Power Ranking SEC's 2013 Recruiting Classes, Post-Ricky Seals-Jones Commitment
Today, a huge recruiting domino has fallen with the news of Ricky Seals-Jones committing to Texas A&M per ESPNU. This is extremely exciting news for the program in College Station led by Kevin Sumlin, as Seals-Jones is commitment No. 34 for the Aggies.
A 6'5", 230-pound WR/TE prospect from Texas, Seals-Jones is one of the more athletically gifted players we've seen in awhile in recruiting. He figures to start out as a WR but don't be surprised if his 230-pound frame packs on even more bulk and ultimately leads him to becoming a dynamic TE.
The SEC is where Seals-Jones will be playing and this impacts the entire conference. Let's update the 2013 SEC recruiting class rankings, post R. S-J's announcement for Texas A&M.
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The Wildcats have 14 commitments right now, but you have to figure that new coach Mark Stoops will add to that. The top two prospects are 5'8", 180-pound darter Khalid Thomas and 6'5", 218-pound DE Alvonte Bell.
Stoops probably won't make too much noise to ascend up the rankings in time for the closing of this 2013 cycle, but look for UK to do better next year.
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Bret Bielema inherits an 18-man class that has stud TE Hunter Henry as it's headliner. The 6'5", 240-pound seam player is a homegrown hog commit that should become a complete TE in Fayetteville.
Brooks Ellis is also a solid OLB and Austin Allen could be a deceptive QB for Arkansas. Bielema will likely try to get Altee Tenpenny to flip from Alabama, but that may be unlikely.
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Mizzou has 18 commitments and the headliner of the group is Chase Abbington. At 6'4" and 210 pounds, Abbington can play OLB, WR or even some FS.
Gary Pinkel has found that recruiting in the SEC is a little tougher, as this class isn't as highly touted as last year's. Still, Missouri will bring 18 players that they feel could help them win football games.
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Butch Jones is going to have to contact all 18 commitments and introduce himself, love 'em up and re-sell Volunteer football to them. That's before he attacks the trail.
His recruiting class is alright, but let's face it, UT has seen better classes in Knoxville. QB Riley Ferguson could be Jones' driver for his spread offense, OT Austin Sanders will protect him and WR Camion Patrick will be his top target.
10. Mississippi State
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The Bulldogs have gone through another coaching hiring season and escaped again with their head coach Dan Mullen still intact.
Mullen has 22 commitments for this year's class and it's a pretty solid haul.
QB Cord Sandberg is a dual threat signal caller that fits Mullen's system very well. RB Kailo Moore is one of the fastest players in the country and watch out for DE Chris Jones.
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The Commodores are flirting with a top 20 recruiting class finish and James Franklin is becoming a recruiting star. Vandy has 21 commitments and four are ESPNU 300 members.
WR DeAndre Woods is the top prospect for Franklin, in my opinion. Also, QB's John McCrary and Chad Kanoff, DT Jay Woods and WR Carlos Burse are good football players too.
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Auburn's class is falling apart right before our eyes and with this being a power rankings piece, right now Auburn's power ranking is low. LB Reuben Foster is gone and I also think DE Carl Lawson may bolt from his pledge too.
RB Jordan Wilkins and DE Tashawn Bower also must be watched closely. For now, Auburn has 15 commitments but we don't really now how their class will look when February rolls around.
7. Ole Miss
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Credit Hugh Freeze and his staff for the job they've done this year. Ole Miss may have a top 25 class in the works and they are in the running for several elite prospects still.
The Rebels hold 20 commitments at the moment and the class is led by QB's Devin Kincade and Ryan Buchanan. Watch out for WR Dannon Cavil and ATH Jeremy Liggins.
Ole Miss could move up the board before it's all said and done.
6. South Carolina
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Columbia will see an influx of great talent walking around next year with the construction of this class. The Gamecocks have 20 commitments and Steve Spurrier has done a great job.
QB Connor Mitch, LB Matt Rolin, OT D.J. Park and LB Larenz Bryant are the top finds. Also add in DT Kelsey Griffin and OL's JP Vonashek and Alan Knott in this very talented group for South Carolina.
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Even though they lost out on Ricky Seals-Jones, LSU still has 23 commitments and is lurking around the top 10 recruiting class rankings.
Les Miles has once again shown with this class why he's regarded as one of the best recruiting head coaches in the land.
He's put together a class that features players like DT Greg Gilmore, CB Jeryl Brazil and OT Ethan Pocic.
Also QB Hayden Rettig and DE Frank Herron are not to be slept on, as this is another class that will help Les Miles win big games at LSU.
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Mark Richt has 30 (yes 30!) commitments in this class and 13 of them are ESPNU 300 prospects. Among this class are players like QB Brice Ramsey, S Tray Matthews, LB Tim Kimbrough, CB Shaq Wiggins and ATH Tramel Terry.
Georgia isn't done with recruiting and they are waiting on several other prospects. Don't be surprised to see UGA higher than this slot on NSD.
3. Texas A&M
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The Aggies pulled off their No. 1 recruiting priority by landing WR/TE Ricky Seals-Jones today, per ESPNU.
This is huge for Kevin Sumlin and officially announces him and Texas A&M as a prominent recruiting threat to the other bullies in the SEC.
Seals-Jones is the 34th pledge for the Aggies who also recently landed elite DT Justin Manning.
With other commitments from the likes of WR/TE Derrick Griffin, DT Isaiah Golden and and OL Joas Aguilar, Texas A&M is on pace to land in the top 10 recruiting class rankings and could sneak into the top five.
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TE O.J. Howard, QB Cooper Bateman, CB Maurice Smith, RB Derrick Henry and DL Demarcus Walker are just the tip of the iceberg for 'Bama.
Saban is also still in the thick for a few other big names and if he lands them, another No. 1 recruiting class won't be out of the reach.
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The Gators hold on to the No. 1 SEC class, for now. Alabama is coming on strong and so is Georgia and LSU, plus Texas A&M has a good argument too.
CB Vernon Hargraves III the prized jewel of the 24-man class and the best at his position in the country. RB Kelvin Taylor is also an elite prospect plus DT Caleb Brantley, LB Daniel McMillan, S Keanu Neal, LB Quinton Powell and WR Ahmad Fulwood will be starters one day.
Will Muschamp has an excellent class that probably will finish in the national top 5 rankings.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.