Here is a peek ahead at 10 of the top uncommitted players from the Class of 2015.
Terry Beckner Jr.
School: East St. Louis (Ill.)
Beckner Jr. has been a force for East St. Louis since his sophomore year when he recorded nearly 80 tackles and five sacks. He has put on about 20 pounds of muscle in the past year but still projects as an end thanks to his speed and explosiveness. He racked up 99 tackles and eight sacks in 2013 to earn a place on the All-Conference team, an honor he also received for his play on the basketball court this winter – a testament to his rare athletic ability.
Recruiting Update: The laundry list of offers for Beckner Jr. includes early favorites Missouri, Ohio State, USC, LSU and Florida State, with programs such as Michigan, Auburn, Florida and a number of others trying to stay in the fight. He made a visit to Missouri in early April, as the Tigers fight to keep him close to home.
School: East Lake (Tarpon Springs, Fla.)
The top pound-for-pound athlete in the class, Campbell has posted a 4.37-second 40-yard dash and a 40-inch vertical leap. On offense at receiver, Campbell has more than 1,500 yards the last two seasons with 12 touchdowns. On defense at safety and defensive end, he has amassed more than 80 tackles.
Recruiting Update: The former Michigan commit has a top two of Florida and Clemson, where his former teammate and good friend Artavis Scott is now on campus. Florida State is working hard to beat out the Gators and Tigers, as are Alabama and Auburn. Oklahoma is the dark horse in the race.
School: Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.)
Cornell is the latest top national prospect out of powerhouse program Cretin-Derham Hall (think Michael Floyd and Joe Mauer). As a 230-pound sophomore, Cornell posted 52 tackles, 26 tackles-for-loss and 14 sacks as an outside linebacker to earn All-State first team honors. As a 250-pound junior, Cornell was a terror again while playing linebacker and defensive end, recording 70 tackles, 15 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Recruiting Update: Notre Dame has a history of success nabbing recruits from the storied St. Paul program, and the Fighting Irish are certainly in the mix for Cornell. Michigan State, Michigan and local favorite Minnesota are also in the conversation, and UCLA is a sleeper school that shouldn’t be overlooked. Cornell will announce his decision Aug. 28.
School: American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
Gibson has his sights set on playing quarterback at the next level, and there are many programs willing to give him that opportunity. Like Campbell, Gibson has an elite frame and athletic skill set that also makes college coaches see a very bright future at wide receiver or safety. In 2013, Gibson helped lead American Heritage to a state title, throwing for 1,789 yards and 19 TDs while rushing for more than 1,000 yards.
Recruiting Update: Gibson is considering schools that want him as a quarterback. Three schools are believed to be out front: Tennessee, Auburn and Ohio State. Miami (FL) is also fighting hard to keep one of the nation’s best at home. LSU, Oklahoma and Florida are on the periphery at this point.
School: Junipero Serra (Gardena, Calif.)
Green is another blue-chip prospect out of the talent-laden Junipero Serra program. The Cavaliers’ recent top recruits have been skill position players like Robert Woods, Marquise Lee and Adoree’ Jackson, while Green is a defensive tackle prospect with a very high ceiling. Green had a dominant junior campaign that included 26 tackles-for-loss, 14 sacks and a spot on the All-CIF Southern Section Western Division team.
Recruiting Update: The schools mentioned most in connection with Green are USC and UCLA. Washington, Florida and Oklahoma round out the top five. Stanford could be a dark horse after offering Green a scholarship in February, though the Trojans still have to be considered the favorite.
School: St. Xavier (Cincinnati)
Hilliard has been a key member of St. Xavier’s defense since his sophomore season, when he registered 65 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions. The hard-hitting backer racked up 75 tackles, two sacks and another interception as a junior to earn All-State honorable mention honors.
Recruiting Update: Hilliard has been active on the recruiting trail, making unofficial visits to Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Michigan and Alabama thus far. All the aforementioned are in the mix, along with Iowa, where Hilliard’s older brother C.J. signed in February.
School: Apopka (Fla.)
Ivey has proved to be one of the most versatile offensive line prospects the past two seasons at Apopka. After playing guard on the Blue Darters’ Class 8A state title team as a sophomore, Ivey kicked out to tackle as a junior and helped lead an injury-plagued team back to the state championship game. Along the way, Ivey helped clear the way for an offense that piled up 5,962 rushing yards and a state record 751 points.
Recruiting Update: Florida has been the long-standing favorite to win Ivey’s signature, but the Gators face stiff competition from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and others. Ivey has unofficially visited Florida more than any other school.
School: Allen (Texas)
Quarterbacks rarely enter their senior season as decorated as Murray. The dual-threat prospect and son of former Texas A&M signal-caller Kevin Murray will enter his final prep campaign as a two-time defending state champ with a 31-1 record as a starter. He followed a breakout sophomore season with a sensational junior campaign, completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 3,669 yards and 46 touchdowns (against nine interceptions) and adding 1,274 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground.
Recruiting Update: Murray has set an announcement date of May 28, with Texas A&M considered the favorite over Oregon. Not only are there family ties to College Station, but coach Kevin Sumlin’s spread offense fits Murray’s skill set and the Aggies have a deep stable of skill players on campus. Texas Tech, Auburn, Clemson and Ohio State are also in the mix.
School: Marshall (Missouri City, Texas)
Sheffield is one of the top two-sport juniors in the country. A premier hurdler and former Junior Olympic champion, he has a rare combination of speed and explosive power. After intercepting three passes as a sophomore, Sheffield earned All-District 22-4A first team honors last fall despite opponents rarely challenging his side of the field.
Recruiting Update: Sheffield is taking the process slowly as he continues to consider offers from the majority of the nation’s top programs. Among those on his early list include Alabama, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, LSU, Baylor and Florida State. So far this year he’s made unofficial visits to Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
School: Westover (Albany, Ga.)
Thompson spends so much time in the offensive backfield opposing teams should start charging him rent. Sometimes he gets there using brute strength to push opposing linemen straight backward and the rest of the time he uses excellent agility to shed blockers like they aren’t there. A prototypical 3-technique tackle, Thompson has racked up 148 tackles and 17 sacks the past two seasons.
Recruiting Update: Thompson has a top five of Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Tennessee, with the Bulldogs clear front-runners. Thompson has been on the campuses of Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia Tech since February, with the Bulldogs having received a pair of visits.