Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide have once again finished National Signing Day with the top ranked class. Bama was tops in the 247Sports Composite, which is what we use around here for recruiting stuff since it combines all the rating services, but it also was first in 247Sports's own ratings, Rivals, and Scout. Only in ESPN's ratings among the big four did the Tide not finish first, and it wound up second.
Here is how all of the SEC teams did in the 247Sports Composite. The change is relative to where they were at the beginning of the day on Tuesday, the day before signing day.
The SEC took up half of the top ten. That matches the five from last year, but it's off of the high of seven in 2014. The last time the conference had less than half the top ten was 2012, when only Alabama (1), Florida (4), and Georgia (8) made it up that high.
LSU had been the leader in the ratings for a while, but it couldn't overcome the late pushes from Alabama and No. 2 team Florida State. Ole Miss had been holding down the fourth spot for a time, but it fell behind Bama and Michigan. The Wolverines signed a larger class (29) but had a lower average rating (89.86) than the Rebels did (90.92).
Georgia had a nice finish, with Kirby Smart building on a nice foundation that Mark Richt left behind. Getting three 5-stars in a transitional class is pretty much unheard of, and the transitional class is supposed to be the disappointing one that head coaches get a pass for later. UGA may not even be done, as 5-star wideout Demetris Robertson chose not to sign yesterday. He may be waiting to see if he can get into Stanford academically, and he's also considering Alabama and Notre Dame in addition to the Bulldogs and Cardinal.
Auburn closed well, picking up five players on NSD. The headliner was Derrick Brown, a 5-star DT from Georgia who had also been considering UGA. Florida did not close well, however, tumbling the most of any SEC team in the rankings. The Gators did get a boost from swinging 4-star wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland away from Houston, but they lost 4-star DT Shaver Manuel to rival FSU and 3-star CB Aaron Robinson to Alabama.
Tennessee closed well in securing a top-15 finish despite signing a class that's on the smaller side. It was not a great finish for Texas A&M, though, which finished in the high teens despite signing the same number as the Vols did. This is the lowest finish in the rankings of the Kevin Sumlin era, with even his transitional class ending up 16th. To add insult to injury, Texas had a huge day and surged from the 30s all the way up to No. 11.
Among the rest of the conference, Mississippi State had the best close of anyone after surging nine spots in the rankings. MSU picked up some high quality beef yesterday in 5-star DE Jeffery Simmons and 4-star DT Kobe Jones. Those gets ease the sting some of losing Starkville's own 4-star WR A.J. Brown to Ole Miss.
For the first time since 2009, the SEC didn't end up with the Composite's No. 1 overall recruit. Back then, it was Matt Barkley going to USC. This year, it was New Jersey DT Rashan Gary choosing Michigan.