Spring Games Lead to Commitments
By Matthew Osborne
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With 12 teams from the ACC and SEC hosting their spring games Saturday, there was a great deal of recruiting activity which took place over the weekend.
Spring football games are always spotlighted as an important event on the recruiting calendar, as teams invite a multitude of their top prospects to their spring games for unofficial visits.
With 12 teams from the ACC and SEC hosting their spring games this past Saturday, there was a great deal of recruiting activity which took place over the weekend. Overall, 12 prospects decided to make verbal commitments while in attendance at a spring game this past weekend.
The team with the most to celebrate after their spring game weekend is the Missouri Tigers, who reeled in a pair of elite in-state prospects on Saturday.
Four-star QB Trent Hosick was the first of the two prospects to pledge to the Tigers, doing so early in the afternoon. Hosick, who has often drawn comparisons to Tim Tebow, is a dual-threat quarterback with outstanding leadership skills. He completed 67 percent of his passes and ran for over 2,000 yards as a junior last season. His high school coach has often described him as having the “it factor”. It would be hard for anyone to argue with that point either, as Hosick has not lost a football game since he was in 5th grade.
LB Nick Ramirez out of Lee’s Summit West HS was the other prospect to pull the commitment trigger while visiting Columbia. Also ranked as a four-star prospect, Ramirez had listed Missouri as his top school for quite some time, but finally decided to give his verbal commitment this weekend. He is an instinctive, attacking linebacker who excels at making plays in the opponent’s backfield.
While the Tigers had a very successful spring game on the recruiting front, Missouri was not the only program to land multiple verbal commitments this past Saturday, as Auburn, Alabama and South Carolina also landed two commitments apiece.
Linebackers Cameron Toney and Jarrad Davis both committed to Auburn on Saturday, shoring up some of the defensive needs that the Tigers were hoping to address in their 2013 class. Toney and Davis have completely different styles of play, yet compliment each other nicely. Toney is a middle linebacker who uses his strength and intelligence to stop the run, while Davis is a rangy athlete who makes plays sideline to sideline.
Auburn’s arch rivals, Alabama, landed two prospects of their own over the weekend, in WR Deon Johnson and CB Anthony Averett. Johnson, who ranked as the No. 9 player in Alabama in our prospect rankings, is a speedy slot receiver who is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. Averett’s recruitment got off to a bit of a slow start, but he eventually erupted onto the scene thanks to great size and athleticism. He still needs to improve on the fundamentals of playing corner, but he has the physical tools to be successful in the SEC.
The final team to land multiple recruits at its spring game was South Carolina. The Gamecocks did not host as many prospects as usual due to the large number of attendees they had at their Junior Day camp, but that did not prevent them from earning commitments from C Bryce King and S Jasper Sasser. King, who is arguably the top center prospect in the south, is the second offensive lineman from Dillon HS in South Carolina to commit to the Gamecocks in this class, joining four-star OT D.J. Park. Sasser is a versatile skill athlete who could play a number of positions at South Carolina. For the time being, however, he projects best as a safety.
Other teams to receive a commitment from a 2013 prospect this past weekend include Clemson (four-star LB Dorian O’Daniel), Georgia (CB Reggie Wilkerson), Vanderbilt (RB Johnathan Byrd) and Virginia (three-star CB Tim Harris).
Be on the lookout for additional 2013 prospect commitments in the near future, as Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee all host their spring games this upcoming weekend.