What little ember of doubt remaining has officially been extinguished.
In what amounts to a nearly unprecedented move, Rivals.com announced at precisely 2:35 p.m. ET that Alabama has claimed the mythical 2014 recruiting national championship. Most years, the top-ranked team isn’t announced until very late on National Signing Day — or sometimes the morning after.
The reason behind the early declaration is simple: the Tide’s utter dominance on the recruiting trail leading into signing day.
Alabama signed a total of 26 recruits, with an average rating of 3.92 meaning that the Tide essentially had a class of four-star players across the board. Of the 33 five-star Rivals.com players, six of them signed with the Tide. With three each, Auburn, Florida State and Texas A&M and LSU and Virginia (?) with two apiece were the only other programs to sign more than one five-star recruit.
25 of the Tide’s 26 signees were either five-, four- (13) or three-star (six) players. The lone two-star recruit is tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith, who’s one of the top players at his position coming out of the JUCO ranks.
The Tide’s total of 3,263 points easily outdistances No. 2 LSU’s 2,844, a gap of 419 points. In winning the previous three recruiting titles, the Tide’s “margin of victory” was 263 (2013), 140 (2012) and 267 (2011). In 2010, the last year Alabama failed to claim Rivals.com team honors, USC eked out a slim 65-point “win” over Florida.
Closing in on National Signing Day, Alabama’s Class of 2014 is coming together. On Monday the Crimson Tide added one of the nation’s top junior college players. According to an AL.com report, Georgia Military College tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith (Rivals profile) will join Alabama in 2014.
Flournoy-Smith previously played football for the Georgia Bulldogs. He played in eight games before running in to some legal trouble. Flournoy-Smith was arrested after calling in a false crime in February 2012. Flournoy-Smith had exchanged his textbooks for cash and later reported them stolen. At the end of that spring semester Flournoy-Smith explored his transfer options, perhaps needing a step back in atmosphere. After a year in junior college, the Georgia native is ready to give it another shot in the SEC. Alabama will hope that the time away served their new tight end well.
Flournoy-Smith did not rack up huge numbers in 2013 at Georgia Military College, but his blocking skills make him a valuable asset in any offense designed to run the football. With Alabama tending to utilize a power running game, solid blocking is a necessity wherever it can be found. Alabama is not exactly shallow on tight end depth heading in to the 2014 season as it stands now, so Flournoy-Smith will have to work to get some significant playing time. He will be eligible to play in 2014 though, should he be worthy of working his way on to the playing field.
Flournoy-Smith held offers from Louisville and South Florida and he visited Alabama in late January. That was followed up over the weekend with a visit from Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. National signing day is Wednesday.
Y’all know the offseason drill by now: no news is good news if it relates to your favorite school.
So, yeah. Sorry in advance, Georgia fans.
According to documents obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bulldogs safety Josh Harvey Clemons was implicated about two weeks ago in a dorm room incident involving the use of marijuana. The report states that police were called to a residence hall after the smell of marijuana was detected coming from a room with Clemons and former UGA tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith inside. (Head coach Mark Richt said last week that Smith would likely transfer to JUCO).
Though no physical evidence of pot was found in a search of the room, and therefore no pot possession charges were filed, a digital scale was found and the two admitted to smoking marijuana.
I know. Terrible.
Richt has not commented on the matter yet. The UGA Athletic Association’s marijuana-use policy says that first-time violators face a suspension of 10 percent of completion dates. That would seemingly translate into a one-game suspension for Clemons — the Aug. 31 opener against Clemson — but that has not been made official.
As a freshman in 2012, Clemons played in all 14 games for the Bulldogs and recorded as many tackles. He is projected to start for UGA this fall.
Updated 1:00 p.m. ET: Mark Richt has broken his brief silence on the Josh Harvey Clemons situation. At SEC spring meetings, Richt confirmed to the AJC that Clemons will be suspended for the Bulldogs’ season opener against Clemson.
Though Aaron Murray will be looking to the likes of Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome to make plays at the tight end position, Georgia’s depth at that spot has taken a bit of a hit.
The school confirmed Wednesday that sophomore Ty Flournoy-Smith was transferring from the program. It’s not exactly certain where he’ll go, but it appears the JUCO route is the early favorite. Bulldogs coach Mark Richt even said there’s a possibility Smith could return to the team at a later point.
Smith had some off-the-field trouble this past February when he was arrested for falsely reporting a crime. Smith claimed his textbooks were stolen, whereas police found out he tried to sell them back to the bookstore.
Smith played in eight games last season, but did not record a reception.
(Hat tip: Athens Banner-Herald)
Some links from around college football on a Thursday…