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Something to know about every top-25 college football recruiting class, plus FAQs

The Tide rule the roost again, and the SEC fills much of the rest of the list.

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Florida Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The dust has settled on February Signing Day, and I bet you’re here looking for some information on the top 25 recruiting classes. Well, friend, I’m here to give that to you. But first, let’s get a few questions and answers out of the way.

  • Are there a ton of SEC teams on this list? Yeah. The SEC had the best rankings year ever.
  • Any non-Power 5 teams on here? Hahahahaha.
  • Are there any surprises not on this list, or really low on it? USC’s 18th, and Miami’s 28th after Mark Richt suddenly retired before New Year’s. (The Canes are doing fine. The Trojans have struggled.)
  • Did all these teams arrive in the top 25 by doing things The Right Way? Of course.
  • Can my team win the title if it’s not in the top 25? Possible? Maybe. Probable? Hell no.
  • Is Alabama No. 1? Remember when your teachers told you there weren’t any stupid questions? That’s a lie. (Yeah, Bama’s No. 1, and this makes eight times in nine years.)

OK. Here is the list, as promised. If you just want the full ranking, head here.

No. 25: Purdue (!!!)

The Boilermakers signed four four-star talents: DE George Karlaftis, WRs David Bell and Milton Wright, and DB Marvin Grant. They’re four of the best recruits Purdue has ever signed.

No. 24: Mississippi State

The second-best player in the state, five-star OT Charles Cross, is the crown jewel here.

No. 23: Arkansas

OK, Chad Morris can recruit. This is one of the best classes ever for a team coming off a two-win season, and it’s stocked with skill talent. WRs Trey Knox, Treylon Burks, and Shamar Nash could be really exciting.

No. 22: Ole Miss

Fending off Alabama — among others — for the best player in the state (five-star RB Jerrion Ealy) is a big deal. Just as big: getting him to recommit after he decommitted a month before Signing Day. Ealy could still join an MLB team, however.

No. 21: Stanford

WR Elijah Higgins is the best player in this class and the only player in the top 100.

No. 20: Nebraska

Somehow, there’s another McCaffrey brother playing football. Four-star ATH Luke will head to Lincoln to play for Scott Frost. He can play QB, WR, or DB.

No. 19: South Carolina

I’m not breaking any news when I tell you that when the Cocks were at their best around 2010, they were landing in-state five stars. DT Zacch Pickens stayed home, and Will Muschamp has to be thrilled.

No. 18: USC

Wait, what? Yeah. With most of the assistant coaching staff turning over, it’s basically a transitional class, but it’s still the lowest-ranked USC class is the rankings era.

No. 17: Washington

Chris Petersen has himself a QB in pro-style slinger Dylan Morris.

No. 16: Florida State

It was not a great day for Willie Taggart, primarily because for the second year in a row, the Noles didn’t get a sniff at the quarterback position.

No. 15: Ohio State

If this is what a “down” recruiting class looks like, with three five-star talents and 16 total signees, then so be it. Good luck blocking a dude like DE Zach Harrison.

No. 14: Notre Dame

The Irish bring in another solid class. Keeping four-star DE Isaiah Foskey was big, but it looks like there was less drama around the decision than it seemed from 30,000 feet.

No. 13: Penn State

Four-star Devyn Ford is a big get, and he keeps up a great run of Penn State RB recruiting that’s recently included Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders, and Ricky Slade.

No. 12: Tennessee

The Vols had a huge February Signing Day. Five-star OT Darnell Wright was the highest-rated player remaining, and four-star LB Henry To’oto’o was high on boards, too. They’re both headed to Rocky Top.

No. 11: Auburn

Auburn’s got a good class and signed two top-100 players on Wednesday, but there’s no spin to losing five-star in-state WR George Pickens. He’s a player who has been verballed for 18 months. What’s worse? He flipped to Georgia.

No. 10: Clemson

The champs signed a heavy class of 29 players. Clemson continues to astound with an ability to get nearly whatever it wants from the state of Florida, like WR Frank Ladson.

No. 9: Florida

None of the big three Florida schools did a good job locking down the Sunshine State. The Gators grabbed eight in-state players, leading the pack, but they’ll have to do better if they want to achieve championship aspirations. A Lakeland trio that signed during the Early Signing Period was a coup, as was flipping DE Khris Bogle from Alabama.

No. 8: Michigan

The Wolverines’ signed the Big Ten’s best class. If they’re ever going to close the gap to Ohio State, they’ll need some of their skill players to hit in Josh Gattis’ offense. One intriguing talent here is four-star RB Zach Charbonnet, who could play from Week 1.

No. 7: Oregon

The Ducks have to recruit somewhat nationally, but how’s nine of 25 signees from the South for national? Mario Cristobal’s inroads are huge. But their best player is still from relatively close to home. DE Kayvon Thibodeaux can flat-out play. He’s the No. 2 player in the country and part of an impressive group of signees from California.

No. 6: Oklahoma

Lincoln Riley nabbing two of the top three and three of the top 11 receiver recruits, plus a top-three tight end? Here for it. Jadon Haselwood, Theo Wease, and Trejan Bridges can move, and Austin Stogner can be OU’s latest pass-catching TE.

And if all goes according to plan, the nation’s best QB recruit, Spencer Rattler, will be the one slinging ‘em the rock after Jalen Hurts’ one season.

No. 5: LSU

The Tigers locked Louisiana down for the most part, and the next in line to keep LSU as DBU is five-star local Derek Stingley. But guys like ATH Devonta Lee and RB John Emery Jr. also make this class a vintage Tigers haul. If you want to pull an elite player from Louisiana, you gotta go through the boys in Baton Rouge. Eight of the top 10 will wear purple and gold.

No. 4: Texas A&M

Here. Comes. A&M. Five-star OT Kenyon Green is the future force as a blocker for the former OL factory. This class will further stoke the fire of Aggie offseason hype. Texas A&M has all the momentum rolling heading into the 2019 season.

No. 3: Texas

<clears throat> TEXAS IS BACK.

The Horns are where they’re supposed to be, which is right near the top of the recruiting rankings. After an un-Texas-like recruiting class two years ago, when Tom Herman was just getting started, they’ve put together two straight No. 3 classes. They pulled elite JUCO defensive end Jacoby Jones out of Oklahoma and flipped a five-star USC signee, Bru McCoy, via a post-Early Signing Period transfer.

No. 2 Georgia

Unless you’re Alabama, this is Georgia’s recruiting world, and we’re all living in it. The Dawgs just vacuum up the best players in the country. Georgia has the distinction of signing both the highest-rated high school and JUCO player in the country in DE Nolan Smith and DE Jermaine Johnson. The Dawgs flipped WR George Pickens from hated Auburn.

They papered over tight attrition with one of the nation’s best (four-star Ryland Goede) and kept an intriguing late bloomer away from Alabama.

Only five of 24 signees were rated 20th or lower at their respective positions.

No. 1 Alabama

The meanest thing we can say about Bama’s recruiting class is it wasn’t the best all-time from a per-player rating standpoint. It was merely the best class Saban’s ever signed from a total blue-chip standpoint. Here’s the No. 1 OT in the class, Evan Neal:

Alabama signed 26 four- and five-star players, which is probably more players than your school signed overall. Despite all the coaching changes, negative recruiting about Saban’s age (67), and that week of recruiting lost due to a pesky national championship game Bama lost by four touchdowns, the Tide are again No. 1.