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Recruiting: A Complete Breakdown of SEC Early Enrollees in 2014

Tennessee Volunteers

Enrolling early is a fairly new trend that is clearly used by one league more so than any other.

Fans always ask how the SEC does it? How can one league become so dominant? The simple answer is it cares more. The SEC is more dedicated to winning championships than your favorite conference, from the last graduate assistant on the sidelines to the last row of fans in the nosebleed seats at Neyland Stadium to the big-dollar donors and $7 million coaches.

It’s why enrolling early has become such an important aspect to SEC recruiting. This league more than any other mercilessly ignores senior prom in exchange for spring practice. While on the surface, a few extra months of work shouldn’t change the course of a coach’s career, enrolling players early can be extremely beneficial.

And the rest of college football needs to follow the SEC’s lead.

The hardest part of true freshman life in major college football isn’t on the field. Athletes are more prepared physically than ever to contribute early. It is the mental side of the game that is tough to adjust to — and that includes little things like finding a classroom or learning a road map.

Eight extra months of practice time to acclimate to college life, learn to function independently and work with teammates all while not having to worry about wins and losses is invaluable. It also allows athletic departments to fudge scholarship numbers forwards or backwards to accommodate the NCAA.

Just look at how many high school athletes who should be still in high school are already on an SEC campus today:

Tennessee (14)

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Butch Jones' No. 5-ranked class was clearly about size and roster turnover. He signed 36 players and 14 of them are already enrolled. The offensive skill positions got a big boost this spring with the additions of names like Josh Malone, Jalen Hurd, Daniel Helm and Ethan Wolf. Otherwise, the line of scrimmage got plenty of help as three offensive linemen and a pair of D-liners enrolled early for the Vols. This is one of the largest classes of early enrollees in history and should help churn the depleted Tennessee roster quickly this spring.

Name

Pos.

Ht

Wt

Hometown

Nat'l Rank

Josh Malone

WR

6-3

195

Gallatin, Tenn.

No. 36

Jalen Hurd

RB

6-3

227

Hendersonville, Tenn.

No. 40

Daniel Helm

TE

6-4

225

Chatham, Ill.

No. 198

D'Andre Payne

DB

5-9

176

Washington, D.C.

No. 264

Ethan Wolf

TE

6-5

243

Minster, Ohio

No. 325

Dimarya Mixon

DE

6-3

263

Compton, Calif.

No. 579

Neiko Creamer

ATH

6-3

223

Wilmington, Del.

No. 638

Coleman Thomas

OL

6-6

299

Max Meadows, Va.

No. 639

Jakob Johnson

LB

6-4

240

Stuttgart, Germany

No. 642

Ray Raulerson

OL

6-5

275

Tampa, Fla.

No. 849

Emmanuel Moseley

DB

5-11

165

Greensboro, N.C.

No. 857

Von Pearson

WR

6-3

185

Newport News, Va.

No. 4 (JC)

Dontavius Blair

OL

6-8

300

Anniston, Ala.

No. 8 (JC)

Owen Williams

DL

6-2

285

Macon, Ga.

No. 113 (JC)

Florida (9)

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The Gators need some offensive help and Will Muschamp and new coordinator Kurt Roper got some with this group. Will Grier is a special athlete who could be ready to help at quarterback in the fall because he will get a full spring to get accustomed with the Gators' program, offense and campus. With the loss of two stud cornerbacks, Muschamp also added some needed depth to the secondary with two of the top rated players in the class in Jalen Tabor and Duke Dawson.

Name

Pos.

Ht

Wt

Hometown

Nat'l Rank

Jalen Tabor

DB

6-1

188

Washington, D.C.

No. 14

Will Grier

QB

6-2

190

Davidson, N.C.

No. 48

Duke Dawson

DB

5-10

190

Cross City, Fla.

No. 194

Nolan Kelleher

OL

6-6

305

Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

No. 356

Brandon Powell

RB

5-9

175

Deerfield Beach, Fla.

No. 400

Taven Bryan

DL

6-5

260

Casper, Wyo.

No. 533

DeAndre Goolsby

TE

6-4

230

Derby, Ky.

No. 535

Kavaris Harkless

OL

6-5

275

Jacksonville, Fla.

No. 809

Drew Sarvary

OL

6-6

318

Tallahassee, Fla.

No. 150 (JC)

Alabama (8)