The coaches that are successfully recruiting out of the SEC footprint should have a great advantage over time (if they are targeting the best of the best). The southeast is fertile recruiting territory, but there are more high quality players outside of the 11 SEC states (much higher population overcomes a smaller percentage of high quality football studs). The SEC brand is strong for those that expect to be NFL players where ever they may live. Why wouldn't you try to skim the cream throughout the country instead of spending all of your time trying to find the recruiting nugget in SECland that others have passed over?
The best football players in America are located south of the Mason-Dixon line. While facilities, millionaire coaches and passion for the game all play a role in making the Southeastern Conference top dog in college football year-in and year-out, the deep pool of talent in Dixie is the “keyest” of key components.
Currently, there are 300 prospects committed to sign with SEC schools next Wednesday. A whopping 245 of those athletes played their high school or juco ball in the 11-state SEC footprint. That’s 81.6% of all the current commits across the league.
Below we chart for you state-by-state and school-by-school where the SEC’s programs have gone for talent. Only two schools — Kentucky and Tennessee — have grabbed double-digit prospects from outside the league’s boundaries. And only two states — Arkansas and Kentucky — have produced fewer than double-digit SEC commitments.
Here’s the breakdown…
* The states of Georgia and Florida are once again 1-2 in terms of producing SEC commitments. Typically the Peach State provides more SEC signees than the Sunshine State because there are only three FBS schools in the talent-rich state of Georgia.
* Mark Stoops’ recruiting looks even better — and it’s looked pretty darned good to start with — when you consider the fact that the man has only two commitments from inside the Bluegrass State. Two. One, two. That’s it.
* Bret Bielema is facing the same kind of dilemma in a state that’s produced just six SEC commitments to date. More worrisome: For a school that needs to recruit heavily into Texas, the Razorbacks have only convinced two Lone Star Staters to don the cardinal and white so far.
* Nineteen of Missouri’s 26 commitments come from SEC East states. While the Tigers aren’t killing it in terms of grabbing 4- and 5-star guys, they are clearly shifting their recruiting efforts from Texas (just three commitments) to Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.
* The biggest backyard advantage in the SEC? That’s easy — Texas A&M. Sixteen of the Aggies 21 recruits are from the state of Texas.