10 Hottest Teams on 2014 Recruiting Trail This Summer
Michael Chang/Getty Images
As the weather heats up, so does the recruiting trail. At this point, college coaches are preparing for training camp, along with continuing their pursuit of great prospects. Some teams are getting hotter than others, and if your favorite program is not warming up now, then it may be a cold recruiting cycle.
A program in the Big Ten is heating up, and is now on pace to finish with one of the best classes in the conference. An SEC program has positioned itself to make a run for the nation's top recruiting class, and it is not Alabama. Al Golden has Miami eyeing a Top 5 recruiting finish thanks to several recent commitments.
Until recently, Iowa's class was not impressive, aside from offensive guard Ross Pierschbacher. Kirk Ferentz had not done much on the recruiting trail, but his recent recruiting endeavors have moved the Hawkeyes up six spots in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.
Iowa has recently received commitments from players such as defensive end Terrence Harris, linebacker Ben Niemann and kicker Mick Ellis. Ferentz now has 12 commitments, and is clearly starting to heat up for the summer.
Examining the outlook of the rest of the 2014 recruiting class, LSU is in an outstanding position to surge up the recruiting rankings. The Tigers have their hands in the recruiting pot of several elite prospects and should land a few other talented recruits to increase their ranking.
Already with the No. 12 class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings, the Tigers have netted recent recruits such as quarterback Brandon Harris, running back Sione Palelei and kicker Cameron Gamble.
Harris' commitment is huge for Les Miles, as LSU's head coach will have another dual-threat quarterback on his roster. The Tigers have 14 commitments, and could be primed to dominate the summer's recruiting trail.
Larry Fedora has outstanding enthusiasm, and he firmly believes North Carolina has many advantages. The Tar Heels are a sleeping giant program as their state produces great talent.
Fedora has gotten on a hot streak as of late, as his program's recent commitments have moved them three spots up the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Offensive lineman Bentley Spain, linebacker Tyrell Tomlin and safety M.J. Stewart are among Fedora's notable recent pledges.
Spain joins quarterback Caleb Henderson as co-headliner of the Tar Heels' class.
Vanderbilt has increased its recruiting profile under James Franklin, who was previously the offensive coordinator at Maryland. With Franklin being an offensive-minded coach in the SEC, he understands how critical it is to have depth on the offensive line.
So it is no shock that Vanderbilt's top recent commitments are all offensive linemen. Jesse Burkett, Bailey Granier and Brendan Brosnan all stand at least 6'5", and will weigh more than 300 pounds before they leave Nashville.
Vanderbilt has 16 commitments, and is ranked 22nd in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.
July has been a kind month to Butch Jones, as he has received several big commitments. The Vols have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, per 247Sports' recruiting rankings.
Linebacker Dillon Bates, receiver Dominique Booth, safety RaShaan Gaulden and linebacker Kevin Mouhon are commitments who have helped Tennessee rise four spots up the recruiting rankings. It may be hard for Jones to hold on to his No. 1 recruiting ranking, but with Tennessee being hot, it's going to take a program who is scorching to knock them off the top spot.
The Irish have been on a top 10 recruiting pace since the beginning of this cycle. Brian Kelly has entrenched himself in the 247Sports recruiting rankings by adding an additional three commitments to his class, bringing the total to 15.
Receiver Corey Holmes is Notre Dame's latest commitment, along with defensive ends Grant Blankenship and Jonathan Bonner. When Notre Dame signs a Top 10 class next February, it will point to its subtle summer hot streak as the key time of the recruiting cycle that assured its class a high ranking.
Georgia is building an exceptional recruiting class, as it is ranked No. 2 in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. The Dawgs have 16 commitments, including running back Sony Michel.
However, Mark Richt has not rested since Michel's commitment on April 26th. Running back Nick Chubb picked UGA on June 11th, and he will form a great tandem with Michel when Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley leave.
Georgia has looked to stock its trenches with its latest commitments, as defensive lineman Lamont Gaillard, offensive guard Isaiah Wynn and offensive tackle Dyshon Sims have committed in July.
Anyone who did not believe Gus Malzahn could recruit at a high clip as Auburn's head coach should be a believer at this point. Auburn has the No. 15 class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings, and has 14 commitments.
Malzahn struck gold on the JUCO recruiting trail on July 21st, as elite receiver prospect D'haquille Williams chose to play on The Plains. The Tigers are creeping up the recruiting rankings, and a Top 10 class is not out of the question.
Although Miami lost out on athlete Treon Harris and defensive tackle Khairi Clark, it has done a great job of adding solid depth to its recruiting class.
The Hurricanes have 23 commitments and the No. 4 ranking in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Defensive tackle Travonte Valentine, cornerback Nigel Bethel and defensive end Chad Thomas are among Miami's notable recent commitments.
Al Golden has done a great job of gradually building a fence around South Florida. The Hurricanes' hot streak will help them achieve a high recruiting ranking next February.
The SEC will be even more entertaining now that Bret Bielema is at Arkansas. The lead Hog can give a great sound bite, and he doesn't back down from anyone.
The same goes on the recruiting trail, as it appears Bielema is heating up. Arkansas has received seven commitments in July, increasing its total to 12. The Razorbacks are an SEC program led by a coach with moxie, which is a recipe for recruiting success and results have started to come this summer.