Power Ranking Top 10 2015 Recruiting Classes Right Now
With April now upon us, recruiting is starting to move along in the 2015 cycle. Recruits are starting to form relationships and bonds with coaches, lists are on the verge of being narrowed, and summer visits are starting to be scheduled.
However, some prospects have sped up their process to a point where they're already committed to a school. With commitments comes the forming of recruiting classes, and with the forming of recruiting classes comes the need for those classes to be ranked.
Looking at the top recruiting groups right now, several are from the SEC. However, a Big Ten school not named Ohio State or Michigan is coming on strong, plus a surprise school from the Big 12 has one of the better classes in the country.
10. West Virginia
West Virginia isn't usually among the elite recruiting programs, but it has made great strides during the 2015 cycle. The Mountaineers have 10 commitments, including a pledge from 4-star safety Kendrell McFadden.
From Florida, McFadden is a talented defensive back who is nearly 6'4" and 193 pounds. Another key 4-star West Virginia commitment is Jovon Durante, a dynamic receiver who is 6'0" and 183 pounds.
Size at the cornerback position is the theme of defensive recruiting in Morgantown, as 3-star cover men Sheldrick Redwine and Kevin Williams both stand 6'1". Also watch out for 3-star offensive lineman Matt Jones.
The 2014 recruiting cycle was a coming-out party for Tennessee. Head coach Butch Jones and his staff established themselves as major players on the trail, and now they're back for more.
Jones has collected nine commitments, including three 4-star prospects. Georgia native Preston Williams leads the way, as the 4-star receiver has solid speed to go along with a 6'4", 190-pound frame.
Andrew Butcher is a tough 4-star defensive end from Georgia who'll help in the defensive trenches while getting better by battling 4-star offensive lineman Jack Jones in practice. Keep an eye on 3-star safety Stephen Griffin.
Baylor only has six commitments, but it's getting great quality, as evidenced by its four 4-star pledges.
The class is led by a pair of 4-star offensive playmakers in Chad President and JaMycal Hasty. President is a 6'3", 180-pound receiver, while Hasty can play running back and receiver at 5'8" and 185 pounds.
Head coach Art Briles will add 4-star offensive tackle Maurice Porter to block for the Bears, while 4-star athlete Blake Lynch could play almost anywhere. An intriguing recruit in the class is 3-star athlete Louis Brown, who is 6'6" and 208 pounds.
7. South Carolina
While South Carolina isn't flashy when it comes to recruiting, the Gamecocks do a great job of getting talent to Columbia.
They currently have six commitments, including three 4-star recruits. However, the headliner of the class is 5-star defensive end Shameik Blackshear. At 6'5" and 240 pounds, he is a lethal pass-rusher who has great quickness and tenacity to crash off the edge.
Mark Fields, a 4-star cornerback, is one of the best players in North Carolina, while 4-star linebacker Sherrod Pittman is a Florida native who can play multiple positions on the second level. The Gamecocks also boast a pledge from 6'8", 305-pound 4-star JUCO offensive tackle Paris Palmer.
Georgia is another school with a smaller class of only six commitments. However, the Bulldogs are right where they need to be.
Head coach Mark Richt has a pledge from 5-star athlete Terry Godwin, who is 6'0" and 165 pounds. An in-state recruit for UGA, he can excel at cornerback or receiver. If he opts to take his talents to the secondary in Athens, he'll form a great tandem with 4-star cornerback Rico McGraw.
The potential dynamic cornerback tandem will face great competition in practice, as 6'5" 4-star receiver Christian Owens is headed for Athens. The defense will get another pass-rushing boost from 4-star defensive end/outside linebacker Chauncey Rivers.
New Texas head coach Charlie Strong is under a lot of pressure, especially on the recruiting side of things.
Well, he seems to be excelling under it so far. Strong has nine commitments, and three are 4-star prospects. Two of his top pledges are 4-star offensive linemen, as Toby Weathersby and Patrick Vahe lead the way, with 3-star blocker Ronnie Major not far behind.
Jordan Stevenson is a Dallas native and 4-star running back who can do many things. On defense, keep an eye on Deshon Elliott and Johnny Shaw, two 3-star safeties who are both talented and stand 6'1".
4. Penn State
Bill O'Brien proved to be an impressive recruiter while head coach at Penn State. However, he's leading the Houston Texans now, and James Franklin is in charge in Happy Valley instead.
From the look of things, he could be an even better recruiter than O'Brien was. Penn State currently has eight 4-star prospects in its 11-man group.
The top player may be 4-star guard Steven Gonzalez, who is a nasty run-blocker. He'll be joined up front by 4-star offensive tackle Ryan Bates, and they'll be blocking to give 4-star receivers Juwan Johnson and Brandon Polk time to make plays down the field.
The pair of talented offensive linemen will also be clearing alleys for 4-star running backs Andre Robinson and Saquon Barkley. Kamonte Carter is a 4-star athlete who can play tight end and defensive end.
It shouldn't be surprising to anyone who has followed college football recruiting over the last several years to see Alabama ranked this high.
Deionte Thompson is a smart and athletic 4-star safety who deserves an extra star by his name, while 4-star running back Desherrius Flowers runs with tremendous force and power. Dallas Warmack and Lester Cotton are stud 4-star guards, and 4-star receiver Daylon Charlot will help 'Bama's offense on the perimeter.
LSU also has a commitment from solid 4-star running back Nick Brossette, who will enjoy running behind 3-star fullback David Ducre. Jazz Ferguson is a 6'5" 4-star receiver, and he'll have to watch out for 4-star safety Kevin Henry in practice.
The Tigers even have a commitment from 2-star long snapper Blake Ferguson.
1. Texas A&M
Staying on defense, safeties Justin Dunning and Larry Pryor are just two of the seven 4-star prospects whom Kevin Sumlin has plucked from the recruiting trail. The offensive-minded head coach has 4-star offensive linemen Trevor Elbert and Connor Lanfear in the fold to open up holes for 4-star running backs Rodney Anderson and Jay Bradford.
Jordan Davis is a 3-star tight end who should provide a spark for the Aggies offense up the seams.
Greg Powers of Scout.com told Gabe Brooks on Feb. 19: "Texas has too many great players to say one school is dominating all the action, but by and large A&M seems to be picking and choosing what prospects it wants in its program right now."