Who’s Next? An Overview of SEC Recruiting Classes: Part 2

We already took a look at the current top seven SEC recruiting classes in Who’s Next? An Overview of SEC Recruiting Classes: Part 1. But don’t worry Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas, and the rest; while many recruits may be forgetting about you, we won’t. Let’s finish up our overview of SEC recruiting classes with a look at teams eight through 14.

8) Florida

Florida is coming off of their second straight trip to the SEC championship game, but it didn’t go well. While the Gators were one of the better looking SEC teams in bowl season, their four losses are not what The Swamp wants to see. Jim McElwain is losing some star power from the 2016 squad, including star corners Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson, as well as linebackers Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone. Four-star DE Zachary Carter should help a defensive line that is losing Caleb Brantley and Bryan Cox Jr.

SEC Rank: #8

National Rank: #20

Top Recruit: DE Zachary Carter

9) Kentucky

“Stoop’s Troops” made a bowl game in 2016 for the first time since the 2010 season. A large part of the Wildcats success came from Stanley “Boom” Williams who is on his way to the NFL. Williams led Kentucky in yards per carry each of the last two season in an offense that has become largely run happy. Returning to ensure that doesn’t change are QB Stephen Johnson and sophomore Benny Snell. Adding their names to the stable of clock-chewing yard-eaters are incoming three-star, dual-threat, early enrollee QB Walker Wood and three-star early-enrollee RB Bryant Koback. Kentucky fans will also see help coming on defense in the form of four-star DE Joshua Paschal and three-star early enrollee S Lonnie Johnson.

SEC Rank: #9

National Rank: #22

Top Recruit: ATH Lynn Bowden

10) Mississippi State

Mississippi State got to six wins with the help of a blocked field goal to edge past Miami (OH) in their bowl game. This was an offense that was given a boost with the emergence of true dual-threat QB Nick Fitzgerald, but will lose a boost with the loss of dynamic receiver Fred Ross. There will be some help in the receiving corps with the arrival of three-star receiving prospect Austin Williams, and Bulldog fans should also be excited about four-star dual-threat QB Keytaon Thompson, the fifth ranked dual-threat QB in the entire nation. Williams and Thompson have both already enrolled in Starkville. Also already enrolled is some defensive line reinforcement in four-star DE Chauncey Rivers, an in-state product.

SEC Rank: #10

National Rank: #25

Top Recruit: Dual QB Keytaon Thompson

11) Arkansas

Well documented this season was the roller coaster Bret Bielema and his team took fans on in Fayetteville. Also well-documented (and rightly criticized) was senior TE Jeremy Sprinkle’s mishandling of his bowl experience. Sprinkle is moving on, and QB Austin Allen will be losing another one of his most defense-threatening receivers in Keon Hatcher. But if Razorback fans are discouraged by these developments, shame on you…you should know your team by now. As you’ve discovered, after the valley comes a hill. Already enrolled in Fayetteville is four-star receiver Brandon Martin, ranked as the third best receiver in the state. On the defensive side, the Hogs will receive help in a secondary that allowed 226 passing yards per game. In-state stud safety Montaric Brown, the top-ranked safety in Arkansas is currently committed to the Razorbacks and expected to sign.

SEC Rank: #11

National Rank: #27

Top Recruit: S Montaric Brown

12) Missouri

Barry Odom’s first season in Columbia didn’t result in a bowl appearance, but the Tigers did finish on a high note with a defeat of Arkansas. While this team did struggle, it had a handful of standout players who will be heading to the NFL, mostly on defense. Corners Aarion Penton and John Gibson III are heading to the NFL as well as DE’s Charles Harris with his nine sacks and Donavin Newsom with his three. Odom’s 2017 class boasts a slew of three star prospects. If these Tigers want to return to national prominence like they were in 2013 and 2007, it may come down to the development of incoming players like three-star ATH Daron Davis, three-star DE (and top New Mexico recruit) Nate Anderson, and a DT with a lot of upside, three-star recruit Rashad Brandon.

SEC Rank: #12

National Rank: #42

Top Recruit: ATH Daron Davis

13) Ole Miss

It was a disappointing year in Oxford, to say the least. The Rebels missed out on a bowl game for the first time since 2011, which was also the last time they failed to record at least seven wins. Hugh Freeze took over in 2012. The offense looks like it’ll be in good hands with Shea Patterson at the helm, but may take a hit by losing TE Evan Engram and WR Dameor’ea Stringfellow. Engram and Stringfellow combined for over 14 TD’s and over 1,600 receiving yards. The Rebels offense will receive help from four-star WR D.D. Bowie. The vaunted Rebels defense of years past was suspect throughout 2016. That may change with four-star enrollee LB Breon Dixon to shore up the secondary. This program took a massive fall from 2016, when Hugh Freeze signed the fifth ranked class in the nation.

SEC Rank: #13

National Rank: #46

Top Recruit: WR D.D. Bowie

14) Vanderbilt

The Commodores have been trending in the right direction, adding to their win total each of the last three years. One of the biggest questions for Vandy though is how they will replace the SEC’s leading tackler in 2016 in Zach Cunningham. Dmitri Moore, three-star LB from Texas will come in to compete for playing time on the defense. Kyle Shurmur continues to find his way at QB, but may have to compete even harder for his starting spot with the arrival of three-star PRO QB Jacob Free. Vanderbilt is the only SEC team outside of the nation’s top 50 classes.

SEC Rank: #14

National Rank: #65

Top Recruit: PRO QB Jacob Free

Main Photo

September 10, 2016: Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason talks to his defense as the Commodores defeated Middle Tennessee 47-24 at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jamie Gilliam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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