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Closing Down The Borders: The SEC Programs That Owned Their State On Signing Day

CLOSING DOWN THE BORDERSNever has a college football coach taken a job without uttering these words at his introductory press conference: “We’re gonna put a fence up around this state and close of the borders.”

Everyone says, few do it.  That’s because it’s a heckuva lot easier said in a press conference than done in real life.

Below we look at where the top 10 prospects (according to Rivals.com) in each of the SEC’s 11 states decided to play football.  In addition to the totals, we indicate which school made off with the #1 prospect in each state with an asterisk.  Here goes…

 

  State   School 1   School 2   School 3   School 4   School 5   School 6   School 7   School 8
  AL   Alabama 6*   Auburn 4
  AR   Arkansas 5   Alabama 1*   Ark St 1   Memphis 1   Tulsa 1   Div II 1
  FL   Fla St 3*   Miami 2   Clemson 1   Florida 1   Georgia 1   LSU 1   Tennessee 1
  GA   Georgia 3   Clemson 3   S. Carolina 2   Kentucky 1   Ohio St 1*
  KY   Kentucky 4*   W. Ky 4   Louisville 1   Ohio St 1
  LA   LSU 5*   Alabama 2   Florida 1   Texas A&M 1   UCLA 1
  MS   Ole Miss 5*   Miss St 4   LSU 1
  MO   Arkansas 2*   Kansas St 2   Missouri 2   Nebraska 2   Fla St 1   Iowa 1
  SC   S. Carolina 4   Alabama 1*   Clemson 1   Florida 1   Georgia 1   Kentucky 1   Okla St 1
  TN   Tennessee 7*   N. Carolina 1   Notre Dame 1   Vanderbilt 1
  TX   LSU 2   Texas A&M 2*   Alabama 1   Baylor 1   Boise St 1   Ohio St 1   Stanford 1   Texas 1

 

Observations

*  Alabama grabbed the #1 prospect in the state of Alabama, the state of Arkansas and the state of South Carolina.  In fact, they plucked the top prospect in the Palmetto State right out of Columbia.

*  Alabama and Auburn were nearly neck-and-neck for the state of Alabama’s top 10 prospects, but Bama edged out the race six signees to four.

*  It’s easy to discern the state of Arkansas high school football just by looking at the destinations of the state’s top 10 prospects.  Six went to SEC schools.  The rest of the state’s best signed with Arkansas State, Memphis, Tulsa and Division II Pittsburg State.  Considering the shallow pool of talent he had to work with, Bret Bielema did fine in landing five of the Natural State’s top 10 players.

*  Will Muschamp wound up with a very good class but it could have been better had the Gators grabbed more of the top talent in their home state.  Florida’s highest-ranked signee from the Sunshine State came in at 10, barely even making our cut-off point.

*  Ohio State made off with the top player in the state of Georgia.  Also, Clemson equaled Georgia’s tally of three Peach State signees.  Toss in South Carolina and more top 10 prospects (five) jumped to the Palmetto State than stayed at home (3).  Like Muschamp, Mark Richt put together a highly-ranked class but it could have been better had the Dawgs done better with the state’s top 10.

*  There isn’t much highly-rated talent in the state of Kentucky, but Mark Stoops did a good job of nabbing four of the players up top, including the state’s top prospect overall.  Interestingly, Bobby Petrino’s old school (Western Kentucky) did better in-state than his new school (Louisville) by a four-to-one margin.

*  LSU landed five of the top 10 players in its home state including the state’s top signee.  Good work in a talent-rich state.

*  Ole Miss barely outgunned Mississippi State in the battle for Mississippi.  The Rebels signed five of the state’s top 10 prospects — including the top player overall — while MSU inked four members of the top 10.

*  Arkansas, Kansas State and Nebraska all signed as many members of Missouri’s top 10 as Mizzou did (two).  Gary Pinkel may not worry about star rankings, but watching eight of the state’s top players leave for other schools has to annoy Tiger fans to some degree.  Arkansas made off with the state’s top-ranked prospect.

*  South Carolina lost it’s home state’s top prospect to Alabama.  Those players ranked second, third and fourth by Rivals also went elsewhere.  But Steve Spurrier signed four of the remaining top 10 and capture more top players from the Palmetto State than anyone else, including Clemson (just one top 10 signee from South Carolina).

*  Despite Vanderbilt’s success in recent years, Tennessee owned its home state this year.  The Vols signed seven of the state’s top 10 players including its highest-rated player overall.  That’s shutting down the borders.

*  The top 10 players in Texas went to grand total of eight different schools.  But Texas A&M inked two of those players including the top recruit in the state.  LSU also signed two from Texas.  The flagship school in the Lone Star State?  The Longhorns signed just one member of the state’s top 10.

 

 


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