The pomp of Early Signing Day is now done and dusted. We saw quite a lot of movement occur on all ends inside the SEC. So what exactly are we sure of now? Well, great question. Here are a couple of big nuggets from Wednesday.
Alabama is the top of the class... again
Yeah, shocking right? Not so much. The Alabama Crimson Tide currently have the top-ranked class on 247Sports and that probably isn’t going to change after February. Despite the efforts of the Georgia Bulldogs and Texas A&M Aggies, among others, ‘Bama has one of their best classes ever — if not the best class ever — coming into Tuscaloosa in 2019. It is headlined by running back Trey Sanders, Evan Neal and Antonio Alfano, all of whom signed their NLI’s. Oh and Taulia Tagovailoa signed as well. You might know him as Tua Tagovailoa’s brother There are blue-chips everywhere, so if you think that train is stopping anytime soon... got some bad news for you, brother.
That being said, Georgia has a great class, too
The Dawgs were able to get inside linebacker Nakobe Dean, the top ILB in the class, to come to Athens. In addition, Nolan Smith, the top player in the class of 2019, signed his NLI to go to UGA. Travon Walker and fellow five-star Dominick Blaylock also made their stamps official, as well. UGA has a slew of talent coming through Athens and that shouldn’t be particularly surprising.
Texas A&M held on to 3rd for now, but LSU shot up to 4th
Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher picked up plenty of promising players on Wednesday, but it’s the LSU Tigers who made quite a few splashes themselves. LSU now has three five-stars signed on in Derek Stingley, John Emery Jr. and Kardell Thomas. Marcel Brooks, a supremely athletic and gifted outside linebacker came aboard, as well as did Peter Parrish, Siaki Ika and others.
More importantly, LSU hit Louisiana hard, gathering six of the Top 10 players in the state, including four of the Top 5. So they got themselves a REALLY strong class AND hit in-state recruiting extremely well.
Auburn cleaned up very nicely, as did Florida
The Auburn Tigers were able to pick up outside linebacker Owen Pappoe, signing the best OLB in the country in the process. He’s the lone five-star in the class but certainly it’s not a class absent of talent. They also signed the No. 1 dual threat QB in Bo Nix, and Top 100 player Jaren Handy, a strong side defensive end out of Hattiesburg. Handy signed early and it was considered to be a surprise that he locked in so early, so that’s a big W for Gus Malzahn and the Tigers.
The Florida Gators landed a couple of talented players as well. Deyavie Hammond, Lloyd Summerall and Keon Zipperer all committed on Thursday, as Dan Mullen racked up some big recruiting victories. There are no five stars in this class or any Top 100 players, but UF definitely has a decent amount of four-stars they’ll be able to use at their disposal starting next season now.
Despite poor seasons, Tennessee and Arkansas did REALLY well
Among several others. And that’s with the knowledge that neither of these teams were particularly great last year. In fact, Tennessee and Arkansas both are in the Top 20 as of now! That’s pretty wild! Especially for Arkansas, who has cleaned up with eight four-star players in their class. Seems clear that Chad Morris is doing quite well even with all those losses they took hanging over their heads. Same goes for Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee.
On the whole...
The conference did very well. Its lowest ranked team, the Vanderbilt Commodores, are currently 51st in the nation in the rankings. 1-9 are in the Top 20, 1-11 are in the Top 25, and 1-13 go from 1st through 34th (the Missouri Tigers hold that honor and distinction). It’s clear that the conference is set up very nicely for the future, and, hey, what a surprise that is.