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SEC Commitment Comparitor – 4/17/12

Four SEC schools have momentum.  Three are stalling.  Two are surprising.  And a full five are — as Prince once put it — living in a state of “chaos and disorder.”

Such is the state of SEC football recruiting on this Tax Day 2012.  Below are the latest up-to-date commitment numbers for all 14 SEC programs (according to this morning).

As usual, we’ve ranked the schools by their total number of “talent points.”  Rivals hands out star rankings.  We give a point for each star, but we also give 0-star prospects a point because once they’re reviewed by Rivals they’ll get some stars thrown their way, too.

We also include a column showing you the average points per commit for each school so far.  You can use those numbers to determine the caliber of athlete each school is attracting at the moment.

First, the numbers:

School Commits 5-stars 4-stars 3-stars 2-stars 1- & 0-stars Total Points Avg. Points/Commit
Florida 15 0 9 6 0 0 54 3.60
Texas A&M 14 0 6 8 0 0 48 3.42
Georgia 15 0 5 8 0 2 46 3.06
Alabama 11 1 7 2 0 1 40 3.63
LSU 9 0 4 5 0 0 31 3.44
Missouri 8 0 2 6 0 0 26 3.25
Auburn 8 0 4 2 1 1 25 3.12
Vanderbilt 7 0 2 5 0 0 23 3.28
S. Carolina 6 0 2 2 0 2 16 2.66
Tennessee 4 0 2 2 0 0 14 3.50
Ole Miss 4 0 1 3 0 0 13 3.25
Kentucky 1 0 0 1 0 0 3 3.00
Miss. State 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Arkansas 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00


* The momentum gang is easily identified at this point.  Florida, Texas A&M and Georgia are piling up the commitments right and left.  They’re more than halfway done with their 2012 classes… aside from babysitting the guys who’ve already said “I do.”  In addition, Alabama has the highest average-point-per-commit score in the league.  By February, Nick Saban’s squad will likely be ranked #1 or #2 in the SEC again.

* LSU, Auburn and South Carolina seem to be stalling a bit compared to past performance and — in the Cocks’ case — their fine 2011 season.  At this point in the process, LSU is usually bunched among the top four in the league in terms of talent points and they’re currently only one slot off that pace.  Still, this a program we’re used to seeing closer to the top of our chart.  Meanwhile, gone are the Tiger Prowls at Auburn and in are two new coordinators.  While they’re still doing relatively well, to date AU isn’t snapping up commits as quickly as it did when Gene Chizik and crew first arrived on the Plains.  As for Carolina, Steve Spurrier’s bunch is about where they usually sit… and the Palmetto State is not the deepest talent pool in the USA, either.  Still, coming off an 11-win season and bowl-game beatdown of Nebraska, we expected a little bit more of an early bump for Carolina.

* The two big surprises in the SEC are the schools decked out in gold and black (and “anthracite” in one case).  Missouri has already grabbed eight commitments which ties the school with Auburn and is only one off LSU’s pace.  Either Gary Pinkel is getting up to SEC speed and offering scholarships earlier or the Tigers’ new conference home is already paying dividends on the recruiting trail.  We’ll guess it’s a little bit of both.  The other surprise is Vanderbilt which continues to pull in 4- and 3-star recruits.  Want to know the kind of job James Franklin is doing?  Just compare VU’s commitment numbers to Tennessee’s.  In historical terms, it’s astonishing to see the Dores with seven commits — seven good commits — so early in the process.

* Woe to those at the bottom of our list.  Four schools are facing the kinds of struggles and worries and concerns that negative recruiters prey on while another school just can’t seem to go outside its own state for recruits.  Tennessee and Kentucky are low on our board and that can be directly tied to the job security issues facing Derek Dooley and Joker Phillips.  Ole Miss is on the opposite end of that spectrum, breaking in a brand new coach and hoping Hugh Freeze can connect with Magnolia State recruits.  Dan Mullen cleans up on 3-star Mississippians each February, but at some point to really build that program he’ll need to start landing some 3- and 4-star talent from outside the Bulldogs’ backyard.  That or he’ll continue to lose when he faces SEC West programs that don’t feature the word “Ole” in their names.  As for Arkansas and the Hogs’ zero commits, well, is their really any explanation necessary?  The Razorbacks rarely start fast thanks to their own talent-poor state, but turmoil is making things even tougher at this point.



"Tennessee and Kentucky are low on our board and that can be directly tied to the job security issues facing Derek Dooley... " or it can be directly tied to the fact that Tennessee always has a low number of commits this year, actually ahead of where they've been in recent years.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



Ranking behind Vandy is a first.  Sorry.  Fact.




 @John at MrSEC Not a fact.  Actually vandy was ahead of UT for most of last summer. All the Franklin lovers here on Nashville radio lapped it up.What happened? vandy slowly fell off as UT began signing quality recruits. UT didnt get its third commit until July last year and finished with what most think is a great class considering the year we had. UT always finishes strong and will do the same this year. Talk to me about vandy being ahead of UT come the end of this cycle. If they are I'll buy you a steak dinner.


@John at MrSEC Well gosh John, I guess you win the argument since you cited a "fact". The "fact" that Vandy has more commits than Tennessee doesn't mean they're behind schedule. And using your average stars per commit formula actually has them ahead of Vandy, but again, where they rank relevant to Vandy was not the the argument. The simple point was that you use the "fact" that UT only has 4 commits as an indication that UT is not doing well because of Dooley's job status, when the "fact" is that even in years when UT recruits really well, they don't have many commits this time of year.


All those it coaches knew Dooley couldn't get to 8 wins, so they left. Ut fans are too dumb to figure out what these coaches knew months ago. Only question is whether is will be Kirby smart or patrino in Knoxville next year.


Dooley's low number of commits has little to do with job security and most all to do with his process.  He gets most of his commitments at the end of the summer camps.  It is at these camps that they do a thorough analysis of abilities, etc.  It is here where they decide if you have it or not.


I am not suggesting that he will not end up with a bad class because his job is on the line, I am just indicating that for right now, this number is typical for him.


I really like the research you put into this article.


Especially this line: "Meanwhile, gone are the Tiger Prowls at Auburn and in are two new coordinators.  While they’re still doing relatively well, to date AU isn’t snapping up commits as quickly as it did when Gene Chizik and crew first arrived on the Plains."


You do realize at this time the past 3 classes, Auburn had 1, 2, & 3 commitments respectively?   Now they have 8, more than the total of the past 3 classes combined, and they are slowing down?  

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator 1 Like



Glad you like it.  You do realize that Auburn has consistently been in the 3.5 points-per-player range for the past three years, right?  And at the moment they're at 3.12.


Sorry, we see that as a slow down from heady days of the Tiger Prowls when 5- and 4-star commits were lining up to ink with Auburn.


Obviously, we're pretty sure these ratings will change between now and February.  Didn't think we needed to spell that out.  But for now, we see AU as being a lot less "WOW" than it was just a couple of years ago.




 @John at MrSEC hahahaha


April 17th, 2012

4-4* commitments

2-3* commitments

1-2* commitment 

1-NR commtiment


April 17th, 2011

1-4* commitment (TJ Yeldon)

1-3* commitment (Michael Flint)

1-NR commitment (McKinzy was not rated at the time)


April 17th, 2010

1-4* commitment (Spencer Region)

1-3* commitment (Izauea Lanier)

2-NR commitment (Anthony Swain & Thomas O-Reilly not yet rated by Rivals)


April 17th, 2009

1-3* commitments (Jake Holland received 4th star after re-rankings)

2-NR commitments (Parkey & Kitchens were unranked at this time in 2009)


Previous 3 year average... 1.7 stars


Amazing how those rankings change when you take the same snapshot in time over 4 years instead of basing it off of rankings that change multiple times throughout the recruiting year, huh?


"We've done these ranking since 2008" ........What?


These are Rivals rankings; not yours. You have only gone to their website and copied the data. Then you develop conclusions you think sound interesting to justify the numbers. I can assure you that Derrick Dooley is not at all concerned that Vanderbilt has a higher Rivals ranking than UT on April 17th. I can guarandamntee you that South Carolina and Arkansas AND UT will end up with far better athletes than Vanderbilt by Feb 1, 2013.


Vanderbilt is not beating out other SEC schools for these players. Franklin is going and picking up a few guys that some ACC schools usually got. And good for him. He's making Vandy better. I'd LOVE for Vandy to get good and occasionally beat some real SEC schools. They always play hard against UT, and I'd like them to be able to cause some other teams some real problems, too. As a Vol fan.


Lemme ax you a question... How do you feel about your Knoxville colleagues such as Hubbs or Hyams and even Adams, I believe, all saying that their impression is that Dooley upgraded his coaching staff this last year? Especially at OL and DB. Heistand was a massive failure (yes, Dooley's fault for hiring him). Everyone on earth knows Lance Thompson has personal issues (Dooley's fault for keeping him). Wilcox never was going to stay and he and Sermon were a package deal (coaches simply move sometimes and no, UT isn't perfect right now).


Hart is going to be on Dooley's a-s if they go 6-6 this year, but even a child can see that the UT team hitting the field in September of 2012 will be far more talented than the team hitting the field in 2011.


Yes, it will be up to Dooley to win those games. And he had no excuses for Lexington last year. But the Vols will get their 8 wins this years and things will be just fine up there.



John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



I'm sorry, we've been COMPILING Rivals rankings in such a way that you don't have to go and check school by school and create your own spreadsheet.  We tally them up on a regular basis in about three different ways... two of which are shown in today's listing.


If you don't want the free information and would prefer to do the work on your own, have at it.  Free country.




 @cmd I forgot that McCrary picked Vandy over committable offers from Alabama and Georgia. Lol. 

Nigel Bowden picked Vandy over offers from Ole Miss, Louisville, Mississippi State, Miami, and UT.


Both of those players are in the Top 250. The rest have offers from SEC schools as well. 

Leon McQuay and Richard Benjamin are also very close to popping for Vandy. Leon is a Top 50 player in the nation and both have offers from EVERYONE.


Vandy is beating people for commits. It is time to face reality.


Georgia is definitely benefitting from being a year removed from Coach Richt hot seat rumors. From my outside perspective, they also appear to be making more offers earlier than in previous years. I would assume this is an approach designed to combat a concerted effort to raid the state by an increasing number of programs from around the SEC and ACC. Also, as a tongue-in-cheek side note, mentioning tax day has no business in an article on football!


Franklin has certainly done a great job, and I expect it to continue on the recruiting trail. Vanderbilt has always had a lot to offer a kid. Nashville is a great town....However, it will be interesting to see where things stand going forward. They went 6-7 last year; they are likely going to start their 2012 season with a 2-5 or 3-4 record (tough schedule) and will have to fight to get back to the 6-6 mark and back to the Liberty Bowl. Their fans will never support them. The SEC just gets harder and harder. Their talent level might very well ramp up, but it will be a full, 4 year project at Vandy just like it was a multi-year project at Knoxville after Fulmer wrecked it there. I don't think Franklin sticks around for 4 years of beating his head into the wall to scrap to go 5-7, 6-6.... The gap is simply always going to be too great. Franklin can and will always prevent a 2-10 going forward, which is a success in its own right, but there's no 9 win season out there for him. He will learn that. Got to think Ole Miss and UK will stop at nothing to correct their own issues at least to the point where they no longer lose to Vandy. He's got to play Missouri every year now. Poor Franklin has a lot of people gunning for him. It can't be done there; not because it's Vandy, rather because the other schools will NEVER accept losing to them. If Vandy goes from a 5 out of 10 to a 7 out of 10, the other schools will just make it a 20 point scale...


As for Dooley, he always starts slow. They are well ahead of last year's pace, and you are wrong about his job security being the primary reason recruiting is sluggish (even though it's far ahead of last year's pace).Rumors certainly aren't helping him, but  he lost his recruiting coordinator and most of his assistants 60 days ago. A lot of kids are simply taking a step back and getting parents back in front of the new coaches, coming back to see where they fit with the new staff etc. They are actually very happy with their unofficial visits so far.  People feel they have a lot of solid commits coming in the early summer. Dooley has done a solid job rebuilding talent up there, with kids who are staying out of trouble by and large. An interested journalist could write one hell of a book on just how bad Fulmer's recruiting was from 2005-2008. Kiffin did even worse the next year.    


It IS ironic that Dooley lost a high profile recruit to Arkansas last year (according to the recruit himself) primarily due to Petrino starting those same rumors about Dooley's job security, and the girls he said he met on campus...No joke. Otha Peters.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



I consider the fact that Dooley lost 7 of 9 assistants to be part of his job security issues.  Also, ranking far behind Vanderbilt in commitments at any point is new for Tennessee and not the Vols' typical sluggish start.


We've done these rankings year-round since May of 2008 now.  We've got a pretty good feel for who's up and who's down based on their position in relation to the rest of the league.


Thanks for reading,



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