Predicting the Top 25 Recruiting Classes for 2014 Post-National Signing Day

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJanuary 29, 2014

Predicting the Top 25 Recruiting Classes for 2014 Post-National Signing Day

0 of 26

    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    National signing day is next Wednesday, so that means it's only a matter of days before the 2014 recruiting cycle all comes to a sizzling climax.

    Among the things that are looked forward to the most by recruiting fans are the final Top 25 recruiting rankings. Most classes are just about complete, but several elite uncommitted prospects are scheduled to make decisions in the coming days that will greatly alter and impact the final recruiting rankings.

    This is how things will look after signing day!

    All recruiting totals are based on 247Sports.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Rivals and 247Sports.

25. Baylor

1 of 26

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Led by 5-star receiver KD Cannon, Baylor has put together an impressive class of 28 commitments.

    The Bears don't have many targets left on their board, plus the few players still left considering them will not have a huge impact on the recruiting rankings—should they sign up to play in Waco.

    However, head coach Art Briles' class still should be celebrated.

    Aside from Cannon being the headliner, 4-star recruits such as linebacker T'Kevian Rockwell and athletes Davion Hall and Terence Williams will help the Bears continue to play at a high level in the Big 12.

24. Arizona State

2 of 26

    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

    With 25 commitments right now, Arizona State will finish at this slot. It's been a great recruiting cycle for the Sun Devils, who have eight 4-star pledges in their class.

    Receiver Jalen Harvey, linebacker Derik Calhoun and quarterback Manny Wilkins are key commitments for ASU. Look for head coach Todd Graham to add 3-star JUCO recruits such as defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey and cornerback Kweishi Brown as final pieces to a solid group of recruits.

23. Kentucky

3 of 26

    Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

    Kentucky being at this slot is based on the prediction of it signing uncommitted 4-star defensive tackle Matt Elam.

    Elam would give Kentucky 27 commitments, and he would be the Wildcats' sixth 4-star pledge. Head coach Mark Stoops has done an outstanding job on the recruiting trail, making Kentucky a respected foe of rivals programs when going after prospects.

    The face of the class is 4-star quarterback Drew Barker.

22. Virginia Tech

4 of 26

    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Currently possessing 25 commitments Virginia Tech stands to make a bit of a jump in the rankings before national signing day ends.

    The Hokies are hoping to add 4-star defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi and 4-star linebacker Raymon Minor as finishing touches to a great group of recruits. Nnadi is a talented run-stuffer, while Minor is an athletic 'backer with speed and range.

    Head coach Frank Beamer already boasts pledges from 4-star athlete Javon Harrison and 4-star safety Holland Fisher.

21. Oklahoma

5 of 26

    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Although it's no longer among the most dominant recruiting schools in the country, Oklahoma still gets the job done every February.

    The Sooners have 22 commitments, with 5-star running back Joe Mixon leading the way. They also have a talented trio of 4-star receivers coming to Norman in Mark Andrews, Jeffery Mead and Dallis Todd.

    Look for OU to close this 2014 recruiting cycle by signing 4-star safety Steven Parker.

20. South Carolina

6 of 26

    David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

    South Carolina isn't flashy on the recruiting trail, but it always finishes with one of the better recruiting classes in the country.

    The Gamecocks' top uncommitted target is 5-star offensive tackle Damian Prince. While Prince could sign with them, 4-star cornerbacks Wesley Green and Chris Lammons are more realistic options.

    South Carolina currently has seven 4-star prospects in its 18-man class.

19. Oregon

7 of 26

    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Still recovering from the sudden decommitment of 4-star athlete Budda Baker Oregon will regroup and be fine for national signing day.

    In fact, expect the Ducks to land 3-star safety Mattrell McGraw and 3-star defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao to round out their recruiting class.

    Currently, head coach Mark Helfrich has seven 4-star players in his class of 17 commitments. The top player in the group is 4-star cornerback Arrion Springs.

18. Michigan

8 of 26

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Michigan has a class that is better than where many publications have it ranked. However, it's going to finish in this slot more because other schools are going to add more to their classes and move up the rankings.

    However, the Wolverines have pledges from 5-star athlete Jabrill Peppers, 4-star defensive tackle Bryan Mone, 4-star receiver Drake Harris and underrated 3-star offensive tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty, among others.

    This class of 16 commitments isn't shabby by any means.

17. UCLA

9 of 26

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    After a slow start to the 2014 recruiting cycle, UCLA has done a fantastic job of making sure it closes well down the stretch.

    The Bruins have recently convinced prospects such as 4-star linebacker Zach Whitley, 4-star running back Nathan Starks and 4-star linebacker Dwight Williams all to come to Westwood.

    Kenny Young, a 4-star linebacker from New Orleans, could be a tremendous final addition. Right now, UCLA has 17 commitments, with seven pledges being 4-star recruits.

16. Texas

10 of 26

    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Following the decommitment of 4-star linebacker Otaro Alaka, Texas now has 21 commitments. The group is solid, but it's a bit overrated by most publications.

    The Longhorns could add 4-star defensive tackle Poona Ford to the fold, but that remains to be seen. Head coach Charlie Strong is doing all he can to keep the Longhorns' class together, but it's been tough.

15. Ole Miss

11 of 26

    Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

    It won't make as many headlines on national signing day as the class before it did, but Ole Miss' 2014 class is still a good one.

    A trio of 4-star prospects headlines the group, as guard Roderick Taylor, safety C.J. Hampton and receiver Markell Pack are the Rebels' top commitments. However, 4-star defensive linemen Garrald McDowell and Breeland Speaks are also key pieces to the 24-man group.

    Ole Miss will likely finish its class with the additions of 3-star safety Ronald Walker and 3-star guard Jordan Sims.

14. Clemson

12 of 26

    Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    Richard Yeargin III, a 4-star outside linebacker, will ultimately sign with Clemson. The Tigers will then have 20 commitments, with Yeargin being their 11th 4-star pledge.

    Head coach Dabo Swinney currently has commitments from 4-star studs such as quarterback Deshaun Watson, linebacker Korie Rogers and receivers Artavis Scott, Trevion Thompson and Demarre Kitt.

    Swinney and his staff have constructed yet another solid recruiting class.

13. Miami

13 of 26

    Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    With 26 commitments, Miami doesn't have too much room left in its recruiting class. In fact, its probably not going to land anymore significant prospects, as 4-star defensive tackle Travonte Valentine likely will head elsewhere.

    However, give head coach Al Golden and his staff a lot of credit. They have commitments from 5-star defensive end Chad Thomas, 4-star running back Joseph Yearby and 4-star offensive tackle KC McDermott, among many others.

    Miami is on its way back to being a recruiting juggernaut.

12. Stanford

14 of 26

    Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

    Stanford has been on a roll lately, adding 4-star tight end Dalton Schultz and 4-star offensive tackle Casey Tucker to give it 17 commitments.

    However, it's not done yet.

    Nifae Lealao, a 4-star defensive lineman, will likely recommit to the Cardinal, while 5-star defensive lineman Solomon Thomas is ultimately going to decide playing on The Farm is best for him.This class will be another group of players who will help Stanford contend for Rose Bowls.

11. USC

15 of 26

    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Yes, USC is set to make a major jump in the recruiting rankings. The Trojans' class of 15 commitments is already nothing to sneeze at, but it's who they're going to add that will aid their recruiting surge.

    John Smith, a 5-star athlete, is going to sign with USC. The same can be said for 4-star offensive lineman Damien Mama, though keep an eye on Alabama and BYU.

    USC is going to fight for 5-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson until the end, plus 4-star athlete Michiah Quick and 3-star cornerback Lamont Simmons are also in the mix.

10. Notre Dame

16 of 26

    JOE RAYMOND/Associated Press

    Just in front of the Trojans will be Notre Dame. The Golden Domers currently have 22 commitments, 15 being considered 4-star prospects.

    Linebacker Nyles Morgan, cornerback Nick Watkins, receiver Corey Holmes and guard Sam Mustipher are 4-star studs who are just the tip of the iceberg of fine pledges for head coach Brian Kelly.

    An elite uncommitted prospect to keep an eye on regarding the Fighting Irish is 4-star athlete Michiah Quick, as he could be a dynamic player in Notre Dame's offense.

9. Florida

17 of 26

    Michael Chang/Getty Images

    Florida currently has 21 commitments, with 5-star cornerback Jalen Tabor being its headliner.

    However, do not be shocked at all if the Gators win the sweepstakes for uncommitted 5-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson.

    Quarterback Will Grier, defensive tackle Thomas Holley, offensive lineman David Sharpe and defensive lineman Gerald Willis are notable 4-star pledges for Florida.

8. Tennessee

18 of 26

    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Nothing is wrong with Tennessee's class; it's just a few schools on its heels in the recruiting rankings are going to land 5-star prospects to pass the Vols.

    However, head coach Butch Jones has a class that features 16 4-star recruits out of 34 commitments. Again, 16 4-star players are coming to Knoxville. That's simply remarkable quality thanks to great recruiting.

    This is Tennessee's best class in years.

7. Georgia

19 of 26

    Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

    Georgia already has two 5-star commitments from running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. However, the pair of bell-cow runners will not be the only 5-star prospects in the Bulldogs' class.

    Lorenzo Carter, a 5-star defensive end, will also ultimately sign up to play in Athens. Carter will be the crowning jewel to head coach Mark Richt's class, which currently has 18 commitments.

6. Auburn

20 of 26

    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Rashaan Evans, a 5-star defensive end/linebacker, and 4-star defensive end Andrew Williams are going to be the final pieces to Auburn's class.

    The Tigers currently possess 20 commitments, including 5-star running back Roc Thomas and 5-star linebacker Tre' Williams. Auburn also has 4-star JUCO receiver D'haquille Williams, 4-star defensive end Justin Thornton and 4-star cornerbacks Kalvaraz Bessent and Stephen Roberts in the fold.

5. Texas A&M

21 of 26

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Texas A&M currently has 21 commitments, with a trio of 5-star prospects headlining its class. Quarterback Kyle Allen, defensive end Myles Garrett and receiver Speedy Noil make up the triumvirate core of the Aggies' group of recruits.

    Texas A&M could add 4-star offensive lineman Braden Smith and 4-star safety Steven Parker, but look for the pair of talented players to head elsewhere.

    Nonetheless, this is still a terrific assembly of talent by head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff.

4. Florida State

22 of 26

    Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

    Florida State has its hands in the pots of many uncommitted recruits.

    However, look for the Seminoles to definitely come away with a pledge from 5-star receiver Ermon Lane.

    Lane would be a fantastic addition to a class that already has 28 commitments. The headliner is 5-star running back Dalvin Cook, but 14 4-star prospects are also in FSU's crew of prospects.

    Roderick Johnson, a 4-star offensive lineman from Missouri, is another real possibility.

3. LSU

23 of 26

    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

    Just missing the No. 2 ranking is LSU, which will ultimately add 5-star receiver Malachi Dupre to its class.

    Dupre is an elite talent whose commitment will help head coach Les Miles finish with another exceptional recruiting class.

    The Tigers' current 18-man group is led by 5-star running back Leonard Fournette, with 5-star linebacker Clifton Garrett and 5-star safety Jamal Adams also being key pieces.

2. Ohio State

24 of 26

    Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Spor

    Although it's not likely to sign multiple 5-star recruits like some other schools near the top of the recruiting rankings, the strength of Ohio State's class is the 15 4-star recruits in its collection of 22 commitments.

    That's incredible quality and value. Oh, and speaking of 5-star commitments, the Buckeyes do have one in linebacker Raekwon McMillan.

    Ohio State could add a surprise or two before the end of national signing day, but it's just about done with the heavy lifting of its 2014 recruiting campaign.

1. Alabama

25 of 26

    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    While anything can happen, Alabama is probably going to sign 5-star cornerback Marlon Humphrey on national signing day and call it a class.

    After it lands Humphrey, then the real fun will begin. Debates will rage on about if the Crimson Tide's 2014 recruiting class is the greatest ever.

    'Bama has 24 commitments currently, with 5-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, 5-star cornerback Tony Brown, 5-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand, 4-star linebacker Christian Miller and 4-star quarterback David Cornwell leading the way.

    Pencil in another No. 1 recruiting class for head coach Nick Saban.

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

26 of 26

    Using the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map should be a big part of your national signing day plans!

    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 and Cleveland Browns.