South Recruiting Notebook

Julio Jones

Several big commitments came from the South region last week. The nation's top receiver visited a SEC school and gave an update to Scout.com after keeping a very low profile. Ohio State reeled in one from the Sunshine State adding to their great class of 2008.


Michael Brewster
The biggest news of the week came when Michael Brewster, Scout.com four-star center from Orlando-Edgewater, (Fla.), gave his commitment to Ohio State. Brewster had official visits planned in the fall for Alabama, Florida, LSU, Ohio State and Tennessee. He is a solid commitment to the Buckeyes. Brewster was recently rated as the No. 26 player in the Nation by Scout.com.

"I just love everything about the college in general," Brewster said of his reasoning behind this weekend's pledge. "I just think that by making my commitment now, that I will be able to really help secure a great class for Ohio State. I have already been talking to some guys, but now that it is official it will be easier for them to buy in to that."


Julio Jones
Alabama's A-Day game brought in a national record of over 92,138 fans. Several of the South's top recruits including Julio Jones, the nation's top receiver from Foley, (Ala.), took the visit to Tuscaloosa. Jones opened up with Scout.com about his unofficial visit to Alabama.

"Alabama came out and showed me they are going to throw the ball a lot more. The fans showed a lot of support," Jones said. "I like the facilities and the coaching staff. I feel like I will have a great opportunity to start as a freshman since they have seniors who will be leaving."






Thearon Collier
Auburn added their third commitment from the state of Florida and their fourth overall when Thearon Collier, from Miami-Booker T. Washington, gave his pledge to the Tigers. The 5-9, 163-pound receiver held scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ole Miss and Virginia Tech as well.

"They've got a good program going on," Collier said. "I like their style and organization. I think I can be a big part of the team and help them win a national championship."






Mario Benavides
Mario Benavides, offensive lineman from Los Fresnos, Texas, became the eighth commitment for the Ole Miss Rebels. The 6-4, 285-pounder was named first team All-State for his junior season.

"They think I am one of the top offensive linemen in the country, and they made me feel wanted," Benavides said. "Plus, I get a chance to play in the SEC which gives you more exposure than any conference in the country. And, I love coach [Art] Kehoe. He coached at Miami for 25 years and won five national championships."






Jermaine Thomas
Jermaine Thomas, running back from Jacksonville-First Coast, (Fla.), became coach Bobby Bowden's first commitment on the offensive side of the ball. Thomas, 6-0, 190-pounds, rushed for over 900 yards and 12 touchdowns during his junior campaign.

"I was a die hard Florida State fan since I was little--both me and my dad," Thomas said. "I grew up liking Florida State when they were doing their best. I like their offensive system. They've got a lot of new coaches on the offensive side of the ball. They've got a new offensive line coach, and for a running back, you have to have an offensive line for you to really do anything."




Joseph Wylie
The Miami Hurricanes love to recruit big athletic defensive backs. Joseph Wylie, safety from Lauderdale Lakes-Boyd H. Anderson, (Fla.), pledged his commitment to the 'Canes. Wylie, 6-2, 190-pounds, recorded 30 tackles during his junior season. He chose The U over Florida, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss.

"Coach Shannon and I got along so well, it just seemed like a perfect fit," Wylie said.






Mario Carter
Mario Carter, tight end from Charlotte-Independence, (N.C.), gave his commitment to N.C. State. Carter, 6-4, 240-pounds, chose the Wolfpack over scholarship offers from Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

"I didn't think that other colleges could be right for me," Carter said. "Another school may be a great organization for somebody else, but I thought that this was right for me an my family. That's something Coach O'Brien always talks about--family, your organization, and then football."

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