College Football Recruiting 2013: Ranking the Top 25 Recruiting Classes
It's about that time again for us to give an update on the top 25 recruiting classes.
Many coaches will say that they don't care about recruiting class rankings, and only recruit players they have evaluated as proper fits for their program.
While that may be true, many coaches still take a peek at recruiting rankings.
This update has some movement in it, as much has happened, and there's a chance we may be looking at a new No. 1 recruiting class.
To see which school that may be, and where certain teams are ranked in recruiting right now, come inside and check out this article.
The Hurricanes likely won't sign a large class this year, evidenced by only having ten current commitments. However, I like this class when looking at it.
Al Golden has his QB of the future in Kevin Olsen, and the New Jersey native is one of the top ten QB's in the nation.
DT Keith Bryant should be a solid defensive tackle. CB Artie Burns has solid size and athleticism.
Standish Dobard and Travis Johnson are good TE prospects and Golden is fighting for 5-star OLB Matthew Thomas.
24. Penn State
Credit Bill O'Brien and his staff for the job they've done this year.
O'Brien rallied his team to fight, and they did all season. Now, he's fighting on the recruiting trail.
Penn State has 13 commitments for this 2013 class and this group is centered around two prospects—QB Christian Hackenberg and TE Adam Breneman.
Both players are arguably the best at their position in the country and should help Happy Valley get through the upcoming dark days.
Baylor's recruits may feel a little bit uneasy right now. The reason for that is because head coach Art Briles could choose to jump ship for an SEC job.
If not, Briles will keep his 21-man class and be content in Waco. The headliners are WR Robbie Rhodes and QB Chris Johnson.
Rhodes is a 6'1", 190-pound silky smooth WR, while Johnson is a big 6'4", 210-pound dual-threat QB.
22. Mississippi State
Dan Mullen is another coach that will hear his name thrown around for other jobs. I think he likes his gig in Starkville and may stay.
Mullen has slowly raised the recruiting profile of the Bulldogs and currently holds 20 commitments.
He has a perfect-fitting player committed in QB Cord Sandberg, as the Florida native will work wonders in Mullen's spread option offense.
If he can hang onto RB Kailo Moore, Mullen could have a dynamic backfield coming to MSU.
The Bruins are a program on the rise and it seems like Jim Mora is on the right track to awakening a sleeping giant program.
Mora and his staff have a good class in the works, with 19 commitments.
Three prospects are inside the ESPNU 300 and the class is led by DE/OLB Deon Hollins Jr.
Linebacker's Myles Jack and Cameron Judge, center Scott Quessenberry and running back Craig Lee are some other top names to watch.
20. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State has been solid on the recruiting trail, and it seems to trust its system and philosophy to win games—score a ton of points.
Mike Gundy has an excellent WR class coming in, which is headlined by Fred Ross.
Vincent Taylor is a 6'2", 270-pound DT that should become a cornerstone defender in Stillwater.
This is a class—as a whole—that is a little better than what you may think.
James Franklin could leave Vanderbilt in the next season or two, but the job he's done at Vandy has been incredible.
Franklin has raised the bar for the Commodores, and has them now at a respectable competitive level.
He's also recruited at a fantastic clip, including this year's 21-man class.
I really like WR DeAndre Woods and his 6'3", 210-pound big-bodied frame.
DT Jay Woods stands 6'2", 280 pounds and could be an early impact guy in the defensive trenches.
There are many programs that would love to be where Oklahoma is, but the Sooners are held to a higher standard.
This class doesn't stink, but this is a down year for the Sooners.
Bob Stoops has 14 commitments, and more good talent will be infused into Norman.
RB Keith Ford has great instincts and vision, QB Cody Thomas is a 6'5" gunslinger with a strong arm and defensive end DJ Ward is the top defensive player in the Sooner State.
This would be a great class for most programs, but for Oklahoma, it is simply good.
17. Virginia Tech
Is it time to start wondering when Frank Beamer will retire? Too soon?
Anyways, Beamer and his staff have a good 18-commit 2013 class headed for Blacksburg, and they have a 5-star stud included—CB Kendall Fuller.
The name may sound familiar to Hokies fans because he's had a few brothers play for VT.
At 5'11", 190 pounds he should be a top flight cover corner for Bud Foster very soon.
QB Bucky Hodges has Logan Thomas' size already and S/OLB Holland Fisher is a versatile player who will be beloved.
The Tigers' class is unfortunately going to be remembered for who it lost rather than who it signed.
That's a shame, because this class of 16 commits is a good class.
LB Dorian O'Daniel, RB Tyshon Dye, WR Mike Williams, DT Scott Pagano, LB Ben Boulware and WR DeMarcus Robinson are solid prospects.
Head coach Dabo Swinney will continue to work hard on the trail, so don't be shocked if the Tigers move back up the board.
15. North Carolina
The Tar Heels have 18 commitments, and five of them are ESPNU 300 members.
Larry Fedora has done a good job in his first full cycle at Chapel Hill.
CB Brian Walker is one of the best players at his position, and DT Greg Webb could be ready to stack blocks and 2-gap offensive linemen right now.
QB Mitch Trubisky will have three good WR's to grow and develop with at UNC.
The talent at Montlake has been upgraded, and this class will continue to help.
Steve Sarkisian has 19 commitments and has a very good group coming to UW.
He has a pair of wide receivers that both stand 6'3" and weigh over 200 pound in Damore'ea Stringfellow and Darrell Daniels.
DT Elijah Qualls is a very, very good football player and QB Troy Williams will fight for the starting QB job.
13. South Carolina
Steve Spurrier has kind of reinvented himself, as the Gamecocks don't really run the "Fun 'n' Gun" offense.
That's probably one of the many reasons RB Greg Bryant could be a good fit in Columbia.
Without Bryant, Spurrier still has a very solid class full of 21 commitments.
QB Connor Mitch and DJ Park are good players, but linebackers Matt Rolin and Larenz Bryant are the headliners.
NT Kelsey Griffin also should become a good starter.
12. Florida State
The Seminoles have 17 commitments, and while their class isn't last year's stellar class, it's still pretty good.
RB Ryan Green is one of the fastest offensive players in the country and could get some early carries in Tallahassee.
OT Austin Golson will help clear holes for Green and linebacker E.J. Levenberry is a physical thumper in the box.
Auburn's class could easily fall apart.
The Tigers have 16 commitments right now, but there are several players that I see who could leave.
LB Reuben Foster, DT Dee Liner and DE Carl Lawson are the three staples of the class, but it's not a slam dunk that any of those three are locks for Auburn following the dismissal of Gene Chizik.
DE Tashawn Bower and RB Jordan Wilkins are also candidates to leave.
LSU and the fans of the Tigers are breathing a mild sigh of relief because Les Miles has rebuffed Arkansas' overtures.
Miles has elected to stay at LSU and keep together a 25-commit class that is very good.
CB Jeryl Brazil is his top prospect, while OT Ethan Pocic isn't far behind.
QB Hayden Rettig, DT Greg Gilmore and DE Frank Herron are solid prospects, and don't forget WR Avery Johnson is also coming.
This is one of the biggest classes in the nation this year, as UGA has 30 commitments for 2013.
Mark Richt doesn't have just quantity, as he has good quality, too.
QB Brice Ramsey has the tools to develop into a good SEC quarterback. CB Shaq Wiggins is probably the best player in the class, but ATH Tramel Terry could give him a run for his money.
Safety Tray Matthews and LB Tim Kimbrough are also very talented.
8. Texas A&M
The Aggies also have a huge class with 31 commitments.
Sometimes you spread yourself too thin with a class like this, but Kevin Sumlin has done just fine.
WR/TE Derrick Griffin will bring his 6'6", 230-pound frame to College Station along with QB Kohl Stewart, WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez, DT Isaiah Golden and OL Joas Aguilar.
Now, if the Aggies could land a certain pass-catching prospect from Sealy then they could move up the board.
Texas only has about half the class Georgia and A&M have, but its 15-commit class is very good in quality.
The Longhorns have 13 4-star commitments, and 11 of them are ESPNU 300 members.
The class headliner is a OL Darius James, who's one of the best 20 players overall in the country.
Offensive tackles Jake Raulerson and Kent Perkins are also very good, while LB Deoundrei Davis, WR Jacorey Warrick and DT/OG A'Shawn Robinson will be studs in Austin as well.
6. Ohio State
The Buckeyes' class is a prototypical showing of what Urban Meyer can do as a recruiter.
They have 17 commitments so far, with 11 ESPNU 300 prospects.
Conerback Eli Woodard is a terrific prospect that could play early in Columbus.
You have to like the 6'2", 205 pounds that CB Cam Burrows plays at, and ATH Jalin Marshall could be similar to how Percy Harvin was at Florida.
Quarterback J.T. Barrett, DT Joey Bosa and OT Evan Lisle are other notables.
5. Notre Dame
The Irish will more than likely play in the BCS title game this year and also have a top five recruiting class.
I think it's safe to say now that Brian Kelly has restored the prominence to Notre Dame football.
He's recruited very well this year, earning commitments from 22 players.
OLB Jaylon Smith has All-American potential. Kelly has a great OL group coming in, and WR Torii Hunter Jr. is a good player.
I have Michigan at this slot because the Wolverines are bringing in one of the nation's best classes.
QB Shane Morris highlights a 22-man group that has 13 ESPNU 300 prospects.
DE Taco Charlton, DT Henry Poggi, LB Mike McCray II, OG Patrick Kugler and OT Logan Tulley-Tillman are just the tip of the iceberg of this awesome recruiting class.
Alabama has 19 commitments, and 14 are inside the ESPNU 300.
This is another ho-hum great class for the Tide, and a group of great football players.
TE O.J. Howard, QB Cooper Bateman, DL Demarcus Walker, RBs Derrick Henry, Tyren Jones and Altee Tenpenny, OL Grant Hill and CB Maurice Smith are all among the very best players in this class.
The Gators boast 14 ESPNU 300 members in their class of 22 commitments.
Will Muschamp has recruited excellently and UF is on a recruiting tear.
CB Vernon Hargreaves III is not only the best at his position in the country, but one of the best CB prospects ever.
RB Kelvin Taylor is an elite runner, and players like DT Caleb Brantley, LB Daniel McMillan, DE/OLB Quinton Powell, S Keanu Neal and WR Ahmad Fulwood are also big time talents.
I'm still keeping USC at No. 1 as virtually the entire class is full of ESPNU 300 members, with 16 of the Trojans 17 commitments being on the list.
QB Max Browne is the leader of a group that features S Su'a Cravens, DT Kenny Bigelow, RB Ty Isaac, DT Eddie Vanderdoes, CB Jalen Ramsey, OLB Michael Hutchings and CB Chris Hawkins.
This is a very impressive recruiting class that is still No. 1 in my book.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He 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 (formerly 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.