Recruiting Round Up: January 12

As an introduction to this week's rankings, I'm going to explain something that seems to be causing a lot of confusion around the Internet: the scholarship limits on incoming classes.

Every school has a limit of 85 total scholarships at any one time (unless sanctions have lowered that number). That is why teams sometimes sign well below the per-year limits. There may just not be room on the squad for more.

The NCAA has a limit of 25 scholarships per year. This actually doesn't relate to when the players begin playing, it simply means each year is a bucket with room for 25 scholarships. Every scholarship an athlete gets must be put into a particular year's bucket.

The SEC has a new restriction of no more than 28 players signed per year. That largely came in response to Ole Miss signing 37 players last year, a number that's comically over the NCAA's limit and was a clear signal that the school never intended for everyone to make it in the class. The limit means that on each signing day from here on out, schools may have no more than 28 signed letters of intent.

The big difference here is between scholarships and signings. That's why teams can sign more players than the NCAA allows scholarships per year. Imagine that a school signs 26 players next month. It's under the SEC's cap of 28 signed players, so the school is good on that front. However, it's one over the amount that the NCAA allows for 2010's scholarship bucket. What now?

If the school has players that enrolled early already this month, it can count those scholarships towards 2009's bucket if it wasn't full. If the school has an early enrolling player and 2009 had 24 scholarships counting towards it, then the school can count that player's scholarship towards 2009. It will then it has 25 scholarships in both 2009's and 2010's buckets.

If 2009 was full already and a player doesn't qualify academically, then the school can have that guy delay enrolling and count towards the 2011 scholarship bucket (a practice unofficially known as "gray shirting"). He signed in 2010, so he counts towards 2010 for the SEC's purposes, but since his entry to school was delayed, he counts towards 2011 for the NCAA's purposes.

The key takeaway is that a player can count towards one year in relation to the NCAA's limit while counting towards a different year in relation to the SEC's limit. It's a bit messy, but just about everything in recruiting is.

The SEC member schools' current recruiting rankings according to each service are after the jump. It was a big week for Florida especially as a trio of five star commitments (DE Ronald Powell, S Matt Elam, and DT Sharrif Floyd) at the Army All-American Game vaulted UF to being a consensus No. 1 among all three. Tennessee also climbed significantly thanks to adding S Ahmad Dixon and reclaiming the commitment of DT Brandon Willis, so UT is now just outside the top five in all services as well.

RIVALS

Overall Team Rankings

1. Florida (+4 spots over last week)

3. Alabama (-1)

5. Auburn (-2)

6. Tennessee (+5)

9. LSU (-1)

10. Georgia (-3)

26. South Carolina (+7)

34. Ole Miss (+1)

45. Mississippi State (-5)

55. Kentucky (-1)

59. Arkansas (-3)

76. Vanderbilt (-5)

Top Ten Most Highly Ranked Players Committed to SEC Schools

5. DE Ronald Powell, Florida

8. DB Keenan Allen, Alabama

9. DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida

13. WR Da'Rick Rogers, Georgia

14. DB Matt Elam, Florida

17. RB Michael Dyer, Auburn

21. DeMarcus Milliner, Alabama

23. DB Joshua Shaw, Florida

27. DE Corey Miller, Tennessee

33. DE T.J. Stripling, Georgia

SCOUT

Overall Team Rankings

1. Florida (+3)

4. Alabama (-1)

6. LSU (+1)

7. Tennessee (+10)

9. Auburn (-)

10. Georgia (-4)

31. South Carolina (-)

33. Ole Miss (-)

40. Vanderbilt (-1)

44. Kentucky (-1)

49. Arkansas (+3)

51. Mississippi St. (-6)

Top Ten Most Highly Ranked Players Committed to SEC Schools

4. DE Ronald Powell, Florida

10. S Matt Elam, Florida

12. S Alec Ogletree, Georgia

16. DT Garrison Smith, Georgia

18. CB DeMarcus Milliner, Alabama

26. RB Michael Dyer, Auburn

34. DE Jacques Smith, Tennessee

35. WR Chris Dunkley, Florida

38. DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida

42. RB Mack Brown, Florida

ESPN

Note: ESPN has not updated its team rankings since last week. I am reprinting them here for convenience.

Overall Team Rankings

1. Florida

3. Alabama

4. Georgia

6. Tennessee

7. LSU

9. Auburn

15. South Carolina

Top Ten Most Highly Ranked Players Committed to SEC Schools

3. DE Ronald Powell, Florida

7. RB Michael Dyer, Auburn

8. S Jonathan Dowling, Florida

11. S Demar Dorsey, Florida

12. WR Chris Dunkley, Florida

13. ATH Matt Elam, Florida

15. S Ahmad Dixon, Tennessee

17. RB Mack Brown, Florida

20. CB DeMarcus Milliner, Alabama

22. OT Ian Silberman, Florida

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