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Around the SEC: Recruiting for National Signing Day 2015

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

With one week until National Signing Day (NSD) on February 4, there are plenty of narratives to follow: decommitments, flipping, greyshirt drama, the silly hat-switcheroo press conferences. Below are just some of the rundowns of a few SEC classes.

Alabama Crimson Tide

26 Verbal Commits, 7 Enrolled

The number floating around the Crimson Tide has appeared to be 27. The Bama staff want to finish with an offensive tackle and a wide receiver. They got their OT in Isaiah Prince who committed last Friday but it is unclear how firm he is in his pledge. Fellow OT Chidi Valentine-Okeke was supposed to announce on Monday but has pushed his announcement a week. Reports are that another OT Drew Richmond might visit T-town on Friday. For the receiver, it appears to be coming down to UGA commit Terry Godwin or Daylon Charlot. My feeling is it will be Charlot. There are also some murmurs that one or perhaps two currently committed may be changing their school of choice before NSD. What once looked like a full and complete class is now set up for potential fireworks.

Georgia Bulldogs

26 Verbal Commits, 7 Enrolled

The Peach State has been producing some outstanding college football players for the last decade plus. The UGA staff's goal is to keep some of them in-state. They missed out on OT Mitch Hyatt (Clemson) and OG Chuma Edoga (Southern Cal) but are putting together a solid Top 10 class. Among them may be the top overall player in the nation in defensive tackle Trenton Thompson. Their second best verbal commitment came from the aforementioned Terry Godwin. The Dawgs have 11 players rated 4-stars or higher

Florida Gators

10 Verbal Commits, 2 Enrolled

Either something miraculous or something horrific is about to happen in Gainesville. With less than one week to go until NSD, Jim McElwain and the Gators only have 10 commitments - an unheard of number by a team of Florida's stature - and only one, Derrick Dillon, who is a 4-star. Certainly the coaching change has had a big impact but Florida fans have to be peeing their jorts just a little bit.

The miraculous part may come from the fact that some of the nation's best high school talent hails from north and central Florida and they are eying the Gators. Among the uncommitted who look to be favoring Florida:

Martez Ivey (Apopka, FL) - 5-star, #1 offensive tackle
Byron Cowart (Seffner, FL) - 5-star, #1 defensive lineman
Cece Jefferson (Glen Saint Mary, FL) - 5-star, #2 defensive lineman
Jeffery Holland (Jacksonville, FL) - 4-star #8 outside linebacker

Cowart, Jefferson, and Holland have intimated that they would all like to play at the same school together but we have all heard that song before.

Auburn Tigers

21 Verbal Commits, 8 Enrolled

The Tigers do not have one of their stronger classes in recent years but this one could end up in the Top 10. They still have some highly ranked targets in their sights including the above mentioned Ivey, Cowart, Jefferson, Holland, Godwin, and Valentine-Okeke. They could get them all or they could get none. It seems coach Gus Malzahn is comfortable in waiting until all the press conferences are done next Wednesday to fill his class.

Tennessee Volunteers

28 Verbal Commits, 10 Enrolled

Rocky Top has been racking up an impressive group for the Class of 2015 led by 5-star defensive end Kahlil McKenzie, 4/5-star WR Preston Williams, and 4/5-star DE Kyle Phillips (early enrollee). The Vols have 13 players rated 4-stars or higher, seven of whom are already enrolled. They are well on their way to a Top 5 class. However, the recent departure of offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian could make some guys think.

Also part of this class is former Alabama running back Alvin Kamara who is already enrolled.

LSU Tigers

18 Verbal Commits, 4 Enrolled

LSU is lagging behind in this year's recruiting season but did corral 5-star CB Kevin Toliver who is already enrolled. Fellow 5-star receiver Tyron Johnson, who committed to LSU at the Under Armour game, made some amazing catches all week at the event and proved to be one of the top at his position. However, there is still a vast absence of a quality quarterback in this class. Does Les Miles simply have an inability to draw top-flight QBs to Baton Rouge or is he hoping for a certain senior transfer from up north?

It's interesting to note that Miles has taken a page from Nick Saban's recruiting playbook and got himself a commit from a long-snapper, Blake Ferguson from Buford, GA.

Texas A&M Aggies

23 Verbal Commits, 7 Enrolled

Kevin Sumlin is putting together one of the finest classes in school history. Leading the class is 5-star dual threat quarterback Kyler Murray. He has been named Offensive Player of the Year by USA TODAY, AP Class 6A Offensive Player of the Year, and Gatorade National Player of the Year. Personally, I have my doubts about him. His 5-10/180 lbs size is a bit of a concern (Yes, I know how tall Russell Wilson is. Please spare the lecture on this rare exception.). The other concern is to how well his game can translate to the college level. Regardless, he will have to battle rising sophomore Kyle Allen who looks pretty darn comfortable in the starting role.

Vanderbilt Commodores

15 Verbal Commits, 1 Enrolled

Vandy is Vandy. They are never going to knock it out of the park but there are no sub-3 star prospects in this class either. Up top are 4-stars LB Josh Smith, CB Donovan Sheffield, and Pennsylvania quarterback Kyle Shurmur.

One oddity you may never see again is a recruit decommitting from an SEC school to flip to... wait for it... Dartmouth! Despite this hiccup, the Dores class ranks higher than Florida's class.


Below are the average rankings of SEC schools according to major recruiting services:

1.0 Alabama
4.5 Georgia
4.5 Tennessee
8.0 Texas A&M
10.5 Auburn
13.0 LSU
15.25 Mississippi State
15.25 South Carolina
18.75 Ole Miss
23.5 Arkansas
29.5 Kentucky
34.25 Missouri

Vandy ranks 39, 42, 61, and unranked (ESPN: Top 40 only).

Florida is 84, 72, 99, and unranked (ESPN: Top 40 only).


Roll Tide!