College football recruiting: SEC, ACC leading September all-commit teams

Kevin C. Cox

What would an all-conference team of committed recruits look like for each league?

The format is simple. Using the 247sports composite of the four major recruiting rankings (Scout, Rivals, ESPN and 247), we list the top quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, tight end, five offensive linemen, five defensive linemen, four linebackers, and five defensive backs commitments for each conference. We'll update this every month or so until Signing Day in February.

Note: Every effort was made to slot players at the positions they'll be playing in college. Analysis follows the tables.

ACC

The ACC All-Recruit Team is really starting to slow down. In July, 12 members of the team were new. In September, there was only a single new member. While teams did add commitments, only one was good enough to unseat a member of the All-Recruit Team.

Florida State, Clemson and Miami commitments make up an astounding 72 percent of the roster. Add in Virginia and UNC, the only other ACC schools to have more than a single representative, and that number climbs to 92 percent.

Player From Stars Committed to

Quarterback

The ACC has four four-star quarterbacks, and that depth is not shown in this exercise.
Deshaun Watson Gainesville (Ga.) 4 Clemson
The 6'3, 200-pound Watson has a strong arm, very good mobility, and offers from around the country.

Backs

Can the ACC land a five-star running back?
Elijah Hood Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic 4 North Carolina
Hood is thought to be a better linebacker than running back, but only considered schools who want him to run the ball.
Joseph Yearby Miami (Fla.) Central 4 Miami
The 5'9, 190-pound Yearby is one of the most dynamic backs in the country.

Wide Receiver

There is no shortage of good receivers in the ACC, but there are few elite prospects.
Artavis Scott Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake 4 Clemson
Clemson is a dynamic recruit who has good strength for his 5'10. 175-pound frame. He can take it the distance on any play.
Demarre Kitt Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek 4 Clemson
The electric Kitt has been on the radar of recruiting analysts for three years.
Markell Pack Purvis (Ms.) 4 Florida State
Pack is a smooth, strong receiver at 6'2 and 180 pounds.

Tight End

Milan Richard Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day 4 Clemson
Richard is a deep threat at 6'2 and 232 pounds.

Offensive Line

The ACC's offensive line recruiting looks quite good this year, as several four-star prospects were just short of the list.
Kc McDermott Palm Beach (Fla.) Central 5 Miami
The youngest of three brothers to play for Miami, McDermott profiles as the best. He should easily fill out his 6'6 frame.
Trevor Darling Miami (Fla.) Central 4 Miami
Darling moves quite well for a 6'5, 300-pound tackle.
Bentley Spain Charlotte (N.C.) Providence 4 North Carolina
Spain is an athletic tackle prospect with an impressive 6'6 frame.
Steven Moss Chancellor (Va.) Fredericksburg 4 Virginia
Moss is a very solid guard recruit.
Cannon Smith Columbia (S.C.) Hammond School 4 Clemson
Smith could also play tight end, but Clemson is considering him at both spots.

Defensive Line

The ACC really stepped up its defensive line recruiting in July, adding quite a few elite prospects.
Andrew Brown Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith 5 Virginia
Brown is the consensus top defensive tackle recruit nationally. He's scary good.
Chad Thomas Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington 4 Miami
Thomas had an excellent summer camp circuit, and continues to blossom at defensive end.
Travonte Valentine Hialeah (Fla.) Champagnat Catholic 4 Miami
Valentine has excellent athleticism for his 6'4, 295-pound size. He'll immediately step in to a starter's role for Miami.
Dexter Wideman Saluda (S.C.) 4 Florida State
Wideman's length allows him to play tackle or end.

Linebacker

This is a strong linebacker class so far.
Kain Daub Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood 5 Florida State
Daub is one of the best linebackers in the country. He has much better coverage skills than a 6'3, 235-pound prospect rightfully should.
Korie Rogers Buford (Ga.) 4 Clemson
Rogers is undersized, but has good instincts and is a tackling machine
Jacob Pugh Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby 4 Florida State
Pugh is a raw, athletic 6'4 backer who continues to impress.
Delvin Purifoy Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic 4 Florida State
Purifoy is a hard-hitting, 6'2, 234-pound backer.

Defensive Back

This is an area that will almost certainly change quite a bit as Florida State, Miami and the rest of the teams that recruit the defensive back-rich land of Florida fill up.
Quin Blanding Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside 5 Virginia
Blanding is the top-rated safety in the country, with excellent cover skills and the ability to stop the run at 6'2 and 200 pounds.
Trey Marshall Lake City (Fla.) Columbia 4 Florida State
Marshall is a top safety recruit who showcased his athleticism at The Opening.
Stepheny Durham Jacksonville (Fla.) Atlantic Coast 3 Georgia Tech
Durham has a good blend of size and speed.
Nigel Bethel Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington 3 Miami
Bethel makes up for his 5'8 size with excellent quickness and instincts.
Germaine Pratt High Point (N.C.) Central 3 N.C. State
Pratt is a safety with good range.

On offense, Clemson and Miami dominate with eight of the 12 representatives. Clemson dominates the skill positions, with four of the seven spots, while Miami's early offensive line class is quite strong, with two of the five members. Clemson looks to best its 2012 offense -- the league's best since expansion. Miami continues to improve its talent level.

On defense, Florida State has five of the 13 players, which isn't all that surprising, considering the Seminoles produced the best two defenses since ACC expansion in the last two seasons.

Wake Forest, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College and Duke failed to have a member on the team for the third consecutive month. Of those, Louisville and Pitt would seem to be the most likely to break in with a member on the team in the coming months.

Big Ten

Another month, another instance of the Buckeyes and Wolverines keeping their stranglehold on the Big Ten's recruiting. Ohio State and Michigan should dominate the conference after bringing in an overwhelming amount of top talent.

Ohio State and Michigan combined to sign 31 of the Big Ten's 54 prospects rated four- or five-stars in 2012. That number increased to 38 of 61 in 2013. The trend continues in 2014 with the pair currently holding commitments from 21 of the conference's 31 prospects holding a rating of four- or five-stars -- the highest percentage in the last few years.

Player From Stars Committed to

Quarterback

Northwestern, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State, Michigan and Maryland were close to making the list with their respective quarterback commitments.
Michael O'Connor Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 4 Penn State
O'Connor is a 6'4, 225-pound pocket passer who has blossomed at the IMG Academy. He played in Tennessee after moving from Canada before going to the IMG Academy.

Backs

Can Minnesota and Northwestern hold onto the top running back spots in the B1G?
Jeff Jones Minneapolis (Minn.) Washburn 4 Minnesota
Jones has excellent agility and moves well for a six-foot back.
Justin Jackson Carol Stream (Ill.) Glenbard North 4 Northwestern
Jackson is an all-purpose back with the ability to take any touch for a score.

Wide Receiver

There is no shortage of good receivers in the Big Ten, so the race for the top spots was tough.
Drake Harris Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian 4 Michigan
Harris is one of the five best receivers in the country and has excellent potential as a big-play threat. The 6'4 wideout is also a nice red zone target.
Curtis Samuel Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall 4 Ohio State
Samuel is a tremendous, electric athlete capable of hitting a big play at any time.
Saeed Blacknall Englishtown (N.J.) Manalapan 4 Rutgers
Blacknall is a tough, physical target.

Tight End

Ian Bunting Hinsdale (Ill.) Central 4 Michigan
Bunting is a solid tight end recruit who should become a better blocker as he adds strength to his 6'6, 210-pound frame.

Offensive Line

These five are the five highest-rated offensive linemen, regardless of position (tackle, guard or center).
Jamarco Jones Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle 4 Ohio State
Jones is one of the best offensive tackles in the country.
Demetrius Knox Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal 4 Ohio State
Knox is one of the most tenacious guards in the country.
Mason Cole Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake 4 Michigan
Cole is an athletic 6'4, 280-pound guard. He could also play tackle in some systems, particularly if he keeps growing.
Jaden Gault Madison (Wis.) Monona Grove 4 Wisconsin
It's always nice to have a 6'7, 285-pound tackle who can move playing in your backyard.
Kyle Trout Lancaster (Ohio) 4 Ohio State
Trout is an athletic, big-bodied tackle and an early commit to the Buckeyes.

Defensive Line

These are the four highest-rated defensive linemen, be they ends or tackles.
Jalyn Holmes Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor 4 Ohio State
Holmes is one of the most dangerous defensive ends in the nation.
Bryan Mone Salt Lake City (Utah) Highland 4 Michigan
Mone is a massive defensive tackle at 6'4 and 338 pounds with good athleticism relative to his size. He should contribute immediately for the Wolverines.
Jesse Aniebonam Olney (MD) Good Counsel 4 Maryland
Aniebonam offers an excellent combination of quickness and power.
Lawrence Marshall Southfield (Mich.) 4 Michigan
Marshall is the prototypical edge rusher at 6'3 and 225 pounds.

Linebacker

As usual, the Big Ten is loaded with linebackers.
Dante Booker Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St.Mary 4 Ohio State
Booker is an exceptional prospect with great length at 6'4 and 210 pounds.
Kyle Berger Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius 4 Ohio State
Berger is a very good linebacker prospect, with a promising 6'3, 215-pound build.
Michael Ferns St. Clairsville (Ohio) 4 Michigan
The 6'3, 235-pound Ferns is the traditional thumper at middle linebacker.
Sam Hubbard Cincinnati (Ohio) Archbishop Moeller 4 Ohio State
Hubbard is listed as an athlete by some recruiting services, but he's a linebacker at Ohio State.

Defensive Back

One has to figure that the Big Ten will land more talented defensive backs in the coming months.
Jabrill Peppers Paramus (N.J.) Catholic 5 Michigan
Peppers is a 6'1, 200-pound ridiculous athlete who could excel at receiver, running back, corner or safety -- and in the return game. For Michigan, he plans to be a cornerback.
Damon Webb Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech 4 Ohio State
Webb is an excellent corner with solid technique and a motor that doesn't quit. He is relentless and has enough size at 5'11 and 180 pounds.
Kiy Hester Wayne (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional 4 Rutgers
Hester is a versatile safety who will support the run well.
Troy Vincent Rockville (Md.) Gilman 3 Penn State
An NFL legacy, Vincent is an excellent get for Penn State at corner.
Marcus Allen Upper Marlboro (Md.) Dr. Henry Wise 3 Penn State
Allen can cover, but he is also a big hitter at 6'1, 180 pounds.

Do Michigan and Ohio State dominate the conference? Yes.

The pair's representation is greater than any pair in any other conference. The Buckeyes and Wolverines have 16 of the top 25 players and most of the best prospects are committed to them. Nine other prospects are committed to schools other than the two, however, as the table below shows.

Is that a good thing? Will that trend continue? Will teams like Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Nebraska, Michigan State and Iowa land a representative on the squad? Will Penn State's massively reduced sanctions lead to a third team jumping up?

Big XII

Despite the lack of success on the field for the last three seasons, the Texas Longhorns have remained the class of Big 12 recruiting, even with all the defections in the 2013 class. With a top-10 national class that sits atop the conference once again in 2014, the 'Horns are still going strong while trying to hold off a surging Baylor program that is trying to put itself among the conference's elite.

Player From Stars Committed to

Quarterback

Only Oklahoma commit Justice Hansen (composite 93 grade) could come close to matching that of the longtime Texas pledge.
Jerrod Heard Denton (Texas) Guyer 4 Texas
Heard is a 6'3, 190-pound dual threat who led his team to a state championship last year as he gained more than 2,000 yards on the ground. An improving passer, Heard is a member of the Elite 11.

Running Backs

The top two running backs in the Big 12 stand out in a group with a handful of high three-star and four-star prospects.
Devon Thomas Broken Arrow (Okla.) 4 Oklahoma State
The explosive Thomas is a former Oklahoma commit who is trying to work his way back from a disappointing junior season marred by injuries.
Donald Catalon Houston (Texas) Eisenhower 4 Texas
An accomplished receiver, Catalon also battled health issues as a junior, and there are also some concerns that he's primarily a straight-line back, but he is a home-run threat with subtle moves.

Wide Receiver

There are a number of talented wide receivers committed to Big 12 schools, as well as several athletes who could have ended up on this list.
KD Cannon Mount Pleasant (Texas) 4 Baylor
Cannon is an explosive weapon.
Allen Lazard Urbandale (Iowa) 4 Iowa State
Iowa State rarely lands elite prospects, but ties to Lazard's family should help keep him in the fold despite continued high-level pursuit from Notre Dame. The 6'5, 210-pounder was also a standout at The Opening.
Mark Andrews Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain 4 Oklahoma
A dynamic slot receiver who has the skills to excel in the run game and as a wide receiver in college, Foreman is a former Oklahoma commit who will play with his brother D'Onta at Texas.

Tight End

Carson Meier Tulsa (OK) Union 3 Oklahoma
Oklahoma definitely needs more pass-catching options at tight end.

Offensive Line

The five are the five highest-rated offensive linemen, regardless of position (tackle, guard or center). It's a down year for talent in the conference, in large part because the talent level is down in Texas.
Ty Barrett Dallas (Texas) Skyline 3 TCU
The 6'4, 300-pound mauler is a nice get for the Horned Frogs.
Terrell Cuney Jasper (Texas) 3 Texas
Ranked as one of the top centers in the country, Cuney is a mobile prospect who excels at the second level, but needs to add mass to compete in college.
Dalton Risner Wiggins (Colo.) 3 Kansas State
One of the top centers in the West, Risner has the pure size at 6'5 to play tackle in college if necessary.
Josh Krok Niles (Ohio) McKinley 3 West Virginia
A massive prospect at 6'8, Krok is remarkably light on his feet for someone his size.
Alex Dalton Troy (Ohio) 3 Oklahoma
A high school right tackle who is on the short side for his position (6'4), the Sooners are likely to play Dalton inside at center in college.

Defensive Line

These are the four highest-rated defensive linemen, be they ends or tackles.
Derick Roberson San Antonio (Texas) Brennan 4 Texas
The defensive end has a freakish combination of athleticism and advanced technical ability for his age.
Trey Lealaimatafao San Antonio (Texas) Warren 3 Texas
A highly-coveted defensive tackle, the San Antonio product possesses exceptional quickness off the ball and a squatty build that makes it difficult for opponents to win the leverage battle.
Sione Teuhema Keller (Texas) 3 Texas
A 3-4 defensive end last season, Teuhema will have a chance to show off his edge speed and coverage ability as a rush linebacker this fall, which could help him earn his fourth star.
Courtney Garnett New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine 3 TCU
Garnett is an athletic defensive lineman on the interior.

Linebacker

The Bears are hoping their two linebackers on this list can help elevated their defense.
Gyasi Akem Broken Arrow (Okla.) 4 Oklahoma State
The physical tackler with sideline-to-sideline range will join his high school teammate Thomas in Stillwater.
Otaro Alaka Houston (Texas) Cypress Falls 4 Texas
A rangy 'backer who is a perfect fit in the Big 12 because of his instincts in coverage and willingness to get physical close to the line of scrimmage.
T'Kevian Rockwell Wylie (Texas) 4 Baylor
At 6'0 and 202 pounds, Rockwell is undersized for a linebacker, but could play a hybrid nickel position like current Baylor star Ahmad Dixon. Rockwell hits like a linebacker and moves like a safety.
Jimmie Swain Olathe (Ks.) North 4 TCU
Swain is a solid fit for the TCU defense.

Defensive Back

Against the spread teams in the Big 12, having versatile defensive backs is a requirement.
Davion Hall Texarkana (Texas) Liberty-Eylau 4 Baylor
A near five-star prospect, Hall could play wide receiver at Baylor, but his greatest upside probably lies at safety. His girlfriend is set to play basketball in Waco, but he's also seriously considering Alabama, so the Bears will have to fight to hold on to their highest-rated recruit.
Chris Hardeman Houston (Texas) Alief Taylor 4 Oklahoma State
Hardeman is a small corner with solid change of direction.
John Bonney Houston (Texas) Lamar 4 Texas
Bonney is a safety with excellent range.
Jermaine Roberts New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine 3 Texas
At 5'9, Roberts doesn't have ideal size, but his other skills are worthy of a five-star prospect, especially his speed and playmaking ability. As a junior, he found the endzone at least five times despite the fact he doesn't play at all on offense for St. Augustine.
Andre Maloney Overland Park (Kansas) Shawnee Mission West 3 Kansas
Maloney doesn't have ideal speed, but he makes up for it with his length and ability to attack the football.

The Big 12 has long been a conference dominated in recruiting by Texas and Oklahoma, but how do those two schools fare in the 2014 recruiting class in terms of representatives on this list?

Despite the late start in the 2014 class, the Longhorns are still dominating the Big 12 recruiting landscape, which is noticeably short on star power at this time (zero five-star prospects committed in the conference). The Bears are surging in their attempt to recruit with Texas and Oklahoma, while the Sooners are now battling schools like Baylor and Oklahoma State for prospects as they lose their foothold in Texas.

Is that a good thing? Will that trend continue? Can Texas Tech land the splash prospect to define their solid but unspectacular class?

Pac-12

The Pac-12 is a very interesting conference to follow for recruiting. Ten of the 12 schools are located in California, Arizona, Washington or Oregon. And compared to some regions, the talent west of the Rockies just isn't all that good. Put those two together, and some excellent battles result.

Player From Stars Committed to

Quarterback

Quite a few teams have good quarterbacks. Players like Cal's Luke Rubenzer, Oregon's Morgan Mahalak, and Arizona State's Manny Wilkins were left off the list.
Keller Chryst Palo Alto 5 Stanford
The 6'5, 225-pound Chryst is an efficient passer with a big arm and comes from a football family.

Backs

The Pac-12 has decent backs, but doesn't have a five-star committed at present.
Royce Freeman Imperial (Calif.) 4 Oregon
Freeman will bring the big back to Oregon's offensive attack.
Christian McCaffrey Littleton (Colo.) Valor Christian 4 Stanford
McCaffrey has a solid build at 6' and 195 pounds.

Wide Receiver

The Pac-12 has a reputation as a throwing league, and plenty of receiver talent is on its way.
Tyler Whitley Paradise Valley (Ariz.) Chaparral 4 Arizona State
Whitley can take the short pass and turn it into the long score.
Erik Brown Fontana (Calif.) Summit 4 Washington
Brown committed to Washington at The Opening 2013.
Austin Roberts Carmel (In.) 4 UCLA
Roberts is an excellent receiving threat. At 6'2 and 211 pounds, he will be an asset on third down.

Tight End

Chase Blakley Coeur D'Alene (Idaho) 3 Washington
With so many top tight end recruits still uncommitted out West, Blakley has the top spot. That likely won't last long.

Offensive Line

The five highest-rated offensive linemen, regardless of position (tackle, guard or center).
Toa Lobendahn Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia 4 USC
Lobendahn is one of the best guards on the West Coast.
Jackson Barton Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton 4 Utah
Barton has a lot of athleticism but must add size.
Jordan Poland La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day 4 USC
Poland is a massive offensive tackle at 6'7 and 333 pounds.
Kenyon Frison Salt Lake City (Utah) Granger 3 Utah
Frison is one of the best prospects in Utah.
Tyrell Crosby Henderson (Nev.) Green Valley 3 Oregon
Crosby is an athletic tackle prospect who should fit well in Oregon's zone scheme.

Defensive Line

These are the four highest-rated defensive linemen, be they ends or tackles.
Nifae Lealao Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian 4 Stanford
Lealao is an excellent defensive prospect who offers a lot of vesatility.
Malik Dorton Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco Prep 4 USC
Dorton is a very talented edge rusher.
Connor Humpherys Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic 4 Arizona State
Humpheys will have a chance to play early for the Sun Devils.
Austin Maloata Corona (Calif.) Centennial 3 USC
Maloata is a solid run stopper on the edge.

Linebacker

I was surprised to see just a single linebacker rated four stars or better.
Derik "D.J." Calhoun El Cerrito (Calif.) 4 USC
Calhoun is an excellent and versatile linebacker recruit.
Marquise Ware Los Angeles (Calif.) Bishop Salesian 4 Arizona
Ware is a fantastic athlete.
Jamarde Cobb Los Angeles (Calif.) Bishop Salesian 4 Arizona
Cobb is an excellent run stopper.
Joey Alfieri Portland (OR) Jesuit 3 Stanford
Alfieri is a tremendous athlete.

Defensive Back

With teams playing more and more nickel and dime defense, it was appropriate to include five defensive backs.
Arrion Springs San Antonio (Texas) Roosevelt 4 Oregon
The Ducks beat out Miami and Texas for the 5'11, 192-pound speedster.
Cameron Denson Tuscon (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic 4 Arizona
Denson is a big corner at 6'1.
Adarius Pickett El Cerrito (Calif.) 4 UCLA
Pickett was a big pickup for UCLA.
Brandon Simmons Arlington (Texas) Mansfield Timberview 4 Stanford
Simmons is an excellent safety prospect who can cover like a corner.
Jaleel Wadood Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco 4 Cal
Wadood committed to Cal at The Opening 2013.

The 25-member team breaks down by school as follows:

The league distribution is pretty balanced, as opposed to the ACC, where three teams have almost 80 percent of the team members, or the Big Ten, where Ohio State and Michigan combine for 60 percent.

Is this balance a good thing? How do you think this list will change? Will the top eight schools on the list further separate from the bottom third? Or will Colorado, Washington State or Oregon State get back on the board?

It's interesting to see that UCLA, which recruited very well last year, and so far has been in on many top prospects, only has a two players on the list. If the Bruins continue to play well on the field, and USC continues to struggle, that will change.

One other thing I notice: the lack of elite linemen. The entire conference has six linemen rated four-stars or better. Conferences sitting in other regions where elite linemen are plentiful have two or three-times that amount.

But it's important to keep in mind that 9 of the best 20 recruits in California remain uncommitted. The talent is mostly coming to the Pac-12.

SEC

No conference recruits football players like the SEC. It's commonplace for a fan of a school to celebrate a top-20 recruiting class on National Signing Day, and then soon after realize that his or her school was bested by more than half of the conference. Such is life in the SEC.

Here, every school pulls in good talent. But not all pull in elite talents. One way to demonstrate this is with an all-conference recruiting team.

Player From Stars Committed to

Quarterback

Quite a few teams have quarterbacks rated four-stars or higher, and this race was very tight.
Kyle Allen Scottsdale (Ariz) Desert Mountain 5 Texas A&M
Allen is the most college-ready quarterback in the country, and will have a good shot to start as a freshman should Johnny Football leave early for the NFL.

Backs

The running backs haul for the conference is absolutely ridiculous. Two five-star talents were left off the list in Jalen Hurd and Bo Scarbrough.
Sony Michel Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage 5 Georgia
Michel is the consensus No. 2 back nationally.
Dalvin Cook Miami (Fla.) Central 5 Florida
Cook is the consensus No. 4 back nationally.

Wide Receiver

The SEC's receiver recruiting has finally picked up. Seven four-star receiver recruits had to be left off.
Ermon Lane Homestead (Fla.) 5 Florida
Most consider Lane the first- or second-best receiver in the country.
Cameron Sims Monroe (Ala.) Ouachita Parish 4 Alabama
Alabama landed Sims over LSU and others.
Shaq Davidson Gaffney (S.C.) 4 South Carolina
Davidson is an explosive receiver recruit.

Tight End

Jeb Blazevich Charlotte (N.C.) Christian 4 Georgia
Blazevich is a very strong tight end who also catches the ball well.

Offensive Line

The five highest-rated offensive linemen, regardless of position (tackle, guard or center).
Cameron Robinson West Monroe (La.) 5 Alabama
Robinson may be the best offensive tackle prospect in more than a decade.
Roderick Taylor Jackson (Miss.) Callaway 4 Ole Miss
Taylor is arguably the top guard in the country.
Ross Pierschbacher Cedar Falla (Ia.) 4 Alabama
Pierschbacher recently flipped to Alabama from Iowa. He is one of the top offensive tackles in the country.
Andy Bauer St. Louis DeSmet 4 Ole Miss
Bauer is a very solid tackle prospect at 6'6 and 300 pounds.
Viane Talamaivao Corona (Calif.) Centennial 4 Alabama
Talamaivao is one of the West Coast's best guards.

Defensive Line

These are the four highest-rated defensive linemen, be they ends or tackles. The SEC routinely recruits the best defensive linemen by an obscene margin.
Lamont Gaillard Fayetteville (N.C.) Pine Forest 4 Georgia
Russell is a massive and nimble interior defensive lineman at 6'3 and 310 pounds.
Bijhon Jackson El Dorado (Ark.) 4 Arkansas
Clark is a powerful end who plays with good leverage.
Justin Thornton Mobile (Ala.) Vigor 4 Auburn
Thornton is a great pass rusher at 6'5 and 222 pounds. He committed early to Auburn to focus on academics and ensure he qualifies.
Khairi Clark Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madona 4 Florida
Clark has excellent athleticism for his size, though he needs to show up in Gainesville at around 300 pounds, not the 325 he was carrying at the Miami Nike Camp.

Linebacker

The competition here is very tight, and will grow even tighter if more five-stars commit to the SEC, as is likely.
Tre' Williams Mobile (Al.) St. Paul's 4 Auburn
Williams is a thick 'backer who brings the big hits.
Christian Miller Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley 4 Alabama
Miller is a dynamic athtele and edge rusher.
Hoza Scott La Porte (Tx.) 4 Texas A&M
Scott is widely considered the top outside linebacker nationally.
Zach Whitley Houston (Tx.) North Shore 4 Alabama
Whitley is extremely active.

Defensive Back

With teams playing more and more nickel and dime defense, it was appropriate to include five defensive backs.
Edward Paris Arlington (Tx.) Mansfield Timberview 5 LSU
Paris is an excellent safety recruit with great range.
Nick Harvey Richmond (Tx.) Travis 4 Texas A&M
The 5'9 Harvey makes up for his lack of height with excellent quicks.
Todd Kelly Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb School 4 Tennessee
Kelly is a very versatile safety.
Dylan Sumner-Gardner Mesquite (Texas) West 4 Texas A&M
Sumner-Gardner is excellent against the run.
Malkom Parrish Quitman (Ga.) Brooks County 4 Georgia
Parrish makes up for his 5'9 stature with quickness and agility.

The 25-member team breaks down by school as follows:

The SEC is by far the most balanced league. Compare this list to that of the ACC, where three teams have 80-percent of the team members, or the Big Ten, where Ohio State and Michigan combine for 60-percent.

One school really laying in the weeds and waiting to pounce are the LSU Tigers. I recently profiled how the Tigers are in a strong position to land as many as 10 more four/five-star prospects and challenge Alabama for the No. 1 recruiting class.

Is this balance a good thing? How do you think this list will change? Will The top five schools on the list further separate from the bottom eight? Or will Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Mississippi State or Missouri get on the board?

Pulling it together

So let's take a look at how the leagues compare to each other. The SEC is by far the best, with an average star rating of 4.24. But interestingly, the ACC has the next highest, at an average of 4.04. That makes sense, because the ACC largely recruits from the same region as the SEC -- the South, which is by far the most talented region in the country.

All other conferences are below an average of four stars.

Without Texas and Oklahoma recruiting at incredible levels, the Big XII really slips because other schools are simply not able to pick up the slack. Of note, more than half of the Big XII has one or fewer four-star recruits -- an embarrassing number.

The Pac-12 and Big Ten are both closer to a 4.0 average than a 3.5. The Pac-12 still has quite a few uncommitted prospects in its sights, and the average should rise. The Big Ten continues to be Ohio State, Michigan, and everyone else.

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