There might not have been a lot of visitors in the SEC but there was a ton of big news from around the league this weekend. From the coaching change fallout to a few decommitments, this past week was not short on significant news. Here’s a closer look at the latest recruiting news from around the SEC.
Coaching carousel: Obviously the biggest news around the SEC this weekend was the coaching changes. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart accepted the head coaching job at Georgia. Former Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp accepted the head coaching position at South Carolina. Finally, Missouri defensive coordinator Barry Odom was promoted to head coach.
The good news for all three programs is that, for the most part, recruits are already familiar with the new coaches. With the dead period in recruiting quickly approaching the three new coaches wasted little time getting out on the recruiting trail.
Three-star Missouri wide receiver commit DeMarkus Acy was one of the first in-home visits for Odom. Acy tweeted out a photo of himself along with the Missouri coaches.
My 1st In-Home Visit went great with Mizzou coaches today. pic.twitter.com/VLJ4lyjWAy— DeuceMovement2⃣ (@DeMarkusAcy2) December 6, 2015
Smart immediately met with four-star offensive line commit Ben Cleveland to reassure his commitment. Cleveland has been a vocal leader of the Georgia recruiting class, despite the coaching change.
huge honor to be the first recruit he came to visit as a head coach. welcome back home coach pic.twitter.com/LDbQbGvhft— Big Country (@BenCleveland74) December 7, 2015
Muschamp, meanwhile, wasted no time visiting with Louisville linebacker commit T.J. Brunson. Muschamp was joined on the visit by former interim head coach Shawn Elliot.
There is less than a week left until the dead period in recruiting begins, so the three new coaches will certainly rack up a lot of frequent flyer miles from now until next Monday.
Decommitments: In addition to the coaching changes there were several decommitments over the weekend as well. ESPN 300 defensive end Jordan Smith backed off of his pledge to South Carolina this weekend. Smith, even before the news of Muschamp broke, was taking an official visit to Tennessee over the weekend. Smith posted a tweet about his decision.
Losing Coach Spurrier was tough but losing Coach Ward is tougher. I have narrowed my decision to Tennessee and Florida— 22. (@jordansmith125) December 7, 2015
Georgia also suffered a decommitment after the coaching change. Running back Devwah Whaley, No. 49 in the ESPN 300, moved on from Georgia Monday night.
ESPN 300 defensive end, Chidi Okonya announced his decision to decommitment from Tennessee via Twitter. The four-star prospect is the 34th-ranked defensive end in the country.
Tennessee also lost another commit over the weekend. Three-star athlete TaDarryl Marshall, announced on Twitter that Tennessee had rescinded his offer for reasons unknown and therefore he was back on the market.
After careful consideration I am de committing myself from the University of Tennessee. I thank the Vol Nation and staff for their support.— Chidi Okonya (@_itschii) December 7, 2015
Back to square one... pic.twitter.com/YF6HUjffeq— TD™ (@TaDarryl) December 6, 2015
Three-star offensive guard Dee Nalls also announced he was decommitting from Mississippi State. With the loss of Nalls, the Bulldogs are down to 15 commits including one ranked in the ESPN 300.
Biggest visits: There was a few important visitors for Auburn. ESPN 300 defensive tackle Marlon Davidson visited the Tigers for his official visit. This visit is very significant considering head coach Gus Malzahn had the opportunity to tell Davidson, in person, that Muschamp would be leaving to take the South Carolina job, therefore lessening the blow. While it remains to be seen how much the loss of Muschamp will affect the four-star prospect, Malzahn spending valuable time with Davidson certainly helped.
Another key visit was new wide receiver commit Kyle Davis. By all accounts, the No. 1-ranked wide receiver in the ESPN 300 looks like he enjoyed his time at Auburn.
Ben Davis names top five: One of the top inside linebackers in the country, Ben Davis, announced on twitter his list of top five schools. A surprising name was at the top of the list. The four-star prospect has long been considered an Alabama lean, but with Smart heading to Georgia, it’s the Bulldogs who are now listed as his leader. Davis’ recruitment should be fun to watch as signing day approaches.