With National Signing Day a week away, teams are scrambling to fill out their recruiting classes.
Some schools cast their net from coast to coast, while others tend to focus more on prospects a bit closer to home.
Landing the best players in a school’s home state is important. It’s cheaper to send coaches to the local high schools, fans are more likely to be familiar with them and it inspires players growing up in the fan base to want to wear the colors someday.
Here’s a look at how each SEC school is doing with the top 10 players in its home state in this recruiting cycle.
All ratings courtesy of 247Sports
The Alabama-Auburn rivalry is never far from the minds of fans in the state, and the same is true on the recruiting trail.
As of Jan. 25, Auburn has 4 players committed from the state’s top 10 and Alabama has 3. The Tigers’ local haul is highlighted by 4-star linebacker Tadarian Moultry (ranked fourth in the state). Alabama’s top in-state commitment at the moment is the state’s third-best player, 4-star linebacker Markail Benton.
Alabama is also in play for the fifth-ranked player, 4-star receiver Nico Collins, but Michigan and Georgia appear to be slightly ahead in the race for his services.
The Razorbacks have commitments from 4 of the state’s top 10 players. That doesn’t sound great until you consider that they didn’t offer scholarships to the other 6.
Bret Bielema and his staff have pledges from 4 of the top 5, including the top-ranked player, 4-star safety Montaric Brown. Three-star prospects Jarrod Barnes (ATH), Koilan Jackson (receiver) and Kirby Adcock (tackle) are also in this year’s class.
The Sunshine State features 5 5-star recruits in this year’s top 10, but none of the top 10 appears to be headed to Gainesville.
Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State nabbed 3 players each from the top of Florida’s class. Michigan snared the other.
The Gators are the leader for the 12th-ranked player in the class, 4-star guard Tedarrell Slaton.
The recruiting ground in the Peach State is always fertile, which usually serves the Bulldogs well.
In 2017, 5 of the top 10 players in the state are committed to Georgia, or have already enrolled. Richard LeCounte III, a 5-star safety, headlines the group that also includes 4 4-star prospects.
The state’s top player, 5-star quarterback Davis Mills, is heading to Stanford, but the Bulldogs hope to snare the second-best player, 5-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon.
Sometimes, a team can make just as much hay in a bordering state than it does in its home one. The Wildcats have commits from a pair of top-10 players in Ohio, along with the 2 they have from Kentucky.
The state’s top player, 4-star tackle Jedrick Wills, is heading to Alabama.
This recruiting cycle has been a bit of a mixed bag for the Tigers with in-state prospects, but it’s a bag that could still fill up a little more.
The state’s top player, 4-star defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin and 4-star QB Lowell Narcisse are pledged to play for Ed Orgeron. Three of the state’s top-five players, DeVonta Smith, Todd Harris and Phidarian Mathis, remain undecided.
The same is true for 4-star running back Travis Etienne.
Mississippi State offered 9 of the state’s top 10 players and Ole Miss offered all of them. Kylin Hill, a 4-star running back, is the lone player committed to the Bulldogs. The Rebels lead in the race for 4-star receiver D.D. Bowie and 3-star athlete Kam White.
The Tigers only offered 6 of the top-10 players in their home state this year, and 3-star athlete Daron Davis is their lone pledge to date.
Despite sharing the Palmetto State with the reigning national champions, the Gamecocks have done nicely close to home in this cycle.
The state’s top 2 players, 4-star receiver OrTre Smith and 4-star athlete Shi Smith, are committed to South Carolina. Will Muschamp and staff also have 3-star tight end Will Register and 3-star linebacker Davonne Bowen in the fold.
Tennessee offered scholarships to all 10 top prospects from the Volunteer State, and Vanderbilt offered 9 of them. The Commodores didn’t land any of them, but Tennessee did slightly better.
Like Florida, Texas is a hotly contested state for recruiting. Texas A&M, despite having a top-10 class nationally, has only 1 of the Lone Star state’s top-10 players — 4-star linebacker Anthony Hines.
The Aggies’ class does include 18 other players from the state, including 6 of the top 50, which speaks to the depth of talent available in Texas.
Marvin Wilson, a 5-star defensive tackle and the state’s top prospect, is undecided.