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SEC schools once again dominate in recruiting rankings

Da'Shawn Hand

The SEC is home to seven of the top ten recruiting classes and all 14 SEC schools finished in the top 50 on the team rankings compiled by Rivals.com. Or, just another National Signing Day.

It is just silly how highly respected the SEC is viewed by the recruiting experts, and it does not appear there is much standing in the way any time soon. Worst yet for other conferences, the praise is deserved.

Alabama was once again crowned the recruiting national champions, their fourth straight such national title. The Crimson Tide highlighted their class with the signing of the top ranked player in the country according to Rivals, defensive end Da’Shawn Hand. Texas A&M signed the nation’s second-ranked player, defensive end Myles Garrett. LSU celebrated the signing of running back Leonard Fournette, the nation’s fourth ranked player. SEC schools thrived by keeping some of the top talent in its footprint close to home and capitalized by luring in some of the top players from outside the conference’s boundaries. Simply put, the nation’s best players are likely to be developed in SEC territory and those that are not are top candidates to move to the southeast.

In all, 45 players on the Rivals 100 signed with an SEC school. That leaves 55 players in the Rivals 100 for the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac 12 (and Notre Dame) to battle over. Defensing national champion Florida State signed four of those players. Clemson got three. Ohio State had an impressive class with eight players from the Rivals 100, but the rest of the Big Ten was left in the dust. Urban Meyer’s SEC approach to coaching is having an effect with the Buckeyes, and it is little surprise why Ohio State is running away from the rest of the Big Ten. Meyer’s SEC flair is a difference.

The Pac 12 may have had a successful day across the country, including picking out some of the top recruits from under the SEC’s nose, but even with the kind of talent put together across the west coast conference it is clear the SEC is still the dominant force from top to bottom.

As far as surprises go there were not a whole lot to see in the SEC. Alabama getting linebacker Rashaun Evans right out of Auburn’s back yard raised some eyebrows but most of the day went according to plan. Tennessee made a bit of a statement in Butch Jones’ first full recruiting year with the Vols. Tennessee signed 31 players and finished with the third best recruiting class in the SEC despite having a losing record in 2012. The Vols added plenty of depth on the roster and should start to benefit from some of the new additions quickly. Among the signees at Tennessee are five-star wide receiver Josh Malone and five-star running back Jalen Hurd. Not one recruit added by Tennessee on signing day is below three stars according to Rivals. Just about every school succeeded in filling some needs, including Florida with the addition of dual-threat quarterback Treon Harris out of Miami. Harris had previously been committed to Florida State, so the Gators fill a need by benefiting from the Seminoles having a young Heisman Trophy quarterback.

Even despite looking like a mess of a recruiting class after James Franklin left for Penn State, Vanderbilt managed to keep the program above water on signing day. The Commodores may have fallen significantly in the team recruiting rankings over the last month, but ended the day with 12 four-star players and one five-star recruit, defensive back Jalen Tabor. Considering the circumstances, Vanderbilt more than survived a tough situation.

National Team Recruiting Rankings by Rivals.com

1. Alabama
2. LSU
5. Tennessee
6. Texas A&M
7. Florida
8. Georgia
9. Auburn
16. South Carolina
17. Kentucky
19. Ole Miss
29. Arkansas
35. Missouri
41. Mississippi State
50. Vanderbilt

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12 Responses to “SEC schools once again dominate in recruiting rankings”
  1. woebegong says: Feb 5, 2014 7:31 PM

    I think the weather and a chance to play for the championship, plus add in, that the SEC sends a lot of folks to the NFL, makes them mighty attractive.
    A lot of the kids that sign on to a SEC team are from the south as well. Kids like the opportunity to play for a team in the best conference right now in the country.
    Maybe a few years down the road, there might be more parity but right now, the SEC is on top.

  2. be4bama says: Feb 5, 2014 8:05 PM

    7 of the Top 10 classes are from the SEC

  3. floridacock says: Feb 5, 2014 8:19 PM

    Interesting note from the all SEC team this past season, Only 2 5 star recruits made it on the team. Mostly 3 / 4 star recruits originally. Much to do with the coaching they receive.

  4. hor2012 says: Feb 5, 2014 8:29 PM

    I’m just glad we finally have a playoff system

  5. afrancis55 says: Feb 5, 2014 8:36 PM

    Cue the comments from Dryzzt complaining about the SEC.

  6. dcroz says: Feb 5, 2014 8:47 PM

    Much is being made of Alabama’s class this year being the best ever in the history of the recruiting rankings. Nick Saban is probably the best in the country at turning talent into successful players. However, one should keep in mind this little nugget of information: the previous best-class-ever was Florida’s 2010 class. Aside from a few fifth-year seniors coming back this year, that class’s records were 8-5 (2010), 7-6 (2011), 11-2 (2012), and 4-8 (2013). It’s what a coach does with those recruits that matters, not what their potential is on National Signing Day.

  7. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 5, 2014 9:00 PM

    Half the conference is in the top ten…. half the conference….

    People complain that the SEC gets too much hype…. this right here is why…. they have the best players coming in and send the most players to the NFL….

    Lets put it this way… A&M had more 5 Stars than the entire Big 12….

  8. suprmous says: Feb 5, 2014 9:35 PM

    It continually amazes me at how when it comes to the recruiting of teams within all conferences that the SEC is one hotbed. The naysayers can say what they want to but for what it’s worth if you look at area vs area the SEC has a lot of talent and yet there’s always a lot of ugly things to be said about it. I just have to wonder at times if those naysayers really get it about the SEC or if they’re jealous of the fact that we do have such a good following. At various times I asked of the Holy Terror 3 how it was the SEC could be so criticized and yet so hard to deal with. And all they would tell me was we live in an area where just like in polititics people look to the South for strong leadership. I still ponder that sometimes but when you’ve got 3 tellin you the same thing you tend to listen. Whatever it is, long live the SEC unlike the BCS.

  9. normtide says: Feb 5, 2014 11:47 PM

    It’s all espn/cft/fox/nbc’s fault! Grrrrrr.

  10. pricecube says: Feb 6, 2014 12:29 AM

    @normtide

    “It’s all espn/cft/fox/nbc’s fault! Grrrrrr.”

    Absolutely not. But when you have a disassociated booster like Tom Albetar go from owning a menswear store to blatantly running a memorabilia store, while having current players sign autographs, it does make some wonder.

  11. keltictim says: Feb 6, 2014 5:06 AM

    To be the best you gotta beat the best, and so far I don’t see any conference capable of knocking off the SEC. Let’s be honest, the SEC is practically the NFLs developmental league.

  12. normtide says: Feb 6, 2014 7:52 AM

    What about a former coach who paid players, and when caught, turned jail house rat against other programs? Then doesn’t show for media days to avoid being served and have to testify about it. He cheated and his teams still sucked. Lol

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