Alabama dominated the recruiting landscape, but the other Southeastern Conference powers also fared well UFA.
The Crimson Tide pulled in the nation’s No. 1 class for the ninth time in 11 years and the strongest class yet, at least according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The SEC had three of the top four classes. Georgia, last year’s recruiting champion, finished third, and LSU fourth.
The rich got richer on signing day.
Defending national champion Alabama got a pledge from four-star safety Terrion Stanford on Wednesday.
Running back Camar Wheaton of Garland, Texas, became the Tide’s seventh five-star signee earlier in the day. He’ll join Brian Robinson Jr., former five-star recruit Trey Sanders and others in the mix to replace all-time leading rusher Najee Harris.
The Tide also signed four wide receivers who can compete to fill a void with the loss of Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. Not to mention first-round draft picks Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy a year earlier.
”I think there’s a lot of balance in this class,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. ”But as I always talk about, we’re not really interested in rankings or ratings or anything like. I think that how guys develop in your program is really what is the most important thing.”
The SEC wasn’t quite as collectively strong as last year, when the league had six of the top eight classes.
The SEC has seven of the top 20 classes, with Texas A&M coming in at No. 7 and Florida at No. 13, followed by Tennessee (16) and Mississippi (18).
Most players signed in December with many already on campus.
”I don’t look at this as a signing day Zoom because our class was pretty much done in December,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart told reporters.
Texas A&M’s top signee defensive tackle Shemar Turner, rated as the nation’s No. 21 prospect and third best at his position. Texas A&M also nabbed a pledge from running back LJ Johnson.
It was the Aggies’ third straight class ranked in the Top 7 for a program that was a College Football Playoff contender last season.
It’s another step toward coach Jimbo Fisher’s goal of stacking top classes together ”to create the competition, to create the depth and create what you want to do.”