National signing day is now behind us. That means it’s time to look at the SEC as a whole, and see how all the classes breakdown this year.
According to the 247Sports final rankings the SEC ended up with 11 classes in the top 25. That alone shows you why the level of play in the SEC is so high. All 14 schools finished in the top 40, with newcomer Missouri finishing the lowest at 38th. Kentucky ended up finishing ahead of Wisconsin, a traditional football school from the Big 10. There truly is no better football conference then the SEC.
Alabama led the way, as usual, with the number one overall recruiting class. Coming into the day they were behind Florida but made a surge as they landed five star linebacker Reuben Foster. Foster ended up being the Crimson Tide’s 6th five star recruit, which also led the nation. Florida made out just fine, finishing the day with the 4th overall recruiting class and 29 players signed.
The biggest surprise of the day was probably Ole Miss who climbed all the way to the nation’s 6th overall class. The day started off well for Ole Miss as they landed the nation’s number one recruit, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who affectionately referred to the Rebels as “the University of Ole Miss”. The Rebels finished the day with 4 five star players, including the number one offensive tackle, Laremy Tunsil, safety Tony Connor, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, and the aforementioned Nkemdiche.
LSU quietly ended up with the 7th overall class. They landed no five stars, but tied with Ohio State to lead the nation with 19 four star players. Newcomer Texas A&M rounded out the top 10 nationally, signing 32 players including one five star, ATH Ricky Seals-Jones.
Auburn, under first year head coach Gus Malzahn, had a surprisingly good day as well. They locked down five star defensive lineman Carl Lawson and closed the deal with four star running back Johnathan Ford. Malzahn was familiar with many of Auburn’s recruits as he had previously served as the team’s offensive coordinator before coaching Arkansas State for the 2012 season. Right behind Auburn was Georgia, who much like Texas A&M had a big class, also signing 32 players. Georgia was able to keep defensive lineman Davin Bellamy in state. Bellamy,who is from Atlanta, had been considering Tennessee but decided to stay closer to home.
South Carolina and Arkansas finished 21st and 22nd respectively. South Carolina had a relatively quiet day but a solid recruiting class nonetheless. They signed 4 four star players, including highly regarded linebacker Larenz Bryant from Charlotte, NC. Arkansas provided the most drama on the day as Alex Collins’ mother stole his letter of intent, wanting him to sign with Miami instead. He finally ended up signing on Thursday but not before providing of one of National Signing Days’ stranger headlines.
Mississippi State was one of the bigger surprises on signing day as well. They had the 24th ranked class and signed one five star player, defensive end Chris Jones. Since taking over as head coach Dan Mullen has steadily improved Mississippi State’s program and recruited better each year.
Rounding out the top 25 were the Tennessee Volunteers who missed out on their lone five star target of the day, safety Vonn Bell, but did sign one the top players in the state of North Carolina in Marquez North. You can find more on the Vol’s signing day here Tennessee Volunteers signing day recap.
Vanderbilt had their highest finish in the recruiting rankings in recent years, finishing 30th. The Commodore’s biggest signing of the day was four star wide receiver Jordan Cunningham, who chose Vanderbilt over Florida State and Stanford.
One of the biggest flips of the day came when Jason Hatcher decided to attend Kentucky over USCw. Hatcher had been recruited by Tee Martin at both USC and previously at Kentucky when Martin was the wide receivers coach with the Wildcats. Hatcher’s signing brought Kentucky’s class to 36th in the final rankings.
Rounding out the SEC teams was newcomer Missouri. Despite finishing last in the SEC and 38th in the final rankings, the Tigers finished above teams such as California, TCU, and Louisville. Missouri signed two four stars and 20 players overall.