Power Ranking Top 10 Most Talented States in 2015 Recruiting Cycle

Tyler Donohue@@TDsTakeNational Recruiting AnalystMarch 17, 2014

Power Ranking Top 10 Most Talented States in 2015 Recruiting Cycle

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    Quarterback Torrance Gibson leads another sensational Florida class.
    Quarterback Torrance Gibson leads another sensational Florida class.Credit: 247Sports

    High school football often comes down to territorial pride. The will to win is fueled in large part by an ambition to represent your neighborhood and bring glory back to the community.

    When you look at the game from a national standpoint, regional respect is earned at a statewide level. The ebbs and flows of talent volume vary from year to year, but certain states remain consistently stocked with talented prospects in every recruiting cycle.

    Our focus on an impressive 2015 class leads us to examine which states stand above the rest this time around. We rank the top 10, with an eye on ideal mixes of quality and quantity. 

The Next Five

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    New Jersey cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick
    New Jersey cornerback Minkah FitzpatrickCredit: 247Sports

    We kept our ranking analysis to the top 10 states, but these five weren't far off from making the cut.


    New Jersey

    Big wide receiver Juwan Johnson just committed to Penn State. St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City) stars Minkah Fitzpatrick (cornerback) and Brandon Wimbush (quarterback) can expect to see plenty of scouts in the stands next season.



    Receiver Christian Kirk is a 5-star recruit who could land anywhere in America. Phoenix running back Paul Lucas figures to see plenty of attention in the coming months.



    Offensive tackles Isaiah Prince and Patrick Allen headline a class that is loaded with talented linemen. Defensive tackle Adam McLean is a run-stuffer who appears college-ready.



    Penn State picked up commitments from 4-star running backs Andre Robinson and Saquon Barkley. Pittsburgh offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins and Philadelphia cornerback John Reid are worth watching on film.


    South Carolina

    Gamecocks pledge Shameik Blackshear belongs in any conversation about the country's top edge-rusher. Quarterback Kelly Bryant and running back Ty'Son Williams top the state's list of offensive backfield threats.

10. Tennessee

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    Defensive end Kyle Phillips
    Defensive end Kyle PhillipsCredit: 247Sports

    Talent Overview: 10 4-stars

    Top of the Class

    The Volunteers continue to take care of business at home. Butch Jones holds commitments from standout offensive tackles Jack Jones and Zach Stewart, along with talented defensive end Dylan Jackson.

    Georgia pried away prized cornerback Rico McGraw this winter, leaving Nashville native Donovan Sheffield as the state's top-rated uncommitted defensive back. Fellow 4-star cornerbacks Cameron Ordway and Ugo Amadi also exhibit impressive skills in the secondary.

    Tight end Jackson Harris headlines Tennessee's offensive skill players. Wide receivers C.J. Sanders and Van Jefferson should command serious interest in SEC territory.

9. Alabama

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    Athlete Kerryon Johnson
    Athlete Kerryon JohnsonCredit: 247Sports

    Talent Overview: Two 5-stars; eight 4-stars

    Top of the Class

    Disruptive defensive tackle Daron Payne and athlete Kerryon Johnson are 5-star prospects. They remain uncommitted, but Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has already secured several of his top in-state targets, including running back Desherrius Flowers, defensive end Anfernee Jennings and offensive guard Lester Cotton.

    Linebackers Darrell Williams, Amonte Caban and Richard McBryde are appealing prospects who have garnered national attention. Defensive end Christian Bell and running back Bradrick Shaw are big-time playmakers from talent-laden Birmingham.

8. North Carolina

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    Defensive tackle Shy Tuttle.
    Defensive tackle Shy Tuttle.Credit: 247Sports

    Talent Overview: One 5-star; 11 4-stars

    Top of the Class

    Defensive tackle Shy Tuttle is the state's sole 5-star recruit, but he's hardly alone in a state that is brimming with talent in the trenches. Defensive ends Jalen Dalton and Darian Roseboro command national attention with their pass-rushing skills, while tackle Sterling Johnson shuts down rushing attacks.

    Athlete Van Smith and safety Tanner Muse are committed to Clemson. The Tar Heels landed top North Carolina quarterback Anthony Ratliff, but there's plenty of work to be done inside state borders.

    Running backs Johnny Frasier and Bryce Love are 4-star talents who remain open to several possibilities at the next level.

7. Virginia

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    Defensive end Josh Sweat
    Defensive end Josh SweatCredit: 247Sports

    Talent Overview: Two 5-stars; 11 4-stars

    Top of the Class

    This group is led by a duo of dynamic defensive linemen who are still uncommitted. Tackle Tim Settle and edge-rusher Josh Sweat earned 5-star ratings with outstanding junior seasons.

    Versatile athlete Jaason Lewis verbally committed to UCLA in February, while Ocean Lakes High School teammate Jahvoni Simmons is one of America's most impressive uncommitted inside linebackers. Richmond residents Clelin Ferrell and Rick DeBerry are both impact perimeter players along the defensive front, while fellow area star Garrett Taylor is a shutdown cornerback.

    Offensive tackles Matthew Burrell and Austin Clark rank among the nation's best bookends.

6. Louisiana

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    Running back Nick Brossette
    Running back Nick BrossetteCredit: 247Sports

    Talent Overview: 15 4-stars

    Top of the Class

    Louisiana's latest crop of football recruits isn't nearly as top-heavy as last year, when the state produced top-ranked players at offensive tackle, wide receiver and running back. Still, there's plenty to like about this group of athletes from the bayou and beyond.

    Tyron Johnson follows in the footsteps of recent standout receivers from New Orleans. He headlines a collection of pass-catchers including Alabama commit Daylon Charlot and LSU pledge Jazz Ferguson.

    Les Miles has also landed key in-state commitments from running back Nick Brossette, safety Kevin Henry and defensive end Isaiah Washington. Massive offensive tackle Jerry Tillery is bound for Notre Dame, while dominant running backs Derrius Guice and Kirk Merritt remain uncommitted.

5. Ohio

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    Defensive tackle Hjalte Froholdt
    Defensive tackle Hjalte FroholdtCredit: 247Sports

    Talent Overview: One 5-star; 14 4-stars

    Top of the Class

    Cincinnati outside linebacker Justin Hilliard is a 5-star talent who could end up caught in a tug-of-war between Ohio State and Michigan. The Buckeyes already landed cornerback Eric Glover-Williams, while the Wolverines secured pledges from fellow 4-star secondary sensations Tyree Kinnel and Shaun Crawford.

    Defensive tackle Hjalte Froholdt is also headed out of state after committing to Arkansas, leaving Elijah Taylor as Ohio's top-ranked uncommitted lineman. Athlete Jerome Baker has the ability to dominate on either side of the ball in college.

    Larry Scott and Darrin Hall are 4-star running backs who are still surveying their options. Ohio seems to annually produce premier middle linebacker talent, and Nick Conner is the latest in a long line of beasts.

4. Georgia

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    Offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt
    Offensive tackle Mitch HyattCredit: 247Sports

    Talent Overview: Four 5-stars; 25 4-stars

    Top of the Class

    Last year, Georgia featured a ridiculously loaded class that commanded the constant attention of college coaches from Baton Rouge to Los Angeles. The state features a perfect storm of prospect talent that could threaten perennial powers California, Texas and Florida in 2015.

    Georgia is home to the nation's top-ranked linemen on both sides of the ball. Defensive tackle Trent Thompson is rated America's No. 1 overall prospect in 247Sports' composite rankings, while Clemson commit Mitch Hyatt is the No. 1 offensive tackle prospect.

    Thompson is at the top of a dynamic crop of defensive linemen including Natrez Patrick, D'Andre Walker and Mekhi Brown, an Alabama pledge. 

    Preston Williams is one of the county's most dominant wide receivers. The Tennessee commit headlines a crop of offensive playmakers that features 4-star running back Taj Griffin and Auburn-bound quarterback Tyler Queen.

    Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs are in prime position to reap the benefits of a strong in-state class. The program has already picked up pledges from 5-star athlete Terry Godwin, defensive end Chauncey Rivers and receiver Christian Owens.

3. Texas

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    Daylon Mack
    Daylon MackCredit: 247Sports

    Talent Overview: Six 5-stars; 37 4-stars

    Top of the Class

    The Lone Star State is respected as one of America's consistent football prospect factories and continues to live up to that reputation. Quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Kyler Murray are compelling talents.

    Stidham committed to Texas Tech earlier this month. Murray, a two-time state champion who has never lost as a high school starter, remains open when it comes to college options, considering Ohio State, Clemson, Florida and Texas A&M.

    Aggies pledge Daylon Mack headlines a trio of 5-star defensive prospects. The tackle is joined by linebacker Malik Jefferson and cornerback Kendall Sheffield.

    Running back Rodney Anderson is set to team up with Mack in College Station, while fellow 4-star rushers Soso Jamabo and Ronald Jones II remain uncommitted. Receiver Damarkus Lodge is a rare talent who may be the best downfield target in America.

2. Florida

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    Cornerback Kevin Toliver
    Cornerback Kevin ToliverCredit: 247Sports

    Talent Overview: Nine 5-stars; 30 4-stars

    Top of the Class

    LSU cornerback commit Kevin Toliver II and Florida State safety pledge Derwin James each announced their collegiate intentions as freshmen. They headline a deep class of defensive backs in the Sunshine State.

    Fellow 5-star secondary standout Tarvarus McFadden remains uncommitted, as do top defensive end prospects CeCe Jefferson and Byron Cowart. Running backs Jordan Scarlett and Jacques Patrick rank among America's most effective rushers.

    Scarlett stunned many by committing to FAU.

    Offensive tackle Martez Ivey and quarterback Torrance Gibson warrant consideration as premier players at their respective positions. George Campbell, a 5-star athlete, decommitted from Michigan in December and remains a coveted national recruit.

1. California

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    Quarterback Ricky Town
    Quarterback Ricky TownCredit: 247Sports

    Talent Overview: Five 5-stars; 41 4-stars

    Top of the Class

    California is stacked again, from the southern coastline to the northern valleys. The state's depth at quarterback deserves a long look and separates it from the pack.

    Josh Rosen and Ricky Town are regarded as the country's top two passers. Town flipped his commitment from Alabama to USC this winter, while Rosen is expected to choose between Cal, Stanford, UCLA and Michigan this week.

    The 5-star prospects are joined atop an impressive 2015 quarterback pecking order by fellow in-state standouts Brady White, Jake Browning and Blake Barnett, who is headed to Notre Dame. Anaheim prospect Travis Waller is an intriguing dual-threat quarterback who could rise up rankings with a strong senior season.

    Iman Marshall, a 5-star cornerback, is the latest heralded athlete to emerge from Long Beach. Junipero Serra High School teammates Rasheem Green (defensive tackle) and John Houston (linebacker) form a fearsome 5-star tandem.


    All recruit information and composite rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.