Scout Team Rankings - Top 25

Can Gene Chizik and the Tigers stay on top?

Los Angeles, Calif. - Here is a look at Scout's Top 25 Recruiting Classes for the Class of 2011.

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Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 4.00
Headliner: #2 S Karlos Williams - Davenport, Fla.
A year ago Florida State announced that it was back as a national power in recruiting when the Seminoles solidified their coaching staff and got commitments from three 5-Star prospects after the 2009 season had ended. Florida State picked up right where it left off and is poised to finish with the No. 1 recruiting class on Scout for the first time. Texas had held the top spot for the last six months, but a strong January showing by some of Florida State's early commitments including 5-Star safety Karlos Williams (6'2/210) and 5-Star offensive lineman Bobby Hart (6'5/298) along with additions like tight end Nick O'Leary and receiver Kelvin Benjamin have pushed the 'Noles to the top of the recruiting world. If there's a concern in this class, it may be at the quarterback position. It's not a strong year in the south in general for quarterbacks, but Florida State has gotten a commitment from 3-Star Jacob Coker. Coker has nice size at 6'5 and 210 pounds, but he is considered a developmental prospect. A Signing Day decision by 5-Star defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (6'2/275) of Lake City, Fla. may have sealed the No. 1 spot for the Seminoles.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.90
Headliner: #4 QB Kiehl Frazier - - Springdale, Ark.
For the second consecutive season Auburn's highest ranked commitment comes from the state of Arkansas. In 2010 it was running back Michael Dyer, a key cog in the Tigers' BCS Championship run. For the Class of 2011 it's quarterback Kiehl Frazier (6'3/215) of Springdale, Ark. Auburn has done a magnificent job of capitalizing on its big season and carried its momentum in to January and should continue right through signing day. Since the calendar flipped to 2011, Auburn has added eight commitments to date, all but one of which a member of the Scout 300. Athletic cornerback Jonathan Rose (6'2/180) could be an early contributor on the Auburn defense next year and running backs Quan Bray (5'11/175) and Tre Mason (5'9/185) should be in the mix to help Dyer carry the load at running back. It's been a big Signing Day for Auburn garnering decisions by 4-Star defensive backs Jermaine Whitehead (6'0/183) and Erique Florence (6'2/185). Auburn added another 4-Star prospect on Signing Day with a decision from defensive tackle Gabe Wright (6'4/300). The nation's No. 1 offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (6'7/295) committed to Auburn on Signing Day, but held off from signing his Letter of Intent. Three days later, Kouandjio sent his papers to the University of Alabama, costing Auburn the No. 1 spot in Scout's Team Recruiting Rankings.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.90
Headliner: #2 QB Braxton Miller - - Huger Heights, Ohio
Ohio State has quietly become the USC of the Midwest: a national power who has left its regional counterparts behind. The Buckeyes aren't so much recruiting players in the Midwest as they are selecting them. With traditional powers Michigan, Penn State, and Notre Dame struggling, Ohio State has found new opposition from Wisconsin and Michigan State, but no one in the North has been able to win as consistently as Ohio State. The Buckeyes have the most wins and the best winning percentage of any BCS school in the country over the course of the last six years. The Buckeyes have enough talent on hand to survive early season suspensions by some of its key players including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, but those suspensions may give Ohio State the chance to showcase Braxton Miller (6'2/195). Miller is a significantly better passer than Pryor and is a very good runner in his own right. Ohio State's class is well balanced, even without a running back commitment. The Bucks have already addressed that need with two Top 100 running backs for the Class of 2012. Ohio State got a pledge from 5-Star linebacker Curtis Grant (6'3/215) on Signing Day to solidify a Top 5 class for the Buckeyes.
Avg. Star Rating of Top 20 Commits - 3.95
Headliner: #2 RB Malcolm Brown - Cibolo, Texas
Because Texas fills its class so early (18 of Texas' 22 commitments committed before April of last year) the Longhorns are almost mortal locks to hold the No. 1 recruiting spot for a good portion of the year. It looked like Texas wasn't going to be caught this year though, but a late defection from Scout's No. 1 offensive guard Christian Westerman to Auburn made Texas vulnerable. Still, the Longhorns are mere percentage points behind Florida State for the top class and if they are able to add even one player, something they haven't done since August, Texas could finish with the No. 1 Class. With Texas struggling on the field as well as losing both coordinators in the offseason, this may be Mack Brown's best recruiting job to date. In addition, Texas is getting the big time running back that has been missing in years past in Malcolm Brown (6'1/220).
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.80
Headliner: #3 WR George Farmer - Gardena, Calif.
"I thought these guys were on probation." That's a frequent comment on the Scout community message boards when taking a look at the massive numbers that USC is likely to sign for the Class of 2011. While the total amount of commitments may surprise many (25 and counting), there is an explanation for the perceived disconnect with USC's probation and Class of 2011, the scholarship sanctions haven't kicked in yet (Working the numbers).  5-Star wide receiver George Farmer (6'3/210) is a 10.5 100 meter sprinter at over 200 pounds as a wide receiver. Physically speaking, Farmer has the best potential of any receiver in the country. USC got a much needed commitment last week from interior lineman Cyrus Hobbi (6'3/285) of Scottsdale, Ariz. USC has made a lot of noise early on the East Coast on Signing Day getting signees from Ohio's Aundrey Walker (6'6/355) and Kentucky's Lamar Dawson (6'2/230) and then again late pulling offensive tackle Torian White (6'6/280) off of UCLA's commitment list and adding 4-Star safety Marqise Lee (6'1/185). USC's Class of 2012 could be historically small if the Trojans get no relief from the scholarship reductions they are appealing, but there's no doubt the Class of 2011 is full of promise.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.95
Headliner: #1 OT Cyrus Kouandjio - Hyattsville, Md.
The beat goes on for Alabama as the Crimson Tide keeps stacking Blue-Chip prospects like cordwood. Alabama has had its share of the game's greats, especially on defense, and safety Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix (6'2/195) and linebacker Trey DePriest (6'2/230) have the chance to be special players at Alabama. Each is ranked number one at his respective position, and more significantly as top 10 prospects in the country regardless of position. It's not just about defense in this class of Alabama. The Tide is has commitments from four wide receivers headlined by Marvin Shinn (6'4/195) and Danny Woodson (6'2/198). The most versatile weapon on offense could be Clinton-Dix's high school teammate Dee Hart (5'9/190). Hart is not just a good receiver for a running back, he's a good receiver period. Hart will offer the Tide a lot of versatility on offense, unless, he's needed on the defensive side of the ball. Hart is a multi-talented athlete to say the least. Big athlete Brent Calloway (6'3/225) came back on board with Alabama on Signing Day after a brief hiatus in January to join Auburn's commitment list. Alabama prevails in the end with Callaway's signature. The big prize in Alabama's class came after Signing Day. Scout's No. 2 player overall, offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (6'7/295) signed with Alabama three days after Signing Day, after making a national televised commitment to Auburn on Signing Day.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.80
Headliner: #1 RB Isaiah Crowell - Columbus, Ga.
The Georgia Bulldogs are taking advantage of a bumper crop of top prospects from within its own state borders. Of Georgia's 23 commitments to date, 18 of them hail from the Peach State including the Bulldogs' most recent and highest rated commitment Ray Drew (6'5/248). Drew has the size to put his hand down and play end in Georgia's 3-4 defense, but he also has the speed to be a big outside linebacker in the same system. Fans should not forget about quarterback Christian LeMay (6'2/188) of Charlotte, N.C. LeMay would have pushed for the No. 1 quarterback spot had he not missed his senior season. As expected, Scout's No. 1 running back Isaiah Crowell (6'0/210) made a Signing Day decision by sticking with the home state Bulldogs. Crowell has the type of talent to see the field right away for Georgia. Georgia got a post Signing Day signature from big John Jenkins (6'4/330), a junior college nose guard that fits ideally into Georgia's 3-4 defense.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.65
Headliner: #2 DE Aaron Lynch - - Cape Coral, Fla.
Notre Dame finished 50th amongst in total defense last year. If the class of 2011 lives up to its advanced billing, Head Coach Brian Kelly may be known more for defense in the near future than as the offensive specialist he earned a reputation for in previous seasons. The Irish are bringing in three of Scout's top 10 defensive ends, each of which is rated 5-Stars. Aaron Lynch (6'6/255), Ishaq Williams (6'5/230), and Stephon Tuitt (6'5/250) are each difference makers in his own right. Together, they could be just plain scary. Getting all three of them on the field at once might not be a problem as Williams has discussed playing outside linebacker. The phrase "SEC Speed" gets thrown around loosely by the mainstream media, but it refers to defensive linemen like Notre Dame is bringing in. Quarterback Everett Golson (5'11/170) is a much different quarterback than who is currently on the roster at Notre Dame. Golson has a live arm and great mobility, but he's considerably smaller than what Kelly is used to working with at Notre Dame.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.55
Headliner: #1 DT Anthony Johnson - - New Orleans, La.
Scout's first full year of ranking recruiting classes was the Class of 2003. Since that time, LSU has finished outside of the Top 10 in recruiting just once: in 2005 when the Tigers had just 13 signees. LSU enjoys one of the best homefield advantages in college football, and not just under the lights in Death Valley. Louisiana is a Top 10 talent producing state, and the Tigers face little to no in state competition for a wealth of talent in the Bayou State. The Class of 2011 is deeper and more talented than most years, even by Louisiana standards, and LSU is reaping the benefits including three home grown 5-Stars: defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (6'2/300), offensive tackle Lael Collins (6'5/205), and Jarvis Landry (5'11/200). Each of these players has what it takes to contribute at LSU next year but Landry especially. Landry may be the most college ready receiver in the nation with his combination of strength, hands, and route running ability.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.70
Headliner: #1 CB DeAnthony Thomas - Los Angeles, Calif.
While Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly's comments about getting it done with 1-Star and 2-Star players earlier this season was a bit of an exaggeration if not a bit self-serving (18 of Oregon's 98 signees the last four years have been below 3-Stars), there's no doubt that Oregon is recruiting on a level that could bring the best recruiting class of all time to Oregon. The Class of 2007 finished ninth. While Kelly and Oregon are known for their fast-paced offense, the two headliners in the Ducks class are defensive players. Anthony Wallace (6'0/220) is a run stuffing middle linebacker that makes excellent reads and relishes attacking the line of scrimmage. Colt Lyerla is a big athlete that projects best as an outside linebacker. Lyerla can be a difference maker for Oregon when he arrives on campus. Oregon pulled off the coup of the day by garnering a signature from the nation's best athlete. DeAnthony Thomas (5'10/175) of Los Angeles, Calif. is a legit 5-Star prospect at four different positions. He's been listed as a cornerback because with his size, long term that's likely his future. But his size isn't as much of a concern in a spread offense. Thinking of the Black Mamba playing running back in Oregon's fast break offense will keep defensive coordinators up at night.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.45
Headliner: #8 WR DeAnthony Arnett - - Saginaw, Mich.
Tennessee's recovery from the mess that was Lane Kiffen's departure to USC continues with another solid class for the Volunteers. Wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett (6'0/170) of Saginaw, Mich. is as good as any receiver in the country at getting separation with his route running. He'll need to spend some time in the weight room, but he has a skill set that will compliment bigger receivers from the Class of 2010 nicely. Defensive tackle Maurice Crouch (6'2/295) of Garden City Community College is being counted on to add depth to the defensive line right away. Tennessee has made a late push towards the Top 10 with commitments from 4-Stars Cameron Clear (6'6/260) and Curt Maggitt (6'3/210).
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.45
Headliner: #5 WR Sammy Watkins - - Fort Myers, Fla.
With former Tiger C.J. Spiller, Clemson was known as an explosive offense capable of making a big play at any given moment. With the speed that Clemson is signing on offense in the Class of 2011, that reputation should only grow. 5-Star wide receiver Sammy Watkins (6'1/180) has quickness, speed, body control and good route running ability. Charone Peake (6'3/175) is the second Top 10 receiver in Clemson's class. He is more of an outside receiver, which will open up the middle of the dangerous Watkins. Running back Mike Bellamy (5'10/190) is a nightmare in the open field and excels in a wide open set. Linebacker Tony Steward (6'1/215) is as good as any player in the country when he's healthy. Should he recover from an injury at 100%, Clemson will be known for more than just explosive offensive plays.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.35
Headliner: #5 OT Brandon Shell - - Goose Creek, S.C.
Alshon Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore helped send a message to the state of South Carolina, "If you want to play SEC Ball, there's no reason to leave the state". Those two players were a key component in helping South Carolina win the SEC East for the first time, and they helped change the atmosphere in the state by offering an in state alternative to Clemson. The success of Lattimore, Jeffrey and the Gamecocks have helped lead one of the two Palmetto State 5-Stars to Columbia in offensive tackle Brandon Shell (6'7/310). But the real prize could be coming in Scout's No. 1 prospect overall in defensive end Jadaveon Clowney (6'5/245). Clowney is a DaQuan Bowers redux, but the fans of the Gamecocks, who watched Bowers dominate at Clemson, are hoping Clowney decides to go in the same direction as Jeffery and Lattimore.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.45
Headliner: #2 DT Viliami Moala - - Sacramento, Calif.
While USC is still recruiting at a high level, the Trojans have not been the unstoppable force on the recruiting trail that they've been much of the last decade. The team that has taken best advantage of USC's pending sanctions has been Cal. Cal has gone into Southern California to get commitments from 4-Star defensive linemen Mustafa Jalil (6'4/300) and Todd Barr (6'3/265), and taken care of business close to home by securing a commitment from man-child Viliami "Tiny" Moala (6'3/340) of Sacramento. If I were to pick a player most likely headed to the NFL it would be Moala; he has size, athleticism, strength, and a high motor. Of Cal's nine commitments rated 4-Star or better, six of them are on the defensive side of the ball.
Avg. Star Rating for 18 Commits - 3.67
Headliner: #1 WR Trey Metoyer - - Whitehouse, Texas
Oklahoma is the only team in the Top 20 with less than 20 commitments, but what the Sooners lack in quantity, they make up for in quality. The Sooners have a commitment from Scout's No. 1 receiver Trey Metoyer (6'2/185) as well as 5-Star running back Brandon Williams (6'0/190) of Pattison, Texas. It's not all about offense at Oklahoma though as the Sooners' other two 5-Star recruits are on the defensive line. Nathan Hughes (6'5/260) showed at the Under Armour All-American Bowl that when he's healthy, he's as good a prospect as there is in the country. Jordan Phillips (6'5/300) of Towanda, Kan. is Mr. Inside to Hughes' Mr. Outside. Together they form a potent duo on the defensive line. Oklahoma is bringing in two quarterbacks in this class with very different skill sets. Kendal Thompson (6'1/180) is an efficient passer with good mobility, and Archie Bradley (6'3/220) is a bigger pocket passer that fits the mold of what Oklahoma has been more accustomed to over the last decade.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.40
Headliner: #6 OT Brey Cook - - Springdale, Ark.
Arkansas is taking advantage of its first BCS Bowl game appearance with a huge class (29 commitments) to help the Razorbacks sustain the type of success they saw on the field this year. Offensive tackle Brey Cook (6'7/310) has the size and skill to play early and often for the Razorbacks, and eventually he should team with Mitch Smothers (6'5/290) to form bookend tackles to provide the foundation of Petrino's high octane offense. Quarterback Brandon Allen (6'2/185) has the makeup and physical talent to be a star in Petrino's offense, and he should have no shortage of options as Arkansas has commitments from five receivers including 4-Stars Quinta Funderburk (6'3/200) and Keante Minor (6'2/195). Arkansas added help on the offensive line with a Signing Day decision by Andrew Peterson (6'5/255) of Seagoville, Texas who is rated 4-Stars by Scout.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.45
Headliner: #3 OT Kiaro Holts - - Indianapolis, Ind.
The NCAA may have put a damper on what was supposed to be a special season for the Tar Heels, but with an 8-5 season including a bowl win over Tennessee along with a strong Class of 2011, the best days of North Carolina football are still on the horizon. The Tar Heels have commitments from three players ranked in the Top 10 at their respective positions: offensive tackle Kiaro Holts (6'5/270), offensive guard Landon Turner (6'4/300), and linebacker Travis Hughes (6'1/220). Quarterback Marquis Williams (6'3/215) is a talented dual threat passer who will benefit from having two of the nation's best offensive linemen in front of him. A Signing Day coup for the Heels included fast rising defensive tackle Delvon Simmons (6'5/262) of McKeesport, Pa. Simmons was elevated to 5-Stars after showing promise as a senior, then dominating the week of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Avg. Star Rating for 19 Commits - 3.53
Headliner: #1 QB Jeff Driskel - - Oviedo, Fla.
As badly as Florida struggled at the quarterback position this year, it's not a stretch to say that Scout's No. 1 quarterback Jeff Driskel (6'4/220) would have started for the Gators this year. Driskel has a powerful right arm, a frame like a linebacker, excellent speed and strength. If any of this sounds familiar, it should; Driskel has the physical attributes of a right handed Tim Tebow, right down to the loop in his throwing motion. Driskel is more mechanically sound than Tebow was at this stage of his career, but lacks the experience that Tebow acquired in a high profile prep career. Driskel was a perfect fit for what Urban Meyer did at Florida, but Charlie Weis' offense is a different system. Driskel has the tools to excel long term, but the learning curve under Weis may be a little longer than what it would have been under Meyer. Florida ends up winning the sweepstakes for 4-Star safety Marcus Roberson who had committed to Texas Tech and Auburn in the last week. Florida was another team busy after Signing Day. The Gators added Scout's No. 9 quarterback Jacoby Brissett (6'4/225) of Palm Beach Gardens. Driskel and Brissett all but guarantee that Florida's quarterback troubles of 2010 will be a distant memory in the near future.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.35
Headliner: #12 RB Kenny Williams - Pflugerville, Texas
Long known for producing NFL running backs dating back to his days as a head coach at Ole Miss, Head Coach Tommy Tuberville has secured commitments from three 4-Star backs in Kenny Williams (5'10/206), Deandre Washington (5'9/180) and Bradley Marquez (5'11/185). Williams offers a different skill set from Marquez and Washington. Williams runs with more power, while Washington and Marquez have better open field moves. The Red Raiders have had a solid Signing Day with four new commitments/signatures from defensive ends Leon Mackey (6'5/260) and Cooper Washington (6'4/225), tight end Desimon Green (6'5/220), and linebacker Branden Jackson (6'4/225).
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.35
Headliner: #5 RB Herschel Sims - - Abilene, Texas
It was an unusually deep year for running backs in the State of Texas this year with four rated 5-Stars, and Oklahoma State made sure to dip into the Lone Star State for Herschel Sims (5'9/200) of Abilene. Sims is a compact, powerful back with excellent feet. He's a good receiver out of the backfield and could help replace Kendall Hunter's 63 career catches as Hunter heads to the NFL. Quarterback J.W. Walsh (6'2/200) of Denton, Texas is a run/pass threat that fits into the Cowboy system like a glove. Looking to shore up the defense, Oklahoma State has commitments from five defensive linemen including tackle James Castleman (6'4/280) of Amarillo, Texas and Jimmy Bean (6'5/220) of Denton, Texas. If there seems to be a trend here, there is; 19 of Oklahoma State's 25 commitments are from Texas.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.37
Headliner: #7 MLB James Vaughters - - Tucker, Ga.
The easiest way to describe how Stanford has arrived on the recruiting scene is that the Cardinal fans are probably a little disappointed with a spot at the back end of the Top 25 right now. After holding a place in the Top 10 for much of the season, Stanford has gone backwards since it lost Jim Harbaugh to the NFL. Stanford is still bringing in a solid class, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker James Vaughters (6'2/232) and Wayne Lyons (6'1/190) are national recruits. Running back Kelsey Young (5'10/190) is a home run threat with the ball in his hands. Easily Stanford's biggest recruit was bringing back probable No. 1 overall draft pick quarterback Andrew Luck.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.35
Headliner: #6 RB Aaron Green - - San Antonio, Texas
It feels strange to write that Nebraska has the second best class in the Big Ten, but Nebraska has the second best class in the Big Ten. While Nebraska may not spend as much time recruiting the state of Texas in their new conference, the Cornhuskers still found the time to go down and get 5-Star running back Aaron Green (5'11/185) out of San Antonio and Scout's No. 2 cornerback Charles Jackson (5'10/175) of Klein. Athlete Jamal Turner (6'1/170) of Arlington, Texas is Scout's No. 7 quarterback, but he is also a standout receiver prospect should prize baseball prospect Bubba Starling (6'5/190), Scout's No. 10 quarterback, decide to give the gridiron a shot in college.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.35
Headliner: #2 WR Kasen Williams - - Sammamish, Wash.
If LSU's Jarvis Landry isn't the nation's most college ready receiver, Kasen Williams (6'3/215) is. Williams and Landry are carbon copies of one another, but Williams is considerably bigger. Williams fights for the ball as if his very life depends on it, and he plays the game with linebacker strength. Big Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6'6/260) has offensive tackle size with wide receiver skill. Sefarian-Jenkins is as good a big athlete as there is in the country this year, if some of Williams' tenacity can rub off on him, the Husky offense will have two potent weapons in this class. The state of Washington doesn't produce talent high numbers, but Steve Sarkisian and his staff have done what must be done to sustain success in the Northwest, wall off the borders. Washington has commitments from all four of the state's players ranked 4-Stars or better by Scout.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.25
Headliner: #4 MLB C.J. Johnson - - Philadelphia, Miss.
Houston Nutt has made a habit of closing strong in his first few years at Ole Miss, and the Class of 2011 is no different. The prize of the Rebel class so far is former Mississippi State commitment C.J. Johnson (6'2/235). The switcharoo was big on several levels. First, Johnson is an outstanding player capable of playing at an All-Conference level, and second, it helped stave off some of the momentum of Mississippi State's big 2010 season on the field. Ole Miss isn't looking towards the future though, the Rebels are looking at the now with eight junior college signees. Nutt is gearing up to get back to his 10 win seasons and out of the cellar of the meat grinder that is the SEC West.
Avg. Star Rating for Top 20 Commits - 3.15
Headliner: #3 CB Demetrious Nicholson - Virginia Beach, Va. 
Virginia is making a move back into the Top 25 on Signing Day with a big commitment from athlete Darius Jennings (5'11/175). Jennings lined up as a quarterback for his Gilman team in Baltimore, Md., but he projects as either a cornerback or wide receiver on the college level. Future teammate Demetrious Nicholson (5-11/175) fits the same mold as Jennings in that he is an athlete that could play multiple positions. The Cavs are looking for an infusion of speed as they are bringing in six wide receivers in this class, not counting Nicholson, who is listed as a corner but it dynamite with the ball in his hands.

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