- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
The Southeastern Conference, once again, is dominating in the Recruiting Nation team rankings. Ten of the top 25 teams hail from the SEC and all but one school (Missouri) is in the top 40. Three SEC teams, Alabama (No. 2), Tennessee (No. 3) and Georgia (No. 5), rank among the top five. There was some movement in the rankings this week, here's a closer look at how the SEC fared.
Trending up: With the addition of Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford), the Auburn Tigers jumped up two spots from No. 17 to No. 15. Thomas is the No. 5-ranked running back and the No. 34th-ranked player overall in the ESPN 300. With the commitment of Thomas, the Tigers have 14 commitments including seven in the ESPN 300. Vanderbilt also jumped up two spots from No. 25 to No. 23 by adding ESPN 300 safety Kyle Gibson (Seffner, Fla./Armwood). Alabama, Texas A&M and Ole Miss all moved up one spot each in the updated rankings.
Trending down: After losing ESPN 300 defensive back Chris Hardeman (Houston/Alief Taylor) LSU dropped from No. 8 to No. 10 in the rankings. With players such as Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine), Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) and Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) still on their radar, the Tigers still have a good chance to end up with a top five class. Tennessee also dropped one spot from No. 2 to No. 3 after losing four-star athlete Brandon Powell (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach). Powell quickly switched his commitment to Miami after decommitting from the Vols last Saturday. Missouri is the only team in the SEC not represented in the top 40. The Tigers have 17 commitments but only one is ranked higher than a three-star prospect.
One to watch: Florida is a team to keep an eye on over the next week. Wide receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead), the No. 28-ranked player in the country and defensive back Quincy Wilson (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./University School), the No. 202-ranked player, are expected to announce their decisions together this weekend and they have said over Twitter that they would like to attend the same school. There's still a chance Lane could delay his decision, but if he goes through with it, Florida appears to be the common denominator for both players. The Gators are currently holding down the No. 13 spot in the class rankings.
Bold prediction: The SEC will finish with at least six teams in the top 10 and maybe even seven. As it stands, there are five teams in the top 10. Florida and Auburn sit just outside the top 10 but both have several highly-ranked targets left on their recruiting boards. In his first year at Auburn, Gus Malzahn has started to put together a very athletic and talented class while Will Muschamp continues to prove he is one of the top recruiters in the SEC.