Bleacher Report's Top 25 2015 Recruiting Classes After The Opening

Tyler DonohueNational Recruiting AnalystJuly 14, 2014

Bleacher Report's Top 25 2015 Recruiting Classes After The Opening

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    The 2015 recruiting cycle reaches a pivotal stretch this time of the year, as just a few weeks of summer separate us from the senior seasons of top college prospects. Many of these premier recruits attended The Opening in Beaverton, Oregon, last week.

    Bleacher Report was on hand for all the action at Nike's world headquarters, where several players announced commitments and shook up the recruiting spectrum moving forward. In the wake of a star-studded event, we rank the country's top 25 recruiting classes at this point, placing more value on quality than quantity.

    While some teams have acquired headliners, top-to-bottom depth is ultimately the most important component for a class when developing a foundation for success. The emphasis is to hit on every commitment based on film evaluation and personal contact, rather than focusing on a variety of star ratings handed out by media outlets.

    Here's a look at teams taking care of business on the path to national signing day.

25. Duke

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    California TE Tyler Petite
    California TE Tyler PetiteCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 17 (one 4-star)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Duke turned heads in early July when it swiped 4-star tight end Tyler Petite (California) away from the West Coast with USC and Stanford in pursuit. The Blue Devils also landed offensive tackle Reno Rosene and receiver Aaron Young from California.

    Connecticut quarterback Quentin Harris made quality strides as a junior. He'll work with a solid class of receivers that also includes Keyston Fuller (Georgia) and Flynn Nagel (Illinois).

    Georgia defensive ends Trevon McSwain and Zach Morris complement each other well.

     

    Top Targets

    Duke can continue to pile on offensive talent with North Carolina running backs Johnny Frasier, Nyheim Hines or Reggie Gallaspy. Offensive linemen Andrew Wood (Tennessee) and Trey Derouen (Georgia) are also on the radar.

    The Blue Devils will attempt to bolster the defense with safety Rashad Roundtree (Georgia), defensive end Marques Ford (Florida) and cornerback T.J. Griffin (Virginia).

24. Missouri

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    Missouri QB Drew Lock
    Missouri QB Drew LockCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 9 (three 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Quarterback Drew Lock confirmed he belongs among the nation's elite passers with his performance at Elite 11 finals and The Opening. The Missouri legacy will be joined in an impressive backfield by 4-star running backs Natereace Strong (Illinois) and Chase Abbington (junior college).

    Offensive guard A.J. Harris (Kansas) plays with a chip on his shoulder and could crack the starting lineup as an underclassman. St. Louis standout Cameron Hilton is one of the most underrated safety prospects in this recruiting cycle.

     

    Top Targets

    Defensive end Terry Beckner (Illinois) dominated at The Opening and is a strong candidate to land in Columbia next year. Pass-rusher Anree Saint-Armour (Georgia) is also a valued commodity at the position.

    Missouri must address its depth at receiver, with Darrell Clark and Kalif Jackson (Florida) offering options.

23. West Virginia

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    Florida WR Jovon Durante
    Florida WR Jovon DuranteCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 13 (two 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    The Mountaineers continue to recruit well in the Sunshine State. Florida products Jovon Durante (receiver), Kendrell McFadden (safety) and Alex Anderson (running back) headline the latest haul.

    Defensive end Stone Wolfley, the team's top in-state recruit, is staying home. Offensive tackle Matt Jones (Ohio) has the makings of a multi-year anchor on the line.

     

    Top Targets

    Expect West Virginia to continue to pluck players from Florida, with an emphasis on quarterback Lamar Jackson, receiver Tavares Martin and defensive end Reuben Jones. Cornerback Jordan Whitehead (Pennsylvania) is arguably the team's top priority as it attempts to improve in the pass-happy Big 12.

22. Arkansas

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    Arkansas QB Ty Storey
    Arkansas QB Ty StoreyCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 10 (four 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    The Razorbacks have done a solid job keeping top players in their home state. This year's class includes Arkansas standouts Ty Storey (quarterback), Jamario Bell (tight end) and Colton Jackson (offensive tackle).

    The team reached up to Ohio for disruptive defensive tackle Hjalte Froholdt, a powerful 6'4", 282-pound European product. Texas prospects Zach Rogers (offensive guard) and Rawleigh Williams (running back) should help rev up the Razorbacks rushing attack.

     

    Top Targets

    There's still work to be done within state borders, starting with receiver K.J. Hill and tight end Will Gragg, who both impressed at The Opening. Linebacker Quarte Sapp (Georgia) and safety Marcus Walker (Florida) are viable defensive targets.

21. Northwestern

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    Ohio brothers Andrew and David Dowell
    Ohio brothers Andrew and David DowellCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 16 (two 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Ohio brothers David (receiver) and Andrew Dowell (running back) provided the Wildcats with an early boost by committing in April. Cincinnati defensive tackle Jordan Thompson gives the team another Ohio standout.

    Thompson will be joined on the line by talented defensive ends Joe Gaziano (Massachusetts) and Trent Goens (California). Missouri running back John Moten can be a difference-maker during his freshman campaign at Northwestern.

     

    Top Targets

    The team is still attempting to find its quarterback for this class, and Southern California dual-threat Sam Darnold has reciprocated interest. Indiana athlete Isaac James could be a factor at a variety of positions for the Wildcats.

20. Florida

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    Ohio LB Jerome Baker
    Ohio LB Jerome BakerCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 10 (four 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Ohio linebacker Jerome Baker surprised many when he committed to the Gators over the Buckeyes in July. He's the latest addition to a 2015 defensive haul that already included 4-star cornerback Marcus Lewis (Washington, D.C.) and thumping Jacksonville safety Deontai Williams.

    California quarterback Sheriron Jones is a multifaceted playmaker. The same can be said for receivers Derrick Dillon (Louisiana) and Tristan Payton (Florida).

     

    Top Targets

    The Gators hope to grab dominant in-state defensive ends CeCe Jefferson and Byron Cowart. Florida can also address the trenches on its home turf with a commitment from top-ranked offensive tackle Martez Ivey, who told Bleacher Report at The Opening that the Gators and Auburn are recruiting him harder than anyone.

    Former Michigan pledge George Campbell (Florida) could spend his collegiate career making splash plays in The Swamp.

19. North Carolina

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    North Carolina QB Anthony Ratliff
    North Carolina QB Anthony RatliffCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 16 (three 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Dual-threat quarterback Anthony Ratliff is an intriguing developmental prospect who joins fellow in-state talent Juval Mollette (receiver) in the Tar Heels offensive attack. North Carolina landed a trio of starting-caliber offensive tackles in Mason Veal (North Carolina), William Sweet (Florida) and Emanuel McGirt (North Carolina), while Tommy Hatton may be the best center in America.

    Florida defenders Ronnie Harrison (safety) and Andre Smith (linebacker) add some bite to the back seven.

     

    Top Targets

    Top in-state prospects Shy Tuttle (defensive tackle) and Jalen Dalton (defensive end) would provide an explosive element up front. Wake Forest running back Bryce Love is an absolute burner out of the backfield who can also contribute as a receiver.

18. Oregon

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    Georgia RB Taj Griffin
    Georgia RB Taj GriffinCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 11 (four 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Oregon claimed a commitment from across the country this spring when supremely speedy running back Taj Griffin (Georgia) joined the class. He adds a big-play ability to the Ducks attack, along with productive 6'3" receiver Alex Ofodile (Missouri).

    Oregon found its quarterback of the future in Travis Waller (California), who chose the Ducks over Notre Dame and Northwestern. The team also holds pledges from a collection of impressive offensive linemen, led by Zach Okun (California) and Calvin Throckmorton (Washington).

     

    Top Targets

    The Ducks are always looking to stockpile weapons on offense, so it's no surprise Texas stars Soso Jamabo (running back) and Ryan Newsome (receiver) are on the radar. Fast-rising quarterback Sam Darnold could become the team's second passer from Southern California in this class.

    Defensively, linemen Rasheem Green (California) and Byron Cowart (Florida) are prized prospects.

17. Mississippi State

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    JUCO WR Donald Gray
    JUCO WR Donald GrayCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 18 (three 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    The Bulldogs bolster aerial efforts by adding speedy in-state playmaker Malik Dear and JUCO standout Donald Gray at receiver. Dontea Jones (Mississippi), brings height to the attack with his 6'4" frame, and quarterback Chason Virgil (Texas) will look to capitalize on this impressive group of incoming pass-catchers.

    Defensive ends Timothy Washington (Mississippi) and Kendell Jones (Alabama) are physically prepared for SEC action. Maurice Smitherman (Alabama) flashes elite athleticism at cornerback.

     

    Top Targets

    Mississippi State aims to build on its strong start with additions on both sides of the ball. In-state defenders Jamal Peters (safety) and Fletcher Adams (tackle) are priorities for the coaching staff.

    Offensive guard Javon Patterson (Mississippi) is among the nation's best and would immediately add clout to the Bulldogs rushing attack, where running back Nick Gibson (Alabama) could make some noise.

16. Texas

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    New Mexico QB Zach Gentry
    New Mexico QB Zach GentryCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 11 (five 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Charlie Strong landed his quarterback of the future in May when 4-star prospect Zach Gentry committed to Texas over Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Alabama. In-state running backs Jordan Stevenson and Tristian Houston give the offensive backfield another boost.

    The Longhorns addressed the offensive line early, as 4-star blockers Toby Weathersby and Patrick Vahe opted to stay in their home state. Texan safeties Deshon Elliott and Keivon Ramsey each have potential to crack the two-deep early as Strong recreates the Longhorns defense with his recruits.

     

    Top Targets

    Texas has its sights set on several stellar in-state defenders, most notably linebacker Malik Jefferson and cornerback Kendall Sheffield. That 5-star duo tops the list, but 4-star linebackers Anthony Wheeler and Cameron Townsend are also key possibilities.

    The Longhorns must get deeper and more explosive along the offensive perimeter. In-state receiver Ryan Newsome, who would fill an immediate need at slot and provide exceptional special teams skills as a feared kick returner, expressed plenty of interest in Texas at The Opening.

15. Ohio State

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    Minnesota DE Jashon Cornell
    Minnesota DE Jashon CornellCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 12 (one 5-star, four 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    After enduring an early recruiting lull, Urban Meyer has quickly gained momentum in this class. Linebacker Justin Hilliard (Ohio) and defensive end Jashon Cornell (Minnesota)—the team's most highly rated pledges—committed on the same day in early July.

    Longtime commits Eric Glover-Williams (Ohio) and Jamel Dean (Florida) give the Buckeyes a pair of 4-star cornerbacks. In-state prospect Nick Conner is one of the country's top middle linebackers, while fellow Ohio standout Joe Burrow is an underrated dual-threat quarterback.

     

    Top Targets

    Ohio State can enhance its offensive class by landing receivers Christian Kirk (Arizona) or Van Jefferson (Tennessee). Top-ranked running back Damien Harris could soon pull the trigger on a pledge after he decommitted from Michigan last winter.

    No. 1 defensive end recruit Josh Sweat tops the wish list on that side of the ball and spent time in Columbus earlier this summer. He would instantly change the complexion of Ohio State's pass rush.

14. UCLA

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    California QB Josh Rosen
    California QB Josh RosenCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 10 (one 5-star, five 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Southern California quarterback Josh Rosen headlines this class and is the top-ranked 2015 prospect at the position. He'll have plenty of protection in Los Angeles, with recent 4-star offensive line commits Fred Ulu-Perry (Hawaii) and Andre James (Utah) dominating up front.

    Top-ranked tight end Aliz'e Jones (Nevada) and receiver L.J. Reed (California) provide Rosen with downfield weapons, while running back T.J. Simmons (Florida) can also contribute in the passing attack.

     

    Top Targets

    The Bruins will look to build up the receiving corps, with Christian Kirk (Arizona) and Cordell Broadus (Nevada) among options. UCLA needs to find defensive help and could look to nearby Junipero Serra High School, where 5-star recruits Rasheem Green (tackle) and John Houston (linebacker) wreak havoc.

13. Florida State

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    Florida safety Derwin James
    Florida safety Derwin JamesCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 13 (one 5-star; four 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Prized in-state safety Derwin James is the top-ranked player at his position and committed as a freshman. The 5-star prospect headlines a class filled with outstanding defensive backs, including 4-star Florida prospects Tyrek Cole and Calvin Brewton.

    Florida State beefs up its run defense with end Michael Barnett and linebacker Sh'mar Kilby-Lane. Top-ranked JUCO tight end Josh McNeil adds to a position that's already deep in Tallahassee, along with 3-star Peach State product Jalen Wilkerson.

    De'Andre Johnson, a dynamic quarterback from Jacksonville, could eventually find a home elsewhere on the field as a Seminole but will have a chance to compete as a passer.

     

    Top Targets

    Expect Jimbo Fisher to land some explosive pass-rushers prior to national signing day, with CeCe Jefferson (Florida) and Josh Sweat (Virginia) sitting atop the board. Florida State is still searching for a running back and could fill that need with an in-state rusher like Jacques Patrick.

    The team's future outlook in the defensive secondary would appear even better if 5-star cornerback Tarvarus McFadden (Florida) commits. Florida State must fight off several suitors to keep 4-star Tallahassee receiver John Burt in town and may stand a better chance with Miami pass target Da'Vante Phillips.

12. Georgia

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    Atlanta DE Natrez Patrick
    Atlanta DE Natrez PatrickCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments13 (one 5-star; five 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    In-state defensive ends Natrez Patrick and Chauncey Rivers each have the makings of special edge-rushers at the next level. Georgia landed homegrown 5-star athlete Terry Godwin in January, but he is still open to playing at Alabama or Auburn, based on a conversation with Bleacher Report at The Opening.

    Christian Owens (Georgia) is a versatile 6'5" receiver who adds size to the passing game along with tight end Jackson Harris (Tennessee). Fellow 4-star pledge Rico McGraw (Tennessee) brings toughness to the cornerback position.

     

    Top Targets

    No. 1 overall 2015 recruit Trent Thompson (Georgia) has topped this list for a long time, but the 5-star defensive tackle continues to survey his options. Top-ranked defensive end Josh Sweat (Virginia) enjoyed a visit to Georgia this spring and would create quite a tandem with Thompson.

    Safety Rashad Roundtree and linebacker Roquan Smith are coveted in-state prospects who could send this class soaring up the rankings.

11. Miami

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    Florida athlete Jordan Cronkrite
    Florida athlete Jordan CronkriteCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments20 (five 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Miami has loaded up on athleticism with homegrown prospects. Florida products Dexter Williams (running back), Jordan Cronkrite (athlete), Mark Walton (running back), Jordan Scarlett (running back) and Dwayne Lawson (quarterback) are each 4-star recruits.

    An abundance of rushers makes it likely that at least one will eventually decommit for a clearer path to playing time.

    The defensive line welcomes in Gulf Coast disruptors Scott Patchan and Ryan Fines. Louisiana receiver Terrell Chatman is a rare out-of-state pledge who has plenty of potential along the perimeter.

     

    Top Targets

    Miami is searching for help at offensive skill positions, with 4-star tight end Devonaire Clarington and 4-star receiver Da'Vante Phillips each presenting nearby options.

    The Hurricanes can address defensive depth by landing a pair of Miami prospects. Safety Jaquan Johnson and linebacker Tevon Coney are worth keeping an eye on as the process progresses.

10. Notre Dame

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    Indiana LB Josh Barajas
    Indiana LB Josh BarajasCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments17 (six 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    The Fighting Irish will welcome in 4-star offensive linemen Jerry Tillery (Louisiana) and Tristen Hoge (Idaho), who makes a strong case as the country's top center. Running back Josh Adams (Pennsylvania) certainly appreciates their presence.

    Receivers Miles Boykin (Illinois) and C.J. Sanders (California) bring serious speed to the passing game. Notre Dame managed to flip a pair of former Big Ten commits in linebacker Josh Barajas (Indiana; Penn State) and cornerback Shaun Crawford (Ohio; Michigan).

     

    Top Targets

    Brian Kelly is searching for a new quarterback commit after losing Blake Barnett to Alabama. Possibilities include Deondre Francois (Florida) and Texas Tech pledge Jarrett Stidham (Texas).

    If 5-star cornerback Iman Marshall (California) elects to depart the West Coast, South Bend is a potential landing spot. However, Notre Dame is more likely to land Philadelphia defensive back John Reid.

     

9. USC

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    California QB Ricky Town
    California QB Ricky TownCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments10 (two 5-stars; four 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Head coach Steve Sarkisian has hit the recruiting trail running since his arrival, resulting in an impressive flurry of top-tier pledges as the 2014 cycle ended and a monumental commitment that set the tone for his 2015 class. California quarterback Ricky Town, a 5-star talent, flipped from Alabama to USC in late January.

    With a top-ranked passer in place as its foundation, the class' talent level continues to increase. The Trojans landed a pair of dominant offensive tackles to protect Town in 5-star Chuma Edoga (Georgia) and 4-star Roy Hemsley (California).

    Defensive tackle Jacob Daniel and linebacker Cameron Smith were crucial in-state commits in May and provide a pair of instant-impact 4-star defenders. California cornerback Isaiah Langley pledged to USC over several Pac-12 rivals at The Opening.

     

    Top Targets

    USC aims to surround Town with plenty of options in the passing game, so the search is well underway for at least two top receivers. Anaheim standout Equanimeous St. Brown and Southern California transplant Cordell Broadus (Nevada) would be pivotal pickups.

    Broadus is the son of celebrity USC fan Snoop Dogg.

    The Trojans hope to build the defensive front with help from 5-star locals Keisean Lucier-South and Rasheem Green. Long Beach defensive back Iman Marshall may be the best prospect in California this year.

8. LSU

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    Florida CB Kevin Toliver
    Florida CB Kevin ToliverCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 13 (two 5-stars; five 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    LSU landed top-ranked cornerback Kevin Toliver (Florida) during his sophomore season. The 5-star Jacksonville standout joins 4-star Baton Rouge safety Kevin Henry as key additions to the defensive secondary.

    After landing No. 1 2014 running back recruit Leonard Fournette, the Tigers will add outstanding depth to the backfield. Nick Brossette and Derrius Guice—both 4-star Louisiana rushers—combined to run for 3,300 yards and 50 touchdowns in 2013.

    Brossette is already the state's all-time leader in total touchdowns.

    Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is also set to welcome 5-star tackle Maea Teuhema (Texas), a former Longhorns pledge, and 4-star wide receiver Jazz Ferguson (Louisiana).

     

    Top Targets

    Les Miles would like to pair Toliver with another top coverage cornerback like Tarvarus McFadden (Florida) or Kendall Sheffield (Texas). LSU made the latest cut for 5-star quarterback Torrance Gibson (Florida), landing at No. 3 among his top seven.

    McFadden and Gibson are teammates at American Heritage High School.

    It seems like LSU perennially pursues impressive receivers out of New Orleans and 5-star prospect Tyron Johnson is the latest pass-catcher to warrant attention in the Big Easy.

7. South Carolina

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    Florida LB Sherrod Pittman
    Florida LB Sherrod PittmanCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments20 (eight 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    The Gamecocks should keep up the pace defensively in coming years, as dynamic athletes Shameik Blackshear (South Carolina), Sherrod Pittman (Florida) and Arden Key (Georgia) provide playmakers in the front seven. Cornerback Mark Fields will be key to secondary success.

    Dual-threat quarterback Lorenzo Nunez gives head coach Steve Spurrier an intriguing 4-star signal-caller to develop. He headlines a solid mix of versatile offensive weapons, along with receiver Dexter Neal (Georgia), running back A.J. Turner (Virginia) and versatile athlete Jalen Christian (Maryland), who is capable of contributing on both sides of the ball.

     

    Top Targets

    The Gamecocks are expected to regain a commitment from 4-star defensive end Dante Sawyer (Georgia), who was forced to go the JUCO route after initially signing with South Carolina in February. He would add a serious spark to the team's pass-rushing efforts.

    In-state tackle Albert Huggins is another compelling target on the defensive line, along with JUCO star D.J. Jones.

6. Tennessee

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    Georgia WR Preston Williams
    Georgia WR Preston WilliamsCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments20 (two 5-star; four 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Top-ranked receiver Preston Williams (Georgia) pledged to the Volunteers during the early stages of his junior season, giving head coach Butch Jones a 5-star playmaker to build around. Tennessee reached back into the Peach State for 4-star defensive end Andrew Butcher.

    The Volunteers' 2014 recruiting success was based on keeping premier in-state players at home, and those efforts have continued into this cycle. Tennessee holds commitments from 4-star homegrown talents Jack Jones (offensive tackle) and Jauan Jennings (athlete), among others.

    Elite JUCO running back Alvin Kamara is a candidate to receive early carries in Knoxville. Volunteers legacy Kahlil McKenzie (California) provides Tennessee with a 5-star presence at defensive tackle.

     

    Top Targets

    The Volunteers would be wise to pick up two quarterbacks in this class and remain the top contender for 5-star Torrance Gibson (Florida).

    There are still strides to be made within the state, as 4-stars Drew Richmond (offensive tackle) and Kyle Phillips (defensive end) remain uncommitted. Tennessee can continue to set the tone on defense by landing another coveted 5-star tackle like Tim Settle (Virginia).

5. Clemson

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    4-star Florida athlete Deon Cain
    4-star Florida athlete Deon CainCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments20 (one 5-star; six 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    The Tigers continue to stockpile talent at receiver, as 4-star Florida playmaker Deon Cain is expected to transition from quarterback in college and appeared ready for the challenge at The Opening. He adds to a passing attack that is also set to welcome 4-star tight end Garrett Williams (Florida), who chose the Tigers over Florida State despite his status as a Seminole legacy.

    Offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt is a 5-star talent who may be the best all-around blocker in high school. He'll team up with 4-star tackle Jake Fruhmorgen on a strengthened line.

    In-state quarterback prospect Kelly Bryant is an excellent fit for the Tigers and should have an opportunity to develop as a reserve during his first few seasons on campus. Defensive ends Sterling Johnson (North Carolina) and Clelin Ferrell (Virginia) could challenge for an early role in the rotation.

     

    Top Targets

    Clemson may not be done adding top-tier pass targets. The team remains a formidable contender for 5-star receiver George Campbell (Florida), who decommitted from Michigan during the winter.

    The defense would receive a boost if head coach Dabo Swinney is successful in landing 5-star defensive tackles Shy Tuttle (North Carolina) and Tim Settle (Virginia) or 4-star linebacker Ricky DeBerry (Virginia).

4. Penn State

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    New Jersey QB Brandon Wimbush
    New Jersey QB Brandon WimbushCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 17 (11 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Penn State continues to plunder New Jersey for its top talent. Quarterback Brandon Wimbush, wide receiver Juwan Johnson, linebacker Manny Bowen and guard Steven Gonzalez highlight the latest Garden State grab.

    In-state running backs Andre Robinson and Saquon Barkley are each versatile 4-star talents who will be counted on to contribute early. Fellow Pennsylvania products Sterling Jenkins and Ryan Bates are dominant offensive tackles with potential to serve as bookends for several years.

    Adam McLean (Maryland) ranks among the Mid-Atlantic region's premier defensive tackles. It's hard to believe this class didn't have a single commitment until Feb. 15.

     

    Top Targets

    James Franklin needs to address the defensive backfield, and Philadelphia cornerback John Reid is a top priority. Penn State could pair him with 4-star in-state ball hawk Jordan Whitehead.

    Offensive lineman Matthew Burrell spent time at Happy Valley earlier this year and told Bleacher Report he plans to return for another visit in the future. Fellow Virginia prospect Tim Settle is a key target at defensive tackle.

3. Auburn

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    Auburn offensive lineman commits Kaleb Kim, left, and Bailey Sharp.
    Auburn offensive lineman commits Kaleb Kim, left, and Bailey Sharp.Credit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 17 (one 5-star; 10 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Auburn brought record-setting JUCO running back Jovon Robinson (Tennessee) back into the fold two years after he was forced to leave the program during his freshman training camp for academic reasons. He'll join 4-star Florida product D'Anfernee McGriff in a crowded offensive backfield.

    Tigers rushers will have plenty of support up front from an incoming group heavy on Peach State products. Offensive linemen Kaleb Kim, Bailey Sharp and Marquel Harrell are each from Georgia. Fellow Georgia prospect Jordan Colbert and former Ohio State commit Ben Edwards (Florida) form a 4-star safety tandem, while top JUCO cornerback Tony Bridges (Mississippi) further solidifies the secondary.

    Quarterback Tyler Queen (Georgia) and electric athlete Kerryon Johnson (Alabama) will provide immediate depth on offense. In-state standout Darrell Williams is a menacing outside linebacker prospect from defending national public school champion Hoover High School.

     

    Top Targets

    Despite holding a commitment from Queen, head coach Gus Malzahn remains firmly in the mix for dual threat talent Torrance Gibson (Florida). The 5-star athlete appears to be focused on Auburn and Tennessee, though other possibilities remain. Orlando passer Deondre Francois is likely to decide between Auburn and Florida State before August.

    The Tigers aim to address the defensive line, focused on 5-star tackles Trent Thompson (Georgia) and Daron Payne (Alabama). Five-star athlete Terry Godwin, a Georgia commit, is still seriously considering Auburn, along with top-ranked offensive tackle Martez Ivey (Florida).

2. Texas A&M

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    Dallas area QB Kyler Murray
    Dallas area QB Kyler MurrayCredit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 18 (three 5-stars; eight 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Texas A&M reeled in Aggies legacy Kyler Murray, a 5-star Dallas-area quarterback who strongly considered Oregon. He gained potential top-tier targets when in-state receivers Kemah Siverand and Damarkus Lodge joined the class.

    Tight end Jordan Davis and running back Jay Bradford, both 4-star Texas talents, add to an impressive offensive arsenal. Four-star in-state offensive tackles Trevor Elbert and Connor Lanfear provide push up front.

    Daylon Mack (Texas) deserves to be in the discussion as America's best defensive tackle recruit. The 5-star stud will beef up the defensive interior, while 4-star in-state safeties Justin Dunning and Larry Pryor instantly upgrade the secondary.

     

    Top Targets

    The rich could get richer when it comes to Texas A&M's receiving corps. The Aggies are still in the hunt for top-tier receivers Tyron Johnson (Louisiana) and Christian Kirk (Arizona), who worked well with Murray at The Opening.

    Coach Kevin Sumlin must continue to collect impact defenders in order to perennially compete in the SEC. Linebacker Malik Jefferson and cornerback Kendall Sheffield, both 5-star Texans, are paramount to those efforts.

1. Alabama

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    Florida teammates Calvin Ridley, left, and Shawn Burgess-Becker committed together.
    Florida teammates Calvin Ridley, left, and Shawn Burgess-Becker committed together.Credit: 247Sports

    Total Commitments: 19 commitments (one 5-star; 14 4-stars)

     

    Best of the Bunch

    Alabama is yet again loading up on talent along the defensive front, highlighted by 4-star Georgia edge-rushers Mekhi Brown and Jonathan Ledbetter. They're two of 12 Crimson Tide commits who rate among the top eight prospects at their respective position, including No. 1 inside linebacker Leo Lewis (Illinois), No. 2 safety Deionte Thompson (Texas) and 5-star cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick (New Jersey).

    First-year offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is quickly putting the pieces in place for success, firming up the offensive line with 4-star pledges Dallas Warmack (Georgia), Lester Cotton (Alabama) and Richie Petitbon (Washington, D.C.). The touted linemen will look to make holes for explosive running back Desherrius Flowers (Alabama) and give former Notre Dame quarterback commit Blake Barnett (the Elite 11 winner) time to work.

    Nick Saban's spring game pledges featured 4-star Florida high school teammates Shawn Burgess-Becker, a versatile athlete, and Calvin Ridley, who is won overall 7-on-7 tournament MVP honors at The Opening. Tight end Hale Hentges (Missouri), rated No. 2 nationally among players at the position, is among Alabama's other offensive additions

     

    Top Targets

    Defensive tackle Daron Payne is the team's top in-state target at this point, though fellow 5-star Tim Settle (Virginia) would serve as an excellent consolation prize. Cornerback Kendall Sheffield (Texas) could be lured away from the Lone Star State, while defensive end CeCe Jefferson is a top priority in Florida.

     

    All recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.