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Wednesday, December 4, 2013
SEC class rankings analysis

By Gerry Hamilton

The latest update to the RecruitingNation class rankings features a number of moves due in large part to the release of the ESPN Junior College 50 rankings. Within the conference, Alabama still has a strong grasp on the top spot with all 14 schools in the top 35 classes nationally. Here's a look at the conference's rankings Insider.

Trending up: Both Texas A&M and Auburn are trending up thanks to the release of the ESPN JC 50. The Aggies jumped from No. 5 to No. 4 and into the top 3 in the conference rankings with junior college offensive linemen Avery Gennesy (Southhaven, Miss./East Mississippi Community College) and Jermaine Eluemunor (Rockaway, N.J./Lackawanna College) coming in at No. 13 and 15 in the ESPN JC 50. Auburn junior college commitment D'haquille Williams (Reserve, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) and Dalvon Stuckey (De Funiak Springs, Fla./Pearl River Community College) came in at No. 1 and 9 in the JC 50. Auburn jumped from No. 14 nationally to No. 12, and the Tigers are in striking position on several other highly-ranked prospects.

Trending down: It’s difficult to say a school with a top-10 class is trending down, but that is the case with Georgia. The Bulldogs currently sit at No. 5 nationally with 16 commitments, but the loss of ESPN 300 defensive tackle Dontavius Russell (Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton) and tight numbers make the task of remaining in the top 10 tough for the Bulldogs with other programs having bigger classes available to sign.

One to watch: The No. 11-ranked LSU Tigers have reached December and are now about to try to make their push and ascend up the class rankings. No. 1 Leonard Fournette (New Orleans, La./Saint Augustine), No. 8 Speedy Noil (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr), No. 11 Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), No. 29 Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr) and others are going to be making official visits to Baton Rouge this month with the only questions remaining: How many will ultimately select the Tigers and how high can LSU rise? Finishing No. 2 is probable if the dominoes fall for Les Miles and staff.

December commits: Four key prospects who could have an affect on the class rankings are set to decide in the next two weeks. Offensive tackle and No. 18-ranked David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) is set to announce Thursday with the Florida Gators considered the favorite. On Dec. 8, No. 39 prospect Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach Lakes, Fla./Dwyer) will decide with Miami (FL) and Alabama being the top two. On Dec. 16, five-star inside linebacker and No. 12 Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) will choose between Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Auburn and Georgia, while No. 37-overall Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Il./Plainfield South) will pick out of LSU, Tennessee, Florida and Ole Miss a day later.

Bold prediction: Auburn will finish with a top-4 class in the SEC. The Tigers are currently the No. 7-ranked class in the conference, but are riding a wave of momentum and are in the hunt for several top remaining targets, including No. 84 prospect Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Al./Auburn).