1. The rich get richer. As things stand on Signing Day eve, Alabama has the nation’s top recruiting class and is one of seven SEC teams in Rivals’ top 10 class rankings. But it’s not just the traditional SEC powers — Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU — that are adding loads of talent.
Kentucky’s class currently ranks 13th by Rivals, ahead of powerhouse programs like Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon, Michigan and USC. Ole Miss (No. 15) will bring in another talent-rich class after blowing the doors of signing day a year ago.
Tennessee, which hasn’t had a 10-win season since 2007, currently has the third-best class in this cycle. And Texas A&M is bringing in the top-ranked quarterback in Kyle Allen (No. 7 overall) and third-ranked wide receiver in Speedy Noil (No. 21 overall). Not a bad way to replace Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans.
It’s a rosy situation for every SEC team — 2013 SEC East champion Mizzou has the 36th-best class, for one. But Gary Pinkel has generally done a good job turning diamond-in-the-rough types (like Sean Weatherspoon and Michael Sam, both two-star recruits) into elite collegiate players.
Ohio State, Florida State and Notre Dame are bringing in top-10 classes, while Texas (No. 17) and USC (No. 34) can blame their lackluster showings on regime changes.
Long story short: The talent gap between the SEC and the rest of college football’s conference will only widen when the fax machines get to work on Wednesday.
2. Plenty of talented players are still uncommitted. Seventeen of Rivals’ top 100 players have yet to verbally commit to a school, led by No. 6 overall recruit Adoree’ Jackson. If Jackson stays home in Los Angeles and commits to USC, he — along with five-star recruit JuJu Smith — could rocket USC’s class into the top 25.
No. 1 linebacker Rashaan Evans is down to Alabama, Auburn and UCLA — but he’s from Auburn, and missing out on him, especially to Alabama, would sting for the Tigers.
Of the 17 uncommitted Rivals100 players, seven have five star ratings. Those are the kind of players who can make or break a class — like five-star tackle Damian Price, who has Maryland, South Carolina and Florida in his top three.
3. The surprise decommitment. We’re talking about life-changing decisions for 17- and 18-year-olds here, so cold feet are a real possibility. Parents sometimes get involved and try to force a change, like last year’s Alex Collins saga.
Inevitably, a high-profile recruit will decommit at the last second and fax his letter of intent elsewhere. And when that does happen, don’t do something stupid.