|Rivals' Top 25: 2012 Class Rankings|
|Instant impact: RB T.J. Yeldon. Alabama's top-ranked prospect likely won't start, but is extremely versatile and can make plays in spot duty.|
Bottom line: Nick Saban and Alabama walked away with the recruiting crown thanks to a strong class from top-to-bottom. The Tide loaded up primarily on linebackers, signing five in this year's haul, and also addressed a major need by grabbing two big-play receivers in Chris Black and Amari Cooper.
|Instant impact: RB Johnathan Gray. If his high school career was any indication, the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder is capable of immediately shouldering a large load in the backfield.|
Bottom line: Like clockwork, Texas again produced a well-rounded class. Its offensive haul is very impressive at the top, led by Gray, wideout Thomas Jones, and guard Curtis Riser, and it bulked up its defensive line by adding defensive tackle Malcom Brown and defensive end Hassan Ridgeway.
|Instant impact: DE Jonathan Bullard. The North Carolina defensive end was a dominating force at the U.S. Army All-American Game and showed the ability to make an impact from day one.|
Bottom line: Florida ended up with a very strong class, but will didn't address one key need: a big-play wide receiver. All in all, though, Will Muschamp should be commended for his work during his first full recruiting cycle.
|Instant impact: DE Noah Spence. A quick, physical defensive end who outplayed his peers at Under Armour All-American Game, Spence could start immediately for Urban Meyer and Co. in Columbus.|
Bottom line: Considering Ohio State began the year under a shroud of scandal, their No. 4 ranking after National Signing Day is tremendously impressive. Urban Meyer closed strong and assembled a bevy of talent on both sides of the ball.
|Instant impact: OG Joshua Garnett. The big-bodied offensive lineman could play tackle or guard, but should make an easier transition to the D-I level at the latter. Either way, Garnett is a tough player who does a great job sustaining blocks and keeping the quarterback pressure-free.|
Bottom line: Stanford's 2012 class begins with its remarkable offensive line. In addition to Garnett, the Cardinal landed Andrus Peat and Kyle Murphy, another pair of five-star talents. Factor in defensive end Aziz Shittu, and David Shaw may have secured the program's strongest Signing Day class ever.
|Instant impact: DE Mario Edwards. A Florida State legacy, Edwards is a talented defensive lineman with the versatility to play from the edge or the inside. Expect him to find a spot in Jimbo Fisher's rotation as a freshman.|
Bottom line: Florida State focused on adding quality over quantity, and that's precisely what Jimbo Fisher and Co. accomplished. The commitment of Eddie Goldman bolsters a stacked defensive line, and the additions of Ronald Darby and Marvin Bracy brings elite speed to the Seminoles. FSU also landed the top quarterback prospect in five-star Hueytown, Ala., native Jameis Winston.
|Instant impact: DT Ondre Pipkins. A massive defensive tackle with surprising athleticism, Pipkins is a disruptive force in the middle who immediately demands a double-team. Look for him to make an impact early and often.|
Bottom line: Brady Hoke capped an already solid class with the addition of versatile all-purpose back Dennis Norfleet, a previous Cincinnati pledge. The Wolverines added a number of quality players on both the offensive and defensive lines.
|Instant impact: ATH Nelson Agholor. Despite a crowded depth chart, Agholor's big-play ability gives him a chance to serve a key role early on for Lane Kiffin.|
Bottom line: With limited scholarships due to NCAA sanctions, Lane Kiffin and his staff managed to assemble an incredible crop of talent. Every signee in their class is a quality player, and, more importantly, numerous needs on both sides of the ball were addressed.
|Instant impact: RB Duke Johnson. The versatile all-purpose running back can make plays in a variety of ways -- in the backfield, slot or on special teams -- all of which could be relied upon heavily next fall.|
Bottom line: Coach Al Golden made headlines by closing with blue-chip cornerback Tracy Howard, but the truth is that he addressed needs throughout the roster, especially in regards to depth, with this talented class.
|Instant impact: WR Trey Metoyer. The top prep school prospect in the nation, Metoyer should arrive in Norman and immediately find a role in the Sooners' attack.|
Bottom line: Bob Stoops and Co. did plenty of maneuvering down the stretch, but their ultimate 2012 class filled a number of significant needs. The Sooners loaded up on receivers (Metoyer, Sterling Shepard, Derrick Woods) while also adding depth at several other key positions.
|Instant impact: WR JaQuay Williams. One of the top-ranked prospects in the class, the ultra-talented 6-foot-3, 204-pound wideout could thrive for Gene Chizik in 2012.|
Bottom line: Auburn didn't close with quite the bang that they had hoped -- missing out on defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and cornerback Ronald Darby -- but they did land some great talent, such as prized offensive tackle Avery Young, down the stretch. Chizik weathered coaching changes and still assembled a fringe top ten class.
|Instant impact: DE Jordan Jenkins. While he will need to make gains in his size and strength, Jenkins has an engine that never stops and the ability to be a disruptive force off the edge. He should see time in Mark Richt's defense right off the bat.|
Bottom line: Georgia's class moved to No. 12 after the signing of Josh Harvey-Clemons became official. The Bulldog offense could embrace the ground-and-pound mentality coming years with the additions of offensive tackle John Theus and heralded running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley.
|Instant impact: DT Ellis McCarthy. The 6-foot-5, 311-pound defensive tackle should compete for a starting role early. More than just a big body, he shows explosiveness off the line and can make a lot happen in pursuit.|
Bottom line: Despite his NFL pedigree, Jim Mora came to campus and immediately reversed the fortunes of UCLA recruiting. Nearly two-thirds of the Bruins' class was added after his hire, including a number of top-tier flips (McCarthy, Jordan Payton). It's just one class, but Signing Day should serve as a great starting point for UCLA's new staff.
|Instant impact: S Travis Blanks. An early enrollee, Blanks provides great size (6-foot-1, 195) and versatility in the secondary. With a spring under his belt will, he should be more than ready to compete for playing time in the fall.|
Bottom line: After a laudable 2011 campaign, Dabo Swinney put together another strong class at Clemson. The staff is very high on quarterback Chad Kelly, and also added several defensive standouts in Blanks and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins.
|Instant impact: WR Thomas Johnson. A blazing fast wideout with a knack for yards after the catch, Johnson should have no problem fitting into Kevin Sumlin's up-tempo attack.|
Bottom line: In addition to Johnson, the Aggies stocked their offensive arsenal by adding running back Trey Williams and quarterback Matt Davis. On defense, cornerback DeVante Harris and five defensive ends lead the way.
|Instant impact: DE Arik Armstead. The 6-foot-8, 280-pounder could potentially move to offensive tackle, a position he also played in high school. No matter where he settles in, Armstead's rare blend of size and athleticism should be tough to keep on the bench.|
Bottom line: Chip Kelly and Co. assembled another strong class, headlined by defensive ends Armstead, Alex Balducci, and DeForest Buckner. They also bought into the popular tight end trend: The Ducks signed big targets Evan Baylis and Pharaoh Brown.
|Instant impact: ATH Lamar Louis. The talented in-state athlete possesses the versatility to contribute from day one. Les Miles won't hesitate to take advantage of his mismatch-producing size-to-speed ratio.|
Bottom line: Coming off a BCS Championship berth, LSU secured a good class but lacked a blue-chip superstar. Don't be fooled, though. The Tigers added a great linebacking corps and a quality crop of offensive line talent.
|Instant impact: WR Cordarrelle Patterson. A junior college transfer, Patterson is a huge wide receiver who should be able to instantly stretch the field vertically. Expect some deep balls come next fall.|
Bottom line: Forced to scramble after some key flips, including linebacker Dalton Santos to Texas, Tennessee still was able to bring in a talented 2012 group. The Vols stocked up at wide receiver and defensive tackle, the latter of which they landed Daniel McCullers and Danny O'Brien.
|Instant impact: RB Mike Davis. Even with Marcus Lattimore returning in the backfield, Davis could still be able to play an immediate role at running back. His bruising 5-foot-10, 200-pound frame could be key in short yardage downs.|
Bottom line: Steve Spurrier, as expected, bolstered his offense again with this year's class. Among the headliners: Davis, wide receivers Shaq Roland and Jody Fuller, and offensive linemen Joe Harris and Brock Stadnik.
|Instant impact: S Shaq Thompson. The top player in Washington's class, Thompson should have no issues finding the field as a freshman. His hard-hitting presence can single-handedly alter an opponent's approach.|
Bottom line: Washington continues their positive swing with another impressive recruiting haul. Thompson and defensive end Pio Vatuvei are big gets on defense, while quarterback Jeff Lindquist and athlete Jaydon Mickens should provide depth and could turn into the Huskies' offensive stars of the future.
|Instant impact: RB J.C. Coleman. He's on the small-side, standing at just 5-foot-7,but Coleman's elusive more than compensates for his lack of height. With David Wilson's departure, Frank Beamer should rely on him early.|
Bottom line: Virginia Tech's classes never end up in the top 10, but, year after year, they produce wins and results. This one should be no different. Frank Beamer has assembled another solid haul that should help sustain the Hokies' history of success.
|Instant impact: S Tee Shepard. A California native, Shepard fills a previously position of weakness for the Irish. He's a great blend of size and athleticism and should find a role seemingly from day one.|
Bottom line: Notre Dame's biggest triumph was landing five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel in January. Kiel, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley and running back William Mahone headline the offensive haul, while Shepard and Elijah Shumate fill major voids in the secondary.
|Instant impact: WR Bryce Treggs. The talented receiver stands out for a number of reasons, most notably his precocious route-running. He can instantly enter an offensive scheme and be relied upon to produce.|
Bottom line: Cal's class is headlined by the homegrown quarterback, Zach Kline, but its biggest strength comes with its loaded wide receiver corps. In addition to Treggs, Cal landed the services of Kenny Lawler, Darius Powe, and Chris Harper. Linebacker Michael Barton serves as the top defensive signee.
|Instant impact: DE Darius Hamilton. The top recruit heading to the Big East, Hamilton is likely the biggest get in Scarlet Knights' history. He should immediately upgrade Rutgers' defensive pass rush.|
Bottom line: Despite weathering a last-minute coaching change, Rutgers didn't class didn't fall apart as predicted. In fact, the Scarlet Knights closed by adding Hamilton and bolstering the offensive line behind the likes of J.J. Denman and Chris Muller.
|Instant impact: CB Mohammed Seisay. An imposing lockdown cornerback, Seisay is already in Lincoln preparing for the 2012 campaigbn. He brings terrific size (6-foot-2, 200) to the secondary and should make a smooth transition from the junior college ranks.|
Bottom line: A couple of Signing Day losses, most notably Andrus Peat, kept the Huskers from finishing a little bit higher. Still, Bo Pelini's class has plenty to be proud of. Seisay and linebacker Zaire Anderson are junior college players that should instantly upgrade the defense.