Tag:Texas
Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 4:23 pm
 

Recruiting & Realignment: How does it shake out?


Posted by Bryan Fischer

Peering into the crystal ball is something recruitniks do all the time. Which kid goes where? Is this recruit leaning toward school X or school Y? He talked about early playing time but he also wants to play with his friend in the Big Ten.

There are so many data points but it is still an inexact science. It's hard, but someone has to do it.

With all of the conference realignment news still swirling around college football, it's time once again to look into the future (The future? Yes, the future) and see - at least for the short term - what the landscape might look like. CBSSports.com has gathered up all of our experts on both the football side and the basketball side to project what all six of the current BCS automatic qualifying conferences will look like in 2014.

RapidReports: Up to the minute realignment updates
Eye on College Football: Conference Realignment Central

From the looks of it, no conference is going kaput. There is some shrinking and some bloating but all-in-all, it's just a few alteration from what the landscape will look like in 2012. Here are our projections for further conference realignment once the current wheeling and dealings are complete:

  • Big Ten -- remains at 12 teams
  • Pac-12 -- remains at 12 teams
  • SEC -- Adds Texas A&M and Virginia Tech
  • Big 12 -- Adds BYU to replace Texas A&M, but only in football
  • ACC -- Adds Connecticut, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Loses Virginia Tech to the SEC
  • Big East -- loses Connecticut, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Adds TCU, Houston and UCF; Navy and Air Force as football schools.

So we’ve got six conferences ranging in size from 12 to 16 programs. Which is strongest on the recruiting trail? Which is the deepest? Most top-heavy? Let’s take a look in alphabetical order.




Current picture: Four top 25 teams, 2-3 coaches on the hot seat.

#4 Florida State
#6 Virginia
#7 Miami
#17 Clemson

Future outlook: Jimbo Fisher appears to have the Seminoles back and recruiting like they were in the 1990's. Not only is Florida State attracting top talent, they're closing well and look to be a perennial contender with top five class after top five class. Clemson has recruited very well under Dabo Swinney but that hasn't translated into the bowl games the Tigers want to be playing in - which is one reason 2011 is make or break for him. One figures that Miami will get hit with serious NCAA sanctions that will hamper their recruiting abilities going forward. At the same time, the Hurricanes getting fewer players out of their own backyard could allow other schools in the conference to come in and grab better players - which could be a nice boost for schools such as Virginia or Maryland. The additions of UConn, Pitt and Syracuse don't do too much but do provide increased access to both states for the northern end of the conference.




Current picture: Three top 25 teams, one coach on the hot seat.

#2 Texas
#16 Oklahoma
#19 Missouri

Future outlook: The conference everybody is talking about will continue to be the conference everybody will be talking about. Texas and Oklahoma will still be Texas and Oklahoma as long as Mack Brown and Bob Stoops are on the sidelines for the Red River Rivalry every year. The Big 12 staying together means that schools such as Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri and others will continue to have access to a good number of Texas high school players - key in any success any of them have had over the years. Texas will still grab the best players in the state, that much won't change no matter what happens. There could be increased competition however, with Texas A&M being able to play the 'We're in the SEC' card. That probably hurts Oklahoma and Oklahoma State more than anyone. BYU will enjoy reaching into the Southwest even more than they currently do.




Current picture: Two top 25 teams, one coach on the hot seat.

#18 Cincinnati
#24 Rutgers

Future outlook: The realignment shakeup is all about the survival of the fittest but the Big East is, without a doubt, the least fit. They have had schools make waves in the national picture before but they've done so largely by coaching up players, not grabbing five-star recruits. Cincinnati has done a good job in the Midwest and should be helped out by nearby powerhouse Ohio State being down slightly. Rutgers is on shaky ground if Greg Schiano is let go but, if he sticks around, they should be a program that is helped by the trickle affect of Miami being down since they recruit Florida well. Not much is lost with the three schools going to the ACC, a good number of programs will still continue to recruit in states such as Pennsylvania and New York for players. TCU and West Virginia will probably be the top dogs in the rankings with both having strong ties to Texas and Dana Holgorsen's reputation proceeding him. UCF is a hidden gem that adds the most since Orlando has really come along in terms of number of BCS players the area produces.





Current picture: Five top 25 teams, two coaches on the hot seat.

#1 Michigan
#13 Penn State
#20 Indiana
#21 Michigan State
#23 Wisconsin

Future outlook: Oh how the tables have been turned (off the field) in the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry. No one in the Big Ten has taken advantage of the turmoil in Columbus than the Wolverines under Brady Hoke. Given the quick turnaround, national prominence of the program and Hoke's ties to California, don't expect to see much drop off in Michigan recruiting over the next few years if they continue to win. Joe Paterno figures to retire at some point but Penn State sits in the middle of a talent-rich state and will continue to a solid job on the recruiting trail going forward. New Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson has done good job early on in locking up in-state talent and landing the number one quarterback in the country is a giant block to build on with future recruiting classes. Ohio State has been hampered with all that has gone but if they hire a top flight coach - as one would expect - all bets are off. The recruits in the state of Ohio alone will be able to keep them in the upper echelon of the conference regardless. Also watch out for Wisconsin, which will likely start getting better quality recruits the next few years following their success on the field.




Current picture: Two top 25 teams, five coaches on the hot seat.

#15 Arizona State
#25 Washington

Future outlook: A few strong years of West Coast talent will form the basis of a strong conference going forward. The biggest cause for concern is the number of coaches who are on the hot seat and can lose their jobs. For some programs, that means starting over in recruiting. For others, it could be an upgrade. With both Los Angeles programs each dealing with some issues, the amount of talent available to programs like Washington, Utah, Colorado and others has never been higher. NCAA issues at Oregon might hamper the Ducks a little but as long as they're wearing a crazy uniform and have Phil Knight writing checks, they'll be ok. USC has continued to get top talent despite and should rebound from sanctions quicker than most programs because of that. If anything though, California will become much more of a battleground state with more programs looking at the recruits coming out the next few years.




Current picture: Eight top 25 teams, two coaches on the hot seat.

#3 Florida
#5 Alabama
#8 Texas A&M
#9 Auburn
#10 Virginia Tech
#11 LSU
#14 South Carolina
#22 Vanderbilt

Future outlook: The nation's best conference on the field and the recruiting trail will only get better with the additions of Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. It's scary, actually, to think about. LSU, the Mississippi schools, Florida and Alabama should all benefit to increased access to Texas and the Aggies won't be any slouch by telling recruits that they can stay home and play in the SEC. The same is true of the state of Virginia, which has annually produced plenty of great players. Other schools have taken advantage of Georgia's increase in FBS talent the past several years and even though UGA has a coach on the hot seat, they'll be able to recruit well because of who's nearby. Will Muschamp has shown there's no drop off in the state of Florida for the Gators going forward and the Alabama-Auburn rivalry is becoming just as fierce on the recruiting trail going forward as the Iron Bowl has been on the field. Bottom line, no one recruits like the SEC and they're only getting stronger with their recent additions.




Posted on: September 12, 2011 1:27 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 1:47 pm
 

Surveying the Field: Michigan's big night

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Get kids on campus.

Visits, whether they be of the unofficial or the official variety, are the single biggest recruiting tool coaching staffs have and their best opportunity to leave a lasting impression on recruits. A big win at a full stadium while players are lined up on the sideline? Nothing goes further in terms of moving one school up to the top of the list or gathering a commit.

Brady Hoke had turned around Michigan's fortunes on the recruiting trail before even coaching a game in Ann Arbor, pulling in the top recruiting class in the nation before the season started. Following the team's last second win against Notre Dame Saturday in the first ever night game at home, Hoke made an even louder statement to the nation and, most importantly for his future, to recruits.

When Rich Rodriguez took over the program, one of the first things he tried to do was get a night game scheduled against a big name opponent. Why? It was all about recruiting and bringing in some big names for recruiting purposes. Though RichRod is no longer the head coach, his mission was certainly accomplished and Hoke will be the one to taste the fruits of his labor.

The list of visitors at the Big House this weekend was impressive and will be hard to top by any school this year. Five star offensive tackle Zach Banner, 2013 tackle Steven Elmer, 2013 running back Berkley Edwards (younger brother of Braylon Edwards), former USC commit Jordan Payton and 2013 receiver Laquon Treadwell were among the notable names in town for the game. Current UM commits Pharaoh Brown, Jeremy Clark, Allen Gant, Matt Godin, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Erik Magnuson, Mario Ojemudia, Terry Richardson and others were in attendance as well.

With the school's current recruiting class sitting at 23, Michigan is nearly finished with the class of 2012. As a result, the big win under the lights wasn't so much about this year but next. Following the game, 2013 safety Dymonte Thomas pulled the trigger and committed and he probably won't be the last to commit in the near future either.

Given that fellow Big Ten recruiting powerhouse Ohio State is dealing with an interim head coach and faces possible NCAA sanctions, Michigan is not only the class of the conference for the next couple of years but they appear to be back as a national power. The Midwest hasn't had the depth of previous years in terms of talent but Hoke has grabbed the best of the best and is looking to cherry-pick some of the best players in the West. His staff has several ties out there having coached at San Diego State and with the program rolling so far in 2011, don't be surprised to see more and more kids nationally taking visits to Michigan in the near future. Given the success of the game this past weekend, look for Michigan to continue to host a night game at least once a year going forward.
 
Following the game, 2013 quarterback Shane Morris tweeted Ann Arbor was the place to be. Based on the visitor list, it certainly was.
 
Don Bosco routs California's Mission Viejo

MaxPreps Recap
The game of the week as far as high schools go was probably the cross-country showdown between top ranked Don Bosco Prep and California powerhouse and 23rd-ranked Mission Viejo. One would expect a team as well coached as the Diablos to be pretty competitive despite going up against superior competition but they were blown off the field by Don Bosco. Quarterback Alex Bridgeford, a top Southern California quarterback, was sacked six times and threw four interceptions. Boston College commit Michael Strizak had two sacks by himself as the team applied pressure all night that Mission Viejo just couldn't handle.

It wasn't just Bridgeford that had trouble getting going against a nasty defense either. USC-bound running back Jahleel Pinner, a good-sized back who has no trouble running down hill, was limited to 47 yards on 18 carries. Considering the team has at least three FBS-caliber offensive linemen on the team, it was a bit surprising there were so many problems up front.

The Mission defense didn't help out at all during the game either, allowing Don Bosco running back John Wilkins to rush for 114 yards and two scores. Featuring two Big East commits, an ACC-bound linebacker and stud defensive end Darius Hamilton, this is a talented team that earned their ranking. Several players have mentioned competing for a mythical national championship this year and, based on the start of their season, might be well on their way to accomplishing the goal.

Gray runs into the record books

Ever since taking over as the primary rusher for Aledo (Texas), Johnathan Gray has been scoring touchdowns and racking up the yards at a record pace. The Texas commit set an impressive record on Friday and passed some pretty good players while doing so. Gray scored four times as his team fell to 4A powerhouse Lake Travis but that was still good enough to become the state's all-time leader in touchdowns scored with 148 over his career.

It's an impressive list of names he climbed over to take the record. Traylon Shead of Cayuga (Texas) was the previous record holder with 146. Former Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers had 136 touchdowns in high school. Cedric Benson and legend Kenneth Hall of Sugar Land (Texas) both had 127. Considering that Gray still has most of his season and a playoff run ahead of him, he should extend the record to where it won't be broken in a long time.

Allen tops Longview

Staying in the Lone Star State, huge win for Allen over one of the state's best teams in Longview. The Eagles are led on offense by Alabama-bound quarterback Alec Morris and Missouri commit Jonathan Williams, who both helped the team roll 42-23 on Friday. Morris threw for five touchdowns and the big signal caller is looking at making a big jump in the national rankings based on how he's performed during the summer camp circuit and into his senior year.

Big game Brian

Auburn commit Jovon Robinson and Vanderbilt-bound Brian Kimbrow are good friends and some of the top players in the state of Tennessee. The two played each other on Friday and Kimbrow put on a show, rushing for 367 yards and five (count 'em, five) touchdowns. Amazingly, he has over 1,100 yards through four games.

Video(s) of the week

There were so many good plays this week in high school games across the country that I had to select two videos. The first comes from Chatham (N.J.) as a broken play turns into fumble, pass and eventual 73 yard touchdown.


Florida running back commitment Mike Davis rushed for over 200 yards against Tifton County but this was the best run he had bar none.



Recruiting Roundup

- Several top prospects hold the key to winning the SEC recruiting battle.

Oklahoma State is making recruiting inroads into the Tulsa area.

Across the state, Oklahoma is developing a pipeline from Euless (Texas) Trinity High.

The Alabama game made for an epic recruiting weekend for Penn State even though the Nittany Lions fell short.

2013 receiver Ahmad Fulwood loved his visit to Florida last week.

TCU commit Tyler Matthews pulled out a win and threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns over the weekend.

Florida State and Miami coaches were out at the Miramar-Blanche Ely high school game to watch several top recruits.

Great profile of quarterback Luke Falk, who has Stanford, Arizona State and Utah at the top of his list.


Posted on: September 2, 2011 9:46 am
Edited on: September 2, 2011 9:48 am
 

9/2 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- A list of all the commitments to schools in the state of Florida.

Michigan State's class of 2007 wasn't highly regarded but has led a turnaround in East Lansing.

Virginia Tech's new staff has been producing on the recruiting trail.

Offensive lineman Evan Goodman is in South Bend to see Notre Dame play South Florida.

The recruiting of Penn State commit Eugene Lewis has created huge buzz in his community.

Virginia doesn't want to be left behind and is building an indoor practice facility, in large part due to recruiting.

Defensive end Kenderius Whitehead has Georgia on top of his list.

Arkansas commit Robert Gregory could be more than a quarterback for the Razorbacks.

Texas commit Johnathan Gray is one of several players on the MaxPreps National Player of the Year Watch List.

Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: August 30, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Top 25 recruiting classes & the recruiting title

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Senior Writer Dennis Dodd tackled the difficult task of putting together the CBSSports.com preseason top 25. One of the common themes is that the national champ usually has to come from behind in the polls. Taking a look at the recruiting rankings, it's usually the opposite. Sure there are the Signing Day closers, such at USC or Florida, but the Alabama's, Texas' and Florida State's of the world put together a good class early and head to February with a good idea of who they're signing while holding out hope a top guy will put on their hat late in the process.

Here's a breakdown of the current MaxPreps Top 25 recruiting rankings and a little bit of insight as to who will eventually be declared recruiting national champion.

The favorites

1. Michigan (top recruit: #33 Terry Richardson)

2. Texas (#3 Cayleb Jones)

3. Florida (#12 D.J. Humphries)

4. Florida State (#5 Mario Edwards)

6. Alabama (#19 Geno Smith)

One Big Ten team, one Big 12 team, two SEC teams and the ACC banner-carrier are the favorites to take home the mythical February title. It's no surprise to see some of the names on this list but newcomer Michigan is one considering Brady Hoke has yet to coach a game. It's not a deep year for Midwest talent but the Wolverines have certainly grabbed the creme of the crop and as a result sit in the pole position past the halfway point.

The contenders

5. Miami (#77 Jelani Hamilton)

7. Texas A&M (#51 Trey Williams)

9. Auburn (#30 Zeke Pike)

10. LSU (#58 Avery Johnson)

11. Virginia Tech (Donaldven Manning)

15. Clemson (#16 Travis Blanks)

18. Notre Dame (#13 Jarron Jones)

The next group of teams has an outside shot of moving up into the top five and challenging for the title with a strong close. Miami is in a difficult position in that they have a strong class filled with local talent but given the NCAA investigation swirling around the program, no one knows how long Al Golden can keep things up. With recent news that the Aggies would be moving to the SEC, one figures they could see a bounce and grab one or two top prospects by selling playing time in the nation's best football conference. Auburn has done well again this year and is seeing a championship bounce with their current group and could see other prospects come around to playing on the Plains. LSU and Virginia Tech have put together under the radar classes but they're both strong enough to put them in position to move up with a top 100 recruit committing. Clemson and Notre Dame both have small classes but have shown they can get things done between now and players putting pen to paper.

The pretenders

8. Virginia (#50 Michael Moore)

12. Penn State (#36 J.J. Denman)

13. South Carolina (#20 Shaq Roland)

14. Arizona State (#45 Evan Goodman)

16. Oklahoma (#47 Durron Neal)

This group of teams look like they can make a strong push to finish in the top five but it will be a steep up hill battle. Virginia is ranked highly due to the numbers they have and when others catch up in that department, they'll slide back down to the middle of the pack. Penn State has been solid but not spectacular in a good year for Pennsylvania talent. South Carolina is comfortable with their class but likely won't grab a top 10 player to push them up and Arizona State will likely not finish as the top Pac-12 class at the end of the day. Oklahoma is limited in terms of numbers this year and while they might sneak in the top group, it will be hard to go much further.

No chance

17. Cincinnati (#72 Bennie Coney)

19. Missouri (#91 Jonathan Williams)

20. Michigan State (#63 Sevon Pittman)

21. Wisconsin (#67 Dan Voltz)

22. Indiana (#2 Gunner Kiel)

23. Rutgers (#71 Leonte Caroo)

24. Washington (#70 Cyler Miles)

25. West Virginia (Brandon Napoleon)

It's a nice year for this group of team but it will be tough for any of these schools to move above 15 in the rankings. Likewise, it might be tough for Indiana, Rutgers, Wisconsin and Michigan State to stay in the top 25 as other schools start filling out their class with 20 or more recruits.


Posted on: August 29, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: August 29, 2011 10:05 am
 

8/29 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The high school season has already started and this week brings the start of the college football season. As a result, here's a supersized roundup.

- Number one recruit Dorial Green-Beckham started his season off with a bang.

- Nice profile of top 10 defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy.

Local talent buying in has been key to South Carolina on the recruiting trail.

Wide receiver Dwayne Stanford will schedule visits to Alabama, LSU and Arizona State.

A look at who has the edge in recruiting among rivals such as Alabama and Auburn.

The stat lines for some notable Texas commitments who began their season this weekend.

Athlete Traveon Henry will visit Florida State and Yale, yes Yale, for sure.

Great story about three players from one high school staring at USC.

Offensive tackle Abraham Garcia has a top three of LSU, Wisconsin and Auburn.

Jeff Scott used his relationship with players to help lure several wideouts to Clemson.

Keeping a recruiting tie to Texas is key for Oklahoma State.

Ron Zook is looking near and far for recruits.

Tennessee hopes for a recruiting boost now that the NCAA investigation is over.

2013 linebacker Peter Kalambayi calls Florida his dream school.

Commitments:

UNLV added running back David Greene this past week.

Colorado received a commitment from Texas offensive tackle Jeromy Irwin.

Posted on: August 26, 2011 4:38 pm
 

Will Muschamp eyes Texas recruit Jake Raulerson

By MaxPreps' Stephen Spiewak

Although Will Muschamp is already eight months into his role as Florida’s head football coach, he’s hardly forgotten his roots in Texas, where he spent three seasons as the Longhorns' defensive coordinator.

He certainly hasn’t forgotten top recruiting targets in the state of Texas.

Muschamp has the Gators involved in the recruitment of Celina (Texas) offensive lineman Jake Raulerson,  a 6-foot-5, 250-pound tackle who is shooting up recruiting boards.

Raulerson, who recently received his 17th verbal offer by way of Brian Kelly and Notre Dame, told MaxPreps that the two schools recruiting him hardest right now are Florida and Texas.

A member of the MaxPreps 2013 Top 100 watch list, Raulerson was extremely busy visiting colleges this summer, checking out in-state schools Texas, Texas A&M, TCU and SMU, while traveling to visit Oklahoma State, Alabama, Auburn and Arkansas.

His most recent visit was likely his furthest: a trip to Gainesville, Fla.

In the class of 2011, a class largely assembled by Urban Meyer, Muschamp did not sign a single recruit from Texas. In fact the Gators only have one Lone Star State native of the roster, redshirt junior Omarius Hines.

READ MORE OF THIS ARTICLE ON MAXPREPS

Photo by Lonne Erickson
Posted on: August 24, 2011 12:04 pm
 

10 uncommitted recruits to watch

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. Dorial Green-Beckham

The nation's top recruit overall has played the recruiting game pretty close to the vest so far and will withdraw from most media opportunities as the season begins. He has apparently cut his list down to five schools and took unofficial visits to schools such as Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Alabama and Texas this summer. The one thing to keep an eye on with Green-Beckham (besides how he dominates defensive backs in high school this season) is where he takes his official visits to. Look for a commitment after the season.

2. Noah Spence

The number four overall recruit, and top defensive lineman, has narrowed his list of schools down to seven and probably won't make a decision until right before (or on) Signing Day. His dad played at one of his finalists, N.C. State, so they are a dark horse in a group of powers like Penn State, Florida, Notre Dame and USC. Maryland and North Carolina both have gone through coaching changes which could have an impact but look for an official to either ot them. After racking up 22 sacks last season, you can also keep an eye on if he gets in the backfield even more too.

3. Ellis McCarthy

There's big defensive tackles and there's McCarthy, who is big, quick and really, really good. From a lot of indications, it appears the seventh overall will state in-state given the frequent unofficial visits to Cal, USC and UCLA. He took in the Bruins scrimmage over the weekend and has shown up at USC several times during the spring. He's been pretty adamant that he'll make a decision on Signing Day so it wouldn't be surprising if he takes all five official visits.

4. Barry Sanders Jr.

You were probably already keeping tabs of Sanders Jr. because of his last name but he's someone to keep an eye on considering he's a top 10 recruit. He's been all over the map on the recruiting trail however, taking plenty of unofficials over the past few months and having a somewhat fluid top group of schools. He has apparently narrowed it down to Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma State and Stanford. There could be a school (Notre Dame? UCLA?) that also sneaks onto the list. It will be a circus wherever he takes an official visit so it probably won't be hard to watch Sanders' recruitment from afar this year.

5. Rushel Shell

Another player who you didn't hear much about this summer, Shell begins the season with plenty of hype and the skills to back it up. Because he didn't really go to any camps, the first month of the season will be the first chance to see if he's improved any since last year. He hasn't talked about recruiting hardly at all, leaving most of the media to talk to his head coach. Alabama and local schools Pitt and Penn State are somewhere on his list and likely will remain there until he makes his decision after the season.

6. Andrus Peat

A five-star who is part of a strong group of linemen out West, Peat will likely be playing college football out-of-state. His brother Todd is at Nebraska and the Huskers will be a player until the end for the younger and more talented of the two brothers. He's taken unofficials to Florida State, Texas, Notre Dame and Michigan and that group of schools will likely get an official visit during the season as well. Longhorn commit Connor Brewer, from just down the road in the Phoenix area, has been doing his best talking about what Texas has to offer him too.

7. Zach Banner

While Peat is likely headed East, Banner is likely staying out West. He's narrowed down his list to 10 and will cut it again shortly. Florida State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan and Notre Dame are some of the non-Pac-12 options for the mammoth offensive tackle but it's likely that Cal, Washington, Oregon and USC all will be in-line for an offical visit when the time comes. Expect a decision before Signing Day in late January.

8. Nelson Agholor

It's like pulling teeth to get Agholor to even name a school but it appears there might be some movement on that front soon. He's said he cut list down but isn't naming schools until discussing things with his coach and his mother, who has been out of the country for some time. The Florida schools will be major players but several indications are that USC is also a strong out-of-state contender. It will certainly be interesting to see where Agholor goes on official visits but don't hold your breath waiting on a decision before Signing Day.

9. Keith Marshall

There's plenty of rumors surrounding the all-purpose back, who hasn't come out with a set list of schools and stuck with them. He has scheduled three official visits to Georgia, Notre Dame and Florida and it looks like those three are his leaders but there are several other schools fighting for an offical and he seems to be pretty open at this point.

10. Robert Nkemdiche

The only junior to make this list does so for a reason. Likely the number one overall recruit for the class of 2013, he already has offers from Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and others. There's very few players coming out of high school who have pass rush skills as polished as Nkemdiche. He will take several unofficial visits this year and will likely see his brother at Ole Miss for sure. It's a long time before he'll sign but it will still be interesting to see how the nation's top junior handles the increased attention this year.

Posted on: August 23, 2011 6:10 pm
 

Ranking the decade's top recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

When I saw my colleague Jeff Borzello rank the decade's top basketball recruiting classes, I thought it was such a good idea I decided to steal follow his lead and do the same on the football side.

Little did I know what a tough job it was, first sorting through each class and then deciding where to rank each one. It's much easier on the basketball side from a sheer numbers standpoint too, an issue when you're talking about several thousand more players on the football field versus on the court. It's a fun experiment and a good chance to see just how far recruits from each year panned out however.

There's no set formula for determining where each class ranks, it's too hard to compare one class with a great college player like Tim Tebow with one that has several players who developed into great players later in their careers. So, after looking up and down plenty of recruiting lists, are the decade's top recruiting classes by year. Feel free to disagree and complain in the comments.

1. 2003

Top Players: Reggie Bush, Ernie Sims, Greg Olsen, LaMar Woodley, Chris Leak, Steve Smith, Vernon Davis, Dennis Dixon, Michael Griffin, Sedrick Ellis, JaMarcus Russell, LaRon Landy and Sam Baker among others.

The class of 2003 laid the foundation for four national titles at two different schools (LSU and USC). The headliner looking back is Bush who, though his many records have an * next to them, was among the most electrifying players on the field. Leak and Caldwell led Florida to a national title and Dixon was on his way with Oregon until injuring his knee. LSU also grabbed first-round picks JaMarcus Russell, Dwayne Bowe, Craig Davis and LaRon Landry.

2. 2008

Top Players: Terrelle Pryor, DaQuan Bowers, Blaine Gabbert, Julio Jones, Patrick Peterson, Tyron Smith, Marcus Fortson, A.J. Green, Mark Ingram, Terrence Cody, Michael Floyd, Andrew Luck, Jeff Fuller and Corey Liuget among others.

A loaded class at quarterback and wide receiver, 2008 was one of the deepest classes in recent memory and several players are only now wrapping up their college careers. Pryor was the top player coming out of high school and though some people question how he went out, he was nevertheless 31-4 as a starter. It's hard to argue against one of the top NFL prospects in a long time with Luck and Ingram has a Heisman Trophy and national title to his name. With a  strong push from some seniors this season, this class could move into the top spot.

3. 2006

Top players: Percy Harvin, Andre Smith, Beanie Wells, Brandon Spikes, Gerald McCoy, Tim Tebow, Matthew Stafford, C.J. Spiller, DeMarco Murray, Jake Locker and Knowshon Moreno among others.

This class is littered with first-round draft picks and big-time college stars. Stafford the top pick in the draft and Harvin helped Tebow win two national championships before both left with plenty of records at Florida. This also was one of the more balanced classes with plenty of talent at multiple positions.

4. 2007

Top players: Eric Berry, Noel Devine, Ryan Mallet, Carlos Dunlap, Marvin Austin, Joe Haden, Dez Bryant, Tyrod Taylor, Rolando McClain, Lee Ziemba, Brian Price, Aaron Hernandez, Steven Garcia, Brian Bulaga and Joe McKnight among others.

Call this the class of misfits for their share of off-the-field issues but there's no denying this was a group of talented players. The top two guys, Jimmy Clausen and McKnight, failed to live up to expectations placed on them but still put together solid careers in college. Price, Austin, Dunlap and others are part of a great defensive line and Berry was one of the top safeties in the last several years.

5. 2009

Top players: Rueben Randle, Russell Shepard, Garrett Gilbert, Matt Barkley, Trent Richardson, Christine Michael, Cliff Harris, Devon Kennard, Vontaze Burfict, Shane Skov, Aaron Murrary, Dre Kirkpatrick, Manti Teo and Alshon Jeffrey among others.

This is still a class that's a work in progress but you can recognize several of these names on all-conference and all-America lists. There's some great running backs in Richardson and Michael among others and Murray and Barkley have been good, young signal-callers. Some elite linebackers in 2009 as well in Teo, Burfict and even Skov at Stanford.

6. 2005

Top players: Derrick Williams, Eugene Monroe, Mark Sanchez, Rey Maualuga, Jonathan Stewart, Darren McFadden, DeSean Jackson, Brian Cushing, Jamal Charles, Malcolm Kelly, Michael Oher, Doug Worthington, Ndamukong Suh, Colt McCoy and Mario Maningham among others.

Look up and down the top 100 recruiting lists and there were a lot of busts but this year still produced a lot of talent that had success. USC grabbed Sanchez, Cushing and Maualuga among others and they led the Trojans to the best four year winning percentage out this group of recruits (just six losses). Texas also found the winningest Division I quarterback in McCoy and Nebraska got one of the most dominant defensive linemen in years in Suh.

7. 2002

Top players: Vince Young, Haloti Ngata, Marcus Vick, Winston Justice, Tamba Hali, Tony Ugoh, Leonard Washington, Reggie McNeal, Eric Winston, Aaron Ross, Maurice Clarrett, A.J. Hawk and Troy Smith among others.

Not a deep group but a collection of college stars that proved they could beat top teams by themselves. Young is the big name after leading Texas to BCS Championship and upsetting USC in a magical run to the title. Clarrett, Hawk and Smith won a title early on and helped the Buckeyes to years of dominance in the regular season later on.

8. 2011

Top players: Jadeveon Clowney, Curtis Grant, Cyrus Kouandjio, Karlos Williams, Charone Peake, Malcolm Brown, James Wilder, Tony Steward, Stephon Tuitt, Colt Lyerla, Aaron Lynch, Nick O'Leary, Jeff Driskel, Savon Huggins, Ray Drew, Brett Hundley and Jaxon Shipley among others.

The players from the 2011 group haven't taken a snap in college yet but read the fall camp reports and you can see why they're higher than other classes. It wasn't a great year for quarterbacks but there were a ton of defensive linemen that will have an impact early, topped by one of the most dominant players in the country (and athletic freak) in Clowney. Lyerla and O'Leary will play early at tight end and Shipley should have fans in Austin thinking he's a mirror image of his older brother.

9. 2004

Top players: Adrian Peterson, Ted Ginn, Calvin Johnson, Early Doucet, Keith Rivers, Chad Henne, Fred Davis, Marshawn Lynch, Zach Miller, Dwayne Jarrett, Glen Dorsey and Michael Bumpus among others.

Peterson burst onto the scene as a freshman and established himself as a top tier running back. Johnson is one of the most athletic wide receivers in the game (some would call him a freak of nature) and he developed in a run-based college offense no less. Doucet and Dorsey had fun in the SEC and Henne was a successful quarterback at Michigan.

10. 2010

Top players: Ronald Powell, Seantrel Henderson, Kennan Allen, Robert Woods, DaRick Rodgers, Marcus Lattimore, Jackson Jeffcoat, Michael Dyer, Jake Heaps, Tony Jefferson, Sharrif Floyd and Jake Matthews among others.

Also a work in progress, were not a ton of impact players outside of Lattimore, Dyer, Heaps and Woods. The two players at the top, Powell and Henderson, have loads of talent but will need battle others to stay on the field. There's time for this group to rise up the list but for now, they're at the bottom.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: A.J. Green, A.J. Hawk, Aaron Hernandez, Aaron Lynch, Aaron Murrary, Aaron Ross, Adrian Peterson, Alshon Jeffrey, Andre Smith, Andrew Luck, Beanie Wells, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Spikes, Brett Hundley, Brian Bulaga, Brian Cushing, Brian Price, C.J. Spiller, Calvin Johnson, Carlos Dunlap, Chad Henne, Charone Peake, Chris Leak, Christine Michael, Cliff Harris, Colt Lyerla, Colt McCoy, Corey Liuget, Craig Davis, Curtis Grant, Cyrus Kouandjio, DaQuan Bowers, DaRick Rodgers, Darren McFadden, DeMarco Murray, Dennis Dixon, Derrick Williams, DeSean Jackson, Devon Kennard, Dez Bryant, Doug Worthington, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dwayne Bowe, Dwayne Jarrett, Early Doucet, Eric Berry, Eric Winston, Ernie Sims, Eugene Monroe, Florida, Fred Davis, Garrett Gilbert, Gerald McCoy, Glen Dorsey, Greg Olsen, Haloti Ngata, Heisman Trophy, Jackson Jeffcoat, Jadeveon Clowney, Jake Heaps, Jake Locker, Jake Matthews, Jamal Charles, JaMarcus Russell, James Wilder, Jaxon Shipley, Jeff Driskel, Jeff Fuller, Jimmy Clausen, Joe Haden, Joe McKnight, Jonathan Stewart, Julio Jones, Karlos Williams, Keith Rivers, Kennan Allen, Knowshon Moreno, LaMar Woodley, LaRon Landy, Lee Ziemba, Leonard Washington, LSU, Malcolm Brown, Malcolm Kelly, Manti Teo, Marcus Fortson, Marcus Lattimore, Marcus Vick, Mario Maningham, Mark Ingram, Mark Sanchez, Marshawn Lynch, Marvin Austin, Matt Barkley, Matthew Stafford, Maurice Clarrett, Michael Bumpus, Michael Dyer, Michael Floyd, Michael Griffin, Michael Oher, Michigan, Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska, Nick O'Leary, Noel Devine, Ohio State, Patrick Peterson, Percy Harvin, Ray Drew, Reggie Bush, Reggie McNeal, Rey Maualuga, Robert Woods, Rolando McClain, Ronald Powell, Rueben Randle, Russell Shepard, Ryan Mallet, Sam Baker, Savon Huggins, Seantrel Henderson, SEC, Sedrick Ellis, Shane Skov, Sharrif Floyd, Stanford, Stephon Tuitt, Steve Smith, Steven Garcia, Tamba Hali, Ted Ginn, Terrelle Pryor, Terrence Cody, Texas, Tim Tebow, Tony Jefferson, Tony Steward, Tony Ugoh, Trent Richardson, Troy Smith, Tyrod Taylor, Tyron Smith, USC, Vernon Davis, Vince Young, Vontaze Burfict, Winston Justice, Zach Miller
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com