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Now that National Signing Day is all but in the rearview, let’s recap an overall dominant signing day showing by the SEC schools.
SEC flexes its muscle
Let’s put it frankly: SEC teams torched other conferences on signing day. The conference finished with seven of the top 10 classes and finished with 10 of the top 25 in the country. Of the top 10 players in the country, SEC schools landed seven of them, including the top two prospects. All total, SEC schools signed 14 of the top 20 players in the country and 27 of the top 50. For comparison, the Big Ten landed three of the top 50, and the ACC signed 10 of the top 50. What the SEC accomplished (again) is the equivalent of reloading a cruise missile entering the College Football Playoff era.
Last year, the SEC was dominant, too, only the conference finished with five of the top 10 classes. This year, it finished with seven.
The best ever?
Alabama’s signing class is ridiculous, and many are saying – on paper – it is the best in the modern recruiting era. The class is ridiculous because of the amount of top tier talent that signed. According to 247Sports, the Tide signed six five-star players and 15 four-star players. That’s absurd. The Tide signed the #1 offensive tackle, #1 and #2 cornerbacks, #1 defensive end, #1 and #3 outside linebackers, #1 center and #2 athlete. All total, 17 of the 26 signees were ranked in the top five of their respective positions.
The Tide have finished first in the team recruiting rankings since 2011. That’s four straight years of winning the mythical recruiting national championship. I don’t think depth or talent will be Nick Saban’s problem.
LSU is a big riser
The Tigers closed very strong on signing day. The second best WR Malachi Dupre signed with LSU over FSU, and 4-star DT Travonte Valentine signed with LSU over Miami. The Tigers also flipped 3-star DE Sione Teuhema to help put the class over the edge and push it to #2 SEC class and #2 overall class in the country.
Big-time finishes for lousy records
Tennessee and Florida finished a combined 9-15 this season, but the Vols and Gators finished 7th and 9th in the country. Florida will always recruit well, because they’re Florida, but Tennessee is the more surprising finisher. The Vols haven’t been to a bowl game in three years, and Butch Jones just hauled in a fantastic class.
Related: Tennessee National Signing Day recap
Both the Florida and Tennessee coaching staffs should be lauded for their efforts. The Vols finished 7th in the country after signing 34 players, while Florida finished 9th and signing 23 players. Yes, the sheer volume of signees helped push Tennessee towards the top, but don’t let the top tier talent in the class fool you.
Related: Florida National Signing Day recap
The SEC West racked up the top four SEC classes in Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn. Tennessee, Florida and Georgia all finished in the top 10 for the East. Still, the West is funneling and controlling the top talent. The West signed seven of the top 10 players in the country and 18 of the top 50 players, while the East signed eight of the top 50. The SEC West has created separation over the last few years on the field, and that doesn’t look like its slowing down anytime soon.
5-star OLB Rashaan Evans’ shocker
The biggest shocker of the day was the top-ranked outside linebacker Rashaan Evans. The Auburn native was thought to stay home and play for the Tigers, but he chose the rival Crimson Tide. Evans was one of three top outside linebackers the Tide signed, and he has a big-time future.
Georgia running backs coach Bryan McClendon hauled in the talent for the Bulldogs. McClendon was in charge of signing 5-star DE Lorenzo Carter, 4-star WR Isaiah McKenzie, 5-star RB Sony Michel and 5-star RB Nick Chubb, among others. Georgia has always recruited well, and McClendon is a major reason why they landed a top 10 class this season.
How the SEC finished in the conference and nationally:
1. Alabama (1)
2. LSU (2)
3. Texas A&M (5)
4. Auburn (6)
5. Tennessee (7)
6. Georgia (8)
7. Florida (9)
8. Ole Miss (15)
9. South Carolina (18)
10. Kentucky (22)
11. Arkansas (30)
12. Mississippi State (38)
13. Missouri (39)
14. Vanderbilt (46)
Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports