Charles Fishbein, a Hollywood-based recruiting expert for Elite Scouting Services, said both schools benefit from playing in the SEC.
“Kids want to play in the SEC, and if they’re not getting called by Alabama, Florida and LSU, they want to play for their opponents,” he said. “Vandy and Ole Miss are definitely reaping rewards. Even Kentucky is.”
Fishbein said Florida, Ohio State, USC and UCLA are all having great years.
Through the process, the athletes get wrapped up in the hype. Lemming has been a recruiting guru for 34 years. Of their top 2,000 rated prospects, Lemming said he sees 1,990 of them in person. A few weeks ago, he met with South Florida recruits outside Coral Gables High. He has learned that kids are impressionable and change their minds often.
“Some kids flip schools three or four times, or hold out until the last minute even if they know where they’re going because they love the attention from media and recruiting websites,” Lemming said. “The Internet makes money off uncommitted kids because they’re creating news and drama about their announcements. It seems the longer a kid waits, he turns into the greatest player who ever lived. I know of kids who commit early and then take visits late to get back into the media because they’re jealous of the attention other players are getting heading into National Signing Day.”
One thing to keep in mind as the recruiting craze winds down: In 2008, Robert Griffin III was the 12th-rated high school quarterback on Scout.com, behind such names as Star Jackson, Sean Renfree, Nick Crissman, Tommy Dorman, Blaine Gabbert, Landry Jones and Mike Glennon.