Last-minute decisions in SEC add drama to signing day

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Disappear away it to the Southeastern Convention to offer some drama on signing day that otherwise looked anticlimactic.

Even when the overwhelming majority of recruits already had finalized their college choices in the December signing period, the extraordinary February signing date restful equipped about a surprises as gamers SEC teams were focusing on backed out of longstanding verbal commitments.

Wide receiver George Pickens, the nation’s No. 24 total prospect fixed with composite rankings of recruiting web sites compiled by 247Sports, flipped his commitment from Auburn to Georgia. Alabama misplaced about a high-200 verbal commitments when defensive discontinuance Khris Bogle (No. 71) selected Florida and cornerback Christian Williams (No. 160) signed with Miami.

“The gargantuan shock was George Pickens deciding on Georgia over Auburn,” acknowledged Barton Simmons, the director of scouting for 247Sports. “That’s pretty one who had been committed to Auburn for 2 years.”

Alabama restful topped the 247Sports Composite team recruiting rankings for the eighth time in the last 9 years, thanks essentially to the wealth of heralded prospects it signed in December. Alabama enhanced its class Wednesday by signing defensive tackles Ishmael Sopsher (No. 47) and Byron Younger (No. 77) and working attend Keilan Robinson (No. 244).

“Alabama is nice bigger than championships,” Sopsher acknowledged. “Coach Sever Saban, he’s going to show you staunch into a particular person and he’s going to space you up for existence.”

Even so, all these signing day switches added some suspense to a February signing date that has misplaced masses of relevance since the 2017 arrival of an early signing period.

The SEC had four of the head 5 teams in the 247Sports Composite rankings as of early Wednesday evening. Georgia was 2nd, Texas A&M fourth and LSU fifth. Also in the head 15 were Florida at No. 9 and Tennessee at No. 12.

“The SEC is famous for flips, known for decommitments, known for reduce-throat recruiting,” acknowledged Mike Farrell, the director of recruiting for Rivals.

One other considerable recruiting stories from all the way through the SEC.

BOUNCING BACK

Alabama’s switch to the head of the recruiting rankings came one 300 and sixty five days after it signed a category that ranked fifth in the team standings, ending a string of seven straight first-space finishes. Georgia topped the 2018 team standings .

“We’re indisputably joyful,” Saban acknowledged.

TWO-SPORT THREAT

Ole Disappear over had one in all the day’s largest victories when it beat out Clemson and Alabama for working attend Jerrion Ealy, rated Twenty ninth in the 247Sports Composite.

But the Rebels shouldn’t celebrate finest but.

Ealy is also a talented baseball player and a seemingly first-spherical earn in June’s draft, which can presumably well presumably pressure him into deciding whether or not to play football at Ole Disappear over or delivery a legit baseball occupation.

INVADING ENEMY TERRITORY

One attention-grabbing ingredient of Georgia’s class is that the Bulldogs signed the head two prospects in the instruct of Alabama .

Middle Clay Webb, ranked 2nd in Alabama and twenty sixth nationally, signed with Georgia in December. The Bulldogs obtained the head prospect in the instruct Wednesday when Pickens made his switch from Auburn to Georgia.

The raze four prospects in the instruct of Florida all selected either Alabama or Georgia, despite the truth that they’d all signed in December. Georgia obtained defensive discontinuance Nolan Smith and cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, while Alabama added working attend Trey Sanders and offensive kind out Evan Neal.

Florida did the next job of shielding its dwelling instruct Wednesday by getting Bogle to exchange from Alabama to the Gators and beating out Georgia for cornerback Kaiir Elam (Forty eighth).

FORTIFYING THE LINE

Tennessee landed the nation’s high last unsigned prospect when it added offensive kind out Darnell Wright, who was tenth total in the 247Sports Composite.

The additions of Wright and December signee Wanya Morris (twenty eighth) can also restful present a gargantuan enhance to a Tennessee offensive line that has struggled mightily the last two seasons.

Tennessee added anotherr high-50 recruit Wednesday as linebacker Henry To’oto’o (forty fourth) launched he was deciding on the Vols.

“One of many gargantuan promoting facets we’ve had factual now that has helped us in recruiting has been our (high-ranked) men’s basketball program,” Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt acknowledged. “All around the put I am going, every person wants to discuss about our basketball program. I mediate that’s a gargantuan thing, striking Tennessee on the blueprint again, constructing the emblem.”

SHURMUR SUCCESSOR?

Some colleges feeble the signing date as a possibility to screech the arrivals of transfers. One of many extra considerable additions was Vanderbilt’s addition of Ball Articulate graduate switch quarterback Riley Neal, who turns staunch into a seemingly successor to departing four-300 and sixty five days starter Kyle Shurmur.

Vanderbilt also added extraordinary Michigan Articulate defensive discontinuance Lashawn Paulino-Bell, who spent the 2018 season at East Mississippi Community College.

The Commodores would adore these transfers to way the success of working attend KeShawn Vaughn, an Illinois switch who rushed for 1,244 yards this previous season.

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AP sports writers David Brandt, Brett Martel, Charles Odum and Teresa Walker contributed to this document

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