SI All-American Top 25 Football Recruiting Class Rankings
August featured the debut of the SI99 prospect rankings and September was when SI All-American debuted the class of 2021 team recruiting rankings, with updated rankings unveiled in October.
The latter will be updated monthly and the November installment comes after several members of the SI99 came off the board including No. 2 Nickel Billy Bowman declaring for Oklahoma on the 1st of the month and No. 4 Nickel Sage Ryan choosing LSU the day before on Halloween. Just 14 of the 99 remain uncommitted at this time, setting the table for a photo finish in the race for the top recruiting class in the country.
SIAA takes a subjective approach to the team rankings, emphasizing quality over quantity with the scope on premium position prospects and SI99 members. Programs addressing specific team needs also play a key role in determining the pecking order.
Since the October update there was a solid amount of movement in the rankings, as you'll see below. LSU flexed its recruiting prowess to jump into the top three, while Oregon nabbed No. 2 WR prospect Dont'e Thornton to make its debut in the top five.
The Top 25 Team Recruiting Rankings, with indication of November versus October ranking, are as follows:
1. Ohio State (Previous Rank: 1)
20 Verbal Commitments, 10 in the SI99
The Buckeyes are still the program with the most SI99 members within it as half of the class is among the very best in the country. The gaudy stats is part of the reason for the razor-thin margin over Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, which has a bit more volume with two additional commitments. From a positional standpoint, the Bucks have the stronger defensive line and secondary group, including premium sports among pass rushers and cornerbacks. Offensively, quarterback Kyle McCord has a high floor and the running back tandem of TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor is arguably the best of any program in the conversation.
2. Alabama (2)
22 Verbal Commitments, 9 in the SI99
The recent addition of SI99 defensive back Ga’Quincy McKinstry strengthens UA’s secondary class, complete with versatile, lengthy prospects of intrigue. The offensive line class and defensive line class each boasts multiple SI99 members and the linebacker group could be the best unit in the country. The Tide has perhaps more room to add to their class than current No. 1 OSU, where a strong hit rate among priority prospects remaining may result in a move up to the top.
3. LSU (5)
22 Verbal Commitments, 6 in the SI99
LSU is the hottest recruiting program since the last rankings came out, as the defending national champs are building both an elite secondary class as well as fortifying the fertile recruiting ground in the state of Louisiana. It won a back-and-forth battle with Alabama for in-state SI99 DB Sage Ryan on Halloween and went up to Big Ten country to land SI99 safety Derrick Davis this month. Two additional pickups represent additions from prospects once pledged elsewhere in wide receiver Jack Bech (flipped from Vanderbilt) and safety Matthew Langlois (flipped from Kansas State).
4. Clemson (3)
17 Verbal Commitments, 7 in the SI99
Only the top two teams in the rankings, Ohio State and Alabama, have more SI99 prospects currently committed than Clemson. Five of the top 40 prospects in the ranking are committed to Dabo Swinney and company including a pair of linebackers in Jeremiah Trotter, Jr. and Barrett Carter. An alpha pass rusher is on the list in North Carolina native Zaire Patterson and the pass catcher group is among the best led by No. 2 wideout Beaux Collins.
5. Oregon (6)
23 Verbal Commitments, 4 in the SI99
A program that has moved up each month we’ve updated the rankings is Oregon, now crashing the top five and strengthening its hold as the top class in the Pac-12. It added one of the most gifted athletic specimens at any position in SI99 wide receiver Dont’e Thornton in late October after landing one of the top pass protectors in the class in Kingsley Suamataia. The secondary group is large and diverse and the quarterback spot feels safer and safer the more we look into top five arm Ty Thompson.
6. Georgia (4)
18 Verbal Commitments, 5 in the SI99
Veterans of the recruiting industry see Georgia making a strong move in their recruiting title defense the rest of the way. After adding premiere left tackle talent Amarius Mims in October, UGA picked up a cornerback turning plenty of heads in Alabama’s Kamari Lassiter as well as interior defensive lineman Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins of late. Few programs have the combination of high quality and premium targets still on the board like Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs and arguably the top target remaining comes off the board this week in speedy linebacker Smael Mondon.
7. Florida (7)
26 Verbal Commitments, 4 in the SI99
In adding SI99 edge Jeremiah Williams and offensive lineman Yousef Mugharbil, Florida matches Tennessee’s 26-member class but has a stronger group from a quality standpoint as things currently stand. The secondary group ranks as perhaps the best in the country along with big trench groups on offense and defense. The two-QB haul of Carlos Del Rio and Jalen Kitna offers additional intrigue along with the in-state talent left on the board.
8. Michigan (8)
21 Verbal Commitments, 4 in the SI99 Michigan is fresh off of a prospect-led visit weekend in Ann Arbor, led by SI99 quarterback JJ McCarthy, who told SIAA he was still “all Michigan” despite the Wolverines subpar 1-3 start on the field this fall. The class has actually improved in the last several weeks, adding big physical Fla. linebacker Branden Jennings, who virtually flipped his pledge from Florida State. The makeup of the 2021 haul beyond McCarthy and the SI99 receivers Xavier Worthy and Christian Dixon is through eight trench commitments including elite pass rusher Quintin Somerville.
9. Oklahoma (10)
15 Verbal Commitments, 5 in the SI99
The Sooners one-upped Texas on the trail (again) in adding SI99 Nickel Billy Bowman, a former OU pledge, though it lost longtime DB commitment Caleb Johnson of late. Still, the haul features ⅓ of the 15-member class as members of the SI99, including No. 1 overall prospect and QB Caleb Williams. Bowman joins fellow SI99 defensive back Latrell McCutchin in the secondary while Lincoln Riley’s haul includes expected potency at wide receiver in No. 1 Slot Mario Williams, fellow SI99 member Cody Jackson and the electric Jalil Farooq.
10. Notre Dame (11)
20 Verbal Commitments, 4 in the SI99
The Irish often recruit well on defense and it’s more of the same in the 2021 cycle led by SI99 defensive lineman Gabriel Rubio, but the Notre Dame offensive haul is head-turning to this juncture in the cycle. Led by dynamic SI99 QB Tyler Buchner and a stout offensive line haul including SI99 tackle Blake Fisher, there is also strong talent at running back, wide receiver and tight end in this group.
11. Miami (9)
21 Verbal Commitments, 2 in the SI99
The Hurricanes have built a strong local class -- with 19 of 21 pledges from the Sunshine State -- led by top 20 overall prospects in No. 1 safety James Williams and inside-out defensive lineman Leonard Taylor. The program did lose the longtime verbal pledge of local cornerback Tim Burns Jr. of late and the need for a quarterback as well as a true cover corner talent remains, hence the slight drop in overall ranking.
12. Tennessee (12)
26 Verbal Commitments, 4 in the SI99
UT has more verbal pledges than any other Power 5 program in the country not named Florida at this juncture, with notable recruiting wins throughout their Southern footprint and beyond including SI99 Alabama pass rusher Dylan Brooks, SI99 south Florida linebacker Terrence Lewis, Texas quarterback prospect Kaidon Salter and Georgia tight end Hudson Wolfe, among others. The secondary group features length and intrigue, led by strong senior riser and Floridian Damarius McGhee.
13. Auburn (14)
14 Verbal Commitments, 3 in the SI99
The Tigers feature a great pound-for-pound group with some of the best offensive fits of any program in the country. Quarterback Dematrius Davis is a lethal dual-threat and a winning pedigree out of the state of Texas. Running back Armoni Goodwin has a Tre Mason-like build and massive offensive lineman Jaedan Roberts is a pure road-grader built for the power spread scheme. Auburn has built the class through the state of Florida as well as Texas, adding former Baylor wide receiver commitment Hal Presley in the last week.
14. USC (13)
21 Verbal Commitments, 3 in the SI99
The Trojans didn’t make any moves in the interim since our October rankings edition. However, their class is still solid. QB Miller Moss chose USC over Alabama, LB Julien Simon is one of the best ‘backers in coverage in the country and prying H-TE prospect Michael Trigg allowed the Men of Troy to flex their national recruiting appeal once more. QB Jake Garcia will need to be watched closely until he signs on the dotted line, and Quaydarius Davis is our No. 6 Slot WR.
15. North Carolina (15)
17 Verbal Commitments, 2 in the SI99
Head coach Mack Brown has established UNC as a true recruiting threat to both ACC and SEC schools. The Tar Heels currently hold 17 pledges, with the offensive class headliner being our No. 5 QB Drake Maye. The anchor on the defensive side of Brown’s 2021 class is none other than DE Keyshawn Silver, the No. 22 overall prospect in the SI99. North Carolina has focused on keeping in-state talent flowing to Chapel Hill, as 13 of its commitments hail from the Tar Heel state.
16. Texas A&M (16)
18 Verbal Commitments, 2 in the SI99
Recent pledge and WR Yulkeith Brown has solid RAC-traits and has held his own against elite competition in the South Florida area. Yet the reason for the slight surge for Jimbo Fisher and his staff is their landing of SI99 RB Amari Daniels. Also hailing from Miami (Fla.) Central, Daniels has attracted national recruiting attention since he was a freshman. Toss in SI99 QB Eli Stowers and the potential left tackle fit in OT Reuben Fatheree, and it’s easy to begin to really like this class headed to College Station.
17. Washington (18)
15 Verbal Commitments, 2 in the SI99
All is quiet and steady on the recruiting front for the Dawgs, as they continue to await word on a certain pair of elite in-state targets. Yet, as of now, Washington has paced to 15 commitments for 2021, with No. 6 QB Sam Huard headlining the class. He will be joined in Seattle by current high school teammate and favorite target Jabez Tinae, the nation’s No. 3 Slot WR prospect. IOL Owen Prentice anchors the trench haul as does Will Latu at linebacker. However, TE Caden Jumper could be the true sleeper to watch in this class.
18. Wisconsin (21)
20 Verbal Commitments, 0 in the SI99
Wisconsin is not regularly seen in high-end recruiting class rankings, but the Badgers have a good group going in 2021 nonetheless. The prime reason for their current upswing of a trio of spots is adding WR Markus Allen, a 6-foot-2 pass-catcher we feel should be productive in Madison. From a broader view, Wisconsin has a group anchored by three offensive tackle prospects, a solid pass-rusher in TJ Bollers and S Hunter Wohler, who’s a favorite amongst a few members of our staff.
19. Minnesota (20)
16 Verbal Commitments, 2 in the SI99
The Gophers have a 16-man haul led by a pair of Nickel prospects we dig in Steven Ortiz and Avantae Dickerson. However, do not sleep on QB Athan Kaliakmanis. His moxie, movement skills, competitiveness and solid arm talent are traits to be developed into a starter for head coach PJ Fleck. TE Jameson Geers should be a factor in the passing game around the seams in a few seasons.
20. Texas (17)
18 Verbal Commitments, 1 in the SI99
Texas hasn’t had a ton of good mojo lately, but things did pick up some with LB Terrence Cooks recently opting to become a Longhorn. Cooks, who was a priority target for Texas LB coach Coleman Hutzler, can work as a Mike ‘backer or play on the flanks. The secondary group, including UT’s sole SI99 prospect in Ishmael Ibraheem, should bring immediate aid to what will be a young unit in 2021.
21. Nebraska (24)
20 Verbal Commitments, 1 in the SI99
Big Red may have benefitted from some movement or lack thereof by other schools, moving up three spots from 24th last month. Nebraska did add an intriguing EDGE prospect in Jailen Weaver from California. Fairly raw, Weaver boasts a plus athletic profile for a prospect who stands 6-foot-8 and 280 pounds. Should things not work out for the Golden State native in Lincoln, a look as a developmental left tackle could suffice.
22. Maryland (23)
19 Verbal Commitments, 1 in the SI99
Maryland sits with 19 commitments after losing the commitment of IDL prospect Marcus Bradley. The Terps still have a solid group, clearly led by SI99 No. 7 overall recruit Demeioun Robinson, an elite EDGE prospect. IDL Taisze Johnson, RB/FB Antwain Littleton and EDGE ZionAngelo Shockley are additional prospects to watch.
23. Iowa (22)
16 Verbal Commitments, 0 in the SI99
Iowa lost a pledge from CB Jordan Oladokun, likely for reasons off the field more than reasons on it. The Hawkeyes still hold firm with 16 commitments, including No. 9 IOL Connor Colby, a big in-state get. Iowa likely won’t land any remaining big fish, but this will be a typical blue collar recruiting class Iowa consistently brings in.
24. Arizona State (19)
16 Verbal Commitments, 1 in the SI99
Perhaps one of the most head scratching developments on the recruiting trail since the October rankings has been what’s occurred at Arizona State. The Sun Devils lost OL Charles Armstrong, OL Marcus Mbow, DE Caleb Banks, LB Isaiah Pimpkin and TE Garrett Gillette. Some will say ASU chose to move on or “drop” these five prospects, but losing that many commitments is hurtful either way and sits as the prime reason for the drop in this edition of recruiting class rankings.
25. Florida State (25)
16 Verbal Commitments, 0 in the SI99
Not much to report recruiting-wise for Florida State, which is shocking. The Seminoles were once one of the recruiting heavyweights, yet they are somewhat of an afterthought in 2021 recruiting. While most programs would be happy to maintain a top-25 class, the standard and expectation of the Seminoles both on the field and on the recruiting trail to be nothing but elite. No. 8 CB Omarion Cooper, Nickel Hunter Washington, QB Luke Altmyer, EDGE Shambre Jackson and LB/S Jordan Eubanks are a few players to watch.
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