Wednesday, October 9, 2013
SEC class rankings analysis
By Gerry Hamilton
Each Wednesday, ESPN RecruitingNation updates its national class rankings. For an in-depth look at the SEC, check out our conference rankings:
1. Alabama, 21 commits: The Crimson Tide sit atop the RecruitingNation class rankings with a class that features 15 ESPN 300 prospects, including most recent commitment Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera), the No. 96 overall prospect. Alabama remains in the hunt for several five-star prospects, including No. 1 overall Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) and No. 9 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover).
2. Tennessee, 24 commits: The Volunteers are currently the No. 3 class with a class that includes 10 ESPN 300 prospects. The Vols have been dominant in-state, securing pledges from No. 39 overall Jalen Hurd (Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech) and talented legacies No. 60 Todd Kelly Jr. (Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School) and No. 103 Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra, Fla./Ponte Vedra). Tennessee still has a number of top targets on the board, including in-state wide receiver Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp) and No. 59 Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Il./Plainfield South).
3. Georgia, 17 commits : The Bulldogs check in with a top three class in the SEC, and No. 5 nationally. The class features nine ESPN 300 commitments, including No. 12 overall Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest) and No. 18 Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage). Top targets remaining include No. 11 Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), No. 14 Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) and No. 15 David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School).
4. Florida, 14 commits: The Gators are currently No. 8 nationally in the 2014 class, and their class has nine ESPN 300 prospects. No. 23 Dalvin Cook (Miami/Central), No. 28 Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead) and No. 36 Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Davidson Day School) are the headliners. Florida will sign up to 22 with a number of top targets left on the board, including No. 6 Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra), Carter, Sharpe, and No. 65 Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman).
5. LSU, 15 commits: The Tigers check in at No. 10 nationally with a class that includes 10 ESPN 300 prospects led by No. 3 Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, La./Barbe), No. 49 Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway) and No. 54 Edward Paris Jr. (Mansfield, Texas/Timberview). More than any other team, LSU has the chance to rise up to the top of the rankings with prospects such as Fournette, No. 8 Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr High), No. 14 Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), No. 24 Laurence Jones (Monroe, La./Neville), No. 26 Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis), No. 29 Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Edna Karr) and others still on the board.
6. Texas A&M, 14 commits: The Aggies signed a top 10 class in 2013, and look to be headed in that direction again in this cycle, currently sitting at No. 11 with No. 69 Hoza Scott (La Porte, Texas/La Porte) and No. 74 Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Az./Desert Mountain) the headliners. The class features nine ESPN 300 prospects, and the Aggies remain in the hunt for No. 7 Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin), Noil, Brown, and others.
7. Ole Miss, 21 commits: The Rebels made national headlines in 2013 inking a top 5 class and are backing it up with another strong effort in 2014. Ole Miss currently sits at No. 14 nationally with a class that includes four ESPN 300 prospects, including offensive linemen Rod Taylor (Jackson, Miss./Callaway) and Andy Bauer (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit). Among the targets remaining are No. 64 Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee), junior college offensive tackle Avery Gennesy (Scooba, Miss./East Mississippi Community College), defensive tackle Breeland Speaks (Jackson, Miss./Callaway) and cornerback Kendarius Webster (Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge).
8. Auburn, 15 commits: Auburn currently resides at No. 15 nationally with a class that has the room to ascend. Of the 15 commitments, seven are ESPN 300 prospects including No. 34 Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford), No. 78 Tre' Williams (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul’s Episcopal School) and top juco prospect D'haquille Williams (Reserve, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College). The Tigers remain in the mix for Rudolph, No. 150 Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn), No. 83 Stephen Roberts (Opelika, Ala./Opelika High) -- currently an Alabama commitment -- among others.
9. Kentucky, 24 commits: The Wildcats’ No. 16-ranked class features five ESPN 300 prospects, including quarterback Drew Barker (Hebron, Ky./Conner Senior), four wide receivers and a pair of running backs. The top targets remaining on the board are four-star defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin) and juco defensive tackle Jarran Reed (Scooba, Miss./East Mississippi Community College), among others. The Wildcats are looking to finish in the top 25 for the first time in the RecruitingNation class rankings.
10. Vanderbilt, 18 commits: The Commodores’ class boasts five four-star prospects, including a pair of ESPN 300 recruits in safety Kyle Gibson (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) and running back Dallas Rivers (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson). Vanderbilt, currently the No. 26-ranked class nationally, remains in the mix for ESPN 300 prospects Morgan and Trevon Lee (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons), and four-star wide receiver Jalen Brown (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe), among others.
11. Mississippi State, 18 commits: The Bulldogs’ class features a pair of ESPN 300 prospects, including newest commit and No. 93 overall Jesse Jackson (Petal, Miss./Petal) and Jamoral Graham (Decatur, Miss./Newton County Academy). Mississippi State remains in the mix for defensive linemen Speaks, Grant Harris (Clinton, Miss./Clinton) and Trey Brown (Ackerman, Miss./Ackerman), among others. The class is currently ranked No. 29.
12. South Carolina, 12 commits: Smaller class numbers have the Gamecocks currently sitting at No. 31 nationally. The class boasts four ESPN 300 prospects, including No. 2 tight end Kevin Crosby (Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt) and No. 17 wide receiver Shaquille Davidson (Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney). The Gamecocks continue to pursue No. 40 overall prospect Dante Sawyer (Suwannee, Ga./North Gwinnett), No. 176 Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock), No. 197 Donell Stanley (Latta, S.C./Latta) and others.
13. Arkansas, 17 commits: The Razorbacks’ first full class under Bret Bielema is currently ranked No. 37 nationally. The class features a quartet of four-star prospects, including quarterback Rafe Peavey (Bolivar, Mo./Bolivar) and defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson (El Dorado, Ark./El Dorado) as well as one of the top juco offensive tackles, Jermaine Eluemunor (Rockaway, N.J./Lackawanna College). ESPN 300 defensive tackle Joshua Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Har Ber) and juco cornerback Josh Keys (Seminary, Miss./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) leads the list of top prospects on the board.
14. Missouri, 24 commits: The lone school outside the top 40 in the SEC is finding its footing recruiting in the Southeast after years of focusing on Texas. The Tigers have a combined nine commitments from Georgia and Florida, including four-star wide receiver Lawrence Lee (Pensacola, Fla./West Florida Tech). Junior college defensive tackle Calvin Heurtelou (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Community College) is one of the top targets remaining on the board.