How 2011 All-SEC team ranked as recruits

January, 26, 2012
1/26/12
11:51
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One of the things I like to do every year leading up to national signing day is go back and look at where the players who made All-SEC that season ranked as high school recruits.

Occasionally, it’s stunning how few of the All-SEC players were hot-shot recruits. For instance, of the 11 defensive players who earned first-team, All-SEC honors in 2010 by the Associated Press, only two were ESPNU 150 recruits (ranked among the top 150 players nationally).

It’s a reminder that recruiting rankings are anything but foolproof.

However, the recruiting folks at ESPN batted a much higher percentage with the players on the 2011 All-SEC team.

Using the coaches’ selections this time, 10 of the 22 position players on offense and defense were ESPNU 150 selections coming out of high school.

In fact, both of the running backs -- Trent Richardson and Michael Dyer -- were rated as the No. 1 running back prospects in the country the years they graduated high school.

LSU’s Rueben Randle was the No. 1-rated receiver in 2009, while Arkansas receiver/return specialist Joe Adams was the No. 2-rated athlete in 2008.

So the evaluations by the ESPN recruiting team on the top skill players from this past season in the SEC were dead-on when they were coming out of high school.

It’s a little trickier with the guys up front.

Of the 10 offensive/defensive linemen named to the 2011 All-SEC team by the coaches, counting the tight end, only three were ESPNU 150 selections coming out of high school – Alabama center William Vlachos, Auburn defensive end Corey Lemonier and LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery.

LSU offensive tackle Alex Hurst and Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette weren’t ranked nationally or regionally as high school prospects.

Using ESPN’s recruiting rankings and the 2011 coaches’ All-SEC team, here’s a look back:

OFFENSE

  • QB: Tyler Wilson, Arkansas – An ESPNU 150 selection in 2008. Ranked as the No. 8 quarterback in the class and the No. 82 prospect overall. A grade of 82. Ranked one spot below Andrew Luck that year among quarterbacks. Terrelle Pryor was No. 1. Wilson was the top-rated quarterback to sign with an SEC school in 2008. No. 2 on the list was Jordan Jefferson, and No. 3 was Star Jackson.
  • RB: Trent Richardson, Alabama – An ESPNU 150 selection in 2009. The No. 1 running back in the class and the No. 6 prospect overall. A grade of 91. Only two players were rated higher than Richardson that signed with SEC schools in 2009 – No. 3 Russell Shepard to LSU and No. 4 Dre Kirkpatrick to Alabama.
  • RB: Michael Dyer, Auburn – An ESPNU 150 selection in 2010. The No. 1 running back in the class and the No. 5 prospect overall. A grade of 87. The No. 1 player that year was Ronald Powell, and No. 3 was Dominique Easley, both defensive linemen who went to Florida.
  • [+] EnlargeJarius Wright
    Nelson Chenault/US PresswireJarius Wright wasn't as highly touted coming out of high school as several other wide receiver prospects who ended up at SEC schools.
  • WR: Jarius Wright, Arkansas – Ranked as the No. 44 receiver nationally in 2008 and the No. 115 prospect in the Southeast. A grade of 79. Twelve receivers who signed with SEC schools were rated ahead of Wright, including Julio Jones and A.J. Green. Some of the others rated ahead of Wright included Rod Wilks, Aaron Boyd, T.J. Lawrence, Chris Tolliver, Destin Hood and Frankie Hammond Jr.
  • WR: Rueben Randle, LSU – An ESPNU 150 selection in 2009. The No. 1 receiver in the class and the No. 10 overall prospect overall. A grade of 86. Six players that year rated in from of him signed with SEC schools – Russell Shepard, Dre Kirkpatrick, Trent Richardson, Craig Loston, Bryce Brown and Jelani Jenkins.
  • TE: Orson Charles, Georgia – Ranked as the No. 15 tight end prospect nationally, the No. 150 prospect in the Southeast and the No. 59 prospect in the state of Florida in 2009. A grade of 79. Arthur Lynch, who also signed with Georgia, was rated ahead of Charles that year at tight end. The top-rated tight end to sign with an SEC school that year was Zaccheus Mason, who went to Ole Miss.
  • AP: Joe Adams, Arkansas – An ESPNU 150 selection in 2008. The No. 2 athlete in the class and the No. 41 prospect overall. A grade of 83. The player ranked No. 1 nationally that year as an athlete was Burton Scott, who went to Alabama and later transferred to South Alabama. For what it’s worth, No. 86 on that list was Randall Cobb.
  • OL: Barrett Jones, Alabama – Ranked as the No. 28 offensive tackle nationally and the No. 157 prospect in the Southeast in 2008. A grade of 78. The No. 1 offensive tackle that year nationally was Jones’ Alabama teammate, Tyler Love. Another teammate, John Michael Boswell, was also rated ahead of Jones at No. 19.
  • OL: Will Blackwell, LSU – Ranked as the No. 15 defensive tackle nationally in the 2007 class and unranked regionally or overall. A grade of 79. The top-rated defensive tackle that year to sign with an SEC school was D.J. Stafford, who went to Kentucky and was No. 2 nationally. John Brown was No. 3 and went to Florida. For what it’s worth, Josh Chapman was the No. 74 defensive tackle, and 18 tackles that year who signed with SEC schools were rated ahead of Chapman.
  • OL: Cordy Glenn, Georgia – Ranked as the No. 74 offensive tackle nationally in 2008 and the No. 390 prospect in the Southeast. A grade of 74. Ten offensive tackles who signed with SEC schools that year were rated ahead of Glenn.
  • OL: Alex Hurst, LSU – Unranked regionally or nationally with a grade of 40 coming out of Bartlett, Tenn., in 2008. Hurst was able to attract Les Miles’ attention at an LSU football camp.
  • C: William Vlachos, Alabama – An ESPNU 150 selection. Ranked as the No. 3 offensive guard nationally and the No. 80 prospect overall in 2007. A grade of 80. The No. 1 offensive guard that year was James Wilson, who went to Florida.
DEFENSE

  • DL: Melvin Ingram, South Carolina – Ranked as the No. 12 inside linebacker nationally and unranked regionally or overall in 2007. A grade of 78. The top inside linebacker prospect to sign with an SEC team that year was Chris Strong with Ole Miss. Strong was ranked No. 3 at his position, two spots ahead of Rolando McClain.
  • DL: Sam Montgomery, LSU – An ESPNU 150 selection. Ranked as the No. 2 defensive end nationally and the No. 26 prospect overall in 2009. A grade of 84. He was the top-rated defensive end to sign with an SEC school that year. No. 2 was Craig Drummond, who was No. 7 and signed with Ole Miss. Fletcher Cox was No. 36 on that list.
  • [+] EnlargeCorey Lemonier
    John Reed/US PresswireAuburn's Corey Lemonier, right, was the No. 9-rated defensive end in his recruiting class.
  • DL: Corey Lemonier, Auburn – An ESPNU 150 selection. Ranked as the No. 9 defensive end nationally and the No. 94 prospect overall in 2010. The top-rated defensive end to sign with an SEC school that year was Corey Miller, who went to Tennessee.
  • DL Jake Bequette, Arkansas – Unranked nationally or regionally as a tight end in 2007. A grade of 40. Multiple publications didn’t even have him ranked among the top 10 prospects in the state of Arkansas that year, as Bequette didn’t start playing football until the ninth grade.
  • LB: Dont’a Hightower, Alabama – Ranked as the No. 26 defensive end nationally and the No. 146 prospect in the Southeast in 2008. A grade of 79. Among the defensive end prospects who signed with SEC schools that were rated ahead of Hightower that year were Chancey Aghayere, William Green, Toby Jackson and Brandon Lewis.
  • LB: Jarvis Jones, Georgia – An ESPNU 150 selection. Ranked as the No. 6 outside linebacker nationally and the No. 59 prospect overall in 2009. A grade of 82. Jones signed that year with USC. Jelani Jenkins was the top-rated inside linebacker to sign with an SEC school that year. He was No. 2.
  • LB: Courtney Upshaw, Alabama – An ESPNU 150 selection. Ranked as the No. 4 defensive end nationally and the No. 29 prospect overall in 2008. A grade 83. Upshaw was the eighth highest rated player nationally to sign with an SEC school that year. He was rated one spot ahead of Janoris Jenkins.
  • DB: Tyrann Mathieu, LSU – Ranked as the No. 36 cornerback nationally and unranked overall in 2010. A grade of 77. Among the cornerbacks signing with SEC schools in 2010 that were rated higher than Mathieu were Dee Milliner, Joshua Shaw, John Fulton, Jaylen Watkins, Cody Riggs, Tony Grimes, Dale Trimble, Eric Simmons and Jonathan Mincy.
  • DB: Morris Claiborne, LSU – Ranked as the No. 26 athlete nationally and the No. 95 prospect in the Southeast in 2009. A grade of 80. Russell Shepard was the No. 1 athlete that year. Chad Bumphis was No. 10 and Travante Stallworth No. 18.
  • DB: Mark Barron, Alabama – Ranked as the No. 19 athlete nationally and the No. 81 prospect in the Southeast in 2008. A grade of 80. The No. 1 athlete that year was Alabama teammate Burton Scott. Some recruiting services ranked Barron as a running back or receiver.
  • DB: Bacarri Rambo, Georgia – Ranked as the No. 27 athlete nationally and the No. 113 prospect in the Southeast in 2008. A grade of 79. Most publications didn’t have him rated among the top 20 prospects in Georgia that year.

Chris Low | email

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