WATCH: Video highlights of every 5-star who signed with an SEC team
National Signing Day is complete, and while it has been watered down a bit from the Early Signing Period, it still signals the end of the recruiting season (unless someone’s mom runs away with their letter of intent). In celebration of this glorious day where future national championships will be claimed on message boards, we’ve decided to highlight the best players coming in 2018.
There are 29 5-star recruits in 2018 according to 247Sports, and 10 signed with SEC schools.
Georgia signed seven of them, the most by any program since 247Sports.com began tracking in 2000.
Let’s take a look at the future of the SEC.
QB Justin Fields, Georgia, No. 2 overall
Justin Fields is one of the most explosive athletes to come to the SEC in recent memory, and to make things more interesting, he’s a quarterback. The 6-3, 221-pound gunslinger already has the body of an NFL QB and the athleticism of someone like Jalen Hurts. Now he has the opportunity to refine his skills behind returning sophomore Jake Fromm, but there’s no doubt that Georgia OC Jim Chaney will find a way to work in Fields. Watch how he effortlessly pushes the ball down the field at various distances, and the patience he uses with his legs before kicking it into high gear.
DE Eyabi Anoma, Alabama, No. 4 overall
Standing at 6-5, 235 pounds, the slender, powerful defensive end made a habit out of embarrassing high school competition. He has the strength and technique to push blockers into their QB, and the moves to quickly dispose of them en route to a sack. His best attribute on tape, however, is the speed he moves with at such a large size. Watch him sniff out wide receiver screens and chase down scrambling QBs from the other side of the play. Anoma could be the next in a long line of freakish defensive linemen for Alabama, and he’ll only get bigger and stronger when he gets on the weight program in Tuscaloosa.
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CB Patrick Surtain Jr., Alabama, No. 6 overall
It’s always fun to watch the kids of NFL players perfect what their dads have taught them, and Surtain is no exception. Patrick Surtain made three Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams with the Miami Dolphins in the early 2000s. Surtain Jr., who flipped from LSU to Alabama, has natural ball-hawking skills, and his soft hands and knack for reading a quarterback’s eyes make him even more deadly. At 6-1, 199, he is equally dangerous with the ball in his hands, which can turn a quarterback’s mistaken gamble into six points for Surtain’s team – and it also makes him a weapon in the return game.
RB Zamir White, Georgia, No. 9 overall
Zamir White had his senior year cut short by an ACL tear. He is a stocky back at 6-1, 220 pounds, but what sticks out the most is his vision. This highlight tape is pretty sick overall, but notice how he patiently finds the hole and then accelerates through the second level. Though the athletes get bigger and more skilled at the next level, vision and instincts never go out of style – and White has both in spades. He’s incredible at patiently navigating a play and manipulating it for the best outcome. If the defense makes an error in containing him, it’s a long run for six.
OG Jamaree Salyer, Georgia, No. 10 overall
Offensive guards rarely have highlights beyond them just bowling people over, but Jamaree Salyer is the whole package. Salyer is the heaviest 5-star this cycle, checking in at 6-4, 342 pounds. He uses that mass to near perfection in the tape, getting inside leverage to become an immovable wall in pass protection and an unstoppable force while run blocking. Because of his size and technique, it’s pretty impossible to get penetration when a run is called in his direction. Salyer will be paving the way for Georgia’s dynamic backs for years to come.
CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia, No. 12 overall
National Signing Day yielded more of the same for Georgia, as Tyson Campbell became their seventh 5-star prospect. Kirby Smart is building a machine in Athens, and it starts on defense, where the former defensive back has been beating the likes of Alabama and Ohio State to the punch all recruiting season. Campbell, a high school teammate of Surtain, will be yet another cornerstone for an already loaded Georgia defense that will be a monster for years to come. The big, 6-2 corner is fast, dynamic, and a sure tackler capable of wrapping up and jarring the ball loose with a head-on hit. Georgia got another beast here.
WR Terrace Marshall, LSU, No. 13 overall
LSU continues to bring in 5-star receivers at a rate that could rival any school in the country. The story has remained the same: If the Tigers can find a quarterback, the rest of the conference could be in trouble. This remains true with Terrance Marshall, who plays even bigger than his 6-2.5 frame with long arms and freakish athleticism. His size, speed and perception make him the whole package, and it can be seen on screen passes and go routes. Just look at those high point catches – Randy Moss would be proud.
OLB Adam Anderson, Georgia, No. 18 overall
Georgia wracked up 5-stars at a rate that would make Alabama jealous, and Adam Anderson is certainly a part of that. He showed a nose for the football and surprisingly soft hands for a linebacker. There’s a mental timer you need, and Anderson has a knack for destroying that timing. He excels in live ball situations, or when he has to make a decision or clean up a tackle. Part of that is instincts, part of it is intellect, and part of it is a refusal to quit on a play.
OT Cade Mays, Georgia, No. 22 overall
Again, blue-chip offensive linemen almost always have impressive high school tape as they just bulldoze the competition. That being said, Mays’ tape is 10/10 laugh out loud funny as he throws normal sized teens by the wayside. You could really put some Benny Hill music or, even better, John Cena’s theme song, and just watch the 6-6 Mays make defenders realize this whole football thing isn’t for them. Even more terrifying for the rest of the SEC, Kirby Smart has brought several prospects like this to Athens in just two years since he took over. Their practices must be fun to watch.
DE Brenton Cox, Georgia, No. 23 overall
The rich get richer. Brenton Cox is certainly big, at nearly 6-5, 247, but he really excels at shedding blockers and using his technique to finesse his way to the quarterback. With elite size, speed and intangibles, Cox will be a weapon in Smart’s already loaded defense for years to come.