THE TEN AT 10
1. Oversigning to continues to be an issue in the SEC despite rules being instituted in the last year to curtail the practice. LSU is the latest culprit. After all 27 of the school’s 2010 signees qualified for admission this fall, the Tigers were left with two more than NCAA rules allow them to admit. So coach Les Miles asked two of the incoming freshmen to “grayshirt,” meaning they would delay enrollment until January, when they would count toward the next season’s scholarship total. Elliott Porter, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive tackle from Waggaman, La., declined. Porter, an honors student, has since enrolled at Kentucky. Cameron Fordham, a tight end signee from Duluth whose father played for the Tigers, also declined the request but opted instead to pay his own way as a walkon this fall. He’ll be placed on scholarship in January.
Alabama, which has engaged in the practice of oversigning under coach Nick Saban, was bailed out recently when Alfy Hill, a defensive end/outside linebacker from Shallotte, N.C., was denied admission after the NCAA Clearinghouse rejected two online courses he had taken to meet entrance requirements. Hill has since transferred to East Carolina, where he was accepted as a partial qualifier and will have to sit out this season. Meanwhile, Hill’s departure opens the door for 2010 Bama signee Harrison Jones, a tight end who had agreed to grayshirt because the Tide was overbooked. Alabama has found all kinds of creative ways to get down to the NCAA’s maximum number of 85 scholarships, as detailed on the website Oversigning.com.
2. Carver-Columbus offensive lineman Quincy McKinney committed to South Carolina on Wednesday. McKinney chose the Gamecocks over Southern Mississippi, North Carolina and Duke. “Quincy is very happy about becoming a Gamecock,” Carver coach Dell McGee said. “He really wanted to commit after an unofficial visit about three weeks ago. Now he can concentrate on academics.” McKinney (6-3, 275) couldn’t be reached for comment, but he told TheBigSpur.com: “I like that I will have the ability to play in the Southeastern ConferenceI liked all of the coaches and it’s the place I felt most comfortable at. It will be an honor to play for a legendary coach like Steve Spurrier.” The Gamecocks now have 15 commitments for 2011, including six from Georgia.
3. Who knows what to really believe? Rumors raged down at Florida that prized freshmen Ronald Powell and Dominique Easley skipped the Gators’ practice Tuesday in apparent protest over their alleged mistreatment by the coaching staff. Normally their presense at practice would be easily verified, but coach Urban Meyer has shut off all media access to practices for the season. So nobody can really be sure. Meanwhile, Gatorsports.com reported that both players were present at practice Wednesday because they were spotted entering the practice fields, smiling all the way, no less.
4. Speaking of the Gators, they have had two four-star signees quit this month — safety Jordan Haden and wide receiver Adrian Coxson. Both received unconditional releases from UF. Coxson, who was a main of UGA, has decided to transfer to Maryland. The destination for Haden, brother of former UF star Joe Haden, is still unknown.
5. Rivals.com football recruiting analyst Barry Every, a former UGA staff member, lists 17 prospects that are on the verge of possibly moving up to five-star status in their rankings. Included in that category are three Georgians — Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew, Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell and Monroe Area DE Stephon Tuitt. Currently the recruiting website has 13 five-star players. Next in line at No. 14 is Arizona OL Christian Westerman, followed by Punta Gorda, Fla, RB Mike Bellamy at 15. Drew is ranked 18, Crowell 21 and Tuitt 22. Last year Rivals rated 26 players as five-star recruits in their final rankings,including two from Georgia (WR Da’Rick Rogers, Calhoun; WR Markeith Ambles, Henry County).
6. Here’s a nice breakdown by our friends at Georgia High School Football Daily on seven excellent football players who haven’t attracted the amount of recruiting attention that probably deserve. Follow the link for details on each one but the prospects are: RB Ralph “RD4″ Abernathy IV of Westminster, LB Tanner Botts of Peachtree Ridge, WR Zach Walker of Johnson County, QB D.J. Rozier of Johnson County, QB Kyle Karempelis of Wesleyan, LB Merritt Hall of Wesleyan and RB Montavious “Whistle” Gladden of Washington County.
7. Another Tennessee signee failed to clear NCAA Clearinghouse hurdles for freshman eligibility. Safety Eddrick Loften is the latest to fall short of the NCAA’s minimum requirement for freshman eligibility, according to GoVolsXtra.com. He joins DB Marcques Dixon of Decatur’s Southwest DeKalb High, and DT John Brown of Northeast Mississippi Community College in the ranks of the unaccepted. Also, freshman receiver Justin Hunter, who has been impressive in camp, has been pulled from practices while the NCAA reviews an online class he took that he needs for certification.
8. Speaking of the Vols, the NCAA this week interviewed former assistant coach David Reeves – Lane Kiffin’s brother-in-law — about Kiffin’s recruiting practices while in Knoxville, according to ESPN’s Joe Schad. Reeves, now quarterbacks coach at New Mexico, was asked about recruiting hostesses attending recruits’ high school games, calls to prospects during an all-star game and recruiting weekends. The queries were part of what Schad reports is a “broadening NCAA investigation into Tennessee.”
9. Georgia is on top for 2012 running back prospect Matt Jones of Seffner, Fla., according to 247sports.com. “I have over 15 verbal offers right now,” Jones told the new recruiting website. “But really Georgia is on top right now for me. It’s still early and anything can change. But Georgia, Florida, and Miami are coming real hard for me right now.”
10. THIS & THAT: Georgia Tech is competing with Penn State, UNC and Southern Cal for the final two official visits of five-star cornerback Doran Grant of Akron, Ohio, according to Rivals. . . . McEachern TE Rory Anderson now favors Virginia over his other finalists, according to 247sports.com. His other four considerations are South Carolina, Tennessee, South Florida and Louisville. . . . DB Geraldo Orta (6-0 180) of Valdosta plans to take official visits to Clemson, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wake Forest this fall. . . . LB Cedrick Cooper (6-2 , 205) of Lithonia High currently favors Clemson, according to 247sports.com. He is considering official visits to Clemson, Ole Miss, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. . . . Florida got a commitment this week from defensive back Valdez Showers of Madison Heights, Mich.