Well the first major milestone of the offseason is out of the way. It looks like the rich got richer, and even the downtrodden teams of the conference look at this day as a sign of good times to come. There are several recruiting pages out there on the net rivals, scout, espnu, for this blog I will be using information recieved from scout.com, so don't go crazy saying "my team is number 1 not the team you said."
According to scout.com at this time they have Ohio St with the number 1 class, for the record rivals.com has Alabama as the number 1 class. Whatever recruiting service you follow is fine with me because overall the rankings aren't going to be that much different. Here are the facts though. According to Scout.com the SEC has 10 of 12 teams in the top 25 of recruiting which is amazing if you ask me.
The surprises of the recruiting season though has to be Auburn, Tennessee, and Mississippi St. despite making coaching changes at the end of the season the new staffs came in and either held on to the elite prospects that the previous regimes were working on or recruited a lot of new kids to end up with a respectable ranking. There are still a number of elite prospects who have yet to sign also, such as running back Bryce Brown from Kansas. He had been said to be a verbal commit to Miami, but he is still silent on his choice and allegedly will not make a decision until March following the path that Terrelle Pryor blazed last year.
There are 30 of the top 100 high school players in the country coming to the SEC to play ball next year which blows my mind when you consider that 88 of the top 100 players went to teams that finished in the top 25 in recruiting. 20 of the 30 top 100 players are 5-star prospects not bad, on paper.
What do I mean by "on paper"? Well these recruiting services don't take into account a lot of intangibles when it comes to rating these guys. They rate the guys mostly on their measurables i.e. height, weight, 40 time, benchpress, and verticle leap, and in some small part on their high school stats. Measurables don't always tell you about a player. Sure it tells you they have the potential be something great, but it can't measure competitiveness, heart, and want. This is why there are a lot of kids who may be 5-star players coming out of high school, but national signing day is their 15 minutes of fame. Then there are kids who may not be all that highly regarded who end up multi-time All-American's or at least All-Conference selections. Off the top of my head James Laurinitis from Ohio St was just a 3-star linebacker coming out of Minnesota as was teammate and Ronnie Lott Trophy winning cornerback Malcolm Jenkins.
Some kids get forced to change positions once they reach the college level and once that happens they may never get comfortable and amount to anything. There are some still that are as sharp as bowling balls who never get academically eligible or once they do end up at another school because the year the kid wasted going to junior college or prep school the original team forgot all about him because of the next big thing coming in.
Colt Brennan from Hawaii was a 1-star player in high school, and look at what he did in his career at Hawaii. These rankings from recruiting services are not the be all end all they would like you to believe. Now granted the 2002 class that Brennan was in was a very talented bunch with Vince Young, Steve Breaston, Trent Edwards, and Devin Hester among the 5-star prospects. So what I am saying is yeah be happy your team signed a great class but don't take it for granted that its going to automatically make you the best team in the country there are to many other factors involved. On that note, and it pains me to say this, congrats to the Tide for winning Rivals.com's recruiting national championship for the second year in a row. Now for your sake I hope they all qualify academically, have intangibles not just measurables, and don't get overwhelmed by the bright lights on Saturday afternoon and nights.