The SEC was supposed be the conference hit hardest after the NCAA implemented a cap in 2012 on the number of players a school could sign.
Statistics have shown that SEC recruiting has actually improved since then, according to CBSsports.com’s Jon Solomon.
Despite the SEC having signed 5 percent fewer players than it did from 2007-11, the conference has pulled in 37 percent of the nation’s four- and five-star prospects from 2012-16, according to Sport Source Analytics.
That’s the highest percentage by any conference and actually an improvement from the 33 percent the SEC collected from 2007-11.
Additionally, this year the SEC had five of the top nine recruiting classes, per the 247Sports composite rankings, and finished with nine teams inside the top 25.
While the SEC has smaller signing classes, there are exceptions.
The SEC continues to sign more players than any other conference. In the past five years, 12 of the 18 leaders for signees among the Power 5 conferences hailed from the SEC. Defending national champion Alabama leads the way with 25.8 signees per recruiting class since 2012.
One other important item of note: the SEC has taken advantage of mid-year signees.
SEC schools averaged 6.8 mid-year enrollees this year, and Florida signed a school-record 12, which led the conference. Mid-year enrollees allow a school more flexibility in regard to which recruits count against the signing cap for which year.