Every SEC Football Team's Biggest Hole in Its 2014 Recruiting Class

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJanuary 22, 2014

Every SEC Football Team's Biggest Hole in Its 2014 Recruiting Class

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Building a team to win an SEC title is a tough challenge that only the best coaches and staffs can overcome. Assembling the proper personnel to execute a team's schemes takes savvy and disciplined recruiting.

    However, a bigger challenge could be maintaining a roster to have no holes in it to assure a team a chance to contend for SEC titles year after year. Looking at all 14 SEC programs' 2014 recruiting classes, many schools are once again constructing impressive groups.

    However, while some are bigger than others, each school has some sort of hole in its class.

    All recruiting totals are based from 247Sports.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.


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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Total commitments: Eight

    Vanderbilt is under new construction, as Derek Mason has taken over for James Franklin as head coach. The Commodores have taken their lumps on the recruiting trail in recent weeks, as only eight players are now committed to Vanderbilt.

    It's awfully close to National Signing Day, so at this point it's pointless to look at Vandy's holes from position-specific perspective. Mason simply needs more players.

    Biggest hole: Depth 

Texas A&M

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Total commitments: 20

    After signing a large class of more than 30 players in 2013, Texas A&M has 20 pledges for its 2014 group. Quarterback Kyle Allen, receiver Speedy Noil and defensive end Myles Garrett are 5-star studs who lead the class.

    Defense is the Aggies' achilles heel on the field, and size and strength are needed in the defensive trenches if it wants to seriously challenge for an SEC title. While 4-star defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson is a good player, a bigger bodied defensive tackle would be nice to add in this class.

    Biggest hole: Big-bodied defensive tackle


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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Total commitments: 34

    Tennessee has done a great job of filling its needs and adding depth to other positions, plus not many "big" holes can be found in its class of 34 commitments. 

    However, it would have been great for the Volunteers to have landed a quarterback in this class. The passers currently in Knoxville are young, but if Tennessee would have gotten one of the nation's best quarterback recruits, the Vols would be in serious discussion for the No. 1 recruiting class in 2014.

    Biggest hole: Quarterback

South Carolina

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    David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

    Total commitments: 17

    South Carolina has a class of 17 commitments that features mostly defensive linemen and pass-catchers. The Gamecocks' assembly of prospects is another solid group for head coach Steve Spurrier, however it could use a little something.

    South Carolina currently doesn't have a pledge from a running back, plus it could use another offensive lineman in this class.

    Biggest hole: Running back and an extra offensive lineman

Ole Miss

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    Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

    Total commitments: 24

    Ole Miss is now one of the most respected recruiting programs in the SEC, so the Rebels should soon become major players in the SEC title hunt.

    Their class of 24 commitments is led by 4-star talents such as safety C.J. Hampton and guard Roderick Taylor. The group has at least one player at every position, so there's no overwhelming holes. Perhaps adding a second cornerback or securing a commitment from a center would be good finishing touches.

    Biggest hole: Cornerback and center


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    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Total commitments: 25

    In one of the best turnarounds in recent memory, Missouri enjoyed a fantastic 2013 season. The Tigers have used the momentum from their performance on the field to secure commitments from 25 players.

    Andy Bauer, an offensive tackle, and linebacker Brandon Lee are 4-star prospects who are the headliners. Yet, this class only has one commitment from a defensive lineman, plus it has only signed one weak-side defensive end in two years.

    Biggest hole: Pass-rushing defensive lineman, specifically at end

Mississippi State

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    Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

    Total commitments: 19

    Mississippi State has a class that will not generate a ton of buzz of Signing Day, but it's going to help the Bulldogs win a lot of football games.

    However, a glaring hole can be found when one goes back to MSU's 2013 class. Mississippi State didn't sign a linebacker last year, plus it only has one player at that position in its 2014 haul.

    Biggest hole: Linebacker


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    Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

    Total commitments: 18

    The folks in Baton Rouge are preparing to celebrate another impressive recruiting class, as LSU has an 18-man group headlined by 5-star running back Leonard Fournette.

    Speaking of running back, Fournette officially will be the only player at that position the Tigers will have signed in two years on Signing Day. While he's an exceptional talent, it would be wise for head coach Les Miles to get one more runner to provide depth and insurance on Fournette.

    Biggest hole: Running back


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    Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

    Total commitments: 25

    Kentucky has an impressive class of 25 commitments, with 4-star quarterback Drew Barker being the face of the crew. With Barker being head coach Mark Stoops' prime investment, he is going to need to be protected and kept clean in the pocket as much as possible.

    That is why it is a little surprising that the Wildcats have only two offensive linemen in their class. 

    Biggest hole: Offensive line


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    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Total commitments: 17

    Georgia is still working hard to add to its class of 17 commitments, but it has every right to be proud of how its group looks right now. The Bulldogs have two great running backs, a solid quarterback and several other players who will start in the future.

    However, 4-star defensive end Keyon Brown is the only true pass-rusher in the class. The Bulldogs would love to fill this hole in their class with a certain 5-star defensive end who hails from inside their state.

    Biggest hole: Pass-rusher


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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Total commitments: 21

    Florida has hit on several of its needs in this recruiting class. The Gators' class of 21 commitments includes impact players at quarterback and cornerback, plus it has six offensive linemen.

    Although Florida has signed several great linebackers in recent classes, it lacks a pledge from a player at that spot for 2014. The Gators also are without a commitment from a running back now, too. Also, adding another receiver wouldn't hurt.

    Biggest hole: Running back, receiver and linebacker for depth


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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Total commitments: 21

    If Auburn wants to continue winning SEC titles, head coach Gus Malzahn and his staff are going to have to manage and reload their roster every year.

    The Tigers have a 21-man class full of talent including 4-star JUCO receiver D'haquille Williams and 5-star running back Roc Thomas. Yet, they only signed two offensive linemen in 2013 and lack a pledge from a blocker in their 2014 class.

    Auburn simply needs more offensive linemen, especially since it is in the SEC.

    Biggest hole: Offensive line


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    Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    Total commitments: 20

    Arkansas' class of 20 commitments features 4-star quarterback Rafe Peavey and five pass-catchers. Head coach Bret Bielema is recruiting tougher players in the interior trenches, as he is molding the Razorbacks in the image of his old Wisconsin squads.

    However, the Hogs lack an explosive pass-rusher in this class. They're going to need to be able to consistently pressure passers and get to the quarterback if they want to move up the SEC pecking order.

    Biggest hole: Defensive end/pass-rusher


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    Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

    Total commitments: 24

    Finding a hole in the group of 24 prospects headed Alabama is like trying to find Bigfoot. This class has a chance to go down as one of the best ever, but a small hole can be seen upon a closer look.

    'Bama simply hasn't had great play from its cornerbacks in a while, which was proven true in its game this past season versus Texas A&M. While it does boast a pledge from 5-star cornerback Tony Brown, adding another high-caliber defender on the perimeter would be a wise move by the Crimson Tide.

    For anyone who follows recruiting, it's not hard to see what uncommitted recruit would best fill this hole for Alabama.

    Biggest hole: Cornerback

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    The 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map can be used to locate the nation's top recruits!

    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 and Cleveland Browns.