SEC Spotlight: Summer recruiting scoop
With the summer recruiting season heading into its stretch run before the football season begins, our analysts look at the recruiting landscape in each Power Five conference. We add to the weeklong series today covering the SEC.
RELATED: Summer recruiting scoop in the ACC
THREE HOTTEST TEAMS...
1. Tennessee: The Volunteers have jumped out ahead of their SEC counterparts and kept going. The Vols started laying down the foundation this spring after landing five-star California QB Nico Iamaleava but momentum has begun to snowball this summer, with three pledges in June and six already in July.
2. LSU: The Tigers have sprung from just inside the top 40 in the Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings in mid-June to No. 9 overall. The coaching staff has done a great job filling in the class early with the program's top targets, with receivers coach Cortez Hankton landing dynamic four-star WR Jalen Brown out of South Florida being one such example.
3. Alabama: The Crimson Tide are also making quick work along the recruiting trail. With just three commits a month ago, Alabama has worked its way inside the top 15 of the team rankings. Even more impressive, 10 of its 12 commits are four-star prospects.
WATCH OUT FOR...
1. Alabama: As good as Alabama’s class is already, expect more fireworks out of Tuscaloosa. Head coach Nick Saban made a statement on Sunday landing running back Justice Haynes. Not only is Haynes the top-ranked back in the 2023 class, he’s from Georgia and a Bulldogs legacy. From the talk along the recruiting trail, this class could be pushing 20 verbal pledges by the end of the month.
2. Georgia: The Bulldogs are routinely landing top-five classes if not vying for the top spot in the team rankings year after year. The Bulldogs' current haul has pushed into the top 10 with 14 total commits and more high-profile prospects will be added. Flips aside, all eyes will be on five-star prospects such as DE Sam M’Pemba, ATH Nyckoles Harbor, OT Samson Okunola, and top in-state prospect DB Caleb Downs. The Bulldogs should see another handful of verbal commitments before we exit July. A concern right now, only two Peach State players are uncommitted, the aforementioned Downs and SDE Zavion Hardy. Clemson has landed three of the top 10 players out of Georgia which is a bitter pill to swallow for the defending national champs.
3. Texas A&M: After landing the top-ranked 2022 recruiting class, all eyes are on the Aggies to see if they can duplicate that success. On the positive, among the top 20 prospects in the Lone Star State, 10 remain uncommitted. Add that the Aggies can effectively recruit the nation, this is another program to watch out for going forward.
1. Texas A&M: Without speculating on silent commits, the Aggies have five prospects attached to their class which ranks No. 60 overall. Jimbo Fisher must feel the heat, especially with the Longhorns holding onto the third spot in the team rankings. There's still plenty of time for the Aggies to make up ground but, for now, one has to wonder what’s going on at College Station with just one commit so far this summer, three-star LB Daymion Sanford.
2. Auburn: Going into the summer, the Tigers had two commits, four-stars Bradyn Joiner and Terrance Love. The class doubled in July after commits from four-stars RB Jeremiah Cobb and WR Karmello English. Head coach Bryan Harsin is already on the proverbial hotseat, and a poor recruiting class will not help save him should Auburn stumble in the early part of the 2022 season. Auburn fans are not accustomed to seeing the Tigers' recruiting class ranked No. 67 overall this late in the process.
3. Missouri: The feel is Missouri will be fine when all is said and done. But fans have to be somewhat frustrated with the program's recruiting results so far in the 2023 class. Of the top 10 in-state prospects, Mizzou has landed only one, four-star TE Brett Norfleet. Four of the top 10 players remain uncommitted but the rest have saddled up with the likes of Tennessee, LSU, Oklahoma and Notre Dame.