Recruiting by position: Wide receivers
No matter what recruiting service at which you look, the SEC has as many as 10 programs in the top-25 and seven in the top-14 of the 2015 rankings.
While you may or may not put a lot of stock into rankings, there’s no question the SEC recruits better than any other conference in the country.
With National Signing Day less than a month away, Saturday Down South looks at the top 20 prospects at each position group and how many will or could play for SEC teams in 2015.
Editor’s Note: Below is a list of the consensus top 20 wide receivers across all three major recruiting services: 247Sports, Rivals and Scout.
Wide Receivers: SEC teams will reel in 35 percent of the nation’s top receivers. Several uncommitted prospects considering SEC programs remain.
Uncommitted Targets: Five uncommitted targets in are in the top 20 wideouts in the Class of 2015. SEC targets DaMarkus Lodge and Ryan Davis have yet to make their announcement, in addition to Daylon Charlot. Other uncommitted prospects include John Burt and Equanimeous St. Brown.
Top 20 wide receivers
1. Calvin Ridley, Alabama — Ridley had just one catch in last week’s Under Armour All-America Game, but he showed all he needed to show on the one catch, throwing an impressive stiff arm on the defender. He’ll be a valuable weapon for Lane Kiffin at Alabama.
2. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M — Kirk is considered by many to be the top receiver in the class, and Aggies fans got an early look at the future in College Station as Kirk and quarterback Kyler Murray teamed up at the Under Armour events.
3. Tyron Johnson, LSU — The Bayou Bengals picked up a huge commitment from Johnson, a native of New Orleans, last week. The speedster will compliment deep threats Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre in 2015.
4. Deon Cain, Clemson — Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney grabbed this five-star from Tampa, Fla. to team up with returning quarterback Deshaun Watson.
5. Preston Williams, Tennessee — A tall, slender target outside, Williams has the capability to be an instant-impact kind of player for Tennessee next year, giving quarterback Joshua Dobbs a playmaker on the perimeter of the field.
6. George Campbell, Florida State — Campbell is an athletic receiver who is talented at going up and getting the football. The Seminoles have questions at quarterback with the recent announcement of Jameis Winston’s departure.
7. DaMarkus Lodge, uncommitted — Lodge is widely considered the top uncommitted wideout. The Cedar Hill, Texas native is considering a number of schools, with SEC programs LSU, Ole Miss and Texas A&M figured to be near the top of his list.
8. Trent Irwin, Stanford — Irwin is the typical Stanford player recruited under former coach Jim Harbaugh and current CEO David Shaw. Irwin will add a blue-collar mentality to the skill positions for the Cardinal.
9. Da’Vante Phillips, Florida State — Phillips is a budding star from Miami, Fla. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher continues to recruit well.
10. John Burt, uncommitted — The hometown Florida State Seminoles are trying to nab this Tallahassee product. Burt’s considering seven SEC schools, among them Auburn, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
11. Alex Ofodile, Oregon — With quarterback Marcus Mariota departing, Ofodile heads to Eugene looking to keep the Ducks a contender.
12. Van Jefferson, Georgia — Jefferson is committed to Georgia, but reports in recent weeks have the Ravenwood High School star seriously considering Ole Miss. Can the Bulldogs hang on to the four-star?
13. Equanimeous St. Brown, uncommitted — The four-star from Anaheim, Calif., is big — he stands 6-foot-5. It seems likely he’ll end up elsewhere than the SEC.
14. Carlos Strickland, Texas Tech — The Skyline High School star is a huge pickup for Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech. The Dallas, Texas product is the No. 2 receiver in the Lone Star State.
15. Darius Slayton, Georgia — The Atlanta, Ga., product is solid with the Bulldogs and adds some needed talent to the Georgia receiving corps.
16. Ryan Davis, uncommitted — Davis is likely a slot receiver at the next level. Two SEC receivers are believed to be in his top five of Alabama, Ole Miss, Miami (FL), Maryland and Florida State.
17. Daylon Charlot, uncommitted — Charlot is the most versatile player of the group. He set an Under Armour game record in punt return yards last week, showing his speed and shiftiness in the open field. The Louisiana native is considering LSU, Alabama and Miami (FL).
18. Juwan Johnson, Penn State — James Franklin picked up a big commitment from the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Johnson. The New Jersey product could have an early impact in Happy Valley.
19. K.J. Hill, Arkansas — Hill had a good showing at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, and adds a playmaking ability to the Hogs’ skill positions.
20. Miles Boykin, Notre Dame — Boykin’s a big, athletic target outside that could be a star in South Bend for quarterback Malik Zaire.