One Commitment Every SEC Team Wishes It Could Get This Summer
Summer is here, and recruiting among SEC teams is getting even more fierce. Each program is working hard to secure more commitments before the season starts.
Every SEC team has at least one prospect it wishes it could lock up this summer. Some targets on this list are unrealistic, and some prospects will even wait until well past the summer to decide, but a few of them could indeed happen.
Tennessee and Auburn both would love to seal the deal with a 5-star quarterback, while Missouri wants to get a pledge from a 4-star receiver. Also, Kentucky dreams of a 5-star in-state running back deciding to stay home this summer.
Vanderbilt: Josh Smith, LB
From Tennessee, Josh Smith is a 4-star linebacker who could very well be the No. 1 target on Vanderbilt's board.
At 6'3.5" and 218 pounds, Smith has a chance to develop into a complete 'backer due to his great combination of athleticism and cover skills.
Smith's decision to end his recruitment and commit to Vanderbilt this summer would work wonders for head coach Derek Mason's recruiting efforts going forward. Mason would surely use Smith to attract more talent.
Texas A&M: Kendall Sheffield, CB
This was a tough call, as Texas A&M is in the mix for several elite prospects.
The Aggies are hot on the recruiting trail right now, as they are getting to the point where it seems they're picking and choosing who they want.
However, head coach Kevin Sumlin likely still wishes he could get a pledge from 5-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield before the end of this summer. Texas A&M isn't known for playing great defense, and Sheffield is athletic, quick, fast and talented enough to warrant immediate playing time in College Station.
Tennessee: Torrance Gibson, QB
As tough as it was to settle on only one recruit for this list for Texas A&M, it was that easy for Tennessee.
The Volunteers would jump for joy if 5-star dual-threat quarterback Torrance Gibson committed to them this summer. Head coach Butch Jones is acquiring a lot of talent these days, and a big-time quarterback may be the missing piece for the Vols to be set up to dominate future SEC seasons.
At 6'4" and 200 pounds, Gibson is a Florida native who has raw arm talent and explosive athleticism.
South Carolina: D.J. Jones, DT
A 4-star JUCO prospect, D.J. Jones would be a big get for South Carolina this summer.
The Gamecocks know how important it is to have a great defensive line in the SEC, and Jones would give them a rock in the middle.
As a JUCO prospect, he also would be in line to help South Carolina immediately in 2015. The 6'2", 310-pounder's size, bulk, strength and ability to make a mess versus running plays would be certainly welcomed in Columbia.
Missouri: Alex Ofodile, WR
Alex Ofodile is a smooth and sure-handed 4-star receiver who is also an in-state prospect for Missouri. He also happens to be the son of former Mizzou tight end Anselm Ofodile.
At 6'3" and 185 pounds, Ofodile has good route-running skills and does a good job of plucking passes with his hands. The Tigers love scoring points via the passing game, which makes it important they keep their wide receiver depth chart stocked with talent.
Landing Ofodile this summer to pair with 4-star quarterback commitment Drew Lock would be huge for head coach Gary Pinkel.
Ofodile told the following to Tom Kakert of HawkeyeReport.com (subscription required) on June 13: "I may decide sometime between early July and early August. I don't have a specific date in mind at this point."
Mississippi State: Jamal Peters, S
Perhaps the biggest target for Mississippi State right now is 4-star safety Jamal Peters. The 6'3", 200-pounder has the size of a linebacker, plus he can cover tight ends in the passing game.
The Bulldogs do not win a ton of high-profile recruiting battles, but landing Peters this summer would mark the sign of change.
With 247Sports listing schools such as Florida State, Alabama, Auburn and rival Ole Miss as competitors for Peters, beating them out for him would be a prominent boost for head coach Dan Mullen.
Ole Miss: Fletcher Adams, DT
Ole Miss has several targets it wishes it could land this summer, but 4-star defensive tackle Fletcher Adams is the main guy.
Adams isn't very big for his position at 6'3" and 255 pounds, plus he's raw with his technique.
However, he is one of the most athletic and explosive defensive tackles in recent years. Sealing the deal with him would allow the Rebels to move on in their 2015 recruiting plan with supreme confidence.
LSU: Tarvarus McFadden, DB
LSU has become known for its defensive backs, which is part of the reason why Tarvarus McFadden is at this slot.
At 6'3" and 198 pounds, McFadden can work as a press corner on the perimeter or as a safety. A commitment from him would put LSU thick in the race for the No. 1 recruiting class, and it would catch the eye of several other big-time prospects.
Head coach Les Miles probably wishes he could get a lot of things, and McFadden is one of them.
Kentucky: Damien Harris, RB
Damien Harris is the top target for Kentucky, and head coach Mark Stoops would explode in happiness if the 5-star running back committed to the Wildcats this summer.
At 5'11" and 205 pounds, Harris is a one-cut runner who has tremendous speed. He has the potential to develop more power and strength in his running style in the next few years, plus he catches the ball well out of the backfield.
The Kentucky native would make an immediate impact in Lexington, and Stoops knows it.
Georgia: Trent Thompson, DT
Without question, if there's one commitment Georgia wishes it could get this summer, it's 5-star defensive tackle Trent Thompson.
The Peach State native is not only among the nation's top overall prospects, he's also a prime fit for new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt's speed-based scheme. Thompson, who is 6'4" and 293 pounds, is an explosive defensive lineman who penetrates gaps and plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
He would immediately become the headliner of UGA's class.
Florida: George Campbell, WR
Although he could be better at another position, George Campbell likely would play receiver at Florida. The Gators offense has been stale the past few years, mainly in the passing game.
Campbell, who hails from the Sunshine State, would give UF a big target on the perimeter with explosive speed at 6'3" and 184 pounds. Head coach Will Muschamp would love to get a commitment from 5-star recruits such as defensive end CeCe Jefferson, offensive tackle Martez Ivey and defensive lineman Byron Cowart.
However, it's Campbell whom he's likely wishing for.
Auburn: Torrance Gibson, QB
Torrance Gibson is a wanted man in the SEC, as Auburn is also wishing it could get him on board by the end of the summer.
The lefty is a dual-threat quarterback who has the potential to remind people on The Plains of former quarterback Cam Newton. Gibson has good arm strength, plus he can dazzle audiences with his speed, quickness and elusiveness as a runner.
He's a perfect fit for head coach Gus Malzahn's spread offense. Landing Gibson could be the first block to fall for the Tigers to challenge Alabama for the No. 1 class in the country.
Arkansas: Will Gragg, TE
The 6'4", 245-pounder has solid speed to hustle up the seams, plus he isn't a shabby blocker. Other schools such as Alabama, Texas, LSU and Ole miss are in also in the hunt, per 247Sports.
Alabama: Malik Jefferson, OLB
A 5-star linebacker from Texas, Jefferson may be the most athletically gifted linebacker Saban has recruited since coming to Tuscaloosa. The 6'2", 225-pounder has excellent speed, agility, short-area quickness and awareness.
Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart probably throw pennies in wishing wells with Jefferson in mind.
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.