Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Best SEC classes by position
By Derek Tyson
Top to bottom, the Southeastern Conference is recruiting better than any conference in the country. Thirteen of 14 SEC schools are ranked in the top 40 of the recruiting rankings, including six schools ranked in the top 10. Here's a closer look at which SEC school has the top recruiting classes at each position.
This is the hardest position to determine who has the strongest class. Four of the top-five quarterbacks in the final Elite 11 rankings -- Sean White (Auburn), Kyle Allen (Texas A&M), Will Grier (Florida) and Jacob Park (Georgia) -- are committed to SEC schools. Alabama, however has the top-ranked quarterback, David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman North) in the ESPN 300. The Under Armour All-American is the 32nd-ranked player in the nation. At 6-foot-5, 241-pounds, Cornwell has a big-time arm and ideal size for the position.
The Bulldogs' running game is off to a great start this year, and it looks as if their backfield will be loaded in the near future. Georgia has commitments from two of the top-10 running backs in the country, including the No. 2-ranked back Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage). Talented back Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown), at 5-11, 217, is built in the same mold as current Georgia tailback Todd Gurley. Michel is a great athlete that is always a threat to take it the distance.
The Tigers have three ESPN 300 receiver commits from Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, La./Barbe), D.J. Chark (Alexandra, La./Alexandria) and Tony Upchurch (Pearland, Texas/Glenda Dawson). Quinn has put up huge numbers during his high school career and is the No. 37th-ranked player in the country. The Tigers also have a commitment from ESPN 300 tight end Jacory Washington (Westlake, La./Westlake). And ESPN 300 athlete Devin Voorhies (Woodville, Miss./Wilkinson) could play safety or wide receiver on the next level.
The Crimson Tide are putting together quite possibly the best offensive line class in the country. Headlined by Cameron Robinson (Monroe, La./West Monroe), the No. 3-ranked player in the country, the Bama offensive line class is athletic and physical. Joining Robinson up front will be Ross Pierschbacher (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls), the No. 1-ranked guard, guard Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial), center J.C. Hassenauer (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge), guard Montel McBride (Plant City, Fla./Plant City) and junior college tackle Dominick Jackson (San Mateo, Calif./College of San Mateo). Four of Alabama's six offensive line commits are in the ESPN 300.
The Bulldogs have three defensive line commits, including two in the ESPN 300. Defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (Fayetville, N.C./Pine Forest) is Georgia's highest-rated prospect and the Bulldogs' lone five-star commitment. Gaillard is big and athletic enough to be an anchor in the middle of the Goorgia's defensive line in the future. Joining Gaillard on the interior of the line will be four-star tackle Dontavius Russell (Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton). Like Gaillard, Russell has the size to play early on in his career. Three-star tackle Kendall Baker (Atlanta/Marist) is also committed to the Bulldogs.
The Volunteers have five linebacker commits, including the No. 3-ranked outside linebacker in the country Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra, Fla./Ponte Vedra), ESPN 300 insider linebackers Gavin Bryant (Jackson, Ala./Jackson) and Kevin Mouhon (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), outside linebacker Jerome Dews (Oxon Hill, Md./Potomac) and junior college outside linebacker Chris Weatherd (Carrollton, Texas/Trinity Valley CC). Butch Jones has been known for his offense, but the Vols are putting together a very solid defensive class.
The Florida secondary has been very impressive in two games this year, and its recruiting class might be just as impressive. All four of Florida's defensive back commits are ranked in the ESPN 300. Chris Lammons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Plantation) and J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee) are listed as athletes but are being recruited to play cornerback for Florida. At 6-1, 197-pounds Quincy Wilson (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./University School) can play corner or safety on the next level, and Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie Co.) is a physical corner