The Georgia Bulldogs are having a fantastic season in a lot of ways, capped on Saturday by an SEC title in only coach Kirby Smart’s second year at the helm.
They’re the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff and are preparing for the Rose Bowl against No. 2 Oklahoma on New Year’s Day.
However, between now and then, Smart and his staff will do plenty of recruiting, hitting the road to add to their already impressive 2018 class. The Bulldogs’ class is already ranked No. 1 in the SEC by 247Sports, and continuing that momentum will be critical to keeping the Bulldogs atop the East Division.
As things stand right now, the Bulldogs have a fantastic 2018 class and have the only three 5-star commits in the SEC East. They’re putting quite a bit of distance between themselves and the Florida Gators, who have the second-best class in the division.
Here’s how the SEC East’s 2018 recruiting classes stack up as of Wednesday.
(Note: All recruiting rankings via 247Sports.)
SEC rank: 1
National rank: 4
Best player: Justin Fields, QB
Skinny: The Bulldogs have the No. 1 overall player in the 2018 class in Fields, and also have the top running back (Zamir White) and top outside linebacker (Adam Anderson). Coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs have a lot of momentum in recruiting and, now that they’re in the College Football Playoff, that should continue.
SEC rank: 6
National rank: 14
Best player: Matt Corral, QB
Skinny: The Gators have had a few players decommit after hiring Dan Mullen to be the new head coach, but they still have 4-star QB Matt Corral in the mix.
It’ll be interesting to see if Mullen can keep Corral and other top players committed to Florida, but having him on the recruiting trail is also likely to land the Gators some new, highly rated players.
SEC rank: 8
National rank: 21
Best player: Greg Emerson, DT
Skinny: The Vols don’t have a head coach yet, but now that they’ve named former coach Phillip Fulmer as athletic director, the search should end soon.
After that, the new coach would be wise to give 5-star OL Cade Mays a call to see if there’s any chance he’ll consider recommitting to Tennessee. He was the centerpiece of the Vols’ 2018 class, but now he’s down to Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State as his final three teams.
SEC rank: 9
National rank: 25
Best player: Josh Vann, WR
Skinny: The Gamecocks had a nice 2017 season under second-year head coach Will Muschamp, but are expected to soon part ways with offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, which will make recruiting a bit tricker until they have a replacement. However, with guys like Vann and dual-threat QB Dakereon Joyner headlining the 2018 class, it could still be a good year for the Gamecocks.
SEC rank: 10
National rank: 29
Best player: Marquan McCall, OG
Skinny: Two of the Wildcats’ three 4-star commits at the moment are offensive linemen, so it’s clear coach Mark Stoops and his staff are targeting that unit in this recruiting cycle. With RB Benny Snell Jr. returning next year, having some talented linemen in front of him will make the Wildcats’ offense even scarier.
SEC rank: 11
National rank: 36
Best player: Camron Johnson, WR
Skinny: The Commodores don’t normally get very many highly rated players, but they’re off to a decent start in their 2018 recruiting class. No, they don’t have any 5-star commits at the moment, but they have three 4-star players in the mix, which is certainly a nice start for Vanderbilt.
SEC rank: 12
National rank: 43
Best player: Chad Bailey, ILB
Skinny: The Tigers’ 2018 class is not off to a great start, with only 16 commits so far, all 3-star players. There are some 4-star guys on Missouri’s radar but the Tigers lost OC Josh Heupel to UCF on Tuesday, which won’t exactly help.