is only trying to get his bro the best scholarship offer; OR the two -- and their family -- are dead set on playing together in college. The family has gone Dick Cheney this week. But Alabama hopes to get some insight tonight when assistant Bo Davis visits the Allen home. The final answer comes Wednesday when the brothers reveal their choice(s) at a joint press conference. For the time being, Alabama may have to decide if Allen is worth two scholarships

New Volunteer coach Derek Dooley seems to have found his footing as a recruiter. Dooley, who inherited a wasteland of a class after his Romper Room predecessor bailed on Tennessee for USC, appears on the verge of flipping his state's top offensive lineman. James Stone has long been considered a lock for the Tide. Why the change? Stone truly disliked Lane Kiffin and most of his staff. Now that Kiffin is gone, the in-state school has made up ground in a hurry. Dooley is also making a strong push for Da'Rick Rogers, a 5-star receiver and a longtime commit to Georgia.

Alabama's response to Stone's apparent change of heart? Nick Saban has targeted Shon Coleman, the 5-star lineman out of Olive Branch, Miss., who is visiting Tuscaloosa today. Coleman is one of the top-ranked commitments in Auburn's excellent class but has never stopped scanning the landscape. Word is he's about to find a new home in another great Alabama recruiting haul.

On the Plains, the Marcus Lattimore watch presses on. If the Byrnes, S.C., star chooses Auburn, Tiger coach Gene Chizik and his staff should be selected Recruiters of the Year. Better yet, they've already sewed up the award.

More recruiting news to come.



Admin said...

Nice post. fans are now sweating their star recruit's frame of mind.

Anonymous said...

I'd hold off on the Recruiter of the Year talk until we have actually landed Lattimore and if we can prevent this attempt at grand theft auto by Mr. Clinched Butt-cheeks in Tuscaloosa.

And let's not forget that no matter who's class we're talking about, it will be headline news if even 50% of them live up to the hype.

So let's all proceed with extreme caution.

Michael said...

Mr. CBC, young barner, has already closed the deal with your 5-star Mississippian. I'm sure you and the other reasonable members of the Auburn family -- all 7 of you -- will wish Shon Coleman well.

Even without him (or Lattimore, if you were to lose him) Chizik and company have done a remarkable job(particularly compared to his predecessor).

Now excuse me while I clinch.