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December 2, 2009
Harris headlines incoming SEC talent
MORE: Conference recruiting breakdown | VOTE: SEC's top class? | ACC breakdown
There isn't much separation between the No. 2-ranked conference through the No. 5-ranked conference, but the SEC gets the edge with four teams ranked nationally and a total of seven four-star recruits among the other eight schools. Tennessee holds the No. 1 spot in the conference with a class led by elite power forward Tobias Harris. Darrin Horn has put together an impressive five-man class at South Carolina, which comes in at No. 2 in the league. At No. 3 in the SEC, Florida boasts a pair of athletic four-star prospects in Patric Young and Casey Prather. LSU is the last nationally ranked SEC squad with a class headlined by a couple of four-star recruits. Ole Miss' class, which missed out on a national ranking, also has a couple of four-star recruits.
Best recruiting battle
It's not easy to land an elite prospect who visits the last seven schools on his list. Tennessee, however, fought the hard fight and outlasted Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Syracuse and West Virginia to land Tobias Harris on the last day of the early signing period.
Signing Harris, the No. 5-ranked prospect in the Rivals150, catapulted Tennessee to the top of the SEC team recruiting rankings and to No. 4 nationally.
Strength in pairs
At No. 5 in the SEC, Ole Miss will find use for the dynamic inside/outside duo of Demarco Cox and Dundrecous Nelson. Cox is a 6-foot-8, 285-pound skilled big man who takes up space. Nelson is a dynamic athlete who could be Ole Miss' next high-scoring guard.
Alabama beat out Oklahoma for Trevor Releford, one of the most dynamic playmakers in the country at the point guard position. Releford is joined in the Alabama recruiting class by Charles Hankerson, a bruising wing who is also a high-level playmaker.
South Carolina and LSU both cracked the national rankings thanks to the depth of their classes. South Carolina, the second-best class in the SEC and No. 16 nationally, has a five-man class headlined by the four-star duo of electric point guard Bruce Ellington and long, athletic power forward Damontre Harris.
Sticking right with fellow second-year SEC coach Darrin Horn, Trent Johnson lured a top-20 national recruiting class to the Bayou. LSU's four-man class is led by jack-of-all-trades wing Matt Derenbecker and dynamic long-range scorer Andre Stringer.