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Pete Thamel: Why Penn State had 'zero chance' of getting in CFP
2:33 | College Football
Pete Thamel: Why Penn State had 'zero chance' of getting in CFP
Scout.com
Monday December 5th, 2016

Scout.com provides the latest recruiting news around the SEC.

Prospect of the week: Cam Akers

Cam Akers could not have gone out on a higher note.  Clinton (Miss.) won a state title Friday night by beating Pearl (Miss.) 49-35.  Akers, the No. 2 running back and No. 4 prospect in the country accounted for all seven of the Arrows' touchdowns.  He finished the game with 217 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the ground, 228 yards through the air and two touchdowns passing.  He is simply an elite talent.  There is really nothing he cannot do on a football field.  He actually made a couple of plays at defensive back in key situations in this game as well.  This is why schools are still fighting to sign the five star who will enroll in January.  He thought he would commit December 10 at the Alabama vs. Mississippi All-Star game, but he has called that off.  That likely means he will announce his decision at the Army All-American game January 7.  As of now, it looks like Akers is leaving the state of Mississippi to play college football, but you cannot count Mississippi out.  Florida StateGeorgiaLSU and Ohio State look to be the main contenders with the in-state Rebels at this time.  This one could still go a few different ways.  He and his family have had contact with all these schools at some point in the last week, and he has pushed his decision back, so Akers is not quite ready to make his choice.

Underclassman of the week: Jake Wray

What a few weeks it is has been for 2020 offensive lineman Jake Wray of Franklin (Tenn.).  Mississippi and Mississippi State were first to offer — on the same day.  Since those two, AlabamaGeorgiaLSUSouth Carolina and Tennessee have offered the 6-foot-5, 275 pound freshman.  He took in games at Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee this fall.  His older brother is 2018 Scout 100 offensive tackle Max Wray, who is committed to Georgia.  The two brothers love playing football together now, and they will have that opportunity on college as well, but the younger Wray will make his own decision.  He has no early leaders at this time.  Jake has great size, he is very smart for his age and he has real potential in the trenches.

Prospect on the rise: Monty Rice

The more you watch Madison (Ala.) James Clemens linebacker Monty Rice, the more you like him.  He has great size (6-2, 230 pounds), he is a real thumper at linebacker, he has good instincts, and he can move laterally better than some expect.  He is down to Auburn, Georgia and LSU with a decision coming Tuesday December 12.  Rice is an early enrollee, so whatever school he choose, he will be on campus early in January.  Rice will move in the Scout 300 in the near future.  He is currently the No. 18 inside linebacker, but will likely end up inside the top 10.  After evaluating him live, and on film this fall, he is a linebacker Scout really likes.​

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Visit of the week: Deangelo Gibbs

Instead of visiting Oklahoma like he planned, five star DeAngelo Gibbs snuck over to Auburn this past weekend.  Are the Tigers a real contender?  It is hard to really know, but Scout feels it is Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee at the top of his list.  The No. 2 athlete in the country out of Loganville (Ga.) Grayson will take his third official visit, his final visit, this weekend to Georgia.  It will start late Saturday, or even early Sunday after he plays in the state championship game.  The in-state Bulldogs have had Gibbs on campus close to 20 times this year.  He is set to announce his decision at the Army All-American game.  If Kirby Smart really wants to take Georgia to the next level, it starts with players like Gibbs, so this weekend is big for the Bulldogs.​

Commitment watch: Trey Smith

It is finally that time for Trey Smith.  The five-star offensive tackle out of Jackson (Tenn.) University School of Jackson will make his decision Tuesday December 6.  He has some guessing right now on the school he will choose.  He is fresh off his official visit to the in-state Tennessee Volunteers, and they are considered to be the leader.  Ohio State had him on campus last week and that went very well, so the Buckeyes are viewed as a contender.  Alabama is also considered to be a true contender in this race, and Mississippi was the first school to offer him, he took his first official visit to Oxford (Miss.), and the Rebels are trying to hang around as well.  Right now, it appears to be down to Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee with some big in-home visits coming Monday.  We will all find out who wins out for another five star early enrollee Tuesday afternoon around 4:30pm ET on ESPN.

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