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A quick by-the-numbers look at recruiting in the SEC footprint

SEC map

With coaching vacancies at Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee and seemingly soon-to-be vacancies at Arkansas and Texas A&M, this promises to be an interesting offseason in the SEC.

One of the things you will hear about as each school searches for a new coach is whether the candidate is considered a “good” recruiter. Thing is, “good” at one place doesn’t necessarily equate to “good” at another. There are inherent advantages.

For instance, recruiting to Florida and Texas A&M is easier than recruiting to Arkansas, Ole Miss and Tennessee – at the least, it should be – because of the sheer number of prospects available in Florida and Texas. Generally, the more prospects closer to your campus, the easier it is to recruit. And note that we used “generally” there.

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In that vein, we looked at the number of four- and five-star prospects from each state in the past five recruiting classes (2013-17), regardless of where they signed to play college football. We used 247Sports’ composite rankings, and, truthfully, we found what we expected to find: Whomever takes over at Ole Miss and Tennessee (and, presumably, Arkansas) is going to have to get on a plane or drive further to find high-level recruits a lot more than his counterpart at Florida (and, presumably, Texas A&M).

Here are the number of four- and five-star prospects in the past five recruiting classes from each state in the SEC footprint.

• Florida: 230
• Texas: 230
• Georgia: 140
• Louisiana: 73
• Alabama: 61
• Tennessee: 43
• Mississippi: 38
• South Carolina: 28
• Arkansas: 15
• Kentucky: 13
• Missouri: 12

Some quick math shows that over the past five recruiting classes, Florida and Texas both averaged 46 four- and five-star prospects per class. That is more than six separate SEC states – Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee – produced in the entire five-year span. Again, the average number of four- and five-star recruits in Florida and Texas exceeded the total number of four- and five-star recruits over the five-year span in Arkansas, in Kentucky, in Mississippi, in Missouri, in South Carolina and in Tennessee.

In addition, the combined number of four- and five-star prospects from Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee in the past five classes does not equal the total number from Florida or Texas.

RELATED: This week’s College Football Playoff, bowl projections

(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)

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