National Signing Day is still more than 10 months away, but all 14 SEC schools already are working hard to collect as many top-flight prospects as they can for the Class of 2018.
So, how will your favorite team stack up with the rest of the SEC? Here’s an way-too-early look at how each team will fare in 2018’s SEC recruiting rankings, subject to the whims of 17- and 18-year-olds.
All ratings courtesy of 247Sports’ composite.
Projected SEC rank: 1
Last week’s projection: 1
Overview: For the last seven years, the Crimson Tide have landed the nation’s top recruiting class. We’ll have to get much closer to signing day before we can safely project anything but another first-place finish for Nick Saban and Co.
Still, LSU’s fast start has to be at least slightly concerning.
Projected SEC rank: 2
Last week’s projection: 2
Overview: The Tigers have continued their hot start to the cycle, and their pledge total of 12 is the second-most in FBS (Miami has 13).
LSU added 4-star guard Chasen Hines last week, and he’s the sixth 4-star recruit to commit so far.
Projected SEC rank: 3
Last week’s projection: 5
Overview: Joey Gatewood, a 4-star athlete from Jacksonville, Fla., and JUCO defensive end Daquan Newkirk are the headliners in the Tigers’ four-man group thus far.
They’ve climbed to third in the 247Sports rankings this week, so that seems like a good spot to project them right now.
Projected SEC rank: 4
Last week’s projection: 7
Overview: The Aggies have six recruits, including a trio of 4-star prospects, on their big board already. Only LSU has more players pledged for the Class of 2018.
Projected SEC rank: 5
Last week’s projection: 3
Overview: The early returns aren’t spectacular, but there’s no reason to believe that the Bulldogs will fall much lower than this — if they fall at all from last year’s second-place finish.
Max Wray backing off his pledge recently didn’t do much for an already-small group. Right now, 4-star outside linebacker Adam Anderson and 3-star inside linebacker Donovan Georges are the only members of the class.
Projected SEC rank: 6
Last week’s projection: 4
Overview: There’s not much new on Rocky Top since our last projection, but the Volunteers still have the only 5-star recruit committed in the league at the moment with tackle and Knoxville native Cade Mays.
That’s a pretty good piece around which to build a class.
Projected SEC rank: 7
Last week’s projection: 6
Overview: The Gators started slowly before finishing with a flourish in last year’s rankings, and if the early part of this cycle is any indication, they may be following a similar strategy this time around.
A pair of 3-star prospects, Divaad Wilson and Jalynn Williams, are the lone verbals on the board at the moment.
Projected SEC rank: 8
Last week’s projection: 8
Overview: The Bulldogs and their five-man class are holding steady in this week’s projection. It’s not a great sign, however, that their lone 4-star recruit, receiver Malik Heath, called LSU his “top school” recently.
Projected SEC rank: 9
Last week’s projection: 10
Overview: The Razorbacks have three 4-star players pledged for next year, with athlete BJ Hanspard being the latest to join the ranks.
Projected SEC rank: 10
Last week’s projection: 9
Overview: Tight end Brendan Bates, a 3-star prospect from Cincinnati, is the Wildcats’ latest addition. Mark Stoops and his staff had some strong success in Ohio last year, and with two Buckeye state recruits already in the fold, it looks like they’ll be mining that area again in this cycle.
Projected SEC rank: 11
Last week’s projection: 11
Overview: With the addition of 3-star defensive tackle Lamarius Benson, the Gamecocks now have a pair of 3-star players pledged for 2018.
Projected SEC rank: 12
Last week’s projection: 12
Overview: Missouri hasn’t added anyone to the Class of 2018 yet, but with a good crop of in-state players this year, the Tigers have the potential to have a good class without having to travel far.
Projected SEC rank: 13
Last week’s projection: 13
Overview: Hugh Freeze and Co. have yet to add anyone in this recruiting cycle, but at least recruits don’t seem too worried about potential NCAA sanctions.
Projected SEC rank: 14
Last week’s projection: 14
Overview: Allan Walters, a 4-star quarterback out of New Jersey, is the lone player pledged for the Commodores right now.
It’s a good way to start a class, and it gives the program hope of climbing out of last place in the league recruiting rankings.