Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Like the weather or Les Miles' level of sanity, the world of recruiting can change dramatically in a matter of days or weeks, much less the 10 months still remaining before Signing Day 2012.
Nonetheless, the accelerated pace of modern recruiting means it's not too early to take a look at which teams have jumped out to an early read in the race towards next year's mythical recruiting "national championship." Which is what Stephen Spiewak and our colleagues at Maxpreps have done, compiling a top 10 2012 classes as they stand nearing the end of spring practice.
Many of the usual suspects are there, with Texas topping the list at No. 1, Florida and Florida State waging Sunshine State war at Nos. 3 and 2, respectively, and traditional recruiting powers USC, Alabama, LSU and Ohio State also featuring.
But there's some surprises, too. Perhaps taking their cue from the in-state rival Longhorns' practice of racking up early commitments, both Texas A&M and TCU have sprinted out to quick starts to rank at Nos. 4 and 8. And after a start so slow to the 2011 recruiting cycle that they had to play catch-up to conference rivals like Indiana and Iowa, Penn State has burst out of the gates with some big out-of-state pickups and ranks ninth.
Read the entire rankings breakdown to see what recruits are fueling these fast starts and which ones each team will need to land to stay in the top 10 when next February rolls around.