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The top 10 recruiters in the SEC..


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With seven of the 247Sports Composite’s top 10 recruiting classes coming from the SEC in this past 2020 cycle, competition among the conference’s recruiter rankings was stiff. The likes of Georgia, Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M stacked their fair share of highly-ranked prospects en route to a top six finish.

With that, nine of the top 10 recruiters in the league were divided up between those four programs. Using the 247Sports recruiter rankings for 2020, this is a look at the SEC's top returning recruiters. If a coach left the conference, they won't appear on this list.

(Photo: Denon McMillan, 247Sports)

Alabama had the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class with secondary coach Karl Scott playing a big part in that with a couple massive Lone Star State flips at the expense of Oklahoma.

Scott is listed as the lead recruiter for five-star athlete Drew Sanders, the No. 1 prospect in Texas per the Top247, who besides his one-time verbal to the Sooners also strongly considered LSU and took officials to all three before opting for the Tide a few days after his trip to Tuscaloosa in April. He was also the lead for Top247 running back Jase McClellan, who had been in the fold for Oklahoma since July 2017 but announced his flip to Alabama late in the process.

With 10 commits to his name overall, Scott finished as the top-ranked recruiter in the SEC and No. 3 overall in the 247Sports Recruiter Rankings which also included his efforts in signing Top247 outside linebacker Quandarrius Robinson, JUCO cornerback Ronald Williams and offensive tackle Damieon George.

Scott finished No. 17 a year ago.



8710715.JPG?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs(Photo: Greg McWilliams, 247Sports)

In signing nine prospects in the 2020 cycle, Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner finished No. 4 nationally in the 247Sports Recruiter Rankings and No. 2 in the SEC.

Among Garner’s best work this past class included a pair of defensive linemen pegged to go elsewhere nearly the whole cycle in. Auburn beat in-state Georgia for Top247 defensive end Zykeivous Walker and Tennessee for defensive tackle Jay Hardy. A couple of the nation’s top JUCO defensive linemen also chose to play at Auburn in Deandre Butler and Marquis Burks. Garner aims to reload quickly across his front, which was arguably the most talented in college football a season ago.

Auburn finished with the nation’s No. 7 recruiting class, the highest mark since 2014. 

Garner checked in at No. 23 in the conference in 2019.



9273000.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs(Photo: @FootballUGA on Twitter)

It was a bounce-back year on the recruiting trail for Georgia’s running backs coach as he helped Kirby Smart and company bring home 247Sports No. 1 ranked class overall.

McGee was the 247Sports National Recruiter of the Year to cap the 2018 cycle but checked in at No. 42 in the SEC in 2019. This go-round McGee rebounded with three big recruiting wins to finish No. 5 nationally, good for No. 3 in the SEC.

The first: beating Alabama, LSU and Ohio State for Clovis (Calif.) Buchanan Top247 running back Kendall Milton back in July. Milton visited each of his finalists in the spring and then again in the summer before choosing the Bulldogs.

The second: flipping Top247 receiver Jermaine Burton from LSU. The Calabasas (Calif.) High standout was a long-time commit to Ed Orgeron and company but took a visit to Athens during the fall and returned for an official in December. A native of the Peach State, Burton ultimately flipped to UGA on Dec. 18, one of the bigger stories of the Early Signing Period.

But McGee’s finest work may have been helping keep five-star offensive tackle Broderick Jones in the fold. The blue-chipper did not put pen to paper during the Early Signing Period with former offensive line coach Sam Pittman taking the head job at Arkansas. Auburn made a late charge and Jones visited Pittman in Fayetteville but in the end Jones stayed true to his word and signed with the Bulldogs.

Other prospects McGee had his name on included four-star defensive tackle Nazir Stackhouse, four-star running back Daijun Edwards.




9356873.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs(Photo: Brian Perroni, 247Sports)

I had been hearing from folks who worked with Robinson at Temple and Baylor that Robinson was a stud recruiter. That showed up on the stat sheet this cycle as the Aggies defensive line coach finished fourth in the SEC and ninth nationally.

Robinson’s work included winning his first heavyweight battle on the trail, beating Alabama, LSU and Auburn for Top247 defensive tackle McKinnley Jackson on National Signing Day. The Lucedale (Miss.) George County All-American capped a recruiting class that finished No. 6 nationally.

Robinson netted a big win during the Early Signing Period too, hanging on to Top247 pass rusher Donell Harris, who strongly considered in-state Florida down the stretch.

A New Jersey native, Robinson went home to land a couple highly-recruited prospects in Top247 defensive end Fadil Diggs, who won Gatorade Player of the Year for the state, along with defensive tackle Isaiah Raikes.

Defensive tackle Dallas Walker and defensive back Joshuah Moten were two more prospects Robinson played part in bringing to College Station.

The 34-year old Robinson is going to be a guy we’ll likely see on these lists annually moving forward.




9362041.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs(Photo: Denon McMillan, 247Sports)

In his first year at Alabama, the 52-year old Kelly finishes at No. 5 in the SEC, headlined by his work in landing five-star outside linebacker/defensive end Will Anderson. The Crimson Tide prioritized Anderson early and it was easy to see why as he was arguably the most dominant player at the All-American Bowl in January, an absolute menace rushing the passer off the edge.

Anderson wasn’t the only elite prospect Kelly secured out of Georgia as he also earned a signature from Top247 safety Brian Branch. Branch strongly considered Oklahoma as well.

A pair of in-state wins are notched on the belt for Kelly as well, as Alabama brought home the Gatorade Player of the Year in quarterback/athlete Kristian Story while also flipping touted offensive tackle Javion Cohen from rival Auburn.

Kelly was the No. 11 overall recruiter in the country.



Title/Alt Text(Photo: Andrew Ivins, 247Sports)

For the second cycle in a row the LSU assistant finishes sixth in the conference and has built a strong reputation as one of the nation’s top recruiters.

The best Christmas present Raymond received in 2018 was likely the pledge he received from five-star cornerback Elias Ricks, a California native that spurned USC among a national offer list to play for the Tigers. Ricks continued to look into other programs heading into this fall but ultimately shut his recruitment down for good as LSU was making its championship run.

Ricks wasn’t the only ballyhooed prospect Raymond had to hold onto as he also led the recruitment of five-star receiver Kayshon Boutte who took a couple visits to Alabama but stayed true to the in-state Tigers.

Four-star defensive back Dwight McGlothern announced for LSU during the All-American Bowl, and Raymond was listed as the primary for offensive lineman Marlon Martinez as he finished No. 13 nationally in the 247Sports recruiter standings.



9370294.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs(Photo: Denon McMillan, 247Sports)

Alabama needed a big year in the front seven on the recruiting trail and because of Sunseri, they got it.

Sunseri has terrific ties to the Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances program, a blue-chip factory, and those led to the Tide landing five-star defensive end Chris Braswell. Similar to the way Alabama coveted Will Anderson a little earlier than their peers, they did the same with Top247 five-star Timothy Smith and they were able to hold off Florida late in the process to keep him in the fold.

The 60-year old Sunseri assisted on Robinson’s recruitment and he was the point on cornerback Jahquez Robinson as well.



9194427.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs(Photo: UGA Athletics: Steven Colquitt)

Engineered by Warren’s efforts, a big part of Georgia’s No. 1 class was what they were able to do in the secondary.

While the country’s top-ranked cornerback Kelee Ringo announcing for Georgia in January at the All-American Bowl was one of the worst-kept secrets down the stretch, there was a time when that one was tight. Washington was considered the early favorite and Texas had momentum heading into the spring, but Warren and the UGA staff were able to get Ringo to campus a few times after that and it was all she wrote. 

Another All-American cornerback in Jalen Kimber liked Texas A&M early, then Alabama, but a visit to Georgia in April was a game changer and the Lone Star State speedster didn’t take long to jump in the fold after that.

Rounding out Warren’s run in 2020 were a couple DBs at one point committed elsewhere in Major Burns (LSU) and Daran Branch (Ole Miss).

Warren placed 18th in these standings in 2019.




8448587.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs(Photo: Brian Perroni, 247Sports)

In his third decade coaching college football, Dickey’s experience paid off on the trail. He was listed as the primary recruiter for three Top247 recruits in offensive lineman Chris Morris, quarterback Haynes King and running back Devon Achane.

In Morris, Dickey went back to Memphis where he had two coaching stints with the Tigers, once in the 80s and again from 2012-2017.

Dickey’s pedigree was big in landing King, the coveted in-state signal-caller who gave a long hard look to Tennessee but opted to stay closer to home.

Achane was the most electric player in Texas as a senior and had the opportunity to play football and run track at several powerhouse programs but signed on to play for the Aggies.



9362596.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs(Photo: Brian Perroni, 247Sports)

Craig has always had a great reputation as a recruiter and he oversaw one of the SEC’s best receiver hauls, headlined by five-star Demond Demas. Demas was considered a Texas lead very early in the cycle, and in a bit of a surprise, committed to Texas A&M during a visit to campus after witnessing the Aggies nearly knock off Clemson. Demas didn’t waver from that point on despite overtures from other programs.


Demas is part of a class that also included the smooth and consistent NFL legacy pass catcher in Muhsin Muhammad III and Devin Price. He also gets credit for helping flip Top247 offensive lineman Akinola Ogunbiyi from Georgia.

Craig was the No. 12 recruiter in the SEC a cycle ago.

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