Alabama has early SEC recruiting lead

The ESPN recruiting folks have unveiled their first edition of the 2012 class rankingsInsider, and Alabama is the top SEC team.

The Crimson Tide are No. 3 overall and already have 12 commitments. Of those, six are ESPNU 150 selections.

Alabama has been a fixture at the top of all the recruiting rankings ever since Nick Saban arrived, so it's no surprise that the Crimson Tide are back in the top 5 nationally.

But as you scan down ESPN's top 25 classes, there's one huge surprise. Vanderbilt cracked the list at No. 24, a testament to the kind of splash first-year coach James Franklin and his staff have made on the recruiting trail in a very short period of time. The Commodores already have three four-star prospects committed and have really stocked up in the Atlanta area.

The No. 1 overall team in ESPN's early rankings was Texas followed by No. 2 Florida State.

Alabama (No. 3) leads a contingent of seven SEC teams in the top 25.

Florida (No. 5) and LSU (No. 9) also cracked the top 10. The Gators have 10 commitments, and four of those are ESPNU 150 members. The Tigers have 14 commitments, and three are ESPNU 150 members.

Rounding out the SEC teams in the top 25 were Auburn at No. 12, Georgia at No. 23, Vanderbilt at No. 24 and South Carolina at No. 25.

Arkansas and Ole Miss also received mention nationally among the five teams "on the cusp."