Recruiting is the life-blood of college football. Need proof? Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State boasted three of the top four recruiting classes in 2016. If those schools sound familiar, it’s because they represent the last three national championships.
Many of the top 2017 signal-callers in the nation are committed to SEC schools, which bodes well for the future of the conference.
With eight months until National Signing Day, here are the top five quarterbacks committed to SEC schools.
*Note: All rankings are from the 247 Composite rankings.
Jake Fromm, Georgia
Overall ranking: 41
National QB ranking: 4
The skinny: Georgia picked up a game-changing commitment on March 3, when it flipped 4-star QB Jake Fromm. He had been committed to Alabama since October, but the Kirby Smart hiring at Georgia proved to be enough to change his commitment.
As a junior, Fromm was named the Gatorade player of the year in the state of Georgia after becoming just the fourth quarterback from the state to throw for more than 4,000 yards (Hutson Mason, Taylor Heinicke, Deshaun Watson).
Depth chart: Despite his lofty ranking, Fromm might have to wait his turn. Georgia is expected to start Jacob Eason next season, so it could be 2019 before Fromm takes over.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Overall ranking: 60
National QB ranking: 6
The skinny: When Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy in 2014, it opened eyes to a whole new market. Tua Tagovailoa appears to be the heir apparent. Tagovailoa attends the same high school Mariota did in Hawaii, and his legend is starting to compare.
As a junior, Tagovailoa compiled 2,916 passing yards and 35 total touchdowns en route to being named the highest-rated high school quarterback in Hawaii history. After an impromptu trip to the Deep South, the first of his life, Tagavailoa and his family fell in love with the SEC.
Depth chart: Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has several talented quarterbacks with which to work, but Tagavailoa could prove to be the most gifted playmaker yet. If Cooper Bateman (redshirt junior) or Blake Barnett (redshirt freshman) wins the job this year, either could hold it for seasons to come.
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Overall ranking: 78
National QB ranking: 7
The skinny: Kellen Mond was committed to Art Briles and Baylor for months, but de-committed after the scandal escalated. Now, he is the newest Texas A&M commit after making it official on Monday. Mond transferred from San Antonio Reagan to IMG Academy this offseason, which should only increase his skill set and profile.
The Aggies have notably had some trouble holding onto quarterbacks the last few months. Former 5-star recruits Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray both transferred from the program in a matter of weeks, while No. 3 QB Tate Martell de-committed from the program in May.
Depth chart: With so much uncertainty heading forward, Mond could compete for a starting job quickly. Graduate transfer Trevor Knight will enter 2016 as the starter, but will exhaust his eligibility. It’s possible Mond could start as early as 2017.
Lowell Narcisse, LSU
Overall ranking: 113
National QB ranking: 9
The skinny: Les Miles likes to keep Louisiana talent in state, and managed to do so by nabbing St. James QB Lowell Narcisse in the class of 2017. Narcisse is a talented dual-threat passer — one who can make plays all over the field. He tore his ACL in 2015, but has recovered at a high enough level that coaches are unworried.
Depth chart: LSU has long boasted top talent, but struggled to compete at the signal-caller position. QB Brandon Harris was touted, but struggled to produce in his first couple seasons in Baton Rouge, La. The Tigers also have a commitment from pocket passer Myles Brennan, which gives the Tigers one of the top quarterback classes in the nation.
It’s hard to believe, but Harris could start for LSU in 2017, as he’ll be a senior. Purdue transfer Danny Etling also will hold one year of remaining eligibility in ’17. By 2018, LSU will have added at least one more quarterback, one can assume. But Narcisse should have a chance to compete for the job then.
Jake Allen, Florida
Overall ranking: 231
National QB ranking: 17
The skinny: Before Jim McElwain had even coached a game, Jake Allen gave his commitment to the Gators. At the time, he was committing to a team that had consistently been one of the worst offenses in college football under Will Muschamp. A few months later, Allen is looking smarter than ever. Florida had a 10-win resurgence under McElwain on the back of an offensive surge.
When QB Will Grier was suspended last season, it proved just how important the signal-caller is to Florida’s offense. The Gators went 6-0 with Grier at the helm, and 4-4 without.
Depth chart: Allen will have stiff competition for playing time. As hard as it is to believe, Luke Del Rio — wearing his third different college uniform — is just a redshirt sophomore this year. He could start through 2018. Touted 2016 recruit Feleipe Franks, ranked the No. 54 overall player in his class, and Kyle Trask, who turned heads this spring with his arm strength, will provide further competition.