SEC Spotlight: Three teams with work to do before NSD
The spring wave of commitments has brought the SEC’s average class size up to 12.7 prospects per team, but some programs within the conference are lagging behind that mark. Here are three SEC teams programs that need to do the most work yet in the class of 2021.
RELATED: Big Ten teams with work to do
CLASS OF 2022: Top 100
Vanderbilt’s academic standards make recruiting tricky at times, but last place in the SEC is no place to be. The Commodores currently boast just eight verbal commitments with none of them being ranked higher than three stars. While the recruiting effects of last year’s 3-9 finish may be being felt, there’s still plenty of time to get things turned around before Signing Day. That said, it’s starting to look like an uphill battle for Derek Mason and company. Wide receiver Jack Bech could be in for a bump in ranking when the rankings update. Meanwhile, the Commodores also recently made the top six for Florida-based lineman Ethan Mort. Three don’t seem to be many class-headliner types left on the board for Vandy, but that could certainly change down the stretch. Mason and company may need to hit on a few diamond-in-the-rough types to salvage this cycle.
This will be Lane Kiffin’s first full class as the head coach in Oxford, so the Rebel Nation is eager to see what he and his staff can do on the recruiting trail. Things picked up some in June with a couple of commits, but with the staff new at Ole Miss, Kiffin and Co. really needed that spring evaluation period and for prospects to be able to visit. That has not happened yet, and it is still unknown when on-campus visits will resume. That could be crucial this cycle at Ole Miss. They are in the mix for some talented prospects, and Kiffin is expected to recruit well, so there will be a lot of eyes on him in the coming months.
Antonio Harmon is another in-state four-star wideout and Ole Miss is very involved there. When looking outside the state of Mississippi, they are very much in the mix for offensive tackle Roderick Orr and athlete Christian Burkhalter in Alabama and prospects like safety Sirad Bryant and four-star wide receiver Deion Colzie from Georgia.
Georgia is currently No. 5 in the SEC and No. 20 overall. That is not bad, but Kirby Smart has set the bar high and the Bulldog fans are getting a little restless. They did not land a commitment in June, and although news could get better in July and August, Georgia has been hurt by recruits not being able to visit Athens. Smart and his staff are known for connecting with parents, so not being able to do that in person since early March has slowed their recruiting class down some.
The one that stings most in Athens to date may be top 100 in-state linebacker Barrett Carter, who committed to Clemson late in the spring. Five-star cornerback Tony Grimes committing to North Carolina was a blow as well.
They will not sign a full 25 this cycle, and yes, they have nine commits now which is closing in on half of their class, but Georgia is not expected ever to be at No. 20 in the country these days.
They could be in line for good news in the near future. Linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson is committing this week and there is a lot of buzz around the Bulldogs. National tight end Brock Bowers is high on UGA, elite hybrid James Williams has Georgia in his top two and elite offensive tackle Amarius Mims is an in-state target announcing Aug. 15 that is high on the Bulldogs. Let re-check this list in two months to see where the Bulldogs sit. It is likely to be higher.