All the headlines from National Signing Day will focus on Texas A&M finishing No. 1 with the 2022 signing class. Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies did well, though there is strong suspicion NIL deals played a major part. On Wednesday, Fisher strongly denied any shenanigans. He claimed the Aggies did nothing wrong. Technically, with the, even more than ever, ‘rule-less’ NCAA, Fisher might have a point.
On Tuesday night, Nick Saban made it clear his opinion is using NIL opportunities to sign players was never intended to be allowed. In stressing the Crimson Tide does not “cheat” to sign players, Saban implied others do. Was Saban talking about Fisher? Jimbo must have thought so, hence his widely panned denial.
Another Alabama Football Success
However the Aggies and other programs attracted their new signees, Nick Saban had his usual recruiting cycle success. While Rivals, 247Sports and On3 all ranked the Crimson Tide as the No. 2 class, that does not mean it was not the best class. In terms of average player ratings, the Crimson Tide was No. 1 across the board.
Jimbo’s haul was No. 1 because he signed four more players than did Nick Saban.
Will SEC teams’ recruiting results show results next season? There will be many freshmen to have an impact in the SEC next season, but overall the impact will (or will not) come in later seasons.
Based on the 247Sports Composite and the On3 Consensus Team Rankings, the Aggies, the Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs signed the nation’s three top classes. No other SEC team reached the top 10. Based on the On3 Consensus, LSU came in next at No.12. followed by Kentucky at No. 14, Missouri at No. 15 and Tennessee at No. 16.
Auburn followed at No. 18 (more on that below); Ole Miss was No. 21; Mississippi State, No. 23; Florida, No. 25; Arkansas, No. 26; South Carolina, No. 28 and Vanderbilt, No. 31.
The new signing classes are only part of 2022 roster rebuilds. For many teams, the Transfer Portal will make a greater and quicker impact. Add the Crimson Tide transfers to an improved roster calculation and the Tide comes out way ahead of every other team.
Even a lesser program can get a major boost from the Portal. In the SEC, Ole Miss will make up with a No. 21 class with solid Portal gains.
Other than Auburn, an argument can be made every team in the SEC has been strengthened. The Tigers will get a needed boost from a few JUCO transfers. The JUCO players cannot come close to making up for what Auburn has lost in the Portal. In addition, one of Bryan Harsin’s few, incoming, 4-Star freshmen is reportedly going to Auburn to play basketball and not football.