It’s time to dip into the SEC recruiting mailbag and answer your questions. Because of the amount of questions we’ve received, we won’t be able to get to all of them today, but we encourage you to ask again next week by tweeting your questions to @DerekTysonESPN or @HamiltonESPN and use the hashtag #SECRecruiting.
@Gina_Lee_Garcia: What are the top skills that catch the attention of college recruiters visiting high school football games? #SEC mailbag
Derek Tyson: Obviously college coaches look for different skills at different positions. Offensive linemen, for instance, coaches are looking for things such as length, body frame (ability to add or lose weight), foot work, physicality, overall athleticism and do they have good bend at the hips? For wide receivers, key components include things like the ability to get off press coverage and get back into their route, ball skills, how the receiver is able to adjust to the ball in the air, ability to catch the ball with their hands and not their body and athleticism and speed.
I could go on for every position, but the bottom line is that there are key traits for each position that coaches are looking for. Prospects don't necessarily have to meet every trait, but the key is the coach wants to see enough of a player to know that prospect is worth spending time on and working with to become a starter on the next level.
@thereelTmac: Besides No. 2 , what else should Alabama, as a team, be most concerned about this Saturday?
Since this is a recruiting mailbag, I'll take a recruiting angle here. Alabama has dominated both on the field and in recruiting over the last few seasons. But a win, in front of several top recruits, could start to shift the tide (no pun intended) in the SEC West. A victory for the Aggies would prove that last season was no fluke, and in front of ESPN 300 prospects like Leonard Fournette, Jamal Adams, Speedy Noil and Gerald Willis III, it could make a lasting impression. Not just for this season either since a win like that would resonate with younger recruits. So, in my opinion, Alabama should be concerned with a power shift in recruiting, if the Aggies are able to pull off the victory. With that said, Nick Saban is still the best coach and recruiter in the country and will be able to pull in top recruits from all over the nation, but Kevin Sumlin is quickly turning A&M into a recruiting power.
@dagr8184: Where do you project the Gators to finish with their 2014 class in the rankings?
Florida currently has the No. 8-ranked class in the country. But with several key targets still on their board, the Gators could very well move up. Florida will host several visitors for the Tennessee game next week, including linebacker Clifton Garrett, athlete Speedy Noil, defensive tackle Gerald Willis III, safety Jamal Adams and defensive end Lorenzo Carter. The Gators are in serious contention for each of those players. Throw in five-star cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and ESPN 300 offensive tackle David Sharpe, and the Gators have a chance to end with a very strong class if they are able to land some of those players listed. At this point, I believe the Gators could finish in the 3-6 range of the class rankings when signing day is completed.
@Bama_man_Judd: [Who would be] a surprise Bama pickup? ... Just pick a Robinson-like shocker.
I wouldn’t say this is a big surprise and certainly not to the level of a Cameron Robinson, but in my opinion, I believe Alabama has a real chance to land ESPN 300 wide receiver Johnnie Dixon. Miami appeared to be the favorite for the four-star pass-catcher but other schools such as Ohio State and Alabama are very much in the mix. The Crimson Tide have identified Dixon as one of their top remaining receiver prospects, and Dixon will take an official visit there this fall. There is still a little ways to go for Dixon, but Alabama is right at the top of his list.