12 things that stick out from the current recruiting rankings

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday August 22, 2016

The season is about to kick off, and official visits will get underway, but where does recruiting stand right now?

Here are 12 takeaways from the 247Sports composite recruiting rankings.

1. The D.J. Durkin effect is clear. Maryland currently has the No. 21 class.

Maryland’s last four classes were in the 40s. Durkin was the 2012 Rivals National Recruiter of the Year as a Florida assistant. Now, Maryland’s 2017 class has four 4-star commitments, which is already more than the 2016 class. That includes Joshua Kaindoh, the No. 2 strong-side defensive end in the nation, out of Florida.

2. Baylor has just two commitments, after losing nearly the entire class.

Art Briles’ dismissal not only dismantled much of Baylor’s incoming 2016 class, but it all but eliminated the 2017 class. Only one commit stayed on, and Jim Grobe added one more a month ago. Grobe is tasked with convincing players to come even though he’s an interim head coach and the staff is unlikely to return next year. At what point will recruiting turn around? Will the next coach have to fill an entire class?

3. Ohio State could end Alabama’s streak of six straight No. 1 classes.

Urban Meyer has six 5-star commitments, and no one else has more than two right now. Alabama’s class is already at 21 players, while Ohio State is at 18, so there’s some room to grow, but the Buckeyes are solidly No. 1 right now. Meyer admitted a month ago he looks at the rankings for fun. Taking the top spot from Saban would be another feather in his cap.

4. Texas only has 7 commitments and is outside the top 50.

Can Charlie Strong turn it around again? In February, Texas made a jump from No. 33 on Tuesday before Signing Day to No. 11 by the end of the next day. Strong knew a string of commitments were coming in, but they were private. What if UT gets off to a slow start to this season and Strong starts getting asked about his job again? The UT class is at No. 54 right now, but four of the seven commits are 4-stars.

5. Besides Texas, there are other notable teams with a low number of commitments. Some of these schools look like they’re willing to be patient. For comparison, Arizona has 26 commits.

UCLA: 7 commits
TCU: 7
Stanford: 6
Utah: 5
Ohio: 3
Utah State: 2

6. Only four of the top 20 players in Texas are committed to Texas schools.

Several Texas schools have struggled or have problems right now, and outside schools are taking advantage. Oklahoma has three top-20 Texas players, LSU has two, and Ohio State, Notre Dame, Iowa and Georgia each have one. As for in-state, UT has two, TCU has one and Texas Tech has one. That’s zero for Texas A&M and Baylor.

7. David Cutcliffe continues to take Duke to the next level.

Duke’s class is currently ranked No. 25, with 20 commitments. Last year’s class was No. 33, the first-ever top-50 class for the Blue Devils. A few weeks ago, Cutcliffe and Jeff Faris went into southern California and pulled 4-star QB Jack Sears over USC and UCLA.

8. Florida and Miami have zero top-20 players from Florida.

Of the top 20 players, six are uncommitted. FSU has three, Alabama has three, Ohio State has two and LSU has two. However, Mark Richt has the No. 10 class nationally, and 13 of the 20 players are from Florida. The Gators are at No. 15, with 10 of 15 from the Sunshine State.

9. Mike Novell is making an impact at Memphis.

The Tigers currently have the No. 38 class, with 21 commitments. Memphis' 2016 class was No. 65, and their classes are typically outside the top 70. This class includes 4-star offensive tackle Obinna Eze. Justin Fuente fixed the roster and brought winning to Memphis, now Norvell is looking to build on that.

10. UTSA under Frank Wilson has the No. 1 class in Conference USA.

The class is No. 60 overall. Many thought Wilson, who was among the nation’s top recruiters at LSU, would rely on his Louisiana ties. But 11 of the 15 commitments are from Texas, and two are from Louisiana. Wilson and the staff’s focus on the San Antonio area has brought more excitement to the community.

11. Michigan has 18 commitments from 11 different states / countries. It’s a stark difference from Brady Hoke’s Midwestern-based recruiting. This is why Harbaugh crosses the country for camps.

The Wolverines have committed players from Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Alabama, Connecticut and Quebec. The class is ranked No. 9.

12. The seven highest-ranked Group of 5 classes are:

Houston (No. 35)
Memphis (38)
Western Michigan (43)
UCF (51)
USF (53)
Navy (56*)
UTSA (60)
(*Navy has 33 commitments as a service academy, the most in the nation)

The seven lowest-ranked Power 5 classes are:

Arizona State (No. 70)
Illinois (71)
Minnesota (72)
Kansas State (74)
Kansas (77)
Utah (106)
Baylor (127)

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.