College Football logoCollege Football

Most Underrated 2014 College Football Recruiting Classes

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IFebruary 16, 2014

Most Underrated 2014 College Football Recruiting Classes

1 of 8

    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Although national signing day was earlier this month, many schools are still feeling like a million bucks about their recruiting classes. However, there are several programs who have a legit reason to gripe about their final recruiting ranking.

    Everyone pays attention to the top of the rankings and how many 5-star recruits a class has, but that doesn't always tell the story. One Pac-12 school has several future studs, while a Big Ten program's class deserves to be ranked higher than it is.

    Plus, there's an ACC team featuring two of the best players in the country.


    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Wisconsin

2 of 8

    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Final 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 33rd

    Wisconsin has one of the better incoming classes in the Big Ten. Head coach Gary Andersen signed 26 prospects, with three being 4-star recruits.

    Jaden Gault, a 4-star recruit, has a chance to emerge as one of the best overall players from the national 2014 class. Athlete Dareian Watkins has excellent versatility, as the 4-star prospect can play nearly anywhere.

    Wisconsin's quarterback depth chart will be infused with athleticism by 4-star passer D.J. Gillins. Meanwhile, 3-star recruits such as guard George Panos, defensive end Conor Sheehy, running back Taiwan Deal, receiver Krenwick Sanders, defensive end Billy Hirschfeld and guard Michael Deiter are all underrated. 

Virginia

3 of 8

    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Final 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 32nd

    Head coach Mike London may be running out of time at Virginia, but his 2014 class of 17 players may help him stick around. It starts with 5-star safety Quin Blanding and 5-star defensive tackle Andrew Brown, who are both expected to play right away.

    The Cavaliers also boast a pledge from 4-star athlete Jamil Kamara, who can play receiver or safety. Steven Moss is a talented 4-star guard, who is among the nation's best at his position, while 3-star quarterback Corwin Cutler is a future starter.

    Also keep an eye on 3-star pass-rusher Cory Jones

California

4 of 8

    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Final 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 48th

    California only won one game in 2013, so recruiting was tough. However, head coach Sonny Dykes signed a better class than many realize. Cal's class consists of 21 commitments.

    Erik Brown is a 4-star receiver who will fit well in the Bears' spread offense, while 3-star outside linebacker Devante Downs is a solid player. It's 3-star running back Tre Watson and 3-star linebacker Chandler Leniu who are the two underrated studs in this group, though. Both have 4-star talent.

    Dykes also has a gritty 3-star quarterback by the name of Luke Rubenzer coming to Berkeley, as well as 3-star JUCO cornerback Darius White, who is 6'1" and should help right away. 

Maryland

5 of 8

    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Final 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 43rd

    Maryland head coach Randy Edsall clearly isn't afraid to play freshmen, so look for several players from his 17-man class to make an immediate impact.

    The headliner is 5-star offensive tackle Damian Prince, whose athleticism and ability to get his hat on linebackers make him a good fit for the Terrapins offense. The offensive line will also finally welcome 4-star blocker Derwin Gray, who can work at guard or tackle, with 3-star JUCO offensive tackle Larry Mazyck also coming to campus.

    The athleticism and strength of 4-star defensive end Jesse Aniebonam will be put to use early this fall. Plus, 3-star dual-threat quarterback Will Ulmer has a chance to develop into a good one. 

    Daniel Ezeagwu is an intriguing 3-star cornerback who is 6'2" and 200 pounds, while 3-star safety Josh Woods is 6'3".

Northwestern

6 of 8

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Final 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 46th

    With only 15 commitments, Northwestern has a class that is sure to get overlooked in many rankings. However, it consists of several future difference-makers for the Wildcats.

    Quarterback Clayton Thorson is a 4-star prospect who has impressive skills, while 4-star cornerback Parrker Westphal has the makings of a classic All-Big Ten player at his position.

    Garrett Dickerson will be the subject of an argument between the offensive and defensive coaches, as the 4-star recruit can play tight end or defensive end, with outside linebacker not being out of the question.

    Justin Jackson is a 4-star running back who has deceptive strength for a scat-back. Plus, 6'6", 265-pound 3-star tight end Blake Hance is an interesting prospect. 

Arizona

7 of 8

    Kevin Casey/Getty Images

    Final 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 31st

    Arizona signed a class of 29 commitments, with four being 4-star recruits.

    However, one of those 4-star recruits is severely underrated.

    Running back Nick Wilson is an outstanding prospect who didn't hear his name mentioned much in top running back discussions.

    Cornerback Cameron Denson and linebackers Marquis Ware and Jamardre Cobb are high-end 4-star prospects, while quarterback Brandon Dawkins and offensive tackle Jordan Poland are raw 3-star players with potential.

    Another underrated recruit to watch is solid 3-star defensive tackle Marcus Griffin

Michigan

8 of 8

    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Final 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 20th

    Many schools would kill to have the nation's No. 20 recruiting class, but that's not up to standard at Michigan.

    However, Big Blue has a group of recruits that deserves to be ranked higher.

    The spotlight shines brightest on 5-star athlete Jabrill Peppers, but there's a ton of depth in this class.

    Chase Winovich is a 4-star linebacker who has good pass-rush ability, while only considering Juwann Bushell-Beatty a 3-star offensive tackle is insane.

    Michael Ferns is a 4-star linebacker who should emerge as a defensive leader in Ann Arbor, 4-star defensive tackle Bryan Mone should play early and Drake Harris and Freddy Canteen are talented 4-star receivers.

    Clint Brewster of Wolverine 247 said of Bushell-Beatty in February of 2014:

    NFL sized offensive tackle with great range and physicality in the run game, Bushell-Beatty has raw talent with a high level of potential.

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.

     

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices