NCAA Football News

SEC Football: Ranking the Top 15 Players Heading into 2015

Choosing the top 15 players in the SEC is like picking the luckiest lottery winners.

They're all pretty darn good, and the people at the bottom or off the list entirely are still well off.

The SEC will be driven by running backs and defensive fronts going into this year, which means a remarkable absence of quarterbacks on our list. 

Who made the cut? Our picks based on talent, resume and potential are in this slideshow.

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Recruiting Rivalry: Will FSU or Florida Land 5-Star DT Dexter Lawrence?

Dexter Lawrence, a 5-star defensive tackle, per 247Sports, has not decided where he will play his college ball. The athletic lineman has several offers on the table from some of the top schools in the country. Two in particular are Florida State and Florida. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Lawrence's game as well as the interstate recruiting battle that will play out for the next few months. 

Where will Lawrence land at the next level? Check out the video, and let us know! 

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Will Urban Meyer Continue Beating Jim Harbuagh for Top Michigan Prospects?

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is beating Michigan on and off the field.

Since taking over the Buckeyes in 2012, Meyer is a perfect 3-0 against the Wolverines, with the closest call coming in 2013 via a thrilling 42-41 affair in Ann Arbor. But Ohio State's head man has invaded the state of Michigan on the recruiting trail, and he's producing much more decisive victories over the Wolverines for The Mitten State's top prospects.

And that's a trend Jim Harbaugh hasn't been able to stop during his first five months in Ann Arbor.

The Buckeyes struck first in January 2013, when Damon Webb—a high 4-star recruit and Michigan's second-ranked prospect—announced his verbal pledge to the Buckeyes. He was the nation's No. 35 prospect and a big target for the Wolverines, but he spurned his home-state school because Ohio State was much closer to college football's biggest stage.

"The chance to win championships," Webb said of his collegiate choice, according to Miles Joseph of Eleven Warriors. "I think the Buckeyes are going to start winning national championships."

That was sound logic from Webb, who was a true freshman on Ohio State's national title-winning team last year. 

That run through the first-ever College Football Playoff paved a deeper road into Michigan as the Buckeyes stole 4-star running back Michael Weber and 3-star defensive end Joshua Alabi from the Wolverines during last year's recruiting cycle. 

Webb, Weber and Alabi all hail from Cass Technical High School in Detroit—Michigan's biggest in-state recruiting pipeline. They were the school's top three Division 1 prospects over the last two recruiting cycles, and they'll all be suiting up in Scarlet and Gray during their collegiate careers. 

Imagine Michigan doing the same to Ohio State's in-state pipeline: Glenville High School in Cleveland. The Wolverines haven't signed Glenville's top recruit since 2001 when it landed Pierre Woods—which was the year Ohio State was in transition under new head coach Jim Tressel.

But Ohio State's success recruiting Michigan was similarly fruitless before Meyer showed up.

During Tressel's decade-long tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes managed to snag just three players from the state of Michigan—James JacksonReid Fragel and Johnathan Hankins. Meyer has equaled that number with his last two recruiting classes alone, and he's looking to add to that total moving forward.

In fact, Meyer already hit paydirt for 2016 when Michael Jordan, a 4-star offensive tackle out of Canton, Michigan, announced his verbal pledge to the Buckeyes last Thursday. Jordan, Michigan's third-ranked prospect, chose Ohio State over the Wolverines, who had 2-1 odds over the Buckeyes to earn his commitment, via 247Sports' Crystal Ball.

The two rivals will be battling for other Michigan standouts like Michael Onwenu and Thiyo Lukusa before signing day in February 2016. Michigan is the favorite to land both players, but as Jordan showed last week, that doesn't matter much when decision time rolls around.

And if Harbuagh and Michigan don't start winning most of these battles, they'll have a hard time keeping up with the Buckeyes on the field. 

 

All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

David Regimbal is the Ohio State football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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