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Florida recruiting: Gators in contention for 4 top-100 defensive backs

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We are tackling the best recruiting question supplied by Florida fans each day. If you’d like to submit a question, tweet to Zach Abolverdi  here . Check out our question of the day every Monday through Friday. Go  here  to see our previous answers.

Out of Stingley, Steele, and Stevenson who do we have the best chance of landing ? — wesley chamberlin (@Wesleydean22) May 21, 2018

Defensive back is a priority in Florida’s 2019 class and the Gators have themselves in contention four top-100 overall recruits at the position.

That consists of 5-star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (Baton Rouge, La.) and Chris Steele (Bellflower, Calif.) and 4-star defensive back Tyrique Stevenson (Miami). You also have to include 4-star cornerback Kaiir Elam (North Palm Beach, Fla.), who is now ranked in the top 100 of the 247Sports composite.

Stingley and Steele took unofficial visits to Florida within the last month and both plan to return for an official visit on June 1. Stevenson attended a spring practice and the Orange &amp; Blue Game, while Elam visited Florida on its pro day (March 28) to support his uncle — former Gators safety Matt Elam.

With the two out-of-state corners, I think Florida’s chances are better with Steele. Stingley is a former LSU commit and the hometown Tigers are still the top team in his recruitment. Steele, on the other hand, hasn’t named any leaders and seems willing to leave California for college.

As for the South Florida defensive backs, the Gators are considered the team to beat for Elam because of his family ties and the opportunity to play to early. Stevenson, a former Florida commit, is still high on the program despite reopening his recruitment, but Miami is the favorite to him at this time.

The Gators are also recruiting Stevenson as a safety. I think Florida will be able to land at least one of the four top-100 defensive backs, with Elam and Steele being the most likely. Auburn and Clemson appear to the biggest competition for Elam, while Oklahoma and Southern Cal are Steele’s other top contenders right now.

For answers to our previous Questions of the Day, check out our archives. 

The post Florida recruiting: Gators in contention for 4 top-100 defensive backs appeared first on SEC Country.

Latest on LSU’s push for 4-star RB Noah Cain

noah cain-lsu-lsu tigers-recruiting

Remember the LSU mailbag? Multiply it by five. SEC Country’s LSU recruiting reporter Sam Spiegelman will answer reader questions Monday through Friday in a new segment called “LSU recruiting question of the day.” Feel free to join the conversation by tweeting your questions to Sam on Twitter ( @samspiegs ).

Where do we stand with IMG Running Back Noah Cain?Heard a lot of hype about a potential commitment early this spring, but haven’t heard anything about him since, on LSU’s behalf. Looks like the favorite has shifted to Texas. — Matt Gowen (@mattgowen) May 22, 2018

Noah Cain is always a topic of interest, Matt. Thanks for the question.

First off, let’s clear the air. Cain has maintained a plan to slice his impressive offer sheet down to five over the summer and take all five of his official visits in the fall. He will give a commitment in December during the early signing period, then graduate and enroll early at his college of choice.

That’s been Cain’s plan dating back to his sophomore year. He has leaned in different directions over the past two years, so Cain and his family felt it was best to see which colleges remain in touch with him the most until his decision date, which coaches become fired and how different depth charts develop.

The 4-star back will release a top 5 in the next few weeks and LSU is assured a spot there. Expect some combination of Ohio State, Texas, Penn State, Oklahoma, Georgia, Auburn and Miami to make the cut as well. For a prospect who hails from Baton Rouge and has family living down the road from LSU, the Tigers are definitely going to be in the mix.

LSU remains in hot pursuit of Cain. The team holds a commitment from 4-star Baton Rouge tailback Tyrion Davis and is aiming for either Cain or John Emery Jr. to round out the haul. Ideally, coach Ed Orgeron could take up to three running backs in the 2019 class, but the notion of landing Cain, Emery and Davis seems a bit far-fetched.

In talking to those in Cain’s camp recently, the Under Armour All-American is expected back on campus this summer. Keep in mind he attended LSU’s elite junior day in January and spent three days visiting in March. That string of unofficial visits is nothing to look past, especially since he is very likely to make an official visit there in the fall, too.

For now, there is no clear-cut favorite. LSU is in a very good spot with Cain and Emery, but Emery is more likely to give a commitment this summer. The Tigers are the favorite there, but Georgia is heavily in the mix as well. As I mentioned earlier, it’s hard to imagine three top 15 running backs all signing at one school.

Whether the team lands a commitment from Emery or not, expect Orgeron and running backs coach Tommie Robinson to continue their push for Cain through December.

You can  check our archive here .

The post Latest on LSU’s push for 4-star RB Noah Cain appeared first on SEC Country.

Analyst explains why Tua Tagovailoa could be best player in college football

alabama-alabama football-alabama podcast-braden gall-athlon sports-quarterbacks-predictions-Tua Tagovailoa-jalen hurts

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily  Alabama Crimson Tide podcast  with Ryan Fowler. In this edition, we talk with Braden Gall from Athlon Sports about the upcoming season, Alabama quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, and more.  Tagovailoa also clarifies a recent comment. 

Topics discussed:

  • Simone Eli from CBS 42 talks with Tua Tagovailoa in Ewaa Beach, Hawaii (audio courtesy WIAT CBS 42 in Birmingham, Ala.).
  • Tagovailoa explains a comment he made last week about him considering transferring late in the 2017 season if he did not see increased playing time. He explains the challenges of fourth-quarter strength and conditioning program under Scott Cochran.
  • Braden Gall from Athlon Sports talks about the college football publication that is just now hitting the newsstands in the SEC region.
  • Gall provides some high praise for Tagovailoa and makes the argument that he could be the best player in college football.
  • Gall talks about which team can present a challenge for the Crimson Tide in 2018.
  • Gall takes a couple of minutes to talk about some of the national teams that will be in contention for a playoff spot in 2018.
  • The Alabama Crimson Tide podcast on Monday included a conversation with former Crimson Tide player Martin Houston, who shared some thoughts on Jalen Hurts and Tagovailoa.

Miss a previous edition? Find every episode of SEC Country’s daily Alabama Crimson Tide podcast  right here .

The post Analyst explains why Tua Tagovailoa could be best player in college football appeared first on SEC Country.

Report: Former Arkansas AD Jeff Long linked to vacant Kansas AD job

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Former Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long might not be unemployed for much longer.

According to college football insider Brett McMurphy, Long is a top candidate to take over Kansas’ now-vacant AD job. The Jayhawks fired Sheahon Zenger this week after a historic run of bad football.

Top candidates for Kansas AD position: former Arkansas AD Jeff Long, Oklahoma senior associate AD Kenny Mossman, Arkansas State AD Terry Mohajir &amp; NIU AD Sean Frazier — Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) May 22, 2018

At first glance, Kansas is a complete mess. It’s a complete mess at second glance, too, but there is some hope for the distant future. The Jayhawks have approved a $350 million athletics renovation project, with about $315 million reportedly going toward football.

Those upgrades, paired with Bill Self’s dominance of Big 12 basketball, give a glimmer of hope for the future of KU athletics. Long would be in position to take a big portion of the credit should he take the job.

He would also likely be able to hire his own football coach after the 2018 season. David Beaty is entering year four in Lawrence and has just one conference win.

The post Report: Former Arkansas AD Jeff Long linked to vacant Kansas AD job appeared first on SEC Country.

Former LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard signs with New York Giants

Russell Shepard-LSU football-New York Giants-wide receiver-special teams

After spending his entire NFL career so far in the NFC South, a former LSU standout is heading north.

Wide receiver and special teams contributor Russell Shepard has signed with the New York Giants, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The #Giants signed former #Panthers and #Bucs WR and special teamer Russell Shepard to a 1-year deal worth $1.3M that can be worth up to $2M with incentives, source said. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 22, 2018

Shepard is entering his sixth season in the league after his career at LSU. After catching just 7 passes in his first three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Shepard has made much more of an impact in the last two years.

In 2016 with Tampa, he caught 23 passes for 341 yards and 2 touchdowns. He then moved on to the Carolina Panthers, where in 2017 he recorded 17 catches for 202 yards and 1 touchdown.

Shepard made an impact on special teams as well in both Tampa and Carolina, totaling 39 tackles in five seasons, forcing 2 fumbles and recovering 1.

He’ll join another LSU star in the NFL in New York in Odell Beckham Jr.

The post Former LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard signs with New York Giants appeared first on SEC Country.

Arkansas coach Chad Morris says Razorbacks ‘understand 4-8 is completely unacceptable’

Chad Morris-Arkansas Razorbacks football

Chad Morris has inherited an Arkansas team that went 4-8 last season, which was its worst campaign since 2014. The Razorbacks went 3-9 in Bret Bielema’s first season as coach in 2013, then, after three improved years, regressed in 2017.

Morris will try to build back up the program, which hasn’t won more than eight games in a season since 2011.

“I know that they’re hungry. I know that they understand 4-8 is completely unacceptable, and they felt that,” Morris said on “SEC This Morning” on SiriusXM Radio on Tuesday morning. “They felt that all year long.”

Morris recently worked with the team during spring practices, which gave him his first opportunity to get to know his new players up close. And at the conclusion of that, he came away impressed.

“After going through spring football and watching these guys, they were just so receptive to the new change, the change in the way we do the practices, the tempo at which we play at,” Morris said. “I met with 117 players, it took me about five days to do it, but I wanted them to hear from me and I wanted to hear from them. Everything resonated the same, that ‘Man, coach, we can’t wait to get back. We feel like we’re on a mission,’ and they’re driven by what happened last year.”

Morris doesn’t have much head-coaching experience — he went 14-22 at SMU from 2015-17 — but perhaps new leadership will provide the Hogs the boost they need to bounce back after a rough 2017.

For the full segment featuring Morris, listen below:

"They're hungry. They understand 4-8 is completely unacceptable." @RazorbackFB HC @coachchadmorris is using the results from last season as motivation for his team. Listen to him break it down with @TomLuginbill &amp; @B_Hop72 earlier on #SECThisMorning #WPS #HammerDown pic.twitter.com/abUpgVSior — Frank Fowler (@FrankFowlerSEC) May 22, 2018

The post Arkansas coach Chad Morris says Razorbacks ‘understand 4-8 is completely unacceptable’ appeared first on SEC Country.

Mississippi State podcast: MSU offense will be more aggressive in 2018 than it’s been in years

Mississippi State - Nick Fitzgerald - key - 2018 season

Welcome to More Cowbell, SEC Country’s   daily podcast about Mississippi State   sports with host Brandon Walker.

For the first time in nearly a decade, Mississippi State has a new man calling the shots offensively. What will that look like in 2018? It means MSU will be a much more aggressive offense and will attack far more frequently under Joe Moorhead than under Dan Mullen. More Cowbell host Brandon Walker breaks down the offense and what it will look like in 2018. Elsewhere, MSU baseball heads to Hoover, where the Bulldogs will meet LSU today in the SEC Baseball Tournament, and we check in with one former Diamond Dawg legend that turned in a highlight on Monday night.

The post Mississippi State podcast: MSU offense will be more aggressive in 2018 than it’s been in years appeared first on SEC Country.

Alabama women’s golf defeats Kent State to advance to NCAA match-play semifinals

Alabama golf-Crimson Tide golf-Lauren Stephenson-NCAA Championships

The University of Alabama women’s golf team made quick work of Kent State to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships on Tuesday morning.

The Crimson Tide will face the winner of USC-Duke, which was deadlocked 2-2-1 when Alabama finished up. The match-play semifinal is scheduled to start in the early afternoon at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. (4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel).

Alabama’s match was scored a 4-1 victory:

  1. Lauren Stephenson def. Pimnipa Panthong 3&amp;2 
  2. Kristen Gillman def. Michaela Finn 2&amp;1
  3. Lakareber Abe lost to Karoline Stormo 2&amp;1
  4. Angelica Moresco def. Chloe Salort 5&amp;3
  5. Cheyenne Knight def. Kory Nielsen 4&amp;3

With an impressive putt on the 17th hole, Gillman’s victory was the one to clinch the team win.

On the other side the bracket, UCLA vs. Arizona and Northwestern vs. Stanford were both extremely close.

Alabama was ranked No. 1 in the final pre-tournament rankings, ahead of No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 USC, No. 9 Arizona, No. 13 Northwestern and No. 16 Kent State.

It finished the stroke play portion of the tournament tied with UCLA at +9, but the Bruins were seeded first in the bracket on a tiebreaker. With Knight finishing fourth individually, and Stephenson and Gillman tied for seventh, it was the only team to have three players in the top 10.

This story will be updated.

The post Alabama women’s golf defeats Kent State to advance to NCAA match-play semifinals appeared first on SEC Country.

No harm, no foul with recruits who threw up ‘The U’ during Florida visit

Florida-Florida recruiting-Jaden Davis

Welcome to Chomp Chat, SEC Country’s  daily Florida podcast with reporter Zach Abolverdi and Gators broadcaster Jeff Cardozo.

By all accounts, Florida’s inaugural Great Gator Grill-Out was a big hit with recruits and established a new recruiting tradition under first-year coach Dan Mullen and his staff.

But there’s always something.

A few recruits from South Florida caused a stir Saturday after a screenshot of them throwing up ‘The U’ while visiting the Gators made the rounds on social media. They were trying on Florida uniforms at the time and their former teammate — Miami wide receiver Mike Harley — dared them hold up the sign during their Instagram Live video.

When they did, Harley took a screenshot of them and shared it on social media. The photo was quickly taken down and the group apologized to Mullen and on Twitter.

However, several fans have asked if the staff will pull scholarship offers and/or stopping recruiting the four players from Fort Lauderdale: 4-star running back Kenny McIntosh (University School), 4-star cornerback Jaden Davis (St. Thomas Aquinas), 4-star safety Jordan Battle (St. Thomas Aquinas) and 2020 athlete Derek Wingo (St. Thomas Aquinas).

In the latest edition of Chomp Chat, we provide some context on the incident and why it wasn’t a big deal to Mullen. You can also hear interviews with Davis and Battle, who discuss what happened and give the latest on their recruitments.

“The little thing on Twitter that blew up, that was a dare from Mike [Harley],” Davis told SEC Country. “I didn’t mean no disrespect by it. Coach Mullen told me, ‘You guys are kids. You’re playing around. We know it.’ I wouldn’t be up here if I wasn’t interested in the school, obviously.

Said Wingo: “It was taken the wrong way. Everybody started blowing it up. We didn’t do it to be disrespectful. We love the University of Florida. We wouldn’t want to do that to any school and show bad character. We apologized for that.”

Miss a previous edition? Find every episode of SEC Country’s daily Florida Gators  podcast right here.

The post No harm, no foul with recruits who threw up ‘The U’ during Florida visit appeared first on SEC Country.

No harm, no foul with recruits who threw up ‘The U’ during Florida visit

Florida-Florida recruiting-Jaden Davis

Welcome to Chomp Chat, SEC Country’s  daily Florida podcast with reporter Zach Abolverdi and Gators broadcaster Jeff Cardozo.

By all accounts, Florida’s inaugural Great Gator Grill-Out was a big hit with recruits and established a new recruiting tradition under first-year coach Dan Mullen and his staff.

But there’s always something.

A few recruits from South Florida caused a stir Saturday after a screenshot of them throwing up ‘The U’ while visiting the Gators made the rounds on social media. They were trying on Florida uniforms at the time and their former teammate — Miami wide receiver Mike Harley — dared them hold up the sign during their Instagram Live video.

When they did, Harley took a screenshot of them and shared it on social media. The photo was quickly taken down and the group apologized to Mullen and on Twitter.

However, several fans have asked if the staff will pull scholarship offers and/or stopping recruiting the four players from Fort Lauderdale: 4-star running back Kenny McIntosh (University School), 4-star cornerback Jaden Davis (St. Thomas Aquinas), 4-star safety Jordan Battle (St. Thomas Aquinas) and 2020 athlete Derek Wingo (St. Thomas Aquinas).

In the latest edition of Chomp Chat, we provide some context on the incident and why it wasn’t a big deal to Mullen. You can also hear interviews with Davis and Battle, who discuss what happened and give the latest on their recruitments.

“The little thing on Twitter that blew up, that was a dare from Mike [Harley],” Davis told SEC Country. “I didn’t mean no disrespect by it. Coach Mullen told me, ‘You guys are kids. You’re playing around. We know it.’ I wouldn’t be up here if I wasn’t interested in the school, obviously.

Said Wingo: “It was taken the wrong way. Everybody started blowing it up. We didn’t do it to be disrespectful. We love the University of Florida. We wouldn’t want to do that to any school and show bad character. We apologized for that.”

Miss a previous edition? Find every episode of SEC Country’s daily Florida Gators  podcast right here.

The post No harm, no foul with recruits who threw up ‘The U’ during Florida visit appeared first on SEC Country.

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