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September 24, 2012

Southeast Mailbag: Staying in South Beach?

MORE: Around the Southeast

Rivals.com recruiting analyst Kynon Codrington addresses questions from readers regarding the Southeast region in his weekly mailbag.

Any word on Matthew Thomas' commitment status, Miami or Florida State? -- NV_Cane via Twitter

Thomas has been mum on his recruitment this fall. I caught up with him via text the other day, and he informed me his primary focus right now is getting healthy after suffering a leg injury in his last game against Cedar Hill (Texas).

He has gone on record as saying Alabama and Florida State stand out with the 'Noles having a slight edge. I saw him this summer after a 7-on-7 tournament wearing Alabama gear, but he said it was nothing.

The 'Canes have a shot the longer he waits. Location will be in their favor along with early playing time. Let's be honest, Al Golden and defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio need an impact player like Thomas at the second level. The five-star outside linebacker would pay immediate dividends as Miami's current list of defensive commitments are lacking his playmaking abilities.

The question is, does he want to get away from South Beach to play college ball? Also, keep an eye on USC. The Trojans saw him this spring and they are following up to gauge his interest.

Do you think Florida can beat LSU in "The Swamp" in two weeks? -- bhagarty13 via Twitter

Absolutely. I think everyone in the SEC has noticed the maturation of Jeff Driskel. He is really starting to come on under new offensive coordinatorBrent Pease. The running game, led by Mike Gillislee, has helped ease the load for Driskel.

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is one of the best home stadiums in the country. The Gators will have a raucous crowd and the home field advantage could play a factor. However, I think the bye week will be more important as Florida will have time to rest and heal before the marquee match up.

The Tigers looked beatable last Saturday as they escaped with a 12-10 win at Auburn. If LSU comes out of it's cupcake game with Towson this Saturday injury free, then look for the Tigers to be a slight favorite heading into the early October SEC clash.

I've heard Tim Williams wants to play defensive end in college, a position that does not exist in Alabama's 3-4 defense, so why is considering the Crimson Tide? -- R. Rogers via email

Williams' recruitment is an interesting one. He told our Canesport.com staff that Miami has a small edge over Alabama, Florida State and LSU. The four-star prospect cited his relationships with defensive line coach Jethro Franklin and head coach Al Golden as the primary reasons.

I still think the Tigers are the team to beat at the end of the day. They usually don't lose many local prospects to other schools. I think the Landon Collins situation a year ago was different from anything else I've ever seen as his on-air commitment without full family approval was awkward. Let's see if Les Miles can close the gap between his list of favorites and keep him in Baton Rouge come Signing Day.



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