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Old 07-09-2014, 04:52 PM   #1
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Default Discussion: 2016 Recruiting Impressions

With 20 commitments already on board (and potentially a 21st coming later today) in the 2015 class, my thoughts have begun to look ahead to the 2016 class. So like with the 2015 recruiting impressions thread, it seemed to make sense to have a general discussion thread for the 2016 class.

I'll admit right up front that I haven't paid close attention yet to the 2016 class and things could change a LOT over the next year and half (obviously).

That said, given how it's shaped up so far and who we've offered, these are my early thoughts on priority targets for 2016 (going solely on offers already extended by us and excluding kids already committed elsewhere - it's impossible for me right now to consider any other prospects):

Quarterbacks -- need 1.

Brandon McIlwain (this seems to be Mangus's clear-cut, no question about it priority. There are a lot of other talented passers in the region in case we miss out, but McIlwain could be the cornerstone of this class. #106 in the Top 247 for 2016 as of the date of this posting. Plans to be an early enrollee and recruit for whoever he picks. Currently planning a Jan. or Feb. 2015 decision).

9/25 UPDATE: Nothing really new here. McIlwain has already visited for one game this season and plans to make a return trip for an OV. Talking heads still calling us the leader here.

Running Backs -- need 2

Tavin Feaster (right now strongly leaning towards Clemson, but the best by far that is a reasonable target for us and presently the top ranked RB in the Top 247 and #16 overall)

Stephen Davis, Jr. (likely 4-star recruit, local, we know his dad was involved in Lattimore's decision to come here. Currently #237 in ESPN's initial top 300 rankings)

Dedrick Mills (bit of an unknown but he has early offers from us and Auburn both)

Kareem Walker (2nd ranked RB in 247's rankings right behind Feaster. Out of NJ. Not sure how reasonable a chance we have, but at least it's ground Mangus has had success in before. Obviously getting a visit is the key otherwise it's a pipe dream)

9/25 UDPATE: 2016 RB recruiting is a mystery to me at this point. It seems obvious it's time to go get a bellcow RB for the future to take over once David Williams leaves, but I have no clue who it will be at this point. Other offers that have been extended are Antonio Williams, Jalen Buie and CJ Freeman. There may be a few others offered as athletes that we're looking at for RB, but I'm not sure. I'm scratching my head on this one as of this date. Add local RB Shakur Chisolm to the list of guys to watch (no offer yet). Stephen Davis, Jr. unsurprisingly committed to Auburn.

Wide Receivers -- need 3-4, with at least one of those being a big get

Brad Hawkins (A taller receiver it seems we have a legitimate shot with early. Despite being a NJ kid, he was on campus this past March for our junior day and presently shows as "warmer" only to Carolina on 247. #174 in the current Top 247)

Bryan Edwards (One of the top South Carolina in-state prospects, out of Conway. Tall, has impressed local analysts for awhile now. Looks to be an in-state battle for the time being. #227 in ESPN's initial top 300 rankings for 2016).

Divine Deablo (3/4-star kid out of NC with a good offer list early. Another tall one. #204 in ESPN's top 300. We're currently listed as "warm" by 247 for him along with 4 other schools - Clemson, UNC, Louisville, and VaTech).

Brandon Johnson (4-star Ft. Lauderdale receiver, currently showing us as the only "warm" option on 247. But 2 early CB's favoring Miami).

Larry Collins (In-state receiver from Hopkins, unrated by any of the services yet. 6'3". Has some major offers to his credit though - Clemson, USC, UNC, FSU, Virginia. Could be a guy that rises in the rankings in the future it seems.)

Darnell Salomon (Top ranked guy out of all these WR's. We appear to be outside the lead group).

Demetris Robertson (One of the top rated guys in this group. #37 overall in the Top 247. Early on it's an Alabama / UCLA battle)

Cameron Chambers (Another one of the top rated guys. From Damiere Byrd's hometown and high school, so that might help. OSU and Penn State seem to be early leaders, though.)

Keith Gavin (4-star, big and tall Florida kid that looks to be an in-state battle for now).

Scott Bracey (Listed as the #5 athlete by 247. #32 overall by ESPN. Tall, out of Virginia. If you go by the "warm" indications, we seem to be in his top 5 - along with Michigan, OSU, Penn State and VaTech. Looks like we were only his 2nd offer after Washington State, so that's likely why we're listed where we are for now.)

Tavares Chase (4-star FL receiver not seeming to name early favorites. But 4 CB predictions made at this stage - 3 to FSU, 1 to Florida).

Elijah Stove (Another one of the top guys early on. Out of Niceville, FL. Doesn't seem to list any early favorites, though Keith Neibuhr gave an early CB to Auburn on June 19 after he'd camped at Auburn on June 7).

Freddie Pinder (Unrated guy out of Miami. 2 CB's to Miami. 6'4". Clemson, Louisville, Miami are his other big offers).

9/25 UPDATE: 4 star Kyle Davis got us off to a great start to this group with a commitment right after I last updated this post back in July. After him, it's looking like Bryan Edwards, Brad Hawkins and Larry Collins are the most serious chances we've got. I'd love to grab all 3 of those guys and call it a class. Interestingly, all 3 are scheduled to be in town for the Mizzou game this Saturday. Edwards has recently said things are tied with us and Clemson but he's thinking of naming a leader soon. Collins had us and FSU at the top at one point but has backed off of that to take it slow as more offers have started rolling in. I still like our chances with him - it will be interesting to see his comments after his visit this week.

Bracey, Gavin and Chambers committed elsewhere.

Tight Ends -- need 0 - 1

Issac Nauta (Top TE in the class, #16 overall in the Top 247. Georgia kid. Being ranked that highly as a TE tells you about all you need to know. We are in his lead group, along with FSU and possibly Ole Miss).

Naseir Upshur (Philadelphia kid, 3/4 star, we do appear to be in his top 5 or 6. In both 247 and ESPN's early top overall lists. Goes to David Williams' high school and is friends with Williams)

9/25 UPDATE: Not much to update here. Nauta visited on 9/13.

Offensive Linemen -- need 3-5 (as always)

Javon Kinlaw (Goose Creek OT prospect (Brandon Shell, Gerald Turner), relatively new to football, big time physical specimen. 6'7" 285 lbs or so. 5 CB's to USC so far. We were his first offer. Could also be a DE.)

Drew Wilson (OG out of Bamberg (AJ Cann), #298 in ESPN's top 300, 6'3" 280 lbs)

Chandler Tuitt (4-star OG out of Sandy Creek in Georgia - Alan Knott's school)

Michal Menet (a 4-star Pennsylvania prospect GA has targeted)

Ben Cleveland (One of the top national tackles (#11 overall by 247), out of Georgia. Currently a UGA / Auburn battle).

E.J. Price (4-star OT out of Georgia. We're currently outside the top group)

Chidi Okeke-Valentine (4-star OT out of Miami. We're outside the top group)

Darius Whitfield (OG out of Alabama, #230 in ESPN's top 300)
Stephen Spanellis (OT, Maryland, 6'5" 295 lbs)
Sean Pollard (OG, NC, 6'5", 290 lbs)
Jordan Johnson (OT, out of Florida)
Devery Hamilton (Could also be a DE, 6'6" 270 lbs, out of Maryland)

9/25 UPDATE: Again, I don't have much to update here. John Simpson from North Charleston got an offer. He's an unknown right now but might be one of those finds our staff has gotten from time to time on the OL. Oh, and obviously Ben Cleveland committed to UGA.

Defensive Linemen -- need 3-4 DT, 1-2 DE.

Antwuan Jackson (DT. A name that should be familiar. BAW's brother. #44 in the Top 247)

Chauncey Manac (DE. A Georgia prospect that's been on the radar for a long time already. #43 in ESPN's top 300)

Nyles Pinckney (in-state South Carolina prospect. 4-star DT out of Seabrook, SC)

Dexter Lawrence (4-star DT out of NC. 6'5", 300 lbs. We appear to be in the top group)

Rashan Gary (5-star, DT out of NJ, #1 overall DT, #5 in the Top 247)
Julian Rochester (4/5 star DT from Georgia. #2 DT, #6 in the Top 247)
Derrick Brown (4-star DT from Georgia. #9 DT, #57 overall by 247)
Michail Carter (4-star DT from Georgia. #19 DT / #232 overall by 247)
Benjamin "Shug" Frazier (3/4 star DT from Georgia.)

Shavar Manuel (#1 SDE by 247, 5-star, #2 overall. Out of Tampa, FL. FSU/Miami/Bama battle at the moment)

Shane Simmons (#2 SDE by 247, #27 overall. Maryland prospect)

Janarius Robinson (#75 in ESPN's top 300. DE out of Panama City, FL. Seems to favor FSU)

Rahshaun Smith (DE. #99 in ESPN's top 300. Maryland prospect. #3 WDE by 247)

Jordan Woods (4-star DE from Florida. #176 in Top 247)
Kyree Campbell (4-star DE from VA)
Joseph Jackson (4-star DE from Miami)
Cecil Stallings (DE from Atlanta)
Julian Jones (DE from AL)
Ron Johnson (DE from NJ)

9/25 UPDATE: Most interesting recent news that comes to mind is big time New Jersey DE Ron Johnson visiting for the Mizzou game this weekend along with his teammate Brad Hawkins. Penn State's a big threat to get Johnson, but this visit could help the chances a lot. I'd like to see our chances improve with Antwuan Jackson, but I'm not feeling real good about how it's going so far with him. Simmons and Robinson committed elsewhere.

Linebackers -- need 2-4

Keion Joyner (#1 OLB by 247, a 5-star, and #7 overall by 247. Currently shows "warmer" for us along with 4 other schools - Auburn, LSU and Ohio State. Out of Havelock, NC - Pharoh Cooper and Corey Robinson. This will be a big-time battle, but out of the 4 favorites early, we have location and former teammates working on our favor.)

Tre Lamar (4-star ILB out of Georgia. #7 ILB and #199 overall by 247. Currently lists only USC and Clemson as "warm")

Lyndell Wilson (4/5 star OLB out of Alabama. Looks like an Auburn/Bama battle)
Devin Bush, Jr. (3-star OLB from Hollywood, FL. Could also be a safety)
Jamie Skalski (unrated OLB from Newnan, GA. Has some big early offers - Clemson, USC, UNC, Louisville, UCF)

Tobias Little (3-star ILB out of Atlanta)

9/25 UPDATE: Picked up a commitment from Jacorey Morris out of Alabama. Unranked by Rivals. Could he be another AL linebacker find by Botkin (like Jonathan Walton)?

Devin Bush ranked us in his top 4 schools back in mid August.

Defensive Backs -- need 2-4, probably focusing more on safeties and 1 true corner in this class I'd guess. But they always seem to go after guys that can be trained in multiple positions anyway

Marquill Osborne (4-star CB out of NC. #26 CB and #244 overall by 247. Lists only us as "warm" at this time)

Eric Monroe (4-star Safety out of Texas. #1 S, #19 overall by 247. Lists USC, LSU and UCLA as "warm")

John Broussard (#2 CB, 29 overall by 247. From Alabama. Seems to favor LSU)
Khalil Ladler (#4 CB, #56 overall by 247. From Stone Mountain, GA, Stephenson HS)
Trayvon Mullen (#6 CB / #76 overall by 247. From Pompano Beach, FL)
Nygel Edmonds (#24 CB, #229 overall by 247. From Atlanta)
Dylan Singleton (4-star CB from Georgia. #217 overall by 247)
James Valdez (unrated CB from Santee, SC)
Tyrique McGhee (unrated Ath / CB from Georgia)

Romeo Finley (4-star safety from Florida. #223 in the Top 247)

9/25 UPDATE: Osborne committed to Tennessee. I don't have too much else to contribute other than that at this point.


Jordan Fuller (#91 in the Top 247. 6'2", 190 lbs. Brother of 2012 prospect Devin Fuller, who went to UCLA, and it appears they have Jordan's ear too. Penn State says they're targeting him as a RB or WR. Plays QB for his HS team)

Kyle Davis (#195 in the Top 247. 6'3", 220 lbs. Seems pretty clear he's a receiver at the next level despite being over 220 pounds. He'd certainly be a load for a CB to deal with. Not naming any favorites. From Lawrenceville, GA)

Cedrick Wright (5'8" or 5'9", 170 lbs, out of Miami. Impressive offer list for a kid his size. Seems everyone's pursuing him as a DB . Offers include Alabama, Florida, OSU, Tennessee, etc. #108 in ESPN's top 300. Recently said Clemson is pushing hardest for him, then OSU and Bama.)

Marlon Character (3/4 star Ath / S from Atlanta)

Nate Craig (#6 overall by ESPN's top 300. Athlete from Tampa. 6'2", 198 lbs. MASSIVE offer list. Probably a WR)

9/25 UPDATE: As mentioned above, Davis committed and we're putting him at WR it seems.
Craig committed to Auburn.

Last edited by GarnetInChicago; 09-25-2014 at 01:02 PM.. Reason: 7/14 - updated info on TE's
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