Every Wednesday here at The SEC Blog, we will update you on the latest commits, news and rumors in the recruiting world.
Vanderbilt stayed hot on the recruiting trail this week with the commitment of Carlos Burse from Alpharetta, Ga. The 6'3", 205-pounder is rated as a 3-star prospect by 247Sports.com and held SEC offers from South Carolina, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Florida.
Also headed to Nashville will be 6'3", 235-pound defensive tackle Sean Spencer. Spencer is rated as a 3-star prospect by 247Sports.com and has the athleticism to wreak havoc on that Commodore defensive line.
Joining Spencer on the Commodore defense of the future will be 5'10", 175-pound cornerback Darrius Sims. Sims is ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the state of Tennessee by 247Sports.com and chose the 'Dores over an SEC offer from Ole Miss.
The highlight of the week for Vanderbilt was the commitment of Nigel Bowden, a 6'1", 230-pound inside linebacker from Macon, Ga. Bowden is ranked as the No. 200 player in the 247Sports.com Top 247 and pushed Vanderbilt's Class of 2013 all the way to No. 13 on the most recent team rankings.
If the class of 2013 wasn't enough, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin got a jump start on the class of 2014 with the commitment of Jashon Robertson. Robertson is a 6'3", 280-pound offensive guard from Nashville, Tenn. and Vanderbilt's first commitment for 2014.
Florida sophomore quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel may be battling for the top spot on the depth chart now, but Max Staver may be giving them a push. Staver is a 6'5", 238-pound pro-style quarterback from Brentwood, Tenn. He is ranked as the No. 19 prospect in the state of Tennessee.
Florida got some good news this week, getting a pledge from 6'4", 264-pound defensive end Joey Ivie from Dade City, Fla. Ivie is rated as the No. 31 strong-side defensive end in the country by 247Sports.com and has the frame to move to defensive tackle if that's where Florida needs him.
The wide receiver position has been the subject of a great deal of angst in Gainesville lately, but 6'3", 195-pound burner Ryeshene Bronson should fix that when he arrives on campus in 2014. Bronson runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and has the size to go up over opposing defensive backs. He should be a good fit in offensive coordinator Brent Pease's offense.
It was a big week on Rocky Top. Tennessee got a pledge from 6'3", 190-pound pro-style quarterback Riley Ferguson from Matthews, N.C. The 3-star prospect held SEC offers from LSU and Alabama, and has a big arm.
Joining Ferguson in Knoxville will be Zach Barnes from Grayson (Ga.) High School. At 6'3", 225 pounds, Barnes can play outside linebacker or drop down and play defensive end as he matures.
Also headed to Rocky Top will be junior college transfer Ben Bradley. The 6'3", 310-pound defensive tackle from Hutchison (Kansas) Community College is a native of Norcross, Ga. He will have three seasons in Knoxville to play two years.
Auburn got another athlete in the class of 2013 with the commitment of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native Lemond Johnson. The 6'1", 190-pound safety runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and can make an impact on The Plains on either side of the ball.
Georgia lost a commitment from Kyrin Priester last week, but picked up another wide receiver commitment in 5'11", 175-pound speedster Rico Johnson. Johnson isn't high on the boards of many recruiting services, but with 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash, he can be a weapon in a variety of ways for the Bulldogs.
Arkansas has been known for its passing game over the last few years and that should continue into the future with the commitment of 6'4", 186-pound Jervenski Johnson. Johnson is rated as a 3-star prospect by 247Sports.com and chose the Hogs over an offer from UAB.
Dominique Alexander will also be taking his talents to Fayetteville. Alexander is a 6'1", 185-pound safety from Tulsa, Okla. Alexander is Arkansas' ninth commitment in the class of 2013—all of which committed after Bobby Petrino was fired in April.
Defense wins championships in the SEC, and SEC newcomer Texas A&M got some good news on that side of the ball this week with the commitment of 5'10", 170-pound cornerback Noel Ellis. Ellis is rated as a 3-star prospect by 247Sports.com.
Joining Ellis in College Station will be Tavares Garner, a 5'10", 175-pound cornerback from Manvel (Texas) High School. Garner is ranked as the No. 37 cornerback in the state of Texas and possesses 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash.
Alex Sezer is another future Aggie who could be playing cornerback in College Station. Sezer is a 5'10", 180-pound burner who boasts 4.3 speed in the 40-yard dash. Sezer is from Orange, Texas and is not ranked by 247Sports.com.
Kentucky hopped on the commitment train this week with the pledge of 6'7", 270-pound offensive tackle Jake Boynton from Walton High School in Marietta, Ga. Boynton is rated as a 2-star prospect by 247Sports.com.
Rounding out our week of SEC commitments is long snapper Cole Mazza, who will make the trek from Bakersfield, Calif. to snap for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He's a 6'2", 241-pounder who's rated as the No. 1 long snapper in the class of 2013, according to 247Sports.com.
News and Rumors
Georgia lost two commitments this week, 5-star running back Derrick Henry and 4-star wide receiver Kyrin Priester. Both Henry and Priester still have Georgia on their respective radars, but will look around at other options.
The biggest news of the week was the commitment of Grayson (Ga.) High School defensive end Robert Nkemdiche—the nation's No. 1 overall recruit. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Wednesday that LSU was likely his runner-up. That may be a surprise to some, but it was clear to me that LSU was high on his list when I interviewed him for Bleacher Report's Full Ride in early June.