Biggest SEC vs. Pac-12 Recruiting Battles in Class of 2014
The Pac-12 and SEC play two different, contrasting styles of football. The former is known for its wide open offenses, sophisticated passing games and skill-position players. The latter plays a tough, physical and fiercely competitive brand of football known for elite athleticism.
So recruits who contemplate schools from both conference have to really ponder which is the best fit for their style. Several upper-echelon players for the 2014 class have both the SEC and Pac-12 after them.
An electric receiver in Louisiana may be thinking of heading West, but the SEC will not let him leave without a fight. A tight end in Southern California has to decide between staying home or heading to play with his brother at an SEC school. A defensive end in Texas has SEC offers, but he may be a great fit for a Pac-12 school's defense.
Dwight Williams, OLB
Dwight Williams is one of the best coverage linebackers in the country. He has excellent athleticism to play in space and excels at covering running backs and tight ends.
Williams, who is 6'1" and 205 pounds, is from Los Angeles and can choose to play at an array of programs in the Pac-12. However, 247Sports shows that he has great interest in playing at Florida.
Ermon Lane, WR
Ermon Lane, who is one of the best receivers in the nation, has the option to play at Alabama. If national signing day were today, the Tide would have an excellent shot at landing the Sunshine State pass-catcher.
Although Miami is also a strong horse in the race, 247Sports (subscription required) reports that he will visit USC this month. Should Lane be impressed on his visit to Troy, his battle could be between two of the most dominant recruiting schools in the SEC and Pac-12.
Solomon Thomas, DE
According to 247Sports, Solomon Thomas has a keen eye on SEC schools such as Alabama and Arkansas. The Texan edge-defender has a style of play predicated on power, which would fit in well in the SEC.
However, Stanford could also be a school to watch for Thomas, who is 6'3" and 256 pounds. A defensive end now, Thomas will likely develop into a five-technique in a 3-4 scheme or a defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment.
Tyler Luatua, TE
Tyler Luatua, who attends La Mirada High School in Southern California, is a top-level tight end prospect. His brother Issac is an offensive lineman at Alabama.
The Crimson Tide coaches have spent the past two recruiting cycles restocking their offensive skill position talent, and Luatua is a player wanted in Tuscaloosa.
But Lane Kiffin has plans of making the 6'4", 230-pounder into a Fred Davis clone at USC.
Michiah Quick, WR/DB
Michiah Quick had two of his teammates last year sign with Oklahoma in Hatari Byrd and L.J. Moore. So the Sooners would be happy to keep the trio together by bringing Quick to Norman.
However, an SEC versus Pac-12 battle could be brewing for his services. Per 247Sports, Alabama, USC and UCLA are in the mix for Quick as well.
Adoree' Jackson, CB
Adoree' Jackson is such a great athlete and an accomplished long-jumper that he could be in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Until then, he will be looking to decide on where he should attend college.
Jackson has a long offer sheet, and he is welcome on every campus in America, including USC, UCLA, LSU and Florida. With his wiry strength, instincts and exceptional athletic ability, Jackson will be a good fit in any conference.
Speedy Noil, WR/ATH
Speedy Noil, who is from New Orleans, has offers from many schools, including in-state power LSU. Another SEC school to watch in his recruitment is Texas A&M, as Noil would be a good fit in the Aggies' spread offense.
The same traits and skills that would make the 5'11", 176-pound speedster fit in well in College Station also make him a potential boom prospect for USC.
Florida also will stalk Jackson until national signing day.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.