South Recruiting Notebook

The South Region received several commitments across the board with two giving their pledge to their dream school. One high-profile recruit from Tennessee took a weekend unofficial visit, and a Peach State defensive end is seeing his recruitment take flight collecting numerous scholarship offers...

Brad Smelley
Brad Smelley, from Tuscaloosa-American Christian, (Ala.), gave his commitment to the University of Alabama. Coach Nick Saban recruited Smelley for the H-Back position. His older brother, Chris, waited for the former Tide staff to extend an offer before signing with South Carolina.

"I've been thinking about it for a while," Brad Smelley said. "I talked to the coaches, and Alabama was where I wanted to be. I talked to my parents, and I knew this was the right thing to do. I went ahead and made my decision."

Smelley shared his opinion of the new coaching staff in Tuscaloosa, "I think it's great. It's really a great thing for this program. It seems like it's better now than it's ever been. There is a lot more upside. I have met with coach [Nick] Saban a few times. I like him a lot. He seems like a great guy, and I know he is a great coach."

Smelley passed for 2,600 yards with 24 touchdowns during his junior campaign.

"When my brother, Chris, was the quarterback here at ACA I played receiver. I loved playing receiver and having the ball in my hands. I think it would work out well if that's what they end up wanting me to play. It's a great position, and I can do a lot of stuff. I think that's the best place for me," he said.

Chris Jordan
Chris Jordan, four-star running back from Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy, took an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa.

"I pretty much like everything about Alabama," Jordan said. "It's hard to find a flaw at a university like that. I want to get down there more to get a better feel for the campus. I plan to camp there this summer."

"I am going up to Clemson June 13. I will camp there, and I will stay to check out their campus. I really don't have a top school, but colleges like Alabama and Clemson are two that are way up there."

Antonio Bell, wide receiver from Daytona Beach-Mainland, (Fla.), gave his commitment to the University of Tennessee. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound prospect chose the Volunteers over scholarship offers from Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia. Bell recorded 43 receptions for 874 yards and four touchdowns during his junior campaign. He is the seventh prospect to commit to Tennessee for the class of 2008.

"I love the Tennessee offense and how they spread the ball around. I've been talking to tight end coach Matt Luke throughout the recruiting process, and he's a real down-to-earth guy."

Rocky Duplessis
Rocky Duplessis, safety from Belle Chasse, (La.), was a standout at the All-American combine in New Orleans. He has pledged his signature to the LSU Tigers.

"Coach [Les] Miles had told my coach he was going to offer when he came to my school a few weeks ago, and I got the offer in the mail this past Monday or Tuesday," Duplessis said. "I talked to my parents and coach, and they asked me if I decided yet. I told them it was my dream to play at LSU, and I was going to LSU."

Duplessis had an impressive junior campaign recording 72 tackles and nine interceptions. He was named first team All-State and All-Metro. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect becomes the sixth commitment for the Tigers.

Kermit Tyler
Kermit Tyler, offensive guard from Marrero-Higgens, (La.), became the ninth verbal pledge to the Ole Miss Rebels. Tyler stands 6-foot-3, 325-pounds, and he chose the Rebels over interest from LSU and Mississippi State.

"I went home and talked it over carefully with my parents, and we all decided that Ole Miss was the best option for me."

"They have a good educational system up there and grades are very important to me. I take my books serious. I have a 3.025 GPA. Plus, I know how hard their staff works, and I am a hard worker. We just have a lot in common. I think I can play early there too because they are losing some linemen this year. I am a real good player. I have met the coaches, and we get along real well."

Moses McCray, defensive tackle from Tampa-Middleton, (Fla.), gave his commitment to Florida State. McCray stands 6-foot-4, 275-pounds and claims a 4.8-forty yard dash. He had a great junior campaign recording 15 sacks. McCray also held numerous scholarship offers including Florida, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina and South Florida. He becomes the eighth commitment and seventh defensive player for Florida State's 2008 class.

"They showed me a lot off attention," McCray said about the Seminole coaches. "I liked that. The campus is nice, and it's a traditional school."

Keith Wells
Keith Wells, defensive end from Gainesville, (Ga.), is one of the hottest prospects in the South. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder has received several offers in the past two weeks including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Ohio State. Wells is open with his recruitment.

"This whole thing has been crazy, I mean really crazy," Wells said. "I mean I now have offers from the two teams that played for the championship. I'm trying to take all this in stride, but I can't help but get excited. At the same time I'm trying to set an example for my teammates and let them know that they come first for me. My main goal is building up my team and winning football games."

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