The SEC rule to cap signing classes at 28 was dubbed the Houston Nutt rule after the Rebels approached a staggering 40 signees in the 2009 class (37 to be exact).
In the Rebels’ defense, several of those players were destined for junior college, and Nutt knew that when he signed them.
Still, the SEC presidents placed a limit last spring at the league meetings on the number of players a school can sign each February at 28.
Keep in mind that a school can only enroll 25 incoming scholarship players each August, so there’s a three-player buffer in there that provides for a few players who don’t qualify academically or just don’t make it to campus.
The reality is that just about all SEC schools have routinely signed more than 25 players over the last few years.
Thanks to some research dug up by my ACC colleague Heather Dinich, 34 of the 60 recruiting classes in the SEC since 2006 have included more than 25 players.
As a comparison, the ACC during that time only had 14 recruiting classes that included more than 25 players.
Vanderbilt was the only school in the SEC that never went over 25 during the last five years. Mississippi State, on the other hand, was the only school to go over 25 each of the past five years.
Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn and Kentucky have done it four of the past five years.