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The 2018 winners of the NCAA’s college football recruiting quiet period

The Crootletter is your source for college football recruiting analysis.

NCAA Football: Clemson Spring Game Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

If you blinked, you might have missed it. From July 25 to July 31, the NCAA’s mandated “Dead Period” lifted and a “Quiet Period” set in. This was a big deal, because for the month or so before and after, no face-to-face contact is allowed between coaches and recruits. And in that time, colleges welcomed scores of talent to campus, with most of the elite recruiting powers hosting major recruiting weekends. Following the quiet period, both high schools and colleges begin training camp.

These are the teams who improved their classes the most during and around the Quiet Period.

Georgia had its locker room reveal and rocketed up the rankings to No. 2 nationally thanks to four new commitments including five-star defensive lineman Travon Walker, five-star running back John Emery Jr., four-star linebacker Rian Davis, and four-star linebacker Makiya Tongue. Emery is a pull from the New Orleans area and a particular blow to LSU. At this point, Georgia is set up to dominate the SEC East in a way that Alabama has never done to the SEC West under Nick Saban.

Clemson landed a pair of special players in cornerback Andrew Booth and receiver Joe Ngata, of Georgia and California, respectively. The length and freakish athleticism that Clemson is assembling at receiver with class of 2017’s Tee Higgins, 2018’s Justyn Ross, and now 2019’s Frank Ladson and Ngata is incredible. All four have truly elite upside and Clemson is well on its way to having the best receiving corps in America. Oh, and Clemson also added four-star linebacker Levonta Bentley and three-star defensive end Etinosa Reuben.

Oregon picked up four-star receiver Mycah Pittman, four-star cornerback Elijah Blades, four-star safety Trikweze Bridges, and three-star offensive lineman Joey Capra. The Ducks now sit at No. 5 nationally with 18 commitments. The 2018 class was shaping up to be perhaps the best in Oregon history before the coaching change, but this year Oregon looks to be punching up sustainably. And the Ducks landed 2018 four-star holdout Bryan Addison.

Florida State added a trio of top players in four-star safety Brendan Gant, four-star linebacker Kalen Deloach, and three-star offensive tackle Charles Cross. FSU had the most talent of any school on campus on the weekend of the 28th, and it paid rewards. Florida State is tops in recruiting the state of Florida right now, with Miami close behind and Florida nowhere to be found.

Ole Miss made a huge jump up the recruiting rankings in the last week with the addition four-stars like receiver Dannis Jackson, who flipped from Mississippi State, offensive tackle Darius Thomas, and receiver Jonathan Mingo. Ole Miss is now No. 11 in the recruiting rankings. With 27 commitments, its class is almost full, though some addition and subtraction will certainly occur. But what is important here is that Ole Miss doubled the number of four-star commitments in its class in a single weekend, going from three to six. This class is still mostly about quantity, but now it has more quality.

Penn State added four-stars in QB Michael Johnson Jr., and guard Saleem Wormley, plus three-star receiver Emery Simmons. Penn State is now one of 12 teams with more four- and five-star commitments than two- and three-star players. The Nittany Lions also secured visits from both parents of four-star running back Noah Cain, even though he could not visit due to school obligations.

Texas added four-star offensive tackle Javonne Shepherd and three-star linebacker Marcus Tillman Jr. Shepherd is an earth mover. And I’m interested to see how Tillman does in Austin, as none of the Florida schools appeared to be recruiting him that hard.

Tennessee added a lot of defensive talent in four-star cornerback Tyus Fields, along with three-stars like corner Warren Burrell, defensive tackle Savion Williams, and defensive end Roman Harrison. Like Florida and South Carolina, Tennessee is getting lapped in recruiting by Georgia, but its class did take a step forward during the quiet period.

Arkansas added a huge haul with seven prospects, including four-stars in receiver Treylon Burks and cornerback Adonis Otey. Three-star defensive ends Collin Clay and Eric Gregory are also top-450 players nationally.

Purdue also had a strong month.

Quickly

These are items of interest to me, and I hope to readers of The Crootletter.