2014 SEC Football Recruiting Rankings Post Da'Shawn Hand to Alabama
Da'Shawn Hand unveiled his collegiate intentions Thursday, committing to Alabama on national television. The nation's No. 1 defensive end gives the Crimson Tide another top-tier prospect in a stout recruiting class.
In the aftermath of one of the most eagerly awaited commitments of the 2014 recruiting cycle, it's an excellent time to reassess how SEC teams stack up in terms of landing prospects from across the country. We rank the 14 programs based on volume of incoming talent.
All prospect rankings courtesy of 247Sports.
Total Commitments: 25 (three 4-stars)
Best of the Bunch: Given the Tigers' recent success at receiver, it's no surprise the team was able to land commitments from a pair of talented pass-catchers. Nate Brown is one of the top offensive players in Georgia, while Lawrence Lee is an intriguing speedster from Florida. Mizzou picked up two 4-star prospects in November, adding offensive tackle Andy Bauer and linebacker Brandon Lee.
Still Targeting: The Tigers would love to add depth along the defensive line. Missouri is the chase for 3-star JUCO tackles Calvin Heurtelou and Rika Levi. Frank Iheanacho, a raw 6'7" receiver from Houston, is also a possibility.
13. Mississippi State
Total Commitments: 19 (four 4-stars)
Best of the Bunch: Mississippi State is stockpiling talent at skill positions, highlighted by running back Aeris Williams, wide receiver Jesse Jackson and athlete Jamoral Graham, who could ultimately play on either side of the ball. Will Coleman is considered one of the country's best JUCO defensive ends.
Still Targeting: The team remains in the mix for No. 1 overall cornerback prospect Marlon Humphrey, who is also considering Clemson, Florida State and Alabama. Mississippi State is also a finalist in the recruiting race for
Total Commitments: 17 (four 4-stars)
Best of the Bunch: The Razorbacks have reigned in commitments from impressive 4-star quarterback Rafe Peavy, who will quickly grow familiar with Florida tight end prospect Ravian Pierce. Defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson
11. South Carolina
Total Commitments: 14 (five 4-stars)
Best of the Bunch: The Gamecocks have gained valuable outside offensive weapons in the form of 4-star wide receivers Shaq Davidson and Terry Googer. Linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams is an instinctive defender and can provide pass coverage.
Still Targeting: South Carolina is in search of secondary help, targeting 4-star cornerbacks Wesley Green and D.J. Smith, both Georgia prospects. The Gamecocks remain in the mix for 4-star running back Derrell Scott.
Total Commitments: 20 (six 4-stars)
Best of the Bunch: The Commodores have collected quite a haul this year, luring talented 4-star quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels away from San Jose, Calif. Kyle Gibson and Emmanuel Smith form a 4-star safety tandem.
Total Commitments: 25 (five 4-stars)
Best of the Bunch: Kentucky ensured its offense is in good hands for the future by reeling in 4-star quarterback Drew Barker. He'll be handling the ball off to Stanley Williams, a powerful 4-star running back. Defensive end Denzel Ware is a legitimate disruptor.
Still Targeting: The Wildcats are fighting hard to land 5-star defensive tackle Matt Elam, the top-ranked player in Kentucky. 4-star JUCO defensive tackle Daniel Ross would be a solid consolation prize.
8. Ole Miss
Total Commitments: 21 (seven 4-stars)
Best of the Bunch: Ole Miss isn't necessarily assembling the amazing class of 2013 again, but it's still an impressive haul. The Rebels are loading up on defensive help, in the form of safety C.J. Hampton, linebacker Demarquis Gates and cornerback Kendarius Webster. Roderick Taylor, the nation's top-ranked guard, is also committed.
Total Commitments: 16 (nine 4-stars, one 5-star)
Best of the Bunch: Auburn landed wide receive D'haquille Williams, the country's top-ranked JUCO prospect. 5-star running back Racean Thomas has the makings of a special playmaker, while Alabama native Tre' Williams is among the nation's most impressive inside linebackers.
Total Commitments: 15 (11 4-stars)
Best of the Bunch: 4-star prospects Davon Godchaux and Deondre Clark form a dynamic duo at defensive end. Dual-threat quarterback Brandon Harris could be in line to fight for a starting spot early, while wide receiver Trey Quinn is less than 200 yards shy of breaking the all-time national career receiving yards record.
Still Targeting: No one ranks higher on the Tigers' recruiting board than Leonard Fournette, the nation's top-ranked running back. LSU would love to pair him with a 5-star receiver like Speedy Noil or Malach Dupre, both New Orleans natives.
Total Commitments: 14 (12 4-star, two 5-stars)
Best of the Bunch: Georgia product Nick Chubb is a dazzling 5-star running back prospect who should pair well with fellow rusher Sony Michel. The Bulldogs landed 4-star passer Jacob Park and strengthen the defensive line with stud tackle Lamont Gaillard.
Still Targeting: Georgia is in the final mix for 4-star wide receiver Josh Malone. The Bulldogs also have a strong shot at securing a commitment from Lorenzo Carter, the nation's No. 2 defensive end recruit.
4. Texas A&M
Total Commitments: 17 (10 4-stars, two 5-stars)
Best of the Bunch: Weak-side defensive end Myles Garrett and quarterback Kyle Allen each rank as the No. 1 players at their position nationally. Running back Varshan Nixon is a versatile weapon, while mammoth 4-star offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor will look to pave the way on carries.
Total Commitments: 15 (seven 4-stars, three 5-stars)
Best of the Bunch: A stagnant Florida offense is about to become a lot more explosive. Quarterback Will Grier, receiver Ermon Lane and running back Dalvin Cook are each 5-star recruits who can make a case as the best players at their position. Defensive tackle Khairi Clark is a dominant defensive anchor.
Total Commitments: 31 (19 4-stars, one 5-star)
Best of the Bunch: 5-star athlete Jalen Hurd headlines a strong class. 4-star wide receivers Lavon Pearson and Dominique Booth keep up a tradition of top passing targets in Knoxville. Safety Todd Kelly ranks among the country's best at his position.
Total Commitments: 23 (15 4-stars, 4 5-stars)
Best of the Bunch: The rich get richer in Tuscaloosa. The two-time defending national champions have landed the nation's No. 1 players at offensive tackle (Cameron Robinson), defensive end (Da'Shawn Hand) and center (JC Hassenauer). 5-star linebacker Christian Miller is dominant and 4-star quarterback David Cornwell is also on his way.
Still Targeting: Believe it or not, there's room for improvement in this recruiting class. The Crimson Tide remain in pursuit of 5-star prospects Leonard Fournette, Marlon Humphrey and Matt Elam, among others.