College Football Recruiting: Initial Top 25 Classes for 2020

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIFebruary 8, 2019

College Football Recruiting: Initial Top 25 Classes for 2020

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    Now that national signing day has passed, college programs across the country are already hard at work recruiting the next wave of high school football players.

    Although there's still a full year before the 2020 recruiting classes are finalized, some of the top prospects have already committed to play for certain programs. To no one's surprise, Nick Saban's Alabama staff has already landed commitments from a handful of big names, including one 5-star recruit.

    The rankings will change dramatically over the next 12 months, but with the 2019 class essentially wrapped up, let's take a look at the top 25 recruiting classes so far for the 2020 cycle. These rankings are based on the quantity and quality of the committed recruits and weigh the potential impact they could make given the current players at that position in their expected programs.

Nos. 25-21

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    25. Oklahoma State Cowboys

    Class sizeThree (one 4-star)

    Mike Gundy has already landed a 4-star offensive tackle, Eli Russ, for the 2020 class. Snagging an in-state recruit is always a win, but the Cowboys still have a long way to go before they can solidify this recruiting class.


    24. Tennessee Volunteers 

    Class sizeThree (one 4-star)

    The Volunteers were one of the biggest winners of the 2019 recruiting cycle, with the highlight being they recruited not one, but two 5-star tackles in Darnell Wright and Wanya Morris. That's a huge win, but now the Volunteers are looking to find someone to play behind those tackles. Pro-style quarterback Harrison Bailey might be that guy in 2020.


    23. Duke Blue Devils

    Class sizeThree

    Now that Daniel Jones is heading to the NFL draft, the Blue Devils will need to find a new starting quarterback. Three-star QB Luca Diamont may not be a clear front-runner once he arrives, but he'll try to compete for a starting job during his college career. 


    22. Stanford Cardinal

    Class sizeTwo (one 5-star, one 4-star)

    It's only two recruits, but the Cardinal are off to a solid start with their 2020 class. Myles Hinton, a 5-star offensive tackle, is the second-ranked OT in the country. Wide receiver Bryce Farrell is also a promising name as a 4-star recruit. That's a solid start. 


    21. Mississippi State Bulldogs

    Class sizeThree (three 4-stars)

    Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead helped lead the Bulldogs to an 8-5 record in his first season, but he knows he's got to build on that. Recruiting a bunch of explosive athleticism, including two designated athletes in Lideatrick Griffin and Javorrius Selmon, should help with that.

Nos. 20-16

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    20. Northwestern Wildcats

    Class sizeFour

    While Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats may not have any 4- or 5-star recruits for 2020 yet, the program has still secured a handful of commits from some 3-star guys. Pro-style quarterback Aidan Atkinson is the top-ranked recruit so far and will hope that Northwestern doesn't find any other QB prospects so he can compete for a starting job one day.


    19. Texas Longhorns

    Class sizeThree (two 4-stars)

    Tom Herman has turned the Longhorns back into a Big 12 contender for the first time in what feels like ages. He had a knack for recruiting big names while at Houston and is continuing that trend at Texas. Dual-threat QB Hudson Card is a name to remember once Sam Ehlinger graduates after 2020. Card is attending the same high school (Lake Travis) that Baker Mayfield went to, so there's already a good amount of buzz surrounding him.


    18. North Carolina Tar Heels

    Class sizeFour (two 4-stars)

    North Carolina has been able to shake off the image of being a basketball-only school recently, and that's helped the program get solid recruits. It's still early, but the Tar Heels have already landed two 4-stars on defense in safety Cameron Roseman-Sinclair and linebacker Ethan West.


    17. South Carolina Gamecocks

    Class sizeFour (three 4-stars)

    The SEC keeps getting stronger, but that's made it harder for South Carolina to remain a legitimate conference contender on a yearly basis. The staff is already hard at work in trying to secure prospects for 2020, which has led to commitments from two 4-star offensive linemen and a 4-star quarterback in Luke Doty.


    16. Auburn Tigers

    Class sizeFour (two 4-stars)

    Auburn suffered a tough blow to its 2019 recruiting class when 5-star wide receiver George Pickens flipped his commitment from the Tigers to Georgia on signing day. They'll have to wait a year, but the Tigers will get another talented wide receiver next year in 4-star recruit Kobe Hudson.

Nos. 15-11

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    15. Iowa Hawkeyes

    Class sizeFive (one 4-star) 

    There's not a whole lot to talk about with the Iowa recruiting class for 2020 yet. However, we can't stand by and ignore the fact that the Hawkeyes landed a commitment from a quarterback with a name as awesome as Deuce Hogan. The 6'4" Texas high school QB will have a good chance at starting for the Hawkeyes in the next few years.


    14. Georgia Bulldogs

    Class sizeThree (one 5-star, two 4-stars)

    Georgia fans shouldn't panic over this ranking, especially considering how impressive the Bulldogs' past couple of recruiting classes have been. In fact, they are already in pretty good shape, having snagged a commitment from 5-star offensive tackle Broderick Jones

    Trust the process. The Bulldogs will be near the top of this list by the time the next signing day comes along.


    13. Penn State Nittany Lions

    Class sizeFour (three 4-stars)

    The most memorable names out of Penn State the past couple of years (Saquon Barkley, Trace McSorley) have been on offense, but the 2020 class is focused on defense. The Nittany Lions have already landed commitments from two 4-star outside linebackers in Curtis Jacobs and Derek Wingo, which will make for an interesting competition between the two as freshmen.


    12. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    Class sizeFour (three 4-stars)

    Brian Kelly has helped put Notre Dame back among college football's most prestigious programs. Next year's recruiting class should help keep that going. 

    Pro-style quarterback Drew Pyne will be joined by a pair of tight ends in South Bend come 2020, with Michael Mayer and Kevin Bauman both set to play for the Irish next year, too.


    11. Wisconsin Badgers

    Class sizeSix (two 4-stars)

    Is anyone surprised that the Wisconsin Badgers have already gotten commitments from a pair of offensive tackles for next year? The program continues to churn out NFL-caliber O-linemen. It won't be shocking if Trey Wedig and Jack Nelson end up joining a long list of NFL linemen to come out of Madison. 

Nos. 10-6

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    10. Michigan Wolverines

    Class sizeSix (three 4-stars)

    A Big Ten team that prides itself on a stingy defense is already working on acquiring more talent on that side of the ball. The Wolverines have secured commitments from two 4-star defenders in outside linebacker Osman Savage and cornerback Andre Seldon.


    9. Florida State Seminoles

    Class sizeSix (five 4-stars)

    Head coach Willie Taggart's time in Tallahassee hasn't gotten off to the best start, but some solid recruiting classes should help turn things around quickly. An interesting player to keep an eye on will be 4-star athlete Jadarius McKnight, who will have some time before he has to specialize at one college position. 


    8. Oklahoma Sooners

    Class sizeFive (one 5-star, three 4-stars)

    As long as the NFL doesn't come calling for head coach Lincoln Riley, the Sooners will keep bringing in elite offensive talent. The 2020 class already features 5-star running back Jase McClellan, who could be remembered in Oklahoma history alongside running backs Adrian Peterson and DeMarco Murray. 


    7. Texas A&M Aggies

    Class sizeSeven (one five-star, three 4-stars)

    Recruiting has never been a weakness for Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher. Landing a 5-star recruit a year in advance is proof of that. Wide receiver Demond Demas will still be considered one of the top commitments in the 2020 class by this time next year, which is huge for Texas A&M. Don't sleep on 6'3" cornerback Jaylon Jones, either.


    6. Florida Gators

    Class sizeSeven (six 4-stars)

    Keeping pace with all of the recruiting classes in the SEC is a near-impossible task. The Florida Gators haven't had that issue since head coach Dan Mullen arrived before the 2018 season. Playmaking ability is the highlight early on for the 2020 class, with wide receiver Leonard Manuel and athlete Keyvone Lee committing early.

5. Clemson Tigers

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    Class sizeSeven (seven 4-stars)

    It's wild to think that anyone who commits to play for the Clemson Tigers in the 2020 class will still get the opportunity to suit up alongside quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Despite already being a national champion, Lawrence won't be eligible for the NFL draft until after the 2020 season.

    That's great for Dabo Swinney and his staff, because it makes it an easy recruiting sell. And a few have already signed on for 2020.

    Two 4-star defensive tackles in Demonte Capehart and Tre Williams have made commitments to Clemson, likely hoping to be a dynamic duo in the trenches like Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence were the past couple of years.

    No quarterbacks have committed to play for Clemson in this class yet, but that could change as we get closer to the end of the recruiting cycle. An opportunity to learn behind Lawrence before having a chance to compete for the starting job at an elite program will be tempting for a lot of young men.

4. Miami Hurricanes

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    Class sizeNine (seven 4-stars)

    A lot of changes have gone down for the Miami Hurricanes lately, but hopefully for the fans, that's a good thing. Although The U has yet to land a 5-star recruit for 2020, there's still plenty of time, and the Hurricanes have still secured commitments from a handful of talented high school players.

    The top player set to join the Hurricanes in 2020 is running back Don Chaney Jr. He's quickly started to make a name for himself in the Miami high school landscape, as you can see from all of the explosive plays in the video highlights above.

    Chaney isn't the only in-state recruit who already wants to be a Hurricane. Wide receiver Bryan Robinson and strong-side defensive end Samuel Anaele have also made their decisions to play for their hometown program.

    It's a great sign for Miami fans to see them securing a lot of talent from the area. That trend will likely continue as we get closer to next year's national signing day.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Class size: Seven (one 5-star, five 4-stars)

    Putting together a solid recruiting class immediately after your head coach retires is no easy task, especially when that head coach is Urban Meyer. However, the Ohio State Buckeyes look like they'll be in great shape under new head coach Ryan Day.

    The 2019 class was modest by Ohio State's standards. But the good news is that Day's staff has gotten a nice head start on next year's recruiting cycle.

    The 2020 class is already highlighted by the country's top offensive tackle and top overall player in the state of Ohio, Paris Johnson Jr. He'll likely be a staple on the Buckeyes offensive line and make sure whoever is playing under center can throw from a clean pocket.

    That quarterback could be a fellow 2020 commit in pro-style signal-caller Jack Miller. He's a 6'4" QB out of Arizona who will likely get a chance to compete for the starting job once he arrives on campus.

    Add in a couple of 4-star wide receivers along with a 4-star center, and suddenly you have an exciting young offensive unit to keep an eye on.

2. LSU Tigers

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    Class sizeNine (one 5-star, eight 4-stars)

    The LSU Tigers and Ed Orgeron put together a solid 2019 recruiting class, and they're already off to a great start for the 2020 cycle.

    The school that has produced elite NFL defensive backs such as Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu will get another talented one next year. The top-ranked cornerback and 5-star recruit Elias Ricks already committed to play for the Tigers. If there's a place that consistently develops talented corners and safeties, it's LSU—so that's a great snag.

    LSU has also landed a pair of talented wide receivers for 2020. Kayshon Boutte is the top recruit in the state of Louisiana for 2020, while Darin Turner is the second-best player out of Tennessee.

    That's already a formidable group, which LSU fans should be thrilled with. The Tigers offense is traditionally known for its run-heavy game, but Boutte and Turner might change that in a couple of seasons.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Class size10 (one 5-star, seven 4-stars)

    No one should be surprised that the Alabama Crimson Tide are on pace to have the best recruiting class in the country once again in 2020.

    Saban's program has had the top-ranked class for eight of the past nine seasons, according to 247Sports. That's a ridiculous amount of talent, and it's because the team keeps playing for national titles and producing NFL players.

    Still a year away from finalized commitments, the Crimson Tide have already landed a 5-star recruit in weak-side defensive end Chris Braswell. He's a top-20 player in the class, and it's clear he wasn't looking to play near his hometown, Baltimore, since he had the chance to go to an elite program.

    A 5-star recruit and seven 4-star commitments is a great start for Saban, but there's still plenty of time for his staff to be on the recruiting trail. As long as they keep doing what they always do, we'll see the Tide snag the No. 1 recruiting class for a ridiculous ninth time in 10 years.


    All recruiting information provided by 247Sports.