Photo credit: Crimson Tide Photos/Alabama athletics
Once again, the SEC came out of the Early Signing Period as the top conference when it came to recruiting.
Each of the top three teams in the class rankings were SEC teams, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The top two were from the SEC West. On top of that, nine other teams finished inside the top 25.
As we take a look into the future, here is one signee to know from each SEC West school:
Alabama | WR Shazz Preston | 6-0, 190 pounds | Saint James (LA)
Preston, widely considered one of the best wide receivers in the 2021 class, is one of the headliners for the Crimson Tide’s second-ranked class.
When you look at Alabama’s recent history with receivers, one can’t help but be excited to watch Preston play. On film, Preston validates the hype.
He is not the biggest receiver at 6-foot-0 and 190 pounds, but that does not stop him from rising over taller defenders for touchdown grabs. His leaping ability and athleticism are off the charts. He is also very explosive and an elite route runner.
Preston will be walking into a young receivers room at Alabama, but he will be one of the best from the moment he steps foot on campus. He is too polarizing of a prospect to not make an impact.
Preston will look to join a recent lineage of stellar Tide wideouts.
Arkansas | CB Jaylen Lewis | 6-0, 170 pounds | Brownsville (TN)
Lewis ranks outside the top 500 in the 247Sports Composite rankings, but he absolutely outplays that rating.
Lewis committed to the Razorbacks in July over Auburn and Michigan. He also held offers from schools like Georgia, LSU, and Florida State.
On film, Lewis looks like one of the fastest players for the 2022 class. As a result, he played on both sides of the ball for his high school team. He is a downhill and aggressive player who can line up all over the field. That versatility paired with his speed makes him an interesting player to track over the next few years.
Auburn | QB Holden Geriner | 6-3, 210 pounds | Savannah (GA)
Bryan Harsin has a long, proven track record with developing quarterbacks, and many believe he has found his guy in Geriner.
Geriner, a state championship-winning signal caller, has been committed to Auburn for nearly a year now. As far as rankings are concerned, he has been one of the fastest-rising players in the nation, and is currently a top-260 player nationally.
Geriner is a big prospect with a cannon for an arm. There is not a throw on the field that he can’t make. Whether he mixes up arm angles or changes velocity, he throws the ball with force which allows him to fit it into tight windows.
Starting a freshman quarterback in the SEC is risky, but he has all the tools and intangibles to do so. With Bo Nix hitting the portal, Geriner quickly becomes a guy to watch.
LSU | QB Walker Howard | 6-1, 195 pounds | Lafayette (LA)
Howard is the latest SEC quarterback legacy to come through the league. His dad, Jamie Howard, was a quarterback for the Tigers in the 1990s.
Howard is widely considered as one of the best quarterback prospects in the nation. He showcases rare athleticism and playmaking ability from behind center. Whether he is throwing for scores or scrambling for big gains, Howard is one of the best playmakers in the country regardless of position, and it starts with his athleticism.
Howard remained firm to the Tigers after the firing of Ed Orgeron. In fact, he has been one of the biggest vocal supporters of LSU since the Brian Kelly hire. Because of this, he is already a fan favorite in Baton Rouge.
Chances are, LSU will be having a quarterback competition this fall. Don’t be shocked if Howard is right in the middle of it.
Mississippi State | LB Trevion Williams | 6-5, 250 pounds | Crystal Springs (MS)
“Freak of nature” is a pretty accurate term to use for Trevion Williams. At 6-5 and 250 pounds, Williams showcases rare athleticism for players of his size. Because of this, he lined up all over the field for his high school team. His size paired with his explosiveness is likely going to make him an EDGE player.
Williams was once committed to Florida State, but eventually chose the Bulldogs over schools like Auburn and Ole Miss.
Whether or not he will see the field in 2022 remains to be seen. Regardless, he is an elite athlete for his size, so the Bulldogs might try to find him a role quickly.
Ole Miss | RB Quinshon Judkins | 5-11, 200 pounds | Pike Road (AL)
Judkins ranks outside the top 500 in the Composite rankings, but his film and offer lists suggests he is one of the best backs in the country.
Judkins committed to the Rebels over schools like Auburn, Penn State, and Michigan. At 5-11 and 200 pounds, he is college-ready when it comes to size, but also when it comes to his game.
Judkins is a very patient runner who often takes direct snaps from the center. He runs downhill and is impossible to bring down one-on-one. He is truly an every-down back, so seeing the field should not be an issue for him.
Better yet, Judkins will be playing in an offense that utilizes multiple backs, so the path to early playing time might be there.
Texas A&M | DT Walter Nolen | 6’4, 325 pounds | Powell (TN)
Get to know Nolen’s name, because he will be a force for years to come.
Nolen is the second-highest rated player in the 2022 class and the highest in Texas A&M history. Yes, even higher than Myles Garrett.
At 6-4 and 325 pounds, Nolen is already a massive human being who demands attention. Still, it is his explosiveness and athleticism that sets him apart. There are only a handful of people in the world at his size who move the way he does, and he isn’t even in college yet.
Nolen will see the field immediately, and will likely blossom into a star soon after.