Scout’s top 25 classes in the nation for 2017 recruiting class. Who is No. 1?
You could call this a once-in-a-decade class. Not since the 2007 Florida Gators has a school compiled more than Alabama’s 5,389 points in the Scout Top 25 ranking system. The Crimson Tide have 25 commits with 10 of them in the national Top 100, including the nation’s top prospect, running back Najee Harris, who the Tide held off Michigan to land. Harris is already signed and on campus. Adding Phidarian Mathis the day before Signing Day and then fellow defensive linemen Jarez Parks (committed but unsigned) and LaBryan Ray, plus wide receiver Henry Ruggs, on Signing Day. Two top junior college prospects, defensive end Isaiah Buggs and offensive tackle Elliot Baker should play immediately given the players who need to be replaced at those positions. Five-star prep linebackers Dylan Moses and VanDarius Cowan bring further star power to the class. Strong-armed quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and quick-footed receiver Jerry Jeudy look to form a dangerous combination for the future. Full class list.
The Bulldogs had a good December-January stretch. In the last two months, the Bulldogs have received commitments from seven four-star commits and one five-star in the nation’s top athlete, DeAngelo Gibbs. He was joined by Ameer Speed on Signing Day. They received an early Christmas present last month when massive offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson chose them despite many thinking Michigan was his lead school. Five-star quarterback Jake Fromm and high four-star running back D’Andre Swift will benefit from Wilson. Wilson should challenge for early playing time and top five JUCO prospect D’Marcus Hayes should be an immediate contributor as well. Full class list.
The Wolverines signed another big class. Five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon and four-star wide receiver Nico Collins made for a good Signing Day for Jim Harbaugh. An important piece committed at the Army Bowl in offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga, giving the Wolverines a national prospect at a position where immediate time may be available. Linebacker is another position where freshmen can compete and Josh Ross, Jordan Anthony and Drew Singleton, if healthy, have the skills to be in the mix. Wide receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones, a five-star prospect, and Tarik Black and cornerback Ambry Thomas are other strong candidates to play early and all three are enrolled. Full class list.
No class in the country has the Buckeyes’ quality per player rating. They are averaging a stunning 4.20 stars per recruit in the class, and 12 members of the class are in the national top 100. The only one of the 19 commits who is not a four or five star is kicker Blake Haubeil (no kickers are ranked as four-stars nationally). Five-star quarterback Tate Martell remains the headliner of the class in terms of star power, but defensive end Chase Young is the class’ highest ranked player and a potential future star. After losing players in the secondary to the draft, the Buckeyes recently landed five-star Texan Jeffrey Okudah to go along with several other top defensive backs. He and Shaun Wade were Army All-Americans. On the offensive side, five-star lineman Wyatt Davis could be a high draft choice one day, and so could 6-foot-6, 325-pound tackle Thayer Munford, who committed on Signing Day. Full class list.
5. USC Trojans
A huge Signing Day for the Trojans brought them up in the rankings with the commitment of two five-stars in offensive lineman Austin Jackson and defensive tackle Jay Tufele, plus a four-star in Levi Jones. Flipping highly regarded defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu and adding safety Isaiah Pola-Mao were big pre-Signing Day gets. Defensive tackle Brandon Pili, cornerback Je’Quari Godfrey and offensive tackle Jalen McKenzie‘s recent additions also helped give the class a bump. That is in addition to national top 40 prospect and nation’s No. 3 safety Bubba Bolden committing in early January during what was a good stretch for the Trojans. Full class list.
Four-star offensive tackle Adrian Ealy committed to the Sooners to start off their January, helping them finish with the top class in the Big 12. Several members of this very strong group signed early and enrolled in school to go through spring practice. That includes linebackers Addison Gumbs and Kenneth Murray, two of the headliners in the defensive class. Marquise Brown, a speedy junior college receiver, was the nation’s No. 11 junior college prospect and should pay immediate dividends. Full class list.
7. LSU Tigers
The offensive line and secondary are the stories of this class. In the back-seven, Todd Harris was a Signing Day addition and five-star safety Jacoby Stevens is already signed and ready to come in and potentially fill Jamal Adams’ spot. Four-star safety Grant Delpit is also on campus early. Cornerback Kary Vincent, Jr. adds yet another Scout 300 member to the secondary. On the offensive line Austin Deculus, another early enrollee, leads the way joined by fellow four-stars Saahdiq Charles and Edward Ingram. The triggerman in the class is four-star quarterback Myles Brennan. Full class list.
Five-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson was a monster get on Signing Day. Four commits in January — safety Hamsah Nasirildeen, a flip from South Carolina, defensive end Tre Lawson, wide receiver Tamorrion Terry and cornerback Ontaria Wilson — moved this class up. Defensive end Joshua Kaindoh earning his fifth star after a dominating Under Armour Game week helped as well. This all happened after the Noles landed the nation’s No. 3 player, five-star running back Cam Akers. Four-star junior college linebacker Adonis Thomas may see the field early. Outstanding linebacker Leonard Warner was another important Signing Day addition. Full class list.
The Aggies have 27 commitments and 20 have come from their home-state. That includes five-star linebacker Anthony Hines. Offensively, this is a class that gives Kevin Sumlin some weapons. He gets a mobile quarterback in Kellen Mond and a big, physical receiver in Jhamon Ausbon who, at 6-foot-3, 217 pounds, has future draft pick potential. In addition, four-star safeties Derrick Tucker and Myles Jones and four-star backers Devodrick Johnson and Santino Marchiol make this a well-rounded class. Full class list.
10. Florida Gators
The Gators came on strong at the end with five-star Tedarrell Slaton on Signing Day and, in the days leading up to it, four-star additions in cornerback Brad Stewart and defensive tackle Elijah Conliffe. Over half the class is in the four-star range. Cornerback Marco Wilson is the younger brother of projected first-round pick Quincy Wilson. Defensive end Zachary Carter is the highest ranked player in the class and has the size and ability to play early. Bookend tackles Kadeem Telfort and T.J. Moore were important adds on the offensive line. Full class list.
11. Auburn Tigers
Four-star defensive end Markaviest Bryant was added on Signing Day. Former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham and four-star JUCO running back Octavius Matthews, a top ten national prospect, give this team two top end additions on offense. The twin towers of five-star offensive tackle Calvin Ashley and four-star counterpart Austin Troxell will be of interest to both Stidham and Matthews. Much of the class’ top-ranked commits are on offense, but linebacker Tadarian Moultry and safety Carlito Gonzalez bring talent to the defensive side as well. Full class list.
D.J. Durkin’s crew was one of the biggest surprises in the entire country. The Terps have nine four-star commits, all but one of them from the all-important “DMV” recruiting area of D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Offensive linemen Marcus Minor and Jordan McNair along with quarterback Kasim Hill are the headliners on offense. Two 6-foot-2 defensive backs, Deon Jones and Markquese Bell, are the highest-ranked commits on defense. Running back Cordarrian Richardson from Tennessee was a major addition on Signing Day as was four-star Virginia Tech wide receiver flip Tahj Capehart. Full class list.
The Irish had some spots to fill late, but hit on a few of those targets like Missouri wide receiver flip Jafar Armstrong and a Signing Day get in defensive end Kofi Wardlow. Four-star offensive tackle Aaron Banks was one of the bigger recent additions, both in significance and in physical size (6-7, 310 pounds). The class’ highest ranked prospects are tight end Brock Wright, linebacker David Adams and offensive tackle Josh Lugg, who had a good week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Defensively, new coordinator Mike Elko should be excited to work with Adams and other talented defenders like tackle Kurt Hinish, Adams’ high school teammate, and safety Isaiah Robertson, a four-star who enrolled early. Full class list.
James Franklin’s team followed good season with an impressive recruiting class. Five-star cornerback Lamont Wade was a big-time addition. He is already signed and on campus. Four-star defensive tackle Fred Hansard, speedy four-star cornerback Donovan Johnson and four-star safety Jonathan Sutherland bring further star-power to the defense. Offensively, the Nittany Lions have been able to close down two commits, guard C.J. Thorpe and wide receiver Mac Hippenhammer after other schools tried to poach them late. Ellis Brooks a four-star linebacker was a key addition just before Signing Day. And finally, in a nice signing-day capper, PSU secured the nation’s No. 29 corner in Tariq Castro-Fields. Full class list.
Five-star in-state offensive tackle Trey Smith is a class-making type prospect and signed early with the Vols. They have three other top 100 national prospects in the class so far, defensive tackle Eric Crosby, running back Ty Chandler and safety Maleik Gray. Athletic wide receiver Joshua Palmer was one of the recruits Butch Jones added in the week leading up to Signing Day. Full class list.
16. Oregon Ducks
New head coach Willie Taggart has weapons. And Quarterback Braxton Burmeister has the smarts and accuracy to get the ball to those weapons, which include running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio. Four-star JUCO offensive tackle George Moore will likely play immediately. Top 100 prospect Thomas Graham may make an immediate impact at cornerback as well. Defensive tackle Popo Aumavae and linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia were two other four-stars on the defensive side. Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir was a big get on Signing Day. Full class list.
17. Miami Hurricanes
The announcement of explosive East St. Louis (Ill.) wide receiver Jeff Thomas was great news for Miami on Signing Day. He adds to a Canes’ class that features many of the higher ranked prospects coming from the city of Miami, including 356-pound offensive tackle Navaughn Donaldson and safety Trajan Bandy. One more of the big gets from outside the state is California defensive end D.J. Johnson, the class’ highest ranked player. Quarterback N’Kosi Perry and defensive end Jonathan Garvin are two more Scout 300 players in the class. Flipping offensive lineman Kai-Leon Herbert from Michigan shortly before Signing Day gave the Canes yet another four-star in the class. Full class list.
The West Coast was good to the Cornhuskers and gave them one last gift on Signing Day in 6-foot-3 cornerback Elijah Blades. Four-star wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey, a one-time Ohio State commit, was a huge addition for Nebraska in January. He gives them seven prospects inside the Scout 300 along with fellow wide receivers Keyshawn Johnson and Jaevon McQuitty, both of whom enrolled early. Four-star quarterback Tristan Gebbia, also an early enrollee, will have the responsibility of getting these playmakers the football. The defensive class is led by linebacker Avery Roberts, a top 150 national prospect and four-star defensive tackle Deiontae Watts. Hard-hitting linebacker Andrew Ward comes from Michigan with big accolades behind him. Full class list.
Two four-star junior college signees, 6-foot-6, 318-pound defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and cornerback Keisean Nixon should help immediately. The top high school guy is Jamyest Williams, a versatile athlete who can play slot but is a very competitive and feisty cover man as a corner. Big (6-4, 215 pounds) wide receiver OrTre Smith and linebacker Brad Johnson are two more four-stars in the class. The future of the defensive line is in good hands with Aaron Sterling and M.J. Webb coming in. Full class list.
The Hokies had a great run in January starting with the addition of five-star safety Devon Hunter, the nation’s top prospect at his position. He is a big, athletic kid who is a great candidate to play early. His commitment was followed by cornerback Bryce Watts, four-star linebacker Dylan Rivers and four-star defensive end TyJuan Garbutt. The offensive jewel of the class is four-star quarterback Hendon Hooker. Full class list.
21. UCLA Bruins
The Bruins added 10 new commits in January alone including five-star cornerback Darnay Holmes, who signed early. Scout 300 defensive tackle Martin Andrus also committed. He should form a formidable duo on the inside with Greg Rogers, a national top 100 prospect. Those two will be flanked by defensive end Jaelan Phillips, the nation’s No. 5 overall prospect and top defensive end, a potential superstar pass rusher. Offensively, tight end Jimmy Jaggers is the top prospect. Full class list.
The Spartans hit the home stretch with commitments from Cali corner Emmanuel Flowers on Signing Day and then Purdue wide receiver flip C.J. Hayes, defensive end DeAri Todd and cornerback Tre Person in the weeks before. Four-star linebacker Antjuan Simmons, a one-time Ohio State commit, jumped in earlier this month. He is the fourth in-state four-star in the class joining wide receivers Cody White and Hunter Rison and offensive lineman Jordan Reid. Tight end Matt Dotson gives the Spartans another four-star at a position where they have had success developing talent. Full class list.
The Huskies’ playoff season is now complemented by a Top 25 national class. The month of January was a good one for them with offensive tackle Cole Norgaard and defensive end Joe Tryon committing. They join a class that already had seven Scout 300 prospects, none higher on the board than tight end Hunter Bryant, the nation’s No. 2 player at his position. Wide receiver Ty Jones moved up the rankings and into four-star territory after a great week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Full class list.
This is not a big class, but it is high on quality as the Cardinal have three five-stars coming in. They are the nation’s top two offensive tackles, Walker Little and Foster Sarell and nation’s top quarterback Davis Mills. In addition to those potential future high draft picks, the nation’s No. 1 tight end, Colby Parkinson, is also coming in, along with wide receiver Osiris St. Brown, to give Mills some dangerous targets. The Cardinal did not forget defense though, as end Ryan Johnson comes in from Alabama with ideal size (6-4, 255 pounds) and athletic ability. Full class list.
The Bulldogs bring in a class with several top talents. In-state recruit Willie Gay, one of the fastest linebackers in the country, was a monster Signing Day addition. Safety Jonathan Abram leads a strong JUCO group. Defensive end Montez Sweat and safety Brian Cole both have Big Ten experience, Sweat was at Michigan State before junior college and Cole was at Michigan. Running back Kylin Hill, quarterback Keytaon Thompson and defensive end Aaron Odom are all four-stars as well. Full class list.