National Signing Day is a pivotal day in the transition from one college football season to the next. The graduates and early entrants into the NFL Draft are officially gone from their respective programs, and a new crop of recruits has now been added to lay the foundations of those programs for the coming years.

Recruiting is not an exact science, far from it actually, but it does change the look of a team ten-fold as it progresses though the offseason and toward the next college football season. With that in mind, SDS readdressed its SEC power rankings the day after the biggest recruiting frenzy of the calendar year.

Here are the post-National Signing Day SEC power rankings to open 2015, as voted on by our entire staff:

Related: Final SEC Power Rankings 2014


14. Vanderbilt Commodores
13. Kentucky Wildcats

Although Vanderbilt and Kentucky sit at the bottom of these power rankings, just as they did at the end of the 2014 season, it doesn’t mean they failed on National Signing Day. In fact, one could argue both schools met or exceeded expectations on signing day. Vandy signed three four-star prospects just months after a 3-9 season results in the termination of both its coordinators. Four-star quarterback Kyle Shurmur is its highest-rated quarterback signee ever, and even two-star tailback Jaire George is the son of former Heisman winner Eddie George. … Kentucky signed two four-star prospects but added tremendous size and depth at the receiver and cornerback positions, as well as at offensive tackle. It also snagged the No. 3 defensive tackle in the junior college ranks, Courtney Miggins, who was thought to be heading to Mississippi State. Both schools ranked in the top 50 in the 247Sports industry composite rankings, although they’re the only SEC schools ranked outside the top 30.


12. South Carolina Gamecocks
11. Mississippi State Bulldogs
10. Florida Gators

Despite losing nine decommitments in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day, South Carolina still managed to lock down a top 20 class featuring a tremendous number of four-star defensive ends, addressing the team’s SEC-worst pass rush in 2014. The Gamecocks also added dual-threat quarterback prospect Lorenzo Nuñez to compete for the starting job now that Dylan Thompson has graduated. … Mississippi State followed a tremendous 10-win season with a top 20 class of its own, featuring seven four-star signees who could all make an immediate impact on the team. Dan Mullen is familiar with turning three-star prospects into stars, so it’s intriguing as to what he can do with a collection of four-star talents. Couple all that with the return of Dak Prescott and MSU could be dangerous again in 2015. … The Florida Gators had hoped to sign at least two of the three five-star recruits they were heavily pursuing in new coach Jim McElwain’s limited time on the recruiting trail, and it got its wish by adding offensive tackle Martez Ivey and defensive end Cece Jefferson. However, reports surfaced Thursday morning that Jefferson has not yet sent in his letter of intent to Florida, so his commitment might not be as secure as once thought, which would be devastating to a Gators program hoping to get its swagger back.


9. Ole Miss Rebels
8. Arkansas Razorbacks
7. Missouri Tigers

Ole Miss was left at the alter by a pair of pivotal four-star commits in linebacker Leo Lewis and offensive tackle Drew Richmond, but it still managed to address a number of other areas of need following the graduation of some key pieces from the 2014 team. It signed the best cornerback and best defensive linemen from the junior college ranks last season, and added the top junior college quarterback in Chad Kelly as well who could be supreme talent if he behaves himself. … Bret Bielema and his Arkansas squad finished 2014 strong, and although it had a mediocre recruiting class by SEC standards (11th in the SEC in the 247 rankings) it still boasted a top 30 class nationally in addition to returning superb game-manager Brandon Allen at quarterback and both its 1,000-yard rushers in Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins. … Missouri has now won back to back SEC East titles, and the addition of five-star defensive end Terry Beckner to a program known for its defensive line talent only makes the Tigers that much more dangerous entering 2015. Considering Mizzou returns Maty Mauk at quarterback, Russell Hansbrough at tailback and Harold Brantley at defensive tackle, the Tigers won’t be falling off this fall (no pun intended).


6. Texas A&M Aggies
5. Tennessee Volunteers

The two SEC teams (other than Alabama, and we’ll get to the Tide in a moment) that did the most to help themselves on National Signing Day were Texas A&M and Tennessee, as both schools added an onslaught of four- and five-star talents this offseason. The Vols boast seven four-star-or-better offensive or defensive linemen in their 2015 class, which should help them win at the line of scrimmage in the coming years. They also added star JUCO tailback Alvin Kamara to the explosive Jalen Hurd in the backfield, and with the return of Joshua Dobbs at quarterback and the addition of Preston Williams at wideout, UT should be a serious threat in a wide-open SEC East. … The Aggies have dominated the recruiting trail during the Kevin Sumlin era, and the same held true in 2015, They added yet another explosive wideout in five-star prospect Christian Kirk, and took on the top dual-threat quarterback in the nation in Kyler Murray to add depth behind returning starter Kyle Allen (once a five-star himself). New defensive coordinator John Chavis made an impact on the day as well, adding five-star defensive lineman Daylon Mack, who was once interested in LSU before Chavis made the leap from Baton Rouge to College Station.


t-3. Georgia Bulldogs
t-3. LSU Tigers
2. Auburn Tigers

Georgia and LSU tied for third in our staff power rankings, as both hauled in their usual crops of supreme talents to maintain their standing as dominant forces in the conference. The Dawgs may have lost top in-state linebacker Roquan Smith (though that’s not official yet), but they added supreme athlete Terry Godwin to an offense that returns plenty of playmakers in Nick Chubb, Keith Marshall and others. Georgia failed to sign a quarterback as it aims to replace Hutson Mason under center, but if it can find a suitable replacement among its backups in 2014 it can easily contend for the East title in 2015. … The Tigers went about their business as usual, adding five-star corner Kevin Tolliver to a program known for its defensive back talent through the years. All in all, LSU added two five-star prospects and 11 four-star prospects to the class, and flipping 6-foot-5 defensive end Arden Key from South Carolina will pay huge dividends in the trenches. … Auburn had a banner day on the recruiting trail, thanks in large part to Gus Malzahn’s creative uses of athletes on offense and new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp’s recruiting prowess on defense. The addition of top defensive end Byron Cowart headlines the class, but he’s one of just 20 four-star-or-better signees added to a team less than two years removed from an appearance in the national title game.


1. Alabama Crimson Tide

For the fourth year in a row, Alabama brought in the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, and there wasn’t much drama surrounding the program on National Signing Day after it more or less secured the class weeks ago. There were only 35 five-star prospects according to the 247 composite, yet Alabama lone grabbed six of those players. That’s pretty remarkable if you dwell on it for a moment. The Tide added talent at virtually every position, and among its 23 signees only two were rated worse than four stars. No program recruited better outside of its home state this year than Alabama, as is the case most years, and it’s safe to expect the Tide to continue its domination of the national landscape of college in the coming year.