Recruiting: Four trending up

Joe Mixon, one of the top running backs in the nation, committed to Oklahoma. (USATSI)
Joe Mixon, one of the top running backs in the nation, committed to Oklahoma. (USATSI)

National signing day for college football (Feb. 5) is less than one month away and with commitments occurring, along with flips because of coaching changes and other reasons, programs are jockeying for positions within the 247Sports Team Rankings for the 2014 cycle.

Here are four teams that are trending upward currently following a flurry of pledges at both the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the Under Armour All-America Game last weekend.

UCLA - No. 22 (+18) Though only one, linebacker Dwight Williams, actually pledged to the Bruins during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, they landed three from the game’s roster as linebacker Zach Whitley flipped from Alabama the night before the game and running back Nathan Starks pledged shortly thereafter. UCLA finished strong in the 2013 cycle with a top 10 class and a number of those decisions were late, so the Bruins could surge yet again if history is any indication.

Oklahoma - No. 17 (+12) Similar to UCLA, the Sooners received only one verbal during the Army Bowl, but picked up two prospects off the game roster. Running back Joe Mixon, the nation’s top all-purpose back, committed to Oklahoma during the broadcast and then shortly thereafter, the Sooners got a commitment from Arizona offensive lineman Natrell Curtis, who like Mixon was an Army All-American. OU also picked up another offensive lineman, Joseph Paul, earlier this week. With several major targets remaining, like Fresno athlete Michiah Quick, left on the board, Oklahoma’s class could go even higher when all is said and done.

USC - No. 18 (+10) The Trojans swiped tight end Bryce Dixon from UCLA during the Army Bowl (he went back and forth all week) and then picked up pledges from former Washington wide receiver commit Rahshead Johnson and cornerback John Plattenburg, Jr., who played his senior season at Texas, but played his junior year in California. For new head coach Steve Sarkisian and company, it’s all about two big fish- athletes Adoree’ Jackson and John “JuJu” Smith- from Los Angeles talent-producers Serra and Long Beach Poly. Land those two and it could be a top 10 finish.

LSU - No. 5 (+5) While Tigers fans were disappointed with losing five-stars Gerald Willis (Florida), Speedy Noil (Texas A&M) and Tony Brown (Alabama) during the Under Armour All-American Game, anytime your program lands the nation’s top running back (Leonard Fournette) and a five-star safety (Jamal Adams), it’s hard to complain. LSU still has several big targets remaining like in-state receiver Malachi Dupre, five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and Jackson, so this class could still reach top three status.

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