Buford seniors commit to SEC schools

Two more Buford High School football players made their college decisions on Tuesday, with defensive lineman Omar Hunter committing to Florida and Melvin Harris selecting Ole Miss.

Hunter is considered among the nation's top recruits, ranking 17th nationally by Rivals.com, which has the 6-foot-1, 300-pounder as its No. 2 defensive tackle nationally. He also is rated a five-star prospect, the recruiting Web site's highest ranking.

He made an early decision last June with a commitment to Notre Dame, but opened his recruitment back up within the past month. He also considered offers from Auburn and USC and eventually chose Florida over Georgia, making him the second Buford senior to commit to the Gators - T.J. Pridemore committed last week.

"I've been blessed just to have an opportunity to pick where I'm going to school," said Hunter, who said he has met every member of Florida's incoming recruiting class through visits and/or the Under Armour All-Star Game. "I'm just blessed to be able to go to a great school like Florida."

Hunter made 110 tackles last season for the Class AA state champions along with 39 quarterback pressures and three sacks.

"All of us would have felt great with any of those places (Hunter) had on the table," Buford head coach Jess Simpson said. "Those are great places to go and to get a great education. Either of those places, Georgia or Florida, will be competing for an SEC title next season, if not a national title."

While Hunter is a well-known commodity in recruiting circles, Harris was just the opposite. He didn't have a huge junior season, so his profile isn't on all the recruiting Web sites.

But the 6-foot-6, 175-pounder had a breakout senior season with 30 catches for 692 yards (23.1 average) and eight touchdowns.

"We felt like (Harris) was one of the best kept secrets in the South," Simpson said. "A 6-6 kid who can run, with good hands. His potential is unlimited."

Harris was offered early by Georgia Southern and had other interest, but Ole Miss was his first Division I-A offer. He was recruited for the Rebels by assistant coach Tracy Rocker, who knew Simpson because both played for Pat Dye at Auburn. Simpson also played with Rocker's younger brother, David, for the Tigers.

Hunter, Harris and Pridemore join three other Buford seniors who have committed to college programs - Demetris Murray (South Florida), Alex Hunt (Indiana) and J.J. Miller (Wofford).

Simpson said the Wolves still have at least five more players considering college football options, including linebacker Jaytee Swanson, who also has the opportunity to play I-A football.

Gwinnett currently has 18 seniors committed to I-A football programs, including 11 who are headed to ACC or SEC schools. Commitments are non-binding until recruits sign letters of intent on Feb. 6, the NCAA's National Signing Day for football.