College Football Recruiting 2014: Programs on the Rise Due to Recent Success

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IJanuary 29, 2014

Stanford head coach David Shaw holds a rose after the NCAA Pac-12 Championship football game, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. Stanford defeated Arizona State 38-14.(AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

With national signing day just on the horizon—Feb. 5, to be exact—several programs have already been hard at work in January and have seen their rankings rise before the pivotal date.

Recruiting never stops at the college level, but getting top recruits just before signing day can help ease the pain of missing out on recruits when the day finally comes. Though some schools didn't draw in five-star recruits, the addition of four- and even three-star commits can help structure a team.

Several teams are on the rise in 247Sports' most recent composite team rankings, but here are a few that are gaining momentum thanks to heavy hauls in recent weeks.


Georgia Bulldogs (No. 8 by 247Sports)

For a program that has struggled to get to the top of the SEC in recent years, Georgia is once again bringing in a competitive haul to put it in the top 10 of team rankings.

With Jacob Park officially enrolling in school at the beginning of January, the Bulldogs potentially have their quarterback of the future on the roster.

Rusty Mansell of 247Sports tweeted a photo of the Georgia signal-caller during the Army All-American Bowl, which was just two days before he enrolled:

Along with Park, two other three-star recruits also committed to the Bulldogs: receiver Rico Johnson and safety Dominick Sanders, a teammate of fellow Georgia recruit Detric Dukes.

With the addition of several solid recruits and the knowledge that Park will be involved in all offseason drills thanks to enrolling early, the Dawgs could very well be on their way to a solid recruiting class and could stay inside the top 10 heading into signing day.


Stanford Cardinal (No. 16 by 247Sports)

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

David Shaw has slowly built upon the monster Jim Harbaugh left when he moved on to the NFL, but his recent success could prove extremely fruitful.

Though Stanford still doesn't boast a five-star recruit on its roster, according to 247Sports, the recent additions of offensive tackle Casey Tucker and tight end Dalton Schultz, both four-star recruits, boosted the Cardinal 10 spots in team rankings.

Tack on the addition of defensive end Uriah Leiataua, and the Cardinal have a class that's gaining attention. Dave Miller of Yahoo! Sports recently named Stanford one of his top five under-the-radar recruiting classes. Miller commented on the recent commits and some others the Cardinal are looking for:

The Cardinal recently landed a commitment from Dalton Schultz, who is one of the country's best tight ends. He helped lead his high school team to an undefeated season and a state title in 2013. He will be paired with quarterback commit Keller Chryst, one of the best pocket passers in the country. Athlete Christian McCaffrey has a chance to emerge as a nice slot receiver after showing very good pass-catching ability as a running back.

Of course, no Stanford class would be complete without standout defenders, particulary at linebacker. The Cardinal have a nice group with Joey Alfieri, Bobby Okereke and Lane Veach. They are still in the mix for defensive end Solomon Thomas, who has already been admitted academically.

Thanks to their recent success, the Cardinal could once again dominate the Pac-12 for years to come.


N.C. State Wolfpack (No. 33 by 247Sports)

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Over the last two weeks, a lot has been said about the handful of recent N.C. State alumni starting for the two Super Bowl teamsincluding Russell Wilson, Steven Hauschka and J.R. Sweezy for the Seattle Seahawks and Nate Irving for the Denver Broncosbut recent moves have this year's recruiting class on the rise.

The addition of Kentavius Street back in December was huge for Dave Doeren's second recruiting class, but the success rolled over into January.

The signings of cornerback Troy Vincent and offensive tackle Will Richardson—both three-star recruits, according to 247Sports—continued to help the Wolfpack's class move up.

N.C. State was also mentioned in Miller's rankings of under-the-radar classes:

The Wolfpack are having a phenomenal cycle under second-year head coach Dave Doeren. With outstanding defensive lineman Kentavius Street already having pledged, the program received a commitment from fellow in-state product William Richardson, an offensive guard, and Baltimore cornerback Troy Vincent Jr., both of whom who flipped to the Wolfpack following Street's commitment.

Doeren also has Charlotte quarterback Jalan McClendon, who has a chance to become a starter sooner than later. Maurice Trowell could make an impact at slot receiver.

With time to add to his class and to continue moving up in the ACC rankings, Doeren's class is slowly taking shape.