National Rival Selection Analyst Juan Garcia Jr. shares his thoughts on a three-way SEC recruiting battle for elite linebacker Demarcus Riddick, some players from the South seeing their stock rise, and whether Florida’s Power Five schools can keep their home of elite talent in the state.
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1. Will they be the Iron Bowl champions or rivals for Demarcus Riddick?
From the moment Demarus Riddick committed to Georgia for the Alabama and Auburn state programs in November, many in the state felt he was going to be a sticking point between the three programs. More than eight months later, not only were those knee-jerk reactionaries right, but Riddick has become one of the most lauded defensive recruits in the process, making his final decision that much more compelling.
The No. 2 linebacker for the rivals in the class of 2024, Riddick set his final college call-up for July 26 to finalize the process between the three SEC programs once and for all and move on with his senior season at Clanton (Ala.) Chilton County High School. And the buzz around the expected selection has been building for both Georgia challengers. Once news of a final decision day hit, most in the recruiting world began expecting a change somewhere other than Georgia immediately, thanks to precedent. Recruits don’t normally call a press conference to stick with the school they chose last year.
Naturally, many pro-Alabama stories began to flood recruiting desks in connection with Riddick’s impending decision. The Crimson Tide remain the favorites, but in the last week or so, Auburn’s continued push for him seems to have been well received, as Rivals have begun to hear that there is growing confidence on the part of hugh freezestaff from when it comes to July 26th. we’ll stay with Nick Saban and company for about a week, but Auburn is making this attempt much more interesting.
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2. Actions that are up in the south.
The end of offseason camp and the combined circuit always factors into the next batch of rankings in Rivals, where a lot of work remains before an August release. But some prospects must experience obvious bumps even before the intense meetings take place. These enhanced impressions usually come in person, as with Elite 11 quarterback prospect Trever Jackson, but sometimes a verbal commitment and brooding over offseason progress can do the trick.
Micahi Danzy is a great runner with real track speed who blends his talents incredibly well on Friday nights as well as in the spring. The Florida State pledge has been in the four-star bubble for some time, but that should no longer be the case come August.
Alabama’s new commitment Jameer Grimsley was drafted as a wide receiver and defensive back, according to the show, and he continues to shine at every spot on every stage. With elite length and ball skills, he’ll be another top-class bump without a second thought.
Artavius Jones shows some basketball chops at over 300 pounds, carrying the weight well into his final season. With a now-verified 6-foot-4 frame and an even better wingspan, that athleticism is the next step toward moving Miami prospect from three to four stars.
3. Sunshine State programs struggling to get talent in the state.
Of the top-ranked 2024 recruits in the state of Florida who reached a public decision by July 20, 14 have chosen to commit to out-of-state programs thus far. Georgia, Ohio State and Texas, all the programs that lead their current conferences in team recruiting rankings, already have multiple additions to this list. At the top, however, only three of the top eight overall recruits in Florida have made their college decisions, so the push to keep that elite group at home continues. But can state powers be more than hats on the table for the best available?
Defensive tackle David Stone (No. 2 in Florida) has long been considered a lean player for Oklahoma despite pressure from Miami and Florida. Defensive back Zaquan Patterson (No. 4) has both Miami and Florida State at the top of his list, but he’s poised to make return trips to Michigan and Auburn to potentially fill out his offseason road trip schedule. Charles Lester (No. 6) has been considered a strong Florida State lean, but Colorado and Deion Sanders They have been able to take advantage of some rumors with the corner recruit. Offensive linemen Jordan Season and Eddy Pierre-Louis (Nos. 7, 8) have in-state options but potentially more out-of-state traction right now, though neither recruit is expected to end anytime soon.
It’s never been a secret in the Sunshine State: Keep the talent at home and stability will follow. All four Power Five in-state programs are recruiting well, but perception will be addressed through results at the top of the state rankings, where out-of-state programs have simply been better.