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February 1, 2010

SEC Blitz: Big names on the board

Five-star running back Marcus Lattimore is a huge name still on the board for both Auburn and South Carolina, but he is not the only name left on the board for either team.

We take a look at the latest news from around the conference in the SEC Blitz.

Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | Florida | Georgia | Kentucky
LSU | Mississippi State | Ole Miss | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt

SEC Blitz

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Junior college standout cornerback Dequan Menzie went public with his commitment to the Tide, giving Alabama another big-time player for their secondary. Between now and Signing Day, it will likely be a waiting game for Alabama. It appears that offensive linemen James Stone and Arie Kouandijo will let the world know then. For Stone it's either Alabama or Tennessee, while Kouandijo will pick between Alabama, USC and Cal. The mystery man is Auburn commitment Shon Coleman. Who will he sign with on Wednesday? Will it be the Tigers, or will someone like Alabama steal him away. Of course, five-star safety Keenan Allen also has everyone wondering. The five-star standout is expected to announce on Wednesday morning between Alabama and Clemson.

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It's looking like Junction City, Ark., defensive tackle Bryan Jones will announce on Signing Day between Arkansas and Auburn. He was hoping to have the decision done already. It looks like the Hogs could be the team to beat on Wednesday for Jones and teammate Alan Turner. The Hogs are also looking good with athletes Brandon Denmark of Tallahassee, Fla., and Jonathan McKnight of River Ridge, La. McKnight is now down to Arkansas and Arizona, and distance could be a key here.

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The Tigers will get answers each day this week. First off, defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker will announce later today between Auburn and Georgia. It's thought that the Tigers are the team to beat. Tomorrow night, five-star running back Marcus Lattimore will pick between Auburn and South Carolina - although it appears he will end up in Columbia. On National Signing Day, the Tigers should learn their fate with defensive end Corey Lemonier and defensive tackle Bryan Jones. Of course, Auburn is trying to fend off Alabama, Arkansas, and Miami for five-star offensive linemen Shon Coleman. It's a big week for the Tigers.

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With the Jordan Hicks commitment to Texas, there is a real chance that Florida now lands Homestead linebacker Darrin Kitchens - although that might not be determined until Signing Day. Why? It is likey the Gators finish with offensive tackle Chaz Green and wide receiver Adrian Coxson. What happens if they also nab linebacker Christian Jones? It is not known if Florida wants to finish with three or four more prospects. If Jones signs with Florida State, then Kitchens to Florida is even more likely.

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What the heck is going on in Athens? The Dawgs lost a commitment in linebacker Deon Rogers, who is now headed to Louisville. They are expected to lose another commit in cornerback Nickell Robey. Robey could end up at USC, West Virginia or USF. At no point did anyone expect the Bulldogs to lose the top prospect in Georgia, wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers. But it's looking like a possibility, especially after his teammate - quarterback Nash Nance - committed to the Vols last week. Rogers took an official visit to Tennessee the week before and made an unofficial visit there again yesterday. Georgia will learn their fate today with defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker and wide receiver Kadron Boone. They are still in the hunt for wide receiver Christian Green, who is announcing on Wednesday afternoon.

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Don't sleep on the University of Kentucky over the next few days, as Joker Phillips and Co. are poised to make a lot of noise. Linebacker Tim Patterson and running back Miles Simpson are likely to end up in Lexington. Kentucky is hoping to land defensive lineman Mike Thornton from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga. The Wildcats are working two prospects committed to SEC schools in running back D.J. Howard and athlete Jerrell Priester. Howard, committed to Auburn, visited UK last weekend. The 'Cats signed his cousin Jonathan George last year. Meanwhile, Vandy commitment Jerrell Priester could flip Kentucky's way. Another prospect to keep an eye on is Patrick Swilling. He could wait until after Wednesday to make his decision.

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With the loss of wide receiver commitments Mike Davis and Justin Hunter, LSU still wanted to close with two more players at this position. LSU landed in-state receiver Armand Williams over the weekend. Williams was previously committed to Arkansas. It looks like the other could be Kadron Boone from Florida. Boone, who is also considering Georgia and Louisville, was committed to Texas Tech. Speaking of committed prospects, the Tigers hosted two defensive linemen over the weekend in J.C. Copeland (Tennessee) and Brandon Jackson (Texas A&M). Les Miles wants one more defensive lineman, and he hopes to flip at least one of these guys. It appears that five-star defensive end J.R. Ferguson will sign with either Florida State or Miami.
Mississippi State

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The Bulldogs landed a sleeper linebacker prospect from Puckett, Miss., over the weekend in Christian Holmes. Houston offensive line prospect James Polk is a Texas Tech commitment. He recently visited Kansas and Mississippi State, and will announce tomorrow between the Red Raiders and Bulldogs. Polk was in Starkville this past weekend. Utica, Miss., cornerback Jeremy Lee will make his decision public on Signing Day between Mississippi State and Southern Miss.
Ole Miss

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Four-star Macon, Miss., wide receiver Vincent Sanders raved about his recent Florida State visit. Was it enough for the Seminoles to take the lead? Despite the great trip, expect the Rebels to prove tough to beat on Wednesday for Sanders. The Rebels have done well in south Florida of late, and look like they're in great shape with Hollywood Hills cornerback Tony Grimes. Ole Miss picked up a good commitment from the Peach State in running back/fullback Martez Eastland. He's an underrated prospect from north Georgia. The Rebels lost out to Alabama for Juco All-American cornerback Dequan Menzie yesterday. Evan Ingram took a surprise visit to Oxford last weekend. He could be a guy the Rebels fall back to if they lose some in the end.
South Carolina

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Running back Marcus Lattimore isn't the only big name left on the board from the Palmetto State. Beaufort linebacker Justin Parker is now down to two schools, South Carolina and Clemson. It is thought that the Tigers have a very slight edge over the Gamecocks heading into the homestretch. Meanwhile, the five-star Lattimore will announce his intentions tomorrow night at his church in Spartanburg. It's South Carolina or Auburn for the nation's top running back, and at this point the home-state Gamecocks hold the edge. Last Thursday, South Carolina got a huge commitment from Bradenton, Fla., receiver Ace Sanders. He should be a big-play threat in Steve Spurrier's offense.

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Good news continues to come out of Knoxville. They finished the week with a big running back commmitment in Rajion Neal. Over the weekend, the Vols landed two defensive backs and a linebacker. On top of that it wasn't Baton Rouge or Auburn for five-star wide receiver Markeith Ambles' final visit. It was Knoxville. Georgia wide receiver commitment Da'Rick Rogers also visited Tennessee on Sunday. Could you imagine the Volunteers closing with these two five-star receivers? It's not out of the question. The Vols are also waiting on offensive lineman James Stone.

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The Commodores got huge news over the weekend when Powder Springs, Ga., running back Rajaan Bennett committed to Vanderbilt. Bennett had offers from Tennessee, Kentucky and others. Bennett is the 10th prospect that Vandy has committed from the Peach State. This looks to be the best class headed to Nashville in quite some time. The bad news is the Commodores may lose commitment Jerrell Priester to Kentucky on Signing Day.

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