Grading Every 2015 Recruiting Class Position vs. 2014's

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IFebruary 19, 2014

Grading Every 2015 Recruiting Class Position vs. 2014's

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    Credit: 247Sports

    With national signing day still fresh in their minds, it may take some recruiting fans awhile to get familiar with the 2015 class. Well, what better way to do that than to compare this new group of recruits with the 2014 crop of prospects?

    That's exactly what this piece will do, but there's more. You're also going to get a grade for how each 2015 major position group compares to last year's class.

    The 2014 running backs class may be better, but the 2015 group grades higher at the defensive line position. Plus, which class has the better quarterback group?

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

Cornerbacks

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The 2015 class has several elite cornerback prospects, starting with 5-star cover man Kevin Toliver II. Like Toliver, Iman Marshall is another 5-star cornerback who stands at least 6'1".

    Kendall Sheffield is not as big as Marshall and Toliver, but the 5'11", 180-pound Texan is a 5-star corner with excellent quickness. Minkah Fitzpatrick isn't a blazer, but the 5-star cornerback from New Jersey has plenty of instincts.

    The 2014 class was an excellent year for cornerback prospects, especially if you include 5-star athlete Jabrill Peppers. USC may have Adoree' Jackson play some receiver, but he's a 5-star cornerback for a reason.

    Tony Brown could become the best of the bunch, but he'll also be joined at Alabama by fellow 5-star cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Also, Florida has a 5-star cornerback of its own coming in Jalen Tabor, who is 6'1".

    2015 grade in comparison to 2014 class: B

Safeties

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The top safety for the 2015 class is 5-star prospect Derwin James, who is No. 24 in the 2015 247Sports composite rankingsTarvarus McFadden will be counted as a safety for now, but the 4-star defensive back can play cornerback at 6'3".

    Other top 4-star safeties include players such as Jamal PetersDeionte ThompsonRashad RoundtreeLarry Pryor and Marvell Tell.

    Jamal Adams and Quin Blanding are the two 5-stars safeties from the 2014 class, but Laurence Jones also deserves that honor. Edward ParisTodd Kelly and C.J. Hampton are other notable high-end 4-star safeties.

    2015 grade in comparison to 2014 class: B

     

Linebackers

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    Credit: 247Sports

    John Houston is the best inside/middle linebacker in the 2015 class, while fellow 5-star defender Malik Jefferson is the top outside linebacker.

    However Justin Hilliard and Jeffery Holland are also 5-star 'backers, and 4-star prospect Ricky DeBerry is also among the top overall players.

    The 2015 class doesn't hold a candle to the 2014 class right now. Last year, there were 12 linebackers in the top 100 of the 247Sports rankings.

    Enough said.

    2015 grade in comparison to 2014 class: C-

Defensive Linemen

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    Credit: 247Sports

    For how dominant a linebacker class the 2014 group has, the 2015 class is as dominant with elite defensive linemen. There are 24 defensive linemen in the initial 100 of the 2015 247Sports player rankings.

    Among them, 14 are 5-star prospects and it's an even split between ends and tackles. Trent Thompson is the top defensive tackle, and CeCe Jefferson is the best defensive end.

    The 2014 class had 15 defensive linemen within the first 100 prospects of the 247Sports player rankings.

    However, only seven of them were 5-star prospects. Myles Garrett and Da'Shawn Hand were the top defensive ends, while Andrew Brown is the top defensive tackle in the class.

    2015 grade in comparison to 2014 class: A 

Offensive Linemen

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    Credit: 247Sports

    With four 5-star prospects, the 2015 class has more than 12 offensive linemen within the first 100 players in 247Sports' player rankingsMitch Hyatt and Martez Ivey are elite prospects, regardless of position.

    The best guard is 5-star recruit Jalin Barnett.

    However, the 2014 class has the 2015 class beat in part because 5-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson is one of the best overall prospects this century. 

    Damian Prince is the only other 5-star offensive lineman in 2014 class, but it has more players in the top 100 of the 247Sports player rankings with 15.

    2015 grade in comparison to 2014 class: B

Wide Receivers & Tight Ends

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    Credit: 247Sports

    For starters, 5-star athletes Terry Godwin and George Campbell will be counted as receivers for this piece. That means the 2015 class has four 5-star prospects, and 11 within the first 100 recruits in 247Sports' player rankings.

    The guy to watch is 5-star blazer Christian Kirk. The top tight ends are 4-star prospects Aliz'e Jones and Devonaire Clarington.

    The 2014 class had four 5-star receivers in Speedy NoilMalachi DupreKD Cannon and Ermon Lane. The top tight end was 4-star recruit Dalton Schultz. A total of 15 receivers and tight ends were among the initial 100 recruits.

    2015 grade in comparison to 2014 class: B+ 

Running Backs

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The 2015 class is a solid group throughout, but there's no "can't-miss" prospect among the class. The lone 5-star runner is Damien Harris, who is among 12 running backs within the first 100 recruits in the 247Sports player rankings

    The 2014 class featured six 5-star running backs, with Leonard Fournette being considered one of the best overall prospects in 10 years. Sony Michel and Dalvin Cook are better than Harris, while the same can be said for 4-star running backs Joseph Yearby and Elijah Hood.

    LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson spoke to 247Sports this month about Fournette, saying "Leonard probably had the most high-profile recruitment I can remember ever being a part of."

    The 2014 class had 11 running backs in the top 100. Sure, it's one less than the 2015 group, but last year's class was better.

    2015 grade in comparison to 2014 class: B- 

Quarterbacks

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The 2015 class has an array of solid quarterback recruits, with four them being 5-star prospects. Ricky Town and Josh Rosen are the best of the bunch.

    There are seven passers among the first 100 players in the 247Sports player rankings, including solid 4-star quarterbacks Blake Barnett and Brady White.

    Kyle Allen was the lone 5-star quarterback in the 2014 class, but Deshaun WatsonDavid Cornwell and Keller Chryst can argue they deserve an extra star.

    Like the 2015 group, the 2014 crop of quarterbacks featured seven passers who were ranked within the top 100 overall prospects

    2015 grade in comparison to 2014 class: B+

     

    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.