10 Reasons 2013 College Football Recruiting Classes Will Be Greater Than 2012's
The 2012 recruiting class was a great class and will have many excellent memories, players and moments that stem from that group. You have to be excited about the true sophomores and redshirt freshmen your favorite school has on its roster.
This 2013 class is also a special group, and some say it could be a superior national class to the 2012 class. Recruiting classes are always argued about and I'm here to give 10 reasons why the 2013 class can argue they are better than the 2012 class.
Let's look at each of the 10 reasons.
10. Notre Dame
Anytime the Irish are in the hunt for the national championship or the No. 1 recruiting class, it's good for college football. Last year Brian Kelly had a top-10 class according to some, but this year he has a near consensus top-five haul.
With Notre Dame being close to the top of the recruiting rankings, more attention will come to this 2013 recruiting cycle. The more attention something gets, the more we tend to put more emphasis on its value.
9. USC's Scholarship Sanctions Leaving More Talent for the Taking
The Trojans have just 16 commitments right now, but they still have arguably the nation's top class. Can you imagine what USC would be doing if it didn't have any limits on scholarships?
We can only dream and wonder, as with USC only being able to sign about 18 players, that leaves more talent to be had for the rest of the country.
Other schools will benefit from this and thus sign a great player that may have ended up in Los Angeles if USC could have had extra scholarships. That will improve the other schools' 2013 classes.
8. Little Guys Striking Gold
Schools like Pitt, Fresno State, Hawaii, Tulane, Indiana and Texas State all have a signature player in this class. That will only raise the profile of the overall 2013 group and each of those schools will likely bill this 2013 cycle as superior to their 2012 class.
Even schools like Northwestern, Purdue and Kansas State have landed at least one upper-echelon prospect in 2013.
7. Increasing Competitiveness on the Recruiting Trail
Recruiting is a fiery, passionate and ultra-competitive part of college football. It grows exponentially year after year.
This 2013 year has been even more competitive than the 2012 year of recruiting. Coaches go all out to gobble up as many great players as they can, and that leads to stacking and excellent commitments which make up outstanding classes.
So with recruiting being more competitive now than it even was last year, that makes classes this year potentially better. In 2014, things will jump to another notch.
6. More Parity in College Football Leading to Better Coaching
Recruits are slowly starting to learn that going to a super-school like an Alabama or USC or Texas isn't always the best thing for their development.
Coaching is getting better and better, thus we are seeing schools like Kansas State get into BCS bowls with less talent than USC.
This leads to more parity and more balance in recruiting which, as I said before, makes things more competitive.
As an example, a QB like Matt Alviti can sign with Northwestern and not feel compelled to head to Notre Dame, which in turn will likely make Northwestern's 2013 class better than its 2012 group.
5. Lack Great OL Depth and Talent
Last year, the OL class nationally was maybe the best of all time in recruiting. There was a wealth a offensive trench men available that were highly touted prospects.
We spent quite an amount of attention on that part of the 2012 recruiting class. This year, there are not as many great OL prospects, which will lead us to give more attention to other positions.
No one really likes watching OLs, and with more attention going to QBs, RBs, DEs, DBs and WRs this year, we'll get more excited about that and start to think how this year is better than last year.
4. Great Defensive Talent
The top of many boards are occupied with many defensive players this year. If you look at the ESPNU 150, nine of their top 10 prospects are defenders.
The defensive talent in this group is special, and many of them will be impact guys in college and cornerstone players for their program. We didn't really have the elite defensive talent that this 2013 class boasts in 2012.
3. Robert Nkemdiche, Reuben Foster and Vernon Hargreaves III
Continuing on how special the defensive talent is in this class, three players on the defensive side of the ball are arguably the best prospects ever at their positions.
Some say DE Robert Nkemdiche is the next Lawrence Taylor. I haven't been as impressed with an LB like Reuben Foster since Manti Te'o, and I think Foster is better.
Hargreaves may be the most complete CB prospect at the high school level that we've seen in the modern recruiting era. Having all three of these prospects in the same recruiting year means they may all be ranked ahead of Mario Edwards and Dorial Green-Beckham last year.
2. More Depth of Elite QB and RB Prospects Than in 2012
This 2013 QB class is better than 2012's class. There's no arguing that, at all. Max Browne, Shane Morris and Christian Hackenberg are great talents that would have been ranked ahead of Gunner Kiel and Jameis Winston.
The RB class last year was great with Keith Marshall, TJ Yeldon, Johnathan Gray and Mario Pender in it, but this year has more elite depth. From Kelvin Taylor to Ty Isaac to Alvin Kamara, to Derrick Henry to Greg Bryant, to Keith Ford to Altee Tenpenny and more, 2013's class is better than 2012.
QB and RB are the two marquee "MVP and Heisman" positions, and with the 2013 class having better players at those spots, that will elevate it past the 2012 class.
We're a society that hypes everything up to be better than the past. Having the 2.0 is always better than the original right?
So on National Signing Day, you're going to hear several coaches say "we like this class a little bit better than last year's" or even "this is our best class yet."
The 2012 class at your favorite school was generally hyped to be superior than the 2011 group, so the the 2013 class will be hyped as even better. It's only natural nowadays.
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.
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