2020 has been a strange year so far. This weirdness is crossing over into college football recruiting as well.
There is still a long road to signing day, but as of May 5th, 2020, the Tennessee Volunteers have the no. 1 recruiting class in the SEC. The Vols’ coaching staff have not let social distancing guidelines get in the way of them stretching their brand far across the southeast.
Since April 26th, Tennessee has picked up 8 commitments. The Vols snagged five-star defensive end Dylan Brooks (Roanoke, Alabama) away from Auburn and LSU before picking up four-star Roswell wide-out Julian Nixon.
They earned a commitment from three-star safety Kamar Wilcoxson (Bradenton, Florida) and five-star linebacker Terrence Lewis (Hollywood, Florida). Other recent Tennessee commits include four-star tailback Cody Brown (Lilburn, Georgia), three-star offensive lineman Colby Smith (West End, North Carolina), three-star safety De’Shawn Rucker (Tallahassee, Florida), and three-star junior college running back Tiyon Evans (Hartsville, South Carolina).
It may take some time before these recruiting efforts pay dividends on the field, but Coach Jeremy Pruitt has gotten a nice head start on the Class of 2021.
The Florida Gators sit second in the conference standings. Their class is headlined by St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida) defensive end Tyreak Sapp, four-star defensive back Clinton Burton Jr. (Baltimore, Maryland), four-star quarterback Carlos Del Rio (Grayson, Georgia), and Carrollton linebacker Chief Borders. Following them are their rival, the defending national champion LSU Tigers.
LSU’s best commit is five-star linebacker Raesjon Davis (Santa Ana, California) but they are sure to pick up more top-ranked recruits later this season.
The Georgia Bulldogs hold the fourth best class at the moment, as they have commits from five-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff (Bogart, Georgia), four-star offensive lineman Micah Morris (Kingsland, Georgia), four-star athlete David Daniel (Woodstock, Georgia), and four-star Douglas County defensive end Jonathan Jefferson. UGA is likely to yet again challenge for the top class in the SEC come signing day.
Many other SEC teams have multiple commitments, but none have as quality of a class as the four listed above. Texas A&M rounds out the top five, followed by Mississippi State and Missouri. Auburn sits at eighth currently, just above South Carolina and Arkansas.
Kentucky sits at eleventh, and surprisingly the Alabama Crimson Tide are all the way at 12th in the SEC rankings. Vanderbilt and Ole Miss find themselves at the bottom of the conference rankings once again.
It is still extremely early in the recruiting period for the Class of 2021. The season still a maybe, and there are nine months to go until February’s Signing Day. Plenty can happen between now and then.
However, Tennessee leads the conference in recruiting right now and it isn’t particularly close. Sure, some of the higher-tier programs like Alabama and Auburn will find themselves higher in the rankings later on, but as of now the Iron Bowl rivals are losing recruiting battles left and right. Meanwhile, rivals like LSU, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee keep climbing atop the national recruiting rankings.