Posted by Bryan Fischer
Five teams looking up (in alphabetical order):
It's a bit surprising to see the Razorbacks missing from the MaxPreps Top 25 but that will likely change in the months leading up to Signing Day. They have just 12 commits halfway through August but are in the running for several top 100 players and landing one or two should boost them up when they do. Number one receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has the program on his short list and has already set an official visit to Fayetteville as well.
2. Notre Dame
The Irish are 18th overall in the rankings but expect Brian Kelly and staff to close strong like they did with last year's top five class. Official visits are a big deal for Notre Dame and it wouldn't be surprising to see a few players move the school up on their list after visiting South Bend. If they can beat Michigan on the road under the lights and have a good showing in a win against USC at home later in the season, the program should be in the top 10 by November.
Has any team been to the national championship game and not seen a recruiting bounce? At the moment, Oregon has not but that should change if the Ducks get the season started. Obviously the NCAA investigation has hampered their recruiting efforts but there are still several players like Jordan Simmons and Zach Banner with Oregon on their short list. Skill position players will want to play in Chip Kelly's offense and it likely won't be long before several of them commit and the Ducks slide into the top 25.
4. Penn State
The Nittany Lions are sitting just outside of the top 25 but, given the uncommitted talent right in their backyard, it wouldn't be too surprising to see JoePa move up. Noah Spence and Rushel Shell are two of top players who could end up in Happy Valley. This class addresses the guys in the trenches more than the skill positions so grabbing a few impact players should push them higher as well.
Seems like forever ago that Tennessee had fewer than five commits. Actually it was about a month ago. With the recent news that there would be no further NCAA sanctions beyond what were already self-imposed, Derek Dooley can now go full bore on the recruiting trail with out any impediments or negative recruiting against him. They've been picking up players left and right and will keep sliding up the recruiting rankings throughout he season as they continue to hear recruits sing Rocky Top.
Five looking down:
1. Arizona State
There's a few shaky verbal commits in the Sun Devils' class and that's one reason why they're on this list. There's no doubt that Dennis Erickson is on the hot seat as well and with so many injuries to the team before the season has begun, an average-at-best year could result in a few players looking for a program on more solid footing.
The Gators land on this not because they're going to see some players leave their strong class but because they're simply going to move down the rankings as others move up. They have 17 players committed and a solid group of targets left on their board but it's hard not to see an Alabama or an Auburn to eventually move above them at the moment.
No surprise to see the Hurricanes on this list given the NCAA investigation and surrounding mess following the Yahoo! Sports report. The recruiting class has stuck together so far but it's hard for anyone to imagine that being the case through Signing Day. There's a good talent base around the school but they have not received multiple top 100 commitments before the big news and likely won't afterwards.
The team is one of the top classes in the Big East but it will be tough to see them in the top two come Signing Day. The season will be key; if 2011 is another sub-.500 campaign then recruits could start looking elsewhere. Plus, it's not hard to see West Virginia passing them at some point given the momentum they'll have under a first year head coach that is looking to do big things on offense.
The Commodores have done big things early in the recruiting cycle but it will be interesting to see how long it lasts as they begin the season and other schools start looking to fill out their classes once they end up missing out on other targets. Like others on this list, a bad year on the field could also cause some commits to look to other programs.