College Football Recruiting 2013: Recruiting Grades for the BCS Top 25
Although we all now know that the days of it are numbered, the BCS still remains the primary system of how we determine our national champion in college football. It has been the subject of much controversy, but nonetheless, we still recognize the BCS standings' authority.
While much debate will be made over these latest standings, I'm here to take the list and put a recruiting spin on things. For this read, I will look at each top 25 BCS team and give you a grade on how they're doing in 2013 recruiting so far.
Some schools are doing well on the field, but they need to spend some time in recruiting study hall to raise their recruiting GPA. Others could be graduating with honors this recruiting year.
The Badgers currently have 14 commitments, and the class is a typical, hard-working Wisconsin recruiting class. The headliner is 6'2", 170-pound WR Rob Wheelwright.
From Ohio, Wheelwright is not a blazer, but rather, a smooth and fluid route-runner that is quicker than fast. Eight out of the 14 commitments are from players who play on the offensive and defensive fronts.
Out of the MAC, Ohio has cracked the BCS this year at this slot. Frank Solich has seven commitments, and his class is led by QB James Walsh. The Bobcats obviously are not a recruiting juggernaut, so look for Solich and his staff to continue to focus on player development via good coaching.
The Longhorns are barely hanging on in the BCS standings, but recruiting has gone completely different. Mack Brown is going to sign a smaller class than normal, but it's still one of the top 10 groups in recruiting this year.
The Longhorns' 15 commitments include studs like OL Darius James, QB Tyrone Swoopes, OLB Deoundrei Davis, OL Jake Raulerson, WR Jacorey Warrick and WR Jake Oliver.
Maybe we overrated Michigan a bit coming into this year, but Big Blue has steadied the ship some and could finish strong. Brady Hoke has done an amazing job thus far in Arbor, and recruiting has gone extremely well.
Even though they lost OG David Dawson last week, the Wolverines still have a strong 22 commitments. QB Shane Morris is the top player in the class that also has DB Dymonte Thomas, OG Patrick Kugler, OT Logan Tulley-Tillman, CB Gareon Conely, LB Mike McCray II and DE Taco Charlton.
21. Boise State
Boise State is not the sexiest recruiting school in the country, as you likely already know. It gets players that want to be there and just coaches 'em up very well.
This year, Chris Petersen has 12 commitments, and his top prospects are OC Andrew Terceck from Texas and QB Ryan Findley from Arizona. Terceck can play both center and guard at 6'3", 285 pounds, while the 6'4" Findley will learn the system and be groomed as the QB of the future.
20. Texas A&M
The Aggies hold 28 commitments in their recruiting tank right now, but getting 5-star WR/TE Ricky Seals-Jones has to be their primary focus on the trail right now. Teaming the 6'5", 230-pound Seals-Jones with 6'6", 228-pound WR/TE Derrick Griffin would be a dynamic tandem.
WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez is among the fastest players in the country, Reggie Chevis and Darian Claiborne will help the defense as linebackers, and DL Isaiah Golden is another fine prospect.
19. West Virginia
Dana Holgorsen's squad is on a free fall right now. Geno Smith opened the season looking like the next RG3, but the past two games the talented QB has not played well at all.
The Mountaineers have 16 commitments for the 2013 recruiting cycle, and their top prospects are 6'2", 240-pound MLB Darrien Howard and 6'4", 270-pound DL De'Asian Richardson.
The elephant in the room for Clemson's recruiting this year is Robert Nkemdiche. The nation's No. 1 player is committed to Dabo Swinney's program, but his family could be campaigning for Ole Miss, where his brother plays.
Nkemdiche is one of 17 commitments in a talented class. Other notable commitments include LB Dorian O'Daniel, RB Tyshon Dye, WR DeMarcus Robinson, ATH Jayron Kearse and DT Scott Pagano.
The Cardinal only have seven commitments, but this is a class with good quality. QB Ryan Burns is one of the best signal-callers in America, and I expect him to be a starter sooner than later.
Kevin Palma and Peter Kalambayi are two LB prospects that are of the physical Stanford types. Then, if they can keep their hands on him, LB Isaac Savaainaea could be a top-notch Pac-12 defender.
Charlie Strong has found his pillar player in QB Teddy Bridgewater, and the tandem has the Cardinals playing good football right now. Strong has just nine commitments, so he needs to increase his numbers with good quality. The top prospect in the group is QB Kyle Bolin.
Kyle Flood has done a great job with the Scarlet Knights. They were a team in shock when they learned Greg Schiano was leaving, but Flood has them at 7-0 right now.
On the recruiting front, he has gotten his program 19 commitments, including one from 5'11", 180-pound cover corner Nadir Barnwell.
14. Texas Tech
Tommy Tuberville has 15 commitments, as his Red Raider squad is 6-1 now. Tuberville has hit the JC ranks this year, as he has five players committed from the JUCO trail. The top prep talent is 6'3", 202-pound WR Dylan Cantrell.
13. South Carolina
Licking their wounds from a 44-11 blowout from the hands of Florida, South Carolina sits at No. 13 in the BCS right now. However Steve Spurrier has 21 commitments from some really good talent.
LBs Matt Rolin and Larenz Bryant are highly touted, QB Connor Mitch has starting potential, CB Brendan Langley is a good big corner and DT Kelsey Griffin is a great run-stuffer. Recruiting has certainly gone better than this past weekend did.
12. Florida State
The Seminoles are fresh off a 33-20 victory over their rivals of Miami this past weekend. Jimbo Fisher has his team at 7-1 and still remaining as a dark-horse BCS title contender.
FSU has a 16-man recruiting class that could finish around the top 10 recruiting rankings. RB Ryan Green is the headliner and is followed by OT Austin Golson, LB E.J. Levenberry and OG Ira Denson.
11. Mississsippi State
Dan Mullen's squad may be the most overlooked program in the country. The Bulldogs are 7-0 and play in the SEC, yet they rarely get any national attention or love so what gives?
Well, Mullen will only keep working, as he has on the recruiting trail by getting 19 solid commitments. QB Cord Sandberg fits his spread option offense well. If he holds onto Kailo Moore, then his backfield will only be faster, and Chris Jones is already a 6'6", 270-pound stud DE.
The Bulldogs have their eye on winning the SEC East, and they will need to get through Florida for their goal. They are a 6-1 team right now and feature several defensive NFL prospects.
Their 2013 recruiting is a pretty strong group. Mark Richt has 27 commitments, and his class features players like QB Brice Ramsey, ATH Tramel Terry, CB Shaq Wiggins, LB Tim Kimbrough and S Tray Matthews.
The Trojans are 6-1 and their BCS title hopes are still alive by a slim margin. Games vs. Notre Dame and Oregon will be huge for their title case.
Lane Kiffin has filled up his 18 scholarship limit class to the brim, but it is the best recruiting class in the country. Seventeen of the 18 prospects are ESPNU 300 members, and this class has big-time prospects like QB Max Browne, DT Kenny Bigelow, S Su'a Cravens and RB Ty Isaac in it, among others.
The Sooners offense will give the Notre Dame defense a test this weekend, as this is a game I can't wait to see. Their 2013 recruiting class is good, but it's a notch below usual OU standards if you ask me.
The class has just 11 prospects, yet it's of good quality. Prospects like RB Keith Ford, QB Cody Thomas, S Hatari Byrd and DE D.J. Ward are all good players. I've seen OU have better recruiting years, though.
7. Oregon State
Beware of the Beavers, folks! Oregon State is 6-0, and it is playing some solid football these days in Corvallis. Recruiting, however, is not going well at all.
Mike Riley has just nine commitments, and the class is not too impressive. There are no 4-star prospects in this small group, let alone 5-stars.
The Tigers squeaked out a win this past weekend over Texas A&M in College Station. The SEC title is still what they're after at 7-1.
Les Miles has 22 commitments and is positioning LSU for a top-10 run down the stretch. CB jeryl Brazil is the top prospect, along with OT Ethan Pocic, WR Ricky Jefferson, LB Melvin Jones and TE DeSean Smith.
5. Notre Dame
The Irish are 7-0 and boast one of the elite defensive units in the country this year. Manti Te'o is a serious Heisman contender as a LB, and the two-QB system seems to be working well for Brian Kelly thus far.
Notre Dame has a 22-man recruiting class, and per Scout.com, five of the players are among the 100. OLB Jaylon Smith is the best prospect, but WR Torii Hunter, Jr., a great OL class and DE Isaac Rochell also have to excite the folks in South Bend.
Oregon has a small class at just 11 commitments, although it has several quality players. RB's Thomas Tyner and Dontre Wilson are two speedsters that will add even more speed to the Ducks' offense.
OT Evan Voeller is a 6'5", 285-pound blocker with solid athleticism, and the Robinson twins, Tyree and Tyrell, will be good defensive players in Eugene at CB and OLB, respectively.
3. Kansas State
Bill Snyder's season on the field is going better than his recruiting this year. K-State has perhaps the worst class in the Big 12 at just six commitments and no 4-star prospects. LeAndrew Gordon is the top commit, as the 5'6", 160-pound speedster could be a dynamic slot WR.
The Gators have grown up fast under Will Muschamp. They are BCS title contenders and have a wealth of talent on their roster.
That talent is only sure to increase with this latest recruiting class. With 19 commitments that include RB Kelvin Taylor, LB Daniel McMillan, CB Vernon Hargreaves III, DT Caleb Brantley and WR Ahmad Fulwood, the Gators will only get better.
Alabama is the top team in the country, by far and away. It has a power offense led by the best OL unit in the country, and its defense hasn't missed a beat.
Nick Saban is doing his normal recruiting thing, as in being fantastic. He has gotten 20 commitments from talent like TE O.J. Howard, CB Maurice Smith, QB Cooper Bateman, RB Derrick Henry, RB Tyren Jones, RB Altee Tenpenny and JC OL Leon Brown, among a slew of others.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.