College Football

Top 10 Programs Leading Early in 2015 College Football Recruiting Class

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMarch 4, 2014

Top 10 Programs Leading Early in 2015 College Football Recruiting Class

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Although recruiting is a marathon and not a sprint, it's still better when a program can get off to a good start. Fostering relationships, executing Junior Days and unofficial visits and other things can really be great tools to help a college coaching staff start a recruiting cycle with a bang.

    Some schools have done just that with the 2015 class, which has resulted in them having more commitments than many other teams. Texas A&M and LSU are approaching double digits, while a Big Ten school with a new head coach isn't far behind.

    Plus, two surprise schools are also on this list.

     

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports.

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

Tennessee

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    Garry Jones/Associated Press

    After signing a class of more than 30 recruits in 2014, Tennessee has wasted no time collecting more commitments.

    The Volunteers have seven pledges, with three being 4-star prospects. Receiver Preston Williams, a 4-star recruit from Georgia, is the headliner of head coach Butch Jones' 2015 haul.

    Other notable 4-star recruits are offensive tackle Jack Jones and defensive end Andrew Butcher. Tennessee is certainly on another good pace to fill out its class. 

Penn State

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    John Beale/Associated Press

    Penn State is one of the top programs leading early in the 2015 recruiting class due to the recruiting abilities of its new head coach James Franklin.

    The former Vanderbilt coach wasted no time getting started on this year's group, as he collected all seven of the Nittany Lions' current commitments in the month of February. 

    Running back Andre Robinson leads a class that also features fellow 4-star studs such as offensive tackle Ryan Bates and defensive end Kamonte Carter

Texas

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    Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

    Although Texas is under new management with Charlie Strong now in charge, the Longhorns still have sprinted out to seven commitments for 2015.

    A pair of pledges are 4-star prospects, as the Longhorns have 4-star guard Patrick Vahe and 4-star running back Jordan Stevenson in the fold.

    It's going to be interesting to see if Strong either continues former head coach Mack Brown's approach of wrapping up recruiting by the fall, or if he's patient enough to wait for the recruits who wait until National Signing Day to pick a school.

Alabama

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

    After signing a class for the record books in 2014, Alabama is not letting up. Head coach Nick Saban has seven commitments with six being 4-star prospects.

    The lone recruit who is not a 4-star prospect is 5-star defensive end Mekhi Brown. It's early, but the Crimson Tide's class is loaded once again.  

TCU

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    TCU isn't used to being a recruiting leader, but the Horned Frogs are digging their new role. Although the class has just one 4-star prospect, it has the second-most commitments in the Big 12 right now with a total of eight.

    The top player in the class is 6'2", 185-pound 4-star cornerback PJ Mbanasor. It remains to be seen if TCU can keep pace with the other leading programs of the 2015 recruiting class, but the Horned Frogs currently have the No. 10 class in the 2015 247Sports recruiting rankings. 

     

Clemson

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    A school that is certainly used to being a recruiting leader is Clemson. Head coach Dabo Swinney and his staff get after it on the trail, which is why they pull in elite classes on a consistent basis.

    Swinney has assembled an eight-man group for 2015 already with 5-star offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt leading the way. Athlete Van Smith and receiver Shadell Bell are notable 4-star prospects, who should be standouts for the Tigers.

    Clemson has the most commitments in the ACC as rival Florida State has seven.

West Virginia

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    Christopher Jackson/Associated Press

    With a Big 12-leading nine commitments, West Virginia is looking more and more like a surprise recruiting school for the 2015 cycle.

    Head coach Dana Holgorsen is a brilliant offensive mind, but his best recruit is actually a defensive standout as Kendrell McFadden is a talented 4-star safety. However, Holgorsen does boast a pledge from shifty 4-star receiver Jovon Durante.

    The Mountaineers are on pace to build a big class.

Mississippi State

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    After bringing in 24 players in its 2014 class, Mississippi State has gotten off to a terrific start in 2015 recruiting with nine commitments.

    Undersized 6'3", 200-pound 4-star defensive end Timothy Washington is the highest-rated recruit in the class. Chris Stamps is a 3-star cornerback with great length as he is 6'1" and 175 pounds. 

    Receiver Dontea Jones and athlete Jay Johnson are both 3-star recruits who are both 6'4", and weigh 200 pounds and 210 pounds, respectively. Finally, keep an eye on 3-star running back Kentavious Thomas as he could develop into a solid runner in the SEC. 

LSU

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    LSU is putting together another fantastic recruiting class. The Tigers have jumped out in front of most of the country by earning nine pledges.

    The headliner is 5-star cornerback Kevin Toliver II, a 6'2" press corner from Florida. Toliver isn't the only 5-star stud in the group as Maea Teuhema, a 6'4.5", 346-pound 5-star offensive tackle from Texas, is also set to play in Baton Rouge.

    The class also features elite 4-star recruits such as running back Nick Brossette, receiver Jazz Ferguson and safety Kevin Henry.

Texas A&M

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    The nation's No. 1 recruiting class belongs to Texas A&M, as the Aggies have the top spot in the 2015 247Sports recruiting rankings.

    Head coach Kevin Sumlin's class is tied for the most commitments in the country with nine, plus his total of seven 4-star pledges is also tops in the nation. Daylon Mack, a physical and intimidating 5-star defensive tackle, is the Aggies' headliner.

    Texas A&M also has commitments from 4-star prospects such as safety Larry Pryor, offensive tackle Connor Lanfear, tight end Jordan Davis and running backs Jay Bradford and Rodney Anderson.

    Sumlin signed a class of more than 30 recruits in 2013, so he's no stranger at collecting a large amount of commitments.

     Taylor Hamm, of 247Sports, said this about Lanfear and the Aggies' class:

    Also having the opportunity to be apart of what could be A&M’s best class ever on paper is yet another draw for the athletic blocker.

     

    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.

     

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