Photo courtesy of Tony Walsh/Georgia 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 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 East school:
Florida | LB Shemar James | 6-2, 212 pounds | Mobile, AL
It came as a big surprise to many when James committed to the Gators over Alabama. Once Dan Mullen was fired, many schools tried to get back in with James. Ultimately, he shut down his recruitment and signed to play for Billy Napier at Florida on Early Signing Day.
Everyone knows of Kamari Wilson, who is a 5-star safety signed by the Gators. Wilson is likely to blossom into a star, but so is James.
James is an unbelievable athlete who can line up at multiple positions. Whether he is at inside or outside linebacker, he can attack the offense in a lot of ways.
Expect him to see the field early and often. Players with his kind of strength and athleticism don’t sit on the bench.
Georgia | EDGE Marvin Jones Jr. | 6-5, 245 pounds | Fort Lauderdale, FL
As far as potential goes, there may not be another player in the 2022 class with as high of a ceiling as Jones.
It was a surprise from the people at Alabama when Jones chose to commit to the Bulldogs. Many thought it would be the Crimson Tide who landed his signature. Nonetheless, Kirby Smart adds another weapon to his already elite defense.
On film, it is clear that Jones has a knack for rushing the passer. He is simply too quick off the edge, and his plethora of pass rush moves make him impossible to stay in front of. The crazy thing is, he still has room to fill out and grow into his frame, so he hasn’t even started to reach his full potential.
Kentucky | OT Kiyaunta Goodwin | 6-8, 340 pounds | Charleston, IN
Mark Stoops and the Wildcats have consistently put together some of the best offensive lines in the conference in recent years. The thing is, they have done this with mostly 3-stars and lower-rated recruits. Now, Stoops has a 5-star in his arsenal to work with.
The fact that Kentucky football has landed a 5-star at any position is a huge credit to Stoops and what he has built. It was not too long ago that Kentucky was a bottom feeder in the league, and Stoops has turned it into a perennial top three team in the SEC East.
Goodwin has all the tools. He is already unbelievably huge at 6-foot-8 and 340 pounds and moves very well for his size. On film, there are clips of him running the full length of the field as a lead blocker.
Once he arrives at Kentucky and begins his development, he should be a force for the Wildcats upfront.
Missouri | WR Luther Burden | 6-0, 200 pounds | St. Louis, MO
It was a huge surprise when Missouri was able to keep Burden home. The nation’s No. 1 wide receiver could have gone practical anywhere, but decided to play for Eli Drinkwtiz in Columbia.
Burden is the second highest-ranked recruit in Missouri history — just behind Dorial Green-Beckham. Burden is as complete as a receiver you will find in the 2022 class. He is simply impossible to cover with his quickness and explosiveness. All you can do is hope to contain him.
Burden will instantly become one of the best players on Missouri’s roster. Once he has a few games to season him, do not be shocked if he becomes the go-to guy on offense for the Tigers.
South Carolina | DB Emory Floyd | 6-1, 165 pounds | Powder Springs, GA
Floyd ranks just outside the top-400 overall recruits in the nation, according to 247Sports’ Composite, but he has a high ceiling and was a sneaky-good pickup for Shane Beamer and the Gamecocks.
Floyd held offers from schools like Georgia, Auburn, Florida, and Florida State. At one point in his recruitment, he was considered to be a pretty big target for schools like Georgia and Auburn.
Whether he plays at cornerback or safety is yet to be seen, but he has big-time length and is super quick. Once he settles into a role, he has the tools to be a very good defensive back for the Gamecocks down the stretch.
Tennessee | RB Justin Williams | 6-0, 205 pounds | Dallas, GA
Physically, there might not be another player at the running back position in the 2022 class that is as physical as Williams. Williams is unbelievably well-built, and already has college-ready size — something that is rare in high school running backs.
Williams chose Tennessee over Auburn. Throughout the recruiting process, Williams kept rising up through the ranks and improving his stock. At one point, he was committed to West Virginia.
His size and explosiveness in Tennessee’s high-powered make him a very intriguing prospect to watch.
Vanderbilt | QB AJ Swann | 6-3, 200 pounds | Canton, GA
Recruiting Swann away from Maryland was without a doubt the biggest win of the cycle for Clark Lea’s first full recruiting class.
Swann was a standout in preseason camps such as the Elite 11 and was deemed as one of the best quarterbacks in the 2022 class. For that reason, he will instantly come in and compete for the starting job, or at least has the ability to do so.
With Ken Seals and Mike Wright back for Vanderbilt, the Commodores have put together a sneaky good quarterback room.