The early signing period ends Friday night, but most all of the signatures that will come in already have. Coaches still have a February period to fill their classes completely, but midterm grades are out, and the SEC again has busted the curve.
Grade: A | National rank: 10
Clemson signed not only the top class in the ACC but also yet another top-10 class nationally. On the heels of signing the top-rated pocket passer in 2018, Clemson has another ESPN 300 QB signed for this year in Taisun Phommachanh out of Connecticut. The class includes letters of intent from several future targets for those quarterbacks, including one of the top WR prospects in the class, Frank Ladson Jr. out of South Florida, and ESPN 300 Joe Ngata out of Northern California. In addition to Ladson and Ngata, the Tigers signed top-10 RB prospect Chez Mellusi. Four-star TE Jaelyn Lay is tall and can offer a big catch radius and be a red zone weapon. On the offensive line, four-star guard Hunter Rayburn was one of the fastest-rising prospects in the spring. ESPN 300 OG William Putnam is yet another big win out of the Sunshine State, having picked Clemson over Florida State. Defensively, the class includes a pair of safeties, led by ESPN 300 defender Joseph Charleston. The secondary also adds one of the top CB prospects in the class in Andrew Booth out of Georgia. ESPN 300 linebackers Bryton Constantin and LaVonta Bentley are need-fillers out of Louisiana and Alabama, respectively. ESPN 300 DT Tyler Davis out of the Orlando, Florida, area was another signing-day victory over the Seminoles. Three-star DT Etinosa Reuben is a name to remember down the line.
Grade: B+ | National rank: 19
A struggle on the field in Willie Taggert’s first season stalled a great start to the 2019 recruiting class, but the Noles rebounded after the early signing period to put together a top-20 class. Top-10 CB Akeem Dent headlines a class that includes ESPN 300 DB Travis Jay and ESPN 300 safety Brendan Gant, a one-time Alabama verbal commitment. ESPN 300 S Nick Cross spurned Alabama but has yet to sign. Jaleel McRae is a versatile and instinctive playmaker at the LB position, as is ESPN 300 LB Kalen Deloach out of the Peach State. Dontae Lucas is a big and powerful interior OL out of IMG Academy, and defensively, Tru Thompson is a wide-bodied space-eater who can help stuff the run. ESPN 300 DE Curtis Fann was a needed fax out of Georgia, as was four-star DE Derrick Tucker. Signing in-state four-star OT and one-time Mississippi State commit Darius Washington was a needed signing day victory.
Grade: B | National rank: 27
The Hokies took a step back on the field in 2018 but started signing day 2019 with a bang, flipping No. 72 overall Doug Nester from Ohio State. Replenishing the wide receiver position was crucial in this cycle, and the staff responded with ESPN 300 WR Jacoby Pinckney, ESPN 300 ATH Jaden Payoute and North Carolina three-star Elijah Bowick. Four-star RB Keshawn King is a good bet to be a multiyear starter in Blacksburg, and three-star Tahj Gary is a solid downhill back. ESPN 300 OG Bryan Hudson and three-star OG Jesse Hanson also fill key needs. In the secondary, four-star S/CB Nyquee Hawkins is a nice signing out of New Jersey, as is four-star S J.R. Walker out of the Tar Heel State. Three-star defensive tackle Norell Pollard is the sleeper in the class. Juco OLB Amare Barno and DT Dashawn Crawford are expected to push for playing time right away. The QB in the class is senior riser Knox Kadum out of the Peach State.
Grade: B | National rank: 30
The Hurricanes turned a fast start into a top-10 class for the 2018 cycle, but a tough season on the field and the post-early signing period transition from Mark Richt to Manny Diaz have resulted in a very tough 2019. On the plus side, ESPN 300 DB and one-time Alabama verbal Christian Williams signed with Miami over LSU and Texas A&M on Wednesday. Four-star OLB Avery Huff out of South Florida power Saint Thomas Aquinas is also a big win and holdover from the Richt regime. Four-star DE Jahfari Harvey will bring edge pass rush to Coral Gables, as could three-star DE Cameron Williams. Keeping No. 13 safety Keontra Smith close to home gives the class a physical defender and another ESPN 300 commit, as does flipping ESPN 300 cornerback Te’Cory Couch from Michigan. Under Armour All-America Game receiver Jeremiah Payton is a lengthy target with good ball skills who ranks among the top-10 WRs. On the heels of signing the No. 1 TE in the 2018 class, the Hurricanes have landed another four-star TE in Larry Hodges, who lacks ideal height but could be a versatile weapon because he is a shifty athlete with good hands. The QB in the class is Lone Star State three-star Peyton Matocha.
NC State Wolfpack
Grade: B | National rank: 31
The Wolfpack have the third-best class in the conference and sit in the top 35 nationally after a nine-win season on the field. The in-state wins include ESPN 300 DE Savion Jackson over South Carolina, ESPN 300 DT C.J. Clark and four-star S Khalid Martin. A third talented in-state defensive lineman in the fold is DT Joshua Harris. Three-star RB Zonovan Knight has quickness to the second level. Offensive line commits Ikem Ekwonu and Timothy McKay haven’t garnered national headlines, but expect both to be in the mix to be multiyear starters in Raleigh. Quarterbacks Ty Evans and juco transfer Bailey Hockman bring plenty of arm talent to Raleigh. The flip of three-star RB Jordan Houston from Maryland was a win at a key position of need, as was receiving an LOI from one-time Baylor safety commit Cecil Powell.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Grade: B- | National rank: 37
Mack Brown has made his presence felt for the Tar Heels on the recruiting trail in short order. The class is a success with the flip of ESPN 300 QB Sam Howell from Florida State alone, which will set the tone for recruiting in-state talent in the 2020 class and beyond. The wide receiver position will be boosted by ESPN 300 Khafre Brown and Penn State flip Emery Simmons from in-state. Senior riser Justin Olson and Sunshine State TE Kamari Morales add key depth to the class. Garden State RB Josh Henderson could find his way into the mix early. Defensive line was a massive need in the class, and four-star DT Wisdom Asaboro was a big signing day win for Brown and staff. Three-star DEs Kristian Varner, Asim Richards and Kevin Hester all bring nice frames and athleticism to develop in Chapel Hill. Three-star safeties Giovanni Biggers and Khadry Jackson are nice additions out of Maryland and Florida.
Grade: B- | National rank: 40
The Cavaliers ascended on the field in 2018 and did the same on the recruiting trail, finishing in the top half of the ACC. ESPN 300 DT Jowon Briggs was a big win out of Ohio to headline the class, which includes speedy Sunshine State playmaker Seneca Milledge. Three-star DE D’Sean Perry is another key win out of Florida, as is three-star OG Zachary Teter. Three-star Ben Smiley is a talented defensive lineman in the fold from within state lines. Three-star OLB Nick Jackson out of the Peach State and CB Fentrell Cypress II out of South Carolina are two more nice out-of-state grabs. Virginia has gone international in the class as well, with three-star QB Luke Wentz and three-star OG Kariem Al Soufi out of Germany and DT Emil Bo Anderson out of Denmark.
Grade: B- | National rank: 42
The Blue Devils have signed a class in the top half of the ACC, and it falls in the top 40 nationally. Defensive line was a critical need met well in this class. Three-star DEs Ahmad Craig, Christian Rorie and R.J. Oben bring great frames to Durham, while DT DeWayne Carter brings interior quickness. The highest-ranked prospect in the class is four-star in-state CB Tony Davis. A second long-armed CB in the class is 6-foot-1 Isaiah Kemp. On offense, the verbals of WRs Darrell Harding, Eli Pancol and Jordan Waters will bolster playmaking in Durham. Building the future of the OL was paramount, and three-star OT Ron Carr is one of the nation’s most athletic at the position. Carr is joined by in-state OC Jacob Monk, 6-foot-6 OT John Gelotte and OG Elijah Wroten.
Grade: C- | National rank: 48
The Panthers’ class might rank ninth in the conference, but needs were filled by four-star DBs Brandon Hill and A.J. Woods Jr. The state of Florida has been key in the class, with Under Armour All-America Game RB Daniel Carter, DT Calijah Kancey, RB/slot receiver Vincent Davis and OLB Leslie Smith helping fill needs at their positions. Three-star TE Jason Collier is a good bet to see the field early, as is DE Bryce Nelms and S/WR Will Gipson. Defensive end was a key position of need, and three-stars Nate Temple, Bam Bam Brima and Brandon Mack along with Nelms more than filled the need. Davis Beville out of South Carolina is the QB in the class.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Grade: C | National rank: 54
The Demon Deacons added some talented offensive weapons in the 2019 cycle, headlined by in-state four-star WRs Donavon Greene and Nolan Groulx. That is music to the ears of Sunshine State three-star QB Michael Kern, who can make all the throws and just needs time to add strength. Shoring up the secondary was key as well, and safeties Jeremiah Gray and Trey Rucker could hear their names called early next season. Three-star DE Justin Williams has the most upside in the class and is joined on the defensive line by three-star DEs Shamar McCollum, Isaiah Chaney and Will Smart. Three-star K Ivan Mora is one of the nation’s very best.
Boston College Eagles
Grade: C | National rank: 56
Another solid season on the field has brought the Eagles more key pieces for the future, headlined by ESPN 300 QB Sam Johnson and four-star RB Patrick Garwo. Loading up on the front seven on defense was paramount, and three-star DT Izaiah Henderson, three-star DEs Spencer Bono and Jackson Ness, and three-star LB Shitta Sillah were nice wins. Three-star OLs Jack Conley, Christian Mahogany and Blerim Rustemi all have the ability to break into the two-deep down the line. Three-star ATH Bryce Sebastian is a playmaker.
Grade: C | National rank: 58
The Orange capitalized on a successful season on the field by adding key pieces in the 2019 cycle. Four-star OLB Mikel Jones is a good bet to play early, as is three-star juco OT Darius Tisdale. Three-star DEs Jason Munoz and Cooper Dawson were key wins at a position of need. Three-star WR Courtney Jackson brings more quickness to the position. Three-star QB David Summers was a nice flip from Maryland. Three-star S Cornelius Nunn could be the next Sunshine State defensive back to make an instant impact. Post-graduate DE Andrew Tuazama has athleticism in spades with a terrific frame.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Grade: C | National rank: 60
The Yellow Jackets’ football program is going through an offensive personnel recruiting overhaul under new head coach Geoff Collins. Adding numbers and talent to the wide receiver room became paramount in the 2019 cycle, and the staff responded with three-star Zach Owens, quick playmakers Kalani Norris and Ahmarean Brown out of the Sunshine State, and three-star Nazir Burnett out of New Jersey. Three-star TE Dylan Deveney and three-star Dylan Leonard were also key wins at a position of need. On defense, four-star CB Wesley Walker could see the field very quickly, as could three-star OLB Chico Bennett Jr. Georgia Tech went to Europe in 2019 too, signing three-star DE Sylvain Yondjouen of Belgium.
Grade: C- | National rank: 68
Scott Satterfield came to Louisville with a lot of work to do on the recruiting trail and has battled in impressive fashion. His class is headlined by the LOI of ESPN 300 edge rusher Ja’Darien Boykin from the Peach State. Three-star CB Jamel Starks out of Georgia, three-star LB Zach Edwards out of Mississippi and three-star RB Jalen Mitchell out of Florida also faxed in LOIs on signing day. Three-star OT Zach Williamson and three-star OG Renato Brown have the look of multiyear starters. Three-star ATH Aidan Robbins was a nice in-state win by the former staff. Linebacker is a key position of need, and the staff has responded with hard-hitting juco three-star ILB Monty Montgomery, Sunshine State three-star Dorian Jones and one-time North Carolina verbal Allen Smith out of Georgia.
Grade: A | National rank: 4
The Sooners have inked a third consecutive top-10 class and the top class in the Big 12. Five-star Peach State WR Jadon Haselwood headlines a class heavy with four-star prospects, including the top-ranked 2019 DT-QB in Spencer Rattler. The class also includes big-time ESPN JC 50 RB Rhamondre Stevenson and No. 1 TE-Y Austin Stogner, a big target with strong hands. A pair of ESPN 300 WRs out of Texas have signed to go with Haselwood — Theo Wease Jr. and Trejan Bridges — and will contribute early and often. In-state ESPN 300 Marcus Major is one of the most explosive running backs in the country. California continues to be fruitful, with ESPN 300 ATH Jeremiah Criddell and linebacker Jonathan Perkins the latest to send faxes to Norman. OU has also had key some pickups on the defensive line, led by ESPN 300 edge pass-rushers Joseph Wete and Marcus Hicks and four-star tackles Kori Roberson and Derek Green. Four-star DE/T Marcus Stripling was a signing day addition of note. Four-star cornerback Woodi Washington out of Tennessee has a very high ceiling.
Grade: A | National rank: 5
The Longhorns have addressed needs very well in 2019 after inking a top-five class in 2018. Wide receiver is a focus, and Tom Herman and staff have LOIs from ESPN 300s Bru McCoy, Jordan Whittington, Marcus Washington and explosive playmaker Jake Smith out of Arizona. Speaking of Arizona, the returns for putting ample recruiter resources out west have resulted in a signature from ESPN 300 TE Brayden Liebrock. California has also been huge in this cycle, with ESPN 300 linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd and ESPN 300 safety Chris Adimora on the signed list. Floyd is joined at LB by ESPN 300s David Gbenda and Marcus Tillman Jr. out of the Sunshine State. ESPN JC 50 LB Caleb Johnson was a big win over Oregon and will compete for a starting spot early on. Offensive tackle is another position of need, and the Longhorns hit it out of the park with in-state ESPN 300 Tyler Johnson and four-stars Isaiah Hookfin and Javonne Shepherd. The quarterback in the class is Under Armour All-America Game selection Roschon Johnson. The Longhorns have found success in the Peach State as well, with faxes from ESPN 300 CB Kenyatta Watson and ESPN 300 RB Derrian Brown. Four-star safety Tyler Owens was one of the Lone Star State’s most improved seniors. Four-star juco DE Jacoby Jones was a huge flip from Oklahoma. He fills an immediate pass-rushing need, while DE Myron Warren out of Louisiana will also fill the need. Three-star TE Jared Wiley and three-star WR Kennedy Lewis are names to remember down the line.
Grade: B | National rank: 32
The Horned Frogs signed a top-25 class in the 2018 cycle and have followed with a top-30 class that is among the Big 12’s best in the 2019 cycle, with four-star QB Max Duggan the headliner. Nearby Aledo High continues to supply Gary Patterson with talented prospects such as four-star DE Colt Ellison and hard-hitting three-star OLB Wyatt Harris. Continuing to add talent on the defensive front is key, and Ellison is joined by athletic DT Karter Johnson out of Ohio. Four-star ATH Dylan Jordan will likely transition to OLB in Patterson’s defense. Three-star OT Andrew Coker was a nice signing over Texas A&M and Texas, and he is joined on the OL by OT Brannon Brown. Four-star RB Daimarqua Foster will bring 4.4 speed to Fort Worth, and three-star RB Darwin Barlow is a solid between-the-tackles runner. Three-star WR Blair Conwright will be a vertical threat, as will be juco WR Mikel Barkley. Three-stars Deshawn McCuin and Josh Foster are good bets to start in the Frogs’ secondary down the line.
Grade: B | National rank: 34
The Bears under Matt Rhule continue to ascend on the field and on the trail. ESPN 300 QB Jacob Zeno headlines Matt Rhule’s class for bowl-eligible Baylor. ESPN 300 ATH Peyton Powell‘s signature was a huge early signing day win out of West Texas. Three-star WR Jaylen Ellis is one of the most explosive pass-catchers in the country, while three-star Yusuf Terry brings needed height to the position out of Philadelphia. Linebackers Tyrone Brown and Matt Jones will shore up depth concerns at LB in Waco. Three-star DEs T.J. Franklin and Harrison White come to Waco with ideal frames to develop, while ESPN JC 50 DE Niadre Zouzoua will play from the jump. Athlete Jonah White could end up on either side of the ball. Four-star TE Garmon Randolph was a huge win out of the Peach State, as was three-star TE Samuel Snyder.
Grade: B- | National rank: 41
The Cowboys’ top-50 class is headlined by a pair of impactful in-state wins in ESPN 300 TE Grayson Boomer and edge pass-rusher Trace Ford. Loading up on the offensive line was key in 2019, and the commitments of OTs Taylor Miterko, Preston Wilson and Cole Birmingham along with OG Joe Michalski fill a major need in the program. Lone Star State DE Isreal Isuman-Hundley and DTs Xavier Ross and Jayden Jernigan all have nice upside. The QB in the class is three-star Brendan Costello out of California. ESPN 300 RB Deondrick Glass heads north from Lone Star State powerhouse Katy High. The jewel in the class could be junior college RB Dezmon Jackson, who will compete for the starting spot from day one.
Grade: B- | National rank: 44
The Mountaineers have built another top-45 class that ranks in the top half of the Big 12 after another successful season on the field. ESPN JC 50 CB Dreshun Miller was a needed flip from LSU and is joined by ESPN 300 WR Osita Smith as headliners of the class. Three-star speedy playmaker Terence Doston was a nice find out of the Sunshine State, as was three-star Rashean Lynn. Miller is joined at CB by Nicktroy Fortune out of Georgia and Tykee Smith out of the Philadelphia area. Offensive tackle was a key position of need, and three-stars Parker Moorer and Donavan Beaver could push for early playing time. Junior college DE Taijh Alston is penciled in for immediate playing time.
Grade: B- | National rank: 46
Another solid season on the field has resulted in a top-50 class for Matt Campbell. Running back recruiting was paramount in the 2019 cycle, and Jirehl Brock and Breece Hall are on the way to Ames. Brock has a high ceiling because of his combination of frame and quickness. Three-star Easton Dean will be handing the ball off to Brock and Hall in the future and will be throwing to three-star prospects D’Shayne James and Ezeriah Anderson. Three-star DE Corey Suttle is a good bet to be a multiyear starter for the Cyclones, as is three-star OG Jarrod Hufford.
Grade: C | National rank: 55
The Wildcats welcome some playmaking to the program in ESPN 300 QB/ATH Chris Herron and in-state ESPN 300 ATH Keenan Garber, who could play DB or WR. Three-star OLB Gavin Potter and three-star CB William Jones will be key fixtures on defense for the next few years, while three-star RB Joe Ervin is expected to be the same on offense. Three-star DT Cooper Beebe is a keeper at OG or DT, as is Lone Star State three-star TE Konner Fox. Three-star S Tyrone Lewis and three-star ATH Joshua Youngblood bring speed to the secondary. Three-star juco S Jonathan Alexander and K Ty Zentner are expected to push for jobs from day one.
Grade: C- | National rank: 63
New head coach Matt Wells kept the Red Raiders’ class together well by keeping three-star QB Maverick McIvor and 6-foot-2 OT Trevor Roberson in the fold. Three-star WR Cameron Cantrell is the brother of former Texas Tech standout and NFL WR Dylan Cantrell. Winning West Texas three-star OT Landon Peterson was key, as was securing three-star junior college TE Travis Koontz. On defense, three-star DE Gilbert Ibeneme and three-star ILB Bryce Robinson could be impact players in Lubbock. Three-star ATH Velton Gardner will be a weapon offensively and in the return game.
Grade: C- | National rank: 67
Les Miles took over the Jayhawks with a lot of recruiting work to do and has responded with a class heavy on juco transfers. Keeping home three-star ATH Amauri Pesek-Hickson was huge, as was receiving an LOI from Sunshine State four-star WR Kenny Logan. Beating Texas Tech for three-star Lone Star State playmaker Velton Gardner‘s LOI was a huge signing day victory. Three-star DEs Steven Parker and Malcolm Lee and three-star DT Caleb Sampson will have to play very early. Three-star WR Andrew Parchment will do the same. The QB in the class is three-star Thomas MacVittie. Three-star Peach State WR Valerian Agbaw brings speed to the program.
Grade: A | National rank: 8
The Wolverines have signed a third top-10 class in four years under Jim Harbaugh and the top class in the Big Ten. The class is headlined by five-star S Daxton Hill, who is from Alabama, on signing day. Loading up on the defensive line was key in 2019, and Michigan answered with LOIs from ESPN 300 in-state DT Mazi Smith, ESPN 300 DT Christopher Hinton, four-star Florida State DT flip Michael Morris Jr. and four-star DE David Ojabo, who might have the highest upside of all. The same can be said for the offensive line. The Wolverines’ six OL commitments are headlined by ESPN 300 Peach State OT Trente Jones and ESPN 300 OT Trevor Keegan, along with ESPN 300 OC/G Nolan Rumler and three-star OTs Karsen Barnhart and Jack Stewart. That is music to the ears of ESPN 300 QB Cade McNamara and ESPN 300 running back Zach Charbonnet. Four-star Virginia Tech flip Mike Sainristil is one of the nation’s premier slot WR prospects, and four-star Giles Jackson has playmaking ability in spades. Four-star LB Charles Thomas is a tackling machine, while ESPN 300 Anthony Solomon was a flip from Miami out of South Florida. Expect three-star tight end Erick All to be a versatile playmaker.
Grade: A- | National rank: 13
After signing its first top-five class ever in 2018, the Nittany Lions have a top-15 class in the 2019 cycle. The state of Virginia has been paramount, with ESPN 300 OLB Brandon Smith and ESPN 300 RB Devyn Ford ranking among the nation’s best at their positions. A second ESPN 300 RB signed is Noah Cain, who picked the Nittany Lions over Texas. Defensive end Adisa Isaac was a huge fax received out of New York. Head coach James Franklin also went to Germany for three-star DT Joseph Appiah Darkwa. Another ESPN 300 prospect signed is WR John Dunmore, a one-time Florida verbal out of South Florida. The Sunshine State also netted four-star WR T.J. Jones. There are two signal-callers in the class, ESPN 300s Michael Johnson Jr. (his father, Michael Johnson, coaches at Oregon) and Ta’Quan Roberson out of New Jersey. A second ESPN 300 prospect from the Garden State is OG Caedan Wallace. DBs Marquis Wilson and Tyler Rudolph were nice LOIs received out of Connecticut, as was in-state Joey Porter Jr., the son of former Steelers star Joey Porter. ESPN JC 50 members S Jaquan Brisker and OT Anthony Whigan will be called upon to make instant impacts.
Grade: B+ | National rank: 16
New head coach Ryan Day kept a top-20 class together and added to finish with the second-best class in the conference. It is not a big class, but more than half of the signees rank in the ESPN 300. Five-star DE Zach Harrison was a massive win over Michigan on the first day of the early signing period. Harry Miller is the No. 2 center in the class, and there are two top-25 OTs in the class in signing day win Enokk Vimahi and in-state prospect Ryan Jacoby. Garrett Wilson is the No. 2 receiver in the 2019 cycle, while Ronnie Hickman is a four-star wide receiver out of New Jersey. The Show Me State’s Jameson Williams is a third ESPN 300 WR who signed an LOI. The Buckeyes also have an ESPN 300 running back prospect signed in Steele Chambers, who could end up at outside linebacker long-term. A second RB in the class is Marcus Crowley, who flipped from Miami. Cade Stover is a terrific linebacker win from inside state lines.
Grade: B+ | National rank: 18
Scott Frost’s first full cycle in Lincoln finished in the top 25 nationally and No. 4 in the Big Ten. ESPN 300 Luke McCaffrey is the QB in the class and is joined by a talented trio of RBs in four-stars Ronald Thompkins and Rahmir Johnson, along with three-star Thomas Grayson. ESPN 300 ATH Wandale Robinson will be a weapon on offense and in the return game, as will four-star WR/KR and one-time Texas verbal Demariyon Houston. ESPN 300 OT Bryce Benhart and three-star OT Matthew Anderson have very high ceilings, while four-star juco OG commitment Desmond Bland will be called upon to make an instant impact, should he sign. ESPN 300 S Noa Pola-Gates and four-star DE Ty Robinson were huge wins out of Arizona. Three-star linebacker Jackson Hannah was a very nice win out of the Volunteer State, while ESPN 300 OLB Nick Henrich and four-star TE Chris Hickman were must-wins from inside state lines. Four-star CB Quinton Newsome and three-star CB Javin Wright will bring height and long arms to the position in Lincoln.
Grade: B | National rank: 25
The Boilermakers are on the rise under Jeff Brohm, signing a top-30 class with balance on both sides of the ball. Winning in-state ESPN 300 DE George Karlaftis was a huge victory, and he has stayed solidly in the fold to jumpstart the class. Signing ESPN 300 WR David Bell from inside state lines was big as well. Four-star ATH T.J. Sheffield is a future playmaker for the Boilermakers, as are ESPN 300 WR Milton Wright and Ohio four-star DT Steven Faucheux. Four-star S Marvin Grant was a nice LOI out of Michigan, as was three-star ATH Mershawn Rice out of Ohio. The QB in the class, Paul Piferi out of California, is one of the more undervalued prospects in the country. Three-star RB King Doerue is a steal out of the Lone Star State. Tight end is a key position of need, and the staff has responded with three-stars Garrett Miller and Kyle Bilodeau.
Grade: B | National rank: 28
The Spartans’ top-40 2019 class finished in the top half of the Big Ten and is littered with talent from the home state. The class is headlined by five-star OT Devontae Dobbs and ESPN 300 ATH Julian Barnett from Belleville High. In-state DEs Michael Fletcher and Adam Berghorst have ideal frames to develop, and the same can be said for in-state OT Spencer Brown. As is usually the case, Ohio is also a key state for the Spartans, and the 2019 cycle has netted three-stars Luke Fulton, OG Nick Samac, WR Jase Bowen and RB Brandon Wright. The QB in the class is Illinois three-star Payton Thorne.
Grade: B | National rank: 29
The Badgers’ 2019 class sits inside the top 30 nationally and features two of the nation’s top prospects in OT Logan Brown and QB Graham Mertz, who will bring Madison a different dimension at their positions. Three-star RB Julius Davis could be the next 1,500-yard rusher in Madison. Three-star TE Hayden Rucci will be a key future target for Mertz. ESPN 300 Rodas Johnson could play DT or OG for the Badgers. Three-star Joe Tippmann teams with Brown to give Wisconsin two talented OTs in this cycle. The Badgers often head to Florida for defensive backs and have again in 2019, reeling in three-star CBs Semar Melvin and James Williams. Three-star ATH Dean Engram, the son of former NFL WR Bobby Engram, is another CB prospect in the fold. Spencer Lytle is a talented OLB out of California.
Grade: B- | National rank: 36
Iowa continues to evaluate very well under the radar after winning eight games for a third straight season. The Hawkeyes’ class is headlined by a pair of key in-state wins in ESPN 300 OLs Tyler Endres and Ezra Miller. Out-of-state recruiting is monumental for Iowa, and Florida S Dane Belton and Georgia RB Tyler Goodson have the look of future starters. Three-star tight end Logan Lee was a nice grab out of Illinois, as was OLB Jestin Jacobs out of Ohio. The QB in the class is three-star Alex Padilla out of Colorado.
Grade: B- | National rank: 38
The Hoosiers continue to chip away and show they can compete in the Big Ten under Tom Allen. This top-40 class is headlined by ESPN 300 RB and Ohio State flip Sampson James and in-state ESPN 300 DE Beau Robbins. Florida has been paramount for IU in 2019, with four-star CB/S Joshua Sanguinetti and three-stars Tiawan Mullen, OLB Kervens Bonhomme and TE Gary Cooper. Peach State WR Jordan Jakes will bring size to the position, standing 6-foot-5. Missouri three-star Ivory Winters could end up on either side of the ball for the Hoosiers.
Grade: B- | National rank: 39
After signing the No. 30 class last year, the Golden Gophers are again impressing on the trail, with a top-40 class that will add more pieces on both sides of the ball to the program. Four-star WR/TE Nnamdi Adim-Madumere might have the highest upside in the class. Three-star QB Jacob Clark out of Texas can make every throw with impressive arm power. Three-star DE D’Vion Harris is a steal out of Missouri, as is speedy ATH Solomon Brown from Florida. Junior college DT Keonte Schad is expected to have an instant impact, as is ESPN 300 DT and one-time Alabama verbal Rashad Cheney. Cheney is joined from the Peach State by three-star DT DeAngelo Carter, who features the ability to hold up at the point of attack. Three-star OLB James Gordon IV out of the Tampa area is the steal of the class.
Grade: B- | National rank: 43
Coming off a Big Ten championship appearance, the Wildcats have signed another top-50 class, headlined by ESPN 300 WR Genson Hooper-Price and four-star WR Bryce Kirtz. Another talented pass-catcher headed to Chicago is Lone Star State TE Thomas Gordon. Shoring up the future of the defense was paramount in the 2019 class, and four-star CB Roderick Heard, DEs Jason Gold and Duke Olges and LBs Michael Jansey and Bryce Gallagher have the look of multiyear starters. Safety Brandon Joseph brings a nice frame to the Wildcats. Three-star Malik Washington could end up on either side of the ball, as could Corien Azema. Three-star WR Wayne Dennis will add some needed size to the wide receivers room. Three-star RB Evan Hull was a nice January grab out of Minnesota.
Grade: C+ | National rank: 50
ESPN 300 WR Isaiah Hazel and ESPN 300 QB Lance Legendre headline Mike Locksley’s first class as Terrapins head coach. Along with Hazel, nice in-state wins include three three-stars: DE Deshawn Holt, ATH Deonte Banks and OLB Kameron Blount. Four-star safety TreRon Collins and three-star Erwin Byrd are nice snags out of the Peach State. Four-star ATH Tayvion Land has plenty of quickness. Three-star ATH Dino Tomlin is the son of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Juco DT Samuel Okuayinonu will play early.
Grade: C | National rank: 52
The Illini have a class of quality over quantity, headlined by ESPN 300s Marquez Beason, lightning quick Isaiah Williams and OLB Shammond Cooper. Four-star DE Moses Okpala could be one of the steals of 2019. Three-star RB Kyron Cumby will bring 10.7-second 100-meter speed from Texas to Illinois. Three-star WR Casey Washington is another playmaker out of the Lone Star State. Three-star OLB Seth Coleman has a nice frame to develop.
Grade: C- | National rank: 66
The Scarlet Knights continue to bring in offensive playmakers. Three-star RB Aaron Young was a much-needed win and signature. Keeping three-star QB Zamar Wise home was just as important. Three-star athletes T.J. Robinson out of Florida and Kay’ron Adams out of Ohio could end up on either side of the ball. Three-star CBs Donald Williams and Donovan Bunch from inside state lines could play a lot early. Three-star WR Isaiah Washington was a nice LOI out of the Sunshine State. Three-star OLB Zukudo Igwenagu might have the most upside of any player in the class.
Grade: A | National rank: 6
The Ducks signed not only a top-10 class but also the best class in the Pac-12 by a healthy margin. The Ducks successfully raided California in the 2019 cycle under coach Mario Cristobal. The top class in the Pac-12 features the nation’s No. 1 prospect, Kayvon Thibodeaux, who selected Oregon over Alabama. No. 1 cornerback Mykael Wright was a massive LOI faxed in, while ESPN 300 outside linebacker Mase Funa, ESPN 300 running back Sean Dollars and four-star defensive tackle Keyon Ware-Hudson all played for high school power Mater Dei in California. ESPN 300 OT Jonah Tauanu’u is another impactful LOI out of California. More key faxes received from California are ESPN 300 WR Mycah Pittman, four-star WR Jaron Waters and three-star running back Jayvaun Wilson. Tight end Patrick Herbert is a nice win out of the home state, while the Ducks headed north to Washington for the quarterback in the class, three-star Cale Millen. ESPN 300 WRs Joshua Delgado and Lance Wilhoite will bring a nice size-and-speed combo to Eugene. The Ducks continue to find success in the Sunshine State, with ESPN 300 LB Ge’Mon Eaford being the latest to head to Oregon. Four-star junior college prospect OT Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu will be seen early and often in Eugene.
Grade: B+ | National rank: 15
After signing the No. 15 class last February, the Huskies followed with another 15th-ranked class this cycle. The No. 2 class in the Pac-12 features yet another four-star QB headed to Washington, ESPN 300 Dylan Morris, but it’s ESPN 300 DTs Faatui Tuitele out of Hawaii and Jacob Bandes out of California who are the headliners of the class. Four-star RB Cameron Davis will bring a nice size-and-speed combo to the program. Four-star OT Julius Buelow, four-star OG Sama Paama and three-star OT Nathaniel Kalepo are need-fillers, as is four-star junior college center Corey Luciano. On defense, linebacker was paramount in this 2019 class, and ESPN 300 Josh Calvert, Asa Turner, Miki Ah You and Alphonzo Tuputala have more than filled the need. Four-star ATH Cameron Williams out of Northern California could end up on either side of the ball.
Grade: B | National rank: 20
The Trojans have had major ups and downs in the 2019 cycle because of questions about the future of head coach Clay Helton and the drama with Kliff Kingsbury’s hire and ultimate departure. Securing an early January verbal from ESPN 300 WR Kyle Ford was much-needed, especially with the loss of Bru McCoy to Texas. Four-star Adonis Otey was a big signing day win over Arkansas. ESPN 300 OT Jason Rodriguez was a big win in April, as was WR Munir McClain. ESPN 300 WR Drake London and four-star TE Jude Wolfe were needed wins. The signal-caller in the class is four-star Kedon Slovis out of Arizona. He will hand off to four-star RB Kenan Christon in the future. Stanley Taufoou is a hard-hitting inside linebacker from California on the signed list, while ESPN 300 ILB Maninoa Tufono was a nice LOI faxed from Hawaii. ESPN 300 DE Drake Jackson was one the Trojans had to win in their backyard. ESPN 300 CB Max Williams can cover like a blanket. ESPN 300 S Briton Allen was a key flip from Georgia Tech.
Grade: B+ | National rank: 21
David Shaw continues to bring elite talent to Stanford while working from a much smaller pool of prospects than the majority of college programs. The Cardinal again signed a top-25 class strong on quality, led by ESPN 300 OC Branson Bragg, ESPN 300 WR Elijah Higgins and ESPN 300 DE and Michigan flip Stephen Herron Jr. Key in-state LOIs were faxed by ESPN 300 DE Joshua Pakola, ESPN 300 RB Austin Jones and ESPN 300 WR Colby Bowman. ESPN 300 ATH Salim Turner-Muhammad is another nice signing out of Virginia. Three-star CBs Kyu Blu Kelly and Nicolas Toomer have nice length at the position. Three-star S Jonathan McGill will impact winning on special teams, along with safety.
Grade: B | National rank: 26
Herm Edwards’ first full class in Tempe finished in the top half of the conference and in the top 30 nationally. The Sun Devils are making up for the graduation of Manny Wilkins by signing three of the best QB prospects on the West Coast, ESPN 300s Joey Yellen, Jayden Daniels and Ethan Long. Long is a talented athlete who could also play OLB. The trio has a number of future targets headed to Tempe from the Lone Star State in three-star TE Nolan Matthews and three-star WR Jordan Kerley. In-state WR Ricky Pearsall is another talented target who has signed. On defense, in-state DT Anthonie Cooper is a good bet to break into the two-deep early. Three-star DE David Heckard has a nice ceiling, as does S Connor Soelle. Pro Bowler Antonio Pierce is proving to be a terrific addition to the staff, with several key recruiting wins in California, including four-stars Keon Markham and Kejuan Markham and three-star DE Amiri Johnson. Four-star DE Stephon Wright capped Pierce’s recruiting efforts. Three-star OT LaDarius Henderson has the most upside in the class.
Grade: B- | National rank: 45
The Bears have another solid class of athletes headed to Berkeley, led by ESPN JC50 OLB Kuony Deng. Deng is joined at linebacker by three-stars Orin Patu, Kyle Smith, Myles Jernigan and Curley Young out of the Lone Star State. Three-star CB Miles Williams hails from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. On the defensive line, the state of Arizona produced Braxten Croteau and Brett Johnson. The QB in the class is also from Arizona, with three-star Spencer Brasch. On the offensive line, three-star OG McKade Mettauer is a road grater. ESPN JC50 juco WR Trevon Clark will be an impact player.
Grade: C+ | National rank: 47
New head coach Mel Tucker kept a top-50 class together through tough circumstances. The group is led by ESPN JC 50 OLB Jashua Allen. Four-star WR Braedin Huffman-Dixon and four-star ATH Jaren Mangham will bring needed playmaking to Boulder. A second talented WR in the fold is Tarik Luckett out of California. Filling needs on the offensive line was paramount in the class, and needs have been met with three-star OGs Austin Johnson and Jake Wiley and Under Armour All-America Game OT Valentin Senn out of Austria. Defensive back Mark Perry could push for a spot in the two-deep early on. Three-star OLB Marvin Ham out of Michigan was a nice flip from Boston College. Juco DLs Jeremiah Doss and Janaz Jordan will be forced into early action.
Grade: C | National rank: 53
Chip Kelly’s first full class didn’t deliver the pure talent expected, but he has some key foundation pieces, led by ESPN 300 OT Sean Rhyan and three-star OT Duke Clemens. A third OT in the class, Josh Carlin, is joined by upside OG Beau Taylor. Undersized three-star QB Chase Griffin broke records in Central Texas. Juco DE Datona Jackson should push for early playing time, and so could three-star TE Michael Martinez. Three-star CB Shamar Martin and S William Nimmo Jr. have nice ceilings. Three-star WR Charles Njoku is the younger brother of NFL TE David Njoku.
Grade: C | National rank: 57
The state of Texas was key for the Wildcats in 2019. ESPN 300 WR Jalen Curry, four-star QB Grant Gunnell and three-star CB Bobby Wolfe all hail from the Lone Star State. Gunnell and Wolf were one-time Texas A&M verbals while Kevin Sumlin was the head coach in College Station. Recruiting California was also paramount, and three-stars Jalen Johnson, OLB Kwabena Watson and S Jaxen Turner could all push for two-deep spots fairly early. Juco DLs Trevon Mason and Myles Tapusoa and OTs Paiton Fears and Josh Donovan should beef up both lines of scrimmage. Three-star OG Jamari Williams out of Florida heads to Tucson with quick feet and a nice ceiling.
Grade: C | National rank: 59
College football’s best quote and most undervalued head coach, Mike Leach, continues to bring in talent with a mixture of high school and junior college prospects. ESPN JC 50 safety Bryce Beekman was a huge win and is joined in the secondary by juco three-star cornerbacks Derrick Langford, Daniel Isom and Shahman Moore. Linebacker was a key need in the class, and four-star Jamir Thomas and three-stars Travion Brown and Cosmas Kwete are talented high school prospects to develop. The signal-caller in the class is three-star Gunner Cruz out of Arizona. It won’t be a surprise to see three-star WR Billy Pospisil out of Colorado make an early impact.
Grade: C | National rank: 61
The Utes continue to win games and add solid, need-filling players on the recruiting trail. Offensive line was a key position of need in the 2019 cycle, and the staff responded with ESPN JC 50 OT Bamidele Olaseni, three-star OGs Sataoa Laumea and Marist Talavou, and three-star OTs Luke Felix-Fualalo and juco LaColby Tucker. Adding playmakers at wide receiver was also key, and four-star Darren Jones and speedy three-star Donte Banton out of the Sunshine State were huge wins. Three-star CBs Lacarea Pleasant-Johnson and JaTravis McCloud are need-fillers in the secondary. Three-star DE Falcon Kaumatule has a high ceiling.
Grade: C- | National rank: 64
The Beavers’ class is headlined by several defensive linemen who will need to play early, including three-star juco DT Jordan Whittley and juco DE James Rawls. Three-star DEs Omar Speights and Ryan Franke could also be called on early. Three-star CBs JoJo Forest and Wynston Russell could provide early depth. Three-star RB Taron Madison and three-star WR Anthony Gould will bring needed playmaking to the offense. Three-star ATH Cory Stover has a high ceiling.
Grade: A+ | National rank: 1
Alabama has the nation’s No. 1 class by a healthy margin. The Crimson Tide signed a tremendous group of offensive line prospects, led by five-star OT Pierce Quick and ESPN 300 OT Amari Kight from inside state lines. ESPN 300 Tanner Bowles and four-star OC Darrian Dalcourt hail from Kentucky and Maryland, respectively. ESPN 300 OG Evan Neal‘s signing-day decision added another big-time OL to the class. The signing of No. 2 RB Trey Sanders over Georgia was a huge win. A second four-star RB in the fold is ultra-quick Keilan Robinson. QB Paul Tyson, the great grandson of Bear Bryant, is more than just a legacy; he’s a talented and accurate four-star signal-caller. The Tide have also signed ESPN 300 prospect Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of current Crimson Tide QB Tua Tagovailoa. Key ESPN 300 signatures out of the Peach State are edge pass-rusher Kevin Harris, DE Justin Eboigbe and pass-rusher King Mwikuta. ESPN 300 DE Braylen Ingraham out of South Florida has first-round NFL draft potential and was dominant as a high school senior. ESPN 300 DT Ishmael Sopsher is the latest top prospect out of Louisiana to pick Alabama on signing day. A pair of top-10 corners is included in the class in Brandon Turnage and Christian Williams, as well as four-star Marcus Banks. Alabama continues to have success in Maryland, this time landing top-rated ILB Shane Lee, a thickly built and powerful downhill run-stuffer. A second ESPN 300 prospect from Maryland on the commit list is DeMarcco Hellams, who could play safety or receiver for the Crimson Tide. ESPN 300 CB Jeffery Carter and ESPN 300 ATH Christian Harris were key defensive flips from Texas A&M, as was ESPN 300 S Jordan Battle from Ohio State.
Grade: A | National rank: 2
After finishing with the nation’s top class in the 2018 cycle, the Bulldogs will finish at No. 2 behind Alabama. Five-star OLB/ DE Nolan Smith is an outstanding athlete with the physical tools to be an impactful defender. In-state ESPN 300 DL prospect Travon Walker is another big addition to the Bulldogs’ defensive line that is building talented depth. Georgia already has talented QBs on campus, but four-star Dwan Mathis‘ flip from Ohio State adds even more needed depth to the position. Other potential offensive weapons in the class include ESPN 300 WR Dominick Blaylock, who is an explosive player with quick hands. ESPN 300 WR and Auburn flip George Pickens and four-star TE-Y Ryland Goede are also big wins. ESPN 300 big man William Norton is slated to play on the defensive line, but he possesses even greater upside and impact ability at OT. Five-star C Clay Webb was a huge win over Alabama and Clemson. The Bulldogs quickly rebounded after losing No. 1 RB John Emery to LSU by signing No. 13 RB Kenny McIntosh. ESPN 300 linebacker Trezman Marshall was a nice LOI from in-state, and top-10 OLB Rian Davis was a big addition to Georgia’s LB corps out of the Sunshine State. The same can be said for ESPN 300 LB Nakobe Dean out of Mississippi. ESPN 300 S Lewis Cine is a tackling machine who plays for Deion Sanders at Trinity Christian, while ESPN 300 Tyrique Stevenson could be the next impact CB out of South Florida. Four-star juco DE Jermaine Johnson is talented enough to push for a starting spot early in Athens, while four-star juco CB D.J. Daniel was a needed flip and signature from South Carolina.
Grade: A | National rank: 3
The Aggies under Jimbo Fisher have quickly become one of the SEC’s top recruiting programs, with the No. 3 class in the SEC and the country. Signing bigger bodies on the line of scrimmage was a major focus, and the Aggies landed several top-tier prospects in that group. ESPN 300 DT DeMarvin Leal and ESPN 300 tackle Derick Hunter are signed, while four-star DT Joshua Ellison and ESPN 300 DE Braedon Mowry are committed. But it’s five-star offensive tackle Kenyon Green who is the signature win in the trenches. Joining Green in the offensive line haul are three-star OC Layden Robinson and three-star OT Blake Trainor. In the secondary, the Aggies received a trio of LOIs from ESPN 300 safeties Demani Richardson and Brian Williams and four-star DB Erick Young. ESPN JC50 CB and Oregon flip Elijah Blades will be the impact player of the DB group. Texas A&M also added receiving target Kameron Brown (son of former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown), ESPN 300 playmaker Dylan Wright and four-star Kenyon Jackson out of Georgia. Bolstering the formerly underutilized TE position is a key, and the Aggies have addressed that nicely with Baylor Cupp, who offers a nice blend of size and speed and can be a physical blocker. A second four-star TE in the fold is Jalen Wydermyer. The quarterback in the class, four-star Zach Calzada out of Georgia, has as much upside as any prospect in the Aggies’ group.
Grade: A | National rank: 7
The Tigers signed the fourth-best class in the conference, and it’s in the top 10 nationally. Ed Orgeron and staff had success keeping key in-state talent close to home, winning three of the top four prospects in Louisiana: No. 1 RB John Emery, ESPN 300 CB Derek Stingley Jr. and ESPN 300 OG Kardell Thomas. ESPN 300 ATH Devonta Lee was a nice signing day win over SEC foes. In-state upside OT Ray Parker is a second ESPN 300 OL in the fold. Charles Turner is an OL out of IMG Academy in Florida with physical upside who projects to center for the Tigers. They have landed a commitment from one of the top prospects in Tennessee, ESPN 300 CB Maurice Hampton, who doubles as a baseball star. ESPN 300 linebackers Marcel Brooks and Donte Starks will bring speedy playmaking to Baton Rouge. ESPN 300 DT Siaki Ika out of Utah will be the next difference-making defensive tackle for the Tigers. Running back is a major need in the 2019 cycle, and along with Emery, the Tigers signed Tyrion Davis, a strong, powerful runner and key in-state pickup. That said, it might be ESPN 300 Peter Parrish out of Alabama who has LSU fans most excited because of all the questions surrounding the quarterback position the past few seasons. Parrish will have ESPN 300 in-state WR Trey Palmer as a future target. Four-star juco TE T.K. McClendon could play from Week 1.
Grade: A | National rank: 9
Dan Mullen continues to reel in talented classes in Gainesville. The 2019 class will finish in the top 10 after the signing day flip of ESPN 300 edge rusher Khris Bogle from Alabama and the live ESPN announcement of Kaiir Elam to the Gators over Georgia. The QB in this class is ESPN 300 Jalon Jones, who could end up at receiver if quarterback doesn’t work out. ESPN 300 DT Jaelin Humphries was a very nice win out of the Peach State, as were ESPN 300 OLB Mohamoud Diabate and four-star OLB Tyron Hopper. The signing of ESPN 300 CB Chris Steele out of California is a huge win over USC and Oregon. Flipping ESPN 300 OLB Diwun Black from Ole Miss was a nice win if he qualifies, as was signing four-star CB Jaydon Hill out of Alabama. ESPN 300 OT Will Harrod and OG Ethan White were key wins at need positions and are joined in the class by OT Wardrick Wilson and OG Riley Simonds out of Georgia. The faxes from ESPN 300 OT Michael Tarquin and OC Kingsley Eguakun from Miami ensure a terrific OL class. The Gators’ domination at Lakeland (Florida) High continued in 2019, with ESPN 300 OG Deyavie Hammond, ESPN 300 TE Keon Zipperer and four-star DE Lloyd Summerall. Four-star WR Dionte Marks will bring more speed to Gainesville, as will four-star RB Nayquan Wright. ESPN 300 WR Arjei Henderson is committed but has yet to sign.
Grade: A- | National rank: 11
Jeremy Pruitt is making his mark in Knoxville by signing a top-15 class that ranks in the top half of the conference. The headliners are Peach State five-star OT Wanya Morris, five-star OT Darnell Wright and Tar Heel State ATH Quavaris Crouch. The 6-foot-6, 293-pound athletic lineman is joined on the signing list by ESPN 300 WR Ramel Keyton, ESPN 300 S Jaylen McCollough and TE Jackson Lowe out of neighboring Georgia. ESPN 300 LB Henry To’oto’o was a huge signing day win out of California over Alabama and Washington. ESPN 300 OG Jackson Lampley is the highest-ranked in-stater to sign, while ESPN 300 S Anthony Harris and ESPN 300 CB/DB Tyus Fields are two more talented prospects from neighboring North Carolina set to suit up in Knoxville. The signal-caller in the class is Sunshine State four-star Brian Maurer. ESPN 300 RB Eric Gray was a one-time Michigan verbal. Juco DLs Darel Middleton and Savion Williams could start early in Knoxville.
Grade: A- | National rank: 12
Five-star ultra-athletic linebacker Owen Pappoe is the headliner of this class out of the crucial recruiting ground of Georgia. Papoe is joined from the Peach State by ESPN 300 OG Keiondre Jones, ESPN 300 speedy playmaker Zion Puckett, ESPN 300 ATH Jashawn Sheffield, four-star CB Jaylin Simpson and more. Three-star Peach State DE Colby Wooden was a very nice win over Clemson in mid-August. The home state is represented on the commit list with a signature from ESPN 300 QB Bo Nix, who will compete for the starting job as a freshman. The Tigers have found success in neighboring Mississippi on the defensive line with ESPN 300 DT Charles Moore, ESPN 300 OLB/DE Derick Hall II and DE Jaren Handy. Another four-star in the class is Palmetto State TE Luke Deal. The Tigers held off North Carolina for ESPN 300 CB Cam’Ron Kelly. Four-star WR/KR Ja’varrius Johnson will be playmaker for the Tigers. Sunshine State ESPN 300 ATH Mark-Antony Richards could end up at RB or S for the Tigers. Four-star RB D.J. Williams could end up being the jewel of the class.
Grade: B+ | National rank: 17
The Gamecocks’ class is led by an uber-talented group of defensive linemen. Leading the way are ESPN 300 and Under Armour All-America Game end Zacch Pickens, ESPN 300 DT Jaquaze Sorrells and ESPN 300 end Joseph Anderson out of Tennessee. A third four-star is Peach State end Rodricus Fitten, but four-star junior college DE Devontae Davis and DT Jahkeem Green could have the most immediate impact. On offense, ESPN 300 quarterback Ryan Hilinski is the headliner and a huge LOI out of California. Tight ends Traevon Kenion (a four-star) and Keshawn Toney (three-star) will fly under the radar but were key wins at a position of need. Four-star OT Jakai Moore was a huge victory out of Virginia over Penn State. The sleepers of the class are athletic inside linebacker Derek Boykins out of North Carolina and ESPN 300 in-state CB Cameron Smith. Smith is joined in the secondary by ESPN 300 CB/N Shilo Sanders (son of Deion Sanders) and Sunshine State CB John Dixon, who returned successfully from an injury to regain attention from South Carolina and other SEC programs. Peach State four-star safety Jammie Robinson was a nice win out of the Peach State over SEC East foes.
Grade: B+ | National rank: 22
The Rebels have a top-25 class with a signing day boost of Jerrion Ealy over Clemson and Alabama and ESPN JC 50 LB Lakia Henry over Arkansas and Texas. There is also impressive depth on the offensive line, led by ESPN 300 OT Nick Broeker. Four-star QBs Grant Tisdale and John Rhys Plumlee, in-state WR Jordan Jernigan and four-star WR Jadon Jackson out of Arkansas did sign LOIs. Two more WRs in the fold are ESPN 300s Jonathan Mingo and Dannis Jackson, who flipped from Mississippi State in late July. ESPN 300 OT Darius Thomas was a very nice win out of Arkansas, too. Four-star ATH Deantre Prince could factor into the future of the Rebels’ secondary. The junior college ranks are always key for adding impact players in Oxford, and the 2019 class has impact four-stars S Jonathan Haynes and OLB Sam Williams.
Grade: B+ | National rank: 23
After his first full year to recruit for Arkansas, Chad Morris’ class falls inside the top 20 nationally, despite a 2-10 season on the field. The headliners are Lone Star State four-star safety Jalen Catalon, who picked Arkansas over Texas and TCU, and in-state legacies ESPN 300 TE Hudson Henry and four-star DE Zach Williams. A second four-star DE to sign is Eric Gregory. Both bring edge-rush ability. The defensive line class for Arkansas also includes Mansfield (Texas) Legacy defensive tackles Enoch Jackson and Taurean Carter, Peach State three-star DE Mataio Soli and three-star DE/DT Collin Clay out of neighboring Oklahoma. ESPN 300 CB Devin Bush and four-star CB Gregory Brooks were needed LOIs out of the Pelican State. On offense, four-star QB Kenneth Jefferson is a nearly ideal scheme fit for Morris’ up-tempo offense. Wide receiver help is on the way with ESPN 300 Trey Knox and in-state star Treylon Burks. Three-stars Shamar Nash and T.Q. Jackson are set to bring much-needed ball skills as well. A third prospect from talent-rich East Texas is three-star OT Beaux Limmer, who played for Arkansas assistant coach Jeff Traylor’s younger brother in Tyler, Texas.
Grade: B | National rank: 24
The Bulldogs have surged on the trail under coach Joe Moorhead, with a top-20 class in the 2019 cycle. ESPN 300 safety/WR prospect Jarrian Jones was a huge flip from Oklahoma. ESPN 300 DT Nathan Pickering was a huge June win over neighboring LSU and Alabama, but there is still work to be done. ESPN 300 OT Charles Cross was a nice win over SEC and ACC foes. In-state ESPN 300 DE De’Monte Russell showed all kinds of upside at the Under Armour All-America Game. The quarterback in the class is ESPN 300 Garrett Shrader, who was a big win out of North Carolina. Joining Shrader from out of state are ESPN 300 defensive end Ani Izuchukwu from Tennessee and ESPN 300 wide receiver Quinton Torbor out of the Pelican State, who will add immediate two-deep depth. Four-star juco WR JaVonta Payton and juco S Fred Peters will also come in with lofty expectations. Juco RB Kareem Walker and ESPN JC 50 OG LaQuinston Sharp are expected to play early and often.
Grade: B- | National rank: 34
The Tigers continue to add key pieces on the trail under Barry Odom after an eight-win season. ESPN 300 QB Connor Bazelak is the headliner and is joined by talented skill players four-star RB Anthony Watkins out of Texas and four-star WR C.J. Boone from in-state. In the trenches, four-star OG Jack Buford figures to play his way into the two-deep early. On defense, shoring up the future of the secondary is the biggest need in the class, and Odom and staff have responded in spades with ESPN 300 S Jalani Williams, four-star Louisiana S Ishmael Burdine and three-star safeties Stacy Brown out of Texas and Martez Manuel from inside state lines. Three-star DE Shemar Pearl is an intriguing prospect from Texas, as is Arvell Ferguson from in-state.
Grade: B- | National rank: 35
The Wildcats’ surge on the field has resulted in added success on the recruiting trail. ESPN 300 RB Travis Tisdale is a quick blur out of Georgia, but key in-state signatures from four-star and one-time Oregon verbal OLB Jared Casey, DE J.J. Weaver, WR Demontae Crumes and ATH Shawnkel Knight-Goff headline the class. The haul out of Florida features upside TE Nikolas Ognenovic and senior riser DeMarcus Harris at WR. Three-star OLB K.D. McDaniel and CB Taj Dodson were nice additions out of Georgia, as was three-star DT Isaiah Gibson out of neighboring Ohio. Three-star CB Marlin Devonshire was a huge signing day win out of Pennsylvania. Juco OLB Marquez Bembry, CB Brandin Echols and S Quandre Mosely are expected to push for playing time early.
Grade: C | National rank: 60
The Commodores’ class is headlined by Lone Star State S/OLB Anfernee Orji and upside OT Donald Fitzgerald. Three-star DE/TE Brayden Bapst possesses a high long-term ceiling as an OT prospect. Three-star DE Christian James and three-star DT Daevion Davis have the size to push for time early on. Three-star juco CB Dontye Carriere-Williams is expected to push for a starting gig. In-state WR Jayden Harrison was a nice grab from the Nashville area.
Grade: A- | National rank: 14
The Fighting Irish signed a second-straight top-10 class on the heels of an undefeated regular season in South Bend. OT Quinn Carroll leads a group of four four-star OL signatures, with center-guard Zeke Correll being the most versatile and Andrew Kristofic having the highest ceiling. The defensive line class is led by DT Jacob Lacey, who possesses a nice blend of size and strength. He is joined by ESPN 300 ends Isaiah Foskey, NaNa Osafo-Mensah and Hunter Spears as well as DE Howard Cross III, one of two four-star commits out of New Jersey. Notre Dame has also gone out of state to get a quartet of four-star defensive back prospects: CBs K.J. Wallace and Isaiah Rutherford and Ss Kyle Hamilton and Litchfield Ajavon. ESPN 300 linebacker Osita Ekwonu was a nice win out of North Carolina, as was one-time Georgia commit J.D. Bertrand out of Georgia. The signal-caller in the class is three-star Brendan Clark out of Virginia.