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SEC schools sending a loaded group of commits to The Opening

Success on the field in the fall is paying off in recruiting for SEC schools.

Texas A&M QB commit Kyle Allen
Texas A&M QB commit Kyle Allen
Student Sports

The SEC is the top conference in the country, so it's no surprise that the member institutions will be well represented at the most prestigious recruiting event of the summer, as 24 prospects committed to SEC schools will participate in The Opening.


QB David Cornwell, Norman (Okla.) North: At 6'5 and 230 pounds, Cornwell already has the build of a college senior. With a huge arm and good mobility for his size, Cornwell carries a consensus four-star rating, and is widely considered one of the top pocket passers in the country. Cornwell was the first quarterback invited to the 2013 Elite 11 after a strong performance at the Dallas NFTC and Elite 11. He passed for over 2,700 yards with 27 TDs last season and ran for nearly 800 more with six rushing scores. On June 14 he committed to Alabama over offers from Auburn, Indiana, Kansas, Miami (Fla.), Missouri, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Tennessee, Tulsa, Virginia Tech and Washington State. Cornwell recently won a battle against the OSSAA for his eligibility in his senior year. Cornwell is on Twitter @DavidCornwell5, and his highlights are available here.

OL J.C. Hassenauer, Woodbury (Minn.) East Ridge: Hassenauer was the Memphis NFTC Offensive Line MVP and had a second strong showing at the Columbus Nike Camp that earned him his invite to The Opening. A virtual unknown coming into the Spring, the 6'3, 290-pounder impressed throughout a camp season that was capped by a scholarship and commitment to Alabama. Follow the consensus three-star prospect on Twitter @JCHassenauer.

OL Viane Talamaivao, Corona (Calif.) Centennial: Despite fracturing his foot last October and missing the rest of his junior season, Talamaivao was invited to The Opening after a strong performance at the L.A. NFTC. After receiving offers from programs like USC, UCLA, Wisconsin, Miami, Arizona, Washington and Washington State, the 6'2, 315-pounder committed to Alabama in May. He is on Twitter @VianeTalamaivao.


DL Bijhon Jackson, El Dorado, (Ark.): Jackson made 52 tackles with four sacks as a junior, earning Class 6A South All-State recognition and chose to stay home when he picked Arkansas over Alabama, Arkansas State and Ole Miss. The 6'2, 325-pounder also impressed at the Memphis NFTC where he ran a 5.2 in the 40 despite weighing in at close to 325 pounds. He's on Twitter @BijhonJ.


QB Will Grier, Davidson (N.C.) Day: The 6'3, 180-pound Grier had a monster year on the field, putting up huge numbers: 5,785 yards passing with 69 TDs and another 813 yards rushing with eight scores on the ground, albeit against very questionable competition. Grier is a consensus four-star recruit, and is widely considered one of the five best pocket passer prospects nationally. A MaxPreps Junior All-American and All-State honoree, he was also the Quarterback MVP at the Charlotte NFTC. He committed to Florida in February over offers from Florida State, North Carolina, Oregon and Tennessee, among others. Grier is on Twitter @WillG7533, and his highlights are available here.

RB Dalvin Cook, Miami (Fla.) Central: Cook was Class 6A All-State as a junior when he ran for 1,452 yards and 21 touchdowns. A 5'11, 190-pounder, he's rated as the No. 3 running back in the nation by and the No. 18 prospect overall by the same service's composite rankings. The team Land Sharks member committed to Florida in early April over offers from Florida State, LSU, Miami, Clemson and USC. Known for his explosiveness, the Miami product was previously committed to Clemson.

DL Khairi Clark, Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna: He had 26 tackles for loss and nine sacks as a junior to earn All-Broward County honors. The 6'2, 32-pound lineman committed to Florida in June over 30 other offers. Check him out on Twitter @KhairiClark.

DL Anthony Moten, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas: Moten was named All-Broward County as his 30 tackles, including nine for loss, and four sacks helped lead Aquinas to the state 7A title. The 6'4, 280-pounder showed his strength with the top power ball throw (42 feet) at the Miami Nike Football SPARQ Combine. Moten committed to Florida over a double digit offer list that included Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame and Ohio State. On Twitter, follow the big defensive tackle @anthony_moten95.


QB Jacob Park, Goose Creek (S.C.) Stratford: The 6'4, 200-pound Park is a consensus four-star recruit and one of the most heavily recruited prospects nationally. Named to the D.C. All-NFTC Team, he also shined at the D.C. Elite 11 Regional. As a junior he passed for 2,239 yards and 24 TDs while rushing for over 700 yards and seven scores. Park had a dozen offers including Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Virginia Tech but committed to Georgia on June 14. Park is on Twitter @JacobPark10, and his highlights are available here.

RB Nick Chubb, Cedartown, (Ga.): The 5'10, 210-pounder rushed for over 2,700 yards and 38 TDs as a junior, holding offers from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and several others before committing to Georgia in June. A consensus four-star prospect, Chubb is the No. 73 overall player in the country according to the 247Sports composite rankings and posted the second-best SPARQ Rating at the Atlanta NFTC with a 122.43 on a 4.58 in the 40 and a 40.4-inch vertical. The team Vapor Carbon member can be found on Twitter @NickChubb21.

TE Jeb Blazevich, Charlotte (NC) Christian: The consensus No. 5 tight end nationally, Blazevich was a 3A All-State pick in 2012 when he caught 30 passes for 379 yards and five scores. He comes from a family of football talent: his grandfather, Ed Tate Parker, played at Ole Miss and his father, Jim Blazevich, played at Northwestern. The latest in the line of athletes was offered by 20 schools before choosing Georgia in April over other programs such as Ohio State, Ole Miss, Notre Dame and Alabama. Give him a follow on Twitter @JebBlazevich and stay tuned for his work with teamApocalypse as he shows off the pass-catching ability that makes him such a special prospect.


QB Drew Barker, Hebron (Ky.) Conner: Barker is a consensus four-star recruit with solid accuracy and a lot of high school production. The 6'4, 210-pound passer is seen as the centerpiece of Kentucky's recruiting class under head coach Mark Stoops. As a junior, he passed for over 2,000 yards with 22 TDs and seven interceptions. He'll play in-state for Kentucky -- his other offers included Cincinnati, Illinois, Louisville, North Carolina, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee and Western Kentucky. Barker was the QB MVP at the Columbus NFTC. Barker is on Twitter @D_Barker7 and his highlights can be found here.

WR Thaddeus Snodgrass, Springfield, Ohio: The 6'0, 170-pounder will show up wherever there is competition, having attended a pair of Nike Camps and Nike Combines the last two years and producing a 96.27 SPARQ rating. A standout at the Columbus NFTC, the consensus four-star prospect caught 30 passes for 452 yards last year and has committed to Kentucky over 15 colleges including Georgia Tech, Louisville, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Find him throwing out tweets a @ThadSnod1 and catching passes for the Field Generals.


DB Chris Hardeman, Houston (Texas) Alief Taylor: Hardeman was a 18-5A All-District pick as a junior when he recorded 51 tackles and 22 pass deflections. His father, Cedric, is an assistant coach at Alief Taylor. Chris made his college choice official when he committed to LSU over Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. The 5'8, 190-pounder is rated as a consensus four-star prospect and the No. 21 cornerback in the country. Find Hardeman is on Twitter @Chris_Hardeman1.

DB Edward Paris, Arlington (Texas) Mansfield Timberview: Paris received several major honors last season including MaxPreps Junior All-American, AP Class 5A All-State and Ft. Worth Star-Telegram Super Team and is rated as the No. 2 safety and No. 18 overall prospect by, which makes him a consensus five-star prospect. Paris accounted for seven interceptions (two for TDs) and 37 tackles with eight passes broken up last year. He has verballed to LSU with other offers coming from Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and West Virginia. Follow him on Twitter @323Eddie_P.

Ole Miss

DB Ronald Walker, Jackson (Miss.) Callaway: Walker committed to Ole Miss in December so he may not have gotten the publicity of some recruits, but the safety/outside linebacker prospect showed why he's SEC bound during his junior year when he recorded 80 tackles, including 12 for loss, four sacks and four forced fumbles. At the Memphis Nike Football Training Camp the 6'1, 185-pounder ran a 4.67 in the 40 and recorded a 34.7 vertical. He's on Twitter @RonaldWalkerD1.

South Carolina

TE Kevin Crosby, Bamberg (SC) Bamberg-Ehrhardt: Undersized for the tight end position at 6'1 and 240 pounds,Crosby is a likely H-back or linebacker in college, having played both sides of the ball in high school, but truly excelling on offense -- he caught 31 passes for 910 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior. He was offered by Alabama, Clemson, Florida and North Carolina before committing to South Carolina at the beginning of June. Crosby is a consensus four-star prospect rated as the No. 9 tight end in his class. Those looking for him on Twitter won't find him, but he will be suited up for Super Bad in the coming days.

LB Bryson Allen-Williams, Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove: Williams was a Class AAA All-State pick after recording 99 tackles (22 for loss) with 16 sacks as a junior. The 6'1, 220-pounder had over two dozen offers before committing to South Carolina. Check him out on Twitter @WatchOut4_11.

DB Wesley Green, Lithonia (Ga.) M.L. King: Green is a consensus four-star prospect after he earned Class 6A All-Region honors as a junior. The 5'11, 170-pounder committed to South Carolina over offers that included Auburn, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Penn State, Syracuse, and Tennessee. His Twitter handle is @WGreen_4.


DL Joe Henderson, Cleveland (Ohio) Shaker Heights: Henderson has recorded 29 sacks over the last two seasons and was the Defensive Line MVP at the Columbus NFTC. The 6'3, 220-pound Ohio native has committed to Tennessee over offers from Arkansas, Cincinnati, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Pitt, West Virginia and Wisconsin. He can be found on Twitter @Talent_52.

Texas A&M

QB Kyle Allen, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain: Allen is one of the most advanced, college-ready quarterbacks in the class of 2014. The 6'3, 190-pounder is a consensus four-star quarterback because of his consistent, professional mechanics and footwork. It's clear Allen has been the beneficiary of excellent quarterback coaching, as he makes far fewer mistakes than most top quarterback prospects. Allen passed for 3,119 yards and 36 touchdowns as a junior with only seven interceptions. He had over 20 college offers, including Arizona, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and UCLA, before committing to the Texas A&M Aggies. He was also high on recruiting lists because of his 3.9 GPA. He was the fourth QB to be invited to the Elite 11 as well as the Opening. Allen is on Twitter @KyleAllen_10.

DB Dylan Sumner-Gardner, Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite: Sumner-Gardner is listed as the No. 7 rated safety nationwide by and the No. 73 recruit overall. The 6'1, 195-pounder was selected All-District 10-4A last season and has committed to Texas A&M over offers from Auburn, Clemson, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and TCU. He is on Twitter @_TheRealDSG.

DB Armani Watts, Forney (Texas) North Forney: Watts was a All-District 10-4A selection and went both sides of the ball, scoring nine touchdowns rushing and catching the ball with 22 tackles on defense. The 5'11, 180-pounder is a consensus four-star prospect starred in the one-on-one drills at the Dallas NFTC and has announced he will play at Texas A&M despite offers from Arizona State, Baylor, Clemson, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa and UCLA.


QB KJ Carta-Samuels, San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep: Carta-Samuels is a tough competitor. At 6'2 and 210 pounds, he displays a decent arm, paired with very good mobility, considering his sturdy build. Samuels is a consensus four-star recruit entering the event. Carta-Samuels became the 6th QB invited to the 2013 Elite 11 after the Bay Area Nike Football Training Camp. He was one of the top quarterbacks at the San Francisco Elite 11 Regional Camp and is committed to Vanderbilt, where his brother Austyn is the projected starting quarterback next season. His other BCS offer was from Arizona. Carta-Samuels is on Twitter @KJCS14, and more highlights are available here.