College football recruiting is a process that can be difficult to track. This article will use the data provided by 247Sports and compare teams’ performances against their recruiting rankings.
The early signing period for college football in December is just five months away.
There are still 97 ESPN 300 prospects who have not committed, for the glass-half-full type. 203 of the top 300 prospects are off the market and committed, according to the pessimist.
In any case, there isn’t much time left to fill courses and persuade top targets to commit. Ohio State is presently leading the way with the No. 1 overall rated class, which is not unusual.
However, a few of schools have been recruiting at a higher rate than the national average and are exceeding previous rankings. On the other hand, some clubs are not recruiting up to their usual standards and have a lot of work ahead of them.
Here are some of the teams that are presently outperforming and some of the teams that are currently underperforming.
Teams that outperform others
Penn State is a university in Pennsylvania.
The Nittany Lions are rated third in their division and had one of the finest Julys in the country. Last month, the staff secured five ESPN 300 pledges and has a potential to climb even higher than No. 3.
Wide receiver Kaden Saunders, rated No. 29 overall, quarterback Drew Allar, ranked No. 41, and offensive lineman Drew Shelton, ranked No. 61 in the class, lead the class. In the 2022 class, Penn State has 12 ESPN 300 pledges, compared to only four in the 2021 class. After finishing below the top 25 in the previous cycle, the coaches have had a great comeback class.
In 2020, the Nittany Lions had the No. 12 class, while in 2019, they had the No. 13 class. After signing the No. 17 class in 2017, the staff ended with the No. 4 class in 2018, the only time Penn State has finished within the top five in the previous ten recruiting cycles.
With the addition of great talents to the class, the coaches now have a very real chance of doing it again in five years with the 2022 cycle. The Nittany Lions and Notre Dame is a Catholic university in the United States. are now tied for the most ESPN 300 commitments.
Notre Dame, like Penn State, has only had one recruiting class rated in the top five in the last ten years, when it finished fourth in 2013.
Over those ten years, the staff has done an excellent job recruiting, averaging a class rating of 11.7, which has helped the club reach the College Football Playoff on numerous occasions. However, it hasn’t earned the Fighting Irish that elusive national title.
To go to the next level, the program needs to amp up its recruiting efforts, which the Irish have done this cycle. The hiring of defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, who has already helped the Irish secure a number of prospects, has been a major part of that effort.
The top two commitments in the class, linebackers Jayleed Sneed and Niuafe Tuihalamaka, are among them. Notre Dame is presently ranked second in the class, slightly ahead of Ohio State. Between now and December, these rankings are expected to alter significantly, but Notre Dame is off to a great start.
After Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan, the Scarlet Knights have the 14th-best class in the nation and the fourth-best in the Big Ten.
Isn’t that surprising? Rutgers finished with the 60th-best class in 2020. The squad was ranked 66th in 2019 and 59th in 2018. Greg Schiano, the head coach, is responsible for a large part of the turnaround.
He’s had previous success at Rutgers and is reintroducing his culture to the program. When he was employed, he used the transfer portal to attempt to rapidly turn the roster around. In 2020, the squad went 3-6, with victories against Michigan State, Maryland, and Purdue, and three defeats by seven points or less.
Schiano and his staff now have four ESPN 300 commitments, one more than the team has had in the previous seven classes put together. ESPN 300 quarterback Gavin Wimsatt, the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback and No. 143 recruit overall, leads the class.
This class won’t make Rutgers a conference championship contender in a few years, but it’s a good start toward restructuring the roster and adding more skill and competitiveness across the board. Schiano may be able to bring Rutgers back to where it was before he departed the first time if he can regularly recruit at this level.
On the recruiting road, Tom Allen and the Indiana Hoosiers are riding high on the success of last season. Last season, Indiana finished 6-2, losing by seven points to Ohio State and six points to Ole Miss in the Outback Bowl.
Allen is known for being a player’s coach and for creating a family environment at Indiana. Recruits and players praise his sincerity and genuine attitude, and Indiana is suddenly a recruiting powerhouse.
Tom Allen and the Indiana Hoosiers now have four ESPN 300 commitments, the most in a single class since ESPN began rating schools in 2006. Getty Images/Michael Hickey photo
The staff presently has the No. 19 class, which is expected to improve in the near future. The staff has four ESPN 300 commitments, the most in a single class since ESPN began rating schools in 2006. In that time, they’ve only had one other year with three ESPN 300 commitments, in the 2013 class.
Indiana has a strong defensive class, led by linebacker Dasan McCullough, who transferred from Ohio State when his father, Deland, was appointed as the running backs coach at Indiana. McCullough is the No. 45 overall player in the class and the No. 4 outside linebacker.
Indiana’s other ESPN 300 commitments are cornerback Trevell Mullen, defensive end Richard Thomas, and running back Gi’Bran Payne.
Teams who are doing poorly
Under coach Dan Mullen, the Gators have done a good job recruiting, but there are just five ESPN 300 commitments in the class right now. There are twelve other teams that have more. USC, Missouri, and UCLA are all tied for first place.
This isn’t to suggest that Florida is doomed or that things will never improve, but it isn’t where it should be right now. In the league, the staff has the No. 18-ranked class, behind Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, and Missouri. It’s also behind Florida State, which boasts the ninth-best class in the country.
There are still a handful of top prospects who haven’t committed to the Gators, which may assist. Florida remains in five-star defensive lineman Walter Nolen’s top five, along with Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, and Tennessee. Shemar Stewart, a five-star defensive end, is still considering the Gators along with a few other colleges.
There’s no reason to be concerned if Florida can capture some of its more important objectives. Last season, the squad finished 8-4, with defeats to Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma. After going 11-2 in 2019, Florida may go a long way with its remaining targets if they can put up some huge numbers on the field.
With coach Clay Helton, the Trojans have had a lot of ups and downs in terms of recruiting. After the 2021 class, when USC secured ten ESPN 300 pledges, including seven from California, it seemed like the trajectory was heading in the right direction.
That was after just signing one ESPN 300 prospect in the 2020 class, wide receiver Gary Bryant Jr., and finishing below the top 50. Following an eighth-ranked 2021 class, the staff is currently rated No. 17 overall, with five ESPN 300 commitments.
In the 2020 cycle, USC ended outside the top 50, but was ranked No. 8 in 2021. The Trojans currently have the 17th-best class in the 2022 cycle. Kirby Lee is a sports reporter for USA TODAY.
That’s not bad, but it’s not up to USC’s usual high standards. USC had the third-best class in 2015, followed by No. 11 in 2016, and No. 7 in 2017. Given the quality in the state and the Trojans’ brand awareness, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be competing for a top-10 class every year.
The coaching staff must continue to press ahead in recruiting, keeping Oregon at bay among California prospects while also adding playmakers in order to achieve some consistency on the field.
The Volunteers have had a difficult time recruiting over the last year. ESPN 300 prospects Terrence Lewis, Dylan Brooks, KaTron Evans, Damarius McGhee, Hudson Wolfe, J’Marion Gooch, and Darrell Jackson, among others, dropped out of the previous staff.
On signing day, their 2021 class went from one of the finest in the nation (beginning at No. 5) to one with just four ESPN 300 pledges (ending at No. 19) and a new coaching staff recruited by the school.
With so many decommitments and almost as many transfers from major players like Wanya Morris, Eric Gray, Henry To’o’ To’o, J.J. Peterson, and Key Lawrence, it’s tough to blame new head coach Josh Heupel for the outcomes of this 2021 class.
Tennessee currently has no ESPN 300 pledges in the 2022 class and 11 overall commits. Only quarterback Tayven Jackson, wide receiver Cameron Miller, and offensive lineman Maurice Clipper Jr. have four-star commits.
This new staff will most certainly face difficult times until things settle down on the field and inside the program.
Auburn is in the same boat as Tennessee in that a coaching change has thrown recruitment into disarray. The Tigers were on the verge of dropping off the list, but their coaching staff worked tirelessly to strengthen the class.
In July and August, the Tigers gained six pledges, including ESPN 300 defensive end Caden Story, the No. 255 prospect. Story joins quarterback Holden Geriner as the Tigers’ second ESPN 300 pledge.
Even with those additions, Auburn’s class still only has eight overall commitments. Coach Bryan Harsin and his staff are still in their first year at Auburn, but there must be a sense of urgency at some point to complete the class with some of their top targets.