Feed aggregator

College Football Recruiting Rankings: Top 2015 Schools Post-National Signing Day

National signing day is finally in the books, and those schools that made the best haul over the 2015 recruiting cycle have bragging rights ahead of them.

There are more than a dozen impressive classes across the landscape of college football, but a couple of star-studded ones stand out. We won't know for sure how the stars translate onto the field for some time, but which schools finish atop the recruiting rankings is often a telling indicator of what's to come.

With that said, let's look at the top 15 schools atop the 247Sports composite team rankings after national signing day.

 

Top Classes

USC

Steve Sarkisian had about a month to assemble his first USC recruiting class, but he hit the ground running for his second class and turned it into one of the best in the land.

The Trojans' 2015 class gained so much steam on national signing day that it even trumped Alabama for No. 1 at one point before the Crimson Tide regained their spot. But it's safe to say they won't be disappointed with their haul.

They built it from the defense up, adding 10 players on the defensive side of the ball who ranked in the top 10 at their position nationally. Among them are three of the top six outside linebackers, adding No. 6 outside linebacker John Houston to the mix on signing day, as per ESPN College Football:

Their defensive haul continued through Wednesday, when they secured No. 5 defensive tackle Rasheem Green and also locked down prized cornerback Iman Marshall. The No. 4 overall recruit revealed his decision with the following music video from Bleacher Report:

While they beefed up the defensive side of the ball considerably, the Trojans obviously didn't forget about offense. And two of the most important players on that side of the ball are already on campus. No. 1 offensive guard Chuma Edoga and No. 6 pro-style quarterback Ricky Town are both enrolled for the spring.

 

Tennessee

Tennessee's 2015 class was all but wrapped up entering national signing day, but Butch Jones and Co. had their sights set on one final flip to complete the class.

The stars seemed to be aligning for a late commitment from No. 3 offensive tackle Drew Richmond, who visited Knoxville over the weekend and followed it up by de-committing from Ole Miss. On Wednesday, he made the switch official, per Tennessee Football:

It'd be hard to deny the Volunteers' place among the top classes of 2015 even without Richmond. But according to Jones and the Tennessee staff, securing one of the top players at a position of need couldn't have been bigger.

"It completed the class," Jones told the Chattanooga Times Free Press' Patrick Brown. "We get back to improving our overall athleticism in the offensive front, and Drew obviously does that. ... I'm excited because he's going to add to the offensive line."

Of course, Tennessee already made quite the haul. It locked down No. 2 defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie early on, who helped spearhead the peer-recruiting efforts to help make late flips like Richmond's happen.

With 29 total signees and 16 of them boasting 4-star ratings or more, Jones has compiled yet another loaded recruiting class to bolster the talent level in Knoxville.

 

Alabama

Few schools had as quiet of a national signing day as the Alabama Crimson Tide, but nobody finished with a more stacked recruiting class.

Head coach Nick Saban and crew finished atop the recruiting rankings again, and once again, it's a heap of 5-star talent that helped to get them there. They locked down No. 1 receiver Calvin Ridley, No. 4 cornerback Kendall Sheffield and No. 1 running back Damien Harris long before signing day.

While finishing atop the 247Sports rankings is a feat in itself, ESPN's Adam Schefter noted how they dominated the ESPN rankings as well:

It's just another year, another recruiting championship for Alabama, as Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee noted:

Recruiting rankings only mean so much, but they've never been validated more so than at Alabama. Its recruiting dominance has seen a direct correlation with the team's continued on-field prominence, and Saban has seemingly stocked the cupboard again.

What makes Alabama truly great is how it's able to reload. Notice how the Tide cleaned up with the top recruits at receiver and running back, coincidentally at the same time they look to replace star wideout Amari Cooper and running back T.J. Yeldon.

 

All recruiting rankings and info courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

National Signing Day 2015: Highlighting Top Recruits Commitments

The strong, silent type took home national signing day's top class in 2015. 

Alabama and Nick Saban need not say much these days to lure the top talent in the land to Tuscaloosa. If Steve Sarkisian's haul is any indication, neither do the USC Trojans, now free from recruiting shackles.

The biggest splashes feature familiar faces. The most notable, though, are those decisions by prospects that alter the landscape of college football, as one program misses out and must not only compensate on the field but also alter its strategy in future recruiting battles to compensate.

When it comes to those type of program-altering decisions, a few of the most notable 2015 recruits come to mind.

 

Top Impact Commitments 

Iman Marshall, USC

Let's start with the biggest fish in the 2015 pond. 

Iman Marshall, a 5-star cornerback and Long Beach Poly High School product, was the crown jewel of a handful of 2015 classes, but Sarkisian's staff brought home the signature after much ado about nothing—he always seemed destined to stay local.

This is especially the case when one digests a comment he made after the announcement, per Nick Baumgardner of MLive Media Group:

The Trojans are scarier than ever in the defensive secondary. Down the line, Marshall—who comes in at 6'1", 190 pounds with 4.5 40-yard dash speed—will pair with a past top-tier recruit in Adoree' Jackson as well as others.

Also consider how the news impacts the other programs that were in the hunt. UCLA must now avoid throwing his way for years. Florida State does not so easily replace P.J. Williams. Notre Dame will continue to struggle. Ditto for Michigan, where Jim Harbaugh's last-ditch efforts fell flat.

Any talk about the college landscape changing with one signature is not an exaggeration.

 

Porter Gustin, USC

While not the biggest linebacker name in the class, Porter Gustin dashed the future plans of a few notable programs Wednesday as he signed on the dotted line with USC.

A 4-star recruit out of Salem Hills High School in Utah, Urban Meyer's Ohio State Buckeyes were in the running in a big way before the announcement.

Per the recruit himself, Meyer put up a strong fight, as captured by Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State needs more talented linebackers, but it appears Meyer and Co. will need to wait another year to better solidify the position.

In the meantime, USC's defense figures to be an annual power led by its linebacking corps. Gustin is one piece of the puzzle and joins fellow recruits in 4-star linebacker John Houston and 5-star linebacker Osa Masina.

Few offenses around the nation will want to see the Trojans anytime soon.

 

Byron Cowart, Auburn

Wednesday's biggest shocker came rather early in the day, as 5-star defensive end Byron Cowart chose Auburn over a host of other top programs.

Truthfully, Florida only has itself to blame for the egg-on-face scenario.

These sort of recruiting flips happen when coaches who handle the recruiting move on to other endeavors. Cowart, a Seffner, Florida, native, figured to roll with the Florida Gators until Will Muschamp's departure cast a shadow of doubt over his future.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports confirms the situation:

Cowart instead lands with Muschamp at Auburn and does much to solidify the unit for the future against powerhouses such as Alabama and LSU.

For Florida, Cowart represents growing pains in the worst possible way as the staff ushers in a new era.

 

Michael Weber, Ohio State

Meyer did not lose every battle on national signing day.

Far from it, actually.

Michael Weber, a 4-star recruit, represents the first recruiting shots exchanged between Meyer and soon-to-be archrival Harbaugh.

The Detroit native initially committed to the Wolverines but changed course as Michigan tanked and Ohio State went on to bigger things this past season.

May captures just how important the recruiting rivalry victory is for the Buckeyes:

Weber will not change the Buckeyes in a major way on the field right out of the gates. The important takeaway, though, is that Meyer can go right into Harbaugh's backyard and steal a top recruit.

The battle lines in the sporting world's best rivalry are set in stone.

 

Player rankings based on 247Sports' composite ranking system. All recruit measurements and stats courtesy of 247Sports.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Isaiah Prince to Ohio State: Recruit Bio and Projected Impact for Buckeyes OT

Big, versatile, athletic offensive tackles are at a premium in today's college football realm, and the Ohio State Buckeyes acquired a great one in Eleanor Roosevelt High School product Isaiah Prince.

Here's a look at Prince's decision, courtesy of The Buckeye Nut:

The 4-star recruit is the seventh-ranked offensive tackle by 247Sports' composite ratings. He also rates as the nation's 105th overall prospect and is considered the top recruit out of Maryland.

Prince boasts some impressive physical measurables, standing at 6'6" and weighing 272 pounds. He has experience anchoring both sides of the offensive line, logging time at right and left tackle.

Since displaying some impressive athleticism on the left side as a sophomore, Prince added some weight and strength, helping him make the switch to a run-blocking force on the right side as a junior. He continued to develop during his senior season, displaying good explosiveness, leg drive and the ability to catch opponents off balance with this quickness.

Roosevelt coach Tom Green summed up his star tackle during an interview with Matt Zenitz of The Baltimore Sun in July:

A lot of people look at his size and the fact that he's close to 6'7" and close to 275 [pounds]. But what makes him special is his flexibility. His hips are really flexible. He can sink in a hole. He can move for a big kid. He can change direction. A lot of kids aren't natural benders, and he's a natural bender.

With that description in mind, take a look at the sheer dominance from the towering tackle during his senior season with the Raiders in this video from hudl.com (which opens up with a massive pancake block):

That prowess earned Prince All-American honors:

We saw what Ohio State is capable of accomplishing when the running game gets going (the answer is a national championship). A big part of the team's success on the ground was due to a solid offensive line that has four starters returning for another season, according to Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch.

During a press conference, via Sebastian Salazar of CSNBaltimore.com, Prince expressed his desire to contribute immediately at Ohio State.

"I want [to play] as a true freshman," he said.

While Barton Simmons of 247Sports loves what Prince brings to the table, he also thinks the tackle may need to develop a bit before playing:

With Prince, he is another kid with a great frame. He is so long. He is 6'6" plus. He has really good feet at that size and length. He has to continue to get stronger and also needs to learn to play with leverage. His tools he has to work with make him another impressive prospect.

He'll be able to work on the edge and keep your quarterback clean. He may be a couple years away from that but he has a chance to be really good.

Prince may still be a bit raw. However, he boasts some impressive power and acceleration off the line. While he does need to improve in pass protection and work on lowering his pad level, he has the length and athleticism to play on either side of the line with the Buckeyes.

With a budding skill set and an ideal frame, Prince may not see some action in a starting role in the immediate future, but he should be expected to become one of Ohio State's standouts down the road. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Top College Football Recruiting Classes: 2015 Rankings and Groups to Watch

It is not an exaggeration to say national championships are won on national signing day.

After all, Ohio State just took home the title on the back of a 2012 class that was ranked No. 5 nationally by 247Sports’ composite rankings, a 2013 class that was ranked No. 2 nationally by 247Sports’ composite rankings and a 2014 class that was ranked No. 3 by 247Sports’ composite rankings.

Landing the best recruits in the country means something, and it is the surest way to secure your place among college football’s elite.

With that in mind, here is a look at the top 10 classes in the 2015 recruiting cycle, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, as well as some specific groups to watch moving forward.

 

USC

USC brought in the No. 2 class in the country with four 5-star players. More importantly, this class represented the first time USC could sign a full 25-member class after NCAA sanctions stemming from Reggie Bush's time on campus.

The Trojans capitalized on the opportunity on signing day by securing Rasheem Green, Iman Marshall and John Houston after landing Porter Gustin on Tuesday. It was one of the strongest finishes to the 2015 recruiting cycle for any program.

Colin Becht of Sports Illustrated painted an enticing picture for USC fans:

With the influx of marquee recruits plus the return of several major contributors, including Jackson and star safety Su’a Cravens, USC should be set for a stellar defense as it seeks to reenter the national title landscape. Quarterback Cody Kessler’s decision to stay for his senior campaign leaves the offense in capable hands, creating plenty of room for excitement.

USC needed a class like this in the resurgent Pac-12. UCLA also landed a highly ranked class, and Oregon is a perennial power that is fresh off an appearance in the national championship game. 

The Trojans finally and officially put their sanction-era issues in the rearview mirror with a dominant national signing day Wednesday. It was a fitting statement, and the Ducks will have company atop the conference standings as soon as this season.

 

Tennessee

Tennessee brought in the No. 4 class in the country with 29 commitments.

Tennessee has one of the richest traditions in college football history, but it has fallen off in recent years. Coach Butch Jones has to rebuild the program in the daunting SEC, which is no easy task, but the Volunteers have plenty of momentum after destroying Iowa in the Gator Bowl to end the 2014 campaign.

Jones parlayed that momentum into a dominant recruiting class Wednesday and took care of a glaring area of need in the process. The Volunteers struggled up front on both sides of the ball last year, but their 2015 class was loaded with both offensive and defensive linemen, including Kahlil McKenzie, Drew Richmond and Kyle Phillips.

Barton Simmons, the director of scouting at 247Sports, discussed Tennessee’s position, via Dustin Dopirak of the Knoxville News Sentinel:

I think there’s a lot of factors in place. One is that Tennessee has been a sleeping giant. They have the facilities, the stadium, the fan base, the resources. Then all it takes is for someone to sort of capture that and realize it. I think Butch Jones understood those advantages and really has been pretty masterful in taking advantage of those. He’s taking advantage of legacies, taking advantage of commitments, using those guys to recruit other players. 

There are plenty of reasons for Tennessee fans to be optimistic after Wednesday’s developments. The right coach is in place, and the players are starting to follow suit. It may only be a matter of time before the Volunteers are once again atop the SEC East.

 

Texas

Let the rebuilding begin in Texas.

Coach Charlie Strong hauled in the No. 11 class in his first full year of recruiting in Austin and set the stage for what promises to be a quick turnaround. After all, you would be hard-pressed to find a school that is better suited for extended recruiting success than Texas.

The Longhorns have the illustrious history, the incredible facilities and the name brand that should appeal to almost any recruit. What’s more, Texas is as good as it gets for high school football, which means there will always be impressive talent ready for the taking in Strong’s backyard.

Strong is a defensive-minded coach, and he brought in a number of linebackers and secondary members, but he recognized Texas’ issues were on the offensive side of the ball last year and recruited accordingly. Between running back Chris Warren, wide receiver John Burt, tight end Devonaire Clarington and wide receiver Ryan Newsome, the Longhorns have plenty of playmakers in this class.

They should help bring Texas back to prominence within a couple of years. 

All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

 

Follow me on Twitter:

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

2015 College Football Recruits: Top Prospects Who Will Make Biggest Impact

It seems as though there are more younger players making impacts on their respective teams each and every year. NFL rookies are tearing it up at the professional level, and many college freshmen are beginning to dominate the amateur gridiron.

The 2015 recruiting class is chock-full of talent, and following the conclusion of national signing day, we now know where they'll be calling home for their college careers. With the dust settled and the ink dried, it's time to turn our focus to the players who will be making headlines sooner rather than later.

While a great deal of these prospects will surely have early impacts, a few have the skill sets and environments that will serve as catalysts for immediate success. Let's take a look at the names to learn now before they start commanding headlines every Saturday.

 

Byron Cowart, DE, Auburn

Ranked third overall in 247Sports' composite ratings, the 6'4", 250-pound Cowart signed his letter of intent with Auburn, choosing the Tigers over the in-state Florida Gators.

During a press conference, via Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com, Cowart explained that his official visit to Auburn and the school's hiring of former Florida coach Will Muschamp as defensive coordinator were his deciding factors.

He also let Adelson and other reporters know they should expect to watch him play with a chip on his shoulder:

During the season, people were saying, 'You didn't show me you were the No. 1 player.' I was angry and I was upset. There are some things I'm still upset about I have to prove in college. My immediate thing is to be consistent. That's why the All-America game, I was trying to be high tempo, high motor every day. I have a big chip on my shoulder. I have a boulder on my shoulder so I'm ready to get after it.

That's not a good sign for any opposing offensive linemen, as Cowart possesses a freakish blend of size, length and athleticism that should allow him to excel at any position along the defensive line. He has a tremendous burst off the line of scrimmage and can power through blockers on his way into the backfield.

Here's a look at the havoc he's capable of wreaking, via Mike Farrell of Rivals.com:

Auburn's defense wasn't quite as stout as head coach Gus Malzahn would have liked in 2014, as the team allowed an average of 26.7 points per game, ranking 63th in the nation. However, much of that can be attributed to the team's inability to pressure opposing quarterbacks, accumulating just 21 sacks last year.

Expect this team to unleash Cowart early in an effort to rectify that issue.

 

Iman Marshall, CB, USC

Ranked No. 4 overall in 247Sports' composite ratings, this 5-star cornerback can be an instant game-changer for the Trojans. On national signing day, Marshall chose between six finalists, and his decision to play college football at USC came with this epic video:

Sure, that production seems rather brash, but Marshall has been receiving plenty of hype leading up to his announcement, and he appears to have all of the tools to live up to expectations.

At 6'1" and 190 pounds, Marshall has the size and length of an elite outside corner. With his size comes a good deal of strength. He's a physical corner who flourishes in press coverage and can gain leverage against larger wide receivers. Although, he's very capable in off-coverage as well, boasting enough agility and speed to remain on the hip of smaller, faster receivers.

Marshall will play an immediate role in a USC secondary that boasts true freshman standout cornerback Adoree' Jackson and safety-linebacker hybrid Su'a Cravens.

This trio will give the Trojans one of the nation's most talented secondaries and should easily allow the team to improve from its 2014 ranking of 115th against the pass in the high-octane Pac-12.

 

Calvin Ridley and Daylon Charlot, WRs, Alabama

This wide receiver duo just may save Alabama's offense going forward. Former Crimson Tide standout Amari Cooper is off to the NFL, and Nick Saban's squad didn't exactly have much of an answer in terms of a replacement. Well, now Alabama has two.

According to 247Sports' composite ratings, Ridley is the No. 11 overall prospect and top wide receiver, while Charlot is ranked 90th overall and ninth at wide receiver.

Both players have the skill set and size—Ridley is 6'0" and 170 pounds; Charlot is 6'0" and 193 pounds—to excel immediately in the Crimson Tide offense.

Ridley appears to be Alabama's next No. 1 target. He has the length and leaping ability to create an enormous catch radius, and combined with his soft hands and great acceleration, he is a legitimate vertical threat. Here's a look at a perfect example of what he can do, via a tweet from Big County Preps:

Charlot figures to be a perfect complement to Ridley. An absolute burner, Charlot is difficult to catch when he generates a full head of steam.

Combined with his shiftiness and great vision, he is a terror in the open field and no stranger to racking up yards after the catch. This skill set also allows him to double as a returner, an area where he should see some time in Alabama.

Last season, Cooper went off for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns on 124 receptions. Alabama's new receivers have some big shoes to fill, but they also have the talent to make the transition quickly.

 

All prospect rankings and measurables courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Top 2015 Recruits Committed to Fighting Irish

Head coach Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are coming off a turbulent 2014 campaign. After winning their first six games and garnering attention as one of the nation's best teams, the wheels fell off and the team lost five of its final six regular-season contests.

Fortunately, the Irish bounced back in the Music City Bowl, defeating LSU 31-28 and making their football program look more appealing to potential recruits in the process.

That bowl win, combined with Kelly's efforts, led to a total of 24 players comprising Notre Dame's 2015 recruiting class. According to 247Sports, the quality of prospects acquired by the Fighting Irish gives the program the 13th-best class in the nation.

Here's a look at the full list of recruits, followed by some analysis for a few notable additions.

All recruit rankings courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings.

 

Notable Recruits

Brandon Wimbush, QB

Wimbush is a great addition for the Irish. The 6'2", 205-pound quarterback chose Notre Dame over prestigious schools such as Alabama, Stanford, Ohio State and others. It's easy to see why he was so highly coveted, as he possesses all of the traits to become a dominant dual-threat quarterback at the collegiate level.

His size is ideal for a running quarterback, as he possesses a strong frame and won't be easily rattled. He's also displayed quickness with a 4.65-second 40-yard dash. As a passer, Wimbush features a very strong arm, good instincts and the ability to throw accurately on the run.

Here's a great look at what he brings to the table:

While Wimbush will be initially buried on the depth chart behind Everett Golson, Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer, he has the necessary tools to quickly move up the team's pecking order and fight for playing time in the not-too-distant future.

 

Dexter Williams, RB

Williams wasn't expected to play his college ball anywhere but Miami, as he was committed to the Hurricanes early in the recruiting process. However, that all changed upon a tweet he sent on Jan. 2:

He took to Twitter once again Wednesday:

This is a big steal for Notre Dame, as the 6'0", 192-pound Williams not only has the size to run between the tackles, but he has flashed the ability to be a home-run hitting ball-carrier, possessing a great amount of acceleration and straight-line speed (he runs a 4.54-second 40-yard dash).

Versatility is what the Irish will like best about this running back. While he may not be the flashiest or strongest ball-carrier out there, he's extremely well-rounded and will be able to contribute immediately in a rotational role before finding himself as one of the team's biggest assets down the road.

 

Equanimeous St. Brown, WR

Watch out for this playmaking wide receiver. St. Brown has a phenomenal blend of size (6'5", 205 pounds) and speed (4.44-second 40-yard dash) that will make him a pivotal component of Notre Dame's offense one he's given the chance to develop.

While St. Brown may not be as polished as the team's other recruits, such as Miles Boykin or C.J. Sanders, he's very much the most intriguing. Not only is he a big, physical wide receiver who has good ball skills and quickness, but he's extremely intelligent. He speaks three languages and showcased his German tongue during his announcement on national signing day:

St. Brown may not be ready to contribute immediately, but he has enormous upside. Once he packs some weight on to his frame and polishes up his route running, he could become one of the nation's most dangerous wide receivers.

How do you say touchdown in German, again?

 

All recruit ratings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Texas A&M Football Recruiting: Top 2015 Recruits Committed to Aggies

Sometimes, you can work as hard as you possibly can, but it still seems like you're just running in place.

Texas A&M finished with the No. 12-ranked recruiting class of 2015, bolstered by a couple of big-name signatures on national signing day, but that still left the Aggies with just the seventh-best crop in the SEC this year. Such is life in the nation's toughest conference. 

Still, coach Kevin Sumlin has several very bright prospects on his hands, and anything is possible moving forward, especially with a top dual-threat quarterback in the fold. 

Here's a look at the players who have signed a letter of intent with Texas A&M, followed by a primer on the top prospects from the haul.

Full class information available at 247Sports.


Top 2015 Commits

Kyler Murray, Dual-Threat QB 

On second thought, maybe the Aggies aren't struggling to keep up in the SEC. As it stands, they brought in three 5-star recruits in 2015—better than six of the 11 teams ahead of them, including the likes of Georgia, Texas, Auburn and Tennessee. 

If big stars are what makes teams at Texas A&M—Johnny Football or Mike Evans, anyone?—then Kyler Murray is the man to lead this team into the future.

Blessed with tremendous arm strength and top-shelf quickness, Murray fits the mold of mobile Aggies signal-callers. Named the 2014 National Gatorade Player of the Year, Murray threw 54 touchdowns against eight interceptions his senior year, while adding another 25 trips to paydirt on the ground. 

Standing at a mere 5'10", Murray will no doubt face questions about his height. Learning to read college defenses while setting himself up in throwing lanes will be priority No. 1 for Murray. Good thing he can buy time with his legs until he gets more comfortable throwing from the pocket.

Is there anything that could possibly tear Murray away from football stardom in the Lone Star State? Actually, there is. Baseball is the scourge of Texas A&M football fans when it comes to Murray. 

Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer and Barrett Sallee noted his potentially lucrative abilities on the diamond:

In fact, MLB Network's Jim Callis noted Murray could be a first-round pick in the 2015 MLB entry draft, per USA Today's Cam Smith

He has a chance to go in the first round (of the Major League Baseball entry draft) this spring. He’s the X factor of this year’s draft. He can really run, put the bat on the ball, but there’s still some mystery about him. I don’t think he’s played as much shortstop for his high school team, and scouts haven’t figured out why that is. Usually the best athlete with the best arm plays shortstop. But that won’t matter if he has a great spring and shows he can play shortstop and shows a willingness to sign. He could be a first-round pick.

Murray can perhaps play both football and baseball at Texas A&M, a la Jameis Winston at Florida State, but his situation would still be fundamentally different. Winston was essentially moonlighting as a relief pitcher; Murray is the kind of player baseball scouts want to see out on the diamond from sunup to sundown.

This is a saga to watch in College Station. Murray has a chance to become an elite college quarterback. Only time will tell if he sticks with that path. 

Christian Kirk, WR 

The Aggies have had this top-tier wideout locked down for some time now, but fans shouldn't be any less excited for Christian Kirk, even after a wild national signing day that shifted the focus to newly inked prep stars.

That being said, it appears fans cannot be more excited than Kirk is himself to play football at A&M. He committed in December 2014 and enrolled in school on Jan. 20.

Reeled in all the way from Scottsdale, Arizona, the hyperathletic Kirk has superstar potential. At 5'10" and 191 pounds, he has the frame to withstand the rigors of the college game from Day 1. Listed as the No. 4 wide receiver in the class, Kirk may actually be more than that to Texas A&M.

As a high school senior, he racked up 25 rushing touchdowns, 17 receiving touchdowns, two interceptions returned for touchdowns and two specials team return scores. In fact, he's scored from six different positions. Here's the proof:

Hopefully, the Texas A&M faithful are ready to treat Kirk like family. In any case, he's willing to return the love, per Sports360AZ.com's Eric Sorenson: "The best thing about being an Aggie is that it goes beyond just being a football player here. It’s a family all around campus, everyone takes so much pride and tradition into this University, it’s an honor to be able to carry on the traditions and make former Aggies that love this place to death proud."

With so much potential and a kinetic spread offense designed to take advantage of his myriad skills, don't be surprised if folks in College Station are soon calling Kirk the captain.



Daylon Mack, DT 

Lo and behold, the prodigal recruit hath returned.

Daylon Mack committed to the Aggies well before national signing day, only to renege on his promise and start looking at other schools, chief among them Texas and TCU.

It certainly looked like the Longhorns could win this recruiting battle, especially after Mack's own tweet showed him decked out in burnt orange, smiling: 

Aggies fans, feel free to take a deep breath and scrub that image from your conscience forever.

Mack signed with the Aggies on Wednesday, giving them a rock-solid defender to clog up the middle. Texas A&M's run defense needs shoring up—perhaps an understatement considering it ranked 109th last season—and Mack will bring 330 pounds of tenacious support to the cause.

He's no slouch on the pass rush, either. Mack racked up 17 sacks in his three-year varsity career to go along with 89 tackles for loss.

There's also a chance Sumlin will be drawing up some surprise packages for Mack on offense. As a prep senior at Gladewater High School, Mack trucked his way to 262 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 26 attempts. 

The Aggies definitely had some holes to fill with this recruiting class.


Player rankings based on 247Sports' composite ranking system. All recruit measurements and stats courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Auburn Football Recruiting: Top 2015 Recruits Committed to Tigers

Whew, that was close. The 2015 recruiting class for the Auburn Tigers would have been a little less impressive if 5-star prospect Byron Cowart had backed out of his verbal commitment on national signing day.

When it was all said and done, Cowart sent his letter of intent to make good on his verbal commitment to the Tigers. Mike Farrell of Rivals and the Auburn Tigers Twitter page confirms the good news for the program.

On Wednesday morning, Cowart announced his intentions to attend Auburn, but he had also signed a letter of intent to the University of Florida, per Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com.

He didn't want either of the LOIs faxed to the institutions as he gave some last thoughts about his decision. Cowart's high school coach, Sean Callahan, offered this insight, per Adelson.

"His mother and mentor told him to hold up. ... I have no idea when this will go off. I'm not in that circle right now with who's making that decision."

The 6'4" 250-pound defensive end is arguably the top defensive prospect of the 2015 class. According to 247Sports, Cowart is the top defensive end and No. 3 prospect overall. Without question, Cowart will be a huge addition to the Tigers program. 

Here's a look at the rest of the top three recruits headed to Auburn for the 2015 season.

 

Jovon Robinson

With two years of collegiate eligibility remaining, the 5'11" 227-pound Robinson transferred to Auburn from Georgia Military College and has already enrolled at his new school. He's considered the No. 1 overall junior college transfer in the nation, and he could make a significant impact from day one at Auburn.

Because of the departures of Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant as well as Robinson's JUCO experience, the Tennessee native has a chance to break camp as the team's No. 1 running back.

The head coach at GMC, Bert Williams, told Wesley Sinor of AL.com this about Robinson:

He could be a great back in any part of your running game, whether it's a zone scheme or speed scheme. He can run for power or speed, you don't have to sub him out very often. He's got a low center of gravity, has excellence balance and runs with an attitude. He gets better the longer he's in.

That sounds a lot like Tre Mason. The Tigers can only hope Robinson is as effective.

 

Kerryon Johnson

Inking Mr. Football in Alabama is big. We're not exactly sure where Johnson will play, but we do know he'll bring a good amount of speed and explosiveness to any position. At 6'0", 200 pounds, Johnson has the size to play running back or safety. 

Johnson signed his LOI on Wednesday during the national signing day scramble. While nothing is certain, if I had to guess, I'd predict Johnson winds up as a running back.

Auburn doesn't have a great deal of depth at the position. Also, if Robinson produces what many expect, he may only be in school for a year before he's hearing his named called in the 2016 NFL draft.

Johnson would be set up nicely for a bigger role as a sophomore. Any way you spin it, Auburn's running back tradition should be in good hands.

 

Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

National Signing Day 2015: List of 5-Star Recruits Committed

Star ratings aren't perfect. 

Johnny Manziel was a 3-star recruit, and it took him all of two years on campus to win the Heisman Trophy. Marcus Mariota was also given three stars, rated as the third-best player in Hawaii, and he proceeded to tally over 13,000 total yards and 136 touchdowns at Oregon.

Scooby Wright, the defending Chuck Bednarik Award winner, was a 2-star prospect who ranked outside the top 2,000 in the 2013 class. 

The list goes on and on. Plenty of lower-ranked players become stars, and plenty of blue-chip recruits don't live up to expectations. The rankings matter right up until the players step onto the field. 

While rankings and production don't always correlate perfectly, they do give a good idea of which schools are bringing in the most raw talent.

Let's take a look at where each of the previously uncommitted 5-star recruits, via 247Sports' composite rankings, committed on Wednesday's deadline.

One of the biggest stories heading into national signing day focused on the potential effect of Will Muschamp.

Florida natives—and two of the nation's top three recruits—Martez Ivey and Byron Cowart were largely considered Gator leans when Muschamp was still head coach. When he was fired and became defensive coordinator at Auburn, the Tigers entered the picture for both prospects. 

It turned out to be an even split.

Ivey, the country's top offensive tackle, signed with Florida. Cowart, the preeminent defensive end, followed Muschamp—a known defensive specialist—to Auburn. 

Still, Cowart downplayed the impact of Muschamp, via USA Today's Laken Litman:

Auburn was in my Top 5 way before Will even went to Auburn, so I mean he played a role a little bit, but I told people regardless, if I was to get hurt, if I could never play football again, or if Will was to leave, I still could see myself at Auburn University. He played a little role, but not that much.

By adding CeCe Jefferson, the No. 7 overall recruit and No. 2 defensive end, the Gators were able to quell the loss of Cowart in the most ideal way possible. That marked the end of a spectacularly successful day for new head coach Jim McElwain and his staff. 

USA Today's Paul Myerberg gave his thoughts: 

Also big winners on the day were the Southern California schools. USC picked up a pair of 5-star recruits on the defensive side of the ball in Iman Marshall and Rasheem Green, while UCLA's massive haul was highlighted by running back Soso Jamabo

The rest of the 5-stars went to the SEC, with Terry Beckner Jr. giving Missouri's class a much-needed boost, and Daylon Mack joining fellow 5-star Kyler Murray at Texas A&M. 

In all likelihood, not every one of these prospects will pan out. However, as the most sought-after recruits in America, they will undoubtedly increase optimism—and expectations—for every one of these programs. 

It will be interesting to see which of these 17- and 18-year-old kids can handle that kind of pressure. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Michigan Football Recruiting: Top 2015 Recruits Committed to Wolverines

The biggest news to hit Michigan football in several years happened earlier this offseason when Jim Harbaugh came to Ann Arbor. Expectations for the program are high. Anticipation for Harbaugh's first recruiting class is a different story.

Given just over a month to piece together a class and keep previously committed recruits, Harbaugh had a tough task.

While the class might not rank near the top, Michigan jumped into the top 50 in 247Sports' team rankings. Bringing in players such as Brian Cole and Zach Gentry instantly improves the future for the Wolverines.

Following national signing day, here's a look at the best recruits who committed to Michigan.

 

Brian Cole, Cornerback/Athlete

At 6'2" and 190 pounds, Cole has a projectable frame at multiple positions. With his speed and range on the field, this athlete can be an immediate difference-maker for the Wolverines.

Despite being courted by several other schools throughout the process, including Nebraska, Purdue and Ohio State, Cole stuck to his guns. The No. 5 athlete in the country spoke about his decision, via ESPN College Football:

For a team that needs to improve in several categories, Cole is a versatile player for Harbaugh's first class. As the crops slowly improve under Harbaugh, Cole has a chance to emerge as one of the best young players for the program.

 

Zach Gentry, Pro-Style Quarterback

Even in a typically talent-barren state such as New Mexico, Gentry is a special recruit. The 6'7", 230-pound quarterback offers another project for Harbaugh to develop in Ann Arbor.

The 4-star prospect committed to Texas last May, but Michigan flipped him just ahead of national signing day. Gentry made his commitment official Wednesday and will be wearing maize and blue throughout his college tenure.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports provides his analysis on Gentry:

A huge prospect with a cannon for an arm, Gentry might be the signal-caller of the future. But at this stage, it's impossible to project how much success he'll have in a tough Big Ten Conference.

 

Tyree Kinnel, Safety

Like Cole, Tyree Kinnel stuck with his commitment even through the coaching change. The Dayton, Ohio, native wasn't fazed by the switch and will headline Harbaugh's class defensively.

By the way he ended his announcement, it appears Kinnel always wanted to be a Wolverine. Dave Berk of Scout.com passed along a note from the end of his address:

As the only member of the secondary in the class, Kinnel has a unique opportunity to stand out in the years to come. Possessing great closing speed and ball skills, Kinnel should be another quality defensive player for a coaching staff that knows how to coach them.

 

All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

LSU Football Recruiting: Top 2015 Recruits Committed to Tigers

LSU head coach Les Miles and his staff do not tout the nation's top 2015 class after national signing day, but they sure came close. 

Alabama and USC, among a few others, may sit above the Tigers, but Miles and Co. are in a position to not only improve upon last year's .500 mark in the SEC but build upon it in further classes—even if some of the top recruits commit after pulling LSU's name out of a hat.

No matter the avenue and misses as recruits chose elsewhere, it is clear LSU is nowhere near close to fading around the nation in the minds of recruits.

In hindsight, the 2015 haul may be one of the most important of the last decade.

 

LSU 2015 Recruiting Class

Full class available at 247Sports.

 

Notable Top Commits

Derrius Guice, RB

LSU may have running back Leonard Fournette, but the future behind and around him is secure.

Derrius Guice, a 4-star recruit from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a major reason why. A three-down back in every sense of the description, Guice continues to be a bragging point for Miles, as Ross Dellenger of The Advocate captures:

Guice will someday form an impressive two-headed monster in the backfield with fellow 2015 commit Nick Brossette.

For now, though, the 5'10.5", 213-pound all-purpose back is one of the top highlights of an elite class.

Even if quarterback continues to be somewhat of a problem down the road, Guice does much to insulate the offense from stagnation.

 

Arden Key, WDE

Arden Key is Mr. Pull His School From a Hat. 

Regardless, the 4-star defensive end is now a critical part of the future at LSU as Miles looks to keep continuity along his annually stout defense.

At 6'5" and 230 pounds, the Hapeville Charter High School product has plenty of room to bulk up a relatively wiry frame. He has plenty of time to do so, too, now that he has spurned other programs such as South Carolina, Miami and Alabama.

If one had to guess, defensive line coach Ed Orgeron and others cannot wait to get to grooming the Lithonia, Georgia, native in order to develop his talents as an edge-rusher.

 

Tyron Johnson, WR

Miles does not need to develop a ton of out-of-state pipelines if he can continue to reel in the No. 1 overall prospect from Louisiana.

This year, it is 5-star wideout Tyron Johnson, who spent his last few years shredding defenses as the standout at Warren Easton High School.

Johnson has it all, hence the rating. He has an ideal frame at 6'1" and 191 pounds, which he combines with sound 4.52 40-yard dash speed and a superb catch radius to boot.

Sharief Ishaq of WDSU-TV captured the moment:

Johnson's decision makes sense considering he now gets to follow in the footsteps of past successful wideouts, such as Odell Beckham Jr. and others.

In fact, Johnson might push for playing time right out of the gates, making the signing even better for a great overall day for the Tigers.

 

Player rankings based on 247Sports' composite ranking system. All recruit measurements and stats courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

FSU Football Recruiting: Top 2015 Recruits Committed to Seminoles

Wednesday’s national signing day was the official start to the post-Jameis Winston era in Tallahassee for Florida State, and the Seminoles wasted little time maintaining their spot near the top of the college football mountain.

Coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff brought in the No. 3-ranked class in the country, according to 247Sports’ team rankings, and will look to parlay that into a national championship after losing in the Rose Bowl to Oregon this past season. 

The only way the Seminoles will realistically take home the title this season is if the first-year players contribute along the way. Here is a look at some of the top Florida State commits who could do just that in 2015.

 

Derwin James, Safety

Derwin James is a 5-star prospect and the No. 1 safety in the country, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.

He checks in at 6’2” and 201 pounds and features the prototypical combination of size and speed that makes him a defensive coach’s dream safety at the next level. He hits like a linebacker and covers plenty of field with his athleticism and quickness, which helps against both the run and the pass.

James will patrol the middle of the field for the Seminoles and dish out hits to receivers who dare cross his path. He can also sneak into the box and deliver those blows to running backs as an extra defender who can shut down the opponent’s ground game.

Fisher commented on James’ abilities, via Corey Clark of the Tallahassee Democrat: “The size, the speed, the instincts, the intelligence and when he hits you he hits you. He comes downhill and really hits you. But he's also got great ball skills. He's not just one of those hitters."

It sounds like the Seminoles have their safety of the future.

 

Josh Sweat, Defensive End

Josh Sweat is a 5-star prospect and the No. 1 weak-side defensive end in the nation, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, and he checks in at 6’5” and 240 pounds.

Let TJ Gaynor of Sporting News describe Sweat’s best trait on the field:

Acceleration. Sweat was born to rush the passer. His surname precisely describes what dozens of offensive line coaches will begin to do when they see him on film for the first time in the years ahead.  The “Avatar” is about as real a deal as I’ve seen in a pass rusher since Jadeveon Clowney terrorized high school left tackles.

That’s right, the Seminoles may have landed the best pass-rusher since Jadeveon Clowney, which should be terrifying news for ACC quarterbacks.

Sweat’s pure speed jumps right off the page when watching him play, and he should be able to blow past offensive linemen from the moment he steps on the field. What’s more, he is a powerful hitter when he gets to the quarterback, and his strong hits can take their toll on the opposing signal-caller as the game progresses.

Sweat could be something of an enforcer on Florida State’s line. 

He is also solid against the run because he uses that speed to pursue ball-carriers in the open field better than arguably any defensive lineman in the entire 2015 class. The Seminoles are going to need that type of defensive production to make up for the loss of Mario Edwards Jr. and Eddie Goldman, who could both hear their names called in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft.

 

Tarvarus McFadden, Cornerback

Think Florida State got the defensive side of the ball covered in its 2015 class?

Tarvarus McFadden is a 5-star prospect and the No. 3 cornerback in the nation, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, and could contribute right away for the Seminoles. After all, P.J. Williams is no longer on campus and looking forward to NFL Sundays, which represents an opportunity for McFadden to make a name for himself as a freshman.

McFadden is listed at 6’2” and uses that length to jam receivers at the line and make a play on the ball while it is in the air. That physicality will help him win battles in the ACC during his freshman campaign, and his speed will prevent him from getting beat deep on a consistent basis.

Gaynor also offered a scouting report for McFadden, and one passage in particular should stand out to Florida State fans:

Ridiculous return skills. A threat to take it the distance whenever the ball’s kicked his way. Covers an incredible amount of ground in a single bound. Superman stride length.  Despite his super strides, still able to gear down while at full speed to change lanes and get to green grass.

The surest way to get on the field as a freshman is through special teams. It sounds like McFadden could be responsible for some fireworks on that unit come fall. 

All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

 

Follow me on Twitter:

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Football Recruiting: Top 2015 Recruits Committed to Crimson Tide

Alabama and the No. 1 ranking seem to go hand in hand. While the Crimson Tide didn't finish the 2014 season at the top of the rankings, they still bring in the top class to regain a stranglehold on college football.

Nick Saban's classes have been ranked No. 1 by 247Sports since 2011 and retained that mark in 2015. Headlined by the Elite 11-winning pro-style quarterback Blake Barnett, who is already enrolled, the Tide continue to roll in recruiting.

Following national signing day, here's a look at the top recruits from the latest Bama class.

 

Blake Barnett, Pro-Style Quarterback

Getting one of the best quarterbacks in the country never hurt anyone. After Blake Sims filled in admirably after A.J. McCarron graduated, the Tide now have a potential quarterback to lead the offense.

With offensive weapons like Derrick Henry and Calvin Ridley already around him, Barnett has plenty to work with in Bama's offense. Drew Champlin of AL.com offered his take on the signal-caller:

Barnett emerged as Alabama's top quarterback target in June and committed shortly after a visit to Tuscaloosa. Barnett is enrolled for spring practice and will get a fair shot to compete for the starting job with four returning scholarship players. He was one of Alabama's top recruiters among commits and he'll probably be a top player host for recruiting visits going forward. Alabama was looking for a true dual-threat quarterback with a big arm and found that with Barnett.

Jacob Coker will likely be looking to sit at the top of the depth chart this year, but Barnett has an outside shot to take the reins immediately. His combination of talent and a huge arm gives Lane Kiffin a perfect fit for his offense.

If he doesn't start in the opener against Wisconsin, Barnett might still earn time during the season. In the tough SEC, a trial by fire might be necessary for the young signal-caller. Even with the difficult tests ahead, look for Barnett to thrive with the Tide.

 

Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver

If there was any bigger hole to fill for Alabama than quarterback—again—it was replacing Amari Cooper. By adding Ridley, the Tide now have another sure-handed receiver for Barnett to build chemistry with.

ESPN Stats & Info points out just how crucial the commitment was for Bama:

247Sports also has him listed as the No. 1 receiver, though he has a smaller frame than fellow standouts like George Campbell and Preston Williams. Thanks to his breakaway speed and playmaking ability, Ridley should help keep the offense dynamic moving forward.

On a team that consistently churns out top wideouts like Julio Jones and Cooper, "Showtime" has a chance to be the next to break out.

 

Kendall Sheffield, Cornerback

One huge component in the Tide winning another recruiting title was adding Kendall Sheffield. The No. 4 cornerback in the country will now pair up with Minkah Fitzpatrick to improve the secondary for years to come.

Despite his early commitment, Sheffield's pledge to the Tide was in question heading into national signing day. Taylor Hamm of 247Sports noted Texas A&M was still courting Sheffield ahead of Wednesday:

Along with his talents on the football field, Sheffield is also a great track athlete. As a hurdler, the 18-year-old posted an impressive time of 13.85 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles, according to 247Sports.

Equipped with elite athleticism and agility, Sheffield will fit in perfectly with Alabama. Expect him to make a huge impact when he finally gets his chance to shine on the college football stage.

 

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

USC Football Recruiting: Top 2015 Recruits Committed to Trojans

USC recruiting is back—with a vengeance too.

Last year, it was Adoree' Jackson and others. This year, Iman Marshall and a bevy of top-tier recruits help the Trojans flirt with the No. 1 overall class while putting together quite the body of work the past few years, as ESPN Stats & Info details:

Wednesday was further validation that USC is free from the shackles to proceed with Steve Sarkisian's vision as the Trojans get back to contention.

 

USC 2015 Recruiting Class

Full class available at 247Sports.

 

Notable Top Commits

Iman Marshall, CB

Believe the hype around Iman Marshall, who also considered LSU, Michigan, Florida State, Notre Dame and a plethora of others before Wednesday's announcement.

Truthfully, the Long Beach Poly High School product never figured to travel far come national signing day, though.

A late surge from Jim Harbaugh and Michigan created a bit of a stir, but at the end of the day, the 5-star cornerback will suit up for the Trojans and make an impact right away.

Thank a 6'1", 190-pound frame with 4.5 40-yard dash speed as well as great play recognition and ball skills.

In the high-flying Pac-12, quarterbacks are going to have a few problems with USC in the coming years.

 

Rasheem Green, DL

They rarely make them like Rasheem Green. 

The 5-star defensive tackle comes in at 6'5" and 275 pounds, and his excellent burst off the line will allow him to wreak havoc in opposing backfields sooner rather than later.

A Gardena, California, native, Green says much more than locale and program prestige went into his decision, as captured by TrojanSports.com:

Green's arrival is a great sign for the future of the program. There was little doubt about the Trojans' ability to get the signature before Wednesday, though, considering only Arizona State really had a strong shot at him to begin with.

Now that things are official, Green and his coaches can get down to business—making the lives of Marshall and others behind him easier.

 

Osa Masina, OLB

Fellow linebackers John Houston and Porter Gustin seem to get most of the headlines, but do not forget about Osa Masina out of Brighton High School in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The 5-star linebacker is the future of the Trojans linebacking corps. Recent comments by Sarkisian, via the team's Twitter account, show this well enough:

It says a lot about where the Trojans stand right now when the staff can reel in the top overall prospect from Utah. Masina comes in at 6'3.5" and 230 pounds and can contribute right away, although the future is what should scare the rest of the Pac-12 the most.

In tandem with Houston and Gustin, the USC defense is going to return to its elite roots quickly.

 

Player rankings based on 247Sports' composite ranking system. All recruit measurements and stats courtesy of 247Sports.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Football Recruiting: Top 2015 Recruits Committed to Buckeyes

Urban Meyer bests Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, and Ohio State rests in the top 10 overall classes.

So yes, 2015 national signing day was a great day for the Buckeyes.

Just a few weeks removed from bringing home a national title, Meyer and his staff's work ensures future contention. The Buckeyes fended off the Big Ten as a whole in the process, and 4-star quarterback Joe Burrow took to social media to poke fun at the Wolverines:

It is hard to find fault with the 2015 Ohio State class, especially thanks to some of the most prominent names.

 

Ohio State 2015 Recruiting Class

Full class available at 247Sports.

 

Notable Top Commits 

Justin Hilliard, OLB

Go figure Ohio State lands the best in the state, right? 

Justin Hilliard, a 5-star linebacker and the No. 1 overall prospect from Ohio, is the face of Meyer's 2015 class.

By all accounts, he's quite happy with the fit too:

His father, well, not so much—at least in a way, as Tom VanHaaren of ESPN points out:

In all seriousness, though, Hilliard is a monster on the field and the obvious future leader of the linebacker corps. At 6'0" and 225 pounds with room to grow, the St. Xavier High School star figures to grab a starting spot before long.

Hilliard is also important for the simple fact that his public commitment some time ago helped Ohio State's recruiting efforts turn a corner, as other recruits followed suit.

 

Torrance Gibson, QB

A dual-threat quarterback who hails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Torrance Gibson is a critical piece of Ohio State's future once the logjam at quarterback clears.

Gibson is a 4-star recruit who ranks as the No. 6 athlete in the country. While the wait proved excruciating, Meyer says the investment will pay off down the road, as captured by Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch:

No kidding.

At 6'4" and 204 pounds with a 4.50 40-yard dash, Gibson is quite the high-upside recruit to monitor over the years as the coaching staff grooms him for a big role.

It says a lot when a recruit such as Gibson turns away from LSU, Auburn, Miami and Alabama. 

 

Isaiah Prince, OT

Meyer and Ohio State beat Alabama and Maryland yet again when Isaiah Prince donned a Buckeyes hat Wednesday morning.

Prince, a 4-star offensive tackle and the top prospect in the state of Maryland, leaves Eleanor Roosevelt High School as a prospect who can make an impact at the next level right away if necessary.

That does not figure to be necessary, though. The Buckeyes signed five linemen in the 2014 class and have plenty more in the pipeline thanks to Prince and others.

His commitment is noteworthy, though, as it is yet another example that shows Meyer's Buckeyes are here to stay.

 

Player rankings based on 247Sports' composite ranking system. All recruit measurements and stats courtesy of 247Sports.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

USC Football Recruiting: Top 2015 Recruits Committed to Trojans

USC recruiting is back —with a vengeance too. Last year, it was Adoree' Jackson and others. This year, Iman Marshall and a bevy of top-tier recruits help the Trojans flirt with the No...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Miami Football Recruiting: Meet the Hurricanes' 2015 Class

The Miami Hurricanes have nearly wrapped up the 2015 recruiting cycle now that national signing day has concluded.

Five players had already enrolled, but the Hurricanes signed 15 more on Wednesday, Feb. 4, attempting to bolster a program that's seen better days.

While head coach Al Golden has a history of signing prospects in the weeks following national signing day, the Hurricanes ended the drama-filled event with the No. 26 unit in the nation.

But after a disappointing end to the 2014 campaign, Miami's signing day was somewhat anti-climactic. Overall, it's a solid haul that addresses their needs, but it still lacks the superstar presence many supporters desire and demand.

 

Offensive Skill Positions

The Hurricanes once had a quartet of 4-star running backs committed, but local product Mark Walton was the only one who lasted until signing day. Miami must replace school-record-holder Duke Johnson, and Walton now provides the roster with a skill set similar to the departed star's.

Lawrence Cager pledged to the Hurricanes at the Army All-American Bowl in early January and stayed true to his word. The 3-star receiver was the No. 7 player from the state of Maryland.

Barring a late addition, Jerome Washington rounded out the skill-position signings. Rated the country's 19th-best junior college prospect and No. 1 tight end, the 6'5", 260-pounder fills an immediate need, provides necessary depth and has the physical tools to become a starter.

Miami is only losing one player at running back, receiver and tight end, so the numbers certainly work. But all things considered, this portion of the class was underwhelming.

 

Those Who Do the Dirty Work

It was no secret: Golden and Co. needed to replenish the offensive line and continue to improve the defensive side of the trenches. So the Hurricanes signed six offensive linemen and four defensive linemen.

Miami grabbed 4-star offensive tackle Tyree St. Louis, 3-star defensive end Scott Patchan and 3-star defensive tackle Ryan Fines, all from IMG Academy.

St. Louis won't necessarily play immediately, but the 4-star is likely the O-line signee most prepared to join the rotation in the near future. Patchan is somewhat reminiscent of NFL-bound Anthony Chickillo, while Fines is a project Miami must develop.

Bar Milo, a high-school teammate of Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya, decided to make the cross-country trip from Southern California to South Florida. The 4-star offensive lineman, along with JUCO transfer Jahair Jones, are potential immediate-impact players on the line.

On a similar note, 3-star defensive tackle Kendrick Norton chose the Hurricanes on signing day, per Justin Barney of The Florida Times-Union. Norton has an excellent chance to break into the two-deep as a freshman.

Golden had high praise for Richard McIntosh, a 3-star defensive end from Fort Lauderdale.

A trio of 3-star offensive linemen in Brendan Loftus, Hayden Mahoney and Tyler Gauthier represent useful depth, though they probably won't see significant playing time until 2017.

The Hurricanes also announced the addition of former 5-star and Florida Gators defensive tackle Gerald Willis, who must sit out 2015 due to NCAA transfer rules. His on-field talent is undeniable, but Willis is followed by a variety of question marks, as noted previously by the Tampa Bay Times.

 

Linebackers and Defensive Backs

Miami's most glaring need entering the final week before signing day was at linebacker, but Golden managed to snag local 3-star James King, according to Peter Ariz of CanesInSight.

King joined Charles Perry and Jamie Gordinier, giving the Hurricanes a decent selection on the outside. Miami could have used an inside linebacker but struck out on the trail.

Headlined by 4-star early enrollee Jaquan Johnson, the secondary is undoubtedly the strength of the Hurricanes' 2015 class. Johnson's high school teammate Sheldrick Redwine exchanged Louisville red for Miami orange on national signing day, per David Furones of The Miami Herald.

Golden plucked 6'2" Michael Jackson out of Alabama, who fits the mold of Ladarius Gunter as a future outside cornerback.

With Deon Bush and Rayshawn Jenkins returning, the Hurricanes took a reasonable risk on a local product. They added Robert Knowles, a late-rising, high-ceiling prospect at safety.

 

Complete 2015 Class

Each player who has signed is listed in the table below, which is organized by the 247Sports composite rankings. For reference, 4-star prospects are highlighted, and every remaining player is a 3-star.

 

Note: Stats courtesy of CFBstats.com. All recruiting information via 247Sports and rankings based on 247Sports' composite rankings.

Follow Bleacher Report college football writer David Kenyon on Twitter: @Kenyon19_BR.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pages