Average recruiting class rank for every SEC coach
The SEC head coaches have a vast range of experience with their current programs, ranging from one signed recruiting class (Derek Mason) to 14 (Mark Richt, Gary Pinkel).
We ranked the coaches by average recruiting class, based on the 247Sports Composite team rankings. A remarkable five SEC coaches haul in recruiting classes in the Top 10 on an annual basis, while three SEC East schools bring up the rear.
Here are the rankings, with the number of completed years in parentheses.
1. Nick Saban, Alabama: 3.4 (8 years)
2. Mark Richt, Georgia: 7.9 (14 years)
3. Les Miles, LSU: 8 (10 years)
4. Gus Malzhan, Auburn: 8 (Two years)
5. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M: 9.3 (Three years)
6. Butch Jones, Tennessee: 16.5 (Two years)
7. Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss: 20.7 (Three years)
8. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina: 21 (10 years)
9. Bret Bielema, Arkansas: 26 (Two years)
10. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State: 28.5 (Six years)
11. Mark Stoops, Kentucky: 32 (Two years)
12. Gary Pinkel, Missouri: 35.8 (14 years)
13. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt: 45 (One year)
NA. Jim McElwain, Florida: — (Hired in December)
- Butch Jones. A national recruiting powerhouse, he currently ranks outside the SEC’s Top 5 by a decent margin, thanks to a first-year scramble that left his hands tied in 2013. The Vols finished with the 24th-ranked class that year, but are poised to improve on last year’s No. 7 overall finish.
- Hugh Freeze. The Rebels coach lifted expectations in Oxford with a monster 2013 class, but that wasn’t a one-hit wonder. Much like Jones, a rough first year (No. 47 in 2012) combined with just three full recruiting classes heading into Wednesday limits him to an average outside of the Top 20. He should make it three consecutive classes better than that.
- Gary Pinkel. The Tigers are on the verge of Pinkel’s best recruiting class ever (No. 22 in 2011) if the team can land five-star DT Terry Beckner Jr. Either way, Missouri is leveraging back-to-back SEC division titles, and the relatively new conference, to trend upward in recruiting.
- Gus Malzahn. For all the recruiting buzz surrounding new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, there’s a good chance Auburn will finish below Malzahn’s two-year average, even if the team lands one or two high-profile uncommitted players Wednesday. It’ll be close.
- Jim McElwain: He inherited a class with just eight commitments and hovering outside the Top 80 when he took over in December. His mad scramble has produced moderate success that could turn even better with a few five-star additions on National Signing Day.
- Mark Stoops. He’s gotten praise for bringing in some decent recruiting classes to Lexington, but after letting Alabama swoop in and air-lift five-star RB Damien Harris, the Wildcats could more than double last year’s No. 22 ranking.
- Derek Mason: Typically a second-year head coach is in good position to improve on his first effort, particularly when the previous coach, James Franklin, decimated the 2014 class by redirecting a lot of the commitments to Penn State. But there’s a strong chance Mason could finish with a worse-ranked ’15 class.