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February 4, 2010

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the SEC

More Conferences: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10

The SEC has eight of its 12 teams ranked in the Rivals.com top 25 after National Signing Day. Check out the breakdown of the conference in a special edition of the SEC Blitz.

Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | Florida | Georgia | Kentucky
LSU | Mississippi State | Ole Miss | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the SEC
1. Florida

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Headliner: The Gators went to California to land the country's top prospect in the athletic defensive end Ronald Powell.
Sleeper: Darrin Kitchens is a great athlete that projects as a linebacker.
Overview: This is a defensive recruiting class for the ages. Florida landed the top three defensive line prospects in the nation in DE Ronald Powell, DT Sharrif Floyd and DT Dominique Easley. DT Leon Orr and DE Lynden Trail have serious upside. The secondary is loaded with athletes, especially safeties Matt Elam and Jonathan Dowling and cornerbacks Joshua Shaw, Jaylen Watkins and Cody Riggs. On the other side of the ball, Florida landed a big-time back in Mack Brown and playmaking receivers in Chris Dunkley, Quinton Dunbar and Solomon Patton. Offensive tackles Chaz Green and Ian Silberman each have a high ceiling. All told, Florida landed five five-star prospects and 11 members of the Rivals100.
2. Auburn

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Headliner: Running back Michael Dyer headlines this talented recruiting class.
Sleeper: Offensive tackle Ed Christian has a chance to shine for the Tigers.
Overview: This is a class that is balanced from top to bottom. The Tigers landed a five-star QB in junior college transfer Cameron Newton. Another five-star signee is running back Michael Dyer, a small but powerful back. Auburn did very well at wide receiver, landing Jeremy Richardson, Antonio Goodwin and Trovon Reed. Auburn added another five-star prospect along the offensive front in Shon Coleman. The defense is led by tackle Jeffrey Whitaker, ends Corey Lemonier and Craig Sanders and linebackers LaDarius Owens and Jake Holland. Defensive backs Jonathon Mincy and Demetruce McNeal are talented as well. Auburn did much better with in-state recruiting, and it also landed some big-time players from Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia.
3. Alabama

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Headliner: Demarcus Milliner is a very talented, "bigger" cornerback that's headed to Tuscaloosa.
Sleeper: Deion Belue is a playmaker on either side of the ball.
Overview: This is another rip-roaring class for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. No one in the land signed a better group of defensive backs. Alabama landed another five-star in standout DeMarcus Milliner, as well as high four-star prospects like cornerbacks Dequan Menzie and John Fulton and safety Jarrick Williams. Alabama did well up front, especially with defensive ends Alfy Hill and Adrian Hubbard. Linebacker C.J. Mosley is a player that can find the football in a hurry. Quarterback Phillip Sims leads the offensive class, and he is one of the nation's best at his position. The Tide landed a little thunder and lightning with the signatures of Jalston Fowler and Corey Grant. Wide receiver DeAndrew White and tight end Brian Vogler lead this group of pass catchers. Alabama closed on the offensive line with Arie Kouandjio.
4. LSU

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Headliner: Spencer Ware is a big-time athlete that's headed to Baton Rouge.
Sleeper: Linebacker D.J. Welter is one of many to keep a close eye in the future.
Overview: The LSU recruiting machine continues to roll with the 2010 class. Tigers coach Les Miles brought in another impressive haul. This LSU class is led by five-star athlete Spencer Ware. He should shine at running back for the purple and gold. Linebacker D.J. Welter, running backs Brandon Worle and Alfred Blue and defensive end Houston Bates are some three-stars that could really shine for Miles and company. Defensive end J.R. Ferguson, wide receiver Kadron Boone and athlete Jarrett Fobbs were big Signing Day gets for the Tigers. Other big-time prospects include defensive end Justin Maclin, tight end Travis Dickson, running back Jakhari Gore, quarterback Zach Lee, wide receiver James Wright, defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, offensive tackle Evan Washington and athlete Ronnie Vinson.
5. Tennessee

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Headliner: Five-star wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers was an absolute steal in the end for coach Derek Dooley and his Vols.
Sleeper: Marcques Dixon was a good late get for the Vols. He brings some serious speed to Knoxville.
Overview: New Tennessee coach Derek Dooley and his staff did a very good job considering the circumstances they inherited. First, Dooley kept all the early enrolles in Knoxville. That was a recruiting coups that gave Dooley a ton of early credibility. The Vols landed their quarterback of the future in Tyler Bray. Running back Rajion Neal, wide receivers Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter, offensive linemen James Stone and Jawuan James, defensive ends Jacques Smithand Corey Miller, wide receiver/safety Ted Meline and linebacker Eddrick Loften are all big-time recruits.
6. Georgia

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Headliner: Defensive end T.J. Stripling should thrive in the new Georgia defense.
Sleeper: Demetre Baker is a smaller linebacker that can really run. He should remind many Bulldogs fans of Rennie Curran.
Overview: Rivals100 safety Alec Ogletree is a star in the making that will likely grow into a linebacker. The Bulldogs did well along the defensive front by landing Mike Thornton, Jalen Fields, Brandon Burrows, Garrison Smith, Dexter Morant and T.J. Stripling. That's the core of this Mark Richt class. Other standouts are running back Ken Malcome, cornerback Derek Owens, and offensive guard Kolton Houston. Offensive tackle prospect Brent Benedict is one of the most talented players at his position.
7. Ole Miss

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Headliner: Carlos Thompson is an elite defensive end prospect headed to Oxford.
Sleeper: Linebacker Clarence Jackson is a two-way standout that's very athletic and has good speed.
Overview: Houston Nutt and his Rebels cracked the top 25 with another strong close. There are plenty of talented players in the class, but this group is led by defensive end Carlos Thompson. Ole Miss did very well in the junior college ranks, pulling defensive end Wayne Dorsey, safety Damien Jackson and athlete Randall Mackey. Once again, the Rebels hit south Florida and landed cornerback Cliff Coleman and running back Jeff Scott. A couple of sleepers to keep a close eye on are running back/fullback Martez Eastland and linebacker Clarence Jackson. Two defensive tackles to watch are Carlton Martin and Mike Thomas. Like last season, the Rebels closed with a bang. This year they landed defensive end Delvin Jones, cornerback Tony Grimes, wide receiver Vincent Sanders and linebacker Ralph Williams.
8. South Carolina

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Headliner: Running back Marcus Lattimore is a versatile talent at running back. He is the kind of special player at the position that Steve Spurrier has been desperate to find.
Sleeper: Offensive guard/center prospect Tramell Williams has a chance to be an outstanding interior offensive line prospect in Columbia.
Overview: The Gamecocks landed a little bit of everything with this class. Leading the way is five-star running back prospect Marcus Lattimore. He can run and catch, and should be an ideal fit. Another good fit will be quarterback Connor Shaw. He doesn't have the biggest arm in the world, but Spurrier should love the intangibles he brings to the table. Other standouts are wide receiver Ace Sanders, offensive linemen A.J. Cann and Tramell Williams, defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, cornerbacks Victor Hampton and Brison Williams and safety Sharrod Golightly. Wide receiver Javon Bell from Jacksonville was a nice late addition.
9. Mississippi State

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Headliner: Kaleb Eulls has great size and length at the defensive end position.
Sleeper: Defensive back Jamerson Love looked very good during the Alabama/Mississippi all-star game.
Overview: The Bulldogs landed a quartet of four-star prospects in defensive tackle James Carmon, athlete Robert Johnson, defensive end Kaleb Euless, and wide receiver Michael Carr. No doubt Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is attracting some athletes to Starkville. Players like Johnson, Carr, Brandon Hill, Jameon Lewis, and Matthew Wells are likely in the fold because of the new regime. Linebackers Ferlando Bohanna and Corvell Harrison and defensive backs Chris Hughes and Jamerson Love should bolster the Bulldogs defense. Offensive tackle Damien Robinson was a big-time signee for the Bulldogs.
10. Arkansas

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Headliner: Arkansas won a huge Signing Day battle over Oklahoma State for defensive tackle Calvin Barnett.
Sleeper: He didn't have a lot of buzz, but Luke Charpentier is a terrific OL from the Bayou State.
Overview: Bobby Petrino's 2010 class is loaded with athletes - of the big and small variety. At 6-2 and 265 pounds, Jatashun Beachum is one of the nation's most intriguing big man. What position he'll play is the big question because he is so versatile. Safety Daunte Carr fell to Hogs from Stanford. Defensive linemen Calvin Barnett, Bryan Jones and Jeremiah Jackson are very good. Florida prospects Joseph Byrd and Marquel Wade are two underrated players from the Sunshine State.
11. Kentucky

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Headliner: The headliner here is tight end Alex Smith, who the Wildcats pulled very late.
Sleeper: Raymond Sanders got overlooked in Georgia because of the great depth at the running back position.
Overview: The Wildcats got a big one on signing day when they turned four-star tight end Alex Smith away from North Carolina. Then they pulled some very good recruits in the end. Athlete Jerrell Priester, running backs Brandon Gainer and Miles Simpson and linebacker Tim Patterson joined the fold late. The Wildcats have a solid defensive end class, which is led by Mike Douglas. He is a steal from the Sunshine State. Cornerback Dale Trimble, linebacker Jabari Johnson and running back Raymond Sanders are all sleeper-type recruits. Kentucky went to 10 states to land prospects for their class.
12. Vanderbilt

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Headliner: Running back Rajaan Bennett was a huge, late pull for the Vandy class. He is one of the top running backs from the south.
Sleeper: You have to love to motor of defensive tackle Jared Morse.
Overview: This could be the top Vanderbilt class in many years. The Commodores set their sights on Georgia and landed nine Peach State prospects in the end, highlighted by running back Rajaan Bennett. Vandy went to New Jersey to get defensive tackle James Kittredge, Alabama to get Jared Morse, Florida to nab Thomas Ryan, Mississippi to ink Vince Taylor and Virginia to sign Andre Simmons.

More Conferences: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10

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