Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SEC [Print without images]

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
SEC class rankings analysis

By Gerry Hamilton

The SEC continues to dominate the Recruiting Nation class rankings nationally, with 13 of the 14 programs in the conference ranked in the top 40. That includes four of the top five, seven of the top 10 and 10 of the top 30. As expected, Alabama continues to lead the pack, and the Crimson Tide has a large lead coming down the stretch.

Trending up: The lone mover in the SEC in the past week was the Arkansas Razorbacks, who moved up two spots to No. 32 last week, and jumped one spot ahead of Missouri within the conference. The Razorbacks currently have 20 commitments, including two ESPN 300 pledges and will host several prospects this weekend, including No. 25 Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) and Florida State commit and ESPN 300 athlete JoJo Robinson (Miami/Northwestern), with hopes of closing strong.

LSU, Florida and Auburn have the best chance to ascend, in the next two weeks, in the fight for the top five classes nationally. Alabama and Texas A&M are locked into top-five finishes unless something unforeseen happens.

Trending down: Missouri slid back one spot in the SEC and nationally from No. 32 to 33 in the last week. The Tigers have 25 commitments, including a pair of ESPN 300 prospects, but they don’t have much room remaining to make a jump.

While Ole Miss didn’t shift in the conference or national rankings, the Rebels are in danger of trending down in the next couple of weeks if they don’t hit on a couple of remaining prospects such as No. 174 Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian), No. 286 Isaiah McKenzie (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) and four-star Michael Sawyers (Nashville, Tenn./The Ensworth School).

One to watch: The recruitment of No. 163 and Florida State commitment Treon Harris (Miami/Booker T. Washington) is in play. The dual-threat quarerback is more likely to sign with Florida or Auburn than the Seminoles at this point, but Miami is lurking. The Gators or Tigers could well end up with Harris, and he would be a second quarterback in the class for either school.

A school to watch coming down the stretch is South Carolina. While the Gamecocks don’t have as many scholarships available as some other SEC teams, Steve Spurrier and his staff could close with an impressive flourish if they reel in Florida State commit Dexter Wideman (Saluda, S.C./Saluda), No. 86 overall Chris Lammons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Plantation), No. 109 Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock), No. 120 Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King) or No. 266 Poona Ford (Hilton Head Island, S.C./Hilton Head).

Behind the numbers: There are 108 prospects in the final ESPN 300 currently committed to SEC schools, with Kentucky picking up No. 284 Kendall Randolph (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) on Tuesday. Breaking it down further, the SEC West is responsible for 59 of those pledges, with the East having 49. Alabama leads with way with 17 ESPN 300 commitments, LSU has 14, Florida has 12, Tennessee has 11 and Auburn and Texas A&M have 10 each.

Bold prediction: The SEC will sign 11 of the 15 five-stars in the 2014 class. While No. 14 Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) and No. 15 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) have been considered leans to sign with SEC programs, a conference team will also sign No. 9 Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra). Jackson will sign with Florida, LSU or Tennessee, and upset the schools on the West Coast.