They say it's not how you start, but rather how you finish. A strong close to a recruiting cycle can really rally a class and give your recruiting a huge jolt of momentum. Finishing strong is essential to entrenching your program in the upper echelon of the recruiting rankings.
For this read, I'm going to give you five schools who are coming on strong to finish out the 2013 recruiting year. These programs are really choosing the home stretch to flex their muscles and appear to have their sights set on finishing the year in a very strong fashion.
Be strong and come inside and read this!
Right now, the Seminoles hold 18 commitments and have a top-15-caliber class. They have a chance to move up and finish the year strong if these recruitments go their way down the stretch.
With prospects like DE Tim Williams, OLB Matthew Thomas, OT Laremy Tunsil and DB Priest Willis on FSU's short list, things could get interesting. Jimbo Fisher is going through some staff changes right now, but don't think he's lost sight of recruiting.
Also, keep an eye on FSU and WR Stacy Coley, should Coley's academics pan out.
'Bama is also going through some staff changes at the moment, but Nick Saban clearly knows how to finish strong. He has 20 commitments right now and if NSD were today, Saban would likely have a top-five class.
The No. 1 spot is very realistic for Alabama again this year, as Saban is looking for a strong close out. DT Montravius Adams, DB Vonn Bell, OT Laremy Tunsil, WR Robert Foster, OLB Matthew Thomas and ATH Kendell Beckwith are all Tide targets.
Even LB Reuben Foster could be back in the mix.
The Bulldogs have a top-10 class on my board, and it's a big group with 30 commitments.
Mark Richt is looking to add to it and he's big-game hunting.
UGA is coming on strong right now, as I think they look good for OT Laremy Tunsil, RB Alvin Kamara and LB Reuben Foster. Those are among the elite graded prospects on my board and could shoot Richt's class into the top five.
The Aggies aren't just saying they're "about it"—they're showing it, too. Last week was a huge week for Kevin Sumlin's class, as it got two huge pledges.
First, DT Justin Manning announced he would play in College Station and a few days later WR Ricky Seals-Jones also committed to the Aggies.
The biggest remaining targets for Sumlin likely are LB's Mike Mitchell and Isaac Savaiinaea.
The Rebels have a top-25 class right now, per my board, and it's a good 20-man class. Yet, the buzz about Ole Miss' recruiting surrounds who they're expected to land.
I don't know about you, but for me it's only a matter of time before Robert Nkemdiche commits to Ole Miss. Joining his brother and making his family happy are likely going to be the driving forces behind this.
In addition, S Antonio Conner has been an Ole Miss lean in my eyes for quite some time. WR Laquon Treadwell is another elite player that looks like a real possibility for Hugh Freeze.
I also list the Rebels as a dark horse in the Laremy Tunsil sweepstakes. If you want a program that is coming on strong on the trail right now, look at the crew in Oxford.
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.