Conversation with Jamie Newberg of Rivals

Great talk with Jamie; very informative. Here's what I got from Jamie. You can read him at Rivals.com

Alabama: 25 commits

Trying to keep No,5 player in the country, Keenan Allen. Apparently his brother, a quarterback, is transferring from Buffalo and could weigh in Allen's decision. Clemson, NC State and California are in the picture, but the five-star cornerback from Greensboro, NC is still committed to Tide. "He's "Alabama's to lose," Newberg says.

Newberg also says Alabama's secondary class is the deepest he's ever seen with Allen, four-star John Fulton, five-star DeMarcus Milliner out of Stanhope-Elmore High in Millbrook, Al. and Jarrick Williams, four-star out of Eight Mile Alabama where Mikhail Torrance is from.

"The last couple of years, Alabama has landed great secondary players and this year is the deepest I may have ever seen," Newberg says.

Adrian Hubbard is a beast defensive end at 6'7", 225, and Newberg says he can get up to 260 or 270 easily. Hubbard is a four-star.

Blake Sims is a four-star athlete and Phillip Sims, a four star qb out of Virginia, is  a terrific qb according to Newberg. He may be redshirted next year, possibly. Newberg says he has all the tools to be a great player in Tuscaloosa.

Remaining targets are James Stone, huge 300-pound offensive tackle out of Nashville, four-star. It's between "Bama, AU and UT probably. Newberg thinks 'Bama has good shot with him. He will announce on signing day at 10:30. next Wed. Feb.3.

Maryland OL Arie Kouandijo is 6'6" 314 and, like Stone, 'Bama is in the lead for him. Cal is also on his list.

Four-star juco corner Dequan Menzie is another target as are Brandon Ivory, a high three-star defensive tackle, and Calvin Smith a four-star offensive-defensive lineman. 

Alabama is ranked third in the team rankings. Newberg says they just keep on pulling in the great players.

Auburn is the major surprise of the recruiting year. They are No.4 on the Rivals' national rankings with 28 players including three five-stars: Cameron Newton, juco qb, ol Shon Coleman and rb Michael Dyer.

Newberg says the job that Ted Roof, Trooper Taylor, Curtis Looper and, of course, Gene Chizik have done is nothing short of amazing.

Remaining targets for the Tigers are five-star rb Marcus Lattimore out of SC. It's between SC and Auburn, and a friend of mine pointed out that Auburn can point out their tremendous success getting rbs to the NFL as their major selling point. They've got a good shot according to Newberg.

Four-star defensive end Corey Lemonier has it down to AU and Fl. State. He's from Florida, so not sure how much effect that will have on his decision, but AU always recruits well in Fl. Five-star wide receiver Markeith Ambles is on the radar, too. He may visit this weekend. If he does Auburn could get him.

Florida is No.1 in the rankings with commitments from number one player in the country, defensive end Ronald Powell, the number four player, defensive tackle  Shareef Floyd, and the no. 7 player, defensive tackle Dominique Easley.

Florida's national championship season of 2008-09 had a major impact on this year's class according to Newberg. Alabama should reap the same benefits in 2011 though they don't need much help.

Florida is Number one, Texas is number two. LSU is sixth, Georgia is eighth and UT has a good class according to Newberg. Vandy has their best class since Newberg's been following recruiting since '92.

It's amazing that Florida has done so well after losing Dan Mullen to Ms. State, then Charlie Strong to Louisville. And, of course, the Urban Meyer situation. Shows what a strong program they have, and Meyer's ability, despite his one day break from the game, to recruit.

Great year for 'Bama and Auburn with some work left to do. Another great year for the SEC in recruiting. This league just lands the best players.