Rebels land the nation's top-ranked linemen
National signing day could help the Southeastern Conference keep its tight grip on the BCS national title.
The SEC, which has won seven consecutive national championships, delivered some of the nation’s top recruiting classes Wednesday thanks to the usual suspects — Alabama, Florida and Louisiana State. However, it also gained some surprise momentum from an unlikely source.
Mississippi likely secured a top-10 class rating from most sites after the Rebels signed several high-ranking recruits, including the nation’s top-ranked player in Robert Nkemdiche. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder defensive end kicked off a busy day of action with a live announcement on TV.
“The recruiting process has been long, but I enjoyed it,” Nkemdiche said during the broadcast. “It’s time to move on to the next stage of my life.”
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The Rebels skyrocketed up the rankings after signing the nation’s top offensive tackle (Laremy Tunsil), wide receiver (Laquon Treadwell) and defensive end (Nkemdiche).
“It’s a heck of a class,” said JC Shurburtt, national recruiting director of 247Sports.com. “I don’t know if there were too many other schools that had the elite guys at the top that they did.”
Shurburtt added, “It will be an impact class. It gives them momentum heading into the class of 2014 and 2015.”
Alabama earned the top recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports.com, followed by Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida and Michigan.
SEC teams took five of the top 10 and 11 of the top 25 classes. It’s a trend that has been developing the past five years or so.
“There is no league close to them in recruiting right now,” Tom Lemming, national recruiting expert for CBS Sports Network, said of the SEC. “It’s been that way over the past five years, and I don’t see that changing. I think the SEC will continue to dominate.”
Perhaps the biggest surprise this recruiting season was the number of prospects who wavered on their decisions. The state of Florida, for instance, had more than 80 players switch their commitments before signing day, which is more than double the normal numbers.