CFB Recruiting Review: SEC West | February 12, 2013
The 2013 recruiting class have chosen their desired college, and now its time to review the results! This is only a small step on the route to success though, it’s all good bringing the top prospects in, but will you help them to develop into big time college football players or will they fail to live up to expectations? The SEC is the first conference to be reviewed, the premier conference in college football is the prime destination for recruits, and the 2013 class proved that.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Surprisingly Alabama only picked up one 5* recruit, RB Derrick Henry, but that doesn’t really matter when it comes to Nick Saban. They managed to bring future stars in ILB Reuben Foster (Yes, the Auburn tattoo guy who was shot by his dad when he was a baby), WR Robert Foster, DT Dee Liner (What a name!) and one of my favorite recruits in the whole of the 2013 class, QB Cooper Bateman, the logical replacement for AJ McCarron when he leaves to Tuscaloosa continuing a trend of elite talent representing the Crimson Tide. Alabama are constantly churning out NFL talent, especially at the RB position, and that obviously isn’t going unnoticed with recruits, they picked up four RBs in this class, all consensus 4/5* prospects. These are just a small number of great recruits in Alabama’s class, expect the Crimson Tide’s dominance to continue.
The Razorbacks picked up two huge player from South Florida in RB Alex Collins (The kid with the crazy mom) and OT Denver Kirkland. Collins should be a very good back at the college level, and Kirkland has the potential to become a great OT. To go along with QB Austin Allen, Arkansas also brought in 6’5″ TE Hunter Henry, the #2 TE in the 2013 class who should be a huge target for Allen. Other than those, Bret Bielema’s first class as Arkansas head coach wasn’t up to SEC standards, but there’s no doubt with a full year of recruiting he should be able to take the Razorbacks into the top 20 of the recruiting class rankings.
Despite having a change of head coach in the latter stages of the recruiting process, Auburn still managed to put together an impressive class. The class is headlined by DE Carl Lawson, a consensus 5* who would have a shot at being the #1 overall recruit if it wasn’t for a certain Robert Nkemdiche. The #2 DT (ESPN) Montravius Adams was a huge pickup, getting the #4 DE Elijah Daniel to play opposite Carl Lawson wasn’t bad either. The Tigers hope to have their next Cam Newton in dual threat QB Jeremy Johnson, although he’ll never reach the heights Newton did in his one year at Auburn, Johnson still has the potential to take Auburn back towards the top of the SEC.
After a poor 2012 class Les Miles needed to rebound this year, and he did just that with a very solid 2013 class. They managed to get the signature of two stud DTs in Greg Gilmore and Maquedius Bain, as well as three CBs in Jeryl Brazil, Tre’Davious White and Rashard Robinson who should all be premier CBs in the future. One recruit I’m not a fan of is QB Hayden Rettig, he was being overrated massively early in the process (Rated #5 QB in November) before recruiting experts starting to realise that Rettig really isn’t that special. Rettig will be learning under Cam Cameron which isn’t as great as it used to be, I don’t even think he’ll get on the field at LSU. (Now watch him become an NFL Hall of Famer)
Mississippi State Bulldogs
If Mississippi State are to contend with the elite in the SEC they’ll have to start bringing in better classes than what they have been. DE Chris Jones is a nice addition and should be able to compete for a starting job in his freshman year, but other than him it isn’t a very impressive class. Dual-Threat QB Cord Sandberg played on a very successful Manatee High School team in Florida, and should be a starter in Starkville in a few years. Their strongest position in the class was WR, where they three 4* players including junior college transfer Jeremey Chappelle.
Ole Miss Rebels
Ole Miss shocked the college football world this year by pulling in one of the best classes in the country. The consensus #1 overall player Robert Nkemdiche decided to play for the Rebels, giving them a Jadeveon Clowney type player to scare SEC offenses. Added with him, 5* OT Laremy Tunsil and ESPN’s #1 WR Laquon Treadwell, building the core of a surprising but elite class. Antonio Conner, the #2 S was a great pickup on National Signing Day, and they added an OT to play opposite Tunsil in Austin Golson. I’m not finished yet! Junior College DT Lavon Hooks was sought after by a ton of elite colleges but also chose Ole Miss, and if you watched ESPN’S Elite 11 last summer you may know QB’s DeVante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan, both of whom will be in a starter competition at some point at the future. So yeah, pretty impressive.
Grade: A+ (Ole Miss pulled in that kind of class, Ole Miss.)
Texas A&M Aggies
You may have heard of some guy named Johnny Manziel, if you haven’t you need to stop hiding in your shell from September-January. The appeal of playing on an up and coming team in the SEC was obviously too much to ignore for many recruits, the Aggies signed a total of 17 4* recruits, more recruits than some colleges have in their whole class. My favourite recruit in their class has to be Ricky Seals-Jones, the 6’5″ WR has the measurables to become an elite WR at the next level and beyond. Kevin Sumlin also managed to pull in another top WR in Sebastian LaRue. At the DT position the Aggies picked up Justin Manning and Isaiah Golden, Manning still needs to put on some more weight but when he does there’s no doubt he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Overall this was an impressive class that should help Texas A&M continue to be a top team in the SEC, Kevin Sumlin has done an incredible job in his short time in College Station.