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An Adult Talks About Kids: Vol. 1


Richard Dole-USA TODAY Sports

My list of guilty pleasures is embarrassing in both length and makeup, and at the top of said list is recruiting, of which I've followed with avidity for a decade. (If you're reading this, then you're probably aware of the feeling.) Because of that shame, I've tried lessening the frequency in which I mine for info on these pubescent footballers, but to no avail.

Luckily, an increasing number of folk have realized that the goings-on of these teens today impact greatly the collegiate game tomorrow, a game which, judging by TV ratings, lots of people are in to, making me a tad less ashamed. So with recruiting being at the very least mainstream, and at most—dare I say it—en vogue, this is the first post of a series that will be posted with slight regularity. It's a look at recent verbal commits in the SEC—the most newsworthy of recruiting updates until these kids actually sign a binding document, whenever that may be.

So, commitments that occurred today or a few days ago:

Najee Harris, Running Back (2017)

Committed to: Alabama

Supposed Height: 6'2

Weight: 210

Forty Time: Really fast, probably

I know nothing about him ‘cept he already has five stars on his profile, and in recruiting, five stars with your name makes you more important than someone without. And the reason I know nothing about him is because he is still, technically, a sophomore, and truth be told I don't know if kid even has a driver's license yet. He's from California, which is a hell of a long ways from Tuscaloosa, meaning this commitment is definitely one to watch over the next year and three-quarters. He committed over the weekend at A-Day, which, I mean, if I was 16/17 and had an offer from the country's currently-most-gushed-about program, I'd probably commit, too. Here's a highlight reel—it's pretty good:

Jarrett Guarantano, Quarterback

Committed to: Tennessee

Supposed Height: 6'4

Weight: 200

Graduating Class: 2016

So yes, I copied-and-pasted his name, and also yes, I keep saying ‘Guantanamo' in my head. But including Josh Dobbs, who I'm still not sold on, Tennessee hasn't had a signal-caller worth a damn since like, Erik Ainge, and even that's debatable. Looking at this kid's tape gives this author the feeling that Tennessee will finally take the division in 2017, or '18, or both. Guarantano can run and pass, and plays for a historically not-too-shabby program in Bergen Catholic out of New Jersey, meaning he's been well-coached to this point. Speaking of the Garden State, Rutgers like, really wanted this kid, and in fact, both of Guarantano's parents attended the school, with his dad, James Guarantano, being in the RU Hall of Fame for presumably being really good at wide receiver, which he played from '89-'92. But because, Tennessee >> Rutgers, Vols fans shouldn't worry too much about a reneging here. Although, those are some deep ties. Hmmm... watch this one, too. Obligatory Tape:

Ed/Edwin Alexander, Defensive Tackle

Committed to: LSU

Supposed Height: Depends

Weight: Depends

Jersey Number: 99

Alexander's first nameheightweight and star-status depend on the site from which you glean your recruiting info, but the general consensus is that he's relatively tall, equally as wide, and quite the football player. He committed to the home state Tigers on Saturday, which is the second time he's committed to LSU on a Saturday, the first being a Saturday back in November of 2013. I assume he backed off the commitment to think about things, or build drama, or both. But it was quite likely the latter, because again, kid is from Louisiana, and kids that are both from Louisiana and good at football rarely leave the state for visits, let alone actually play for another school. My guess is Ed/Edwin sticks with the verbal this time around. Ninety-nine in action:

Trystan Castillo, Offensive Tackle

Committed to: Missouri

Supposed Height: 6'4

Weight: 280

Commitment Strength: Unbreakable

Castillo's yet to garner a ranking from recruiting's honcho sites , but 247 has him as a composite tres-star, which, is really only his 247 ranking seeing as 247's the only site to rank him at all, let alone give him three stars. I have not looked at his film, and in all likelihood will not look at his film, but last season his high school team went 15-0, won state, rushed for an average of 315 yards per game behind his blocking, and he made 2nd team All-State. Good for him. Highlights:

Brendan Scales, Tight End

Committed to: Alabama

Supposed Height: 6'4

Weight: 230

Likelihood of Grayshirting: 35%

Scales' consensus three-star rating would've been fine for home state team, Mizzou, and virtually any other program, really; but his star projection of good-to-average player jeopardizes his chances for the summertime enrollment his four and five-star cohorts will enjoy next year. He appears to be a pretty decent athlete, but the same has been said for a number of ‘Bama recruits who've been asked to delay college ‘til January. Here's to hoping the same fate doesn't await Scales. But then again, Christian Bell also committed in April, so if Najee Harris decides to enroll early, he and Scales are likely to start school at the same time. Watch:

Deuce Wallace, Gunnar Hoak, Cole Kelley, Quarterbacks

Committed to: Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Arkansas, respectively

Supposed Heights: 6'2, 6'4 and 6'7, respectively

Combined Weights: Less than Jared Lorenzen

Most Likely to Win a Division Title in College: Guarantano

It was a good weekend for currently middling SEC programs to find their respective QB's of the future. And truth be told, Vandy, UK and Arky could've done a lot worse than Wallace, Hoak and Kelley, respectively. Wallace—who committed to Northwestern a month ago, but obviously changed his mind—is the best of the bunch according to experts, but Hoak attends the same school that Brady Quinn once did. (There's nothing more to that, I just wanted to point out a fun fact.) As for Kelley, well, he certainly has Ryan Mallet's measurables, but the jury's still out on his ability relative to Arky's last notable gunslinger. At the end of the day, though, none of these guys are Jacob Eason, so there's really nothing more to talk about. Jacob Eason highlights (!) :