Who in the Southeastern Conference is doing well on the recruiting trail?
OLB Hoza Scott is the top commit on the board thus far for the Aggies.
Which program has surprised? Which has disappointed?
Since we are now one-fourth of the way through the 2014 cycle, we break things down in this week's SEC recruiting roundup.
Right now, the Aggies have the No. 1 group in the SEC and No. 2 class nationally, trailing only archival Texas.
Of Texas A&M's 10 commitments, a staggering eight of them carry a ranking of four stars or better. That's more than many elite programs will finish with, and we're still only in April.
People wondered when Texas A&M joined the SEC if the move would help expand the program's recruiting footprint, particularly in the Southeast. In all likelihood, it will, however all 10 commits are in-state products.
Jalen Hurd (left) and Todd Kelly were key pickups for the Vols.
Honorable mention goes to Tennessee, Florida and LSU. All three currently have top-five classes. LSU, because of a strong in-state crop, has a legitimate shot of making a run at the top overall spot next National Signing Day.
Talk about an easy choice. What Butch Jones and his staff have done in a short period of time is remarkable. Given his track record of success in the past, it seemed like only a matter of time before Jones would do big things on the recruiting trail but few probably thought it would happen so soon.
As of now, the Vols own the No. 3 overall class, and are No. 2 in the SEC.
For a program with a change at the top coming off a few subpar seasons, that's extremely impressive.
So far, Tennessee has 11 commits, including five-star running back Jalen Hurd and four-star safety Todd Kelly, a Tennessee legacy. They're the two best prospects in the Volunteer State, per the 247Composite.
Vols commits have come from eight states and the District of Columbia.
Without much hoopla, James Franklin and Vanderbilt are doing quite well.
Honorable mention goes to Kentucky. The Wildcats are No. 9 in the SEC [ahead of Arkansas and Auburn] and 31st nationally.
UNDER THE RADAR
TIE -- Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
The Rebels, coming off their stunning haul during the 2013 cycle, already have eight commits and a No. 10 national ranking.
To naysayers, the last Ole Miss class was a fluke.
But if Hugh Freeze's staff lands another top-10 group, that's proof that the 2013 class was not a fluke at all. To date, the Rebels already have four four-star commits.
Meantime, Vanderbilt has been somewhat overlooked by the press largely because of what the Vols have done. That's a mistake.
Right now, the Commodores own the nation's No. 14 class, which puts them ahead of programs [yes, we know it's early] such as Alabama and Georgia.
Can Hugh Freeze land another top-10 class for Ole Miss?
Once again, the Commodores are faring well in neighboring Georgia, having already landed commits from three Peach-Staters.
Honorable mention goes to Alabama. The Tide has just five commits but four have four-star ratings or better. Very quietly, Arkansas also is doing pretty good work on the trail.
This is truly a difficult category because, quite frankly, just about everyone in this conference is recruiting at a high level right now. But since we have to pick a team, we'll go with Mississippi State, which has a league-low one commit and is last in the conference rankings.
Now for the flip side …
That one commit, athlete Nikia Cathey, is a solid three-star prospect. Also, consider this -- the state of Mississippi has a strong 2014 class, and the Bulldogs have put themselves in position to make a strong showing at home. Also, a lot of Mississippi State's verbals usually come during the summer.
In other words …. we think in the end the Bulldogs will be just fine.
Five-star RB Sony Michel was a monster commit for Georgia last week.
Sony Michel by Georgia. Pulling Michel, the No. 11 overall prospect and No. 2 running back out of south Florida last week was huge. For a long time, many considered Miami to be the team to beat, but instead Michel chose the Dawgs. He's a dynamic back that can do a little bit of everything.
Honorable mention goes to Hurd at Tennessee. This was significant for a few reasons but let's start with the fact the 6-feet-3, 230-pound back is very good. At last check he was the No. 3 running back and No. 17 overall prospect.
Also, it is crucial the Vols don't let top in-state talent get away. So landing the No. 1 player in Tennessee is huge.
Chris Laye of the Atlanta area to Auburn. Tight end is a developmental position and in Laye the Tigers have found a good piece of clay with which to work. Laye is in the 6-feet-5, 230-pound range and has the ability to be a versatile player that can be effective both as an inline blocker and as a receiver.
Honorable mention goes to Missouri pickup Thomas Richard, a steady receiver from Nashville (Tenn.) Christ Presbyterian Academy.