5 Reasons 2015 College Football Recruiting Class Could Be Best of 2010s
College football recruiting offices spend a lot of time comparing prospects during early evaluations of a recruiting class. Coaches hand out grades, position by position, to determine which players will be sent early scholarship offers, which will be dealt with on a wait-and-see basis and which should pursue opportunities elsewhere.
The 2015 class offers plenty for programs to consider and, from top to bottom, may be the best we've seen this decade. A large collection of recruits began receiving offers as underclassmen, while others are just starting to see interest mount as dominoes fall across the country.
This group boasts big-time talent at each position with incredible depth in certain spots. We examine the strengths of this class that could separate it from the rest when measured against other classes of the 2010s.
California's Crop of Quarterbacks
The Golden State perennially produces top-tier talent, but its 2015 quarterback class could alter the college football landscape for years to come. Yes, it's that good.
Town originally pledged to Alabama but had a change of heart in January, flipping his commitment to USC and giving first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian a blue-chip prospect to build around. Rosen flirted with the idea of attending Michigan but ultimately chose UCLA.
Sheriron Jones gave the Gators' recruiting efforts an early-June boost by pledging to Florida. He could be joined in the SEC by Travis Waller, who trimmed his list to Alabama, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
Blake Barnett is another hot commodity on the quarterback market. He committed to Notre Dame in November but backed off that pledge in June, and he could end up being the right fit for Oregon.
An Abundance of Dominant Defensive Tackles
Elite defensive tackle prospects are scattered throughout the country, including seven 5-star prospects from six different states in 247Sports' composite rankings. It represents a vast difference from the 2014 cycle, when Virginia signee Andrew Brown was the sole 5-star player at the position.
In fact, there were only 13 total 5-star defensive tackles from 2010 through 2014. This class alone features more than half of that number.
Among them, Mack is the only one committed to a program. He pledged to Texas A&M in October.
Fellow 5-stars Tim Settle (Virginia), Shy Tuttle (North Carolina) and Kahlil McKenzie (California) have yet to declare their collegiate intentions, leaving plenty of options on the table for teams in pursuit of immediate help along the defensive interior.
Cornerback Is Stacked
Cornerback was a strength in the 2014 class, but the position appears to be even deeper in this cycle. Football continues to evolve with more pass-centric offensive attacks in the mix at every level, so it's no surprise to see some of the nation's finest athletes end up in coverage to counter that trend.
There are five 5-star cornerbacks in this class, which is more than any other year in this decade. Among them, four are at least 6'1".
Iman Marshall (California), Kendall Sheffield (Texas) and Tarvarus McFadden (Florida) remain undecided. Each member of the uncommitted 5-star trio could make a strong case as top cornerback in the country, though that distinction currently belongs to Toliver in 247Sports' composite rankings.
There are 22 4-star players at the position, presenting possibilities for programs that whiff elsewhere.
Texas and Florida are particularly packed with talent at the position, with nine combined cornerbacks rated 4-star or higher.
Plenty of Offensive Linemen to Pluck from the Peach State
Georgia is a hotbed for top-level blockers in 2015, with two of the nation's top three offensive tackles products representing the Peach State. Clemson commit Mitch Hyatt and USC pledge Chuma Edoga rate seventh and 16th overall in 247Sports' composite rankings.
The dominant 5-star bookends headline an amazingly deep class of linemen in the state. This group could be featured prominently in the SEC for years to come.
ACC teams are also cashing in on a strong Georgia class.
Stunningly, the in-state Bulldogs haven't secured a commitment from an offensive lineman on home turf.
Legacy Players Play A Pivotal Part
Coaches love guys with "football genes," and there are several who have followed in family members' footsteps so far during this cycle. Programs have taken advantage of those connections to establish legacies for the future.
Kyler Murray, a 5-star quarterback from suburban Dallas, committed to Texas A&M in May. His father, Kevin Murray, was the winningest quarterback in Aggies history when his career ended, and he was later inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame.
Clemson commit Mitch Hyatt will arrive on campus three decades after his uncle, Dan Benish, suited up for the Tigers. Fellow 5-star offensive lineman Maea Teuhema follows his older brother, Sione, to LSU.
Offensive guard Dallas Warmack has big expectations to live up to at Alabama. His older brother, Chance, was an All-American lineman with the Crimson Tide and currently plays for the Tennessee Titans.
Missouri landed its quarterback of the future in 4-star prospect Drew Lock. His father, Andy, was an offensive lineman with the program.