SEC spotlight: Inside the recruiting numbers
The season may have just kicked off, but recruiting battles never stop in the SEC. Today we go inside the numbers to take a look at some facts and figures about the state of recruiting in the conference.
8 – Number of four-stars committed to Texas A&M
Texas A&M is doing a great job on the recruiting trail in the 2018 cycle, with 16 total commitments and the No. 13 spot in the Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings. But after Sunday night’s debacle in Los Angeles and Kevin Sumlin’s job status very much in question going forward, can the Aggies hang on to their class even if they turn things around? The thing working in the favor of the school is the fact that eight of the highest-ranked commits are from the state of Texas, which might mean their commitment to the school goes well beyond the current staff.
But anytime there’s uncertainty, or even the perception of uncertainty, it can lead to negative recruiting from opposing coaches, especially when it comes to the ruthless world of SEC recruiting. However, if the Aggies can rebound when it matters most, in SEC play, and Sumlin can save his job, the damage to the class will be negligible.
1 – The current position of Tennessee in the SEC team rankings
Usually by this time of year Alabama already has a healthy lead on the rest of the SEC when it comes to recruiting, but right now it’s the Vols that own the top spot. With 23 players already committed, the class is essentially complete but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the school upgrade a few spots by the time Signing Day rolls around. Plenty will ride on the Tennessee's on-field success this season when it comes to retaining some big names, but thanks to a class built on in-state commits like five-star Cade Mays, it’s tough to imagine many defectors regardless on how things play out on the field.
14 – The current position of Ole Miss in the SEC team rankings
With everything going on in Oxford it’s not a surprise to see Ole Miss at the bottom of the SEC in the Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings, but will it stay that way? Obviously the cloud of the NCAA investigation continues to hang over the program, giving opposing coaches all they need to recruit against the Rebels. But if the case can get wrapped up and the school can escape without another bowl ban, could Ole Miss sign a decent class? Obviously the coaching situation will have be sorted out and a lot of things will have to fall the Rebels' way for them to move up, but with a marquee player like quarterback Shea Patterson on the roster, things might not be as bleak as they seem come December.
11 - Alabama's active streak of finishing with a top 10 recruiting class
Alabama has finished with a a top-10 recruiting class for 11 straight years. The Crimson Tide finished second in 2015, fifth in 2010, 10th in 2007 and first in the other eight years Could that streak be broken in 2018?
Alabama only has 10 commitments, which is a low number for the program at this stage, and sits at No. 33 in the Rivals Team Recruiting Rankings. All but one of the current commits is a four-star, so it is more of a numbers thing right now for Alabama. The Crimson Tide are going to add over another dozen recruits to this class, which should give them a chance to keep this streak alive. Plus, most in this business would bet on Nick Saban to get the job done and that impressive win over Florida State could give them a little boost.
30 - Auburn signees out of Georgia since Malzahn took over
Auburn loves to recruit the state of Georgia. Since Gus Malzahn took over as head coach in 2013, the Tigers have signed 30 high school prospects out of the Peach State. The number would be a little higher if you counted junior college signees out of Georgia as well.
Defensive tackle Derrick Brown was a five-star, the No. 17-ranked prospect in 2016 and he is playing up to his ranking for the Tigers. A couple of wide receivers to keep an eye on are Darius Slayton (2015 class) and Kyle Davis (2016 class). Davis averaged 21 yards per catch in 2016 while Slayton averaged 20 yards per catch. Both have good length and could be on their way to productive careers on the Plains, but so far, Brown is the top signee out of Georgia for Malzahn.