Breaking down the SEC contenders for nation's top recruiting class
As things stand right now, there are four SEC football programs with at least puncher’s chance (or better) to finish with the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class for the 2016 cycle.
The Tigers are already No. 2 (247Sports Composite rankings) and have been No. 1 for a spell off and on during this cycle. Here’s the deal: There aren’t very many programs out there that are in on as many big-time prospects that already have a lofty recruiting ranking as it is like LSU does. Five-star defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence is on deck to commit and there are others who could follow. Consider the Tigers the odds-on favorite to finish with the top-ranked class in the SEC and thus to contend for the top-ranked class in the country.
Could the Bulldogs actually sign the nation’s top-ranked class while undergoing a coaching change for the first time since 1999? Yes, it could happen. Georgia has elite talent to get and already is No. 7 nationally, well within striking distance. The Dawgs have to close on guys like Derrick Brown, Mecole Hardman Jr. and others to make this happen, but Kirby Smart could very well ink the top class in the country right out of the gates, which is unprecedented in a situation like this.
The Crimson Tide has signed five consecutive top-ranked classes and while it would take a huge finish with several surprises, one would not be wise to rule out a sixth. Bama currently sits at only 16 commits and is ranked No. 10 nationally, so if the Tide can add a bunch of headliners during the next two weeks, then look for them to make a push to be No. 1.
The Rebels, who currently are No. 5, are in that “puncher’s chance” category as they would have to get every priority remaining on their board, including No. 1 overall prospect Rashan Gary, the state’s No. 1 prospect Jeffery Simmons and California linebacker Mique Juarez, to have a chance to finish at the top. Still, this class is special top to bottom regardless of where it ends up ranked and regardless of who else ends up being a part of it.