Before we kick off an updated ranking of the top recruiting classes of 2011, it would be fun, and somewhat prudent, to take a look back at what the top 15 schools were back in late February.
Ah, youth is wasted on the young.
Since that time, a few new faces have cracked the top 15, while members of the old guard have tried to reshuffle their order at the top.
Click through and see who's having the most success on the 2011 recruiting trail.
I didn't want to look like I'd forgotten Clemson or its 9 commitments, which, at first sight, will appear to mean more than it does.
But after what looked like a hot start, the Tigers' 2011 class hasn't come together as well as I was expecting.
True, OT Shaq Anthony is a good-sized prospect at tackle.
And yes, Clemson won a great battle for Eric MacLain, a flex TE/OT who decommitted from Tennessee before deciding for the Tigers.
I guess RB Marlin Lane is a top 10 recruit at running back, although his senior year was cut short by a knee injury that he'll have to show he's recovered from.
If Clemson can either land five-star RB Mike Bellamy out of Florida or get in the lead for five-star DE Jadeveon Clowney, I'll feel a lot better about putting them among the top 15.
But until then, I can't find much about Clemson's class (aside from its size) to get excited about. And pretty soon, all the other schools will have caught up.
QB Jeff Driskell and TE AC Leonard are both ideal candidates for the Gator offense. Driskell is a 6'4" QB with 4.6 speed running an offense similar to Florida's in high school. He's somewhere between incoming starter John Brantley and Tim Tebow on the spectrum of passing versus running QBs.
Leonard is a freakish athlete, a 6'3", 220-lb tight end/wide receiver who can dominate linebackers and safeties in pass coverage. He might not be taking reps in the triple option, but observers are optimistic that he'll be able to do damage on the ground, too.
Yet a dearth of defensive commitments, coupled with the news that DE Jeoffrey Pagan will take other visits, keeps Florida just outside the range of the top 15.
Judging by the reaction to Demar Dorsey's decision to look around last year, Pagan, Scout's No. 14 defensive end, might not get the open-minded response he is expecting from the Gator coaching staff.
If he decommits fully, and the Gators don't grab any big-time commits soon, consider this class way out of the running, and a shadow of its predecessors to boot. Four commits at this time of year just won't cut it.
The Spartans crack the list on the strength of 2011's best middle linebacker, Lawrence Thomas.
The 6'3, 235-lb recruit is one of the "very definition of upside" and compared him to Tyler Bray, an under-the-radar QB who committed to Tennessee last year and is competing for the starting job as a true freshman.
Lastly, RB Onaje Miller is Scout's 25th-best at the position, a native of Lansing, Michigan. If I know anything about natives of Lansing, he will wear a lot of denim and enjoy fishing.
Tommy Tuberville is shooting the lights out in his first full season as Texas Tech's head recruiter.
The charismatic coach has landed 11 exciting verbals, a number unforeseen during any of Mike Leach's years as head coach at this time of the year.
The Red Raiders have two premier running backs in the fold in Bradley Marquez and Kenny Williams, both among the top 15 to Scout. Tuberville must be promising them a little more than just pass protection.
They stole guard Tony Morales out of Texas A&M's backyard. Scout's No. 21 guard is a native of Arlington.
On defense, the Raiders have also gained numbers. DT James Castleman and OLB Blake Dees were great grabs by new defensive coordinator and former Alabama LB coach James Willis.
They'll join MLB Devin Hocutt and OLB Terrell Hartsfield, a product of Hargrave Military Academy, in Willis's promising new defense.
Tuberville is the guy who said if you can get 15 of your 25 signees to pan out, you've got reason to be optimistic. With that in mind, watch for this class to get bigger and gain more traction on defense.
Considering their peculiarly high decommitment rate from last year, guessing that Stanford will hold onto all 14 of their current commitments might be foolish.
Hopefully they can, because this is shaping up to be a top-tier Pac-10 class that resembles last year's Washington class in many ways. It's deep, athletic and has a few stud recruits at the top.
Foremost among them is QB Evan Crower, a B/R top 100 player whose size, strength and pocket presence I compared to Sam Bradford's.
He'll be the second great QB commit in as many years for the Cardinal, who took another top QB last year in Bay Area slinger Brett Nottingham.
Stanford's other top recruit is OT Brendon Austin, Scout's 15th-best tackle out of Parker, CO. Austin held offers from Cal, UCLA and Notre Dame at the time of his commitment.
Keep an eye out for RB Amir Carlisle, too. Back in February I compared him to Mark Ingram and still consider him one of 2011's best.
Florida State continues to rack up athletic safeties like they were bad pennies.
The Seminoles have four in the fold in Cortez Davis (a soft verbal); Tyler Hunter; LaMarcus Brutus; and Karlos Williams, the highest-ranked of the four at No. 8 overall. They've learned their lesson about defending the pass after a dreadful season last year.
They also have two top centers in the fold in Trey Pettis and the sensuously-named Sterling Lovelady, both top 10 players to Scout.
They've put together good numbers along the defensive line, the only area of weakness in their solid 2010 class. A defensive end and two DTs, all top fifty players, are in the fold.
But for variety or amusement, look elsewhere. The Seminoles have yet to find a skill position player worthy of note, and are running out of options as far as top QBs go.
With last year's class whiffing at the QB position, Jimbo Fisher better scare up something. An elite running back would help, too.
The star of Oklahoma State's class is five-star running back Herschel SIms, a B/R Top 100 RB who will remind many of former Iowa RB Shonn Greene.
Sims has the 4.4 speed of Greene and packs a similar punch in his 5'10" frame.
Okie State was the beneficiary of an outstanding year for Texas-bred running backs. The Longhorns have focused their efforts on Malcolm Brown, while Oklahoma landed RB Brendan Williams and is also chasing Brown.
If he plays with a chip on his shoulder, Sims could bring the glory days of Barry Sanders back to Stillwater.
The other top commitment is QB JW Walsh, Scout's seventh-best quarterback who boasts a strong arm and a versatile arsenal on the ground and through the air.
OG Travis Cross is Scout's eighth-best guard, a 6'5", 270-lb recruit out of West Plano HS, the same school that produced five-star defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat in last year's class.
As usual, the Cowboys would be wise to focus on defense if they want to crack the top of the Big 12. DB MIketavious Jones and S Isaac Maselera are a good start; they're both top 30 recruits at their positions.
Auburn is still casting about for a major landing on defense, but offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn earned his summer paycheck for getting QB Kiehl Frazier in the fold.
Frazier's commitment last week went against everything I was expecting from the 6'4", 220-lb quarterback out of Shiloh, Arkansas.
Frazier, the second-best dual-threat QB prospect in the class, was projecting a long, arduous, wait-and-see battle between several interested parties, including the Arkansas Razorbacks first and foremost. His personal website made mention of a busy summer.
Then, without warning, he committed to Auburn during Big Cat Weekend last week.
Add him and Scout's No. 3 center, Reese Dismukes, together, and you have the makings of another epic haul along the same lines of what we saw last year.
Just keep it below 32 this time, will ya?
The Bulldogs kicked the class off with two great safety commitments, Chris Sanders and Corey Moore, Scout's 21st and 15th-best respectively.
Center David Andrews is Scout's fifth-best player at the position. A 6'2.5, 270-lb recruit out of Norcross, Georgia, Andrews has the intelligence to lead some great future lines in Athens. He'll need another year to work on his size.
But the jewel of the class so far is QB Christian Lemay, Scout's second-best quarterback in the class. LeMay has the elite technical skills, the wheels and all the intangibles for a career that many UGa fans hope will best Matt Stafford's.
Lemay, a frequent campgoer prior to his commitment, has promised to lead the charge for Georgia's 2011 class, and the Dawgs have dropped two players since.
Nebraska's recruiting machine is on the verge of a breakout year.
Tackle Tyler Moore, center Ryne Reeves and guard Ryan Klachko comprise the best C-G-T combo in the 2011 class. Moore is Scout's eighth-best tackle and maybe the second-best run-blocking tackle in the class behind LSU's La'El Collins.
Klachko is Scout's 11th-best guard and a monster interior lineman, standing 6'4" and weighing 280 pounds.
The jewel of the class so far is Reeves. Scout's second-best center, Ryne Reeves is the top prospect in Nebraska for 2011, a junior All-American at the Nike Combine and an elite athlete with the perfect size (6'3", 285 lbs) for the center position.
The Huskers are also adding another versatile weapon to their bin of skill position players in QB/ATH Jamal Turner. He's Scout's 11th-best quarterback, and though his size (6'1", 170-lbs) may not project well at the D-I level, he'll provide good depth at the quarterback position should the Huskers be forced keep their QB competition open after this year.
USC may not have the depth of the heavy hitters, but large classes have never been what's made them great.
In fact, they're actually under the allowable number of scholarships under NCAA guidelines over the past five years. If they're violating NCAA rules, it's not via oversigning.
In any case, the four commits they do have are absolute all-stars. RB DeAnthony Thomas leads the pack. He was the top running back in the 2011 class to Scout, and was listed as their top cornerback at the time of his signing as well.
QB Max Wittek and WR Victor Blackwell are top 100 players and teammates at the prestigious Mater Dei High School, Matt Barkley's alma mater. Wittek is one of the best pro-style QBs in the class, a terrific thrower of play-action.
On defense, LB Tre Madden, DT Antwaun Woods and DE Jalen Grimble form a great trio of talent. Woods and Grimble are both top five talents at their positions, while Madden is an under-the-radar player out of Mission Viejo.
You're seeing a lot more offers go out than USC traditionally makes, so the smaller classes of yesteryear might end up being things of the past. Either way, this is a great start.
Notre Dame is recruiting like it's in some sort of rebuilding phase.
Brian Kelly opened the 2011 class by focusing his attention on the offensive line, landing four major verbals from the three of the best tackles and the second-best guard in the class.
Tackles Matt Hegarty, Tony Springmann and Jordan Prestwood provide immediate strength, talent and depth to a unit Charlie Weis unwisely ignored as head coach. They're joined by guard Conor Hanratty, the No. 2 guard in the class who is big enough to be playing tackle at the next level. If Notre Dame's offensive line is a brick wall in four years, you'll know why.
The two other major landing for Kelly were at OLB and tight end. Ben Koyack, Scout's No. 2 tight end out of Oil City, Pennsylvania, is a perfect recruit for the reception-heavy role TEs play in Kelly's offense.
OLB Jarrett Grace is Scout's tenth-best overall, a great fit at OLB in the new 3-4 scheme the Irish are running. Grace is a downhill pursuer who notched 95 tackles and 17 TFLs as a junior. He has the size and strength to see time as a true freshman should ND's defense need the help.
This is not the recruiting class I was expecting out of Alabama at this stage.
Instead of running back or linebacker, the Tide's deepest position right now is at wide receiver, with four verbals.
The best among them is Marvin Shinn, a 6'3", 170-lb burner out of Pritchard, Alabama. Joining him is Bradley Sylve, a 5'10.5", 175-lb slot star with 4.4 speed; Darryl Collins of Gadsden, AL; and Danny Woodson of Mobile, AL.
Wide receiver might be the deepest position, but defensive back is still the strongest. The Tide are sitting on their next great strong safety, HaSean Clinton-Dix, out of Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, FL. The hard-hitting athlete is Scout's top safety recruit overall.
Clinton-Dix is joined at cornerback by Jabriel Washington, a 5'11", 165-lb athlete who needs practice at press coverage but otherwise projects as one of the most versatile CBs in the class. Both are B/R top 50 talents.
The Tide also have two good players at the LB and DL level. LaMichael Fanning is Scout's No. 12 defensive end, a monster 6'7", 270-pounder out of Auburn, AL. He could end up playing tackle if he grows out of the DL position.
Per Scout, OLB Brent Calloway notched over 100 tackles and 22 sacks as a junior. The 6'3", 225-lb linebacker is listed with 4.5 speed, outstanding for a linebacker.
I expect an elite running back and at least a few more top-tier defenders in this class, along with some beef on the offensive line. Depending on how well the Tide charge out of the gate this fall, they could really shake up both uncommitted and committed recruits pondering a Tide offer.
The Buckeyes have the strongest defensive line recruiting class in the country and are partway to the strongest offensive line class, too.
Five-star defensive end Steve Miller is in the conversation for top prospect in Ohio. Scout's No. 4 DE, Miller has size, a great get off the ball and a motor that can't quit. For any offensive line coach in the Big Ten, his film is terrifying to behold.
Joining him are DE Kenny Hayes, Scout's eleventh-best prospect at the position; DT Chase Farris, Scout's ninth-best; and DT Michael Bennett, Scout's sixth-best.
All three are freakish athletes with great size who will resemble the Buckeyes' best D-lines when they reach maturity.
On the offensive side, Ohio State grabbed the class's top overall center in Brian Bobek, a five-star recruit B/R top 50 player who should pick up right where Mike Brewster leaves off.
Joining him are guards Antonio Underwood and Chris Carter, both top 30 players on the interior line.
Now, let's just get Braxton Miller and five more running backs in there and call it a day.
LSU started off the recruiting season white-hot, landing seven of the best players Louisiana had to offer before signing day for last year's class had even ended. Since then, they've landed four verbals more.
OT La'El Collins is, as mentioned, the best run-blocking tackle in the class. The 6'4", 275 lb five-star recruit has the speed and nimble feet to toss defenders aside and follow his backs downfield.
Joining him us guard Trai Turner, Scout's 18th-best guard and an absolute beast. Turner stands 6'4" and weighs a stunning 330 lbs. If he can't keep your quarterback blocked, nothing can.
The Tigers are holding as tight as they can to two of the best running backs in the class. RB Kenny Hilliard and Jeremy Hill are the 14th- and 18th-best RBs in the class. They're both 6'0+, 200 lb plus backs who blend their size with power, cuts and tackle-breaking ability.
Hilliard, for his part, was Tom Lemming's fifth-best player in the 2011 class, out of all proportion to what I'd seen written about him so far.
The best players in this class are, in my opinion, on defense. Defensive tackle Anthony Johnson is one of the scariest players I've ever watched on film. He's an intimidating physical presence who has shown in camp after camp his ability to dominate nimble tackles with power and strong ones with speed.
It's probably a Lemmingesque move, but I ranked OLB Trevon Randle the third-best player in the class. I thought his speed, hitting ability and coverage skills were of a sort that could rewrite the expectations of an outside linebacker if LSU figures out how to use them.
The Tigers are on the brink of a big landing if they can convince DE Jermauria Rasco to stay home. He's another top 15 player out of Baton Rouge.
This is still one of the most impressive classes Les Miles and his staff have assembled. But even with their fast start, two Big 12 foes have passed them by.
I must not be doing my homework, because Oklahoma's outstanding 2011 class has come together with little fanfare or enthusiasm aside from that top 15 list from earlier this year.
In my defense, there's no single outstanding player in Oklahoma's class. The closest thing to a blue-chip recruit is five-star wide receiver Trey Metoyer, who did crack my B/R top 100, along with future teammate and four-star RB Brandon Williams.
But if recruiting classes, like wins, are a team effort, than Oklahoma's is the second-most decorated and second-most balanced squad in the running.
The Sooners have secured yet another outstanding QB/WR/RB combo in Williams, Metoyer and QB Kendal Thompson, Scout's eighth-best overall.
They've landed two defensive ends (Cooper Washington and stud four-star Nathan Hughes) and two tackles (Marquis Anderson, teammate of five-star RB Malcolm Brown and Scout's No. 15 prospect) and Jordan Wade (Scout's 20th-best).
They've grabbed yet another great safety in Dallas native Frank Shannon, Scout's No. 12 safety overall, who committed this past weekend.
Add to that mix TE Chris Barnett, the No. 7 tight end and a Jermaine Gresham in training, and you've got great balance.
The only question marks are on the offensive line, but I've been assured the Sooners are in good shape with OT Brey Cook, another B/R top 100 player from Springdale, Arkansas.
Their 13 commits edge LSU's 11 by a hair (and I would listen to arguments that say LSU's quality is better than OU's quantity). Nonetheless, Bob Stoops is recruiting like there's no such color as burnt orange...and if he can hook a certain running back over that program down south, things could get interesting.
Honestly, I don't think any other teams have a chance of topping the Longhorns this year.
Listen to this list:
Texas has grabbed Scout's No. 4 and No. 2 tackles, Garrett Greenlea and Christian Westerman, both five-stars.
They've landed the No. 2 and No. 5 cornerbacks, Leroy Scott and Qunadre Diggs; the No. 2 safety, Sheroid Evans; the No. 3 MLB, Steve Edmond; the No. 1 guard, Sedrick Flowers; the No. 2 defensive tackle, Desmond Jackson; and the No. 9 defensive end, Cedric Reed.
They're likely to land the greatest running back I've ever watched at the high school level, Malcolm Brown of Cibolo, TX.
With a wave of their hand, they could land five-star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a Gig Harbor, WA native who proclaimed Texas his leader despite not holding an offer a month ago and has been waving his knickers in Mack Brown's direction ever since.
WR Jaxon Shipley will be as good as his brother, Jordan, and his brother probably should have been in the running for the Biletnikoff award.
QB David Ash could start and be successful for any other D-1 program.
Their national championship appearance collided with an out-of-this-world year for Texas recruits to create a perfect storm of recruiting.
While most teams don't know the purpose of a Junior Day, Texas used its spring game to scout 2012 recruits.
It's simple: all Mack Brown had to do was buy a roll of stamps.