National Signing Day 2017: Ranking the Top 50 Overall Recruits

Bleacher Report College Football StaffFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2017

National Signing Day 2017: Ranking the Top 50 Overall Recruits

0 of 30

    Running back Najee Harris (left) and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa were two of Alabama's prized commitments. Both athletes are on Bleacher Report's list of top 50 overall recruits.
    Running back Najee Harris (left) and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa were two of Alabama's prized commitments. Both athletes are on Bleacher Report's list of top 50 overall recruits.Credit: Student Sports

    After thorough study, camp evaluation and internal discussion using our specific scoring criteriaBleacher Report recruiting analysts Damon SaylesSanjay Kirpalani and Tyler Donohue graded and ranked the top prospects in the 2017 recruiting class and provided in-depth analysis. As national signing day nears, Bleacher Report offers a breakdown of the best college football recruits. We've dropped the Top 25 Offensive and Top 25 Defensive Players, as well as the Top 10 Athletes. Today, we present the Top 50 Overall Recruits of the class(Editor's note: Some text from previous installments may reappear in this final edition.)

    National signing day: A celebration for many, an unofficial holiday to some. It's a day where college football fans see the future of their favorite program and where college coaches hope months of recruiting hours are parlayed into landing a signature of an elite athlete on a national letter of intent.

    Wednesday marks the big day, and while some recruits have ended their recruiting process—and a handful have even enrolled early at their schools—others are still in the final stages of solidifying one of the biggest decisions of their young lives. And several of those uncommitted athletes will make their verbal commitments known on national signing day.

    The future looks bright, as the 2017 class collectively featured some of the biggest, strongest, fastest and most charismatic athletes in recent recruiting history. The class also features a few athletes who have been in the recruiting spotlight since before putting on a high school uniform—among them Alabama enrollee Dylan Moses, Texas A&M enrollee Anthony Hines III and Ohio State enrollee Tate Martell.

    Today, Bleacher Report presents its top 50 recruits of the 2017 class. B/R is expecting big things on the football field from each one of these athletes.

Nos. 50-46: Austin Jackson—LaBryan Ray

1 of 30

    Stephen Carr /
    Stephen Carr /Credit:

    50. Austin Jackson, OT, Uncommitted

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 290 lbs

    High School: North Canyon HS; Phoenix Ranking: No. 5 offensive tackle, No. 30 overall

    Commitment Status: Uncommitted

    1 Thing to Know

    Jackson, a U.S. Army All-American, is the only uncommitted offensive tackle of the top 20 tackles in the 2017 class, according to


    49. Jeff Thomas, WR

    Height/Weight: 5'10", 167 lbs

    High School: East St. Louis Senior HS; East St. Louis, Illinois Ranking: No. 5 receiver, No. 41 overall

    Commitment status: Uncommitted

    1 Thing to Know

    According to MaxPreps, Thomas caught 50 passes for 1,101 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging 22 yards per reception.


    48. Robert Beal, DE

    Height/Weight: 6'3 ½", 234 lbs

    High School: Peachtree Ridge High School; Suwanee, Georgia Ranking: No. 15 defensive end, No. 167 overall

    Commitment status: Committed to Georgia

    1 Thing to Know

    We hear of athletes leaving their home schools to play in Florida for IMG Academy. Beal is an athlete who left for IMG but returned to Peachtree Ridge in November.


    47. Stephen Carr, RB, USC (soft verbal)

    Height/Weight: 6'0", 200 lbs

    High School: Summit High School; Fontana, California Ranking: No. 3 running back, No. 8 overall

    Committed to USC on March 23, 2015

    1 Thing to Know

    Carr touched the ball 253 times during his senior season, averaging more than 10 yards each time he possessed the rock.


    46. LaBryan Ray, DE, Uncommitted

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 255 lbs

    High School: James Clemens High School (Madison, Alabama) Ranking: No. 62 overall (No. 6 DE)


    1 Thing to Know

    Ray opened the new year by competing in the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Florida. He had five tackles in the game, per Athlon Sports.

Nos. 45-41: Devon Hunter—Bubba Bolden

2 of 30

    Devon Hunter /
    Devon Hunter /Credit:

    45. Devon Hunter, S, Virginia Tech

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 206 lbs

    High School: Indian River High School; Chesapeake, Virginia Ranking: No. 7 overall (No. 1 S)

    Committed to Virginia Tech on Jan. 20

    1 Thing to Know

    How big was Hunter's commitment to Virginia Tech? The star safety received congratulatory tweets from former Hokies standouts in NFL defensive backs Kam Chancellor of the Seattle Seahawks and DeAngelo Hall of the Washington Redskins.


    44. Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 321 lbs

    High School: IMG Academy; Bradenton, Florida Ranking: No. 2 center, No. 98 overall

    Committed to Michigan on Dec. 19

    1 Thing to Know

    Ruiz was recognized as one of the standouts at The Opening this summer, as he made the event's Final 5 team among the offensive linemen in attendance.


    43. Isaiah Pryor, S, Ohio State

    Height/Weight6'2", 186 lbs

    High SchoolIMG Academy; Bradenton, Florida Ranking: No. 70 overall (No. 7 S)

    Enrolled at Ohio State (committed on July 27)

    1 Thing to Know

    As good as he was on the football field, Pryor also was solid in the classroom. He was named a finalist for the Watkins Award, which honors the nation's top African-American scholar-athletes.


    42. Tyjon Lindsey, WR, Nebraska

    Height/Weight: 5'8", 165 lbs

    High School: Bishop Gorman High School; Las Vegas Ranking: No. 8 receiver, No. 58 overall

    Committed to Nebraska on Jan. 14

    1 Thing to Know

    Over his 84 career catches in high school, Lindsey averaged more than 25 yards per reception.


    41. Bubba Bolden, S, USC

    Height/Weight: 6'2 ½", 200 lbs

    High School: Bishop Gorman High School; Las Vegas Ranking: No. 39 overall (No. 3 S)

    Committed to USC on Jan. 7

    1 Thing to Know

    Of Bolden's 25 recorded tackles, the majority of them were without assistance. He had 17 solo tackles as a senior.

Nos. 40-36: A.J. Terrell—Henry Ruggs

3 of 30

    Wyatt Davis /
    Wyatt Davis /Credit:

    40. A.J. Terrell, S, Clemson

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 171 lbs

    High School: Westlake High School; Atlanta Ranking: No. 96 overall (No. 10 S)

    Committed to Clemson on Aug. 19

    1 Thing to Know

    If we don't see Terrell as a professional athlete, perhaps we'll one day see him working with professional athletes in some capacity. According to, Terrell wants to major in sports management.


    39. Devonta Smith, WR, Uncommitted

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 167 lbs

    High School: Amite High School; Amite, Louisiana Ranking: No. 3 receiver, No. 26 overall

    Uncommitted: Considering Alabama, Florida State, LSU and Miami

    1 Thing to Know

    Also a standout basketball player, Smith was one of five players selected to participate in Bleacher Report’s dunk contest at The Opening last summer.


    38. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 203 lbs

    High School: Houston County High School; Warner Robins, Georgia Ranking: No. 3 quarterback, No. 28 overall

    Enrolled at Georgia

    1 Thing to Know

    As detailed by Cam Smith of USA Today, Fromm is also an accomplished baseball player who led his team to two state titles and also appeared in the Little League World Series.


    37. Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 310 lbs

    High School: St. John Bosco High School; Bellflower, California Ranking: No. 1 offensive guard, No. 16 overall

    Committed to Ohio State on June 24

    1 Thing to Know

    As detailed by Sayles, Davis is the son of actor Duane Davis, who portrayed famed character Alvin Mack in the football cult classic flick The Program.


    36. Henry Ruggs, WR, Uncommitted

    Height/Weight: 6'0", 173 lbs

    High School: Lee High School; Montgomery, Alabama Ranking: No. 10 receiver, No. 75 overall

    Uncommitted: Considering Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Penn State

    1 Thing to Know

    Ruggs is also a standout basketball player averaging more than 10 points per game for one of the top hoops programs in the state of Alabama. He also has some serious hops.

Nos. 35-31: Colby Parkinson—Tate Martell

4 of 30

    Tate Martell /
    Tate Martell /Credit:

    35. Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford

    Height/Weight: 6'6", 225 lbs

    High School: Oaks Christian High School; Westlake Village, California Ranking: No. 1 tight end, No. 45 overall

    Committed to Stanford on Dec. 19, 2015

    1 Thing to Know

    According to MaxPreps, Parkinson recorded 79 receptions for 1,231 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging more than 15 yards per reception over the last three seasons.

    34. Jamyest Williams, CB, South Carolina

    Height/Weight: 5'9", 173 lbs

    High School: Grayson High School; Loganville, Georgia Ranking: No. 86 overall (No. 5 ATH)

    Committed to South Carolina on Aug. 27

    1 Thing to Know

    According to Bleacher Report's Sanjay Kirpalani, Williams has drawn comparisons to the "Honey Badger," Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, because of his size and feisty demeanor.

    33. Jhamon Ausbon, WR, Texas A&M

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 217 lbs

    High School: IMG Academy; Bradenton, Florida Ranking: No. 6 receiver, No. 48 overall

    Enrolled at Texas A&M

    1 Thing to Know

    According to MaxPreps, Ausbon averaged more than 22 yards per catch during his senior season while racking up 399 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

    32. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

    Height/Weight: 5'9 ½", 214 lbs

    High School: St. Joseph’s Prep School; Philadelphia

    Scout Ranking: No. 4 running back, No. 37 overall

    Committed to Georgia on Sept. 1

    1 Thing to Know

    According to 247Sports, Swift racked up 3,949 yards of total offense and scored 44 total touchdowns over the first three years of his prep career.

    31. Tate Martell, QB, Ohio State

    Height/Weight: 5'10 ½" 203 lbs

    High School: Bishop Gorman High School; Las Vegas Ranking: No. 2 quarterback, No. 27 overall

    Enrolled at Ohio State

    1 Thing to Know

    Martell piloted Gorman to a 45-0 record over the last three years, including three straight state titles and a national title this season.

Nos. 30-26: Josh Myers—JaCoby Stevens

5 of 30

    A.J. Epenesa /
    A.J. Epenesa /Credit:

    30. Josh Myers, OL, Ohio State

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 285 lbs

    High School: Miamisburg High School; Miamisburg, Ohio Ranking: No. 3 offensive tackle, No. 57 overall

    Enrolled at Ohio State

    1 Thing to Know

    Myers comes from a family of athletes. According to 247Sports, his father, Brad, was an offensive lineman at Kentucky from 1984-87. His mother, Julie, played basketball at the University of Dayton. Additionally, his older brother, Zach, also played offensive line at Kentucky from 2012-16.


    29. Haskell Garrett, DT, Ohio State

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 290 lbs

    High School: Bishop Gorman High School; Las Vegas Ranking: No. 47 overall (No. 4 DT)

    Committed to Ohio State on Feb. 9

    1 Thing to Know

    Garrett had 54 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries and four pass deflections in 15 games. He also had an interception.


    28. D.J. Matthews, WR, Florida State

    Height/Weight: 5'11", 160 lbs

    High School: Trinity Christian Academy; Jacksonville, Florida Ranking: No. 18 receiver, No. 118 overall

    Committed to Florida State on July 17, 2014

    1 Thing to Know

    According to MaxPreps, Matthews scored 20 total touchdowns as a senior in four different ways: passing, rushing, receiving and kickoff returning.


    27. A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 260 lbs

    High School: Edwardsville High School; Edwardsville, Illinois Ranking: No. 21 overall (No. 4 DE)

    Committed to Iowa on Jan. 17

    1 Thing to Know

    When Epenesa signs with Iowa on Feb. 1, he will wear a Hawkeyes uniform like his father did in the 1990s. Eppy Epenesa was a defensive lineman under legendary coach Hayden Fry.


    26. JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 190 lbs

    High School: Oakland High School; Murfreesboro, Tennessee Ranking: No. 31 overall (No. 2 S)

    Enrolled at LSU (committed on Aug. 8)

    1 Thing to Know

    Stevens is proof that a decommitment story can have a happy ending. He first committed to the Tigers as a junior in September 2015 but decommitted two months later. He then recommitted in August before the start of his senior season.

25. DeAngelo Gibbs, ATH

6 of 30

    DeAngelo Gibbs /
    DeAngelo Gibbs /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 204 lbs

    High School: Grayson High School; Loganville, Georgia Rankings: No. 1 Athlete; No. 25 overall

    Committed To: Georgia


    DeAngelo Gibbs lands atop this group as a unanimous No. 1 selection among B/R analysts. He is the lone prospect on this list who warrants 5-star consideration on both sides of the ball.

    Gibbs' quickness is enhanced by long strides, which allow him to cover ground in hurry, and upper-body length allows him to interrupt passing lanes on a regular basis. His combination of coverage range, decisiveness and ball skills set the stage for safety as an ideal landing spot.

    Still, it's important to note the potential he would provide for a Georgia passing attack aiming to elevate its supporting cast around lauded rising sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason. The Bulldogs' young passer could quickly benefit if Gibbs transitioned to full-time receiver duties.

    Gibbs committed to Georgia during the Under Armour All-America Game, selecting his in-state squad over fellow finalists Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Tennessee. If he lines up at safety alongside fellow Georgia early enrollee Richard LeCounte, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better incoming tandem in college football.


    1 Thing to Know

    Gibbs follows in line with a football-rich family. Uncles Jake Reed (receiver) and Dale Carter (cornerback) both spent more than a decade in the NFL, while cousin Nigel Warrior (safety) was considered a 4-star member of the Tennessee Volunteers' 2016 recruiting class.

24. Anthony Hines, ILB

7 of 30

    Anthony Hines /
    Anthony Hines /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 225 lbs

    High School: Plano East Senior High School; Plano, Texas Rankings: No. 2 Inside Linebacker; No. 19 overall

    Committed To: Texas A&M


    Need someone who will fill a stat sheet? Anthony Hines III played in 11 games as a high school senior and averaged better than 22 tackles a game. He finished the year with 245 tackles, according to MaxPreps.

    Hines' ability to play sideline-to-sideline football made him an attractive prospect. How attractive? Hines had 90 offers to choose from but ultimately committed to and enrolled early at Texas A&M.

    The Aggies will get a linebacker who is smart enough to play inside linebacker, fast enough to play outside linebacker and athletic enough to cover speedy wide receivers in open space. Hines' football IQ may be what gets him immediate playing time in the SEC.


    1 Thing to Know

    Hines' career numbers in high school are mind-boggling. Per MaxPreps, he finished his career with 640 tackles, 27 sacks and 13 forced fumbles.

23. Jerry Jeudy, WR

8 of 30

    Jerry Jeud /
    Jerry Jeud /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 177 lbs

    High School: Deerfield Beach High School; Deerfield Beach, Florida Rankings: No. 7 Wide Receiver; No. 52 overall

    Committed To: Alabama


    Alabama has struck gold in recruiting electric receivers who hail from the fertile territory of South Florida.

    Following in the footsteps of Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley is 4-star receiver Jerry Jeudy.

    Jeudy is perhaps the most polished route-runner in the 2017 cycle. No receiver impressed more during the 2016 spring and summer camp circuit than Jeudy did.

    He’s a smooth receiver prospect who has the chance to be an early contributor for the Crimson Tide this fall.


    1 Thing to Know

    According to MaxPreps, Jeudy hauled in 41 receptions for 496 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior.

22. Shaun Wade, CB

9 of 30

    Shaun Wade /
    Shaun Wade /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 175 lbs

    High School: Trinity Christian Academy; Jacksonville, Florida Rankings: No. 5 Cornerback; No. 55 overall

    Committed To: Ohio State


    Ohio State has been in the heart of Shaun Wade for a long time. He first committed to the Buckeyes as a sophomore—on the same day the team won the inaugural College Football Playoff, in fact. Even with schools like Alabama, Florida and Notre Dame trying to sway him, Wade ultimately decided that Columbus, Ohio, was home for him.

    Wade is a competitor who will bring size, closing speed and solid coverage skills to Ohio State's secondary. He has great anticipation and uses his instincts to his advantage

    As a two-way standout for Trinity Christian Academy, which won its fourth consecutive state championship in December, Wade had 63 tackles and seven interceptions his senior season. Offensively, he scored six touchdowns as a wide receiver.


    1 Thing to Know

    During U.S. Army All-American Bowl week, Wade was named the Lockheed Martin Defensive Back of the Year Award. The honor is presented to the nation's most outstanding high school defensive back.

21. Baron Browning, OLB

10 of 30

    Baron Browning /
    Baron Browning /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 230 lbs

    High School: Kennedale High School; Kennedale, Texas Rankings: No. 1 Outside Linebacker; No. 23 overall

    Committed To: Ohio State


    Big, strong and fast, Baron Browning is the kind of linebacker who could be an immediate game-changer in the Big Ten. His size alone makes him intriguing, but watching him play from sideline to sideline makes him that much more intimidating.

    Browning is an ultra-versatile linebacker who saw time during his high school team's playoff run as a cornerback. If necessary, he can effectively play outside linebacker, inside linebacker, defensive end safety and cornerback. Look for Browning to be most comfortable playing on the edge, as he's capable of putting pressure on quarterbacks with his quickness.

    Browning had 81 tackles, 10 pass break-ups, four forced fumbles, three sacks and an interception during his senior year. He had nearly 230 tackles for his career, even after missing his sophomore year with an injury.


    1 Thing to Know

    Browning's father, Barry Sr., played safety at TCU in the 1990s. His older brother, Barry Jr., was a defensive back at Stanford from 2010-13.

20. Tua Tagovailoa, QB

11 of 30

    Tua Tagovailoa /
    Tua Tagovailoa /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 216 lbs

    High School: St. Louis High School; Honolulu, Hawaii Rankings: No. 4 Quarterback; No. 38 overall

    Committed To: Alabama


    Arguably the biggest star to emerge from the spring and summer camp circuit was 4-star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

    The Alabama-bound dual-threat passer lit up the Elite 11 and won MVP honors at The Opening.

    At both events, Tagovailoa flashed the type of pinpoint accuracy, quick decision-making and leadership skills necessary to be a top-flight quarterback in college. 

    According to 247Sports, he passed for 2,669 yards with 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a senior. He also added another 727 yards and eight scores on the ground.


    1 Thing to Know

    Tagovailoa hails from the same high school that produced former Oregon Heisman Trophy winner and current Tennessee Titans star quarterback Marcus Mariota.

19. Aubrey Solomon, DT

12 of 30

    Aubrey Solomon /
    Aubrey Solomon /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 304 lbs

    High School: Lee County High School; Leesburg, Georgia Rankings: No. 2 Defensive Tackle; No. 11 overall

    Uncommitted: Considering Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, USC


    The recruitment of Aubrey Solomon has turned into one of the most intriguing stories of the 2017 cycle. Michigan, USC, Auburn and home-state schools Alabama and Auburn appear to be the frontrunners as he prepares for a big decision soon.

    Alabama and Michigan are believed to be the two schools to keep an eye on between now and national signing day. Solomon once was committed to the Wolverines but reopened his options this summer.

    The winning school will get a stud defensive lineman who made a lot of noise during U.S. Army All-American Bowl week. He was a disruptive force throughout practices and made a case for being the nation's top-ranked tackle.


    1 Thing to Know

    Solomon was the latest athlete to have a much-discussed in-home visit with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. The two, along with Solomon's family, recently raced go-karts, went bowling and attending a preschool celebration, according to The Detroit News.

18. Trey Smith, OT

13 of 30

    Trey Smith /
    Trey Smith /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’6”, 300 lbs

    High School: University School of Jackson; Jackson, Tennessee Rankings: No. 4 Offensive Tackle; No. 29 overall

    Committed To: Tennessee


    The crown jewel of Tennessee's 2017 recruiting class is 5-star offensive lineman Trey Smith.

    The top overall prospect from the Volunteer State in the 2017 cycle, Smith is another offensive tackle prospect who has the chance to be a fixture early in his career. 

    In a decorated class of offensive tackles, Smith is a prototype offensive tackle who has elite athleticism with a mean streak to boot.


    1 Thing to Know

    Smith is the top overall prospect in the 2017 cycle, according to ESPN’s rankings.

17. Darnay Holmes, CB

14 of 30

    Darnay Holmes /
    Darnay Holmes /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 5'10", 195 lbs

    High School: Calabasas High School; Calabasas, California Rankings: No. 1 Cornerback; No. 13 overall

    Committed To: UCLA


    UCLA coaches and fans were excited when Darnay Holmes committed during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The Bruins won a major recruiting battle over USC, Ohio State and Nebraska.

    What the Bruins may be getting more than anything is someone who can line up on both sides of the ball. While Holmes is considered one of the nation's best defensive backs in the 2017 class, he also proved himself to be a college-ready wide receiver. Per MaxPreps, he led his team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.

    Holmes is a dynamic athlete who takes pride in humbling himself to learning more. He understands the definition of deference, which could be the very reason why we see him playing on Sundays when his college career is over.


    1 Thing to Know

    Looking for a fast athlete? Holmes ran back-to-back, sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash times at The Opening last summer. He ran a 4.32 in combine drills and then followed that effort with a 4.35, per Bleacher Report's Tyler Donohue.

16. Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR

15 of 30

    Donovan Peoples-Jones /
    Donovan Peoples-Jones /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’2 ½”, 190 lbs

    High School: Cass Technical High School; Detroit, Michigan Rankings: No. 1 Wide Receiver; No. 22 overall

    Committed To: Michigan


    Michigan held off some of the nation’s top powerhouses to land prized in-state 5-star receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones.

    Blessed with great size and 4.42 speed in the 40-yard dash, Peoples-Jones is the prototypical target who colleges are searching for to line up on the outside. 

    He's physical enough to get off jams at the line of scrimmage and fast enough to make defenders pay if they give him too much cushion. 

    Over the last two years, Peoples-Jones caught 99 passes for 2,083 yards and 31 touchdowns, according to 247Sports.


    1 Thing to Know

    If you need any evidence about the freakish athleticism of Peoples-Jones, watch this.

15. Davis Mills, QB

16 of 30

    Davis Mills /
    Davis Mills /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’2 ½”, 188 lbs

    High School: Greater Atlanta Christian School; Norcross, Georgia Rankings: No. 1 Quarterback; No. 6 overall

    Committed To: Stanford


    Stanford went all the way to the state of Georgia to land perhaps its quarterback of the future in 5-star passer Davis Mills.

    Mills is an accurate quarterback who excels at reading defenses and making quick decisions with the ball. He has above-average mobility and is comfortable making plays in the pocket or on the run. 

    Those traits set him apart in a strong crop of quarterbacks in the 2017 cycle.


    1 Thing to Know

    As a senior, Mills threw for 2,732 yards and 34 touchdowns with only one interception while adding another 332 yards and eight scores on the ground, per MaxPreps.

14. Joshua Kaindoh, DE

17 of 30

    Joshua Kaindoh /
    Joshua Kaindoh /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’6”, 252 lbs

    High School: IMG Academy; Bradenton, Florida Rankings: No. 3 Defensive End; No. 20 overall

    Committed To: Florida State


    A menace on the defensive line, Joshua Kaindoh was one of the biggest intimidators for an intimidating IMG Academy squad this past season. According to MaxPreps, Kaindoh had 41 tackles and a team-high 7.5 sacks during his senior year.

    Kaindoh ended a much-anticipated recruitment last month by committing to Florida State right before Christmas. He chose the Seminoles over offers from Maryland, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Penn State and several other schools. Kaindoh was once committed to Maryland but decommitted in November to explore other options.

    Kaindoh's athleticism will make him a fan favorite in Tallahassee. He as a great first step, and his quickness in passing situations makes him a solid rush candidate. Additionally, Kaindoh's excellent footwork allows him to drop into coverage.


    1 Thing to Know

    If football doesn't work out, look for Kaindoh to pursue a career in the medical field. He told Bleacher Report's Sanjay Kirpalani that he wanted to either be a doctor and study either kinesiology, pathology or neurology.

13. Chase Young, DE

18 of 30

    Chase Young /
    Chase Young /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’5”, 240 lbs

    High School: Dematha Catholic High School; Hyattsville, Maryland Rankings: No. 2 Defensive End; No. 12 overall

    Committed To: Ohio State


    Many 2017 athletes have a high ceiling for success, but the ceiling for Chase Young may be the biggest to watch among all the talented players from the recruiting cycle. He is dangerous off the edge and is looking to make a highlight with each play.

    Young has the frame to be an excellent weak-side defensive end in college, but his football IQ is going to allow him to line up at strong-side end and outside linebacker, as well. His explosiveness off the ball and lateral movement are huge positives as he prepares for Big Ten football.

    Young chose the Buckeyes over a handful of offers, including Alabama, Michigan, LSU, Clemson, Florida, Florida State and Georgia. He had more than 40 reported offers, according to


    1 Thing to Know

    Young wants to study law enforcement in college. He has interest in criminology and is considering a career as an FBI agent if football doesn't take him past the college level.

12. Stanford Samuels III, CB

19 of 30

    Stanford Samuels III /
    Stanford Samuels III /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 170 lbs

    High School: Charles W. Flanagan High School; Pembroke Pines, Florida Rankings: No. 4 Cornerback; No. 18 overall

    Committed To: Florida State


    In Stanford Samuels III, Florida State not only landed a playmaker in the secondary but also a solid player-recruiter who could be a voice of reason for future targets. Samuels chose the Seminoles over an offer list that was 41 strong, according to

    Samuels has nice size and a lot of length to play the cornerback position. At 6'2", he is someone who can be disruptive in one-on-one situations, primarily against smaller receivers. His closing speed adds to how dangerous he can be as a cornerback in the ACC.

    Samuels plays the game very instinctively, and while that will help him in man coverage, that will be a very important characteristic to have in zone coverage, which he plays well. Despite being 170 pounds, he's shown flashes of being a physical defender.


    1 Thing to Know

    Samuels at Florida State means will be following the footsteps of his father. He is the son of Stanford Samuels Jr. who played cornerback for the Seminoles in the early 2000s.

11. Richard LeCounte, S

20 of 30

    Richard LeCounte /
    Richard LeCounte /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 186 lbs

    High School: Liberty County High School; Hinesville, Georgia Rankings: No. 4 Safety; No. 43 overall

    Committed To: Georgia


    A guy like Richard LeCounte III is out to make football fun. He's a playmaker and a trash-talker—arguably one of the best trash-talker of the 2017 class. The thing about LeCounte, however, is he earns respect from all sides because he not only talks the talk but also walks the walk on the field.

    LeCounte is a superb athlete who can play safety, cornerback, wide receiver and quarterback. He has impressive ball skills, but it's his closing speed and ability to cover a large amount of space that makes him such an intriguing, next-level player.

    Georgia won a heated recruiting battle for LeCounte that included offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida and other programs. LeCounte was head coach Kirby Smart's first commitment, per ESPN's Derek Tyson.


    1 Thing to Know

    Need a word to define LeCounte? Try "physical." This video during U.S. Army All-American Bowl week, courtesy of John Garcia of, serves as proof.

10. Dylan Moses, OLB

21 of 30

    Dylan Moses /
    Dylan Moses /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’2 ½”, 235 lbs

    High School: IMG Academy; Bradenton, Florida Rankings: No. 1 Outside Linebacker; No. 14 overall

    Committed To: Alabama


    One of the faces of the 2017 class since eighth grade, Dylan Moses is now enrolled at Alabama and ready to make a name for himself on the college level. Moses chose Alabama over offers from LSU, Texas and a handful of other programs.

    Moses has settled in as a linebacker and is strong enough to play inside and fast enough to play outside. For a guy his size, Moses meshes a scary combination of tenacity, speed, strength and explosiveness. Look for him to be used all over the field as a linebacker, whether it be him rushing the passer, manning the middle in zone coverages or dropping back in passing situations.

    Some may credit Moses' footwork to him playing running back early in his high school career. He plays the linebacker spot with a running back's mindset, and often times, he's a step ahead of running backs. Moses has solid instincts and a strong knowledge of the game.


    1 Thing to Know

    On a team of alpha dogs, Moses statistically was the alpha dog for IMG's defense. Per MaxPreps, he was the only athlete to record triple-digit tackles during the 2016 season.

9. Alex Leatherwood, OT

22 of 30

    Alex Leatherwood /
    Alex Leatherwood /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’6”, 315 lbs

    High School: Booker T. Washington High School; Pensacola, Florida Rankings: No. 3 Offensive Tackle; No. 9 overall

    Committed To: Alabama


    One of the elite talents in the fertile state of Florida is 5-star offensive lineman and Alabama early enrollee Alex Leatherwood.

    Leatherwood has all the requisites to be a dominant tackle in college and beyond. He’s athletic and powerful and plays with a mean streak. 

    While some areas of his game need polish, his raw skill set makes him an intriguing option to replace departed Alabama stud left tackle Cameron Robinson.


    1 Thing to Know

    Leatherwood's head coach in high school was former Heisman Trophy winner, NBA player and Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward.

8. Tee Higgins, WR

23 of 30

    Tee Higgins /
    Tee Higgins /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 188 lbs

    High School: Oak Ridge High School; Oak Ridge, Tennessee Rankings: No. 4 Wide Receiver; No. 40 overall

    Committed To: Clemson


    After backing out of an early commitment to in-state power Tennessee, 4-star wide receiver Tee Higgins elected to commit to ACC powerhouse Clemson.

    Higgins has size, speed and leaping ability to eventually be the Tigers' long-term solution for the loss of All-American receiver Mike Williams.

    His leaping ability and sure hands make him a dangerous weapon in the red zone, and he possesses the athleticism to be a huge factor in Clemson’s potent offensive attack over the next four years.


    1 Thing to Know

    According to MaxPreps, Higgins caught 46 passes for 841 yards and 16 touchdowns.

7. Jeffrey Okudah, CB

24 of 30

    Jeffrey Okudah /
    Jeffrey Okudah /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 190 lbs

    High School: So Grand Prairie High School; Grand Prairie, Texas Rankings: No. 2 Cornerback; No. 15 overall

    Committed To: Ohio State


    An athlete with an all-around game, Jeffrey Okudah can frustrate opponents on both sides of the ball. He is enrolled at Ohio State expected to play cornerback, but he also could see time on the defense as a safety and, possibly, as an outside linebacker. If the Buckeyes want to test him on offense, he was a valuable wide receiver or H-back—a la Dontre Wilson—in high school.

    In short, Okudah is a football player—and he was groomed as such. He has excellent footwork, solid instincts and a very high football IQ. He also is someone looking to obtain new knowledge of the game every day, something that every coach wants from his star athlete.

    Okudah was a long-time Ohio State lean and announced his commitment to the Buckeyes during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He chose Ohio State over offers from Florida State and Oklahoma.


    1 Thing to Know

    While Okudah's worth was in the secondary, he also showed signs of being a solid offensive threat in high school. He averaged roughly seven yards per contest and scored three touchdowns as a senior, according to the Dallas Morning News.

6. Foster Sarell, OT

25 of 30

    Foster Sarell /
    Foster Sarell /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’6”, 300 lbs

    High School: Graham Kapowsin High School; Graham, Washington Rankings: No. 1 Offensive Tackle; No. 2 overall

    Committed To: Stanford


    For the second year in a row, the state of Washington has a player rated among the nation's top 10 overall recruits. 

    Last year, it was current Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason. This year, it’s 5-star offensive lineman and current Stanford commit Foster Sarell.

    Sarell is a physical player with long arms and athleticism to match the tenacity he brings to the trenches. He's a fiery competitor who excels with technique and using his hands to keep defenders away from his body.


    1 Thing to Know

    As Jim Halley of USA Today noted, Sarell was the anchor on an offensive line that helped his team average nearly 47 points per game this season.

5. Walker Little, OT

26 of 30

    Walker Little /
    Walker Little /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’8”, 305 lbs

    High School: Episcopal High School; Bellaire, Texas Rankings: No. 2 Offensive Tackle; No. 4 overall

    Committed To: Stanford


    The bookend to Sarell at Stanford could be fellow 5-star offensive lineman Walker Little

    Length, athleticism and technique are part of what makes Little one of the premier tackles in this class. At The Opening, he excelled at stonewalling edge-rushers with his footwork and gaining a strong base in pass sets.

    Overall, Little has the prototypical frame and skill set to be a dominant left tackle in college.


    1 Thing to Know

    Little is a prep teammate of fellow 5-star recruit and defensive tackle Marvin Wilson.

4. Cam Akers, RB

27 of 30

    Cam Akers /
    Cam Akers /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 5’11”, 212 lbs

    High School: Clinton High School; Clinton, Mississippi Rankings: No. 2 Running Back; No. 3 overall

    Committed To: Florida State


    While he primarily played quarterback in high school, 5-star recruit Cam Akers is expected to make the transition to running back at Florida State.

    As Bleacher Report’s Tyler Donohue reported, Akers flashed his athleticism at The Opening last summer by posting freakish testing scores—including a time of 4.41 yards in the 40-yard dash.

    Akers is a well-rounded back who can run through defenders or around them. Additionally, at 212 pounds, he possesses breakaway speed and elusiveness in open space. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield.

    That blend of skills makes him the potential long-term successor to All-American running back Dalvin Cook in Tallahassee.


    1 Thing to Know

    According to MaxPreps, Akers passed for 3,128 yards with 31 touchdowns and six interceptions and added another 2,105 yards rushing with 34 rushing scores as a senior. He was named the U.S. Army Player of the Year.

3. Jaelan Phillips, DE

28 of 30

    Jaelan Phillips /
    Jaelan Phillips /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’6”, 250 lbs

    High School: Redlands East Valley High School; Redlands, California Rankings: No. 1 Defensive End; No. 5 overall

    Committed To: UCLA


    There isn't much to dislike about Jaelan Phillips. He has prototypical size for a defensive end, a motor that any coach would appreciate and a hunger to get better every day. Phillips could be a household name in the Pac-12 sooner than later.

    Back in April, Phillips told Bleacher Report that he "wanted to be a part of a revolution," which is why he chose UCLA over offers from Stanford, USC, Notre Dame and Washington. He is the defensive leader of a class that has a lot of potential of being great in the Pac-12 in a couple of years.

    Phillips is a fluid athlete who moves very well for his size. He can be an elite rush end, but because of his footwork and lateral movement, he also will be a reliable option in pass-coverage plays. Phillips showed during U.S. Army All-American Bowl week that he can be a dominant defender against some of the best offensive tackles.


    1 Thing to Know

    Phillips' UCLA roots are strong. His father, aunt and grandmother all were Bruins. His grandmother, additionally, received a postgraduate degree from UCLA.

2. Marvin Wilson, DT

29 of 30

    Marvin Wilson /
    Marvin Wilson /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 329 lbs

    High School: Episcopal High School; Bellaire, Texas Rankings: No. 1 Defensive Tackle; No. 10 overall

    Uncommitted: Considering Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Florida


    One of the biggest questions of the 2017 recruiting cycle: Where will Marvin Wilson commit and sign? As a premier defensive tackle prospect, Wilson is a hot commodity nationwide, and he will announce his college plans on national signing day.

    Wilson is an intense bull rusher who has made major strides each year in high school. He's an athlete who plays with a chip on his shoulder, lining up every play to prove that private school athletes can be elite-level prospects, too. "I want to make sure no one outworks me," he told Bleacher Report.

    Wilson was named the defensive lineman MVP at The Opening, and his play has supported his self-given nickname of "Real Life Goon." On national signing day, Wilson is expected to choose among Oklahoma, South Florida, LSU, Ohio State and Florida State.


    1 Thing to Know

    Wilson has been active with AAU basketball to assist with his footwork and overall endurance. While he knows football is his big ticket, basketball is still a love of his.

1. Najee Harris, RB

30 of 30

    Najee Harris /
    Najee Harris /Credit:

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 225 lbs

    High School: Antioch High School; Antioch, California Rankings: No. 1 Running Back; No. 1 overall

    Committed To: Alabama


    Until this year, the last running back prospect to be rated as the best overall prospect in his class was outgoing LSU star Leonard Fournette.

    The 2017 class is anchored by Alabama early enrollee Najee Harris.

    At 225 pounds, Harris has the size and power to make the first tackler miss and then punish defenders on contact.

    However, what makes him a special talent are his speed and fluidity, which are reminiscent of elite backs who weigh 40 fewer pounds.

    Simply put, the U.S. Army All-American is worthy of his hype and is likely to be a dominant force on the college level.


    1 Thing to Know

    According to MaxPreps, Harris rushed for 7,948 yards and 94 touchdowns over the course of his prep career. He topped the 2,000-yard mark in each of his last three years and went over 2,500 yards in both his junior and senior seasons.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.