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Ranking the Top 10 Recruiting Classes

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Now that national signing day has come and gone let’s rank the top 10 incoming classes.

1. Florida State:

The Seminoles knocked it out of the park for the second straight year. The Florida schools will always get talent, but it’s hard to figure how Florida State who hasn’t lost less than 4 games in a season since 2004 and less than 3 since 2000 was able to nail down the nation’s top recruiting class. Jimbo and his staff did it though. They landed 17 recruits labeled 4-star or better. This class makes the Noles noticeably better on both sides of the ball. The headliners of this class are: Safety Karlos Williams, OLB James Wilder, DT Tim Jernigan, OT Bobby Hart, OLB James Wilder, and the grandson of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus: TE Nick O’Leary.

2. Auburn:

The quarter-million dollars or however much they paid to get Cam Newton was the best money that Auburn ever spent. Not only were they able to turn that into a National Championship (for now), but they also landed 17 recruits rated 4-star or above in what they  are calling the “Dream Team.”. They are at #2 as of this minute, but that ranking takes into account the commitment of OT Cyrus Kouandjio.  Big Cy is the country’s highest rated lineman and committed to Auburn yesterday but refused to sign his letter of intent. Alabama is still very much in play for his services and losing him would knock Auburn’s class down a few notches. Still, Auburn landed a ton of impact talent headlined by: OG Christian Westerman, QB Kiehl Frazier, DT Gabe Wright, RB Quan Bray, and ATH/LB Kris Frost.

3. Texas:

The Longhorns may have had a down year but are still big winners in the recruiting war. It helps that they are the big fish in the biggest high school football state in the country. Texas had a quiet signing day as all of their talent was locked up heading into Wednesday. It made for a stress-free day for Mack Brown just watching the faxes roll in. Texas’ class is headlined by: RB Malcolm Brown, ILB Steve Edmond, DT Desmond Jackson, S Jaxon Shipley, and ATH/CB Josh Turner

4. Alabama:

As of now the Alabama has an excellent class, but if they land two recruits still on the fence, the class could be an all-time great. The aforementioned Cyrus Kouandjio may still join his brother at Alabama, while the biggest fish of them all Jadeveon Clowney will be making his decision in a couple of weeks.  Clowney is one of the best defensive prospects in the history of recruiting. Some NFL scouts say that he’s NFL ready right now out of high school. He has narrowed his choices down to Alabama, Clemson, and South Carolina. If Nick Saban lands both Clowney and Big Cy to go along with this already strong class, Alabama will be National Championship favorites for the next three years. Headliners of this class are: DB Hasean Clinton-Dix, former Michigan commit RBDee Hart, ILB Trey Depriest, DE Xzavier Dickson, and flip-flopper extraordinaire LB Brent Calloway who originally committed to Alabama, then switched to Auburn, then recommitted to Alabama.

5. Ohio State:
Another year, another top 10 class for Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes. The Big 10 should be thankful that Nebraska signed on to join, otherwise the gap between Ohio State and everybody else would nearly as wide as the Grand Canyon. With the turmoil at Michigan, this was the first year in the last 20 that the Wolverines didn’t land a single top 150 prospect nor had their class ranked in the top 25 nationally. Ohio State on the other hand signed 15 players rated 4-stars or above led by OLB Curtis Grant, QB Braxton Miller, DE Steve Miller, CB Doran Grant, and LB Ryan Shazier.

6. USC:

This might be the last full class the Trojans will have for the next few years. They were stripped of 10 scholarships per year for the next three years, but since they appealed, they were allowed to use their full allotment this season. They did that and more. Teams get 25 scholarships per season plus any that they carry over from previous years. The Trojans signed 30 players; talented ones at that. They slot in at #6, which would be a bit higher if they weren’t spurned by  De’Anthony Thomas who opted for Oregon. The headliners of this class are: WR George Farmer, S Marquise Lee, WR Victor Blackwell, OG Cyrus Hobbi, and DE Greg Townsend Jr.

7. Georgia:

The state of Georgia as a whole had a bumper crop of excellent high school recruits this year. The Peach state is slowly working their way into the conversation with Texas, Ohio, Florida, & California as one of the best high school football states. This bodes well for the future of the Bulldogs and they took full advantage this year. Headliners include: RB Isaiah Crowell, DE Ray Drew, TE Jay Rome, WR Malcolm Mitchell, and QB Christian LeMay

8. Clemson:

Much like Alabama this Clemson class would move up if they land Jadeveon Clowney. Still Clemson should be very proud of the class they are bringing in. The Tigers shocked the recruiting world by pulling some elite players out of Florida to go along with hot prospects from closer to home. They landed two of the best linebackers in the country in 5-Star Tony Steward and fellow 5-Star Stephone Anthony. All told they landed 10 players 4-Stars or higher and this class should vault them to the head of the ACC. Other headliners include: WR Charone Peake, WR Martavis Bryant, and RB Mike Bellamy.

9. LSU:

Say what you will about The Riverboat Gambler Les Miles, but he can recruit. He spurned his alma mater in the offseason, instead signing a long term deal with LSU. This decision had a major impact on the strength of this class. Coaching stability is key to landing top-end talent and Miles was able to sway recruits to the bayou. All told the Tigers landed 12, 4-Star or above prospects headlined by: OT La’el Collins, DT Anthony Johnson, WR Jarvis  Landry, DE Jermauria Rasco, and RB Kenny Hilliard.

10. Notre Dame:

While the golden dome doesn’t have the shine that it once did, the Irish allure still has an effect on recruits. Add to that coach Brian Kelly’s talents in both pitching his program and implementing his plan and Notre Dame finds themselves with another top 10 class. This class, like most Notre Dame classes over the past few years, is top-heavy, but trails off quickly. It seems that the Irish can land some big fish, but not enough quality to contend for championships. This class is headlined by three 5-Stars in DE Stephon Tuitt, DE Ishaq Williams, and DE Aaron Lynch. After that there are a handful of 4-Stars like TE Ben Koyack and OT Matthew Hegarty. The remainder of the class is mostly made up of 3-Stars. One difference from past years though is Notre Dame has a coach that has proven he can win with 2-Stars, so times may be a-changin’ for the better in South Bend.

Discussion

3 Responses to “Ranking the Top 10 Recruiting Classes”

  1. what was OSU’s class generally ranked last season? I thought it was slightly out of all top tens (except, perhaps, yours)?

    Posted by Bobby Digital | February 4, 2011, 1:46 pm
    • You are correct, last year OSU was generally slotted in the #15 range. This was due to them only bringing in 18 players because they had so many guys coming back. Tressel opted to save scholarships instead of just handing them out to bodies. It was only their 2nd time since 2002 that they were out of the top #10. They were around #15 in 2007 because they only signed 17 players that year for the same reason, but they were top 5 in the “Revised Rankings.” That was a darn good class featuring: DE Cameron Heyward, S Jermale Hines, LB Brian Rolle, RB Brandon Saine, WR Dane Sanzenbacher, CB Devon Torrence, WR Taurian Washington, RB Boom Herron

      Posted by Jason Marlo | February 4, 2011, 2:31 pm
  2. How come I didnt see U of AKRON’s ranking? Thought for sure they’d crack the top 5

    Posted by Bobby Digital | February 4, 2011, 1:47 pm

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