SEC Weekly Recruiting Roundup: LSU Continues to Load Up on Commitments
Every Wednesday here at The SEC Blog, we will update you on the latest commits, news and rumors in the recruiting world. This week, it's a double shot of recruiting news, as The SEC Blog had July 4 off last week.
LSU's defense has evolved into one of the nation's best units, and joining that group in 2013 will be 6'3", 245-pound linebacker Melvin Jones. Jones is rated as a 4-star prospect by 247Sports.com, and chose the Tigers over SEC offers from Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Joining Jones in Baton Rouge will be tight end DeSean Smith. Smith is a 4-star tight end and ranked by 247Sports.com as the No. 4 tight end in the country. Les Miles has stated that the tight end is going to have more of a role in the offense moving forward, and Smith could be the beneficiary of that.
LSU is known for producing talented defensive linemen, and 6'1", 235-pound defensive end Lewis Neal may be the next in line to continue that tradition in Baton Rouge. The 3-star prospect by 247Sports.com hails from Wilson, N.C., and ranked as the No. 31 prospect in the state of North Carolina.
Texas A&M kept its recruiting momentum going over the holiday with the commitment of 6'2", 282-pound defensive tackle Hardreck Walker. Walker is a 3-star prospect, according to 247Sports.com, and chose the Aggies over SEC offers from Arkansas, Auburn and Missouri.
Also headed to College Station will be 6'1", 220-pound linebacker Darian Claiborne from Port Allen, La. Claiborne is rated as a 3-star prospect by 247Sports.com, and chose the Aggies over SEC offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.
Auburn got big news for its special teams. Daniel Carlson, a place kicker from Pike National Forest, Colo., committed to play for Gene Chizik's Tigers in 2013. Carlson is rated as the No. 2 kicker in the country by 247Sports.com.
Chizik also got big news from an in-state prospect, when quarterback/athlete Jason Smith committed to play for the Tigers in 2013. Smith is a 6'1", 180-pounder that can play quarterback, wide receiver or safety at the next level. 247Sports.com ranks Smith as a 4-star prospect and the No. 8 player in the state of Alabama.
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze loves to sling the ball around the field, and Evan Engram will benefit from that in Oxford in 2013. The 6'3", 210-pounder from Powder Springs, Ga., is a big target and will fit well into Freeze's spread attack.
Engram may be doing the catching, but dual-threat quarterback Devante Kincade may be doing the throwing. Kincade is a 6'1", 180-pound dual-threat quarterback from Skyline High School in Dallas, Texas. He is rated as the No. 14 dual-threat quarterback in the country by 247Sports.com.
Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips has also got some good news. Safety Blake McClain, a 6'0", 185-pounder from Winter Park, Fla., chose the Wildcats over offers from several FBS schools, including Boston College, South Florida and West Virginia.
Joining McCain at Kentucky will be 6'8", 290-pound offensive tackle Justin Day. Day is ranked as the No. 26 prospect in the state of South Carolina by 247Sports.com. He chose the Wildcats over an offer from Southern Miss.
Also headed to the Bluegrass state will be Jalen Battle. Battle is a 6'3", 185-pound safety from University School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Joker Phillips stayed hot with the commitment of Khalid Thomas from Tallahassee, Fla. Thomas is a 5'9", 170-pound all-purpose back that chose the Wildcats over offers from South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Miami (Fla.).
News and Rumors
Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's No. 1 overall prospect and Clemson commitment, made waves over the holiday week. An article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated that a scholarship offer to his friend, Ryan Carter, would cement his commitment to play for the Tigers. Nkemdiche later clarified what he meant, but that was after the whole ordeal was blown way out of proportion. Fans of his SEC finalists—LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia and Mississippi State—aren't likely to let it go, though.
Package deals happen, and Nkemdiche shouldn't be blamed if that's his plan. Who should be blamed? You, according to Chadd Scott of ChuckOliver.net.
One-time Georgia commitment Derrick Henry, the nation's No. 15 overall player according to 247Sports.com, will be in Athens this weekend for Dawg Night, writes Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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