The Best 2013 College Football Recruiting Classes by Position

Ian BergCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2013

The Best 2013 College Football Recruiting Classes by Position

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    National signing day has passed and nearly every top recruit has made his future college plans known. The SEC had an impressive haul of talent, but the Big Ten had a strong showing this year as well. 

    This is a look at the top position groups from the 2013 recruiting cycle. Five SEC teams filled the list with the Big Ten taking two more of the eight spots. What Bill O’Brien was able to do at Penn State in this recruiting cycle was nothing short of amazing. 

    These schools battled to earn these top position groups, but there are a number of teams that are just a few steps behind these top classes. Numerous squads landed talents across the board, but these are the best that this class had to offer.

    ***All recruiting rankings—both player and team—are pulled from the 247Sports Composite Rankings Index

Quarterback: Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Penn State finished just outside the 247Sports Composite Top 25, but the Nittany Lions still finished with the No. 1 quarterback class in the country. 

    Bill O’Brien brought in Tyler Ferguson as an early enrollee from College of the Sequoias, and also signed the No. 2 rated quarterback in the country in Christian Hackenberg. The Nittany Lions needed immediate help at the position and Ferguson should fill that role. 

    Hackenberg is the future. 

    Considering the dark cloud that hangs over this program, the O’Brien staff is doing work in Happy Valley. Penn State will be competitive well into the future with these two on their roster. 

    Honorable Mention: Southern Cal, LSU

Running Back: Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Alabama already had a few playmakers at running back on roster, but after this recruiting haul the Crimson Tide will have the best backfield in the country. 

    The class is headlined by athlete Derrick Henry. Henry is a physical specimen—6’3”, 240 pounds—who runs like a bulldozer. He was an early enrollee for the Tide this spring and is the No. 1 athlete in the country according to 247Sports. 

    Other members in the class are the No. 7 running back in the country in Altee Tenpenny, the No. 8 running back in Tyren Jones and the No. 1 all-purpose back in Alvin Kamara

    No other team comes close to this level of talent at the running back position in the 2013 class. This position group helped vault Alabama to the No. 1 class in the country. 

    Honorable Mention: Ohio State

Receiver: Texas A&M Aggies

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    Texas A&M pulled in a very talented receiver class this cycle, and the class may not be finished. 

    The Aggies pulled in prep school early enrollee JaQuay Williams and landed huge instate athlete Ricky Seals-Jones. Williams is the No. 4 overall prep player in the country, and Seals-Jones is the No. 2 athlete in the country. 

    Kevin Sumlin was also able to pull in Laquvionte Gonzalez (No. 20 receiver), Sebastian LaRue (No. 17 receiver), Kyrion Parker (No. 45 receiver) and Jeremy Tabuyo (No. 111 receiver).

    Derrick Griffin is still set to sign with someone, and he has been high on the Aggies throughout the process. He is the No. 5 receiver in the country. 

    Honorable Mention: Florida

Offensive Line: Michigan Wolverines

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    The Michigan Wolverines landed a very talented offensive line class in this recruiting cycle. This squad needs help on the interior of the line and it landed a lot of top interior linemen. 

    The Wolverines signed Patrick Kugler (No. 1 C), David Dawson (No. 4 OG), Chris Fox (No. 5 OG) and Dan Samuelson (No. 21 OG).

    Michigan also pulled in Kyle Bosch (No. 3 OG) and Logan Tuley-Tillman (No. 12 OT) this spring. 

    Three of these six will likely see some playing time this fall. This is a very talented group that will be a major part of the offensive transition that will continue to evolve for the Wolverines under Brady Hoke from the spread, back to the pro-style days of old. 

    Honorable Mention: Texas, UCLA

Defensive Line: Auburn Tigers

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    Gus Malzahn took over a team on the downward spiral, and a recruiting class that fell apart at his arrival this winter. His staff scrambled to put the pieces back together, and in the process landed the No. 1 defensive line class in the country. 

    The headliner was Carl Lawson. He is the No. 1 weakside defensive end in the 2013 class, and was one of the original commitments that the Tigers had when Malzahn arrived. He danced with a number of other programs, but when signing day hit, he inked with Auburn. 

    The Tigers also landed the No. 3 defensive tackle in the country when Montravius Adams gave the Tigers his pledge. Auburn flipped Elijah Daniel (No. 6 SDE) from Ole Miss, and brought in the No. 15 overall JUCO player in the country this spring when defensive tackle Ben Bradley chose to come to Auburn as an early enrollee. 

    The Tigers are also awaiting the decision of Toby Johnson. Johnson is the No. 3 defensive tackle out of JUCO for 2013. 

    Honorable Mention: Ole Miss

Linebacker: Georgia Bulldogs

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    The Georgia Bulldogs loaded up at linebacker position in this class. 

    The Bulldogs brought in Ryne Rankin (No. 22 ILB) and Reginald Carter (No. 16 ILB) this spring to help fill out depth for spring football. 

    On signing day, the Bulldogs landed Leonard Floyd (No. 1 Prep OLB), Tim Kimbrough (No. 5 ILB), Shaun McGhee (No. 45 OLB) and Johnny O’Neal (No. 15 ILB).

    Leonard Floyd is a prep transfer that is game day ready, and Tim Kimbrough is as good as they come at the inside linebacker position in this recruiting cycle.

    This was a major haul at a huge position of need for Georgia. Losing two first rounders in Alec Ogletree and Jarvis Jones opened up the doors for immediate playing time this fall. 

    Honorable Mention: Florida

Cornerback: LSU Tigers

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    The LSU Tigers continue to reload the secondary with the best prospects in the country. 

    This class is full of playmakers at corner, and the Tigers will walk away with the top cornerback group in 2013. The class is headlined by Tre’Davious White, the No. 7 corner in the country. 

    The Tigers also landed Jeryl Brazil (No. 11 CB) and Rashard Robinson (No. 24 CB). Robinson is a player to watch this fall. 

    Honorable Mention: Georgia, Virginia Tech

Safety: Southern Cal Trojans

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    Southern Cal lost a lot of steam heading into national signing day, but Lane Kiffin and Co. was able to salvage the top safety class in the country. 

    The Trojans pulled in the No. 1 safety and No. 5 overall recruit in Su’a Cravens this spring as an early enrollee. Leon McQuay III (No. 4 S) was also an early enrollee for the Trojans at safety. 

    There were no signing day surprises for this team, but landing two of the top safeties in the country and getting them on campus this spring was huge for the program. They will both be contributors this fall. 

    Honorable Mention: UCLA