7 Teams Leading the Way Early in 2014 College Football Recruiting
February 6th will bring us the biggest day of the recruiting year in National Signing Day. This is the day that many 2013 recruits will sign their LOI's with schools, if they haven't done so already as fall signees.
With the 2013 recruiting cycle winding down and coming to an end, there's only one natural thing to do: take a look at the 2014 class! Recruiting doesn't stop and once programs wrap up their 2013 classes on the first Wednesday in February, they'll be back the next day to begin work on the 2014 class; if they haven't already started.
How about we use this piece to take a quick look at seven teams who are leading the way in 2014 recruiting. Sure, it's extremely early, but these seven teams have jumped out to quick starts for 2014.
The Gators have the No. 1 class for 2013 recruiting right now and have a great shot at holding on to the top spot through National Signing Day (Feb 6.).
Not resting on the laurels, the folks in Gainesville already have three commitments from the 2014 Scout 300 board. Florida's top commitment for 2014 right now is 6'4", 295-pound DT Travonte Valentine from Bayside HS in Florida.
6. Notre Dame
The Irish will likely land a top 10 class in a few weeks and I think it's safe to say that they're going to remain a prominent team on the recruiting trail. If you want proof, then look at what they're already doing in 2014 recruiting.
Brian Kelly and his staff have already notched four pledges from the 2014 Scout 300 list. The top Irish pledge at the moment is Jay Hayes of New York, a 6'5", 272-pound OL prospect.
Les Miles is one of the best coaches in the country at reloading rosters year in and year out. It comes from great recruiting and the Tigers are already off to a great start for the 2014 cycle.
On the 2014 Scout 300 board, LSU claims four commitments already and that's a fantastic start. TE Jacory Washington is the top commitment headed to LSU thus far.
4. Texas A&M
The Aggies are a program that is ascending due to their location, fan base and being in the SEC. Plus they have Johnny Football and run a wide open offense.
There's a ton of pluses when it comes to Texas A&M and four top prospects from the 2014 Scout 300 rankings have already committed. Those four prospects include 5-star OLB Hoza Scott of La Porte HS in Texas.
3. Florida State
To me, the Seminoles have a pretty good class in the works for 2013 recruiting but it's not as good as their past recent classes. I wouldn't go as far as to say Jimbo Fisher had an off year on the trail, but Florida State has brought in higher ranked classes.
By the looks of it, the 2014 cycle figures to be more like FSU recruiting standards. Fisher has already gotten five prospects within the 2014 Scout 300 rankings to pledge to FSU.
The top commitment at the moment is 5'9", 190-pound RB Joseph Yearby of Miami Central in Florida.
The Trojan program has a lot of negativity surrounding it right now and forget only being able to sign 18 recruits from the 2013 class, they may not even sign 18 recruits from this class.
Looking to get a jump start on the 2014 group and re-write some quirky things from this 2012 season and 2013 recruiting cycle, Lane Kiffin already has three commitments within the top 100 prospects of the 2014 Scout 300 list.
Jordan Poland, a 6'8", 335-pound OT from Arizona, is the top 2014 Trojan pledge right now.
Texas is going to sign a small class on February 6th and there's a chance it may not be ranked in the top 10. However, Mack Brown and his staff are already attacking the 2014 class and appear to have their mojo back.
A revolutionary recruiting school, Texas is widely known for recruiting a year ahead of almost every other program in the country. They wrap up their recruiting basically by the summer and move on to the next year in the fall.
That strategy is once again being applied in 2014 recruiting, as the Longhorns already hold six commitments from the 2014 Scout 300 board, with five being within the top 100 prospects.
Demetrius Knox, a 6'4", 305-pound OG prospect is the highest rated commit thus far.
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.