What You Need to Know About Class of 2015 5-Star Recruits

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IFebruary 11, 2014

What You Need to Know About Class of 2015 5-Star Recruits

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    Credit: 247Sports

    With the 2015 recruiting cycle now fully under way, it's time to take a look and examine the 5-star prospects among the crop. It's early in the year, so many prospects are still being evaluated by college coaches and recruiting analysts.

    However, 247Sports has already handed 36 5-star labels in its composite rankings to recruits in the 2015 class. This piece will let you in on what you need to know.

    From position breakdowns by the numbers to commitments to finding out who is the best player, it's time you get educated on the 5-star prospects for 2015 recruiting.

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

There Are Three 5-Star Quarterbacks in the 2015 Class

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Admit it, one of the first things you do when looking at a new batch of prospects is check out the quarterbacks. Well, that's why they're first on this list.

    The class of 2015 has three 5-star quarterbacks. California natives Josh Rosen and Ricky Town are No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, while Florida native Torrance Gibson is slotted at No. 11 overall.

    Town is already committed to USC, while Rosen and Gibson are uncommitted. 

Florida Has the Most 5-Star Recruits

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Florida is one of the very best states when it comes to producing football players, so it should be no surprise that the Sunshine State has the most 5-star prospects with seven.

    California, Texas and Georgia each have five 5-star prospects. So, it seems like the normal hotbeds will again be hot during the 2015 recruiting cycle. 

10 Other States Have a 5-Star Prospect

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Florida, California, Texas and Georgia are not the only states with a 5-star recruit within their borders. 

    South Carolina, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia and Minnesota all have at least one 5-star recruit for 2015. 

    While the usual suspects have the most elite talent, the 2015 class of 5-star prospects actually reaches coast to coast. 

Nine 5-Star Recruits Have Already Committed and LSU Has Two of Them

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    Credit: 247Sports

    While there are 36 5-star prospects for 2015, nine of them have already made up their minds. LSU has plucked two of them in cornerback Kevin Toliver II and offensive lineman Maea Teuhema.

    Alabama lost quarterback Ricky Town to USC but has a pledge from defensive end Mekhi Brown. Safety Derwin James is headed to Florida State, and Georgia will be home for athlete Terry Godwin.

    Defensive end Shameik Blackshear is staying in the Palmetto State to play for South Carolina, Texas A&M has a commitment from defensive tackle Daylon Mack, and offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt is pledged to Clemson. 

There's No Leonard Fournette This Year

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    Credit: 247Sports

    In the 2014 class, 5-star running back Leonard Fournette was the nation's No. 1 recruit. For 2015, the highest-rated running back is Damien Harris, who is No. 23 overall.

    So that just shows you how highly regarded Fournette is, as the running back position has already been devalued enough by coaches and evaluators. He was the best player in the country last cycle even though he played a position that has lost its luster.

    This year, Harris is the top runner in the nation, but he's not even a top-20 player. 

Defense Leads the Way

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Defense wins championships; the Seattle Seahawks proved that a few weeks ago. The rules in football have become favorable for offenses, but there's a ton of defensive 5-star recruits in the 2015 class to make things even.

    The 36-man 5-star group features 21 players on defense, 12 offensive recruits and three athletes. While athlete George Campbell can play safety, he likely will be viewed more as a receiver prospect as things unfold.

Defensive Tackle Is the Most Talented Position for 2015

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    Credit: 247Sports

    If your favorite school is in need of talent in the defensive trenches, this is the year for rich pickings. Out of the 36 5-star recruits, seven of them play defensive tackle. 

    The best of the bunch is Trent Thompson, a 6'4", 292-pounder from Georgia who is the No. 2 overall player in the country. 

    Further, the defensive line as a whole is rich with 5-star talent, as there are also five defensive ends who are 5-star recruits. On the other end of the spectrum is safety and tight end, with one and no 5-star talents, respectively. 

    Chad Simmons of Scout.com wrote this about Thompson on Feb. 7: "Thompson looks the part and he is put together like a college defensive lineman, not one in high school. He is very strong, he has very little body fat, and he can move."

Six 5-Star Recruits Weigh at Least 300 Pounds

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Among the things that draw eyes to a player is his size, and six 5-star prospects qualify as "big." Offensive tackle Maea Teuhema leads the way, as the LSU commit stands nearly 6'5" and weighs 345 pounds.

    Defensive tackle Daron Payne is 316 pounds, and guard Jalin Barnett is 315. Tipping the scales at 314 is defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, and defensive tackle Daylon Mack is 310.

    The "smallest" of the 300-pounders is defensive tackle Tim Settle, who weighs "only" 305 pounds.

The Top Offensive Recruit Is Not a Skill-Position Player

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Many times in football, be it recruiting or the NFL draft, people think the best offensive player has to be a quarterback. That's wrong, as it should come down to who is the best football player who plays an offensive position.

    Well, for the 2015 class, the best offensive player in the country right now is not a quarterback, running back or receiver. It's Mitch Hyatt, an offensive tackle from Georgia who is committed to Clemson.

    He is ranked No. 3 overall, but it should be noted that quarterbacks Josh Rosen and Ricky Town are right after him at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. 

Kevin Toliver II Is the No. 1 Overall Recruit Right Now

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Again, it's still early, folks. Many prospects are still being studied and evaluated, recruiting boards are far from being set, and there's going to be shuffling in the rankings.

    However, as it stands right now, cornerback Kevin Toliver II is the nation's No. 1 recruit. The 6'2", 185-pounder is a solid athlete who is raw technique-wise but projects as a solid press corner in the SEC at LSU.

    It'll be interesting to see if he can hang onto his No. 1 spot through national signing day in 2015, as he would give LSU back-to-back No. 1 overall recruits.

    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.