Kalvaraz Bessent Commits to Alabama: Where Do Florida, Georgia Turn Now?
Kalvaraz Bessent, a 4-star cornerback from Kingsland, Ga., has committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide.
His commitment will go down as another big early-cycle recruiting win for Nick Saban and Alabama, and that's a trend that should only continue from here on out. Bessent also represents yet another important Crimson Tide recruit brought in from the state of Georgia, as he's ranked as the No. 14 player from the state, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Bessent is also ranked as the No. 13 cornerback in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Michael Carvell of ajc.com reports on the Tide's newest commitment:
Kalvaraz Bessent abruptly shut down his recruiting out of the blue on Tuesday night when he committed to Alabama over Florida. The defensive back from Camden County High School said UGA was his third choice out of 11 offers.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder had good reasons for making a quick decision:
“Me and my dad talked last night, and we decided that I definitely needed to go ahead and commit to a school. It was because my head coach (at Camden) was leaving and we didn’t know what kind of coach is coming in, and if it would change anything. Also, spring practice is coming up, and, in case I get injured, I need to be committed to a school.”
As is the case in recruiting, with every winner there is inevitably a loser. In many cases, there's more than one team that misses out on a recruit.
In this instance, it was the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators that came up short in the race for Bessent's commitment. For Mark Richt and the Bulldogs, this is yet another in-state recruiting loss. For Will Muschamp and the Gators, they just simply lost out on a very good player.
Either way, both programs missed out, so where do they turn from here?
For the Bulldogs, there are still plenty of marquee recruits that have a high interest in the program.
Sony Michel is a 5-star running back recruit who has Georgia in his top two (247Sports), and he'd be a major pickup for Richt and the Bulldogs. Another big-time player Georgia is looking good with is 4-star defensive tackle Elisha Shaw. Shaw is 6'4.5'', 295 pounds and is ranked as the No. 3 player from the state of Georgia, according to the 247Sports Composite. His 247Sports interest list features Georgia and Alabama as the two top teams.
Will UGA land Sony Michel?
The No. 1 player in-state, 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter, should be another main target for the Bulldogs, and they are listed as a "warm interest" on his 247Sports interest list, along with many other notable programs.
For Florida, while this will be classified as a recruiting loss, it shouldn't have that big of an impact. Remember, the Gators landed 5-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III last cycle, and for all intents and purposes, he projects to be a star defensive back. The Gators also already have a commitment from 2014 4-star cornerback Duke Dawson.
The Gators would be best suited to move right along on the recruiting trail and focus on their main targets. Da'Shawn Hand, the nation's No. 1 overall 2014 recruit (247Sports Composite), has Florida in his top five (247Sports), so he'll undoubtedly be the main recruit that Muschamp and his staff should target. Florida's also high on the list for 5-star running back Jalen Hurd (top two), 5-star defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (top five, Florida State is leader) and the aforementioned Carter (one of many "warm interests"), all according to their respective 247Sports interest lists.
If the Gators still wanted to pursue a cornerback for 2014, 5-star corner Marlon Humphrey would be the player to go after. Alabama is on top of his interest list, but the Gators are in the bottom three, along with Mississippi State and South Carolina.
In the end, Alabama's gain is definitely Georgia's and Florida's loss, but there's still way too much time in this current cycle to fret about that too much if you're a Gators or Bulldogs fan.
Both programs still have a ton of work to do on the recruiting trail, but at the very least, they are set up nicely and should come away with more than a few big commitments of their own when all is said and done.
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