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2022 quarterback recruiting is taking the SEC arms race to another level
When you hear people talk about an arms race and the SEC, it usually has to do with the upkeep of facilities. You can look at the impending completion of new football buildings at Georgia and Auburn as evidence of that.
But in this case, there is a literal arms race when it comes to the recruitment of top-flight quarterbacks in the 2022 recruiting cycle.
Those two join 5-star Georgia commit Gunner Stockton, 5-star LSU commit Walker Howard and 4-star Texas A&M commit Conner Weigman.
If all five prospects remain committed to their programs and ranked among the top-100 prospects, it would be the most ever in a recruiting cycle since the 247Sports rankings came into existence starting with the 2010 cycle for the SEC.
With the 2022 recruiting cycle, it just means more elite quarterback prospects for the SEC.
A conference landing this many high-profile quarterbacks isn’t uncommon, as the PAC-12 accomplished this feat in 2018. The SEC also has landed four top-100 quarterbacks as recently as 2016.
One key difference as of now though with this class comes with its 5-star commitments. Should Stockton, Howard and Simpson all retain their rankings, it would be the first time that three 5-star quarterbacks signed with the same conference.
Stockton is Georgia’s representative on the list and he checks in as the No. 2 ranked quarterback in the class. He flipped his commitment from South Carolina to Georgia.
Related: Gunner Stockton: The must-read stories on the 5-star who will ‘unleash hell’ on the field
It’s the second-straight cycle that Georgia has landed a 5-star quarterback, as Georgia signed Brock Vandagriff last cycle. The only other time that has happened was when Texas A&M landed Kyle Allen in the 2014 cycle and Kyler Murray in the 2015 cycle.
As for why Georgia has been able to recruit the position so well, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart shared his thoughts on the matter.
“Quarterbacks want to play at Georgia. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they enjoy playing at Georgia,” Smart said. “Criticism is going to be there in everything we do, but the opportunity to play at the University of Georgia and be a quarterback—I can just start naming all the quarterbacks who have played here who been really good, and who those kids look up to and idolize, a No. 1 overall pick [Matthew Stafford].
“Those kids want the opportunity to do that. They want the opportunity to win championships, and you putting yourself in the conversation about being able to win championships is always going to put you at the forefront of every quarterback’s in the country list.”
It should also be noted that both Vandagriff and Stockton committed to Georgia after the Bulldogs brought in offensive coordinator Todd Monken. The early returns on Monken once JT Daniels became the starting quarterback showed what a great talent can do in the Georgia offense.
Related: ESPN explains why Georgia should be ‘genuinely optimistic’ about the future at quarterback
As for Alabama, it seems it no longer matters who the offensive coordinator is. There seems to be a trust in who Saban brings in as the new offensive coordinator. Bill O’Brien replaced Steve Sarkisian in January and the Crimson Tide were still able to land Simpson, over a school like Clemson.
With the Tigers, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the Tigers land consecutive top-100 prospects after Joe Brady’s lone season at LSU. By comparison, LSU landed just one top-100 quarterback from 2010 through 2020.