Ten takeaways from the 2016 recruiting rankings

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday August 10, 2015


With fall camp underway, recruiting slows down a bit, as the focus turns to your current team. What stands out about the current recruiting rankings?

While the recruiting process has sped up, it’s still somewhat early, as official visits still take place in the fall. And of course, these commitments are only verbal until they sign in February.

Looking at 247Sports’ team rankings, here are 10 things that stick out to me.

Tom Herman is making moves with 17 commits and the No. 24-ranked class. Herman told his Houston staff they had to be the top recruiting staff in the state of Texas. The Cougars are the highest-ranked Group of Five class, and 16 of the players are from Texas, including five-star defensive tackle Ed Oliver. You know Tom Herman won't mind showing off that national championship ring during home visits when it gets into recruiting crunch time in December.

Here are the teams with the fewest commitments in each Power 5 conference.
ACC: Georgia Tech / Pitt (8)
Big 12 Iowa State (5)
Big Ten: Indiana (10)
Pac-12: Colorado (8)
SEC: Vanderbilt (10)

Times are changing in Texas: Which three Texas schools have the highest-ranked classes? TCU (18), Baylor (22) and Houston (24). Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Texas are behind those three. The Longhorns only have eight commitments and the No. 50-ranked class. They also only have four of the top 50 players in Texas.

Florida has one commitment from the top 50 players in the state of Florida. That’s the same amount Minnesota has. By comparison, Ohio State has three, and Miami and Florida State combine for 16. There are still 19 uncommitted among the top 50. The Gators still have the No. 14-ranked class and 20 players, but seven players come from outside the Sunshine State.

Double-digit commits for Group of Five: How much has recruiting changed? Thirty-four Group of Five schools have at least 10 verbal commitments. At this point two years ago, there were seven. Seven years ago, those schools would typically have 0-3 commitments. The recruiting process continues to speed up, and will so even more if there is an early signing period.

Virginia and Virginia Tech combined have one of the top 10 players in Virginia. The state of Virginia is a strong recruiting state, but the hometown teams don’t have the top players this year. Virginia doesn’t have a commitment from any of the top 20 players. This is an important season for Mike London.

Texas Tech leads all schools with 25 commits. This coming on the heels of a 4-8 season. Kliff Kingsbury continues to bring excitement to that program, which signed 19 players last year. Of the 25 players in this class, 19 are from Texas.

SMU and Western Michigan each have more than 20 commits. Chad Morris has used his Texas high school ties to bring more than 1,000 HS coaches to spring practice, and the results are starting to show. At Western Michigan, P.J. Fleck continues to bring in some of the highest-ranked MAC classes ever, and now he’s coming off an 8-4 turnaround season.

Miami, which once had the No. 1-ranked class, is now down to No. 10 after a string of decommitments. Miami already had 18 commitments by February, and the class was ranked No. 1 due to the sheer size. But there have been a bevy of decommitments in the summer, while other schools have caught up in total players. The pressure on Al Golden is increasing. If the Hurricanes have a mediocre season and Golden's job security is a subject of conversation, what kind of impact will that have on the recruiting class?

How about Duke? The Blue Devils have 16 commitments and the No. 3 class in the ACC, No. 21 overall. Last year, Duke had the No. 50-ranked class. David Cutcliffe has build a consistent winner in Durham, has turned down job offers and will now have an upgraded stadium and facilities. Excitement is high at Duke.

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.