Signing Day approaches: 10 takeaways from the current recruiting rankings

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday January 17, 2016


The dead period ended last week, and we’re less than 3 weeks away from Signing Day.

After going through the 247Sports rankings, here are 10 things that stand out:

1. Can LSU hold on to the No. 1 class?

The Tigers have 20 commitments and the No. 1-ranked class, but just lost Frank Wilson to the UTSA head coaching job. Wilson ran LSU’s recruiting department, and a big hole has to be filled. Alabama has produced the No. 1 class for 5 straight years.

2. There are no Texas teams ranked in the top 10.

Baylor has the highest-ranked class at No. 12, followed by Texas A&M (18), TCU (20), Houston (27), and Texas (35). That’s right, Tom Herman’s program has a higher-ranked class than the Longhorns. It’s very possible no Texas program finishes in the top-10, partly because…

3. Only 12 of the top 40 players in Texas are committed to Big 12 schools.

And Baylor has six of those. There are only six uncommitted players in the top-40 in Texas. The Longhorns have just three of the top 60 players in the state. That’s the same amount as Stanford. Texas A&M’s move to the SEC really opened up the state to SEC schools, as Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Arkansas have top-40 players. In total, 15 of the top 40 are committed to SEC schools, with five of those to A&M.

4. Houston has the highest-ranked class among Group of Five schools, at No. 27.

This includes five-star defensive tackle Ed Oliver, the No. 2 player in Texas. The next-closest G5 schools are BYU at No. 56 and Western Michigan at No. 57 (not including No. 48 UAB and their expanded scholarship numbers). Tom Herman is coming off a 13-win season capped by a Peach Bowl win over Florida State. With Herman returning to school, things are rolling for the Cougars.

5. The new head coach with the most current commits is Bronco Mendenhall at Virginia with 24.

The fewest is Hawaii with four, per 247Sports. Some other notable new head coaches include Will Muschamp (21 commits at South Carolina), Justin Fuente (18 at Virginia Tech), Mark Richt (17 at Miami) and Kirby Smart (16 at Georgia).

As for the schools that made internal promotions: USC has 14 (ranked No. 16), Minnesota has 18 (ranked No. 39), Missouri has 12 (ranked No. 59) and Illinois has 18 (ranked No. 60).

6. Tennessee has 17 commits after averaging 29 players per class in Butch Jones’ first three years.

The Vols have turned over the roster under Jones, and as a result, have had some of the youngest teams in college football. Now, there’s more experience on the roster and fewer players coming in.

7. Michigan has one player from the state of Michigan and none from Ohio.

The Wolverines have the No. 2-ranked class, with players from 13 different states, but few from the places you would expect. Speaking of the Wolverines….

8. Six of the top 9 players in New Jersey are committed to Michigan or Michigan State.

Chris Ash will have work to do trying to fence off the home state. The addition of New Jersey to the Big Ten means the rest of the league has more to sell in the state. The Wolverines have 4 of the top 8 and could also land defensive tackle Rashan Gary, who is the No. 1 player in the country.

9. How about Duke with the No. 26 class?

The Blue Devils have 21 players, including four 4-star players. Since David Cutcliffe took over Duke, their recruiting class rankings have been: 72, 55, 70, 62, 62, 70, 60, 51.

10. Of the top 50 players in the country, 18 are uncommitted.

There are a lot of big decisions still to be made. The next two-and-half weeks will be busy.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.