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College Football Recruiting: Ranking the SEC Recruiting Classes

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College Football Recruiting Rankings-SEC

Kim Klement-US Presswire

The Rich get rich, and sometimes the rich get really rich. That was the theme for national signing day, the biggest day in college football recruiting for the teams in the SEC. They once again monopolized most of the top players, pulling in more stars than a black hole.

Breaking down which classes did the best in this most recent recruiting cycle it is more than just looking at who had the most 5 star prospects. For a team to have a really great recruiting class, they have to bring in players who fit what they want to do, and can really impact the team. Some teams simply choose to stockpile players, regardless of whether or not they really need them or intend to use them. This always creates situations on these teams where players end up disappointed in their playing time and transfer out. We see it year after year.

Looking at the SEC classes, what we end up with is a huge logjam of talent with even the worst teams in the conference still bringing in some exceptional players. Even the bottom feeders of the conference, teams like Missouri, Kentucky and Arkansas were able to get at least one 4 star recruit each, and among their 3 star recruits are some really nice players.

But overall the class of the conference is right at the top. Alabama and Florida are obviously going to be right at the top, but the inclusion of Ole Miss and Auburn in the Top 6 have to come as a bit of a surprise to many. It just goes to show the power of playing in the top conference in college football; it means you can pull in top talent. But how do the teams stack up? Here's a rundown of the SEC recruiting classes all the way to number 1.

Curt covers college football, the NFL draft, and the Pittsburgh Steelers for Rant Sports. Connect on Twitter at @nfldraftboard.

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14. Missouri

Kim Klement-US Presswire

Star of the class-Chase Abbington, ATH Fort Zumwalt South, St. Peters, MO-Abbington is an amazing athlete and it will be interesting to see how Missouri chooses to use him. Looking at the depth charts, safety might be his best position to allow him to impact the game early, but running back is probably his most natural position.

Sleeper of the class-Marcus Loud, DE Wheatley HS Houston, TX-Loud is a fascinating prospect because he’s long and lean with great length and a frame that can easily hold 20 more pounds of muscle without any loss of speed or quickness.

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13. Arkansas


Star of the class-Denver Krikland, OL Booker T. Washington HS Miami, FL-Kirkland is a massive young man, 6-5 and over 330lbs and just the type of road grading lineman head coach Bret Beilema loves. Look for him in the starting rotation, likely at guard very early on and anchor that line for several seasons.

Sleeper of the class-Alex Collins, RB South Plantation HS, Plantation FL-I include Collins here as a sleeper because there’s a real shot he won’t be a Razorback next season. As the story goes, his mom took his letter of intent and fled the state with it, as she wants him to sign with a local school in Florida. But should he and his dad convince his mom it’s ok for him to play at Arkansas, the Razorbacks are going to get an excellent player.

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12. Kentucky

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Star of the class-Za’Darius Smith, DE East Mississippi CC, Scooba, MS-Smith is coming in ready to play and I expect him to be making plays from day one. Fellow defensive end Jason Hatcher will be around longer, but Smith is ready to play big right now.

Sleeper of the class-Jojo Kemp, RB Deland HS, Deland, FL-Kemp is a top 10 all-purpose back and has excellent size and burst. There’s always a chance he could play some linebacker for the Wildcats, but I think his future is likely as a running back; as a starter in 2014.

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11. Tennessee

Frank Victores-US Presswire

Star of the class-Marquez North, WR Mallard Creek HS, Charlotte NC-The Vols always seem to find a way to get top wide receivers and this year is no different. North is built like a grown man at 6-3 and 205lbs, and room to grow. He’s more athlete than football player right now, but should learn quickly and become a really nice deep threat.

Sleeper of the class-Jabo Lee, RB Dillon HS, Dillon, SC-Lee is a burner of a running back and might need a year before he’s ready for prime time, but his highlights show a young man with a ton of potential.

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10. Vanderbilt

Daniel Shirley-USA TODAY Sports

Star of the class-Zach Cunningham, LB, Pinson Valley HS, Pinson AL-Cunningham is a fabulous athlete with a long 6-4 frame that a little college weights will get up to 230lbs in no time.

Sleeper of the class- Tre Bell, CB St. Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, New Jersey-Bell is a tall and lean corner with great speed and tons of upside. He just needs proper coaching and some meat on his bones to hang with SEC talent.

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9. Mississippi State

Kim Klement-US Presswire

Star of the class-Chris Jones, DE Houston HS, Houston MS-Jones is clearly the top of this class and could be an impact rush end from the first day of the season. Getting Jones as a serious score for the Bulldogs.

Sleeper of the class-Cord Sandberg, QB Manatee HS, Bradenton, FL-Jones stole all the headlines, but Sandberg looks to be the future of this team and will be running this offense sooner rather than later.

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8. South Carolina

Jeff Blake-US Presswire

Star of the class-Pharoh Cooper, ATH Havelock HS Havelock, NC-The biggest impact that Cooper is going to have is going to be as a wide receiver where I expect to see him in the 3 deep rotation from day one.

Sleeper of the class-Ali Groves, ATH, Stephenson HS, Stone Mountain GA-Groves is going to need a little time to fill out and refine his game, but I can see him starting at safety not too far into his career at South Carolina.

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7. Georgia

Daniel Shirley-USA TODAY Sports

Star of the class-Reginald Carter, LB South Gwinnett HS, Snellville GA-The Bulldogs are looking for linebackers and because of that Carter might end up starting right away. He’s got great explosion and athletic build so if he’s up to speed in time, look for him on the field.

Sleeper of the class-Brice Ramsey, QB Camden County HS, Kingsland GA-with the defection of quarterback Aaron Murray after the 2013 season, Ramsey has one year to get himself ready to take of the starting spot.

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6. Texas A&M

John David Mercer-US Presswire

Star of the class-Tavares Garner, DE Manvel HS, Manvel TX-Garner is one of several excellent defensive back prospects the Aggies were able to snag, but he appears to have the most upside of any of them.

Sleeper of the class-Daeshon Hill, DE Lancaster HS, Lancaster TX-The Aggies are going to feel the loss of defensive end Damontre Moore, but Hill is a great prospect and should grow into a player just as good.

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5. Auburn

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Star of the class-Montravius Adams, DT Dooly County HS, Vienna, GA-Defensive end Carl Lawson is getting all the press, but for my money, Adams is the guy who is going to get the most attention during the season. He’s a massive young man with a bright future ahead of him.

Sleeper of the class-Earnest Robinson, WR Pinson Valley HS, Pinson Valley, Al-The Tigers are in dire need of a big receiving threat so don’t be shocked if Robinson gets plenty of snaps as a freshman.

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4. LSU

Derick Hingle-US Presswire

Star of the class-Frank Herron, DE Central HS, Memphis, TN-After a mass exodus of defensive players, a pass rusher like Herron is much needed. He’s big enough to come in and start as a freshman, and will have serious impact right away.

Sleeper of the class-Hayden Rettig, QB Catherdral HS, Los Angeles CA-Rettig is my sleeper pick to win the no. 2 quarterback spot for 2013, and could see playing time as a freshman, and almost certainly be the starter in 2014.

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3. Mississippi

Dale Zanine-US Presswire

Star of the class-Robert Nkemdiche, DE Grayson HS, Loganville, GA-Obviously Nkemdiche was the star of the entire recruiting class, so landing with Ole Miss was a huge coup by then. No reason to believe he won’t be laying waste to SEC quarterbacks right off the bat.

Sleeper of the class-Laquon Treadwell, WR Crete Monee HS, Crete IL-Technically not a sleeper, Treadwell is going to have some competition for a spot in the starting lineup, but don’t be shocked if he isn’t top 3 by Fall.

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2. Alabama

Matthew Emmons-US Presswire

Star of the class-Jonathan Allen, DE/LB Stone Bridge HS, Ashburn, VA-Allen is likely going to be in the role of one of the oversized linebackers in the Alabama 3-4 defense, and he’s got an ideal build and skill set for what head coach Nick Saban likes to do.

Sleeper of the class-Derrick Henry, RB Yuplee HS, Yuplee FL-Henry is a huge back with bruising power and sneaky speed. I can see Henry being the guy to spell running TJ Yeldon in 2013 and offering a change of pace.

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1. Florida

Kim Klement-US Presswire

Star of the class-Vernon Hargreaves III, DB Wheaton HS, Seffner, FL-VHIII is one of those rare mixes of size and overwhelming athletic ability we are all accustomed to seeing in a Gators uniform. He’s also got a very high football IQ, and excels in physical man coverage, which head coach Will Muschamp demands.

Sleeper of the class-Kelvin Taylor, RB Glades Day HS, Bell Glade, FL-Obviously if you know your Gator football Taylor is no sleeper as he’s the son of former Gator great Fred Taylor. He’s got the physical build and running style that points to him being the lead dog on a run heavy offense. He’s not a finished product at all, but he can really makes things happen when he has the football in his hands.