Each Wednesday, ESPN RecruitingNation updates its national class rankings and its conference class rankings.
The American is now led by South Florida who has edged its way into the top spot. The Bulls have a class that features a pair of ESPN 300 prospects and recently added three-star WR Tyre McCants. After the departure of head coach Charlie Strong, Louisville, which will be leaving for the ACC, saw its class fall out of the national rankings and drop to No. 2 in the conference. Rutgers, which will move to the Big Ten, fell to the No. 3 spot, but remains close behind the top two teams.
1. South Florida Bulls: The Bulls' class includes ESPN 300 wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar), four-star athlete Jimmy Bayes (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee) and four-star postgrad defensive end Eric Mayes (Sarasota, Fla./Milford Academy). Another four-star prospect, offensive tackle Benjamin Knox (DeLand, Fla./DeLand High) has jumped on board as well.
2. Louisville Cardinals: The Cardinals' class has taken a hit with the departure of Charlie Strong. Louisville has found continued success in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with seven combined commitments, but keeping the class together is the task at hand for Bobby Petrino. Four-star defensive tackle Daniel Cage (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) remains high on Louisville's wish list.
3. Rutgers Knights: Rutgers is loading up at the skill positions with wide receiver and No. 118 overall Saeed Blacknall (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan), along with running backs Joshua Hicks (Palmetto, Fla./Palmetto High) and Robert Martin (Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg High). Justin Nelson (Wayne, N.J./DePaul Catholic High) bring defensive versatility.
4. Cincinnati Bearcats: The Bearcats' class features nearly two dozen three-star prospects, including seven prospects from Florida, with one of the headliners being defensive end Spencer Williams (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast). Cincinnati has five junior college prospects in the class.
5. UCF Knights: The Knights' class includes one ESPN 300 member, quarterback Tyler Harris (Blackshear, Ga./Pierce County High), who flipped from SMU. While there are a number of key targets remaining on the board, keeping fast-rising safety Mike Rogers (Smyrna, Ga./Campbell) in the fold is a top priority for the UCF staff. Flipping defensive tackle Jamiyus Pittman (Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County High) fills a key need.
6. Houston Cougars: The Cougars' class features some prospects with potential, including DE Mason Denley (Columbus, Texas/Columbus). While quarterback Bear Fenimore (Austin, Texas/Westwood) is already on board at a need position, it's the five offensive line commits who fill the immediate needs for Houston.
7. SMU Mustangs: The Mustangs' class currently consists of 15 three-star prospects, including a pair of signal-callers. Three-star safety Terry Ausborne (Tyler, Texas/Tyler) is one of several targets still in play for the Mustangs.
8. Memphis Tigers: The Tigers' commitments include four-star linebacker T.J. Posey (Gadsden, Al./Gadsden High). Quarterback Clay Holgorsen (Katy, Texas/James Taylor High) is the headliner on offense with defensive line being a key position of need in the class.
9. Temple Owls: The Owls' class is defensive-line heavy, but it is offensive lineman James McHale (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) who is playing the role of headliner. Continuing to add to the offensive line is a key for the Owls moving forward. The Owls have five commits from the Sunshine State.
10. Connecticut Huskies: The Huskies have a new head coach in place in Bob Diaco and he takes over a class that includes eight three-star prospects. The top prospects in the class are running backs Arkeel Newsome (Ansonia, Conn./Ansonia) and Brice McAllister (Suffield, Conn./Suffield Academy).
Newly crowned BCS national champion Florida State has enjoyed recent success on the recruiting trail and sits in the ACC's top spot. The Seminoles ended 2013 by picking up RB Dalvin Cook and then kicked off the New Year by adding ESPN 300 prospects Lorenzo Featherston and Travis Rudolph. Miami has slipped some nationally, but still sits comfortably in the conference's No. 2 slot. No. 4-ranked Virginia recently added in-state ESPN 300 WR Jamil Kamara. Pitt sits inside the top-10 after adding WR Adonis Jennings, its second ESPN300 commitment in the last month.
1. Florida State Seminoles: The Seminoles' class includes 12 ESPN 300 prospects, including No. 21-overall Dalvin Cook (Miami/Central High) and No. 33-ranked Lorenzo Featherston (Greensboro, N.C./Page High, who both committed during Under Armour All-America practices. The Noles could close with possibly up to 31 or 32 prospects in the class. No. 9 Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra High), No. 15 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Al./Hoover High), No. 18 Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis High), No. 22 Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead High) and No. 26 Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara High) still in play.
2. Miami Hurricanes: The Hurricanes boast a class that features double digit ESPN 300 prospects, including No. 23 Joseph Yearby (Miami/Central High) and No. 36 Kc McDermott (Wellington, Fla./Palm Beach Central High). At the top of the wish list remaining is No. 26-overall Prince, as well as getting No. 164-ranked Travonte Valentine (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat Catholic) back in the fold.
3. Clemson Tigers: Clemson is putting together another solid class, led by No. 1 dual-threat quarterback Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville High) and an impressive group of offensive skill players. The Tigers have eight ESPN 300 prospects committed.
4. Virginia Cavaliers: The Cavaliers have the smallest class among nationally ranked teams, but No. 5 overall Andrew Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Frommel Smith High) and No. 10 Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside High) are two of the very best in the country. ESPN 300 wide receiver Jamil Kamara (Virginia Beach, Va./Bishop Sullivan Catholic) has jumped on board giving Virginia six ESPN 300 commits.
5. Virginia Tech Hokies: The Hokies currently sit at No. 27 in the RecruitingNation class rankings with headliners ESPN 300 athlete Ja'Von Harrison (Lakeland, Fla./Kathleen High) and No. 299-overall Ricky Walker (Hampton, Va./Bethel High). Running back Shai McKenzie (Washington, Pa./Washington High) was a key December pickup for the Hokies as was Under Armour All-America linebacker Melvin Keihn (Baltimore/Gilman School) and quarterback Chris Durkin (Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline High).
6. North Carolina Tar Heels: The Tar Heels are at No. 29 in the national rankings with a class headlined by a trio of ESPN 300 prospects, including running back and No. 80-overall Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Catholic High). Three-star outside linebacker Cayson Collins (Charlotte, N.C./Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology) is full of upside.
7. NC State Wolfpack: The Wolfpack's class features No. 68-ranked Kentavius Street (Greenville, N.C./J. H. Rose High) and four-stars quarterback Jalan McClendon (Charlotte, N.C./West Mecklenburg High) and defensive tackle Justin Jones (Austell, Ga./South Cobb High). If the Wolfpack could snag No. 152-overall Trevion Thompson (Durham, N.C./Hillside High), Dave Doeren's first full class could be considered a success.
8. Boston College Eagles: The Eagles are led by former Rutgers commit and No. 282-ranked Jonathan Hilliman (Jersey City, N.J./Saint Peters Prep), as well as Connor Strachan (Wellesley, Ma./Saint Sebastian's School) and defensive end Harold Landry (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest High).
9. Pittsburgh Panthers: The Panthers struck early at quarterback, landing commitments from Wade Freebeck (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Saint Thomas Aquinas) and Adam Bertke (Maria Stein, Ohio/Marion Local), and also have a pledge from high three-star running back Chris James (Niles, Ill./Notre Dame High). ESPN 300 prospects Adonis Jennings (Erial, N.J./Timber Creek Regional) and offensive tackle Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon High) were nice Christmas and New Year's presents for the Panthers staff.
10. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: The Yellow Jackets have a solid group, led by four-star cornerback Stepheny Durham IV (Jacksonville, Fla./Atlantic Coast High) and running back C.J. Leggett (Alpharetta, Ga./North Gwinnett High). Linebackers Terrell Lewis (Ocoee, Fla./Ocoee High) and KeShun Freeman (Hogansville, Ga./Callaway High) could be instant contributors.
11. Duke Blue Devils: The Blue Devils' class features four-star prospects Nicodem Pierre (Miami/Coral Reef High), Zavier Carmichael (Mobile, Ala./Saint Paul's Episcopal) and Shaun Wilson (Charlotte, N.C./West Mecklenburg High). Duke remains in the hunt for four-star wide receiver Trevon Lee (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons High) and others.
12. Maryland Terrapins: While the Terrapins sit outside the national rankings and near the bottom of the ACC, Maryland is a program with a shot to ascend. The class features ESPN 300 defensive end Jesse Aniebonam (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) and several other four-star prospects, but the Terps' remaining targets are notable. The Terps lost out on No. 11 overall Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) to Arizona, but remain in the hunt for No. 26 Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara High) and others.
13. Syracuse Orange: Syracuse has a pair of four-star dual-threat QBs in A.J. Long (Lebanon, Tenn./Friendship Christian School) and Alin Edouard (Hialeah, Fla./Hialeah) as the headliners of a class that includes three linebackers and over a dozen three-star commits.
14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: The Demon Deacons currently boast commitments from six states, led by outside linebacker Jaboree' Williams (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Fort Lauderdale High). Wake Forest would love to pull defensive tackle Edgar Cerenord (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage High) out of the Sunshine State as well.
Newly named Texas head coach Charlie Strong will take over the conference's top ranked class. The Longhorns' rival Oklahoma sits close behind them at No. 2. The Sooners recently added ESPN 300 RB Joe Mixon and four-star OG Natrell Curtis to help them close some distance. Baylor sits at No. 3 and Oklahoma State, which had DE commit Jordan Brailford move into the ESPN 300, sits at No. 4.
1. Texas Longhorns: The Longhorns' class includes seven ESPN 300 members, led by No. 78-ranked Derick Roberson (San Antonio/Williams J. Brennan High). The Longhorns are still in the running for several prospects including top target No. 25-overall Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell High). With Charlie Strong having been hired, Texas is in a position to close with authority.
2. Oklahoma Sooners: The Sugar Bowl champion Sooners' class features six ESPN 300 prospects, including quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) and January pledge Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom High). Oklahoma remains in position to surge in the Big 12 and national rankings with prospects such as No. 9-overall Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) and No. 75-ranked Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East) still on the board.
3. Baylor Bears: The Bears are making the most of their Big 12 title and BCS bowl, checking in at No. 18 in the national rankings. The group features five ESPN 300 prospects. No. 30-ranked K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant High) and No. 38-overall Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau High) are the bell cows of another class that features plenty of speed.
4. Oklahoma State Cowboys: The Cowboys' class includes four ESPN 300 prospects, led by ESPN 300 quarterback Mason Rudolph (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern) and speedy junior college playmaker Tyreek Hill (Garden City, Kan./Garden City Community College), who has signed and enrolled for the spring. Safety Steven Parker II (Jenks, Okla./Jenks High), No. 139 in the ESPN 300, is one of a number of prospects the Cowboys are going hard after.
5. Texas Tech Red Raiders: The Red Raiders have a trio of four-star skill players committed from the Lone Star state. Three-star signal-caller Patrick Mahomes (Whitehouse, Texas/Whitehouse) is one to watch. The Red Raiders would love to add defensive line depth to the class.
6. West Virginia Mountaineers: The Mountaineers' class is led by four ESPN 300 prospects, including wide receivers Lamar Parker (Miami/Booker T. Washington) and Jake McCrary (Miami/Coral Reef High). Linebackers Edward Muldrow (Snellville, Ga./Copiah-Lincoln Community College) and Xavier Preston (Jensen Beach, Fla./Jensen Beach High) are two key pledges. ESPN 300 teammates Donte Thomas-Williams (Durham, N.C./Hillside High) and Trevion Thompson (Durham, N.C./Hillside High) are coveted.
7. Iowa State Cyclones: The Cyclones' class is headlined by No. 148 overall prospect Allen Lazard (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale School). Iowa State is working the junior college level hard on the defensive side of the ball, and has already inked a trio of junior college spring transfers on defense.
8. Kansas Jayhawks: The Jayhawks' class includes ESPN 300 prospects Kyron Watson (East Saint Louis, Ill./East Saint Louis High) and center Jacob Bragg (Nacogdoches, Texas/Nacogdoches High). Kansas is working the junior colleges very hard in 2014, and picked up three commitments in December.
9. Kansas State Wildcats: Kansas State's top commitment is the No. 7 center in the country, Dalton Risner (Wiggins, Colo./Wiggins High). Three-star offensive tackle Alec Ruth (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor Christian High) is another key pledge on the offensive line. As is usually the case, the junior college ranks are key for the Wildcats.
10. TCU Horned Frogs: The Horned Frogs' commit list is made up of one four-star prospect and multiple three-stars with quarterbacks Foster Sawyer (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal) and Grayson Muehlstein (Decatur, Texas/Decatur) being the headliners. Braden Smith (Olathe, Kansas/Olathe South), No. 123 in the ESPN 300, has ties to TCU, and is one of many prospects Gary Patterson and his staff are still pursuing.
The Big Ten didn't see much movement within its rankings in this update. Ohio State, holding steady in the top spot, recently strengthened its class with a pair of in-state ESPN 300 pick ups in athlete Marshon Lattimore and safety Erick Smith. New Penn State head coach James Franklin takes over the No. 3 class in the conference. Michigan State and Nebraska both moved in the top 40, giving the Big Ten seven programs with nationally ranked classes.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes: The Buckeyes' class features 11 ESPN 300 prospects, led by five-star and No. 13 Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County High), No. 34 Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach Lakes, Fla./Dwyer High), No. 58 overall Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Technical High) and No. 74 Jamarco Jones (Chicago/De La Salle). January commitments by No. 45-overall Marshon Lattimore (Cleveland/Glenville High) and No. 183 Erick Smith (Cleveland/Glenville High) keeps the Buckeyes top-five class alive. Remaining targets include No. 24 John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Polytechnic High) -- among others.
2. Michigan Wolverines: The Wolverines' class includes nine ESPN 300 prospects -- among them No. 2 Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic). Michigan lost out in the race for No. 6 Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge High), but remains in play for ESPN 300 defensive tackle Malik McDowell (Southfield, Mich./Southfield High).
3. Penn State Nittany Lions: The Nittany Lions' class features four ESPN 300 prospects, including No. 51-overall Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln High), who committed Dec. 17. Penn State's commitments include four-star running back and former Maryland commit Johnathan Thomas (Danvers, Mass./Saint John's Prep), and top-15 tight end Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional). With James Franklin having been hired, keeping the class together seems like a good bet.
4. Wisconsin Badgers: The No. 31-ranked Badgers' class consists of one ESPN 300 prospect in No. 141 Jaden Gault (Monona, Wis./Monona Grove High) and four-star, quarterback D.J. Gillins (Jacksonville, Fla./Ribault High). The Badgers class includes several defensive linemen led by four-star tackle Craig Evans (Sun Prairie, Wis./Sun Prairie High).
5. Northwestern Wildcats: The Wildcats are led by ESPN 300 quarterback Clayton Thorson (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) and No. 270-overall Garrett Dickerson (Oradell, N.J./Bergen Catholic). A third ESPN300 prospect, No. 95 Parrker Westphal (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook), has already signed and is a spring enrollee.
6. Michigan State Spartans : The Spartans are led by No. 244-ranked Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway High), No. 256-overall Brian Allen (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) and four-star Gerald Owens (Westville, N.J./West Deptford). Michigan State has the chance to improve its ranking with targets such as No. 68 Malik McDowell (Southfield, Mich./Southfield High) still on the board.
7. Nebraska Cornhuskers: The Cornhuskers' class is led by ESPN 300 OG D.J. Foster (Lincoln, Neb./Southeast High) and four-star quarterback Zack Darlington (Apopka, Fla./Apopka), along with defensive end Darius Slade (Montclair, N.J./Montclari High). Top targets remaining include three-star offensive guard Nick Gates (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman High) and junior college linebacker Devante Bond (Roseville, Calif./Sierra College), among others.
8. Iowa Hawkeyes: The Hawkeyes are quietly putting together a sneaky-good class, led by No. 268 Jay Scheel (La Porte, Iowa/Union High). Three-star quarterback Tyler Wiegers (Beverly Hills, Mi./Detroit Country Day High) didn't make national headlines with his December pledge, but it's a key one for the Hawkeyes.
9. Indiana Hoosiers: The Hoosiers' class includes over a dozen three-star prospects, including Airius Moore (Beavercreek, Ohio/Beavercreek) and running back Devine Redding (Cleveland/Glenville). Three-star cornerback Craig James (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsville), tight end Dav'ion Riley (Lake Wales, Fla./Lake Wales High) and safety Tony Fields (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby High) are among the top targets still on the board.
10. Illinois Illini: The Illini have commitments from multiple three-star prospects, including running back Matt Domer (Chicago/Mount Carmel High). Three-star defensive end Tito Odenigbo (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) helps fill needs on the defensive front as does junior college –pledge with a high ceiling Jihad Ward (New York, N.Y./Globe Institute of Technology).
11. Minnesota Golden Gophers: The Golden Gophers' class is headlined by ESPN 300 running back and Under Armour All-America Game standout Jeff Jones (Minneapolis/Washburn High). Running back D'Ernest Johnson (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee High) is one of several prospects Minnesota remains in the mix for. 12.Purdue Boilermakers: The Boilermakers' class includes quarterback David Blough (Carrollton, Texas/Creekview); who has already signed and enrolled for the spring semester. Three-star safety Juan Jenkins (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville High) is one of five December commitments from Florida and Georgia.
12. Purdue Boilermakers: The Boilermakers' class is made up of 16 three-star prospects, including quarterback David Blough (Carrollton, Texas/Creekview), who has already signed and enrolled for the spring semester. Three-star safety Juan Jenkins (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville High) is one of five December commitments from Florida and Georgia.
Arizona State sits at No. 1, but in-state rival Arizona made a run at the top spot. The Wildcats had landed a verbal from ESPN 300 CB Jalen Tabor, but his quick decommitment keeps them at No. 2. Oregon, which recently added four-star OLB Jimmie Swain IV, holds steady in the No. 3 spot. USC, which had OT commit Chris Brown move into the ESPN 300, sits close behind the Ducks at No. 4. UCLA moved up into the top five with a class that features six ESPN300 prospects.
1. Arizona State Sun Devils: The Sun Devils' top-20 class is led by six ESPN 300 prospects, including cornerback Tyler Whiley (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral), and OLB D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito). Four-stars quarterback Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin) and running back Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale) are also key pick-ups in this class.
2. Arizona Wildcats: The Wildcats check in at No. 20 nationally with a class that includes five ESPN300 commits, including No. 125 overall Marquis Ware (Los Angeles/Salesian High) and No. 147 Cameron Denson (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic High). Arizona's class also includes 15 prospects from California, five of which are four-star prospects.
3. Oregon Ducks: The Ducks' class features No. 47-overall Arrion Springs (San Antonio/Theodore Rosevelt), No. 84 Royce Freeman (Imperial, Calif./Imperial), No. 122 Bishard Baker (Bellevue, Wa./Bellevue High) and No. 170 Tony James (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville), along with No. 278 Jalen Brown (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe). Among those still considering Oregon are No. 9-ranked Adoree Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra High), No. 24 John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly), No. 75 Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East) and No. 194 Mattrell McGraw (River Ridge, La./John Curtis High).
4. USC Trojans: Steve Sarkisian continues to build a solid class, that currently includes six ESPN300 prospects, including guard Viane Talamaivao (Conrona, Calif./Centennial High) and No. 89-overall Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure High). For the Trojans, No. 9 Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra High), No. 24 John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Polytechnic High), No. 67 Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./Saint John Bosco High) and several others on the West Coast take center stage as national signing day draws near.
5. UCLA Bruins: The Bruins' class features six ESPN 300 prospects, including Austin Roberts (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) and Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito). The Bruins class also includes top-50 OG prospect NaJee Toran (Houston/North Shore). No. 9 Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra), No. 25 Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell High), No. 75 Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East) and a number of others remain on the board. UCLA would like to sign a signal-caller in 2014 as well.
6. Stanford Cardinal: The Cardinal have continued their momentum on the field and in recruiting this season. Stanford's class features four ESPN 300 prospects, with No. 46 Keller Chryst (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) playing the role of headliner. Among the top targets still on the board are No. 25 Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) and No. 104 Dalton Schultz (South Jordan, Utah/Bingham High).
7. California Golden Bears: The Golden Bears' class is headlined by a pair of ESPN 300 prospects in one-time Washington verbal WR Erik Brown (Fontana, Calif./Summit High) and Devante Downs (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace High). Among the top targets still undecided but considering Cal is No. 75 Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East).
8. Utah Utes: The Utes' class consists of over a dozen three-stars, including offensive tackles Kenyon Frison (West Valley City, Utah/Granger High) and Jackson Barton (Salt Lake City/Brighton High). Defensive tackle has been a point of emphasis with three prospects committed.
9. Washington State Cougars: Washington State's class includes close to twenty three-star prospects, with the headliner being quarterback Peyton Bender (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons High). Four-star running back Squally Canada (Milpitas, Calif./Milpitas High) is a key December pledge. Defensive lineman Uriah-Dillon Leiataua (Compton, Calif./Dominguez High) is one of several prospects still considering the Cougars.
10. Oregon State Beavers: The Beavers have 20 commitments rated as three-stars, including Datrin Guyton (Manor, Texas/Manor High) and running back Harris Ross (Pittsburg, Calif./Pittsburg High). Tight end remains a need for Oregon State, and the Beavers have a verbal from TE Jake Knight (Meridian, Ind./Rocky Mountain).
11. Colorado Buffaloes: The Buffaloes' class includes high-upside offensive tackle Elijah Rodriguez (Houston/Cypress Creek High) and defensive end Sam Bennion (Logan, Utah/Logan). Colorado's class is heavy with prospects projected on the defensive side of the ball.
12. Washington Huskies: The Huskies' are trying to play catch up under new head coach Chris Petersen. Washington currently has a class that includes eight three-star prospects with plenty of space remaining. Tight ends Chase Blakley (Coeur D'Alene, Idaho/Coeur D'Alene High) and Drew Sample (Newport, Wash./Newport High) are building blocks on offense.
As signing day rapidly approaches, the race in the SEC is very competitive with an impressive seven classes in the top-10 nationally. Alabama remains atop the class rankings, possessing a real strong class that features 17 ESPN 300 prospects including four five-stars. Texas A&M started 2014 off strong landing a pair of offensive weapons in five-star athlete Speedy Noil and WR Frank Iheanacho and sits at No. 2. LSU, with a class that features top-ranked prospect RB Leonard Fournette is at No. 3. The Tigers saw a trio of commits get bumps in the updated player rankings, helping them to move up. Florida, with recent additions like new five-star CB Jalen Tabor and ESPN 300 DL Gerald Willis III, now sits at No. 5. Auburn, which had QB commit Sean White move into the ESPN 300, currently sits at No. 6 in the SEC. With the departure of head coach James Franklin, Vanderbilt suffered multiple decommitments and fell in the rankings to No. 14.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide: The Crimson Tide sit atop the RecruitingNation class rankings with a class that features 17 ESPN 300 prospects, including five-star's No. 3 overall Cameron Robinson (Monroe, La./West Monroe High), No. 6-ranked Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge High) and No. 11 Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen High). Alabama remains in the hunt for several more ESPN 300 prospects, No. 15 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover), No. 24 John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Polytechnic High), No. 52 Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Al./Auburn High) and four-star Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin High).
2. Texas A&M Aggies: The Aggies continue their wave of momentum with a top-five-ranked class that includes 11 ESPN 300 commitments, including signal caller Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain High). Texas A&M has two five-star prospects in defensive end and No. 4 overall Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin High) and No. 7 Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr High), both of whom were Under Armour All-America Game standouts. The Aggies remain in the mix for No. 127-overall Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) and No. 139 Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks High), among others.
3. LSU Tigers: The Tigers' class includes 14 ESPN 300 prospects, led by No. 1–overall Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine High), No. 18-ranked Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron High), No. 29 Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, La./Barbe), No. 37 Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway) and No. 50 Edward Paris Jr. (Mansfield, Texas/Timberview). The Tigers are currently No. 4 in the national rankings, and could potentially still ascend more with prospects such as No. 9-ranked Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra High), No. 14-overall Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross High) and No. 17 Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis) still in play.
4. Tennessee Volunteers: The Volunteers' class includes 11 ESPN 300 prospects. The Vols have been dominant in-state, securing pledges from three of the states top four prospects including No. 43 Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp) and No. 70 Jalen Hurd (Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech). Their class also features two talented legacies: No. 59 Todd Kelly Jr. (Knoxville/Webb School) and No. 105 Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra, Fla./Ponte Vedra). The Vols' commit list also includes ESPN 300 athlete Evan Berry (Fairburn, Ga./Creekside) and three-star LB Elliot Berry, the younger brothers of former Tennessee DB Eric Berry. Tennessee will have as many as 14 spring enrollees.
5. Florida Gators: The Gators' class features 14 four-star prospects, including 11 ESPN 300 prospects. The Gators scored with five-star and No. 11-overall Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) flipping from Arizona to Florida, but lost No. 22-ranked Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead High) the same week. Florida continues to fight to close with prospects such as No. 9 Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra High), No. 14 Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross High), No. 26 Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara High), No. 109 Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock High) and No. 286 McKenzie (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage High) and others with room to ink 24 or 25.
6. Auburn Tigers: Auburn's class is ranked No. 9 nationally and has room to improve. Ten commitments are ESPN 300 prospects, including No. 28 Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford), No. 66 Kalvarez Bessent (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County High) and No. 69 Tre' Williams (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul's Episcopal School). Top ranked juco prospect D'haquille Williams (Reserve, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) has signed and enrolled. The Tigers remain in the mix for No. 52 Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) and No. 174-overall Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian Academy).
7. Georgia Bulldogs: The Bulldogs' class features nine ESPN 300 commitments, including No. 19-overall Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage High) and No. 55 overall Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest). Top targets remaining include five-star defensive end and No. 14 Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross High) and No. 120-overall Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King High).
8. Ole Miss Rebels: The Rebels made national headlines in 2013, inking a top-five class, and continue to back it up with another strong effort in 2014. Ole Miss has four ESPN 300 commitments, including wide receiver Markell Pack (Purvis, Miss./Purvis High) who flipped from Florida State during the season. The Rebels hit on a top target at cornerback in Kendarius Webster (Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge). Keeping No. 135-overall C.J. Hampton (Meridian, Miss./Meridian High) in the fold was huge as is has now enrolled and readying for spring practice.
9. Kentucky Wildcats: The Wildcats' class features five ESPN 300 prospects, including No. 173-overall and quarterback Drew Barker (Hebron, Ky./Conner Senior), five wide receivers and a pair of running backs. The top target remaining on the board are four-star defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin), who is a battle between the Wildcats, Alabama and possibly Notre Dame. The Wildcats remain in the mix to finish with a top 25 class nationally.
11. South Carolina Gamecocks: A smaller class has the Gamecocks currently sitting at No. 30 nationally. The class boasts six ESPN 300 prospects, including No. 91 overall Dante Sawyer (Suwannee, Ga./North Gwinnett High), No. 2 tight end Kevin Crosby (Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt) and No. 220 Donell Stanley (Latta, S.C./Latta). The Gamecocks continue to pursue No. 108 Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock), Florida State commitment Dexter Wideman (Saluda, S.C./Saluda High) and a number of cornerbacks, including No. 120-ranked Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King High).
11. Missouri Tigers: The Tigers class features a pair of ESPN 300 prospects in OT Andy Bauer (Saint Louis, Mo./De Smet Jesuit High) and linebacker Brandon Lee (Indianapolis/Lawrence Central High). Missouri's class features nine commitments from Georgia and Florida, including four-star wide receiver Lawrence Lee (Pensacola, Fla./West Florida Tech). Three-star athlete Raymond Wingo (Saint Louis, Mo./Saint Louis University High) brings speed and big play ability in the return game.
12. Arkansas Razorbacks: The Razorbacks' first full class under Bret Bielema features five four-star prospects, including quarterback Rafe Peavey (Bolivar, Mo./Bolivar) and defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson (El Dorado, Ark./El Dorado). No. 126-ranked Brian Wallace (Saint Louis, Mo./Christian Brothers College High) picking the Razorbacks in early January provided the class a shot in the arm.
13. Mississippi State Bulldogs: The Bulldogs' class features a pair of ESPN 300 prospects, including No. 131 Jesse Jackson (Petal, Miss./Petal) and athlete Jamoral Graham (Decatur, Miss./Newton County Academy). In-state defensive linemen Grant Harris (Clinton, Miss./Clinton) and Tre Brown (Ackerman, Miss./Ackerman) are some of the remaining targets.
14. Vanderbilt Commodores: The Dores' class boasts five four-star prospects, including ESPN 300 safety Kyle Gibson (Seffner, Fla./Armwood), but has taken a big hit with the departure of James Franklin to Penn State. Vanderbilt remains in the mix for ESPN 300 wide receiver Trevon Lee (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons High) and others.