Ranking the SEC’s best current recruiting situations


EDITOR’S NOTE: Saturday Down South writer Brian McLaughlin ranks the SEC in terms of the schools’ “current recruiting situation”. Basically, what program has the best current situation for recruiting success based on in-state, homegrown talent, coaching stability, fan fickleness, on-the-field success and tradition. It’s a tricky formula, but we think we have it right. Repeat–this is not ranking the classes as they stand currently, but gives an idea of who should be winning the mythical recruiting titles to set up on-the-field titles.

Which SEC teams have the best current recruiting situations?

Let’s just get it out of the way early: Texas A&M has the best recruiting situation in the Southeastern Conference. Not the Crimson Tide and their three national titles in five years. Not the Gators in talent-rich Florida. Not the Georgia Bulldogs with all of the Peach State’s talent. We’re not saying Texas A&M has the best recruiting class so far, because Alabama currently does.

No, nobody has it better–in recruiting–than the Aggies right now. That could change if the Texas Longhorns get their act together and become a destination program once again, which is possible–but going to be tougher now that the Aggies have become the Lone Star State’s “sexy” program. Texas A&M–thanks to an entertaining two-year run in the SEC–has the pick of the litter in the nation’s top high school football factory/state. If the Aggies shore up the defense with their recent recruiting classes, Texas A&M should be a consistent national championship contender on the field, too.

See, Alabama has another powerhouse SEC program to deal with in-state and the ‘Tide couldn’t win national titles with just in-state talent even if they had it to themselves. Its recent success helps nationally, but the Crimson Tide don’t have the talent hotbed next door to pick from that Texas A&M has. They have to work very hard to nab talent in Georgia, Mississippi, on and on. The Gators are in an enormously talented state, but they have the defending national champions to recruit against just two hours north in Tallahassee, and at least a small recruiting thorn in their side in talent-rich south Florida when the Miami Hurricanes are decent. Georgia has a great situation as the lone SEC team in a vastly talented state, but its proximity to Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina and Clemson makes its situation tougher than Texas A&M’s.

So–Texas A&M wins. But here’s the thing … it’s nice to have the best recruiting situation in the SEC, but that also means you should probably have the best class in the nation and you should be competing for on-the-field national titles as a result. It’s really more of a pressure than anything–because it’s almost as if you don’t have an excuse for sub par play.

That’s what we’re saying.

The SEC’s best current recruiting situations:


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  • I agree that Texas A&M should be competing eventually, but it is a little premature to say they should have the best class. It wasn’t until Sumlin’s second year that A&M really started recruiting for talent. Sure, his first year had talent and was a HUGE class, but the real talent was still being shared with Texas. Realistically, A&M only started getting the most talented Texans last recruiting class (2014), and as always some quality players were snagged by LSU. In order to have the best class, you have to not only lock down a lot of a major state, you must recruit out of state. A&M only became nationally recognized by recruits in the past 2 years. We need several more quality seasons and a BCS Bowl (type since they don’t exist anymore) win to really be proclaimed a national brand. Hopefully we will surprise next year, but it is a long-shot. If in the 2015 season A&M isn’t winning 10 and above, then we will start being accused of the same thing Texas has been for years: stocking talent and letting it rot.

    • You hang out with too many Texas fans, CardinalsAg. A&M became a national brand when it joined the SEC. A&M also started getting the best kids in 2013 not 2014 (Ricky Seals Jones, Justin Manning, Daeshon Hall, etc…). They also started keeping kids in-state away from LSU (Reggie Chevis and Kyrion Parker) and recruiting nationally in 2013 (Cam Clear, Jeremy Tabuyo, etc…). The only thing you need to recruit nationally is a “unique offering”, there is no need to win Nationally. Winning nationally is a “unique offering”, but not the only one. Oregon and Oklahoma State accomplished this through partnerships with wealthy patrons…A&M has that already. The “spread offense” is another “unique offering”, which is attractive to WR and QB recruits. Double digit wins would be nice, but it isn’t the only way to build a great program. With two top rated QBs signed and/or committed to A&M, the future bodes well for the next 3-5 years. A&M is also marketing itself as the gateway to the SEC for West Coast recruits. Several highly rated recruits are planning on visiting A&M once they can take official visits.

      • While I agree with that sentiment, and I am all for sunshine pumping, Jeremy Tabuyo and Reggie Chevis are not considered big gets by any stretch of the imagination. Chevis will no doubt be a strong contributor and I personally believe Kyrion Parker was a coup and will be one of the best WRs in a year or so, but only Cam Clear was a real nationally recruited guy. Just because we had two good recruiting years doesn’t mean anything on the national stage. The SEC gave us a lot, and Sumlin gives us more, but it doesn’t mean a thing until we start consistently putting quality wins on the field, which we did not do last season. We conceded Ed Paris and Jamal Adams to LSU in ’14 which were both big losses. I just don’t think we as Aggies can start talking big like a national brand until we get another win after Alabama.

        Getting big name recruits on campus is better than what we had when I was growing up, much less then actually getting their ink, and I half agree with the unique offering of the spread.

        I guess I mostly just suffer from BAS, but for what it is worth, I’d never admit any of this to a Texas fan in real life.

  • I have seen where the Arkansas idiots are predicting up to 8 wins. I say 4 or less. In fact I am willing to set that as the over under and bet it with any of you Arkansas morons who would like to wager.

  • It’s funny how USC had Arky as a cross division rivalry and now that they’ve tanked it, the SEC decides to change us over to aTm who’s gaining some serious momentum. I guess the powers that be will do all they can to help the darlings of the East (UGA) win the division including pitty pat schedules.

    • MIZZOU and Arkansas are literally right next to each other. For the first time the SEC got it right.

      • And the furthest east team is playing the furthest west team?

        • Who would South Carolina rather have from the West? Alabama, Auburn, or LSU??? You have a total of 7 wins against those schools in almost 25 years. Not much of a rivalry. The only team you have a winning record against in the West is Mississippi State. You’ve had 23(?) years to develop a rivalry. Quit your bitching.

  • Cocky put the bottle down your Cocks had Arky and Miss St last year and couldn’t get it done.Without Shaw(which I think was a very underrated QB) you will come up short again.Your secondary will be the Achilles heel this year and you will not be able score enough to overcome the points they will give up.

  • Third paragraph, first sentence: I believe the author means to say Tide and not “Aggies” (maybe was thinking ‘Alabama’) based on the context of the second paragraph and subsequent sentences in the third.

    • No that I re-read it he may have it how he meant it but if so the paragraph becomes unclear. If “nobody has it better” then why would that change if they “get their act together”?

      • Nevermind. Haha. Please ignore this entirely. He then references the Longhorns. Sorry. I’ll keep my thoughts to myself now.