Vanderbilt

2017 SEC Recruiting & National Signing Day Class Rankings

2017 SEC Recruiting & National Signing Day Class Rankings


How did the SEC teams stack up with their respective recruiting classes? Who had the strongest-looking haul of talent, and who struggled a bit?


Contact @PeteFiutak

2017 All-SEC Recruiting/National Signing Day Team
2017 SEC Schedule Analysis

2017 SEC Recruiting Class Rankings

Yawn … the SEC is really great again at recruiting.

Fat load of good that did the conference last season.

But this time around, the programs up top are bringing in more and more great players than usual, with Georgia, Texas A&M, LSU and Auburn doing a great job, and the rest of the SEC getting its share of great players – as always.

But this year, more than ever, there’s a difference between the haves and have-nots – at least in terms of recruiting for 2017 – mainly because the top seven teams were just so strong, led by another epic season from the Alabama.

So how do the 2017 SEC recruiting classes stack up? Here’s how the rankings are figured out.

1) Bulk. Who gets the most talent? Sometimes, getting lots of good prospects is better than getting a few great ones.

2) Superstars. Yeah, getting the elite guys matters. Who got the supposedly best players?

3) The needs and hole filling. How do the programs manage to do what’s needed to get their types of players, at least compared to the others in the conference?

When it comes to these rankings, it’s all about what range you’re in. Obviously, one or two breakthrough players here and there change up everything.

14. Vanderbilt Commodores

The Commodores never rely on five-star talents like other SEC teams do, but they always managed to be competitive with the prospects they get. This year’s team has interesting prospects on both sides of the ball, but the best areas are on defense with a big group of defensive backs coming in. It’s a smallish group, but these guys can move.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

13. Kentucky Wildcats

It’s one of the best classes yet in the Mark Stoops era, but this is a tough year to make any noise in the SEC rankings. It doesn’t matter – the program brought in plenty of talent to keep the production going after finally getting into the East title chase and making some noise. The defense gets the most help from this year’s class, loading up on excellent defensive end prospects along with a slew of excellent defensive backs. The program is becoming more attractive, and it shows.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

12. Missouri Tigers

There might not be any wow prospects compared to the rest of the SEC, but it’s a strong group of defenders starting with three big JUCO transfers for the line, and a boatload of defensive backs coming in. No, it’s not like this group will help fill the gaps at corner early on, but they’ll bring the depth. The offensive line could be getting the best players for the future, though, with C Case Cook leading a nice crew of potential mainstays up front.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

11. Ole Miss Rebels

After a years of tremendous recruiting classes, this one is a bit different. It’s a down season, but that’s partly because the program is so stocked with good young talent from the last few hauls. The Rebels came up with a few nice high school prospects – led by S A.J. Harris and linebackers Breon Dixon and Josh Clarke – but the JUCO transfers might make a bigger early impact.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

10. South Carolina Gamecocks

It might not be a class full of superstar, brand-name talents in the recruiting world, but Will Muschamp came up with a strong overall class loaded for the passing game – on both sides. The defensive backs are the deepest group, but the top players might be at wide receiver, with a few great prospects with size and toughness to help out QB Jake Bentley.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

9. Arkansas Razorbacks

Bret Bielema is able to crank up the production without getting the five-star talents – at least he was at Wisconsin, and it hasn’t been working out quite as well as hoped for at Arkansas. Once again, the Hogs are putting together a good recruiting class, but it’s hardly anything to throw a scare into the SEC big boys. The defensive backs are deep and good, but the potential stars are on the offensive side with RB Chase Hayden and to work behind another group of big linemen.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

8. Mississippi State Bulldogs

There might not be the high school stars of other SEC classes, but head coach Dan Mullen cranked up the JUCO pipeline with nine new players to fit specific needs. Are there more skill players to help QB Nick Fitzgerald? No, but the depleted defensive line got a slew of new players, the secondary got an influx of talent, and the offensive line got some help. Throw in RB Kylin Hill and QB Keytaon Thompson for the future, and it’s an interesting class.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

7. Florida Gators

It’s been a special recruiting season for the SEC, so don’t get into any sort of twist over exactly where Florida is ranked. The Gators are below the top level, but they’re still close enough to get excited about what’s coming in. The offense is getting a few future All-SEC talents, but the defense should be the star with the shelves being restocked in the secondary and a few outstanding prospects for the front seven.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

6. Auburn Tigers

No, it’s not quite as good as some of the other top classes in the SEC, but whatever – it’s more than good enough. There can’t be a whole lot of whiffs, though, for an offense that has select options for the skill spots. However, the line should be a major positive from this haul if Calvin Ashley plays up to his potential. The D didn’t get a whole lot for the front seven, but the secondary could be potentially loaded depending on where a few of the key versatile recruits end up.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

5. Tennessee Volunteers

It’s an interesting hodge-podge class with plenty of versatility and lots of options. There might not be the skill position superstars to make a splash for most fans, but it’s a fantastic haul of talent with several good defensive linemen with the athleticism to move around to other spots. There’s something for all places – including kicker – but more than anything else, this class will boost the depth for the next few years. That’s not a bad thing.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

4. LSU Tigers

So how did Ed Orgeron do now that he’s the main man. How do you think? He’s one of the nation’s best recruiters, and he once again showed why – even though he missed out on DT Marvin Wilson to Florida State. In comes the talent, with the main focus on the future stars for the passing game with two good quarterbacks and some receivers out of central casting. With good options for the offensive line, and a few great defensive backs – helped by the Signing Day get of Todd Harris – along with Tyler Taylor, Jacob Phillips and an outstanding linebacking corps. It’s business as usual now that Coach O is at the helm.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

3. Texas A&M Aggies

Other SEC schools might have brought in more superstars, but almost no one in college football got as many rock-solid talents who can move like this group. The linebacking corps Kevin Sumlin brought in is special, QB Kellen Mond was a good landing spot after he initially wanted to go to Baylor, and the receiving corps is loaded with new stars to eventually work with Mond to make it all go.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

2. Georgia Bulldogs

Mark Richt was always able to bring in big talents and great classes, and now, in his second time around the recruiting world, Kirby Smart has come up with something special. He came up with a great late run in 2016, and now he’s cranking up an amazing array of talents. The O line that needs so much work got a top JUCO transfer in D’Marcus Hayes right away, and with superstar prospects for the near future. The best players are on offense, but Smart kept rolling with elite defensive player and elite defensive player, too.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. For yet another year, Nick Saban has put together a jaw-dropping array of superstar prospects, to go along with last year’s jaw-dropping array of superstar prospects, to go along with the previous year’s … you get the point. This was an outstanding, top-of-the-SEC class before Signing Day, and then came WR DeVonta Smith and Henry Ruggs and DE LaBryan Ray just to add more star power to the equation. Najee Harris was the biggest get – he’s the next great Alabama running back – but getting LBs Dylan Moses and VanDaruis Cowan out of Florida was big, QB Tua Tagovailoa from Hawaii was great, and landing special talents for just about everywhere means the Crimson Tide aren’t going away any time soon.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown