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Wednesday, December 18, 2013
SEC class rankings analysis

By Gerry Hamilton

In a week filled with a flurry of commitments, SEC programs continue to shuffle within the conference rankings and rise in the RecruitingNation Top 40 rankings. Alabama still has a firm grasp on No. 1, while Florida and LSU also made moves. As has been the case in recent weeks, all 14 SEC teams are in the Top 40 nationally.

Trending up: Florida and LSU both made moves up in the conference and national rankings in the past week. The Gators picked up No. 18 overall David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) and No. 206 Moral Stephens (Perry, Fla./Taylor County High), while LSU scored big out of state with No. 37 Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Il./Plainfield South High). The Gators jumped up to No. 5 in the SEC, and No. 8 nationally. LSU moved up to No. 6 in the conference and has more big fish remaining on its board than any other SEC team. When looking into the future of which programs could trend up the most as national signing day draws near, LSU has the highest probability followed by Florida and Auburn.

Trending down: From a rankings standpoint, there isn’t a team trending down. At this point, the teams that are in a numbers crunch will trend down over time as others pick up commitments. Georgia sits at No. 4 in the SEC and No. 7 nationally, but it could very well get pushed out of the top-10 nationally in the next few weeks. But the Bulldogs have had a terrific class, which is smaller in numbers than others. Kentucky is down to a couple of spots in its class with No. 292-ranked Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin High) being its big fish. The Wildcats could slide in the national rankings as well as Feb. 5 approaches.

One to watch: South Carolina is the pick here. The Gamecocks scored big on Tuesday with No. 91 overall Dante Sawyer (Suwannee, Ga./North Gwinnett High), and they are still in the hunt for Florida commit and No. 86 Chris Lammons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Plantation High), No. 88-overall D.J. Smith Marietta, Ga./Walton High), No. 108 Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock High), No. 120 Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther Kign High). They could jump Vanderbilt if they get Scott and one of the nationally-ranked corners as Steve Spurrier and his staff are likely to flip Florida State commit and No. 178 Dexter Wideman (Saluda, S.C./Saluda High) in the coming weeks.

Behind the numbers: The SEC now has 100 members in the ESPN 300 committed to its schools. With a number of prospects still on the board who are considering SEC schools, that number could reach as high as 125 on signing day. The SEC West programs have 53 ESPN300 prospects committed, including Alabama (17) LSU (12), Texas A&M (10), Auburn (eight), Ole Miss (three), Mississippi State (two) and Arkansas (one). SEC East programs have 47 committed: Florida and Tennessee have 11 each, Georgia has nine, South Carolina has six, Kentucky has five, Vanderbilt has three and Missouri has two.

Bold prediction: Alabama will end up receiving commitments from No. 9 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Al./Hoover High), No. 11 overall Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen High) and current Ole Miss commit and No. 134 C.J. Hampton (Meridian, Ms./Meridian High). Brown is thought to be a lean to LSU.