Tuesday, January 31, 2012
One last look at recruiting class rankings
By Edward Aschoff
Wednesday will mark the end of the search for the top high school football prospects in the 2012 class and will usher in the official start to the obsession that will become the 2013 class.
But with a day left until national signing day, it's time to take one last look at the team rankings. The SEC has had tremendous representation in ESPN.com's team rankings since they debuted and the SEC is all over the rankings just before the finish.
Eight SEC teams are in the top 25, with five coming in the top 15.
Alabama remains in the top spot with 12 of its 27 commitments being ESPNU 150 members. Florida currently ranks fourth, while Georgia is fifth. The Gators have 20 commitments, with eight ESPNU 150 members. The Bulldogs are now up to 17 commitments, after adding defensive back Sheldon Dawson (Memphis, Tenn./Ridgeway) Monday night. Five of Georgia's commitments are ESPNU 150 members.
Future SEC member Texas A&M has a pretty good haul as well. The Aggies currently rank 12th nationally, with 21 commitments and five ESPNU 150 members.
South Carolina and LSU round out the top 15, coming in at 14th and 15th, respectively. South Carolina has a pretty impressive class, as of now, with its 25 commitments. Most of the recruiting gurus here at ESPN feel the Gamecocks are all but done in this class, but might squeeze in one more commit. LSU was actually flying under the radar until this week. The Tigers grabbed their fifth ESPNU 150 member Monday when athlete Jeremy Liggins (Oxford, Miss./Lafayette) picked LSU over Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
Three SEC teams saw their rankings fall, as Auburn slid from 16th to 19th, Tennessee dropped from 20th to 22nd and Vanderbilt fell from 23rd to 24th. All of them could make up ground Wednesday, especially Auburn, which has a lot of room and is in the running for a slew of top prospects.
One thing to keep an eye on is Arkansas. The Razorbacks' class isn't currently ranked, but Arkansas is still in the running for a couple top players. Obviously, the gem would be wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, Mo./Hillcrest), who appears to be down to Arkansas and Missouri. However, most of the chatter Monday revolved around Missouri possibly taking the lead after a successful official visit over the weekend. Arkansas is also in the running for top athlete Davonte Neal (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) and ESPNU 150 offensive tackle Jordan Diamond (Chicago, Ill./Simeon).
If Arkansas were to snatch a couple of these prospects, the Hogs would probably find themselves in the top 25 at the end of signing day.