Top 10 Programs Leading Early in 2014 College Football Recruiting Class
The 2014 recruiting year is pretty much already underway and coaches have extended offers to top juniors they've identified as college prospects. This is the era of early recruiting and with early commitments being the trend, recruiting classes also start to form early.
Even though we're a full calendar year from national signing day 2014, several programs have already begun their assault on the 2014 recruiting trail. For this read, I'm going to give you the top 10 programs who are already leading the 2014 recruiting year.
Some programs are still admiring their 2013 class, but these 10 programs already view the 2013 cycle as old news and have moved on to the 2014 group.
Gary Patterson's squad resides in a plush setting in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area in Texas. The surrounding locale and entire state is a huge hotbed for recruits.
Patterson appears to want to get off to a quick start with the 2014 class, evidenced by TCU already having two commitments.
RB Justin Twine and CB Nick Foster are the early additions to the next batch of Horned Frogs.
The Tigers are one of the best recruiting programs in the country, and they always make sure they stock up on talent via recruiting. After signing a top-10 class in 2013, Les Miles and his staff are out to do it again in 2014.
They're off to a great start, earning three early commitments, including one from ATH/S Devin Voorhies. TE Jacory Washington and OL Will Clapp also have chosen the Baton Rouge Boys.
The ending of the 2013 cycle wasn't exactly how USC drew it up, and the Trojans must quickly regain their recruiting momentum.
With Lane Kiffin, Ed Orgeron and Tee Martin in Troy, USC won't have too many finishes like that again. The Trojans already have secured three pledges for the 2014 class and could have a scholarship or several to play with this year after failing to reach their 2013 scholarship limit.
All three 2014 pledges are offensive linemen, including Casey Tucker, Jordan Poland and Toa Lobendahn.
7. Texas Tech
I have a feeling since he's young, a passionate alumnus, has moxie and runs a high-octane offense, Kliff Kingsbury is going to be a hit on the recruiting trail.
That feeling is already proving to be true, as Kingsbury has four commitments for the 2014 class in Lubbock.
Dual-threat QB D.J. Gillins leads the way, as WR Jakari Dillard, DE LJ Collier and RB Justin Stockton are also locked up to be Red Raiders. The latter three are all from Texas.
Will Muschamp could sit back and relish his 2013 class and no one would really blame him.
Yet, the lead Gator is clearly not doing that since he already has picked up four commitments from 2014 prospects.
QB Will Grier is a prized pledge early on, but Muschamp is going to have to stay on DT Travonte Valentine, who has minimal interest in the Gators. WR Ryeshene Bronson and CB Duke Dawson are also both committed to playing in Gainesville already.
Dabo Swinney and his staff pride themselves on the family atmosphere around the program and community at Clemson. It works well in recruiting, and it is a big reason why there's a lot of young talent on the Tigers' roster.
Already working on the 2014 cycle, Swinney may have found the next C.J. Spiller in RB Dalvin Cook, a Miami-area recruit.
QB Deshaun Watson, TE Cannon Smith, OT Taylor Hearn and RB Jae'lon Oglesby round out the class.
4. Florida State
Jimbo Fisher has already stormed out of the gate for 2014 with six early commitments. His top player in his 2014 class right now is RB Joseph Yearby.
DT Demarcus Christmas isn't far behind, and LB Delvin Purifoy and WR J.C. Jackson are also noted commitments. The Seminoles will definitely be looking to bring in another loaded class in 2014, and are already off to a great start.
3. Ohio State
Buckeye fans, your program will be amongst the very elite recruiting schools for years to come.
Urban Meyer is that good of a recruiter and has a team of assistants who also excel at luring talent to Columbus.
OSU already has five commitments for the 2014 class, pacing itself for another top-five class. Offensive linemen Marcelys Jones and Kyle Trout lead the way, along with CB Damon Webb, DE Lawrence Marshall and RB Parris Campbell.
2. Texas A&M
Kevin Sumlin brought in a huge class last year with over 30 players. The Aggies finished in the top 10 of the 2013 rankings, and based on their early 2014 efforts, they're out to top last year's feat.
As it sits right now, seven prospects in the 2014 class have already yelled "Gig 'Em." LB Hoza Scott may be the best player in the country at his position and CB Nick Harvey is among the best cover men in the nation.
For anyone who doubted them, the Aggies aren't going anywhere.
Texas has always been ahead of the curve in early recruiting. This year, it started even earlier by offering scholarships to juniors in the summer and fall.
That's helped the Longhorns land eight commitments already, with OL Demetrius Knox being Mack Brown's top 2014 recruit. QB Jerrod Heard, DE Derick Roberson, RB Donald Catalon and LB Cameron Hampton are other commitments of note.
Anyone shocked that Texas is leading the way this early in the recruiting year? Thought so.
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.