Saturday , July 13 2024

Rivals Five-Star: SEC Programs Paying Close Attention

The Rivals Five-Star, the marquee football event of the offseason, is just days away. We continue a conference-by-conference look at which programs should be paying the closest attention to the results from Jacksonville next week.

Next up is the SEC.

ALABAMA

Keelon Russell

Keelon Russell (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

The Crimson Tide boast the most verbal commitments of any program in the country as of this writing, with five prospects slated to compete within the 100 or so invited to the Rivals Five-Star. It begins with the face of the recruiting class in quarterback Keelon Russell, fresh off of his Elite 11 MVP run just last week.

Fellow future ‘Bama recruits include defensive back Chuck McDonald III, linebacker Luke Metz, offensive lineman Michael Carroll and in-state running back Anthony ‘Turbo’ Rogers.

Russell has a fifth star in his crosshairs despite a large ascent over the last several updates on Rivals, and it wouldn’t surprise to see the Texas native compete for the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback spot before all is said and done this cycle.

McDonald III is known as one of the most technical cover corners in the class, something that could be put to the test with the variety of route-runners slated to work against him. Metz is as comfortable in space as most top ‘backers in the class. Carroll has plenty to prove fresh off of his commitment and Rogers will defend his No. 1 all-purpose back status while in town.

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LSU

Harlem Berry

Harlem Berry (Sam Spiegelman)

The Tigers boast one of the five-star talents on the list of competitors in Harlem Berry. The in-state star commitment just moved up to the top-ranked running back recruit in the class with the latest Rivals250 update, and this setting is right in his wheelhouse as he looks to defend it with his combination of speed and precision as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

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Fellow in-state commitment Keylan Moses will likely line up against Berry at one point, as the linebacker comes in with a lot of expectations attached to his legacy status and top-five inside linebacker ranking. LSU is in the mix for several of the uncommitted recruits expected, especially at wide receiver, from 2025 recruit Jaime Ffrench to 2027 head-turner Boobie Feaster.

Cortez Mills just showed up in Baton Rouge for his final official visit of the summer, so there could be some Tiger tint to that pass-catching group.

Others with the Tigers high on the list include offensive linemen Mario Nash and Micah DeBose, defensive back Bryce Fitzgerald and others in 2025.

The underclassman list has even more potential Tiger targets on the docket, beginning with one of the most anticipated workouts among all positions along the defensive line. No. 1 prospect in 2026, Jahkeem Stewart, is an in-state target for Brian Kelly‘s program and many feel it won’t be easy to pull him out of ‘the Boot’ when all is said and done.

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AUBURN

Eric Winters

Eric Winters (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

The Tigers have a chance to play as a splash program once the competition heats up in Jacksonville. Each of its pair of defensive commitments has a chance to turn heads nationally after standout regional efforts at the RCS stop in Atlanta.

Safety and do-it-all athlete Eric Winters is fresh on the AU commitment list and few prospects at any position will command the attention he should throughout the event. Winters ran away with secondary MVP honors in April thanks to snagging four interceptions in a short span during one-on-one competition.

Defensive tackle Malik Autry is among the largest prospects slated to attend, checking in at 6-foot-5, 325 pounds at RCS Atlanta, and he brings a powerful punch to any trench competition.

Tiger targets dot the rest of the roster, led by the most intriguing flip candidate in the class in No. 1 overall recruit Julian Lewis. The quarterback was back on the Plains just a week ago and many in SEC country feel that Hugh Freeze‘s program has the best chance to flip the longtime USC commitment, should he bail on the Trojans.

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Other targets set to work out include in-state running back Turbo Rogers, a current Alabama commitment, fellow running back Shekai Mills-Knight, wide receiver Travis Smith Jr., linebacker Logan Anderson, defensive back Shamar Arnoux and Winters’ teammate and in-state priority pass rusher Zion Grady, among others.

New Tiger commitment and in-state star Alvin Henderson is scheduled to be in town to campaign for the program, too, despite not being expected to participate as he readies for the 2024 season.

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GEORGIA

Talyn Taylor

Talyn Taylor (Rivals.com)

The Bulldogs have just one verbal commitment on the roster, but that number will certainly change with the amount of top targets and in-state stars descending on Jacksonville. The Bulldog pledge carrying the banner for the program, perhaps ironically, hails from the Midwest in Rivals100 wide receiver Talyn Taylor. The polished pass catcher recently picked the Bulldogs over Ohio State and there is momentum for the program at his position and well beyond.

Travis Smith Jr. in the class of 2025 and Aaron Gregory in 2026 are two more wide receivers to eye from the Bulldog angle. At running back, Byron Louis took an official visit to Athens just last week and Turbo Rogers is likely to consider one during the fall. Of course there are even more potential Bulldogs on defense slated to participate, with several close to making their final decisions like cornerbacks Chris Ewald and Shamar Arnoux and linebackers Luke Metz and Logan Anderson.

Metz is a current Alabama commitment and Anderson’s recruitment began to hit an apex once Georgia hosted him and offered at camp.

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The 2026 class has Bulldog flavor to it, too, led by brief verbal commitment Derek Cooper as well as a host of Peach State prospects from defensive back Zelus Hicks to defensive lineman Daverin Geralds and fast-rising linebacker Anthony Davis.

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FLORIDA

Tramell Jones

Tramell Jones

While programs such as Kentucky, with Martels Carter Jr. and Andrew Purcell, have more verbal commitments expected to compete, the location and perception around the Gators has to make an appearance on this list. Billy Napier‘s program is contending for about a dozen elites set to descend on semi-local Jacksonville, many of them even serving as flip candidates led by Florida State pledge Tramell Jones. The Gators have been efforting an official visit behind the scenes.

Other recruits currently on the board elsewhere such as Hylton Stubbs (USC), Javion Hilson (FSU), Malik Autry (Auburn), Turbo Rogers (Florida), Dallas Wilson (Oregon) have Florida among the programs still in the mix.

Uncommitted Rivals100 wide receivers Naeshaun Montgomery and Donovan Olugbode each took in an official visit to Gainesville of late, with the Gators trending for Montgomery. Linebacker Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng, defensive back Bryce Fitzgerald and defensive lineman Jarquez Carter are also undeclared with the Gators among those in the mix.

Florida is a contender for many of the 2026s invited, too, such as pass rusher Jake Kreul, wide receiver Naeem Burroughs and it just offered tight end Corbyn Fordham.

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RIVALS CAMP SERIES REGIONAL COVERAGE

El deporte es una actividad física que se realiza con el objetivo de mantener la salud, mejorar la forma física o competir. Puede involucrar una amplia variedad de actividades, como correr, nadar, jugar al fútbol o practicar deportes de equipo. El deporte no solo beneficia el cuerpo, sino que también promueve la camaradería, la disciplina y el espíritu competitivo en las personas. Es una parte importante de la vida para muchas personas en todo el mundo.

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