Tuesday, March 11, 2014
SEC Breakdown: National Signing Day
(WOLO) AP-- Wednesday is National Signing Day and teams in South Carolina are vying for the hottest picks. No signing showdown is bigger than the SEC for many across the country.
The reason why the Southeastern Conference wins all those national championships and bowls is apparent every signing day. When it comes to quality and quantity, the Deep South is the most fertile football recruiting territory in the country. SEC schools are sinking big bucks into coaches' salaries and facilities to make sure all those studs stay close to home. Heading into signing day, the leading recruiting news sites — Rivals.com, Scout.com, ESPN.com and 247sports.com — all had nine SEC teams ranked in the national top 20. That includes Tennessee, which finished 5-7 last season and Kentucky, which won two games. Expect Alabama to be crowned recruiting national champs — again — by most experts. The Crimson Tide has had the No. 1 class according to Rivals each of the last three seasons. Coach Nick Saban has commitments from five of Rivals' five-star recruits. No other school has more than three. Those schools? Alabama's SEC West rivals Auburn and Texas A&M.
SIGNING DAY STARS: Most of the top prospects have already made solid verbal commitments. Signing day is a formality. But a few of the most-sought after recruits in the nation are still undecided:
— Defensive back Adoree' Jackson, from Gardena, Calif., took late trips to USC and UCLA and is also considering Florida and LSU. "That's a family fight," said Mike Farrell, national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com.
— Defensive lineman Malik McDowell from Southfield, Mich., appears to be leaning Michigan State, though his parents aren't. "That's a pretty publicized family battle," Farrell said.
— Wide receiver Malachi Dupre from River Ridge, La. He and two of his teammates took a late trip to UCLA. Farrell says LSU is still his best guess on where Dupre lands, but watch out for Florida State.
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