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November 17, 2010

Early signing period: League rankings

MORE: Team recruiting rankings | Top classes outside of the Big Six | Top impact signees

The SEC was the winner of the conferences during the early signing period. Seven teams from the conference rank among the nation's top 25 recruiting classes. Eight five-star prospects and 26 players ranked in the Rivals150 signed with a school from the SEC.

Rivals.com recruiting analysts Jerry Meyer and Eric Bossi break down and rank the recruiting efforts of each conference for the early signing period.

Conference Rankings
1. SEC | 2. Big East | 3. ACC | 4. Big Ten | 5. Big 12 | 6. Pac-10

1. SEC
The SEC is the top 2011 recruiting conference with seven teams in the top 25 and two teams that fall just outside the top 25. Kentucky once again has the top recruiting class in the country with four five-star prospects: Marquis Teague, Mike Gilchrist, Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer. The top prospect coming into the conference and not going to Kentucky is shooting guard Bradley Beal, who is headed to Florida.

Arkansas has an impressive class, which ranks No. 5 nationally. B.J. Young and Ky Madden headline the Razorbacks' class. Five-star prospect Rodney Hood is the jewel of Mississippi State's nationally ranked class, while Levi Randolph is the best prospect in Alabama's nationally ranked class.

Tennessee has a pair of four-star guards in Chris Jones and Kevin Ware. And Georgia is also nationally ranked on the talent of five-star shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell.

Ranking the classes (national rank)
1. Kentucky (1)
2. Arkansas (5)
3. Mississippi State (14)
4. Alabama (17)
5. Tennessee (22)
6. Georgia (23)
7. Florida (24)
8. Vanderbilt
9. Auburn
10. South Carolina
11. LSU
12. Ole Miss

Top signees at each position
PG Marquis Teague, Kentucky
SG Bradley Beal, Florida
SF Mike Gilchrist, Kentucky
PF Anthony Davis, Kentucky
C Kyle Wiltjer, Kentucky
The 2011 recruiting story in the Big East, as well as nationally, is the powerful eight-man class reeled into St. John's by Steve Lavin. California center Norvel Pelle is the highest ranked of the bunch. Shooting guard Nurideen Lindsey is arguably the top junior college prospect in the country. And D'Angelo Harrison, Jakarr Sampson, Maurice Harkless, Amir Garrett and Dominique Pointer are all four-star prospects.

Syracuse has a couple five-stars: Rakeem Christmas and Michael Carter-Williams. Also in the top 10, Louisville has a five-star in Chane Behanan and three four-star prospects in its five-man class.

Despite being overshadowed by St. John's, Rutgers has a nationally ranked class with five ranked prospects out of its seven-man haul. Georgetown, Villanova, DePaul, West Virginia, Marquette and Connecticut landed outside the national top 25 but each will bring four-star prospects into the conference.

Ranking the classes (national rank)
1. St. John's (2)
2. Syracuse (6)
3. Louisville (7)
4. Rutgers (15)
5. West Virginia
6. Georgetown
7. Villanova
8. DePaul
9. Cincinnati
10. Pitt
11. Marquette
12. Connecticut
13. Providence
14. Notre Dame
15. Seton Hall
16. USF

Top signees at each position
PG Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
SG D'Angelo Harrison, St. John's
SF Wayne Blackshear, Louisville
PF Norvel Pelle, St. John's
C Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
3. ACC
As is typically the case, Duke and North Carolina stand above the rest of the ACC on the 2011 recruiting front. Ranked No. 3 nationally, Duke landed the No. 1 prospect in the country, Austin Rivers, to go with four-star prospects Quinn Cook, Michael Gbinije and Marshall Plumlee.

Right behind Duke at No. 4 is North Carolina with the five-star inside/outside tandem of James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston. Versatile forward Dorian Finney-Smith is the top prospect in Virginia Tech's nationally ranked class. Florida State also made the national rankings with a four-man class that includes three four-stars.

Four-star prospects Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Joseph Uchebo (North Carolina State), Nick Faust (Maryland), Bernard Sullivan (Clemson) and Julian Royal (Georgia Tech) enter the conference next year as well.

Ranking the classes (national rank)
1. Duke (3)
2. North Carolina (4)
3. Virginia Tech (18)
4. Florida State (20)
5. Virginia
6. N.C. State
7. Maryland
8. Clemson
9. Georgia Tech
10. Miami
11. Boston College
12. Wake Forest

Top signees at each position
PG Quinn Cook, Duke
SG Austin Rivers, Duke
SF P.J. Hairston, North Carolina
PF Dorian Finney-Smith, Virginia Tech
C James McAdoo, North Carolina
At No. 10 nationally, Ohio State leads the way for the Big Ten's three nationally ranked recruiting classes. The Buckeyes feature four four-star prospects, led by wing Sam Thompson.

Bruce Weber and his staff at Illinois continue to do a fine job of protecting the home turf by landing a class in which all four players are from the state and ranked as four-star prospects.

In East Lansing, Tom Izzo has landed the conference's highest-ranked prospect in five-star Branden Dawson. Indiana has the only other incoming five-star prospect in state native Cody Zeller.

Michigan landed a four-star prospect, Minnesota signed two three-stars while Purdue, Iowa and Wisconsin each landed one three-star prospect.

Ranking the classes (national rank)
1. Ohio State (10)
2. Illinois (11)
3. Michigan State (16)
4. Indiana
5. Michigan
6. Minnesota
7. Purdue
8. Iowa
9. Wisconsin
10. Penn State
11. Northwestern

Top signees at each position
PG Tracy Abrams, Illinois
SG Mycheal Henry, Illinois
SF Sam Thompson, Ohio State
PF Branden Dawson, Michigan State
C Cody Zeller, Indiana
5. BIG 12
Give Rick Barnes and his staff at Texas a lot of credit. Having already lost five-star DeAndre Daniels, the Longhorns rallied to lock up five-star point guard Myck Kabongo when he wavered. Kabongo teams with three four-star prospects from within the Lone Star State to give Texas the top class in the conference and one that ranks 8th nationally.

For No. 12 Oklahoma State, LeBryan Nash is a top-five player nationally and junior college transfer Karron Johnson is likely the top juco player in the country. Scott Drew and Baylor land at No. 13 nationally with a class that is headlined by five-star Quincy Miller.

Texas A&M has one four-star and one three-star, while Kansas State signed a pair of three-stars. The only other school in the conference to land a ranked player is Kansas, which signed four-star point guard Naadir Tharpe.

Ranking the classes (national rank)
1. Texas (8)
2. Oklahoma State (12)
3. Baylor (13)
4. Texas A&M
5. Kansas State
6. Iowa State
7. Texas Tech
8. Kansas
9. Nebraska
10. Colorado
11. Oklahoma
12. Missouri

Top signees at each position
PG Myck Kabongo, Texas
SG Deuce Bello, Baylor
SF LeBryan Nash, Oklahoma State
PF Quincy Miller, Baylor
C Jonathan Holmes, Texas
6. Pac-10
It's been a slow signing period for the Pac-10. As a whole, the conference schools only signed 11 players in the Rivals150 for 2011. Leading the way is Arizona, which signed the nation's ninth-ranked class featuring five-star Josiah Turner and two solid four-stars in Nick Johnson and Sidiki Johnson.

At No. 19 nationally, Oregon and new coach Dana Altman were able to sign the other five-star headed to the Pac-10 in California native Jabari Brown.

At No. 3 in the conference and No. 21 nationally, Washington was the only other conference program to ink multiple ranked players by landing high four-star Anthony Wroten and high three-star Hikeem Stewart. Arizona State, UCLA and Stanford were each able to land one four-star prospect, while USC was the only other conference program to land a ranked player in three-star wing Byron Wesley.

Ranking the classes (national rank)
1. Arizona (9)
2. Oregon (19)
3. Washington (21)
4. Arizona State
6. Stanford
7. USC
8. Washington State
9. Oregon State
10. California

Top signees at each position
PG Josiah Turner, Arizona
SG Nick Johnson, Arizona
SF Jabari Brown, Oregon
PF Sidiki Johnson, Arizona
C Daniel Gomis, Oregon State

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