SEC Blitz: Plenty of drama left

There’s one thing you can say about the SEC when it comes to recruiting: the league is never short on drama.
There will be plenty of that between now and National Signing Day. Some SEC teams are in a numbers crunch, while others are scrambling to fill their classes.

Can the Florida Gators continue their furious five-star run? Will Nick Saban and Alabama close with a flurry for the third consecutive year?

Can Auburn hang on to Shon Coleman and win some key out of state battles? How will Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Vols do in their mad dash to the finish line?

These are just a handful of questions that will play out over the coming days.

Alabama

The Crimson Tide look to close strong for the third consecutive year. Offensive line is the big priority here, with prospects like James Stone and Arie Kouandjio in Alabama’s sights. The Tide could close with one or both of these guys. Bama will have to fend off Tennessee for Stone and Cal and USC for Kouandjio. Can the Tide pull a shocker and flip five-star Auburn commit Shon Coleman? Nick Saban closed the deal on Brandon Ivory and would love to add another defensive lineman, and one to watch here is Calvin Smith. Junior college cornerback Dequan Menzie will likely pick between Alabama and Ole Miss. Numbers are tight in Tuscaloosa, so this should be an interesting finish for the national champions.

Arkansas

Look for the Hogs to make a ton of noise over the next few days. There are a handful of prospects still on their board, particularly on the defensive front. The Razorbacks are in a big battle with Auburn for d-tackle Bryan Jones. Jones and teammate Alan Turner (athlete) both visited Razorback country last weekend. Arkansas is in another tussle with Illinois for defensive end Brandon Denmark. The Razorbacks are trying to flip defensive tackle Brandon Jackson away from Texas A&M, and he visited Arkansas last weekend. On the other side of the ball, Arkansas is also making a big push for five-star Auburn commitment Shon Coleman. In fact, he took a mid-week visit to Arkansas last week.

Auburn

Certainly one of the big surprises this recruiting season has been Auburn. The Tigers have a top-five class with a chance to move up over the next few days. However, it’s not going to be easy. The Tigers are right there with running back Marcus Lattimore, and they will fight South Carolina for his signature. Auburn is taking one last shot at Lattimore with an in-home visit this week. The Tigers are after two defensive tackles; they are trying to hold off Georgia for [db]Jeffrey Whitaker[/db] and beat Arkansas for Bryan Jones. Defensive end Corey Lemonier will choose on Signing Day between Auburn, FSU and Miami. The Tigers are also holding out hope that five-star receiver Markeith Ambles visits them rather than LSU this weekend. Of course, Auburn is trying to hold off all suitors for five-star offensive line commit Shon Coleman.

Rivals.com
1/29/10