Recruiting 2012 - SEC West Needs & Concerns
Posted Jan 27, 2012

What does each SEC West team need, and what are the concerns this offseason?

Recruiting 2012 

SEC West Recruiting Rankings

Recruiting 2011 | Recruiting 2010 | Recruiting 2009

CFN Top Prospects for 2012
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties 


- SEC East Recruiting Rankings

1. LSU | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: Quarterback. Zach Mettenberger was the key pickup last year after transferring from Georgia, but the Tigers need more talents in the stable for depth and more options. However, that doesn't appear to be coming. Upgrading the defensive front seven is a bit of a must, and Les Miles is bringing in a solid group of linebackers that should shine in a few years. This is a good looking class, but it might not be a special one.

Team Concerns For 2012: The offensive line. Three starters are gone from a group that dominated everyone but Alabama. After years of loading up on the defensive front, and with last year's class focusing on the passing game, this year some reinforcements for the offensive side will be a must. The defensive back seven, though, will get the most attention.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 12. That Class Was Heavy On ... the passing game. The Tigers came up with a quietly sensational class with the most noise coming well before February 2nd. QB Zach Mettenberger, the one-time promising Georgia Bulldog, could challenge for the starting job right away, and he or Jordan Jefferson will get instant help from Jarvis Landry, a phenomenal five-star talent, and speedy Odell Beckham. Protecting the passer will soon by La’el Collins, the next great LSU offensive tackle. Defensively, end Jermauria Rasco was the big get on Signing Day, while Anthony Johnson might be the nation’s best tackle.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 8. That Class Was Heavy On ...
Defensive lineman. The secondary got an infusion of talent with Eric Reid and Tharold Simon giving the Tigers two very big, very NFL-looking safeties, and Tyrann Mathieu has good skills and could be a strong corner in time. RB Spencer Ware could be the star of the running game in the near future and Kadron Boone was a great get to be the team's No. 1 WR soon. The biggest stars are at linebacker, led by Justin Maclin, but the biggest part of the class is on the line with Ego Ferguson one of the nation's top tackle prospects and Jordan Allen and Travis Dickson a dangerous end pair.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 4. That Class Was Heavy On ... the defensive front seven. Russell Shepard has star potential in some way, shape or form either at quarterback or receiver, and WR Rueben Randle and S Craig Loston will make a ton of money someday, but the stars are on the lines with Chris Davenport, Joshua Downs, and Sam Montgomery for the defensive front, with JUCO transfer Akiem Hicks ready to come in right away and play, while Chris Faulk and Stavion Lowe will be starting on the offensive front sooner than later. 

Alabama | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: The Tide loses a slew of good defensive starters, but there are more waiting in the wings. The stockpiled depth after years of great recruiting classes is amazing, but it would be nice if a stud No. 1 receiver could come in and take over a big role early on. The Tide needs a boost for the receiving corps after the start of the last few classes for the defensive side, and the stars appear to be coming.

Team Concerns For 2012: Cyrus Jones and Amari Cooper are considered two of the nation's best receiver prospects and could be factors right away. The rich are getting richer on defense with Reggie Ragland an NFL inside linebacker spending a few years in college, and safeties Landon Collins and Eddie Williams each special.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 5. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. With yet another phenomenal class, the rich get richer ... while also sticking it to Auburn with OT Cyrus Kouandijo verbaling to the Tigers and signing with the Tide. The receiving corps is awesome with 6-4 Marvin Shinn and 6-2 Danny Woodson bringing the size, and Bradley Sylve providing the speed. Ha’Seaon Clinton-Dix might be the nation’s best safety prospect, and Trey DePriest is’s No. 1 ranked middle linebacker, but the key to the class could be up front on defense with JUCO transfers Quinton Dial, a 6-5, 310-pound future NFL draft pick, and 6-4, 340-pound Jesse Williams, ready to clog the inside. Xzavier Dickson fits the Bama scheme perfectly at one end, and Jeoffrey Pagan whould be a strong pass rusher with a little bit of time.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 5. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. How good is Nick Saban and his staff when it comes to recruiting? The Tide didn't have a ton of needs with so many great classes brought in over the last few years, and the monster class that capitalizes on the national title is supposed to come in next year, but that doesn't mean that several top players available this season didn't want to come wear the Crimson uniform. Phillip Sims is by far the most talented quarterback prospect the Tide has had in several years, and the receiving corps will be loaded with DeAndrew White, Ronald Carswell, Blake Sims and Keiwone Malone would all be No. 1 targets at just about anywhere else. The defensive backfield is amazing with the best class in America led by top corner prospect Demarcus Milliner and big-time safety Jarrick Williams. Johnavon Fulton has NFL corner speed and JUCO transfer Dequan Menzie could see time immediately.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 2. That Class Was Heavy On ... linemen. Nick Saban and his staff brought in yet another loaded class that is among the best in the country with RB Trent Richardson leading the way, but the bulk is up front. From JUCO transfer James Carpenter, who might get a starting spot on the offensive line right away, to Darrington Sentimore, Chris Bonds, and Anthony Orr, who’ll load up the defensive front, the Tide secured the lines for the next several years.

3. Auburn | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: Not much. The Tigers and Gene Chizik came up with a whopper of a 2011 class and doesn't have any glaring needs this year. Skill players were the priority in 2010 – led by a decent get named Newton – and the defensive back seven was strong last year. This was a young team that's maturing and should be coming into its own.

Team Concerns For 2012: Consistent quarterback play is a need, but Cam Newton was a once-in-a-millennium find; it'll be up to Clint Moseley and Kiehl Frazier to carry the load. Offensive tackle will be the biggest concern coming into spring ball with improved defensive consistency No. 2.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 4. That Class Was Heavy On ... the defensive back seven. Even without Cyrus Kouandijo, all the attention will be paid to an offensive line that features the nation’s best guard prospect, Christian Westerman and top center, Reese Dismukes. Getting defensive tackle Gabe Wright was a nice pickup on Signing Day, but the real teeth in this class is in the defensive back seven. Justin Garrett is a safety-sized linebacker who should be a disruptive force, and Kris Frost has big-time upside. Safety Erique Florence can play anywhere in the secondary, and corners Jonathan Rose, Jermaine Whitehead, and Rubensen Therezie are big, strong talents on the outside. QB Kiehl Frazier and running backs Quan Bray and Tre Mason will stock up the backfield in a few years.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 4. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill stars. The class went big on defense coming up with a whale of a group for the line led by tackles Jeffrey Whitaker and Kenneth Carter, and coming up with a key signing getting end Corey Lemonier out of Florida. LB LaDarius Owens will be an All-SEC performer before he's done, and enough good defensive backs were brought in to secure the secondary for the next few years. As good as the defensive class is, the stars signed on offense should make a bigger impact as offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has his players to work with. Cameron Newton is a 6-6, 245-pound quarterback with a live arm, Trovon Reed and Antonio Goodwin are special receiver prospects, and Michael Dyer could've gone anywhere as, arguably, the nation's top running back recruit. If he wasn't No.1, he was in everyone's top five. Throw in all the help on the line, including JUCO transfer tackle Roszell Gayden and top guard Eric Mack, and the Tiger offense should be fantastic.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 19. That Class Was Heavy On ... receivers. After the problems on offense over the last few years, Gene Chizik and his staff went hard after players who can put points on the board. Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn needs bodies, and he got them with QB Tyrik Rollison a player for the future, Onterio McCalebb a nice running back prospect, and a whole slew of receivers to finally get the passing game going. Travante Stallworth and Emory Blake are the best of a good lot, while tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen could be a centerpiece of the passing game in a few years.

Arkansas | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: The Hogs are loaded just about everywhere, but they need to start stockpiling numbers at running back for down the road and have to keep feeding the receiving corps with more and more options. An upgrade at corner isn't a must this year, but it will be next season, and finding a few pass rushers is a priority. Overall, no matter what the position, Arkansas needs as many great prospects as possible to keep up the arms race with the other star programs in the West.

Team Concerns For 2012: Receivers, receivers, receivers. JUCO transfer Courtney Gardner could be and instant star, while Jalen Cobb and Keon Hatcher are studs for down the road. Bobby Petrino wanted running backs, and he's getting them, led by Jonathan Williams out of Texas. It'll be strength in numbers for the defensive ends with Deatrich Wise and Taiwan Johnson leading a terrific group.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 16. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive tackle. Last year’s class was the big one for Bobby Petrino, but this one isn’t all that far off. The defensive line got an infusion of talent with JUCO transfer tackle Robert Thomas might be an anchor right away, and the back seven got some help with safety Kelvin Fisher and corner Tevin Mitchel sure to be stars in a few years. The key to the class was the tremendous haul of receivers, including Quinta Funderburk and Keante Minor, and the tackles with seven prospects including Brey Cook, who’s destined to be an all-star, and promising Andrew Peterson and Mitch Smothers.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 31. That Class Was Heavy On ... Talent. Last season Bobby Petrino's class was heavy on live bodies to create more competition and to build better depth, especially on the defensive line. This year's class was about upgrading the overall talent level with the main focus on receiver. Marquel Wade and Julian Horton should thrive in Petrino's system, while QB Jacoby Walker will get a few years to groom to be ready to be in the mix by 2012. Calvin Barnett is the 305-pound defensive tackle prospect to work the line around, Brad Hefley will end up being the leader of the linebacking corps, and Eric Bennett is a nice looking corner.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 23. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. The defensive line got a ton of bodies, but few of them were standout prospects. The offense got more players to fit the Bobby Petrino style with the line getting the biggest boost. However, the coaching staff mostly loaded up in the secondary with six nice prospects led by corner Darius Winston and JUCO transfers Anthony Leon, Rudell Crim and Andru Stewart.

Texas A&M | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: Skill players. The Aggies are losing a slew of stars off an offensive powerhouse, and while this year's class isn't likely to provide much in the way of instant help, the passing game prospects should be hot for Kevin Sumlin's offense. The receiving corps needs talent to develop for the next few seasons, and it would be a plus if star running back prospect Trey Williams could shine immediately.

Team Concerns For 2012: The passing game. This shouldn't be a problem with a little bit of time, but it's not going to be Case Keenum and fireworks right away. Ryan Tannehill is gone as is Jeff Fuller, but Ryan Swope and Uzowa Nwachukwu are talented. The biggest hit is in the secondary with three starters and the top corners gone, but the 2009 and 2011 classes were loaded with secondary prospects and this year's class appears to be strong for the defensive backfield.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 28 That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. This isn’t going to be the highest-ranked of classes, only because there isn’t any superstar power compared to Texas and Oklahoma, but it’s a very, very solid haul of talent across the board. The defense got the best players including JUCO transfer LaMarc Strahan and ends Brandon Alexander and Shayvion Hatton up front, and JUCO transfer linebacker Steven Jenkins will see time immediately. The secondary got the most help, especially at safety, with Howard Matthews and Devonta Burns as good as any Big 12 defensive back recruits. Floyd Raven and DeShazer Everette are big corners who could quickly turn into safeties.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 26. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. Mike Sherman brought in the defensive backs last year to deal with the pass-happy Big 12, and this year he came up with the offensive line to let his skill stars shine. Cedric Ogbuehi and Luke Joeckel are two terrific tackle prospects, and Jake Matthews might be the nation's best guard recruit. Shep Klinke and Garrett Gramling aren't bad tackle prospects, either. Offensively, Jameill Showers and Matt Joeckel are strong quarterback prospects who'll get time to develop, while Ben Malena. D.J. Jones, and Mister Jones will get into the running back rotation early on. This turned out to be a good class, but it might have been considered an elite one if Oklahoma didn't steal away linebacker Corey Nelson at the last second.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 14. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. Eight players were brought in to help out the secondary, and head coach Mike Sherman got a slew of really good ones. JUCO transfer Coryell Judie might be penciled into a starting corner spot right away, while four safeties, Steven Campbell, Malcolm Johnson, Colton Valencia and Charlie Thomas are all good enough to challenge for playing time from the moment they set foot on campus.

6. Mississippi State | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: Defensive linemen. You don't have a chance in the SEC without a strong defensive front, and MSU is getting one. The Bulldogs lose two key playmakers up front, including tackle Fletcher Cox, and an upgrade is needed for 2013 and beyond. Head coach Dan Mullen is getting a slew of interesting pass rushers and a few terrific tackles to make the line a strength.

Team Concerns For 2012: Backfield production. Any time Tyler Russell is ready to grow into the star he was supposed to be as a star 2009 recruit would be a plus, while losing RB Vick Ballard takes away a heart-and-soul type for the offense. Safety is a huge concern with Charles Mitchell and Wade Bonner gone, but the 2010 class was heavy on defensive backs and could be a major plus in time.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 41. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. It wasn’t a great overall class considering the killers the rest of the league kept up with, but there are some nice gets like WR Joe Morrow and running backs Josh Robinson and Derek Milton. The secondary got the most help with 6-2, 200-pound Dee Arrington a potential All-SEC safety and Zachary Johnson a fast, promising hitter. JUCO transfer corner Darius Slay should see time right away, while Justin Cox is a big, fast defender who can play anywhere in the secondary.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 40. That Class Was Heavy On ... Running back. Dan Mullen got the receivers for his offense last year, and this year he worked on the ground game with 6-8, 330-pound Damien Robinson one of the nation's top offensive tackle recruits to go along with four running backs to try to replace Anthony Davis. Matthew Wells is the best of the lot, but JUCO transfer Vick Ballard might make the most immediate impact with a physical style and good quickness. Nick Griffin and Jay Hughes could've been toting the rock at several other big name schools. Defensively, 6-7, 370-pound James Carmon and 6-4, 330-pound Jeffrey Howie are massive JUCO transfers brought in to clog things up right away, while Kaleb Eulls, an end, is one of the best players in the class.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 22. That Class Was Heavy On ... receivers. What do you get a team that’s been among the worst in America in passing over the last few years? Targets. Tyler Russell was a must-get quarterback for new head coach Dan Mullen to develop over the next year or two, and he needs guys to throw to. Seven receiver prospects were brought in with JUCO transfers Maurice Langston and Leon Berry looking to add help right away. Chad Bumphis is the best prospect of the lot.

 7. Ole Miss | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: The Rebels and new head coach Hugh Freeze have to find a passing game and an offense. It's Ole Miss, so there's always a national search for the tired, poor, and hungry quarterbacks yearning for playing time. JUCO transfer Bo Wallace will be in the mix right away, and after a few years of decent recruiting classes aimed at the skill positions – with last year's class shining at receiver – the passing game has to be better.

Team Concerns For 2012: Offensive tackle. There's enough young depth across the board to create some interesting position battles going into spring ball, but the offense needs better blocking and has to do it with Bobby Massie taking off early for the NFL and Bradley Sowell done with his eligibility. The Rebels need a left tackle.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 23. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. Houston Nutt is known for his ground attacks and his ability to turn running backs into superstars, but this year’s class focused a bit more on the passing game with some surprising recruits. Nickolas Brassell could’ve gone anywhere and could immediately become the team’s No. 1 target, while Tobias Singleton and Donte Moncreif are fantastic prospects who should add more punch to the passing game. Who’s going to throw them the ball? JUCO transfer Zack Stoudt isn’t Jeremiah Masoli talent-wise, but he’s a big, strong bomber who’ll be in the mix for starting time right away.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 15. That Class Was Heavy On ...
Defensive linemen. With the early loss of Jevan Snead, Ole Miss needed options at quarterback and it got a small, athletic playmaker in JUCO transfer Randall Mackey. Vincent Sanders is a freshman receiver too good to keep out of the mix early on, while the defense got a big boost in the secondary with JUCO transfer Damien Jackson a big, intimidating safety and Tony Grimes a terrific corner prospect. The defensive line should be terrific with an outstanding mix of talents led by JUCO transfer Wayne Dorsey, a very tall, very quick pass rusher who would've been a key get for places like Tennessee, Auburn, Michigan, and Florida State. Carlton Martin and Bryon Bennett are the future at defensive tackle, while Carlos Thomas and Delvin Jones will eventually be the team's star pass rushers with speed, size, and a world of upside for the outside.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 12. That Class Was Heavy On ... skill players. This is a huge class with a little something for all the spots, but Houston Nutt and his staff mostly tried to get players to get the offense moving even more. Quarterback Raymond Cotton will get time to develop with Jevon Snead already under center, while running backs Darius Barksdale and Rodney Scott are just a few of the good prospects looking to shine in the Nutt system. Pat Patterson is a special receiver prospect, while Ja-Mes Logan and Montez Phillips have size and speed.

- SEC East Recruiting Rankings