Coach Steve Spurrier continues to take the Gamecocks to unprecedented heights, following up his third straight 11-win season with another top-20 recruiting class. The Gamecocks focused on rebuilding their defensive line and secondary after each unit lost starters. South Carolina signed three of the country's top cornerback prospects: Chris Lammons of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (No. 12 athlete), D.J. Smith of Marietta, Ga. (No. 12 cornerback) and Wesley Green of Lithonia, Ga. (No. 13 cornerback). Dante Sawyer of Suwanee, Ga., the No. 9 defensive end, and juco tackles Jhaustin Thomas and Abu Lamin might be able to help on the defensive line right away. South Carolina lost a bunch of talent to the NFL draft, including star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and tackle Kelcy Quarles, but they should be right back in the mix in the SEC East. They'll play rivals Georgia and Missouri at home this coming season.
Is any program in the country better than LSU at replacing a boatload of talent? After losing six more underclassmen to the NFL draft (and 17 in the past two seasons alone), Tigers coach Les Miles put together the country's No. 2 recruiting class. After losing star receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, guard Trai Turner, tailback Jeremy Hill and defensive tackles Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson to the pros, LSU might need some of their incoming freshmen to contribute right away. The Tigers signed running back Leonard Fournette of New Orleans, the No. 1 prospect in the country, according to ESPN RecruitingNation, No. 1 wide receiver Malachi Dupre of River Ridge, La., and No. 3 receiver Trey Quinn of Lake Charles, La. The Tigers also signed three of the country's top defensive prospects: No. 2 safety Jamal Adams, No. 2 inside linebacker Clifton Garrett and No. 4 safety Edward Paris Jr. With that kind of talent coming to LSU, it's hard to imagine the Tigers not winning at least 10 games for the fifth consecutive season under Miles. The Tigers hired former Virginia Tech assistant Jeff Grimes as their new offensive line coach, and they'll have to find a new special teams coordinator after the New York Jets hired Thomas McGaughey.
Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen's first full recruiting class looked a lot like the Badgers' recruiting efforts of the past. The class is heavy on linemen, which is where Wisconsin likes to win football games. The Badgers signed five offensive linemen, including No. 10 tackle Jaden Gault of Monona, Wis. They also dipped into the Southeast to shore up their receiver corps, signing Natrell Jamerson of Ocala, Fla. (No. 72) and Krenwick Sanders of Jesup, Ga. (No. 85). Dareian Watkins of Galion, Ohio (No. 43) also figures to end up at receiver, as Wisconsin tries to replace departed star Jared Abbrederis. Dual-threat quarterback D.J. Gillins of Jacksonville, Fla., has already enrolled in classes but will probably spend this coming season behind returning starter Joel Stave. The Badgers will have to find a replacement for running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Thomas Hammock, who was hired by the Baltimore Ravens.