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Being able to recruit as a member of the SEC brings with it many benefits, but as a result of that there are no weak links among SEC teams on the recruiting trail. Alabama has posted back-to-back top-ranked classes and a group that includes programs such as Florida, Georgia and LSU are usually top 10-15 staples, if not top class contenders themselves year in and year out. Other programs within the SEC have shown the ability to have success and even make a big impact as well. Ole Miss this past cycle broke from the pack to land a top-five class that included the nation's top-ranked prospect (Robert Nkemdiche). Even Vanderbilt, long considered a back-of-the-pack staple, made a surge on the recruiting trail as well under the direction of James Franklin and finished with a top-25 class for 2013.
Competition on the recruiting trail is tough all over, but in the SEC it has proved to be extremely fierce and a class that would be great in any other conference simply might not be good enough as a member of this conference.
|Teams in the SEC don't have to go far to find elite players like Jadeveon Clowney, who stayed home to play for the Gamecocks.|
Now add in new member Texas A&M and it opens up a pipeline to another very talent-rich state. The wealth of talent available within reach makes competition tough as SEC programs don't only have to battle conference foes, but programs from all over the country that want to try to take advantage of the talent in the Southeast and Texas. But the bottom line is that most of the programs in the SEC don't need to stray very far to recruit some of the premier talent in the nation.
Overall view of the conference: There are a lot of positives surrounding the SEC. There is a wealth of talent located within the conference's landscape and the value of that can't be overstated. To help draw that talent, programs within the SEC have several factors to aid them. Winning can be the best tool to help recruit top talent and no conference has been more successful than the SEC in recent years as it has been home to the past seven national champions. Additionally, its members can also boast that it has produced four of the past six Heisman Trophy winners and has a proven record of getting players to the NFL, most recently setting a modern era record for players drafted from a conference in the 2013 draft.
The league also can boast stability in a time of recent uncertainty and realignment and a recently announced launching of an SEC Network won't hurt on the recruiting trail either. The conference is undoubtedly riding high and has established itself as the premier conference in college football right now. This can make for intense battles from within, but overall is a huge asset in recruiting.