- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
Spring practice is finished and the recruiting cycle for the 2015 class is well underway. With the first quarter of the recruiting calendar behind us, here's a look at how the SEC is faring, first with a scout's take on the entire conference and then a team-by-team breakdown.
Scout's take on SEC recruiting
The Southeastern Conference still reigns supreme when it comes to attracting premier talent from top to bottom within the conference, even at Vanderbilt now. In the early going, Alabama currently has the No. 1 overall class with 14 verbal commitments, most recently with CB Minkah Fitzpatrick and WR Calvin Ridley. The Tide is loading up across the board. Tennessee is off to a fast start again, but it is critical the Vols close with a quarterback. Wide receiver Preston Williams is scary good when focused. Auburn has been capitalizing off of its national title game appearance with a huge in-state commitment from ATH Kerryon Johnson. Texas A&M must once again focus on the offensive and defensive lines if it wants to compete long term in the conference. DT Daylon Mack is a good start. It is so early, but expect the usual suspects -- LSU, Florida, Georgia and now South Carolina -- to run neck and neck over the next several months. -- Tom Luginbill
Who they have: For the fourth consecutive recruiting cycle, Alabama is dominating. The Crimson Tide already have 15 commitments, including 14 who are ranked in the ESPN 300. The list of commits is led by the No. 4-ranked cornerback in the country, Minkah Fitzpatrick. The list also includes the No. 1 inside linebacker, Leo Lewis, the No. 3 wide receiver, Calvin Ridley, and the No. 6 offensive guard, Lester Cotton. The No. 7 safety in the country, Shawn Burgess-Becker, is a versatile athlete who could also play receiver. The Crimson Tide have done a tremendous job of recruiting out of state. Eleven of Alabama's 15 commitments have come from prospects outside of Alabama.
Who they want: With such a strong start to its 2015 recruiting class, Alabama can now afford to be more selective in who it wants to take as commitments going forward. Several big-time linemen including defensive tackles Daron Payne and five-star prospect Tim Settle, defensive end CeCe Jefferson and offensive tackle Martez Ivey appear to be the top remaining names on Alabama's recruiting board. Five-star athlete George Campbell also has Alabama near the top of his list.
Spring storyline: Alabama quickly established itself as the team to beat in recruiting this year. The Crimson Tide had eight commitments in either March or April -- seven of whom are ranked in the ESPN 300.
Bold prediction: What else is there to say about the job coach Nick Saban has done? Not sure how bold this is, but Alabama will win its fourth consecutive recruiting title and it might be by a landslide.