SEC dominates recruiting again in 2015 (Top recruiting rankings)

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Sports Illustrated puts 6 SEC teams in the top ten in recruiting with Bama 2nd, Vols 5th, Auburn 6th, Georgia 7th, LSU 8th and A&M 10th.  Tennessee jumped up and had an unbelievable recruiting class which makes two in a row for Butch Jones. Alabama had the best class 5 years in a row now so it’s not even worth noting that since I just take that granted. Tennessee signed 3 very good quarterbacks and several offensive linemen and defensive linemen that were very highly rated. Miss St got 6 Four Star players and 20 Three Star players while Arkansas got 7 Four Star players and 15 Three star players but yet Miss St got ranked way ahead of Arkansas. I can’t figure that out. Sporting Life Arkansas gives a full rundown of all of the Hogs’ signers. 

SEC collects another impressive talent haul, led by Alabama

Associated Press

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The Southeastern Conference is off to a good start in trying to get back to winning national titles.

The league’s talent haul on Wednesday included top defensive linemen Trenton Thompson (Georgia), Byron Cowart (Auburn) and Kahlil MacKenzie (Tennessee) and blue-chip prospects at every other position as well, notably including a restocking of talent at quarterback.

Half of the top 12 recruiting class were SEC teams, according to the 247Sports composite of the major recruiting services.

Alabama led the way again with a class that was ranked either No. 1 or 2 by those services with a group led by wide receiver Calvin Ridley. It was the fifth consecutive year the Crimson Tide has brought in a No. 1 class.

Not that Alabama coach Nick Saban would admit to being concerned with all that.

“We’re certainly pleased with our guys but predicting how a young person is going to do academically and athletically in college by giving them some rating when he’s in high school is not very scientific,” Saban said.

“We try to use science to create things that are very subjective in terms of what someone’s performance is going to be, and I don’t think that’s really possible. There’s no scientific way to know what the achievement of any person is going to be in anything they try to do. It’s impossible.”

Scientific or not, the other SEC powers weren’t too far behind in a league that hasn’t won a national title in two seasons after capturing seven straight. Butch Jones’ haul at Tennessee ranked fourth in the composite rankings, one spot ahead of LSU. That’s followed by No. 9 Auburn, No. 10 Georgia and No. 12 Texas A&M. Only Kentucky and Vanderbilt failed to crack the Top 25.

Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee all landed a defensive lineman rated the nation’s top prospect by a recruiting service.

The Volunteers’ class was headlined by McKenzie, son of Oakland Raiders general manager and former Tennessee linebacker Reggie McKenzie.

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Here are some things to know about the SEC’s 2015 recruiting hauls:

Best Class: Alabama. The Tide got top honors in the ESPN and 247Sports rankings with six consensus five-star players, including Ridley, running back Damien Harris and cornerbacks Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kendall Sheffield.

Impact Player: Cowart. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder fills a position of desperate need for the Tigers: a pass-rushing defensive end. It took nearly seven hours for his national letter of intent to arrive in Auburn after his announcement.

Top Passers: The league was short on star quarterbacks last season and brought in a number of candidates to try to rectify that in the next couple of years. Texas A&M landed Kyler Murray, rated the nation’s top dual-threat quarterback by 247Sports, and Alabama got fellow five-star passer Blake Barnett from California. Tennessee landed three consensus four-star quarterbacks — Quinten Dormady, Jauan Jennings and Sheriron Jones.

Florida’s Finish: New Gators coach Jim McElwain finished strong on Wednesday by landing consensus five-star players in offensive tackle Martez Ivey and defensive end CeCe Jefferson, despite losing key targets like Cowart.

Late Addition: Georgia beat out Auburn for five-star wide receiver prospect Terry Godwin, who didn’t announce until Wednesday night.

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AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee and Teresa Walker contributed to this report.

SEC dominates recruiting again in 2015 (Top recruiting rankings)

RIVALS.COM TOP 25 RECRUITING CLASS RANKINGS
  • 1
    TOTAL COMMITS: 26
    FIVE STARS: 4
    FOUR STARS: 17
    THREE STARS: 3
    The Trojans made some big moves in the days leading up to Signing Day, and finished by claiming the top spot in the Rivals team rankings. It started with bumps from Rivals100 linebacker Osa Masina and five-star linebacker Porter Gustin. Then came the SoCal boom as five-star standouts Rasheem Green, John Houston, and Iman Marshall all chose to sign with USC on Signing Day. The additions allowed USC to overtake Alabama at the finish line.

2.

ALABAMA
TOTAL COMMITS: 24
FIVE STARS: 4
FOUR STARS: 15
THREE STARS: 5
The Crimson Tide came up just shy of claiming another recruiting national championship, but the class is still one of the best in the country and one of only two classes to total more than 3,000 points in the Rivals rankings. The Crimson Tide grabbed commitments from a staggering 18 Rivals250 members in their 2015 class, 10 of which are in the Rivals100.
3
FLORIDA STATE
TOTAL COMMITS: 20
FIVE STARS: 5
FOUR STARS: 10
THREE STARS: 5
The Seminoles may not have the No. 1 class, but they do lead the nation in five-star recruits. The Seminoles brought in five five-star players and Rivals100 defensive back Marcus Lewis on Signing Day. The Seminoles added some nice pieces all over the field but the secondary, the quarterback class and the wide receiver group are particularly strong.
4
CLEMSON
TOTAL COMMITS: 23
FIVE STARS: 3
FOUR STARS: 9
THREE STARS: 10
Dabo Swinney and Clemson have had one of the top recruiting classes in the country from the start. Five-star standouts Christian Wilkins, Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud lead the way while offensive linemen Mitch Hyatt and Jake Fruhmorgen add strength to the offensive line. On the other side of the ball, Albert Huggins, Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant add more punch to the defensive line. It’s a very strong class on the whole.
5
TENNESSEE
TOTAL COMMITS: 29
FIVE STARS: 4
FOUR STARS: 13
THREE STARS: 11
The Tennessee Volunteers had a special class entering Signing Day, but the flipping of five-star offensive tackle Drew Richmond from Ole Miss made it elite. The Volunteers addressed needs on both sides of the trenches and at quarterback, and took care of their own backyard with the top three prospects in Tennessee choosing to play their college football in Knoxville.
6
AUBURN
TOTAL COMMITS: 27
FIVE STARS: 2
FOUR STARS: 15
THREE STARS: 9
Auburn was one of the big movers on the day by landing nation’s No. 1 prospect Byron Cowart. The Tigers also grabbed Rivals100 Ryan Davis, Rivals250 Carlton Davis, and four-star Jeffery Holland on Signing Day.
7
GEORGIA
TOTAL COMMITS: 28
FIVE STARS: 2
FOUR STARS: 10
THREE STARS: 14
The Bulldogs’ class has a heavy dose of defense. Mark Richt and his staff brought in seven defensive backs in the class with Rico McGraw, Juwuan Briscoe and Rashad Roundtree leading the way. The defensive line class is also one of the best in the country with six prospects ranked four-star or higher. Throw in playmaker Terry Godwin for good measure and Richt has reason to smile.
8
LSU
TOTAL COMMITS: 25
FIVE STARS: 4
FOUR STARS: 8
THREE STARS: 8
LSU is known to close well at the end of the recruiting process, and Les Miles and his staff did just that in 2015. The Tigers were able to secure the top three talents from Louisiana and addressed several needs. LSU also grabbed five-star prospects from Texas and Florida in addition to Louisiana, and added more talent to an already strong group of running backs in Baton Rouge. Signing Day additions Toby Weathersby and Derrick Dillon were also key signatures.
9
OHIO STATE
TOTAL COMMITS: 27
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 14
THREE STARS: 12
The Ohio State Buckeyes added four-star standouts Isaiah Prince and K.J. Hill to the Big Ten’s top class. Urban Meyer and his staff hit Ohio hard with 12 signees coming from the state, but they also experience success in 10 other states. Baker, Justin Hilliard and Nick Conner are among the nation’s best linebackers, and the offensive line group is one also a position of strength in the class.
10
TEXAS A&M
TOTAL COMMITS: 25
FIVE STARS: 1
FOUR STARS: 11
THREE STARS: 10
Texas A&M saw quarterback Kyler Murray shore up his commitment in the final week of the recruiting process and welcomed Daylon Mack back into the fold on Signing Day. Kevin Sumlin was able to win his share of the in-state recruiting battle and fended off Texas at the end for two prize recruits. The Aggies were able to strengthen the defense and grabbed one of the top offensive playmakers in the 2015 class in five-star wide receiver Christian Kirk.

11
NOTRE DAME
TOTAL COMMITS: 24
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 13
THREE STARS: 11
Notre Dame was able to add running back Dexter Williams and wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown on Signing Day. The Fighting Irish succeeded all over the map, starting with top quarterback prospect Brandon Winbush out of New Jersey. Notre Dame added some strength to the defense with deep defensive line, linebacker and defensive back classes, and the wide receiver group also packs a nice punch.
12
TEXAS
TOTAL COMMITS: 29
FIVE STARS: 1
FOUR STARS: 14
THREE STARS: 12
Charlie Strong and his staff took some heat early on in the recruiting process, but closed strong by Wednesday’s end. The Longhorns added Rivals250 running back Chris Warren on Signing Day, and were able to grab standout talents Kai Locksley, Kris Boyd and Holton Hill during the final week. The Longhorns beefed up the offensive line, added some depth to each position on defense, and took home the Big 12’s top recruiting class.
13
UCLA
TOTAL COMMITS: 19
FIVE STARS: 3
FOUR STARS: 9
THREE STARS: 7
The Bruins were one of the hottest teams in the country on National Signing Day. Jim Mora and company added five-star running back Soso Jamabo, Rivals100 tight end Chris Clark, Rivals250 offensive lineman Josh Wariboko, and four-star wide receiver Cordell Broadus on Signing Day. The Bruins are also closely watching Roquan Smith, who committed to UCLA but never faxed his letter.
14
OKLAHOMA
TOTAL COMMITS: 24
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 14
THREE STARS: 10
The Oklahoma Sooners missed out on Josh Wariboko, but the Sooners have plenty to like about the 2015 recruiting class. Oklahoma adds another top Texas running back and grabbed a couple of big linebackers. The Sooners succeeded in Texas and added four-star safety Prentice McKinney to a defensive back group also featuring Kahlil Haughton, P.J. Mbanasor and Antoine Stephens.
15
PENN STATE
TOTAL COMMITS: 25
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 11
THREE STARS: 14
James Franklin and his staff put together a strong class. The Nittany Lions went heavy in the secondary and along the defensive front and were able to avoid the drama of Signing Day. Garrett Taylor and John Reid should add some strength to the defensive backfield and Saquon Barkley is an every-down back with big play potential. Penn State stuck to the northeast and was able to secure a very strong class.
16
MISSISSIPPI STATE
TOTAL COMMITS: 28
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 6
THREE STARS: 20
Mississippi State had a big year on the field and just as big a year on the recruiting front. The Bulldogs were able to secure four of the state’s top five talents in Leo Lewis, Jamal Peters, Fletcher Adams and Malik ​Dear. The signing of Keith Joseph Jr. gives the Bulldogs five of the top six. Lewis was the biggest win of the day when he chose Mississippi State over LSU at the end.
17
OREGON
TOTAL COMMITS: 22
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 8
THREE STARS: 14
The Oregon Ducks have a reputation for speed, quickness and a diverse uniform selection. Signees Malik Lovette, Kirk Merritt and Taj Griffin should make the Ducks even more difficult to stop while Travis Waller is a dual-threat quarterback who could really develop into something special in Eugene.
18
STANFORD
TOTAL COMMITS: 22
FIVE STARS: 1
FOUR STARS: 5
THREE STARS: 13
The Stanford Cardinal stayed home for Irwin and four-star defensive back Frank Buncom IV, but ventured out of the region for several big additions. In fact running back Bryce Love of North Carolina, offensive lineman Nick Wilson of Georgia and defensive back Ben Edwards of Florida are heading to Stanford from the east coast.
19
SOUTH CAROLINA
TOTAL COMMITS: 30
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 11
THREE STARS: 17
South Carolina signed a big class in 2015 and it loaded up in the trenches. The Gamecocks signed seven defensive linemen and four offensive linemen. They also went heavy at tight end and linebacker. The class is headlined by JUCO defensive end Marquavius Lewis and they were able to grab a few other difference makers from the JUCO and prep school ranks.
20
ARIZONA STATE
TOTAL COMMITS: 22
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 7
THREE STARS: 14
The Sun Devils secured the talents of Rivals100 defensive tackle Joseph Wicker on Signing Day and bolstered several areas of the squad. The quarterback position appears to be solidified with the additions of Brady White and Bryce Perkins and the offensive line also received some added strength. Overall it is a strong group with prospects from across the map.

21
OLE MISS
TOTAL COMMITS: 22
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 6
THREE STARS: 14
Ole Miss saw Leo Lewis and Drew Richmond slip away late in the process, but the Rebels still signed an impressive class. The biggest Signing Day win was Rivals100 wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge, who chose the Rebels over Texas and Texas A&M. Ole Miss also addressed several needs. The defensive backfield added some depth and so did the defensive front.
22
MICHIGAN STATE
TOTAL COMMITS: 20
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 7
THREE STARS: 13
The defensive backfield is loaded, and coach Mark Dantonio pulled recruits from Texas, Ohio, California and Michigan to make it. The Spartans also added bulk in the trenches with talent coming in on both the offensive and defensive lines. Michigan State made several nice additions, but signed only two of its home state’s top 10 recruits.
23
FLORIDA
TOTAL COMMITS: 21
FIVE STARS: 2
FOUR STARS: 5
THREE STARS: 11
Florida had plenty of eyeballs on it on Signing Day, and there were some ups and some downs. Among the ups were five-star recruits Martez Ivey and Cece Jefferson. The two additions have a chance to come in and play early in Gainesville and gave the Gators a needed boost on Signing Day.
24
VIRGINIA TECH
TOTAL COMMITS: 24
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 8
THREE STARS: 14
Virginia Tech went strong on the defensive line and came through with several big additions. Tim Settle leads a group that also includes four-star standouts Darius Fullwood and Houshun Gaines. The Hokies also added some strength in the secondary and beefed up the offensive line. Four-star Dwayne Lawson also gives the Hokies a playmaker at the quarterback position.
25
ARKANSAS
TOTAL COMMITS: 23
FIVE STARS: 0
FOUR STARS: 7
THREE STARS: 15
The Razorbacks were not expecting many fireworks on Signing Day and it was business as usual. Arkansas was able to grab the great majority of the FBS talent in Arkansas and enjoyed some success in Florida and Texas. The Razorbacks also added a big time quarterback in Ty Storey, who has already enrolled in school.

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