Entering all-star season, let's take a look at the best recruiting classes in college football.
It's very difficult to declare a winner so far between Texas and Alabama. While other schools have a shot at finishing with the top class, Texas and Alabama are far and away the top two at the moment.
The Longhorns have an excellent class coming to Austin this season. That should be the case pretty much every year for the clear top school in the state of Texas -- and Texas is the name of the game, as 22 of the Longhorns' 25 commitments are from the Lone Star State (22 or 23 high school commitments).
Texas needed a quarterback and grabbed Connor Brewer early in the process out of Arizona. He'll enroll early and take part in Spring practice.
I'm equally impressed with what Texas did on the JUCO circuit, grabbing offensive tackle Donald Hawkins (6'5", 320) and defensive tackle Brandon Moore (6'4", 330) out of Mississippi. Texas hasn't gone after a lot of JUCO kids in recent years, but the 'Horns saw a need and patched it. That's some serious size on the lines for the Horns, which is significant as Texas has been criticized for being soft up front in recent years.
And for good measure, Texas grabbed arguably the best back in Texas in Aledo's Jonathan Gray and the top defensive tackle in the state in Malcolm Brown of Brenham.
Still on the board: Receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and athlete Daniel Brooks (an Oklahoma commitment). Green-Beckham would be an unreal grab by this staff, as Texas is thought to be trailing here.
For more on Texas recruiting, visit Burnt Orange Nation.
Alabama has put together another excellent class and Nick Saban is well on his way to giving Alabama a top-five class for a half decade. Bama has eight skill position players, one specialist, three offensive linemen, five defensive lineman, three linebackers, and three defensive backs.
This is a strange class for Bama in that the Crimson Tide's top players have not received a ton of press in the recruiting community. This is for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that many of the top commitments committed to Bama early on and never wavered.
Eddie Williams out of Panama City's (Fla.) Arnold High school is a great prospect worthy of his universal five-star rating. At 6'4" and 215 pounds, Williams plans to play safety for the Crimson Tide. How long he can play the position at that size remains to be seen. And really, the uncertainty as to his position at the next level is the only question about his game.
Other Stars: Linebacker Reggie Ragland (6'4", 245) and JUCO cornerback Travell Dixon.
Still on the board: Bama is still very much in the running for the services of defensive tackle Eddie Goldman out of Washington, DC. Goldman is thought to be between the Tide and the Florida State Seminoles, with Auburn and perhaps Miami on the outside looking in. And the Tide is hard charging for Florida State QB commitment Jameis Winston, who is also a serious baseball prospect.
For more on Alabama recruiting, visit Roll Bama Roll.
Then there are a few other teams with excellent classes who, if the chips fall in their favor, could snag the top spot.
Fresh off grabbing quarterback Gunner Kiel, LSU is squarely in the hunt. Kiel gives the Tigers a top signal-caller to go with a wealth of defensive talent, including cornerback Dwayne Thomas and defensive end Danielle Hunter. The Tigers are expected to add top safety Landon Collins to the mix as well. If they add defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr. (currently committed to Florida State), they have a shot at number one.
For more on LSU football recruiting, visit And The Valley Shook.
Brady Hoke's first year at Michigan really could not have gone any better, as the Wolverines scratched and clawed their way into a BCS game. Off the field, things have been even better. Hoke is trying to transition Michigan away from the spread offense and into a more traditional pro-style offense. That mean selling playing time.
So far, recruits are buying what Hoke is selling -- especially offensive linemen. Kyle Kallis and Erik Manguson are two blue-chip tackle prospects, while Ben Braden, Caleb Stacy and Blake Bars have impressive offer sheets as well. And the Wolverines aren't done, as they continue to chase more top offensive linemen.