10 College Football Teams Whose 2015 Recruiting Classes Won't Be as Good as 2014
While a few elite schools do so, it's tough to sustain recruiting success year after year.
Some programs just find it hard to continue their recruiting run into the following cycle. Examining the 2014 and current 2015 rankings, several teams do not look to be in good position to repeat last year's recruiting success.
A Big Ten powerhouse doesn't look like it will sign another upscale class this year, while an SEC school is finding life after a stud recruiting head coach to be one of hard knocks. Plus, an ACC school simply will not duplicate its previous year's class.
2014 Ranking: 37th
2015 Ranking: 63rd
Washington managed to slide in at a respectable 37th in the final 2014 recruiting rankings. Out of the Huskies' 25 commitments, four were 4-star prospects. It was a solid haul for the folks in Seattle, especially considering the coaching change.
For 2015, however, things are not going so well. Head coach Chris Petersen has a mere seven pledges, and only one is a 4-star recruit. Don't look for the Huskies to make too much noise on the recruiting trail this year.
2014 Ranking: 40th
2015 Ranking: 85th
South Florida could be a sleeping giant on the field and in recruiting. It showed signs of waking up on the trail in 2014, finishing at No. 40 in the final recruiting rankings.
The Bulls signed 28 prospects, and 27 of them were 3-star recruits. This year, USF is off to a slow start. It only has five commitments, with perhaps no realistic shot at landing a 4-star recruit.
2014 Ranking: 57th
2015 Ranking: 91st
Although Iowa State finished 57th in recruiting last year, its 2014 class was highlighted by 4-star receiver Allen Lazard. The Iowa native led a class of 25 commitments, with 20 of them being 3-star prospects.
The key to the group is obviously Lazard, but it wouldn't be smart to count on the Cyclones landing another 4-star recruit in 2015. They'll sign several 3-star players next February, but the Cyclones will not finish where they did in 2014.
2014 Ranking: 34th
2015 Ranking: 69th
Another sleeping-giant recruiting program is N.C. State. It resides in a great location for talent, plus it's a member of the ACC.
The Wolfpack settled in at No. 34 in the final recruiting rankings last year but are at No. 69 this year. The 2014 group featured a pair of 4-star recruits out of 30 total players. This year's class currently only has seven 3-star pledges.
It could be a tough cycle for N.C. State.
2014 Ranking: 23rd
2015 Ranking: 28th
Although its 12-man class is led by 4-star quarterback Brady White, Arizona State likely will not top what it did on the recruiting trail last year. The Sun Devils signed a solid class in 2014, with eight of their 27 commitments being 4-star recruits.
While White's teammate and 4-star receiver Trent Irwin could sign up to catch passes in Tempe, ASU doesn't figure to land as many 4-star prospects to repeat last year's finish.
2014 Ranking: 32nd
2015 Ranking: 52nd
The class of 2014 was a special one for Virginia head coach Mike London.
The Cavaliers have nine commitments for 2015, but none is a 4-star recruit. They may land one or two before next February, but it wouldn't be surprising to see their class not include a 4-star talent.
2014 Ranking: 28th
2015 Ranking: 44th
Finishing 28th in the recruiting rankings was a huge feat for Oklahoma State. Head coach Mike Gundy and his staff brought in five 4-star players in a 28-man class.
While the Cowboys boast two 4-star recruits in their 2015 group, they only have eight total commitments. Gundy will surely add more prospects to his class before next February, but it may not be enough to match what he and his staff did on the 2014 recruiting trail.
2014 Ranking: 13th
2015 Ranking: 73rd
For the record, Stanford almost always starts fairly slow in recruiting every year. It annually finds its groove later in the cycle to surge up the recruiting rankings and finish at a high slot.
The only thing is that Stanford is currently 73rd in the recruiting rankings. Asking it to climb 60 spots to match last year's ranking may be too much. The Cardinal will get inside the top 30, but a top-15 finish could prove to be too steep this year.
2014 Ranking: 46th
2015 Ranking: 74th
Vanderbilt signed some of its best classes in school history under former head coach James Franklin. The only thing wrong with that last sentence is the former part.
He is recruiting at Penn State now, and head coach Derek Mason is in charge. He pieced together a 22-man class in 2014, with two recruits being rated at 4-stars. He has a 4-star recruit in his 2015 class, but only six total players have committed to Vanderbilt.
The Commodores are in position to elevate their current status, but it doesn't appear they'll sign the same type of class they did in 2014—or match what they did under Franklin.
2014 Ranking: 20th
2015 Ranking: 35th
Michigan is a traditional recruiting powerhouse, which means it's expected to sign a top-10 class every February. The Wolverines finished 20th in the final 2014 recruiting rankings and could finish even lower in 2015.
As things stand now, Big Blue is 35th in recruiting. Head coach Brady Hoke has only secured eight pledges, plus he may find it a bit tough to land a 5-star recruit this year. Michigan will likely finish higher than it is now, but it may be a real challenge to surpass last year's ranking.
Per Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, Hoke said the following on WTKA-AM's 1050 "Michigan Insider" show on May 19:
We don’t pressure guys into making their commitments. We talk to them about how they feel about their commitment. We don’t want them to back out of a commitment, because we have an obligation and honesty when we do offer a guy and accept that commitment. We stop recruiting a guy at that position because we’ve got one that we can count on.
All recruiting class ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Recruiting Rankings. All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Rankings. Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.com, Rivals and 247Sports.
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.