National Signing Day 2016: Ranking and grading each SEC football recruiting class

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Feb 3, 2016; Gordo, AL, USA; Gordo High School linebacker Ben Davis fields questions after committing to the Alabama Crimson Tide at the University of Alabama during national signing day at Gordo High School. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 3, 2016; Gordo, AL, USA; Gordo High School linebacker Ben Davis fields questions after committing to the Alabama Crimson Tide at the University of Alabama during national signing day at Gordo High School. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day 2016 is in the books, and each SEC football program has welcomed a new crop of talent – some more than others. We rank and grade each SEC recruiting class.

As the saying goes, recruiting is the lifeblood of every college football program. And there’s no place in which that saying is truer than in the SEC.

Thanks to five-star signees like Greg Little, Shea Patterson, Jacob Eason, Ben Davis, Mack Wilson and Kristian Fulton, the SEC dominated the recruiting cycle once again in 2016, notching the No. 1 class for the sixth time in a seven-year period and landing nine programs in the nation’s top 25 classes and all 14 among the top 55, according to 247Sports.

A large percentage of the players that signed their national letters of intent will make a major impact on fall Saturdays over the next three to four years. Of course, with the margin for error so thin in the country’s most competitive conference, it’s vital that schools not only recruit the best players but that they also capitalize on underrated prospects and stay away from those most likely to find themselves in trouble off the field.

Now that the dust has settled, the fax machines have cooled down, and the nation’s five-star standouts have chosen the appropriate hat and smiled for the cameras, we rank and grade all 14 SEC recruiting classes.

*Note: All rankings mentioned in the following pages refer to the 247Sports Composite, which takes the recruiting rankings of several talent evaluation websites into account  unless otherwise noted. 

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