Ranking the Top 25 Players in the 2021 CFB Recruiting Class

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIFebruary 7, 2020

Ranking the Top 25 Players in the 2021 CFB Recruiting Class

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    National signing day has come and gone, but for college football recruiters everywhere, there's no time to rest.

    Coaches and recruiting assistants are already deep into offers and visits for talented young high school players in the 2021 class. A lot will change over the next year, but a handful of current high school juniors have already established themselves as top-tier recruits. Some have even already committed to colleges, although it's common for those commitments to change prior to players signing their letters of intent.

    Now that national signing day is out of the way, let's take a look at the current top 25 players in the 2021 class, with these projected rankings focusing on positional value, physical upside and overall interest generated from top-tier schools. 


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    Troy Franklin
    Troy Franklin247Sports

    25. Ga'Quincy McKinstry, CB

    Having one of the best names in the 2021 class is enough to get a casual fan's attention, but Ga'Quincy McKinstry's on-field play is what has made him a 5-star recruit. He's already a two-time state champion in football and a state champion in basketball. That resume and athleticism is why schools like Auburn, Clemson and Alabama are pushing hard to recruit him.


    24. Agiye Hall, WR

    IMG Academy produces elite athletes across a number of different sports, and Agiye Hall is no different. At 6'3" and 190 pounds, Hall is listed as the No. 1 receiver in the country with 43 FBS offers already on the table. His commitment is scheduled for March 14. Alabama, Arizona State, Clemson and LSU are among those in on him. 


    23. Maason Smith, DT

    Maason Smith dominated high school competition in 2019, racking up 24 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and nine pass breakups as a defensive tackle. He's the top player in the state of Louisiana. It'll be awfully hard to say no to the reigning national champion LSU Tigers and head coach Ed Orgeron.


    22. J.J. McCarthy, PRO QB

    The Michigan Wolverines have had trouble finding an elite quarterback to play under center for Jim Harbaugh. That might change in the next few years after he was able to get a commitment from J.J. McCarthy, the No. 1 player in the state of Illinois for 2021. McCarthy is still growing into his 6'2" frame, but he has terrific arm talent and the potential to be a starter sooner than later in Ann Arbor.


    21. Troy Franklin, WR

    An explosive playmaker that plays in all three phases of the game, Troy Franklin will be a big-time wide receiver in college. His wiry 6'2", 170-pound frame still has plenty of room left to grow into, and his potential is through the roof. Alabama's Jeff Banks and Oregon's Jim Mastro are already hard at work trying to lure Franklin to their respective programs.


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    Amarius Mims
    Amarius Mims247Sports

    20. Nolan Rucci, OT

    The son of seven-year NFL offensive lineman Todd Rucci, Nolan is quickly making a name for himself as the top 2021 player in the state of Pennsylvania. A ton of schools would love to land Rucci, but the Penn State Nittany Lions are the obvious front-runners. That's where his father attended college.


    19. Will Shipley, APB

    All-purpose backs are becoming more valuable in today's modern college offenses, which is why Will Shipley has already received 25 offers. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are making a strong push for the 5'11", 198-pound running back, but other programs like Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State could also sneak in there.


    18. Dylan Brooks, WDE

    You know Dylan Brooks is making a name for himself in the recruiting world when the likes of Ed Orgeron, Nick Saban and Dan Mullen have come to visit him. Brooks is the top player in the state of Alabama and is already listed at 6'5", 230 pounds. Brooks' size and athleticism makes him a top-25 recruit for 2021.


    17. Jake Garcia, PRO QB

    La Habra High School is just a short drive away from USC's campus, so it's no surprise that its starting quarterback, Jake Garcia, committed to play for the Trojans in September. Despite his youth, Garcia is already a developed pocket passer with natural feel for the position, and he could have a chance to be one of the better Trojans quarterbacks of the past decade.


    16. Amarius Mims, OT

    A physically imposing offensive tackle out of the state of Georgia? That already sounds like a future player for Kirby Smart. The 6'7½" and 315-pound junior is currently the No. 3 offensive tackle in the country, and while he has yet to commit to any program, the chances that he chooses to play for the Bulldogs in college are quite high.


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    Payton Page
    Payton Page247Sports

    15. Raesjon Davis, OLB

    Despite playing high school ball in California, Raesjon Davis has already committed to play for LSU, trying to follow in the footsteps of other linebackers like Deion Jones and Kwon Alexander to come out of the program. Davis is already a well-rounded linebacker with the potential to be an every-down player in college, regardless of whether he ultimately plays for the Tigers.


    14. Sam Huard, PRO QB

    The son of former NFL quarterback Damon Huard, Sam is already planning on following in his dad's footsteps by playing for the Washington Huskies. The 6'2" quarterback has been committed to the Huskies since 2018, and that commitment likely won't change despite the departure of head coach Chris Petersen. 


    13. Landon Jackson, WDE

    At 6'6" and 240 pounds, it's not surprising to anyone that Landon Jackson already has 27 FBS offers. The Texas native is such a prized recruit that even Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has been personally involved in his recruitment. Jackson is putting up video-game numbers in high school, and there's a whole season left for him to generate even more buzz.


    12. Caleb Williams, DUAL QB

    No dual-threat quarterback in the 2021 class is generating as much buzz as Caleb Williams. With a clean throwing motion and breakaway speed as a runner, Williams is already drawing interest from schools like LSU and Oregon. With that kind of skill set, it won't be long before we see Williams putting up big numbers on Saturdays.


    11. Payton Page, DT

    There aren't a lot of high school juniors coming in at 315 pounds being labeled as top-tier athletes, but that's where Payton Page is right now. The top-ranked player in North Carolina, Page is already talking with Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables about playing for the Tigers after his high school career is over.


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    Brock Vandagriff
    Brock Vandagriff247Sports

    10. Savion Byrd, OT

    As 6'5" and 265 pounds, Texas' Savion Byrd has plenty of room to grow and already looks like one of the top offensive tackle prospects in the country. He hasn't committed anywhere yet, but in-state schools like Texas and SMU have a strong chance to bring him in.


    9. Emeka Egbuka, ATH

    Top-tier recruits with the "athlete" designation have a rocky history, but players like Mecole Hardman have gone on to have a lot of success. Emeka Egbuka has already made a name for himself as a wide receiver and return specialist in high school, with a lot of big names including Alabama's Steve Sarkisian and Ohio State's Brian Hartline recruiting him. 


    8. Tony Grimes, CB

    Is there a chance an in-state school can snag the No. 1 recruit in Virginia? Top-ranked cornerback Tony Grimes is already drawing interest from the likes of Alabama, Clemson and Georgia thanks to his lengthy frame and smooth play at cornerback. It'll be tough for Virginia or Virginia Tech to pull it off, but it would be a huge win for either program.


    7. J.T. Tuimoloau, DT

    Currently the top-ranked defensive tackle in the nation and player in the state of Washington, J.T. Tuimoloau will be one of the hottest recruits on the West Coast. His 6'4", 277-pound frame has plenty of room to go, allowing him to be a future versatile piece on the defensive line wherever he may wind up playing.


    6. Brock Vandagriff, QB

    Being the top-rated pro-style quarterback heading into his senior season is going to thrust Brock Vandagriff into the national spotlight. He already committed to play for the Georgia Bulldogs after high school, but his recruitment is far from over, with Power Five teams always looking to snag top-tier QB prospects.


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    Korey Foreman
    Korey Foreman247Sports

    5. Camar Wheaton, RB

    Dynamic running backs are exciting recruits to keep an eye on, and Camar Wheaton is no exception. At 5'11" with a combination of both speed and physicality, Wheaton will have no problem playing in any type of offense in college. The only question remaining is how quickly he'll be able to start getting some carries.


    4. Jack Sawyer, SDE

    The top player in the state of Ohio, Jack Sawyer made his commitment to Ohio State over a year ago. Buckeyes fans will be excited about an in-state recruit with the potential as a pass-rusher that Sawyer has. He still has a lot of room to grow into his 6'5", 220-pound frame, so 2020 could be a big year for the high schooler to fill out and add some weight. 


    3. James Williams, S

    It's extremely rare to see a safety in the NFL coming in listed at 6'5" and 218 pounds, let alone a high school junior. James Williams is already the top player at his position and in the state of Florida, so the sky is the limit for his football career. Look for him to continue moving up player rankings in 2020—and for SEC teams to pull out the big guns to try to land him.


    2. Tommy Brockermeyer, OT

    Being the top offensive tackle in the country is a huge honor for any recruit. For Brockermeyer, that's the expectation given his family. Tommy's father, Blake Brockermeyer, was an offensive tackle in the NFL and for the Texas Longhorns. His brother Luke is a linebacker with the Longhorns. It's no guarantee that Brockermeyer follows his family's footsteps because he'll have a lot of top-tier schools heavily recruiting him over the coming year.


    1. Korey Foreman, SDE

    As the current top overall player in the country, Foreman is the clear front-runner to retain that title by this time next year. It's a tight race between Foreman and Sawyer for the top player at their position, but Foreman's already imposing frame at 6'5" and 265 pounds makes him much more intimidating. Now all that's left is for him to finish his high school career with another dominant season.