College Football Recruiting Rankings 2019: Projecting Top Classes and Schools

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 16: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers stands in front of Howard's Rock before their game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Memorial Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 2019 college football early signing period opens Wednesday and runs through Friday. It's a chance for players to sign their national letter of intent and for teams to bolster their 2020 recruiting classes.

None of the programs populating the top of the early rankings come as a surprise. The ability to win consistently on the recruiting trail lays the groundwork for on-field success, which is why only 11 different teams have qualified for the College Football Playoff through six years.

Let's check out the way the teams rank before the upcoming flurry of signings and project how the top of the 2020 recruiting standings will look by Saturday morning. All recruiting information is based on 247Sports' composite rankings and Crystal Ball predictions unless otherwise noted.


Current Top 10 Rankings

1. Clemson Tigers

2. Alabama Crimson Tide

3. LSU Tigers

4. Ohio State Buckeyes

5. Texas A&M Aggies

6. Georgia Bulldogs

7. Florida Gators

8. Oklahoma Sooners

9. Auburn Tigers

10. Texas Longhorns


Projected Best Classes After Early Signing Period

1. Clemson Tigers

Clemson has already put together a blockbuster class with two of the top three 2020 prospects—defensive tackle Bryan Bresee and defensive end Myles Murphy—and they could remarkably end up with four of the top five by the time the dust settles this week.

The Tigers are in the running for both inside linebacker Justin Flowe and defensive end Jordan Burch, who are both scheduled to make their announcements Wednesday.

If Dabo Swinney and Co. can add four instant-impact defenders to an already elite unit paired with another year of quarterback Trevor Lawrence leading the offense, it could be a record-setting year for a program that's already been on fire in recent years.

In addition, Flowe and Burch could wrap up the top spot in the 2020 rankings for Clemson, even if other teams inside the top five make some nice depth signings in the coming months.


2. Alabama Crimson Tide

Bama missed the College Football Playoff for the first time as injuries to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa paired with some uncharacteristically poor showings defensively led to a two-loss regular season.

Nick Saban is already gearing up to get the Tide right back in the mix next year, however, as they are in position to add another star-studded group of recruits.

Dual-threat quarterback Bryce Young, who could fight for the starting job right away as a true freshman with Tagovailoa expected to make the NFL jump, leads the Alabama class. He joins defensive end Chris Braswell and athlete Drew Sanders as top-25 prospects heading to Tuscaloosa.

It likely won't be a major recruiting week for the Tide unless they get a surprising commitment from Burch or athlete Darnell Washington, both of whom they've offered but aren't favored to sign, or flip a player already committed to another school.

That said, they should have enough cushion to remain in the top three.


3. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia is sixth in the overall rankings despite not having received a commitment from a top-10 recruit.

That could change quickly with the Bulldogs heavily involved in the race to sign both Washington and cornerback Kelee Ringo. Those are the type of signings they need to turn a solid class into a great one.

The Dawgs could also land another top-100 prospect in wide receiver Arian Smith.

They face competition for a spot in the top three from LSU, which has the inside track toward adding two more top-50 prospects in running back Zachary Evans and outside linebacker Phillip Webb.

All told, Clemson should safely maintain the No. 1 spot, but the battle for No. 2 could be quite fierce both in the coming days and looking ahead to February's National Signing Day.