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2009 SEC Recruiting & Rank - What It Means
LSU WR Rueben Randle
LSU WR Rueben Randle
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 5, 2009


How do the 2008 SEC recruiting classes really affect the college football world? Which programs, like LSU getting WR Rueben Randle, did the best job this recruiting season? Now that the storm has died down, here's what it all really means.

Recruiting 2009 ... SEC

Ranking the SEC classes

Click on each team for the fill class list and top five players
East  Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt 
West Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Ole Miss | Miss State

- CFN Recruiting 2009
- 2008 SEC Recruiting Rankings
- 2007 SEC Recruiting Rankings
- 2006 SEC Recruiting Rankings

1. Alabama   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 1
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... RB Trent Richardson
The player you might care about this year ... OT James Carpenter
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Alabama is here to stay. Last year the team was ahead of the curve by a year or two, and now, after the last two recruiting classes, the program is loaded with as much talent as anyone in the country. It still might take one more year, but once everyone starts to mature, which should all kick in next year, and in full force in 2011, this will be a jaw-dropping good team.

2. LSU   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: G
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... WR Rueben Randle
The player you might care about this year ... DT Akiem Hicks
What it all means to the real world of college football ... After a down year, and with Florida and Alabama getting better and better, LSU proved that its still a national title superpower with the potential to be in the mix for the championship over the next several years. This is a class loaded with variety, athleticism, and next-level potential all across the board.

3. South Carolina   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: G
The class is heavy on ... linebacker. The Gamecocks loaded up at wide receiver with Alshon Jeffrey and Lamar Scruggs excellent prospects, and the safeties are tremendous with Stephon Gilmore and Quin Smith stars for the future. The stars are at linebacker with Devonte Holloman and Damario Jeffery safety-sized defenders who could blow up after a little bit of time in the weight room, while JUCO transfers Tony Straughter and Josh Dickerson looking to see time early on.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... S Stephon Gilmore
The player you might care about this year ... OG Rokevious Watkins
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The man can still recruit. Steve Spurrier loaded up with a fantastic class that brought in enough talent to make the program even more competitive in the kill and/or be killed SEC. Is this class good enough to make South Carolina a potential SEC champion? That might be a wee bit of a stretch, but it’ll certainly be more competitive and could win an East title with the right breaks at some point in the next five years.

4. Georgia   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 3
The class is heavy on ... skill players. This isn’t a big class, but it’s a class full of talent with a few top-shelf skill players looking to be the next big thing now with Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno gone. Aaron Murray is the receiver to combine with A.J. Green to potentially give the Dawgs the SEC’s best 1-2 receiving punch, while QBs Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger should wage an interesting battle for the starting spot in the near future. Only one running back, Washaun Ealey, signed on, but he’s a good one.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Aaron Murray
The player you might care about this year ... WR Marlon Brown
What it all means to the real world of college football ... It’ll be interesting to see if one ball is enough for all the talent being brought in. While the lines weren’t ignored, the last two classes were all about the glamour guys. The skills should be every bit as good as anyone in the country over the next five years, but next year, the Dawgs will have to go hard after the defenders and offensive linemen.

5. Ole Miss   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 10
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... WR Pat Patterson
The player you might care about this year ... S Jamar Hornsby
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Former head coach Ed Orgeron did a fantastic job of recruiting and he kept the shelves stocked for Nutt. After last year, when Nutt didn’t have a long time to work in the recruiting season, it was a bit of a tough year, but the program came out roaring this season. Nutt and his staff did a phenomenal job of getting Mississippi players, and were able to go outside the state a bit for a few fill-ins here and there.


6. Florida   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 2
The class is heavy on ... quality over quantity. While there were a few misfires with the Gators not getting everyone they were hoping for, especially after the national title season, the stars they did get were top-shelf. Xavier Nixon might be the nation’s best offensive tackle prospect, Jelani Jenkins is arguably the top linebacker, Gary Brown is among the best defensive tackles, Nick Alajajian and Jonotthan Harrison are among the best guards, and Andre Debose is a top receiver. There aren’t a lot of prospects for each spot, so if the stars bust, there isn’t a lot to fall back on.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... OT Xavier Nixon
The player you might care about this year ... DT Edwin Herbert
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Florida is loaded with tremendous young talent with everyone coming back on defense, and more star prospects waiting in the wings after last year’s loaded class, and it showed this year. Urban Meyer had to work a bit too much this year, but next season, with more openings, the class should turn out to be far bigger and better. However, there are several future NFL starters in this haul. What’s missing? A thumper of a running back to be the main man, so expect even more running back by committee.


7. Auburn   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 5
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Tyrik Rollison
The player you might care about this year ... LB Eltoro Freeman
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Chizik, despite all the controversy, was able to generate a positive buzz with a good recruiting class. While the defense was addresses with instant impact players like LB Eltoro Freeman and CB Demond Washington, Auburn made a big push to improve the offense. However, it’s not a good enough class to scare Alabama, who is growing into an unstoppable monster with its last two recruiting classes.

8. Tennessee   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 9
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. The defensive line got a big boost with Jonathan Hollins and Rae Sykes likely to provide immediate help on the end, and the linebackers are strong with Jerod Askew with all the skills to be special. The secondary got the most help with six defensive backs, and they’re all fantastic. Safety Darren Myles might be the best prospect of the group, while Nyshier Oliver and corners Janzen Jackson, Mike Edwards, Eric Gordon and Marsalis Teague all have the potential to be stars.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... WR Nu’keese Richardson
The player you might care about this year ... WR
Nu'Keese Richardson
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Lane Kiffin put together a coaching staff built to recruit, and it did a good job with little time to work. Now the real work begins as the goal is to put together a special class in 2010, but for now, this is a strong class that’ll help out the defense for the next few seasons. The average classes of the last few years under Phil Fulmer appear to be over.


9. Mississippi State   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 8
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DT Josh Boyd
The player you might care about this year ... LB Chris White
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Considering he didn’t have a lot of time to work, Mullen did a terrific job of bringing in a good class. Ole Miss might have gotten most of the top state talent, but the Bulldogs got their share of nice players. The team should finally be more competitive on offense, so now the question is whether or not the defense can be as nasty as it was under Sylvester Croom. Next year’s class will be out to address the front seven.

10. Arkansas   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 6
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB Darius Winston
The player you might care about this year ... S Anthony Leon
What it all means to the real world of college football ... While the class isn’t as good as most of the other SEC hauls, that’s not a rip. The SEC recruiting classes this year were amazing, and Arkansas got its share with good players for all across the board. While Petrino is known for his offenses, his defenses at Louisville were also outstanding. Last year was about getting the right offensive guys in place, this year was about defense, and next year will be about getting the best players possible all across the board.

11. Kentucky   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 11
The class is heavy on ... the passing game. Three quarterbacks, five wide receivers and two tight ends … head coach Rich Brooks is looking for more out of a passing attack that was supposed to feature Curtis Pulley, before he was booted off the team. There aren’t any stars at receiver, but Anthony Kendrick, Ridge Wilson, LaRod King and Chris Matthews are big. Really big. 6-3 and up big. The quarterback battle will be tremendous with Morgan Newton, Ryan Mossakowski and Brian Adams all starting-quality prospects.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Morgan Newton
The player you might care about this year ... DE DeQuin Evans
What it all means to the real world of college football ... This might be a low-ranked class compared to the rest of the SEC, but it’s good. With the succession plan in place, with Joker Phillips set to take over once Brooks decides to retire, the offensive prospects came in bunches to get the attack moving after a mediocre season. There might not be a lot of instant starters in this group, but the depth will be boosted with several offensive prospects likely to see time early on.

12. Vanderbilt   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 12
The class is heavy on ... running backs. The Commodores lived off the ground game ever since Jay Cutler left, but that was mostly because of the mobility at quarterback. The running backs needed to be upgraded, and Bobby Johnson did that, at least for down the road, with Eric Samuels a speedy option, Warren Norman a quick player, and Zach Stacy a bit of a do-it-all prospect.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DE Walker May
The player you might care about this year ... WR Brady Brown
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Of course, it’s all about recruiting to type at Vanderbilt. The program isn’t in the same world as Florida and Alabama when it comes to going after the top players, and this class showed it more than ever with a class that’s not all that great in any one area. Finding the hidden gems is a must, and Johnson might have done that at tight end with Mason Johnston and Thad McHaney two good ones to work the passing game around.