How many of the top 100 recruits are coming to the SEC?
These parades don’t plan themselves, you know.
There is no confetti without signatures, no trophies without championship-caliber players.
The SEC largely has owned college football recruiting over the past decade, the single biggest reason the league has ruled the sport.
Will the trend continue in 2020?
An SEC team has had the No. 1 ranked class every year since 2008. Clemson led the way most of this cycle. Alabama recently nudged the Tigers briefly before Clemson reclaimed the top spot. It’s essentially a 2-team race for the No. 1 class as we race toward the Early Signing Period (Dec. 18-20).
Forty-three of the top 50 players have committed, as have 84 of the top 100 recruits, according to 247Sports.com. As we are all well aware, commitments are meaningless until the scholarship is signed.
Of the 16 players who haven’t committed, 4 are considered virtual locks.
So where are these top players going?
Let’s take a look, by conference, from the top:
Included in the SEC’s haul: the nation’s top QB (Bryce Young, Alabama), top tight end (Arik Gilbert, LSU), top weakside defensive end (Chris Braswell, Alabama) and top safety (Jaylon Jones, Texas A&M). Ten of the 29 5-stars in the class have picked SEC programs.
The ACC’s haul is really Clemson’s haul. The Tigers have 10 of the league’s 14 commitments from Top 100 players. (The ACC’s overall number grows to 18 if you include Notre Dame’s 4 commitments.)
For the first time, Dabo Swinney’s Tigers are at the top of the rankings. Six 5-star recruits have committed to Clemson, including the No. 1-ranked player in the class: defensive tackle Bryan Bresee. Clemson also has the No. 1-ranked pro-style passer (DJ Uiagalelei) and No. 2 DT (Demonte Capehart).
Big Ten: 13
Ohio State has the top 3 players coming to the league, including WR Julian Fleming, who is ranked No. 2 overall in the class.
Five Big Ten teams have at least 1 Top 100 prospect committed.
Big 12: 9
Just 2 of the top 50 recruits have committed to Big 12 programs. Both are running backs (Bijan Robinson, Texas and Jase McClellan, Oklahoma).
Texas’ class is ranked No. 7 overall, Oklahoma No. 10.
No other Big 12 program is even in the Top 30.
Why doesn’t the Pac-12 generate a lot of respect nationally when the Playoff race is starting to take shape?
This is one reason. It’s starting at a disadvantage.
The SEC will bring in 30 more of the nation’s top players than the Pac-12 will this year. That number could grow, too.
The Pac-12 has commitments from just 2 5-star players. The top 6 players in talent-rich California are all headed out of the conference. Two are QBs (Young and Uiagalelei).
USC is making a late push to keep some of this talent home, but until this trend is reversed, the Pac-12’s Playoff push will remain an uphill battle.