2014 Signing Day: 5 things to watch for in the SEC - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

2014 Signing Day: 5 things to watch for in the SEC

Posted: Updated:
FILE - In this file photo from Nov. 30, 2013, Kentucky coach Nark Stoops questions a call against his team in an NCAA college football game against Tennessee in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/Garry Jones, File) FILE - In this file photo from Nov. 30, 2013, Kentucky coach Nark Stoops questions a call against his team in an NCAA college football game against Tennessee in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/Garry Jones, File)

Here are five things to watch from the SEC on signing day and beyond:

TOP AVAILABLE: Several top uncommitted prospects could wind up in the SEC. That includes Gardena, Calif., cornerback Adoree' Jackson, who lists Florida, LSU, UCLA and Southern California among his finalists. The top-rated outside linebacker, Auburn (Ala.) High School's Rashaan Evans, has listed Auburn, Alabama and UCLA as his final choices. New Orleans five-star wide receiver Malachi Dupre's list includes Alabama, LSU, Florida State and UCLA. Shurburtt thinks Evans is the unattached prospect that could have the biggest immediate impact in the SEC. He expects him to join five-star linebacker Tre' Williams at Auburn.

RUNNING BACKS GALORE: SEC teams are hoping they've found future successors to departed star runners like Auburn's Tre Mason and LSU's Jeremy Hill. Four of 247Sports' composite's five five-star running backs appear bound for the SEC, including Georgia commits Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. LSU has top overall prospect Leonard Fournette and Auburn's biggest offensive pledge is Racean "Roc" Thomas of Oxford, Ala. "Leonard Fournette, he's one of the best running back prospects in 10 years," Shurburtt said. "You look at it from that standpoint, the running back talent in the league is already very good, and it's just getting better."

BEYOND BORDERS: SEC coaches have gone well beyond their own states and regions to snare recruits. Alabama is expected to pull in players from at least 15 states. Texas A&M went beyond its own talent-rich state to pull in wide receiver Speedy Noil from New Orleans and quarterback Kyle Allen from Scottsdale, Ariz. Both are the No. 1 prospects at their positions, according to multiple recruiting sites. Kentucky dipped into Ohio for 11 commitments. And those are just a few examples of the SEC coaches' travels. "In a way it's not fair," Shurburtt said. "The SEC schools are in the part of the country that produces the most talent. The numbers back that up, and yet they're able to go and cherry-pick guys in other states that are not SEC states."

POSITION LEADERS: If recruiting rankings are like draft boards, where teams rank players overall and at their position, then the SEC has plenty of first-rounders. Seven SEC pledges are rated the best at their position in the composite rankings out of the 14 spots where the No. 1 guy has committed. Shurburtt said that's sometimes a better gauge than just the number of stars by a player's name.

PASSING FANCY: Gone are quarterbacks Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger. It's not easy to come right in and start at quarterback in the SEC, but five of 247Sports' top six pro-style quarterbacks are entering the league. They've all already enrolled, including Texas A&M's Allen, Florida's Will Grier, Alabama's David Cornell, Georgia's Jacob Park and Kentucky's Drew Barker.

It could make for some interesting competitions.

  • UAB SportsMore>>

  • UAB cruises to 48-10 win over Troy in season opener

    UAB cruises to 48-10 win over Troy in season opener

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:29 PM EDT2014-08-31 02:29:34 GMT
    Cody Clements passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, while Jordan Howard rushed for two more in helping the University of Alabama-Birmingham beat Troy University 48-10 on Saturday.More >>
    Cody Clements passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, while Jordan Howard rushed for two more in helping the University of Alabama-Birmingham beat Troy University 48-10 on Saturday.
    More >>
  • Fans ready for start of football season

    Fans ready for start of football season

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:45 AM EDT2014-08-28 11:45:46 GMT
    For some people, tonight is just as exciting as Christmas Eve! Thursday kicks off the college football season. Many fans have been counting down the days.More >>
    For some people, tonight is just as exciting as Christmas Eve! Thursday kicks off the college football season. Many fans have been counting down the days.
    More >>
  • UAB names Cody Clements starting quarterback vs Troy

    UAB names Cody Clements starting quarterback vs Troy

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-08-26 19:13:29 GMT
    UAB will open the season with Cody Clements at quarterback. Clements, a junior college transfer from Cerritos College in California, beat out redshirt freshman Jeremiah Briscoe for the starting job.More >>
    UAB will open the season with Cody Clements at quarterback. Clements, a junior college transfer from Cerritos College in California, beat out redshirt freshman Jeremiah Briscoe for the starting job.More >>
  • All other Local CollegesMore>>

  • Samford loses to TCU, 48-14

    Samford loses to TCU, 48-14

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:10 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:10:40 GMT
    Samford loses its season opener on the road to TCU...More >>
    Samford loses its season opener on the road to TCU...
    More >>
  • Samford coach Pat Sullivan will not travel with team to TCU

    Samford coach Pat Sullivan will not travel with team to TCU

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:59 PM EDT2014-08-27 18:59:15 GMT
    Samford football coach Pat Sullivan will miss Saturday's season opener against TCU. The school announced that Sullivan has been advised against traveling by doctors while he recovers from offseason surgery."Unfortunately I will not be able to make the trip with my Samford team this weekend for our game against TCU," Sullivan said in a statement released through the school. "My doctors have advised me not to travel at this time due to a complication from a surgery earlier this year. We have an...More >>
    Samford football coach Pat Sullivan will miss Saturday's season opener against TCU. The school announced that Sullivan has been advised against traveling by doctors while he recovers from offseason surgery."Unfortunately I will not be able to make the trip with my Samford team this weekend for our game against TCU," Sullivan said in a statement released through the school. "My doctors have advised me not to travel at this time due to a complication from a surgery earlier this year. We have an...More >>
  • No. 8 Michigan State readies defense for opener against JSU

    No. 8 Michigan State readies defense for opener against JSU

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:54:33 GMT
    Mark Dantonio cares more about how Michigan State plays than how many plays Jacksonville State can run with its fast-tempo offense in Friday's season opener for both teams.More >>
    Mark Dantonio cares more about how Michigan State plays than how many plays Jacksonville State can run with its fast-tempo offense in Friday's season opener for both teams.
    More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • 32 teens escape from Nashville detention center

    32 teens escape from Nashville detention center

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:01 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:01:35 GMT
    A spokesman says more than 30 teens escaped from a Nashville youth detention center and 17 are still being sought.More >>
    Thirty-two teens escaped from a Nashville youth detention center by crawling under a weak spot in a fence late Monday, and 10 of them were still on the run Tuesday, a spokesman said.More >>
  • Gas prices should be lower by Halloween

    Gas prices should be lower by Halloween

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-09-02 13:38:56 GMT
    Everyday, GasBuddy surveys 550 gas stations in Birmingham, and it has found the average retail price of gas in Birmingham has dropped by 1.4-cents a gallon in the past seven-days. The average was $3.21 a gallon yesterday. The national average has increased to $3.43 a gallon."With the summer driving season behind us, motorists can look forward to a national average for gasoline that soon resumes its decline," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Falling demand and an imp...More >>
    Everyday, GasBuddy surveys 550 gas stations in Birmingham, and it has found the average retail price of gas in Birmingham has dropped by 1.4-cents a gallon in the past seven-days. The average was $3.21 a gallon yesterday. The national average has increased to $3.43 a gallon."With the summer driving season behind us, motorists can look forward to a national average for gasoline that soon resumes its decline," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Falling demand and an imp...More >>
  • UPDATE: Birmingham Police investigating homicide in Ensley

    UPDATE: Birmingham Police investigating homicide in Ensley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:53 AM EDT2014-09-02 12:53:05 GMT
    One person dead, one injured in shooting in EnsleyMore >>
    One person dead, one injured in shooting in Ensley
    More >>
  • Birmingham Skyline to be Lit Teal for Cancer Awareness

    Birmingham Skyline to be Lit Teal for Cancer Awareness

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:39 AM EDT2014-09-02 12:39:42 GMT
    Raising awareness to the symptoms of gynecologic cancers is a very important mission and could ultimately save women's lives. Three Birmingham organizations — the CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group, the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation — are partnering to do just that with their “A State of Teal” campaign.More >>
    Raising awareness to the symptoms of gynecologic cancers is a very important mission and could ultimately save women's lives. Three Birmingham organizations — the CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group, the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation — are partnering to do just that with their “A State of Teal” campaign.
    More >>
  • Two-story home destroyed in overnight fire

    Two-story home destroyed in overnight fire

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:11 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:11:07 GMT
    Fire destroys two-story home on Letson Farm Trail in McCalla.More >>
    Fire destroys two-story home on Letson Farm Trail in McCalla.
    More >>
  • Saban: Bama's QB competition continues

    Saban: Bama's QB competition continues

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:26 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:26:09 GMT
    Alabama still has competition for the starting job at quarterback. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says both Blake Sims and Jake Coker will play Saturday against Florida Atlantic. He says he hasn't determined how the rotation will work for No. 2 Alabama.More >>
    Alabama still has competition for the starting job at quarterback. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says both Blake Sims and Jake Coker will play Saturday against Florida Atlantic. He says he hasn't determined how the rotation will work for No. 2 Alabama.
    More >>
  • Last day for parking under I-20-59 bridges downtown

    Last day for parking under I-20-59 bridges downtown

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:48 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:48:58 GMT
    Starting Tuesday, drivers won't be able to park underneath the I-20/59 bridges in downtown Birmingham.Around 400 spaces will be eliminated. It's due to safety concerns stemming from the aging overpass that will undergo repairs.Some call these parking spaces convenient, well shaded, valuable and without them.Robert Langston says, "It's kind of concerning because you need all the parking around here."Charlie Gamble says, "I think it's a mistake, especially when they have a big event." "We picni...More >>
    Starting Tuesday, drivers won't be able to park underneath the I-20/59 bridges in downtown Birmingham.Around 400 spaces will be eliminated. It's due to safety concerns stemming from the aging overpass that will undergo repairs.Some call these parking spaces convenient, well shaded, valuable and without them.Robert Langston says, "It's kind of concerning because you need all the parking around here."Charlie Gamble says, "I think it's a mistake, especially when they have a big event." "We picni...More >>
  • City of Clay to defend pit bull ban in court Tuesday

    City of Clay to defend pit bull ban in court Tuesday

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:14:16 GMT
    The city of Clay will defend its Vicious Dog Ordinance Tuesday morning in court. The city council passed the ordinance last year. It bans pit bulls. Mayor Charles Webster calls it the biggest safety issue in Clay since he's been elected.More >>
    The city of Clay will defend its Vicious Dog Ordinance Tuesday morning in court. The city council passed the ordinance last year. It bans pit bulls. Mayor Charles Webster calls it the biggest safety issue in Clay since he's been elected.
    More >>