published Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

SEC football signing day at a glance

ALABAMA

The one they landed: The Crimson Tide were the true "Honey Badgers" in recruiting this winter, snatching tailback T.J. Yeldon off Auburn's commitment list in December and getting an early January pledge from Louisiana safety Landon Collins, whose mother wanted him to sign with LSU. Yeldon and Collins are ranked No. 2 nationally at their positions by Rivals.com.

The one that got away: Eddie Goldman of Washington, D.C., the nation's No. 2 defensive tackle nationally, signed Wednesday with Florida State. Goldman had visited Tuscaloosa in November.

ARKANSAS

The one they landed: The Razorbacks struck out on two big-time receivers, Dorial Green-Beckham and Courtney Gardner, but swiped linebacker Otha Peters from Covington, La. Peters, the No. 6 inside linebacker nationally according to Rivals.com, had been committed to Tennessee until Tuesday.

The one that got away: Green-Beckham, Rivals.com's No. 1 prospect overall nationally, signed Wednesday with his in-state school, SEC newcomer Missouri.

AUBURN

The one they landed: Jaquay Williams, the nation's No. 14 receiver and No. 90 prospect overall, signed with the Tigers on Wednesday despite a late push by Georgia. Auburn went into the Peach State to get Williams and Joshua Holsey, the No. 15 cornerback who had scholarship offers from Florida to Southern Cal.

The one that got away: Yeldon is a top-15 overall prospect, and though the Tigers have a solid stable of tailbacks for the 2012 season, losing a top talent late to the rival Tide is always an unpleasant sting to endure.

FLORIDA

The one they landed: Offensive tackle D.J. Humphries of Charlotte is rated No. 1 at his position, No. 2 overall, and will meet a position of need for the Gators, who did an excellent job on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Of course, Florida coach Will Muschamp rarely goes a day without referring to the SEC as a "line of scrimmage league."

The one that got away: The Gators lost running back Mike Davis to South Carolina and lost defensive end Jordan Jenkins to Georgia, and they didn't get every receiver they wanted. Touted receiver Stefon Diggs will make his decision next week.

KENTUCKY

The one they landed: Kentucky's lone four-star signee is Patrick Towles of Fort Thomas, who Rivals.com rates as the No. 9 pro-style quarterback nationally. Towles wound up as the state's top prospect, ahead of Auburn quarterback signee and early enrollee Zeke Pike.

The one that got away: Offensive tackle Joe Manley of Bowling Green is the state's No. 7 prospect, and he had it down to Kentucky and Louisville before signing with the Cardinals.

LSU

The one they landed: The best team for most of the 2011 college football season did not sign a single Rivals.com top-100 player. The Tigers did get linebacker Kwon Alexander, a 6-2, 212-pounder from Oxford, Ala., on Wednesday.

The one that got away: This is a bigger-than-normal list, as Louisiana's top two players, safety Landon Collins and linebacker Denzel Devall, signed with Alabama. Yet the biggest defection for the Tigers was quarterback Gunner Kiel, who committed and planned to be an early enrollee before enrolling at Notre Dame.

OLE MISS

The one they landed: Despite a coaching change that followed the first 10-loss season in program history, the Rebels and new boss Hugh Freeze still managed to get Aberdeen defensive end Channing Ward, the Magnolia State's top-rated talent.

The one that got away: Memphis cornerback Sheldon Dawson, rated by Scout.com as the No. 1 player in Tennessee, visited Ole Miss last weekend but wound up picking Georgia over the Rebels.

MISSISSIPPI STATE

The one they landed: The Bulldogs strengthened their defensive front with the signings of end Denico Autry from East Mississippi Community College and tackle Quay Evans from Morton, Miss. Autry is rated by Rivals.com as the No. 2 junior college prospect and was courted by every prominent program nationally.

The one that got away: MSU managed to land more of the state's top-10 prospects than Ole Miss, but the Magnolia State's top recruit, Aberdeen defensive end Channing Ward, wound up in Oxford.

MISSOURI

The one they landed: Receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, Rivals.com's No. 1 prospect overall nationally, signed Wednesday with the in-state Tigers over Arkansas. That was definitely a needed jolt for Missouri entering the SEC, because the Tigers entered Wednesday with a crop of commitments ranked outside the top 50.

The one that got away: Ondre Pipkins of Kansas City, rated by Rivals.com as the No. 3 defensive tackle nationally, committed to Michigan.

SOUTH CAROLINA

The one they landed: This is a toss-up between Mike Davis, the No. 7 tailback and No. 63 overall prospect, and Shaq Roland, the No. 10 receiver and No. 66 overall prospect. Davis committed first to Florida.

The one that got away: Ronald Geohaghan, the No. 10 safety nationally, considered Clemson and South Carolina before committing to the Tigers last summer.

TEXAS A&M

The one they landed: Trey Williams is the nation's No. 3 tailback and the No. 15 prospect overall. He committed to the Aggies last April and remained through the coaching change from Mike Sherman to Kevin Sumlin.

The one that got away: Javone Magee of San Antonio, the No. 7 strongside defensive end and No. 65 overall prospect, visited College Station in November but wound up picking Baylor over the Aggies and Missouri.

VANDERBILT

The one they landed: Brian Kimbrow of Memphis, the nation's No. 4 all-purpose back and the No. 4 prospect in the Volunteer State, signed with the Commodores over an offer list that included Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Southern Cal and Tennessee.

The one that got away: Josh Dawson of Tucker, Ga., the nation's No. 20 defensive end, had been committed to the Commodores for months before signing Wednesday with Georgia.

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