• Alabama has the nation's top recruiting class, but will any school pass the Crimson Tide before National Signing Day?
By Scout.com
December 12, 2016

Alabama has a commanding lead in the national recruiting rankings, can anyone catch them? And who is the Big Ten team surprisingly up to No. 11 nationally?

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Not much has changed here, the Crimson Tide are still number one and it is by a large margin. The recent addition of safety Daniel Wright, a four-star and top 200 player in the country, extended their lead. The crown jewels of the class are five-star linebacker VanDarius Cowan and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Four-star offensive tackle Jedrick Wills made his verbal public in November, which was another boost to this outstanding class.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

12 commits in the national top 100 is unheard of. It is incredible how balanced that class is too, among those 12 commits are a quarterback (Tate Martell), two defensive linemen, two offensive linemen, two receivers, an athlete/running back in J.K. Dobbins, two defensive backs and five-star linebacker Baron Browning, who was one of the most recent additions to the class. Indianapolis Cathedral four-star linebacker Pete Werner committed on Sunday, giving the Buckeye class a little distance ahead of No. 3.

3. Georgia Bulldogs

December got off to a good star for the Bulldogs as they landed two four-stars, wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman and defensive end Malik Herring, both from inside the state. That helped their class jump up to this spot. Going back to June, Georgia has received ten four-star commitments in a row. 14 of their 18 commits come from Georgia, but they have also had a surprising success in Pennsylvania, landing four-stars D'Andre Swift, a gifted running back and big, physical wideout Mark Webb.

4. Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners have held steady in the top five. No new commits since October, but that is to be expected when you have 21 commits by the middle of that month. How about this linebacker class? The Sooners have five committed, four of them four-stars and in the national top 200 with Levi Draper the highest ranked of all. The class also has offensive talent coming in, led by quarterback Chris Robison and running back Kennedy Brooks.

5. Texas A&M Aggies

The Aggies recently landed a major commitment when five-star in-state linebacker Anthony Hines chose them over offers from around the country. That was a major coup as other programs were considered leaders throughout the course of his recruitment. Hines was the topper on a good recent run of recruits for A&M. Highly-ranked receiver Jhamon Ausbon came before him and before Ausbon, four-star linebacker Devodrick Johnson. 6-foot-6 junior college defensive end Micheal Clemons may play immediately as Myles Garrett is expected to go pro.

6. Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines have 21 commitments and a good chance to finish strong down the stretch. Four-star cornerback Ambry Thomas recently committed, giving them a key in-state addition and an early enrollee who will have an opportunity to step in for fellow Detroit native Jourdan Lewis. Expect other freshmen to see the field as well like Josh Ross at a linebacker position that will have some openings. Wide receiver, offensive line and defensive line are three spots they could still add bodies down the stretch.

7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The addition of four-star offensive tackle Aaron Banks on Friday bolstered the Irish class. He joins a good offensive line group that also includes fellow top 150 prospect Robert Hainsey. The Irish tight end tradition should continue to grow with top 100 prospect Brock Wright and top 200 prospect Cole Kmet. Linebacker David Adams from Pittsburgh has a chance to be an early impact guy as well.

8. Tennessee Volunteers

Landing five-star in-state offensive tackle Trey Smith recently was massive. Then the Volunteers followed that up with Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar linebacker Shanon Reid the next day. Smith's commitment is music to the ears of top 100 running back Ty Chandler, who has the look of a future star and will benefit from this offensive line group that is coming in.

9. Auburn Tigers

The Tigers ended November on a high with four-star in-state athlete Noah Igbinoghene joining the class. The Tigers have only 13 commits total but eight are four or five-star prospects. The top prospect in the class is five-star offensive tackle Calvin Ashley who has an extremely high ceiling. Austin Troxell and Nick Brahms are two more highly-ranked offensive linemen coming in.

10. LSU Tigers

The Tigers have not received a new commitment since August, but with many top prospects taking official visits this Fall, they have the pieces in place for a good close. Keeping quarterback Myles Brennan, who is fielding interest from other programs, committed, has to be a big priority for Ed Orgeron. It is a quarterback friendly class as the Tigers have three offensive line commits in the Scout 300 as well as wide receiver Mannie Netherly.

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11. Clemson Tigers

Clemson has only 14 commits, the fewest of any top ten team, so there is obvious quality in the class. 11 of the 14 are four-stars. The class is strong offensively as the top three commits are wide receiver Tee Higgins, quarterback Hunter Johnson and running back Cordarrian Richardson. Higgins should be the next in the line of explosive, big-play Tiger wideouts. When you think of Clemson, you also think of strong linebacker/edge play and Justin Foster has that covered.

12. Maryland Terrapins

A statement of a class for D.J. Durkin so far. The Terps have 25 commits and December has ben a good month for them with five commitments coming already. That includes twins Breyon Gaddy and Brandon Gaddy who were once committed to Tennessee. With seven four-star commits coming in and a JUCO corner who may play immediately in Alex Woods, this class has a chance to be the cornerstone of Durkin's era in College Park.

13. Miami Hurricanes

The Hurricanes are doing well in their home-state. Their last six commitments have all been from Florida including four-star Miami kids Deandre Wilder, a linebacker from Carol City and Trajan Bandy, a safety from Columbus. Among the top out-of-state gets is defensive end D.J. Johnson, who comes all the way from Sacramento (Calif.) and may play early with his length and pass rush ability.

14. Washington Huskies

November was a good month for Washington as they added two four-star prospects, offensive tackle Henry Bainivalu and cornerback Elijah Molden. Ten of their 13 commits are four-stars and with an appearance in the College Football Playoff still to come, the Huskies have a chance to close this class out well.

15. Penn State Nittany Lions

The good end to the season for this team has produced a couple of recruiting results already, four-star defensive tackle Fred Hansard and four-star wide receiver K.J. Hamler. Hansard joins a good defensive line class which had fellow four-stars Yetur Matos and Damion Barber already in it. Of course, Linebacker U has to have a highly ranked backer in the class and Dylan Rivers, a four-star from Virginia is that guy.

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16. Colorado Buffaloes

Speaking of schools' good seasons producing recruiting results, the Buffaloes have received five commitments since mid-October. That incudes four-star Texas athlete KD Nixon and four-star former Ohio State commit Jake Moretti, an in-stater who missed this season with a knee injury but should become a stalwart for the Buffs. An immediate impact guy could be JUCO defensive end Shamar Hamilton from ASA College.

17. Florida State Seminoles

FSU only has nine commits to date, but five are in the national top 200. Four of those five are on offense. Running backs Khalan Laborn and Zaquandre White can fill a highlight reel by themselves. Quarterback Bailey Hockman is mobile, smart, and been on big time stages since his freshman year. He will have an explosive target in D.J. Matthews, who was excellent at The Opening Finals over the summer.

18. Michigan State Spartans

Athlete Connor Heyward got December off to a good start for the Spartans. Heyward, a Georgia native, is part of the Spartans continued efforts in the south. They picked up two high-potential defensive linemen from Florida in Lashawn Paulino-Bell and Donovan Winter. Of course, they did not forget about the Midwest, four-star offensive linemen Kevin Jarvis and Jordan Reid are a great tandem as is the in-state wide receiver duo of Hunter Rison and Cody White. The sleeper of the class may be cornerback Josiah Scott, who had a fantastic senior season.

18. USC Trojans

The Trojans flipped in-state four-star quarterback Jack Sears from Duke in November and he has the intangibles as well as athleticism to be the man under center for them one day. He will have a good line in front of him, a line which will include four-star prospects Alijah Vera-Tucker and Brett Neilon as well as 6-foot-6 tackle Andrew Vorhees.

20. Arizona Wildcats

24 commits for Rich Rodriguez and the Wildcats. There are a couple of good JUCO commits including four-star linebacker Delshawn Phillips, a Detroit native at Garden City and 6-foot-7 defensive tackle Matt Leo from Arizona Western. Both of them should play nex Fall. Four-star quarterback Braxton Burmeister and four-star athlete Nathan Tilford both come in from California with impressive credentials.

21. Louisville Cardinals

The Cardinals had five commits in October and then started December with a commitment from Nashville defensive tackle Ben Hutch. Two Scout 300 prospects committed before him, running back Colin Wilson and athlete Russ Yeast, a Kentucky legacy who was a finalist for Mr. Football in Indiana. How good is Wilson? He rushed for 270 yards and six touchdowns in his team's opening round playoff game last month.

22. Florida Gators

The Gators have 12 commits, six of them are four-stars including the top prospect in the class, long, athletic defensive end Zachary Carter. Cornerback Marco Wilson, younger brother of Gators star corner Quincy Wilson, has an opportunity to follow in his brother's footsteps as an All-American. Offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort comes in from Miami Washington with the frame and athleticism to develop into a draft pick himself.

23. Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Cornhuskers have 14 commits and as has been their M.O. under Mike Riley, the staff has gone to all corners of the country to build the class. The class of 14 comes from nine different states. The highest ranked commit is from Delaware, speedy linebacker Avery Roberts. Cornhusker fans should also be excited about four-star quarterback Tristan Gebbia, who will have to excellent targets to throw to in Jaevon McQuitty and Keyshawn Johnson.

24. South Garolina Gamecocks

19 commits for the Gamecocks with three Scout 300 prospects included in that. Top 100 prospect Jamyest Williams, a fiery, competitive athlete who can play corner or slot, is the crown jewel. 6-foot-4 safety Hamsah Nasirildeen and 6-foot-4 in-state receiver OrTre Smith are two physically imposing four-stars coming in as well. 

25. North Carolina Tar Heels

The Tar Heels have 17 commits with four-star guard Jonah Melton and four-star defensive end Jake Lawler, both from in-state, leading the way. Four-star wide receivers J.T. Cauthen and Tyler Smith will bring big-play potential to the offense. December started off with a sleeper commit, safety Kayne Roberts from Tennessee who may not have been well-known, but has a big 6-foot-3 frame and could be a surprise.

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