National Signing Day is less than three weeks away (February 7), and as usual, SEC teams are going to be prevalent in the top 20 of team recruiting rankings – though maybe not as highly ranked as usual because of the high number of coaching changes.
We thought we’d look back over the past five recruiting cycles (2013-17; note we did not include 2018 rankings) to see how league schools ranked nationally. Not surprisingly, nine of the 14 schools had consensus recruiting rankings in the top 20 in that five-year stretch and 10 in the top 25.
A couple of things we found interesting:
* Alabama signed 19 more four- and five-star prospects than anyone else in the league in that five-year stretch.
* Alabama and LSU combined to sign more four- and five-star prospects in our span than Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt combined.
* In our five-year span, Auburn, Georgia and LSU — three schools that have an average finish in the top 10 — combined to sign just one more five-star prospect than Alabama.
* Incredibly, there were five schools during our span that individually signed fewer four- and five-star prospects combined than Alabama signed five-star prospects alone.
Here’s a closer look (we used 247sports’ composite rankings as our guide).
Average rank over past five years: 1st.
The skinny: The Tide has ranked No. 1 in recruiting for seven consecutive years. This year’s class won’t be No. 1 – at least that seems unlikely – but it almost certainly will be a top-five group.
4- and 5-star signees: 101, including 27 five-star prospects.
Current rank: 5th
Average rank: 5th.
The skinny: The Tigers have been ranked in the top-10 in five consecutive years, with two second-place finishes and nothing lower than seventh. This year’s group currently is outside the top 10; if it finishes outside the top 10, there is going to be angst – well, more angst than usual – in Baton Rouge.
4- and 5-star signees: 82, including 9 five-star prospects
Current rank: 12th
Average rank: 7th.
The skinny: The Bulldogs were 11th in 2013; that’s the only time in the past five years they have been outside the top 10. They’ve been in the top five twice, and Kirby Smart has them in line for the top spot this year; it’ll be the Bulldogs’ third top-five class in four years.
4- and 5-star signees: 76, including 11 five-star prospects.
Current rank: 1st
Average rank: 9th.
The skinny: The Tigers finished 11th in 2013, but each of the past four has been in the top 10, highlighted by a No. 6 finish in 2014.
4- and 5-star signees: 68, including 8 five-star prospects.
Current rank: 10th
Average rank: 11th.
The skinny: The past three classes each finished outside the top 10, including 21st in 2014. Given the amount of in-state talent available on an annual basis, three consecutive classes outside the top 10 is, truthfully, embarrassing for Florida. Will Muschamp’s final two classes, in 2012 and ’13, both finished in the top 10.
4- and 5-star signees: 49, including 5 five-star prospects.
Current rank: 17th
T-5. TEXAS A&M
Average rank: 11th.
The skinny: The 2013 and ’14 classes finished in the top 10, including a fifth-place finish in ’14. Two of the past three were in the top 15 and the other was 18th (2016). There’s no question recruiting had slumped a bit the past few years under Kevin Sumlin.
4- and 5-star signees: 58, including 7 five-star prospects.
Current rank: 32nd
Average rank: 13th.
The skinny: The Vols had top-10 classes in 2014 and ’15, including a No. 4 finish in ’14. But the past two were outside the top 10, and UT was 24th in 2013.
4- and 5-star signees: 51, including 2 five-star prospects.
Current rank: 16th
RELATED: More recruiting news from GN
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