Alabama (26 signees): Experts are saying this is one of the top three classes in the country. QB Phillip Sims (6 feet 2, 224 pounds) from Chesapeake, Va., is so highly touted that some believe he could compete with incumbent Greg McElroy for the starting job next fall. CBs DeMarcus Milliner (6-1, 180) and John Fulton (6-0, 178) will help offset the loss of one-time commitment Keenan Allen, who signed with California. Norcross’ Adrian Hubbard (6-6, 227) is the No. 5 DE in the country, according to ESPN. The Tide lists him as a LB, however.
Arkansas (17): Bobby Petrino and his staff have struggled, losing the state’s top players to other programs, particularly RB Michael Dyer, who committed to Auburn. The top signees appear to be OG Cam Feldt (6-4, 295), DT Calvin Barnett (6-3, 330), Gainesville S Daunte Carr (6-2, 195) and WR Jarrett Lake (6-3, 220). Despite these signings, this class likely will rank 11th or 12th in the conference.
Auburn (32): The Tigers lost out on RB Marcus Lattimore, but broke Bulldogs' hearts by signing DT Jeffrey Whitaker (6-3, 295) of Warner Robins. The loss of Lattimore was helped by coach Gene Chizik grabbing Michael Dyer (5-8, 201) from Arkansas, OG Eric Mack (6-4, 315) of South Carolina and DE Corey Lemonier (6-5, 223) from Florida. The Tigers also nabbed OL Ed Christian (6-5, 280) of Lowndes and DB Antonio Goodwin (6-2, 170) of Washington High.
Florida (27): Where to start? The Gators got richer, signing perhaps country's top class and perhaps the best in school history. DE Ronald Powell (6-4, 250), the No. 1 player in California, DT Dominique Easley (6-2, 270), DB Matt Elam (5-10, 199) and S Jonathan Dowling (6-4, 185) are all considered to be among the top 10 players in the country. Coach Urban Meyer also nabbed the top player in Pennsylvania in DT Sharrif Floyd (6-3, 311).
Kentucky (25): First-year coach Joker Phillips got a boost from RB Jerrell Priester (5-9, 170), who had committed to Vanderbilt, but signed with Kentucky. LB Tim Patterson (6-4, 220), who is from Louisville, also went with Kentucky. It appeared TE Alex Smith (6-5, 255) might head to North Carolina, but also chose Kentucky. The class is highlighted by Miami RB Brandon Gainer (5-11, 200).
LSU (27): TE Travis Dickson (6-3, 235) and safeties Eric Reid (6-2, 200) and Tharold Simon (6-2, 186) highlight this class, which received a boost when Troup DL J.C. Copeland (6-1, 290) signed after committing to Tennessee. DT J.R. Ferguson (6-3, 272) appeared to be headed to Miami, but also signed with LSU. Versatile Trovon Reed from Thibodaux, La., committed to LSU, but signed with Auburn.
Mississippi (26): DE Delvin Jones (6-3, 230) of Palmetto, Fla., committed to Tennessee, but changed his mind when Lane Kiffin left and decided to sign with Ole Miss, boosting this class. As usual, the Rebels did well in-state, but also signed seven Floridians and North Clayton LB Clarence Jackson (6-2, 220).
Mississippi State (23): Coach Dan Mullen added athletes to his spread-option offense, signing versatile players like Michael Carr (6-1, 195), Brandon Hill (6-2, 210) and Robert Johnson (6-0, 195) from out of the state. The top recruit perhaps is OT Damien Robinson (6-8, 330) of Olive Branch, Miss. Alabaman S Chris Hughes (6-0, 215) is highly regarded.
South Carolina (22): RB Marcus Lattimore (5-11, 215) is the crown of this class. Along with Michael Dyer, who signed with Auburn, Lattimore is considered one of top two RBs in the nation. The Gamecocks took a hit when WR Sean Tapley signed with North Carolina after committing to USC in November, but they picked up WR Javon Bell (5-11, 170), who had committed to Florida International.
Tennessee (25): Like Calhoun WR Da’Rick Rogers, who had committed to Georgia, OL James Stone (6-4, 295) appears to be a steal for the Vols. It appeared he was headed to Alabama, but, along with North Gwinnett’s Ja'Wuan James (6-6, 290), they give the Vols two of the top OL prospects in the country. New coach Derek Dooley did well after Kiffin left, also signing WR Justin Hunter (6-5, 180) to help offset the loss of Henry County WR Markeith Ambles, who signed with USC.
Vanderbilt (24): This is perhaps the best class in coach Bobby Johnson’s nine years. The Commodores lost Calhoun QB Nash Nance, who signed with Tennessee, but signed McEachern RB Rajaan Bennett (5-11, 210), Stephenson DB Kenny Ladler (6-1, 188) and QB Jordan Rodgers, the brother of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (6-2, 210).
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.