2008 Recruiting Analysis: SEC

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SEC:
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ALABAMA: What isn’t there to say about this class? For all the slander and complaining about Nick Saban, there are not a whole lot of kids who are avoiding committing to the Tide if they are wanted. An unbelievable class this year for Saban, the best overall class in the nation, with an enormous 32 commitments. 3 5-stars were brought in: WR Julio Jones, ATH Burton Scott, and OL Tyler Love. With those three come 19 4-star prospects from mainly the southeast region. There is little doubt that the road to the national title won’t soon be headed through Tuscaloosa on a regular basis, but for this upcoming season, the Tide need Jones and the rest to produce immediately.

ARKANSAS: Not nearly as star-studded as the Alabama class, but Bobby Petrino’s reputation is comperable to his colleague’s in Alabama. For all the bad-mouthing, justified as it all really was, Petrino has brought in a nice little class for his first recruiting stint at Arkansas. 25 signees, 6 of which are 4-star caliber, but the best news for Arkansas fans and players is that Ryan Mallet chose to transfer to Arkansas over other schools when he left Michigan. Although he cannot play this season, it is still great news for this program.

AUBURN: Pretty solid class this year for the Tigers, as usual. 2 5-star prospects: DE Raven Gray and OL Jermaine Johnson, go along with 4 4-star players. The look of the Auburn program will be different now, as they move in a new direction offensively as well as defensively. Both 5-star prospects should see early time.

FLORIDA: Urban Meyer continues to pull top recruits to Gainesville, and this class is loaded with more of what we expect from Meyer’s teams: speed. Of 22 commits, 4 are 5-star prospects: ATH Will Hill, DT Omar Hunter, JUCO WR Carl Moore (already enrolled), and OL Matt Patchan. With them are 12 4-star players. With Moody able to play this season (RB transfer from USC) and Hill and Moore on board, hopefully Meyer will realize now that he does not need to rely on Tebow for everything. There really ARE other people on this team, ya know.

GEORGIA: The SEC is so loaded with recruiting talent that it is almost not even fair to the rest of the country. Georgia has brought in an immense amount of potential this year to go along with the tide they are riding into the 2008 season that will probably see them ranked number 1 to start the year. 2 5-star players sit atop this class of 24: WR AJ Green, and ATH Richard Samuel. 13 4-star commits add to the 5-stars who make the loss of in-state WR Brice Butler to USC all that less relevant.

KENTUCKY: A very disappointing class this year for Rich Brooks and the Wildcats, who are coming off a great season by Kentucky standards. Even with the production of Andre Woodson, the Wildcats still failed to attract a top QB recruit. 20 total signees, only 1 4-star player. For the team with the best home uniforms in the SEC, it was nice while it lasted.

LSU: A class of 26 comes in this year for the national champion Tigers. 2 5-star commits highlight this class: WR Deangelo Benton, and DB Patrick Turner, who was stolen from Miami on Letter of Intent Day. 11 4-star players compliment this class, and of all the total commitments, none may end up being more important in the short-term than QB Jordan Jefferson, who may need to play right away if Ryan Perillouix can’t stay out of trouble.

MISSISSIPPI: New head coach Houston Nutt takes over for Ed Orgeron and now gets his shot at making Ole Miss relevant. Good luck. No matter who these programs hire, only one team can ultimately win the conference, and when you start to think about Tennessee and Auburn being the 4th or 5th best SEC team, how can programs like Ole Miss even hope to compete? Nutt stole 5-star RB Enrique Davis from Auburn, and that’s as good a start as any. 31 players come in this year total, Davis and 2 4-stars at the top of the heap.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: There is quite a bit of back-patting going on for Sylvester Croom and the job he is doing at MSU. That’s all well and good that they are over .500. But how much upward mobility can they actually attain? 4 4-star players come in this year fro Croom, who pulled a total of 27 players for 2008.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Not a bad job recruiting this year for Spurrier, who brought in 22 commits and 6 4-star prospects. A lot of corner work needs to be shored up for the Cocks and they seemed to make this priority numer one for this recruiting class. Like the others, how much room does SC have to grow?

TENNESSEE: A very disappointing class this year for the Volunteers, who had an excellent class a year ago. Only 4 4-star players this year in a class of 18, which is terrible by Tennessee standards.

VANDERBILT: Pretty barebones class for the Commodores this year, 21 total signees and nothing over 3-star status. Vanderbilt lost a good bit this season to the NFL, and if Bobby Johnson wants to keep up his growing reputation as one of the most underappreciated coaches in the whole country, he is going to have to coach these kids above their potential, yet again.

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