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February 4, 2013

Recruiting blitz: Ranking the classes

MORE: Countdown to Signing Day

With less then 48 hours until National Signing Day, we run down the current state of recruiting in the 2013 class in every major conference. NOTE: Classes ranked according to Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings as of the morning of 2/4/13. Actual rankings can and will change often.

ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Big East | SEC | Pac-12


1. Virginia Tech
The Hokies pulled in a commitment from the fourth Fuller brother and some of the best in-state talent.
Biggest catch: Kendall Fuller, DB, Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel
Could steal: No one, they are done.

2. Florida State
Coaching changes have made some of the Seminoles commits uneasy.
Biggest catch: Ira Denson, OL, Madison (Fla.)
Could steal: Denver Kirkland, OL, Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington

3. Clemson
Losing Robert Nkemdiche early in the process hurt, but the Tigers have rebounded nicely, filling key holes on the defense.
Biggest catch: Shaq Lawson, DE, Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy
Could steal: Carl Lawson, DE, Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton

4. Virginia
Despite a tough season, coach Mike London got commitments from a few of the top in-state prospects.
Biggest catch: Taquan Mizzell, RB, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside
Could steal: George Adeosun, OL, Alpharetta (Ga.)

5. North Carolina
In Larry Fedora's first full recruiting cycle in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels put together a class with a lot of potential.
Biggest catch: T.J. Logan, RB, Greensboro (N.C.) Northern Guilford
Could steal: Jarran Reed, DT, Scooba (Miss.) East Mississippi C. C.

6. Maryland
The Stefon Diggs effect has made recruits think of their hometown school as a viable option.
Biggest catch: Deon Long, WR, Council Bluffs (Iowa) Iowa Western C.C.
Could steal: Yannick Ngakoue, LB, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy

7. N.C. State
After a slow start, the new staff at N.C. State is hoping to salvage this year's class with quality players who will fit into the new Wolfpack scheme.
Biggest catch: Matt Dayes, RB, Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay
Could steal: JuMichael Ramos, WR, Hampton (Ga.) Lovejoy

8. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons had a rough year on the field but have managed to build a solid class.
Biggest catch: James Looney, DE, Lake Worth (Fla.)
Could steal: Blake McClain, DB, Winter Park (Fla.)

9. Miami
It's going to be a pretty small class for the Hurricanes, but there is serious talent.
Biggest catch: Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE, Ramsey (N.J. Don Bosco Prep
Could steal: Matthew Thomas, LB, Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington

10. Duke
David Cutcliffe is continuing to build a quality program in Durham.
Biggest catch: Johnell Barnes, WR, Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar
Could steal: No one; they are done.

11. Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets don't have a huge class, but coach Paul Johnson got commitments at key positions.
Biggest catch: Shamire Devine, OL, East Point (Ga.) Tri Cities
Could steal: Cornelius Elder, ATH, Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth

12. Boston College
A coaching change made it difficult for the Golden Eagles to bring in a bigger, better recruiting class.
Biggest catch: Tevin Montgomery, DT, Marion (Mass.) Tabor Academy
Could steal: No one, they are done.


1. Ohio State
Head coach Urban Meyer proves again he is one of the nation's top recruiters.
Biggest catch: Mike Mitchell, LB, Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Academy
Could steal: Vonn Bell, DB, Rossville (Ga.) Ridgeland

2. Michigan
The Wolverines get stronger on the offensive line and defensive back with this 2013 group.
Biggest catch: Derrick Green, RB, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
Could steal: None. They have closed out their class.

3. Nebraska
Nebraska's class came together with prospects from 13 different states plus Canada.
Biggest catch: Terrell Newby, RB, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
Could steal: Devin Scott, DE, Harvey (La.) West Jefferson

4. Michigan State
Linebacker, running back and defensive back are positions strengthened by the Spartans' 2013 class.
Biggest catch: Jon Reschke, LB, Birmingham (Mich.) Brother Rice
Could steal: None. They have closed out their class.

5. Illinois
The Illini have their heir apparent at the quarterback position in place, and surrounded him with nice skill position players.
Biggest catch: Aaron Bailey, QB, Bolingbrook, Ill.
Could steal: Ryan Timmons, WR, Frankfort (Ill.) Franklin County

6. Penn State
The sanctions levied against Penn State's program were unprecedented; so was the job Bill O'Brien did keeping the faith of recruits.
Biggest catch: Christian Hackenberg, QB, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy
Could steal: None. They have closed out their class.

7. Wisconsin
Wisconsin's class could have been decimated by the departure of Bret Bielema, but head coach Gary Andersen and his staff did an outstanding job keeping the bulk of the class together.
Biggest catch: Corey Clement, RB, Glassboro, N.J.
Could steal: Donnell Vercher, DB, Fresno (Calif.) City C.C.

8. Northwestern
The theme of Northwestern's class is versatility. An unusually high number of their commits could project to multiple positions.
Biggest catch: Matt Alviti, QB, Park Ridge (Ill.) Maine South
Could steal: James Clark, WR, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

9. Indiana
This will go down as the best recruiting class the Hoosiers have signed in the last decade-plus.
Biggest catch: Antonio Allen, DB, Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis
Could steal: Laray Smith, RB, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Xaverian

10. Purdue
New head coach Darrell Hazell was not left much to work with from the previous staff.
Biggest catch: Danny Etling, QB, Terre Haute (Ind.) South
Could steal: Dalyn Dawkins, RB, Louisville (Ky.) Trinity

11. Iowa
The Hawkeyes did a good job adding depth to several positions, but are short on impact players.
Biggest catch: Malik Rucker, DB, New Hope (Minn.) Cooper
Could steal: Reggie Spearman, LB, Chicago Simeon

12. Minnesota
A slow start and a lack of depth in-state cost the Gophers in 2013.
Biggest catch: Berkley Edwards, RB, Chelsea, Mich.
Could steal: Tedric Thompson, DB, Valencia, Calif.

BIG 12

1. Oklahoma
This class may not be as star-studded as some in the past, but it is solid from top to bottom.
Biggest catch: Keith Ford, RB, Cypress (Texas) Cypress Ranch
Could steal: Adrian Baker, CB, Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna

2. Texas
Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns are looking to sign a small class, but there is a lot of talent on board.
Biggest catch: Kent Perkins, OT, Dallas (Texas) Lake Highlands
Could steal: Dontre Wilson, RB, DeSoto (Texas)

3. West Virginia
Dana Holgerson and the Mountaineers beefed up the offensive side but also have a strong defensive group with the linebackers leading the way.
Biggest catch: Shelton Gibson, WR, Cleveland Heights (Ohio)
Could steal: Tyler Boyd, WR, Clairton (Pa.)

4. Oklahoma State
The Pokes continued to strike big in Texas with a trio of four-star receivers leading the way.
Biggest catch: Fred Ross, WR, Tyler (Texas) John Tyler
Could steal: Dontre Wilson, RB, DeSoto (Texas)

5. TCU
In their first year of Big 12 play, the Horned Frogs have stuck close to home with the 2013 class and have quietly built another strong group.
Biggest catch: Kyle Hicks, RB, Arlington (Texas) Martin
Could steal: Andrew Billings, DT, Waco (Texas)

6. Baylor
The Bears have a solid class all the way through, with some potential game breakers on offense and a heavy dose of defense.
Biggest catch: Robbie Rhodes, WR, Fort Worth (Texas) Southwest
Could steal: Kenny Hill, DQB, Southlake (Texas) Carroll

7. Kansas
Charlie Weis stole a page from Kansas State. The Jayhawks went heavy on the junior college talent.
Biggest catch: Marquel Combs, DT, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Pierce C.C.
Could steal: Dionte Savage, OG, Yuma (Ariz.) Arizona Western

8. Kansas State
Coach Bill Snyder continues to work his plan at Kansas State, hitting the JUCOs hard and finding under-the-radar talent.
Biggest catch: Tanner Wood, WDE, Conway Springs (Kan.)
Could steal: Kenny Hill, DQB, Southlake (Texas) Carroll

9. Iowa State
The Cyclones' is not a star-studded group, but there are some players and they have a very impressive haul of offensive linemen.
Biggest catch: Jake Campos, OT, West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley
Could steal: Robert Garcia, SDE, Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit

10. Texas Tech
Kliff Kingsbury and the Texas Tech staff have been playing catch-up on the recruiting front since arriving in Lubbock, but they have picked up the pace as signing day nears.
Biggest catch: Devin Lauderdale, WR, Houston (Texas) Bellaire
Could steal: Zelt Minor, DE, Houston (Texas) Lamar


1. Pittsburgh
The Panthers landed a quality recruiting class loaded with in-state talent.
Biggest catch: Dorian Johnson, OL, Belle Vernon (Pa.) Belle Vernon Area
Could steal: No one, they are done.

2. Rutgers
Despite not landing most of the top in-state talent, the Scarlet Knights put together a solid class.
Biggest catch: Nadir Barnwell, ATH, Piscataway (N.J.)
Could steal: Mackensie Alexander, DB, Immokalee (Fla.)

3. USF
Taking into consideration Willie Taggart was hired in December, the Bulls have put together an impressive class.
Biggest catch: Derrick Calloway, DT, Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee
Could steal: Stacy Coley, WR, Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeast

4. Louisville
The Cardinals have a small class that includes some great talent.
Biggest catch: James Quick, WR, Louisville (Ky.) Trinity
Could steal: Jermaine Grace, LB, Miramar (Fla.)

5. Connecticut
The Huskies added depth at wide receiver, bringing in three three-star.
Biggest catch: Dhameer Bradley, WR, Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy
Could steal: Tim Boyle, QB, Middletown (Conn.) Xavier

6. Syracuse
Despite a coaching change, the Orangemen added quality depth on the defensive side of the ball.
Biggest catch: Luke Arciniega, LB, Roseville (Calif.) Sierra C.C.
Could steal: Reggie Spearman, LB, Chicago (Ill.) Simeon

7. Temple
The Owls pulled in a lot of local talent, especially in the defensive front seven.
Biggest catch: Zaire Williams, RB, Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek
Could steal: Leon Johnson, OL, Bound Brook (N.J.)

8. Cincinnati
Tommy Tuberville came in and shook up the Bearcats' 2013 class, dropping several commits and bringing in others he targeted at Texas Tech.
Biggest catch: Tyler Cogswell, QB, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage
Could steal: Lorenzo Woodley, RB, Miami (Fla.) Columbus


1. USC
The Trojans have taken a few hits in recent weeks. Lane Kiffin's class is still a juggernaut, just not at the same level of one it was a few months back. It still includes an impressive six five-star prospects.
Biggest catch: Kenny Bigelow, DT, Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy
Could steal: Matthew Thomas, LB, Miami Booker T. Washington

Jim Mora's class is as deep as any. There are no five-stars as of now, but there are a whopping 16 four-stars in the fold. UCLA is a threat to add more significant pieces on signing day and the Bruins' recruiting effort has to be commended and looked at as a possible turning point for a program on the rise.
Biggest catch: Priest Willis, DB, Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos de Niza
Could steal: Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, Placer (Calif.)

3. Washington
The hyper-intense Huskies' coaching staff has proven it can recruit with any team in the conference. Washington loaded up across the defensive line and did an outstanding job at wide receiver as well getting Damore'ea Stringfellow and others. Quarterback Troy Williams could be a star in the making. Southern California was a big focus for this staff and the Huskies scored big there.
Biggest catch: Troy Williams, QB, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne
Could steal: Tyrell and Tyree Robinson, ATH, San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln

4. Oregon
The Ducks weathered the storm of coach Chip Kelly leaving for the NFL. It was important that Mark Helfrich was promoted from within to keep the continuity of Oregon's offense and overall system intact. In the days leading up to signing day, the Ducks have to watch out for some last-minute defections that could put a crimp in this recruiting class.
Biggest catch: Thomas Tyner, RB, Beaverton (Ore.) Aloha
Could steal: Cameron Hunt, OL, Corona (Calif.) Centennial

5. Cal
Coach Sonny Dykes came to Berkeley with an aggressive recruiting approach and has done an admirable job keeping the Golden Bears' class intact. It was especially important to lock up four-star cornerback Darius Allensworth two weekends ago and quarterback is strong, too. The job isn't done yet though as some recruits are still considering other schools.
Biggest catch: Jared Goff, QB, Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic
Could steal: Patrick Enewally, DB, Cerritos (Calif.) Gahr

6. Arizona
The Wildcats again struggled to lock up high-level players from Arizona. Instead they went elsewhere for their haul. The very top of Arizona's class is strong and includes what could end up being a game-changing quarterback, but there's something to be desired when it comes to depth.
Biggest catch: Anu Solomon, QB, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman
Could steal: Nobody. Arizona is likely finished.

7. Arizona State
The Sun Devils signed one of Arizona's top prospects in linebacker Chans Cox, who also listed a Notre Dame offer. That, in itself, is a huge win. The class also includes some solid junior college talent. Todd Graham seems to be changing the image of his program in his first full year as head coach.
Biggest catch: Chans Cox, LB, Lakeside (Ariz.) Blue Ridge
Could steal: L.J. Moore, DB, Fresno (Calif.) Central East

8. Utah
Defensive backs and running backs make up a large chunk of Utah's class. There's some solid depth throughout, including six junior college prospects. Most of the transfers are capable of contributing on the Pac-12 level immediately.
Biggest catch: Andre Lewis, WR, Diablo Valley (Calif.) Community College
Could steal: Micah Thomas, ATH, Galens Park (Texas) North Shore

9. Oregon State
Oregon State's coaching staff did a fantastic job recruiting the Inland Empire of Southern California and it paid big dividends. Numerous prospects from that talent-rich area committed to the Beavers and it could open new avenues for recruits in the future. There is still some unfinished business with top recruits leading up to signing day though which could affect Oregon State's class.
Biggest catch: Dashon Hunt, CB, Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake
Could steal: L.J. Moore, DB, Fresno (Calif.) Central East

10. Washington State
Coach Mike Leach and his staff did an impressive job getting early signees from the junior college ranks and then some international players who they believe could be special for the Cougars. Washington State didn't have as much success reaching into Southern California as last recruiting cycle but it still landed Gerard Wicks, who could develop into a top-notch Pac-12 running back.
Biggest catch: Tyler Bruggman, QB, Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep
Could steal: Tatum Taylor, CB, Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea

11. Stanford
The perception is that Stanford had a disappointing year recruiting and the numbers could play a major factor in that since the Cardinal only have 12 commits. Digging deeper finds many talented prospects in this class at key positions, so coach David Shaw's club should be fine in the coming years.
Biggest catch: Peter Kalambayi, LB, Matthews (N.C.) Butler
Could steal: Jordan Cunningham, WR, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School

12. Colorado
The Buffs' class wasn't stellar at any point during the cycle, but the coaching change really made a debacle of it. There are a few solid pieces in play, but it's hard to blame anyone for the lack of top-flight players or much discernable depth. The bright spot is the fact that 10 of the program's 17 commits hail from California. That could be a sign of the school's move to the Pac-12 preparing to pay off.
Biggest catch: Sefo Liufau, QB, Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep
Could steal: Chidobe Awuzie, DB, San Jose (Calif.) Oak Grove.


1. Florida
The Gators were able to flip five-star ILB Alex Anzalone and Matt Rolin late. Both 'backers could help down the road as LB is a position of need for the Gators in the class.
Biggest catch: Vernon Hargreaves III
Could steal: Jaynard Bostwick

2. Alabama
The Tide repeated as BCS national champions and now they are poised to finish in the top five of the Rivals Team Rankings thanks to an impressive out-of-state haul.
Biggest catch: Jonathan Allen
Could steal: Alvin Kamara

3. LSU
Les Miles and the Bayou Bengals have strung together yet another salty class top to bottom. The defensive line and defensive backfield are particularly strong and the wide receivers and offensive line pack a powerful punch.
Biggest catch: Tre'Davious White, CB, Shreveport (La.) Green Oaks
Could steal: Robert Nkemdiche, SDE, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson

4. Texas A&M
The Aggies are one of the hottest teams in the country right now, and while sticking to their Texas roots they have added some national flavor to this standout class.
Biggest catch: Ricky Seals-Jones, ATH, Sealy (Texas)
Could steal: Torrodney Prevot, WDE, Houston (Texas) Alief Taylor

5. Georgia
Thanks to some creative math, the Bulldogs are taking a massive class, with plenty of big-time names poised to contribute early.
Biggest catch: Tray Matthews
Could steal: Montravius Adams

6. Ole Miss
The Rebels are on pace to land two five-star prospects if Robert Nkemdiche picks the Rebels on Signing Day as many are predicting.
Biggest catch: Laquon Treadwell
Could steal: Laremy Tunsil

7. Auburn
New head coach Gus Malzahn and his staff have done a nice job in a short period of time as they were able to flip Rivals 100 prospect Tony Stevens from SEC foe Texas A&M.
Biggest catch: Carl Lawson
Could steal: Reuben Foster

8. South Carolina
The Gamecocks were able to build a solid class early and hang on to it without any major defectors. Identifying and targeting under-the-radar talent helped the cause.
Biggest catch: Larenz Bryant
Could steal: Yannick Ngakoue

9. Vanderbilt
The Commodores' class has been under fire over the past month and despite losing a few prospects, it's still a historic class for James Franklin and company.
Biggest catch: Nigel Bowden
Could steal: Jordan Cunningham

10. Mississippi State
Dan Mullen has done a great holding on to Rivals 100 defensive end Chris Jones, but since Jones earned the coveted fifth star, the Bulldogs haven't been able to capitalize on the momentum, losing two four-star prospects the past two weeks.
Biggest catch: Chris Jones
Could steal: Mackenro Alexander

11. Tennessee
New head coach Butch Jones has rejuvenated recruiting efforts for the Vols, paying off with big-time commits and leaving Tennessee in the discussion for several stars as signing day nears.
Biggest catch: Marquez North
Could steal: Trey Bell

12. Missouri
The Tigers had a tough transition to the SEC in 2012 and while their 2013 class is solid, it is going to take a few more steps to meet the high recruiting standards set by their SEC brethren.
Biggest catch: Chase Abbington, ATH, St. Peters (Mo.) Fort Zumwalt South
Could steal: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, St. Louis (Mo.)

13. Kentucky
By reaching into Ohio rather than battle it out late in the game for prospects in the Southeast, the Wildcats have filled out a very nice class.
Biggest catch: Marcus McWilson
Could steal: Janarion Grant

14. Arkansas
With everything that has happened in Fayetteville over the past year, it's no surprise the Razorbacks have been scrambling a bit as signing day approaches. The new staff has added some nice pieces and will go down to the wire for a few others.
Biggest catch: Hunter Henry, TE, Little Rock (Ark.) Pulaski Academy
Could steal: Altee Tenpenny, RB, North Little Rock (Ark.)



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