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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
SEC class rankings analysis

By Gerry Hamilton

There wasn’t a lot of movement in the RecruitingNation class rankings in the past week. Like last week, all 14 teams in the SEC are ranked in the top 40. This week, we’ll take a look at several prospects that will help shape the trends in future weeks.

Trending up: While Missouri continues to climb up the class rankings, moving to No. 31 this week, the Tigers are also trending with key prospects in the class. Brian Wallace (St. Louis/Christian Brothers), No. 145 in the ESPN 300, will take an official visit to Columbia officially for the Texas A&M game. Missouri is feeding off of its momentum on the field and has added recent commitments from ESPN 300 No. 82 Andy Bauer (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) and N0. 239 Brandon Lee (Indianapolis/Lawrence Central). Wallace will also take official visits to Iowa on Nov. 23, and Arkansas and Alabama in December.

Trending down: While no program has dropped in the class rankings, Arkansas is trending down on the recruiting front because of its tough season and ascending competition in the SEC West. The Razorbacks lost out on tight end target DeAndre Goolsby (Derby, Kan./Derby) to Florida. They are a long shot for No. 200 overall Steven Parker (Jenks, Ok./Jenks) and are running behind the pack for Wallace and others.

One to watch: ESPN 300 No.18 David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) is set to announce his decision on Thursday, and it could mean good news for Florida. The 6-foot-6, 288-pound tackle is considering the Gators, along with Tennessee and others. Georgia was once though to be in the lead, but the Bulldogs are tight on numbers. Should Sharpe pick Florida, it would be a much-needed boost not only in the class rankings, but also in terms of fighting for recruiting momentum while closing out a tough season.

The Numbers game: There are currently three five-star prospects committed to SEC schools in No. 3 Cameron Robinson (Monroe, La./West Monroe) and No. 6 Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) to Alabama, and No. 5 Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin) to Texas A&M. Of the seven five-star prospects remaining on the board, SEC schools could land all of them. The most five-stars signed by the conference came in 2011 when league teams signed eight. That number is likely to be matched in 2014.

Bold prediction: Alabama will sign 22 ESPN 300 prospects this cycle. While it might not seem bold considering 17 are already in the fold, that would mean the Crimson Tide hit on every key remaining target and challenge for the best class ever.