Predicting Top 10 College Football Recruiting Classes on National Signing Day
National Signing Day is rapidly approaching, and we are hitting the homestretch for this 2013 recruiting cycle. We still have some big dominoes to fall, and many programs are awaiting word on several big-time prospects they have.
The recruiting rankings, as they sit now, will see a good amount of shuffling before the final rankings are spewed out. As we like to do from time to time around here, we're going to predict who the final top 10 recruiting classes will be by the time NSD shakes out.
Let's start this one up!
The Tigers are lurking around the top 10 recruiting rankings right now, as their 23-commit class is a solid group. With commitments from studs like CB Jeryl Brazil, OT Ethan Pocic and DT Greg Gilmore, the talent level in Baton Rouge figures to not be dropping off anytime soon.
Top remaining targets: DE Robert Nkemdiche, DB Priest Willis, DE Tim Williams, LB Reuben Foster, ATH Kendell Beckwith
The Longhorns have about 15 commitments right now and probably are about 85 percent done with their 2013 recruiting class.
Mack Brown has a small but stellar haul this year, as OL Darius James, WR Jake Oliver, DT A'Shawn Robinson, OT Jake Raulerson and QB Tyrone Swoopes are his top prospects. Look for Texas to finish somewhere among the elite on NSD.
Top remaining targets: DT Andrew Billings
8. Texas A&M
Landing DT Justin Manning over the weekend will surge the Aggies up the board even more and probably put their huge 33-commit class in the top 10 somewhere.
Aside from Manning, Kevin Sumlin has commitments from WR/TE Derrick Griffin, QB Kohl Stewart, OL Joas Aguilar and WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez. This is a big class that also has very good quality too.
Top remaining targets: WR Ricky Seals-Jones and LB Mike Mitchell
7. Ohio State
Buckeye fans, I really dig your class, seriously. So please don't take me predicting a seventh-place finish as an insult, because it really is just a sign of how strong the other classes are.
Urban Meyer has done a fantastic job this year, with commitments from CBs Eli Woodard and Cam Burrows, ATH Jalin Marshall, QB J.T. Barrett and DT Joey Bosa among others.
Don't be shocked if OSU end sup higher on NSD.
Top remaining targets: DB Vonn Bell, LB Mike Mitchell, WR James Quick and OG David Dawson
Brady Hoke has proved he's a formidable foe for any coach on the recruiting trail. Big Blue has 22 commitments and some impressive talent in this class.
QB Shane Morris, LB Mike McCray II, OG Patrick Kugler, CB Jourdan Lewis, DE Taco Charlton and ATH Dymonte Thomas are several prospects that are studs for Michigan's class. This is a top-five caliber group.
Top remaining targets: S Leon McQuay, RB Derrick Green and OG David Dawson
5. Notre Dame
The Irish hold 22 commitments, and No. 22 was a "kaboom," as RB Greg Bryant pledged to play ball in South Bend over the weekend, per ESPNU.
Other notable commitments for Brian Kelly's program include OLB Jaylon Smith, WR Torii Hunter, Jr., OT Colin McGovern and OLB Alex Anzalone.
Top remaining targets: S Max Redfield, DB Priest Willis, CB Mackensie Alexander and DE Alquadin Muhammad
Yeah, this is my "Prediction Special," as I think Georgia will find a way to land OT Laremy Tunsil, LB Reuben Foster and RB Alvin Kamara. All three prospects are among the nation's best overall, and that will shoot the Dawgs up the rankings.
With 30 pledges right now, if NSD were today, Mark Richt would still net a top 10 class. His top prospects in this class are CB Shaq Wiggins, S Tray Matthews, QB Brice Ramsey, ATH Tramel Terry and LB Johnny O'Neal.
Top remaining targets: LB Reuben Foster, OT Laremy Tunsil, DT Montravius Adams, OG Tyrone Crowder, RB Alvin Kamara and DE Robert Nkemdiche
Florida has the No. 1 class right now, but it isn't in serious contention for as many big-time prospects as other schools are.
DT Montravius Adams, OLB Matthew Thomas, CB Jalen Ramsey and OT laremy Tunsil will consider it, but will UF land them? I'm not sure.
The 22 commitments Will Muschamp does have still make up a very impressive class nonetheless. CB Vernon Harreaves III is the headliner along with RB Kelvin Taylor, DT Caleb Brantley, WR Ahmad Fulwood and LB's Daniel McMillan and Quinton Powell.
Top remaining targets: DT Montravius Adams, OT Laremy Tunsil, CB Jalen Ramsey and OLB Matthew Thomas.
The Tide could finish No. 1 very easily, so don't be shocked if they do. With targets like Laremy Tunsil, Alvin Kamara, Robert Nkemdiche, Vonn Bell and Montravius Adams, 'Bama is in the thick of things.
Right now, it has 19 commitments, and players like TE O.J. Howard, RB Derrick Henry, DL Demarcus Walker, RB Tyren Jones, QB Cooper Bateman, RB Altee Tenpenny and CB Maurice Smith are among them.
Top remaining targets: OT Laremy Tunsil, S Vonn Bell, DE Robert Nkemdiche, OLB Matthew Thomas, DE Tim Williams and WR Robert Foster
The Trojans have two scholarship slots open, and you have to figure Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron will use them in major ways. Look for USC to go big-game hunting down the stretch of recruiting.
It has a 16-man class right now, and it alone is a very good one. QB Max Browne is the headliner, but S Su'a Cravens, DT Kenny Bigelow, RB Ty Isaac and DT Eddie Vanderdoes are also elite-level prospects.
Top remaining targets: S Tahaan Goodman, S Leon McQuay III, DT Montravius Adams, OLB Matthew Thomas and S Max Redfield
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.