Wednesday, December 11, 2013
SEC class rankings analysis
By Gerry Hamilton
Like the last few weeks, all 14 teams in the SEC have a spot in the RecruitingNation class rankings. Of course, Alabama remains on top of the rankings with Tennessee, Texas A&M, Georgia and Auburn all in the top 10.
Trending up: After flipping Kalvarez Bessent (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County) from Alabama, Auburn is up to No. 9 nationally in the class rankings, as well as No. 5 in the SEC. The climb will likely continue as the Tigers have prospects like No. 12 overall Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), No. 61 Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman), No. 84 Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Al./Auburn) and No. 201 Dontavius Russell (Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton) remaining on the board.
Trending down: Kentucky. While the Wildcats currently sit at No. 17 nationally, there are only two or three spots remaining in the class. That means that Kentucky is in a position to get passed by programs with more spots remaining. With that being said, the Wildcats have a shot to finish in the top 25 of the class rankings for the first time if they can close with Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin) plus one or two others.
One to watch: South Carolina is the pick here. The Gamecocks currently sit at No. 29 nationally, and don’t have many spots remaining. While there is a numbers crunch, Steve Spurrier and staff are in on No. 86 overall and Florida commit Chris Lammons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Plantation), No. 88 D.J. Smith (Marietta, Ga./Walton), No. 91 Dante Sawyer (Suwannee, Ga./North Gwinnett), No. 108 Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock) and No. 120 Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King). The Gamecocks could surge past Kentucky if they can close on a strong note.
December commits: Four key prospects that could have an affect on the class rankings are set to decide in the next couple of weeks. Offensive tackle and No. 18-ranked David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) is set to announce Thursday with the Florida Gators considered as the favorite. No. 39 prospect Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach Lakes, Fla./Dwyer) pushed back his announcement date and still will decide betweem Miami and Alabama being the top two with Ohio State still in the hunt. On Dec. 16, McMillan, a five-star inside linebacker choose between Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Auburn and Georgia, while No. 37 overall Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Il./Plainfield South) will pick between LSU, Tennessee, Florida and Ole Miss a day later.
Behind the numbers: There are currently 96 commitments to SEC schools in the ESPN 300. With more than 35 prospects still considering SEC programs and at least 25 considered leans to various teams, the number of ESPN 300 prospects that will ink with SEC schools will be over 120 February 5.
Bold prediction: The SEC will sign eight of the 13 five-star prospects in the 2014 class. That means between No. 1-ranked Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine), No. 7 Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra), No. 8 Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr), No. 9 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Al./Hoover), No. 11 Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), McMillan and No. 13 Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross High), five will pick SEC programs.