The SEC is a hotbed for recruiting.
Many of the country’s best football talents reside in the South. Most of the schools in the SEC have a good football tradition with their programs, attracting talented players.
Many 5-star players choose a school in the south to play their college ball. Not all highly ranked recruits pan out, but many have had successful careers in the SEC.
Let’s take a look at all the 5-star players from 2013 to 2017 that are still playing in the SEC (in order of recruiting service rankings from 247 Sports at the time):
Robert Foster — Alabama WR
Foster has underwhelmed at this point after his shoulder injury as a sophomore, but he looks poised for a breakout senior season with ArDarius Stewart and O.J. Howard gone.
Da’Shawn Hand — Alabama DE
It will be interesting to see how the story unfolds for one of Alabama’s most experienced defensive linemen in 2017 after he recently was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
Tony Brown — Alabama CB
Brown and the secondary should be the strength of the Alabama defense after crucial losses at linebacker and the defensive line.
Rashaan Evans — Alabama LB
For a linebacker, Evans has outstanding speed and should be part of the new faces seen on Alabama’s defense.
I'll win the Butkus Award
— Rashaan Evans (@616evans4) February 22, 2017
Bo Scarbrough — Alabama RB
Like Derrick Henry, Eddie Lacy, Trent Richardson and other great Alabama running backs, Scarbrough is a force. He was ‘Bama’s top runner late in the 2016 season, but he’ll likely share the load in 2017.
Lorenzo Carter — Georgia DE
Many expected Carter to leave early for the NFL. He returned and will be one of the centerpieces of coach Kirby Smart’s defense.
Sony Michel — Georgia RB
It’s not out of the realm of possibility for both Michel and Nick Chubb to exceed 1,000 rushing yards in 2017. Michel was the higher-rated back coming out of high school.
Tre’ Williams — Auburn LB
With 36 games of experience, he needs to be a standout for coach Gus Malzahn’s defense this season.
Nick Chubb – Georgia RB
He’s not going to catch Herschel Walker’s rushing record, but Chubb will be beloved by Bulldog fans if he can help bring home a SEC title in his final year.
Trenton Thompson — Georgia DT
Thompson had a breakout sophomore season, sharing the team lead with Carter in sacks (5.0), and could be a part of a dominant Georgia defensive line.
Martez Ivey — Florida OL
Ivey started at guard but is transitioning to tackle this season.
Byron Cowart — Auburn DT
Cowart is moving inside to defensive tackle this season after playing defensive end his first two years.
Kahlil McKenzie — Tennessee DT
Derek Barnett is gone and the Volunteers need an elite pass rusher to emerge. Coach Butch Jones and company are looking at McKenzie to be the guy.
Cece Jefferson — Florida DE
Jefferson needs to apply more pressure to quarterbacks in Year 3.
Kevin Toliver II — LSU CB
Toliver is trying to finish 2017 injury-free after the injury-filled 2016 season.
Calvin Ridley — Alabama WR
Ridley might be the best wide receiver in college football. His numbers dipped last season, but he’s still the most dangerous target Jalen Hurts has.
Terry Beckner Jr. — Missouri DT
Beckner hopes to play a full season without encountering an injury, unlike the first two seasons of his career.
Daylon Mack — Texas A&M DT
Mack needs some more highlights in 2017 to add to his reel.
Christian Kirk — Texas A&M WR
Kirk returns as one of the most explosive wide receivers/returners in the SEC.
Terry Godwin — Georgia WR
Godwin looks to become a favorite target of quarterback Jacob Eason this season.
Da’Ron Payne — Alabama DT
Nick Saban is counting on Payne to become the next stellar defensive lineman.
Minkah Fitzpatrick — Alabama S
Fitzpatrick always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He led the SEC with 6 interceptions last season, including two he returned for touchdowns.
Damien Harris — Alabama RB
Harris is the lightning piece of the Crimson Tide rushing attack.
Greg Little — Ole Miss OT
Little looks to keep Shea Patterson out of harm’s way in 2017.
Shea Patterson — Ole Miss QB
Patterson is talented, but will the outside distractions be too much for him to handle?
Jacob Eason — Georgia QB
Can Eason lead the Bulldogs to a SEC Championship during his sophomore season?
Derrick Brown — Auburn DT
Brown was a standout in the classroom as a freshman and looks to translate that to the field in 2017.
Ben Davis — Alabama LB
Davis has a lot to improve on as a linebacker if he wants to start at Alabama.
Isaac Nauta — Georgia TE
Named to the Mackey Award watch list in Year 2, not bad.
Mecole Hardman Jr. — Georgia WR
As a sophomore, Hardman has changed sides of the ball and will try to make an impact at receiver.
Mack Wilson — Alabama LB
Wilson wants to be more than a backup and special teams hitman.
Jonah Williams — Alabama OT
Williams came all the way from California to start as a freshman for Nick Saban. This year, he’ll likely slide from right tackle to left tackle.
McTelvin Agim — Arkansas DL
Agim has to be a force for the Arkansas defense or the Razorbacks are in trouble.
Jeffery Simmons — Mississippi State DL
Simmons did not record a sack as a freshman.
Kristian Fulton — LSU CB
Fulton has the frame to be a nuisance in the Tigers secondary.
Rashard Lawrence — LSU OL
Coach Ed Orgeron likes Lawrence’s improvement.
Benito Jones — Ole Miss DL
What will Jones and the Rebels defense look like without Dave Wommack leading the charge.
Najee Harris — Alabama RB
It’s hard to get touches as a freshman running back at Alabama, but Harris might be the exception. He stood out in Alabama’s A-Day game.
Alex Leatherwood — Alabama OL
As a freshman, Leatherwood will likely provide depth.
Trey Smith — Tennessee OG
Smith is going to be a wrecking ball at guard for many years to come.
Dylan Moses — Alabama LB
Moses likely won’t start, but he could see some important game action.
Isaiah Wilson — Georgia OL
Wilson could be in the mix on the offensive line when the season rolls around.
Jerry Jeudy — Alabama WR
Jeudy enrolled in the spring to get a better grasp of the offense. He was a force in the A-Day Game.
Richard LeCounte III — Georgia S
As a high school safety, LeCounter was named All-USA Team first-team defense.
LaBryan Ray — Alabama DE
Ray had a number of SEC schools vying for his services up front, but he ultimately chose Alabama.
Calvin Ashley — Auburn OT
Ashley could redshirt in 2017.
All recruits are based on 247 Sports composite rankings