Miami retains top spot, Georgia bumps up to No. 2
Most classes are really starting to take shape and now the key for many programs is to solidify and hold onto their prized recruits until they actually sign on the dotted line. This edition of our class rankings will include our top 15 classes as opposed to the previous top 10.
The big question come February 6 is who will be this year's North Carolina or South Carolina, two schools that surprised everyone by landing top-10 classes in 2007. It could be Clemson, which has 19 total commitments, including six ESPN 150 prospects and No. 1 overall prospect DE DaQuan Bowers (Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt). Or maybe it's Alabama since Nick Saban's presence has been felt across the SEC as a familiar force to be reckoned with.
As always, the needs of a program and whether those needs are being met is an accurate measuring stick for a successful class (along with great players).
The following top-ranked teams have garnered the attention of the nation's elite prospects as far as verbal commitments go, but good, even great recruiting classes aren't just made up of ESPN 150 players; they are made up of players that grade out from 77 to 79. Programs like Illinois, Virginia Tech, Washington, Texas A&M, Colorado, Minnesota and Arizona State, just to name a few, have built or are building top-25 programs without a multitude of elite, nationally-known prospects. Instead, they're starting with good football players who are developing into great ones.
What you will not see here is a list of teams with their commits' grades added up and divided by the number of total commits to provide an average for coming up with where they will land in the rankings. Sometimes, a number isn't as important as the position needed to improve a roster. For example, Alabama may only have four ESPN 150 prospects, but some of their prospects in the 77-79 grade range are very good players at positions of need such as defensive end, wide receiver and safety.
All in all, these rankings will only truly be tested two or three years from now when these prospects hit the field, and then everyone will know if a particular team is worthy of its rank.
(previous top 10 rank)
Top-ranked recruit: No. 1 OLB Arthur Brown (Wichita, Kan./East)
25 verbal commitments, nine ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 2 WR A.J. Green (Ridgeville, S.C./Summerville)
22 verbal commitments, 10 ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 2 QB Dayne Crist (Canoga Park, Calif./Notre Dame)
16 verbal commitments, eight ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 1 ILB Etienne Sabino (Miami/Dr. Krop)
14 verbal commitments, eight ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 4 WR Brice Butler (Norcross, Ga.)
15 verbal commitments, seven ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 1 RB Jermie Calhoun (Van, Texas)
26 verbal commitments, four ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 1 ATH Burton Scott (Prichard, Ala./Vigor)
19 verbal commitments, six ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 1 DE DaQuan Bowers (Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt)
20 verbal commitments, nine ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 5 WR D.J. Grant (Austin, Texas/LBJ)
17 verbal commitments, six ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 1 S Will Hill (West Orange, N.J./St. Peter's)
23 verbal commitments, four ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 1 CB Patrick Johnson (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Ely)
18 verbal commitments, five ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 4 OT Dann O'Neill (Grand Haven, Mich.)
21 verbal commitments, five ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 5 CB Terrance Parks (Fairburn, Ga./Creekside)
22 verbal commitments, five ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 7 RB Aundre Dean (Katy, Texas)
25 verbal commitments, three ESPN 150 prospects
Top-ranked recruit: No. 9 ATH Derrick Hall (Beaumont, Texas/Central)
Billy Tucker and Craig Haubert contributed to these rankings.
Tom Luginbill is the national director of recruiting for Scouts Inc. Luginbill is a college football and recruiting studio analyst for ESPNU.
National signing day 2008
What schools have the best classes? Where are the top undecided recruits heading? ESPN.com and Scouts Inc. have you covered in the final month leading up to national signing day.
• Top 25 class rankings
• Team grades: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | SEC
• Team grades: Big 12 | Pac-10 | Best of the rest
• Lawlor: Pryor's choice is not to choose just yet
• Hudson: Jones stays home to play for Alabama
• Signing day blog
• Signing day chat wrap
• Behind the scenes on signing day
• Tucker: Top uncommitted prospects
• Schlabach: Michigan's future could hinge on Pryor
• Forde: Verbals can be risky business
• Florida climbs to No. 1 in class rankings
• WIR: Pryor announcement could be on hold
• Dinich: Recruiting pipelines
• Lawlor: Proud HS coaches
• Dinich: Long and winding road for assistants
• Conley: What happens on home visits
• WIR: Watching the early entries
• Top 10 undecided prospects
• Conley: The final push
• WIR: Uncommitted prospects hit the road
• DaQuan Bowers tops final ESPN 150
• Pac-10 part one | Part two
• ACC Atlantic | ACC Coastal
• Big Ten part one | Part two
• Big 12 North | Big 12 South
• Big East
• Notre Dame and best of non-BCS
• SEC East | SEC West
• Follow the latest commitments