The Core Recruits of Each 2013 Top 10 College Football Recruiting Class
With the 2013 recruiting cycle in the books, all recruiting rankings will be analyzed and scrutinized. Debates will rage on about whose class is better than whose, but the only way we'll be able to truly tell is in about three years from now.
That said, let's take a good look at the top recruiting classes. With this piece, we'll look at the nitty-gritty of the 10 best classes and the core players in each elite class. This read will feature several recruits in each class who are either crucial to the class' success or are simply the class' best prospects.
Here are the core recruits in each Top 10 recruiting class from the 2013 cycle.
10. Florida State
The Seminoles are no strangers to great recruiting and pulled off another fine class for 2013. OLB Matthew Thomas, CB Jalen Ramsey, DT Demarcus Walker and RB Ryan Green are the foundation of this 2013 class.
Thomas is the headliner and one of the best defensive players in the country. Ramsey was a steal from USC and should help continue the good CB play in Tallahassee.
Walker will be solid in the trenches, and Green gives FSU another speedster in the offensive backfield.
With over 30 commitments in this class, the combination of core recruits in UGA's class are endless. However, after looking at this group closely, I think I have my picks.
The foundation of this group will stem from the play of QB Brice Ramsey along with S Tray Matthews, ATH Tramel Terry, CB Shaq Wiggins and JUCO transfer WR Jonathan Rumph.
Those players are the core recruits in Mark Richt's class, but he should be able to have hit on about 15 to 20 guys from this group before they graduate.
The Tigers hauled in a very good class, another top-10 caliber group for Les Miles. With 27 commitments, Baton Rouge will welcome some talented newcomers this season.
The core of the class stems around QB Hayden Rettig, CB Jeryl Brazil, ATH Kendell Beckwith and DT's Maquedius Bain and Greg Gilmore.
Those five players are the catalysts for the perceived success of this class.
7. Texas A&M
Kevin Sumlin was a hit on the trail this year thanks to his assistant coaches. Together they hauled in over 30 new players and if they hit on just 20, those players may be the foundation of an SEC West title-contender team in a few years.
WR Ricky Seals-Jones is the headliner but is part of a core group that includes QB Danny Hill, WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez, DT Justin Manning, S Kameron Miles, WR Sebastian LaRue and LB Jordan Mastrogiovanni
QB Shane Morris is the core player in Michigan's 27-man class for 2013. He's the face of the group and the future face of the program.
RB Derrick Green, TE Jake Butt, WR Jaron Dukes, OG Patrick Kugler, DE Taco Charlton and OL David Dawson are the other core members of the Wolverines' class. OL's Chris Fox, Kyle Bosch and Logan Tuley-Tillman also can be included in the core group too.
5. Notre Dame
The Irish have an excellent class, and it will keep the confidence around South Bend on a high level.
Out of Brian Kelly's 24 commitments, I like OLB Jaylon Smith, DT Eddie Vanderdoes, RB Greg Bryant, ATHs Tarean Folston and Torii Hunter Jr. along with S Max Redfield and CB Devin Butler as the core of the group.
Butler's 6'1" frame gives the Irish an athletic big cover CB, while Vanderdoes, Smith and Redfield will be defensive pillars in a few seasons. Bryant, Folston and Hunter will be dynamic on offense for Kelly.
4. Ole Miss
It wasn't too hard to see the core and foundation of Ole Miss' sensational 2013 class. It starts with DE Robert Nkemdiche and then goes to S Antonio Conner, OT Laremy Tunsil and WR Laquon Treadwell.
JUCO DT Lavon Hooks can also be considered a core member of this class. Those five players must hit and be big hits in Oxford for this class to be considered a successful haul in a few years.
It's imperative that all five of these guys quickly become leaders and the best players on the team.
3. Ohio State
I include QB J.T. Barrett as a core player in Urban Meyer's class of 24 commitments, because it's probable that the young signal-caller could be the heir apparent to Braxton Miller.
Along with Barrett, include CB Eli Apple, S Vonn Bell, WR/ATH Jalin Marshall, RB/ATH Dontre Wilson, DT Joey Bosa and LB Mike Mitchell in the core group.
To me, those seven recruits are the most important players in this class who must not flame out. All figure to become starters or key contributors before they graduate.
The core players who can ensure this class' success will be RB Kelvin Taylor and CB Vernon Hargreaves III.
They are the two best players in this class and two young men that I believe have the characteristics of future team captains.
Other players in this class of extreme importance to develop into high-caliber players are WR Demarcus Robinson, S Keanu Neal, LB Daniel McMillan and DT Caleb Brantley.
With all due respect to the three fabulous RBs in this class, I'm going to just include Derrick Henry in the core group.
The big RB along with QB Cooper Bateman, WR Robert Foster, OG Grant Hill, CB Maurice Smith, LB Reuben Foster and DEs/OLBs Tim Williams and Jonathan Allen are the core players, to me, in the top class in the country.
Bateman is the most important recruit in the class, as he's the most talented QB Nick Saban has ever signed at 'Bama. Reuben Foster may be the best LB prospect ever and Robert Foster, Hill, Smith and the pass-rushers have to pan out and be starters.
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.