National Signing Day 2012: The B/R Top 25 College Football Recruiting Classes
Here are the top 25 classes for national signing day. These are the elite hauls around the country for programs seriously supplementing their roster with talent.
Getting into the top 25 classes is the allure of every program, and B/R has the rankings for you. Keep it here as we periodically update the classes as commitments roll in today.
Here they are.
James Franklin has 20 commitments, and although he lost Josh Dawson, Brian Kimbrow is still in the fold. Big expectations await Kimbrow, as he can play RB, WR or DB for Franklin.
Vandy isn't a must-see for many recruits on the trail, but I'll go out on a limb: This is the greatest recruiting class in school history. Salute to James Franklin.
This class is led by big-time DE Devonte Fields, who has a chance to develop into a complete player. Fields flashes excellent anchor strength against the run and can get upfield in a flash.
Gary Patterson holds 18 pledges, and two are inside the ESPNU 150, which is a good look. TCU has done a great job the past few years attacking higher-profile recruits as it moves to the Big 12.
I really like Tennessee's class, and I think I may even be underrating it. The player I really like is safety LaDarrell McNeil, a 6'2", 190-pounder that hits like a truck from the back end.
Other standouts include WR Drae Bowles, TE Justin Meredith and DE LaTroy Lewis. Derek Dooley has 21 commits, and three are inside the ESPNU 150.
22. Texas Tech
It's not that I wanted to drop Texas Tech from my previous mark of in the teens, but it's just some other schools have risen up.
However, Tommy Tuberville has 25 commitments, and the class is led by WR Dominique Wheeler, OL/DL Michael Starts and WR Reginald Davis. These are three of the top 150 players nationally as ranked by various publications and will help immediately in Lubbock.
Aside from DGB, there are two other big-time talents in the 17-man class that Mizzou should be giddy about: QB Maty Mauk and OL Evan Boehm. Boehm could play OC for the Tigers, while Mauk comes with a sick résumé of passing numbers.
What a job Jim Mora and his staff have done, eh? Wow. Mora has immediately dispelled questions about him as a recruiter with a great 28-man class.
The headliner is Ellis McCarthy, a big stud DT who was committed to Cal. The Bruins also nabbed ATH Devin Fuller from New Jersey and snatched T.J. Millweard, a 6'5" QB, from Arizona State's class.
Great initial class for Mora.
It was just a short time ago that I had Oregon as a recruiting disappointment. Now, the Ducks are back to where they usually are: among the top classes.
I really dig QB Jake Rodrigues, but the headliner is Arik Armstead, a 6'8", 280-pound DE/OT. The Ducks also landed WR Bralon Addison today, as he switched from Texas A&M.
Other standouts in the 19-man class are WR Dwayne Stanford, TE Evan Baylis and RB Byron Marshall.
Auburn has slipped some today, but its class is still very good. Gene Chizik has 17 pledges, and it's a quality compilation.
The headliner is 5-star OT Avery Young, a 6'6", 275-pounder that could become special on The Plains. Ricardo Louis has garnered the same talk from me as a WR prospect.
QB Zeke Pike is a 6'6" gunslinger, Ricky Parks and Darrion Hutcherson are solid TE prospects, JaQuay Williams will give the Tigers a big-time target and Josh Holsey is one of the best cover corners in the country.
Boy, Cal had the flash, but then it left as soon as it came. However, let's not dwell on the recruits that left but who the Bears got, shall we?
Jeff Tedford currently has a 17-man class, and four are in the ESPNU 150. The headliner for me is early-enrolled QB Zach Kline, whom I feel is talented enough to play as a true freshman. Bryce Treggs and Darius Powe are other names to brag about.
LSU lost Gunner Kiel last week, but today it gained Kwon Alexander, an elite OLB prospect. The Tigers beat out Alabama and Auburn for him.
Les Miles has 22 commitments, and five are ESPNU 150 kids. Avery Johnson is Patrick Peterson's brother and is a speedy WR, Vadal Alexander is an elite-level OL and Jeremy Liggins gives Miles the QB he wanted to sign in this class.
15. South Carolina
The Gamecocks haven't been overly flashy this cycle, but they've been steady and solid. They boast 24 commitments, and three are inside the ESPNU 150.
The headliner for Steve Spurrier is Shaq Roland, a speedy WR that also can play DB. Brock Stadnik is a solid OT prospect that should be sound in Columbia, and LB Kaiwan Lewis is a ferocious hitter.
USC can only sign 15 players to this class. Right now it sits with 16 commitments, but a few will enroll early to count back to last year's class.
USC got word it landed WR Darreus Rogers, as well as ATH Nelson Agholor and DT Leonard Williams, which is a huge coup to pry them out of Florida. Scott Starr is already enrolled, and the LB will be at spring ball.
Jabari Ruffin is one of the top 30 players on my overall board, and Jordan Simmons, a big OG, is in my top 100. Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick will be a big-time TE in a few seasons.
13. Texas A&M
A&M was about to be dropped down by me, as it lost Bralon Addison to Oregon, but a short time later, it added Thomas Johnson, so it evened out.
The Aggies have some stellar talent in this class. QB Matt Davis could be a future superstar in Kevin Sumlin's offense. LB Jordan Richmond is a steal, and Trey Williams, a small RB, is one of the fastest players in the nation.
Solid job for Kevin Sumlin.
Things haven't been so hot in Norman, but Bob Stoops has wrestled in another solid class. Right now he has 18 commitments, and that includes the enrollment of 2011 5-star WR Trey Metoyer.
The Sooners have five players inside the ESPNU 150, and top players in the class include RB Alex Ross, WRs Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal and OLs John McGee and Ty Darlington.
Miami may have 32 committed players, which is a lot, and numbers may be helping its national ranking, but it's talent in this class.
Al Golden landed CB Tracy Howard this morning, and that adds to a class that boasts RB Duke Johnson and DE Jelani Hamilton. Another top-tier standout is DB Deon Bush.
Golden has done well for himself in his first full cycle.
David Shaw did just fine in his first cycle. He has 17 commitments, and three are inside the ESPNU 150.
The Stanford class is also led by OL Andrus Peat, RB Barry Sanders, LB Noor Davis, S Alex Carter and OL Josh Garnett.
9. Notre Dame
The Irish have 18 commitments this cycle, and at least five are in the ESPNU 150. Obviously the headliner is QB Gunner Kiel, who's already enrolled and expected to compete for the starting job.
Tee Shepard is one of the best CBs in the country, Sheldon Day and Jarron Jones are men in the trenches and Elijah Shumate can play SS or OLB, as could Nick Baratti and RB William Mahone.
Great class for Brian Kelly.
Dabo Swinney has found his recruiting groove, as Clemson will likely finish in the top 10 for the second consecutive year. It's a 20-commit class, and six are in the ESPNU 150.
Travis Blanks is a big-time DB that can double as a safety or CB, while DT Carlos Watkins has big-time potential. WR Germone Hopper has elite athleticism, and QB Chad Kelly has good smarts, instincts and moxie.
7. Ohio State
The Buckeyes have a great DL class in store, as they have DEs Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Se'Von Pittman, plus DT Tommy Schutt.
Brionte Dunn will give Meyer the big back he never really had at Florida, and Joey O'Connor adds depth to the OL.
Big Blue has 24 commitments and a great LB class. Joe Bolden, James Ross, Royce Jenkins-Stone and Kaleb Ringer are going to be a fearsome foursome in Ann Arbor.
Kyle Kalis is a great OT, as is Erik Magnuson. Plus Brady Hoke has pledges from CB Terry Richardson, TE Devin Funchess, DT Ondre Pipkins and DE Chris Wormley.
Solid, solid class for Hoke.
Twenty-one commitments belong to Mark Richt, and he has done a great job yet again on the trail. Richt has landed standouts like RB Keith Marshall, OT John Theus and DE/OLB Jordan Jenkins.
UGA got better today. A lot better.
If it can get LB Josh Harvey-Clemons to stick with his pledge and not switch to Florida, that would be gravy.
There is some serious talent in this class; I even forgot to mention 310-pound DT Jonathan Taylor.
Florida hasn't made the big surge we all thought it'd make...yet. But the Gators' class is still an elite haul.
CB Brian Poole has a chance to be a complete defensive player, OT D.J. Humphries could be the next D'Brickashaw Ferguson, they succeeded in flipping Dante Fowler to aid their DE class and DE Jonathan Bullard is fantastic.
Plus Florida has RB Matt Jones and TEs Kent Taylor and Colin Thompson.
I have dropped Texas from the second spot to No. 3, but the Longhorns aren't out of the top-class running just yet. Mack Brown has 27 commits, and 11 are ESPNU 150 players.
The headliner is RB Johnathan Gray, a phenom. WR Cayleb Jones, OLs Curtis Riser, Kennedy Estelle and Camrhon Hughes and DT Malcom Brown are among the best at their respective positions.
Texas also has QB Connor Brewer, plus LBs Peter Jinkens and Dalton Santos.
2. Florida State
He'll await word on QB Jameis Winston, but Fisher has RB Mario Pender, DTs Justin Shanks and Dalvon Stuckey, WR Marvin Bracy and DE Chris Casher.
This class has 18 commitments, and nine are inside the ESPNU 150.
The national champions are No. 1 yet again. Alabama has the top class right now and holds 28 commitments. Thirteen are inside the ESPNU 150. The Tide are on fire.
LB Reggie Ragland is a huge get, as are DB/ATH Eddie Williams and SS/DB Landon Collins. WR Cyrus Jones could be a great one in Tuscaloosa, and 'Bama got RB T.J. Yeldon to flip from Auburn.
This class also boasts CB Geno Smith, LB Dillon Lee, WR Chris Black and a late addition in DL Korren Kirven.
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