How did all of the SEC teams do recruiting in the Early Signing Period? Where do they all rank, who are the stars, where are the holes and what are the needs?
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SEC Early Signing Period Team Rankings
14 Vanderbilt Commodores
Vanderbilt will never hang with the Alabamas and Georgias of the world for the top-shelf talents, but it managed to come up with a haul good enough to keep doing what the program does with the talent it gets. It’s an upgrade on speed, but it’ll take a while to find the right spots for everyone.
13 Missouri Tigers
So Mizzou didn’t land a whole lot of massive talents. Screw that … it got Clemson’s Kelly Bryant to quarterback this year’s team, TCU’s Shawn Robinson to be ready for the 2020 team, and everything else can just fall into place from there. There are some nice receivers coming in to help them out.
12 Kentucky Wildcats
It’s more than good enough for what Kentucky does. No, it’s never going to compete with the biggest of SEC big boys for the top stars, but it was able to hold its own with several good local prospects. There are enough good defenders to keep the Mark Stoops style of play rolling.
11 Ole Miss Rebels
It’s a massive class, especially for the offensive side with a shoaled bunch of talent for the passing game to go along with the linemen to help make it all go. The defensive line didn’t get anything, but the back seven is loaded, especially in the secondary.
10 South Carolina Bulldogs
There’s talent, but this is hardly the type of class that will push the Gamecocks into the SEC elite. Getting QB Ryan Hilinski was the key to the offensive side, but the defense was the focus with a special group of ends coming in to go along with a few stars for the secondary.
9 Mississippi State Bulldogs
It’s not quite the class you might have thought head coach Joe Moorhead would’ve brought in after having a year to work, but it’s rock solid – it would be fantastic in just about any other conference. The great defense of this season restocked the shelves, especially for the secondary and the line.
8 Tennessee Volunteers
What it lacks in superstars it makes up for in bulk. It’s not a bad class in any way – it’s a haul for the infrastructure on the lines – but Tennessee is trying to play in the big leagues with the Georgias and Alabamas of the world. This class isn’t close to the penthouse quite yet.
7 Auburn Tigers
Okay, okay … so it’s probably a lot better than this. The only thing missing compared to some of the others ranked higher is the sheer bulk. If you want to call this a top five SEC class, go right ahead – at least it’s right in the mix with a whole bunch of talent for a whole lot of spots.
6 Florida Gators
It’s good, but it’s not the devastating haul that Gator fans might have wanted out of Dan Mullen. At least it’s not the class to compare to what Georgia and Alabama pulled off. Even so, there’s a whole lot to like on the defensive side, and Mullen built up the infrastructure on the O line.
5 Arkansas Razorbacks
This might be one of the most pleasant surprises of the early recruiting season. Chad Morris has jobs to offer, and a whole lot of very, very good players decided to take them, especially for the passing game. Defensive ends, offensive linemen, and receivers – they’re all in.
4 LSU Tigers
It stinks that LSU just so happens to be in the SEC West – this is probably the top recruiting class in any other conference. There’s bulk, there’s next level talent, and there’s little wasted motion. You want great O linemen, amazing running backs, and special defensive backs? They’re all here.
3 Texas A&M Aggies
It’s fantastic. It’s not like Texas A&M hasn’t had great recruiting classes before – Kevin Sumlin didn’t have much of a problem – but Jimbo Fisher’s first full cycle produced a monster. The upgrade in recruiting turned Georgia into a national title-good program fast under Kirby Smart. That’s what this might be for Fisher.
2 Georgia Bulldogs
It’s yet another national championship-caliber class that’s good enough to be considered for the nation’s best haul. The defensive line prospects are amazing, Clay Webb leads a strong group for the offensive front, and in a weird twist after losing Justin Fields, three quarterbacks are coming in.
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Another year, another special class. It’s amazing how the program seems to get just about everyone it really, really wants, getting future NFL talents across the board to step in and beef up the depth right away. The O linemen are good, the D linemen are amazing, and the secondary is loaded … along with everywhere else.