Ranking the Top 25 Players in the 2020 CFB Recruiting Class

Ian Wharton@NFLFilmStudyFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 8, 2019

Ranking the Top 25 Players in the 2020 CFB Recruiting Class

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    The 2019 national signing day window has come to a close, and the next generation of college football stars have made their decisions on where to further their careers. While we're excited to see how the current class of prospects performs this fall, we can now turn our recruiting attention to the 2020 class.

    It's still too early to have any rankings set in stone, but the premier prospects for the 2020 group have separated themselves ahead of their upcoming senior seasons. Others will break through as 5-star talents, but we'll work off what we know now to create an early top 25 ranking of the 2020 class.

    Some will inevitably outperform these rankings, and others will disappoint over the next few years. But using a blend of 247Sports' and Rivals' composite rankings, current and future roster assessments and our own evaluations of these prospects, we've come up with the projected top recruits for next year.


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    Andrew Ivins/247Sports

    25. Desmond Evans, DE

    A gigantic 6'6", 238-pound defensive end from North Carolina, Desmond Evans is a dangerous speed rusher worth watching this season. His lanky build looks capable of adding significantly more weight without losing his signature explosiveness. He should be a massive riser this year as programs put faith in their strength and conditioning coaches to maximize his frame.


    24. Broderick Jones, OT

    A moldable piece of giant blocking clay, Broderick Jones is already a hard commit to Georgia. The 6'6", 275-pound tackle has fantastic length, which he uses effectively to keep rushers away from his frame. His hands are slow to react and he lunges too much, but those are normal technical issues for a young tackle with significant size.


    23. Myles Murphy, DE

    More of a power end than bendy pass-rusher, Myles Murphy has a frame much more advanced than his age. He overpowers blockers with ease thanks to his 6'5", 255-pound body. His hand usage appears effective, and his leverage is impressive for his age and natural gifts. Murphy is the type of talent who can be expected to produce early in his career.


    22. MarShawn Lloyd, RB

    A lightning-quick playmaker despite weighing 210 pounds, MarShawn Lloyd has the juice you want to see out of a 5-star back. He makes defenders look foolish with his jump cuts in the open field, and his ability to accelerate to top speed separates him from other backs in this class. He's an exciting potential third-down option for his freshman season at worst.


    21. Jordan Burch, DE

    Five-star defensive end Jordan Burch carries his 250-pound frame like a much lighter player. It wouldn't be surprising for him to add another 25 pounds as a punishing strong-side end and still be more athletic than most of his blockers. His ceiling is sky-high thanks to his frame and quickness.


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    20. Fred Davis II, CB

    Even if you could teach speed, you couldn't make many faster than 5-star cornerback Fred Davis. The 6'2", 177-pound corner blazed a 4.30-second 40-yard dash in March 2018. He then backed up his track performance by displaying competitiveness and development in using his length to disrupt receivers during his junior season. His physical profile is top-notch for the position.


    19. Arik Gilbert, ATH

    Some faith is required when projecting athlete Arik Gilbert. The 6'5", 248-pounder projects as a defensive end who wins with power and length over speed. He's raw, though, having put on significant weight247Sports once had him at 215 pounds. He could either rise to the top 10 or drop to a 4-star ranking depending on how his senior season goes.


    18. Demond Demas, WR

    Already committed to Texas A&M, the 6'4", 210-pound Demond Demas is more than a handful for defensive backs. He's been dominant throughout his high school career, and his senior campaign should be no different. His huge frame and catch radius help him overcome his lack of polish as a route-runner and mediocre speed.


    17. Johnny Wilson, WR

    Another giant receiver, Johnny Wilson makes the most of his 6'5" frame on jump balls and go routes. He's a red-zone nightmare with his long arms and body control, and his natural hands make him a reliable target. He could be the next Hakeem Butler or J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.


    16. Antoine Sampah, LB

    A hard-hitting linebacker who is already comfortable reading run keys, Antoine Sampah is a dynamic prospect. He plays bigger than his listed 6'2½", 220-pound frame suggests, as he consistently shows perfect tackling form and strength at the point of contact. His speed suggests that he could be an effective coverage linebacker as well.


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    Andrew Ivins/247Sports

    15. Don Chaney Jr., RB

    Don Chaney Jr. will be a big riser this year. The 5'11", 195-pound running back is more explosive than higher-rated backs, showing off every bit of his 4.4-second 40-yard dash speed on his tape. He routinely breaks off big plays using a variety of moves, and the Miami Hurricanes commit doesn't lack power despite his weight. He should skyrocket as the season progresses because of his knack for creating scoring opportunities with his skill set.


    14. McKinnley Jackson, DT

    There's usually only two or three nose tackles who prove to be difference-makers in a class, and McKinnley Jackson appears to be the best in the 2020 group. The 6'2", 324-pounder is an anchor in the middle due to his strength and ability to use his body to plug gaps. Anything he gives as a pass-rusher in college will be a bonus.


    13. Kendall Milton, RB

    A 6'2", 210-pound back who possesses great off-tackle speed, Kendall Milton is a terrific prospect for inside-zone and gap-blocking teams. He gets downfield in a hurry and stays low throughout his runs. He's a top-notch prospect with his raw talent and feel for the position.


    12. Kelee Ringo, CB

    Possessing an intimidating 6'2", 205-pound frame and solid downfield speed, cornerback Kelee Ringo is one of the most exciting prospects in the nation. He uses his plus strength and length to jam receivers and has enough fluidity and speed to carry them upfield. His ability to play man and zone makes him a top corner prospect across the nation.


    11. Justin Rogers, OG

    With a body that's ready to play right now at the next level, Justin Rogers blends his physical traits with a nasty demeanor. He pancakes defenders with ease whenever he's the low man and is strong enough to overcome defenders when his technique is off. His only area for improvement is staying low off the snap to win the leverage battle.


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    Brian Dohn/247Sports

    10. Elias Ricks, CB

    A premier off-ball corner thanks to his confidence, intelligence, quickness and instincts, Elias Ricks is the top playmaker at his position in the nation. Playing off the line of scrimmage hides his average speed while maximizing his ability to play the ball. The 6'2", 180-pounder is an LSU commit.


    9. Myles Hinton, OT

    Punishing left tackle Myles Hinton is a premier prospect. His ideal 308-pound frame allows him to move with grace in zone-run assignments while still being strong enough to anchor as a pass protector. His patience as a blocker is notable at his age, as most with his size get greedy and reach. He's committed to Stanford.


    8. Mekhail Sherman, LB

    Linebacker Mekhail Sherman is one of the best athletes in the class. He has ideal NFL traits at 6'3", 234 pounds with 4.53 40-yard dash speed. He can be a pass-rusher or off-ball linebacker who plays in space, conjuring memories of Anthony Barr at UCLA. He'll be a coveted prospect throughout his recruitment process.


    7. Justin Flowe, LB

    Quicker than fast as an inside linebacker, Justin Flowe looks like the next dominant man in the middle for whichever program he chooses. He's a hammer despite being only 225 pounds, but that weight allows him to run sideline to sideline in the run game. He's not quite the athlete Sherman is, but he still boasts the profile of a future star.


    6. Julian Fleming, WR

    It's difficult to find receivers who can run routes at a high level, return punts, win jump balls and create after the catch, but Julian Fleming is the total package. The 6'3", 210-pounder is a speed demon who dominates his competition. He's a candidate to earn Freshman of the Year wherever he lands. 


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    Shea Dixon/247Sports

    5. Zachary Evans, RB

    A naturally smooth runner who is deceptively athletic, Zachary Evans is a phenom. Much like Alvin Kamara with his balance through contact and surprising explosiveness despite short strides, Evans is the top back in the class. He should be an immediate starter who transforms a running game upon his arrival.


    4. Paris Johnson Jr., OT

    Paris Johnson Jr. is the top offensive lineman in the class. Already committed to Ohio State, the 6'7½", 295-pound blindside protector is in a tier of his own with his athleticism. He's able to reach the second level of defenses with ease. Johnson has terrific potential as he continues to add functional strength and improve the placement of his hands in pass-blocking.


    3. DJ Uiagalelei, QB

    The 2020 quarterback class appears deeper with dual-threats than pro-style quarterbacks, making DJ Uiagalelei even more valuable. The 6'4", 240-pounder has excellent arm strength for his age, controlling the ball and showing plus accuracy already. Uiagalelei is a power passer who could be an immediate solution if asked to play right away.


    2. Sav'ell Smalls, LB

    Linebacker Sav'ell Smalls has one of the most impressive highlight tapes you'll see. Athletic and explosive enough to play receiver, linebacker and block field goals, Smalls projects as a top-tier pass-rusher with significant room to add weight to his frame. The 6'3", 230-pounder has a terrific vertical jump, which is an indicator of elite upside for pass-rushers.


    1. Bryan Bresee, DL

    Likely to rotate between defensive end and tackle because of his 290-pound frame, Bryan Bresee has a rare, once-in-a-class blend of size and speed. He's monstrous at either position due to his quickness off the snap, refined moves and pure power. He's ready to start Year 1.


    Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.