What going on in recruiting across Georgia and the SEC’s footprint outside of UGA? The aim of the AJC College Recruiting Links every morning is to deliver just that.
Here are today’s need-to-know stories
1. Nation’s top ILB looking around
IMG Academy’s Rahshaun Smith was at Dawg Night last month. The Clemson commitment is regarded as the nation’s top-rated inside linebacker, but reportedly showed up at Auburn the next day.
The 6-foot-3, 239-pounder told ESPN’s Gerry Hamilton he will visit LSU on Oct. 17 and Auburn on Nov. 14. He’ll see the Tigers take on Florida in Baton Rouge. His Auburn visit will be for the UGA game.
He will also take official visits to Clemson and Miami, but those have not been set yet. It appearsr his Dawg Night trip was not enough to get UGA up among those leaders.Smith plans to be an early enrollee and also told Hamilton his commitment to Clemson was solid.
2. 5-star Shavar Manuel announces visits
5-star DE Shavar Manuel is one of many talented prospects at IMG Academy this fall. He told ESPN Recruiting Insider Derek Tyson on Tuesday where he he will take his visits. This winners in the Manuel sweepstakes so far are: Auburn, Clemson, Florida and LSU with a school to be named later.
The 6-foot-4, 280-pounder is rated the No. 2 strong-side defensive end in the nation and No. 8 player overall for 2016 per the 247sports composite.
3. Which SEC schools are cleaning up in recruiting?
Do those recruiting ranking stars matter? Opinions vary. Remember what McEachern’s Julian Rochester said this week?
The better topic is how do SEC schools reel in those stars compared to their league rivals. That shows how good each SEC powerhouse coaching staff is good at reeling in those 5-star recruits. Its right about halftime in the recruiting timeline for this year’s class. Who’s doing well? LSU looks to have the top spot at this time with an SEC-best three 5-stars committed. Alabama also leads the SEC with 11 4-stars in its stable.
4. Clemson 4-star WR sets his official visits
Tigernet reports today that Clemson WR commitment Cornell Powell has set up his official visits for this fall. The North Carolina native plans to visit UGA for the South Carolina game on Sept. 19, Oklahoma on Oct. 3, Ohio State on Oct. 17 and Clemson on Nov. 7.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is rated by the 247sports composite as the No. 40 receiver in the nation for 2016.
5. Who’s really the top RB in Georgia?
Elijah Holyfield would be the popular choice as the top back in Georgia this fall, but other names belong in that discussion. Sprayberry junior Trey Sermon would be one of those. Charlton County also has a player who would merit consideration in that best in the state debate. The AJC College Recruiting Blog offered up a profile yesterday on Andrew Lee.
He needs to do some extra work in the classroom to boost his grades, but he’s clearly got the game. If he was already an NCAA qualifier, you would have already read a whole lot more about the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Lee by now.
6. Gators get commit No. 20
First-year Florida coach Jim McElwain leaned on his Alabama recruiting ties (former offensive coordinator at Alabama) to land Florida’s 20th commitment on Wednesday in 3-star Jeawon Taylor. The 3-star hails from Montgomery and it continues the Florida trend with this class.
He’s the 17th 3-star commitment. The Gators are getting good, but not great players.Kentucky is the only other school in the SEC with more 3-stars on the commitment board than that.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.