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SEC Signing Day Blitz

Ranking each conference team's 2007 recruiting class

Posted: Thursday February 8, 2007 5:08PM; Updated: Thursday February 8, 2007 5:21PM
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Carlos Dunlap was part of fantastic class Florida brought in, expecially on defense.
Carlos Dunlap was part of fantastic class Florida brought in, expecially on defense.
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By J.C. Shurburtt, Special to SI.com, Rivals.com

The SEC made the most of the talent-heavy Southeast on National Signing Day, placing seven teams in the top 10 team rankings, including the top overall class brought in by Urban Meyer at Florida. LSU let in-state target Joe McKnight get away but still managed to put together a class highlighted by five-star difference makers Terrance Toliver and Chad Jones. Nick Saban also used quick work to put his first Alabama class into the national top ten led by linebacker Rolando McClain.

1. Florida

Headliner: The state of Florida's top overall prospect, Torrey Davis, should see the field early in his career.

Sleeper: Punter Chas Henry is considered one of the nation's best at what he does.

Overview: The nation's top class features one of the nation's best groups of defensive ends (Carlos Dunlap, Jerrry Howard, Justin Trattou and Duke Lemmens) and one of the best group of quarterbacks in the history of recruiting (Cameron Newton, John Brantley and Bryan Waggener).

2. Tennessee

Headliner: Cornerback Eric Berry is the top defensive back prospect in the country.

Sleeper: Maryville, Tenn., wide receiver Tyler Maples is a hard-nosed receiver with good hands and speed.

Overview: The Vols signed a resurgent class this year, getting commits from Berry, Donald, the nation's top inside linebacker and running back Lenon Creer, one of the top prospects at his position in the country. Running backs coach and ace recruiter Trooper Taylor had perhaps his best year on the recruiting trail. He was instrumental in landing Creer, Berry and a number of other high-profile prospects.

3. LSU

Headliner: Rivals100 wide receiver Terence Toliver is a rare weapon in the passing game.

Sleeper: Concord, N.C., kicker Andrew Crutchfield has a powerful leg and could end up being a factor early.

Overview: Even without the state of Louisiana's top prospect, Joe McKnight, this is a special class full of difference makers. Stefoin Francois and Chad Jones are both plus-sized safeties that are big hitters and who could end up at outside linebacker if a need should arise. Getting Joseph Barksdale out of Detroit showed that LSU's recruiting reach has improved drastically in recent years.

4. South Carolina

Headliner: Defensive end Cliff Matthews is the type of elite pass rusher that the Gamecocks have lacked over the years.

Sleeper: Another defensive end, Byron McKnight, has the frame and athleticism to develop once he is coached up.

Overview: This is the best class that the Gamecocks have signed since joining the SEC in 1992. South Carolina raided North Carolina for five of the state's top 11 prospects and did well in Florida. South Carolina also signed a handful of junior college and prep school players, including wide receiver Larry Freeman, who is expected to help fill the void left by the departure of Sidney Rice.

5. Auburn

Headliner: With great balance, speed, vision and size, running back Enrique Davis was the state of Florida's top running back prospect.

Sleeper: The Tigers found defensive end A.J. Greene at the same school that produced offensive lineman Mike Berry last year. He has the size and athleticism to develop.

Overview: This is one of the best classes that Tommy Tuberville has signed at Auburn. Most of the prospects that the Tigers signed are not only high in talent, but high in character, which makes them all easily coached. That's the type of prospect that this staff has used to build one of the SEC's most successful programs during the last five seasons.

6. Georgia

Headliner: Defensive end Jarius Wynn, one of the top junior college prospects in the country, will make an immediate impact on the Bulldogs defensive line.

Sleeper: Wide receiver Walter Hill originally was a UGA basketball commit, but at 6-4, 212 can present tough matchup problems in the secondary.

Overview: While it was strange to see the Bulldogs not clean up in state (losing Antwane Greenlee on Signing Day to Florida State meant only two of the state's top 10 prospects were Dawgs), they filled needs across the board, particularly along both lines of scrimmage. Enrolling seven total linemen in January gives the program instant help.


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