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The 2015 college football recruiting class' strongest and weakest positions

In the market for an elite quarterback, cornerback or defensive tackle this year? Then you're in luck.

Five-star California cornerback Iman Marshall
Five-star California cornerback Iman Marshall
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Not all recruiting years are created equal. Just like NFL teams knew that the 1983 draft was great for quarterbacks or that the 2009 draft was weak overall, so too are some years up and down in recruiting.

The 2015 class seems to be a bit down overall compared to some previous years, like the standout 2014 crop. But teams with needs at specific positions can still find future stars.

Strengths

One of the best positions of 2015 is defensive tackleKahlil McKenzie (Tennessee commitment) and Trent Thompson (Georgia commitment) are top-notch prospects. McKenzie is 6'4, close to 350 pounds and not sloppily fat, which is amazing for a player of his age and weight. And both have incredible explosion relative to their size. And players the caliber of Breiden Fehoko (Texas Tech), Jacob Daniel (USC), Neville Gallimore (Oklahoma) and Tim Settle (Virginia Tech commitment) being ranked further down in the top 15 speaks to the depth of the position this year.

Cornerback is also strong this year, with Iman Marshall (uncommitted), Kevin Toliver II (LSU), Kendall Sheffield (Alabama), Tarvarus McFadden (Florida State) and Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama) one of the best top-five corner groups in recent memory.

Perhaps most importantly, the class is strong with quarterbacks, including Jarrett Stidham (Baylor), Kyler Murray (Texas A&M), Brandon Wimbush (Notre Dame), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Blake Barnett (Alabama), Ricky Town (USC) and Deondre Francois (Florida State). Unfortunately for teams on the East Coast, only seven of the 23 quarterbacks rated four-stars or better are from east of the Mississippi, meaning that those schools had to try to import some West Coast prospects (as Alabama did, landing Barnett from California), settle for a lesser recruit from back home, or pass on the position.

Weaknesses

One glaring weakness of the class is at running back. In 2014, six running backs were rated five-stars by the 247Sports Composite, including LSU's Leonard Fournette and Georgia's Nick Chubb. In 2015, there are just two, uncommitted SoSo Jamabo and Alabama's Damien Harris, and both are fringe five-stars.

2014 is looking like it will go down as one of the best classes of running backs in the history of college football, so comparing 2015 to it might not be completely fair, but it's still clear that the running backs for 2015 are a lesser group than what even the average year offers.

Another area where the class doesn't measure up is at offensive tackle. The 2014 class featured players like Alabama's Cameron Robinson, Florida State's Roderick Johnson and Miami's Kc McDermott, all of whom started a lot of games and played well relative to their youth. Robinson was debated as the best offensive tackle recruit of the last decade. The 2013 class had Laremy Tunsil at the top, an immediate starter for the Ole Miss Rebels.

The 2015 crop, however, is headlined by uncommitted Martez Ivey, of Apopka (Fla.), who is not on that level. Ivey is a fantastic athlete, but is 6'5, 275 and plays in a wing-T-type offense that offers him almost no opportunities to work on his pass protection. He may become a great college player, but he's not the instant-impact type found in the previous two classes.