Print and Go Back On The Trail: Southeast Region [Print without images]

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
SEC class rankings analysis

By Gerry Hamilton

For the fifth straight week, there is very little change in Recruiting Nation's class rankings. Thirteen of the 14 SEC teams are ranked in the top 40, including nine of the top 16, and top-ranked Alabama is holding a big lead over any and all pursuers.

Trending up: There isn’t a team in the class rankings that has the ability to ascend as much as LSU in the coming months. That march towards a possible top-3 class began Monday with a commitment by No. 216 overall Davon Godchaux (Plaquemine, La./Plaquemine High). With the latest ESPN 300 commitment, the Tigers move up to No. 10 in the class rankings with a bevy of big names still high on the board.

Also worth noting when talking about teams trending up is Georgia. While the Bulldogs remained No. 5 after the commitment of pass rusher Keyon Brown (Wauchula, Fla./Hardee County), Georgia is clearly moving up with recent wins over top-10 teams South Carolina and LSU. The visitor lists have been impressive, and Mark Richt and his staff are in the position of closer with another SEC East crown in sight.

Trending down: Mississippi State lost offensive line commitment Tyler Jones (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson High) over the weekend. The trenches and playmakers with the ball in hand are the major needs for the Bulldogs in the 2014 class. While they have three offensive linemen remaining committed, there are still needs to be filled on the offensive and defensive lines. ESPN 300 No. 93 overall Jesse Jackson (Petal, Ms./Petal High) and defensive line prospect Breeland Speaks (Jackson, Ms./Callaway High) are two of the top high-school prospects on the board.

One to watch: This week it's the wide receivers position. Five of the top 12 wide receivers in the ESPN 300 remain uncommitted, and that doesn’t count the top-rated athlete -- and No. 8 overall -- Speedy Noil (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr High), who will very likely play wide receiver at the next level. No. 27 overall Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis High), No. 42 Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer High), No. 65 Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman High), No. 93 Jesse Jackson (Petal, Ms./Petal High) and No. 99 Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tn./Station Camp High) are all likely or a decent bet to ink with SEC programs. If that scenario happens, eight of the top 12 wide receivers in the class, not including Noil, will have signed with SEC programs. Expect the SEC's explosive offenses to continue in future seasons with the talent making it’s way into the conference on an annual basis.

Bold prediction: There are 18 prospects in the 2014 class from the state of Louisiana in the ESPN 300, and 17 of the 18 will sign with SEC programs. That means either Texas commitment Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans, La./Saint Augustine High) or safety Mattrell McGraw (River Ridge, La./John Curtis High) will end up signing with an SEC program.