SEC Unfiltered: Alabama, Georgia's playoff bids should encourage Texas A&M fans

·2 min read
Westview's Ty Simpson (6) moves the ball forward during the second quarter  during at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., during the TSSAA BlueCross Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.
Westview's Ty Simpson (6) moves the ball forward during the second quarter during at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., during the TSSAA BlueCross Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

Welcome to SEC Unfiltered, the USA TODAY NETWORK's daily newsletter on SEC football. Today, Knoxville News Sentinel columnist John Adams takes over:

The success of Alabama and Georgia in recruiting elicits yawns in many corners, but not from recruiting services.

Recruiting services couldn’t ask for a better testimonial than to have Alabama and Georgia in the running for the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class. That has become routine since Kirby Smart left his defensive coordinator post at Alabama to run Georgia’s program.

As tricky as talent evaluation might be, the success of Alabama and Georgia give recruiting services credibility. Alabama and Georgia each has had two No. 1 recruiting classes in the past four years, according to the 247Sports Composite. So, it’s no coincident that they’re both contending for the national championship.

That should encourage Texas A&M fans. The Aggies are battling Georgia and Alabama for the No. 1-ranked recruiting class. They’re assured of landing their fourth consecutive class ranked eighth or higher.

Given coach Jimbo Fisher’s recruiting success as Florida State’s head coach, those rankings should surprise no one.

But don’t get the wrong idea. The 2022 recruiting cycle hasn’t been without surprises. SEC coaching hires in the past two years have much to do with that.

Let’s take the first-year coaches first.

After a dreadfully slow start, Auburn’s Bryan Harsin is assembling a top-15 class. Tennessee first-year coach Josh Heupel also could land a top-15 class. South Carolina rookie coach Shane Beamer could have a top-25 class, and Vanderbilt’s Clark Lea could have a top-30 class.

All the SEC’s second-year coaches – Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin, Mississippi State’s Mike Leach, Missouri’s Eliah Drinkwitz and Arkansas’ Sam Pittman – could have top-25 classes.

Drinkwitz’ recruiting success at Missouri might be the most noteworthy.

When Missouri played in back-to-back SEC championship games in 2013 and 2014, its recruiting classes were ranked in the high 30s. But Drinkwitz’ 2022 class could rank in the top 15. The highlight: He flipped five-star wide receiver Luther Burden from Oklahoma. And that was before Sooners coach Lincoln Riley left for Southern California.

Kentucky’s recruiting is also worth noting. Mark Stoops gradually has upgraded the Wildcats talent in his nine seasons as coach, and this could be his best recruiting class yet. A top-10 finish isn’t out of the question.

SEC outsiders don’t want to hear this. But the SEC's overall recruiting in the 2022 cycle indicates college football’s premier conference is about to become even stronger.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: SEC football: Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M recruiting

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