Random Thoughts Around the SEC: Recruiting Edition

Southeastern Conference football reloads on National Signing Day 2013. - Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

We all know Coach Nick Saban signed another top recruiting class for 2013, but how did the other SEC teams do? Overall as a group, they did excellent with eleven members averaging in the top 25 and seven schools averaging in the top eleven. There is a lot of good, a couple bad, and a few downright ugmo.

Are you sick of hearing about recruiting or are you in withdrawal? If it is the latter, read on. If it is the former, here is this.

Saban & Company again hauled in the #1 recruiting class in 2013. Several other SEC teams made big splashes as well. Others sank like rocks. Below are the average rankings by SEC (and National) according to Rivals, ESPN, and 247sports.

1. (1) Alabama: What’s left to say? Another stellar class from Saban and his staff which could have been even more amazing if the 25 scholly limit was not intact. The late decisions by Reuben Foster and A’Shawn Robinson put this class over the top.

2. (3) Florida: It is pretty remarkable what Will Muschamp has done with the train wreck Urban Meyer left behind. OLB Alex Anzalone of Reading, PA and Florida natives RB Kelvin Taylor and CB Vernon Hargreaves highlight this class. Hargreaves stole the show at the Under Armour All-American Game. He is easily the cherry on this sundae.

3. (6) Ole Miss: Speaking of "stealing the show," NSD belonged to Hugh Freeze who proved to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to recruiting. The Rebs surprised many by reeling in the top overall recruit in Robert Nkemdiche, a top O-lineman Laremy Tunsil and top WR in Illinois native Laquon Treadwell. Guys were flipping left and right in Oxford but time will tell if it equals results on the field.

4. (7) LSU: Another solid class from Les Miles but not too many 5-star caliber players. Tre'Davious White and Kendell Beckwith are the headliners of this class, which focused heavily on D-Linemen and wide receivers.

5. (9) Texas A&M: The Aggies may be fifth in the SEC but they managed to sign a higher rated class than ANY Big-12 team (Oklahoma 15, Texas 18). ATH Ricky Seals-Jones is 6-5/230 lbs and projects as a WR. He will be a big weapon for Johnny You-Know-Who.

6. (10) Auburn: You have to hand it to Gus Malzahn. Somehow he emerged from NSD with a pretty solid class despite the quagmire on the Plains. It is odd to think an offensive-minded coach could capture the hearts of defensive players like Montravius Adams, Carl Lawson and Elijah Daniel. Oddly, they did add only two O-linemen, one being a juco and the other a 3-star "project".

7. (11) Georgia: Coach Mark Richt has lost control of Georgia recruiting! Richt seems to think he signed the top class in the nation but he is the only one. He bragged that two-thirds of this group is from the state of Georgia but he missed out on the top in-state players. Of the top 15 from the Peach State, he got one or two depending on the source. QB Brice Ramsey is the heir apparent to Aaron Murray.

8. (18) South Carolina: This is proof positive that you cannot effectively recruit from the golf course. Maybe Steve Spurrier is getting old or maybe he thinks players will flock to Columbia. Either way, Ol’ Ball Coach did not get a Jadeveon Clowney or a Marcus Lattimore this time. It’s a decent group, but nothing to write home about.

9. (24) Vanderbilt: James Franklin continues to raise eyebrows in Nashville. This is one of the best classes for the 'Dores in recent memory. Pinson Valley linebcaker Zach Cunningham is the top signature of this group.

10. (25 tied) Mississippi State: Golden Boy Dan Mullen was supposed to come in and save this program from mediocrity, but MAN it must be tough to sell the idea of living in Starkville for 4-5 years to a kid. The one saving grace of this class was holding onto 5-star DE Chris Jones who looked like he might flip, but stayed true to his word.

11. (25 tied) Tennessee: Hard times on Rocky Top. They barely held on to DE Jason Carr but missed out on Vonn Bell (Ohio State). I see more burning mattresses in their future.

12. (28) Arkansas: By SEC standards this is a less than stellar class. By Big 10 standards, this class would be fourth behind OSU, Michigan and Nebraska. Bret Bielema’s former school, Wisconsin, averaged 43rd. The Hogs missed out on Altee Tenpenny, but they were finally able to chase down Alex Collins’ mother and make his signing official.

13. (33) Kentucky: At least they did better than Louisville (48th).

14. (39) Missouri: We should call these guys the "Not Ready For Prime Time Players." Unlike Texas A&M, Mizzou has yet to reap the rewards of being in the SEC. They only managed to sign 20 players (?), eleven of whom were from in-state. My advice is that they increase their presence in Texas. I predict this will be a pivotal year for the tenure of Gary Pinkel.

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