Getting Their Guy

For those keeping score at home, there are precious few spots left for quarterbacks who are willing to take on the challenge of playing in the Southeastern Conference's Western division. The West is considered by many the toughest division in all of college football. As a result, some of the nation's top signal callers have recently made the decision to seek their fortune in the wild, wild west.

While Texas A&M is not officially in the West just yet, it is worth noting that the Aggies have not one, but two four star quarterbacks committed for the 2013 signing class.

The nation's 23rd ranked signal caller, Kohl Stewart, put one of the first wheels on the A&M recruiting wagon nearly ten months ago.

Newly hired Coach Kevin Sumlin secured his second signal caller for the class a few weeks ago when the 21st rated quarterback, Kenny Hill, joined the ranks of the Aggie committed.

Sumlin is expected to run a system similar to the one he ran at Houston that made Cougar quarterback Case Keenum a household name.

With pair of highly touted passers committed, it is clear Sumlin is serious about finding the right trigger man for his tenure in College Station.

From Pop Warner to the Pro Bowl, the game often boils down to who has the best quarterback.

One of the best examples of that adage in action is the 2011 LSU Tigers.

It was widely speculated last summer that the Tigers would go as far as Jordan Jefferson could take them.

With a defense filled with potential NFL draft picks and a talented running attack, LSU was a favorite to win it all.

With some better quarterback play, the Tigers would have likely reached that projected potential.

LSU went hard after some of the nation's top prospects for the 2013 class and earlier this week, Les Miles got his guy.

Hayden Rettig picked the Tigers over several west coast offers including an offer from Mike Leach of Washington State who knows a thing or two about the forward passing game.

It remains to be seen if Les Miles and his staff are done with quarterbacks.

The Tigers lost both Jefferson and Jarrett Lee to graduation. Despite the loss of both players, the Tigers elected to sign just one quarterback in 2012, Jeremy Liggins.

Liggins is a tremendous athlete, but the chances of him seeing early playing time behind center are probably not very good.

The class before, LSU elected to sign a trio of signal callers including expected starter Zach Mettenberger.

The Tigers have taken on some developmental guys in years past, but Rettig brings bona fide blue chip ability.

Just days before Rettig took the Purple and Gold plunge, the pass happy Razorbacks of Arkansas secured the commitment of Fayetteville product Austin Allen.

The Razorbacks went into crisis mode once Bobby Petrino was ousted after a successful run on the Hill.

Some expected the Hogs to struggle on the recruiting trail, but the staff has worked had and secured five commitments in the past few weeks.

The crown jewel of the class so far is the commitment of Allen, the nation's #17 rated passer.

Chances of Allen suiting up for anyone else was always pretty slim.

The Fayetteville High School star grew up calling the Hogs and has referred to Arkansas as "We" more times than not when dealing with the media.

In times of crisis, programs look for comfort within the family. Allen's decision to play for the hometown Hogs brings comfort to a fanbase eager for good news.

Allen's verbal commitment to the Razorbacks came about 24 hours after Montgomery Carver standout Jeremy Johnson called Auburn with good news.

While Johnson's pledge was not a shock, perhaps the timing was a little interesting.

Johnson had been a little coy about his plans, but he was leaning towards making some campus visits this summer before closing out his recruitment.

After another unofficial visit to the Plains, Johnson shut it down.

Johnson, the nation's #22 quarterback, is ready to get to work helping the Auburn staff put together a big time class.

Across the state, Alabama nabbed their 2013 quarterback less than a week before Johnson cried "War Eagle".

Salt Lake City, Utah star Cooper Bateman committed to Alabama over....well, everybody.

Bateman, ranked as the nation's 4th best quarterback, had several options to choose from, but elected to Roll with the Tide.

Just last month, Bateman took a tour around the SEC to see what all Alabama, Auburn, Florida and LSU had to offer.

Once getting home and digesting it all, Bateman made the call which really sent the dominoes tumbling.

With the spring semester winding down this week in most parts of the country, Mississippi State and Ole Miss are the lone SEC Western Division programs in search of a quarterback to build a class around.

Both programs have offered Jackson, Mississippi product Ryan Buchanan who may prove to be the most heavily recruited quarterback in state since Jason Campbell.

Buchanan holds offers from several programs, but as of today he reports a top five of Florida, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss and Tennessee.

Mississippi State was one of the first schools to offer Buchanan, but he grew up going to games at Ole Miss.

The Jackson Prep signal caller has family ties to both Ole Miss and Oklahoma State and he thinks an awful lot of the staff at Florida.

Buchanan plans a trip to Gainesville in the near future and perhaps return visits to Mississippi State and Ole Miss prior to making his decision.

At this point, the conventional wisdom leads one to believe that the home state Rebels have the inside track.

With a talented pool of quarterbacks this year, it seems clear that there are several future stars on the verge of inking with SEC Western Division schools.

As was the case with Buchanan, some options are beginning to disappear. The talented Buchanan saw Arkansas and Auburn take quarterbacks over the course of the last week.

Another prospect in a similar situation is Bradenton, Florida standout Cord Sandberg.

Sandberg has confessed an affection the SEC, but some doors appear to be closing for him as well.

Sandberg has been offered by several programs including Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

With Auburn, LSU and Vanderbilt possibly out of the market for another quarterback and with Ole Miss in line for Buchanan, Sandberg might land in Starkville if the game of musical chairs works out just right for the Bulldogs.

Sandberg has had some very positive things to say about Mississippi State since Dan Mullen offered earlier this year.

Mullen had a nice run with another left handed quarterback from Florida who's name might ring a bell, Tim Tebow.

Baseball is a bit of a consideration, but Sandberg is expected to take the field as a college quarterback. With 23 of the nation's top 30 quarterbacks already off the market, the race for the remaining prospects is beginning to intensify.

By the same token, the pressure to commit early is shifting for uncommited prospects who are beginning to see their options become a little more limited.

No matter how it all shakes out, the 2013 signing class looks to be an extremely strong haul for the SEC West.

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