The SEC may have lost three schools to the newest edition of the AP Top 25 poll over the weekend, but the conference’s dominance was on full display on Sunday.
According to ESPN.com’s Kyle Bonagura, 309 former SEC players were on active NFL rosters for opening kickoff, the most among any conference. The second-closest is the ACC, which currently has 239 players in the league. And of the 67.9 percent of players in the NFL that represent the Power 5 programs, 18.2 percent come from the SEC.
Here is the breakdown of each program: LSU 37, Georgia 35, Alabama 34, Florida 31, Auburn 29, Tennessee 26, South Carolina 20, Texas A&M 20, Missouri 17, Mississippi State 16, Arkansas 14, Kentucky 12, Mississippi 12, Vanderbilt 6.
Say what you will about the SEC, but it’s no coincidence that recruits want to play their college football careers in the Southeast.
Today’s need-to-know stories
1. Georgia DE names Florida as his frontrunner
Mykelle McDaniel, a 3-star defensive end from Grayson High School, told the AJC over the weekend that Florida is his No. 1 school. The Gators are followed by Nebraska, Tennessee and South Carolina.
What stands out about Florida? McDaniel says he’s formed a great relationship with coach Jim McElwain and his staff, but he points to the opportunity to play early as the biggest reason for the Gators’ surge.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder says he won’t take official visits until after the season, but he plans to visit each of the four schools above.
2. 5-star TE set to take official visit to Ole Miss
The nation’s top tight end has decided on his fifth and final visit.
Isaac Nauta, a 5-star from IMG Academy (Fla.), announced over the weekend that he would take an official visit to Ole Miss. Coincidentally, that is where teammate Shea Patterson, a 5-star quarterback, is committed.
How much of a pull Patterson has on his current teammate remains to be seen, but the future Rebels quarterback told the AJC that he’s talked about Ole Miss with Nauta to the point of exhaustion.
3. Top 2017 quarterback eyes possible Alabama, Kentucky visits
Chase Brice, a 4-star quarterback from Grayson High School, has long been considered a strong Michigan State or Clemson lean.
But over the weekend, Brice told the AJC that he’s planning to visit Alabama and Kentucky at some point this fall.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder says he’s unsure when the visits will take place, but he did acknowledge the recent success of Kentucky’s program under coach Mark Stoops as well as Alabama’s reign as a powerhouse program.
Brice was in attendance for Michigan State’s home game against Oregon this weekend.
4. UGA extends offer to 4-star from Alabama
One of Alabama’s top prospects, Kendall Randolph, reeled in an offer from UGA over the weekend.
The 4-star offensive lineman is regarded as one of the state’s top prospects in 2017, but he’s considered a strong Alabama lean. He’s also reported offers from Ole Miss and Auburn, among others.
5. One of the nation’s top recruits reveals top five, includes Alabama, LSU
Over the weekend, 5-star defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence revealed his finalists.
According to Rivals.com’s Jason Howell, the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder has settled upon Alabama, LSU, Washington, Ohio State and UCLA. Though he has yet to decide on his official visits, Lawrence told Howell that he’ll likely visit UCLA on Oct. 2 and Ohio State on Oct. 17.
Lawrence is ranked as the No. 2 player in Louisiana.
6. Freshman ‘sensation’ excited about SEC offers
Owen Pappoe, a freshman linebacker from Grayson High School, has already reported 11 offers, and he doesn’t even see the field that often.
The 6-foot-1, 194-pound linebacker has already reeled in offers from the likes of UGA, Tennessee and Auburn, and he’s just 14 years old.
Over the weekend, Pappoe told the AJC that he’s blown away by the SEC offers, but it’s only going to motivate him more moving forward.
7. 4-star WR announces top five, includes three SEC programs
Isaiah Graham, a 4-star receiver from Louisiana, announced on Sunday a top five, a list that includes Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, TCU and Miami.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound receiver is considered a split between Arkansas and TCU, according to 247Sports.com’s Crystal Ball predictions. But it’s important to note that he has family in Arkansas, which could be a factor.
Graham is ranked as the No. 15 player in Louisiana.
8. Soundbites and storylines from around the SEC
The SEC loses three members in the newest AP Top 25 poll … Injury to top Auburn defensive back does not look good … Leonard Fournette thinks LSU should’ve won by more … South Carolina may be without quarterback Connor Mitch for some time … Florida narrowly edges East Carolina … This Oklahoma safety gives Tennessee fans ‘the bird’ … Jim McElwain lays into star running back for unsportsmanlike conduct penalty