Alabama lands top recruiting class; Aggies don’t add player to No. 15 class

Alabama lands top recruiting class; Aggies don’t add player to No. 15 class

Southeastern Conference schools continue to dominate the football recruiting track almost as completely as they dominate on the field.

Alabama has assembled the best class of 2023 in the country, according to the composite ranking of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports. Alabama had already locked in the nation’s top recruiting class for the 10th time in 13 years before the February signing period. The Crimson Tide landed nine five-star rookies. According to 247Sports, only 39 players received a five-star rating in the class.

The SEC has eight of the top 17 classes, including Georgia at No. 2, LSU at No. 6 and Tennessee at No. 9. Florida finished 14th, followed by Texas A&M, South Carolina and Auburn.

The Aggies did not sign a player on Wednesday, the first day of the second national signing period that ends April 1. The Aggies signed 19 players in the first signing period from Dec. 21-23. A&M also added five transfers.

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An SEC school has topped the team recruiting rankings every year since 2010, the first year for which the 247Sports composite rankings have data.

Florida had the top recruiting class in the nation in 2010. Alabama led the recruiting rankings every year from 2011 to 2017. Georgia had the top recruiting class in 2018 and 2020, Alabama ranked first in 2019 and 2021, and A&M brought the top class last year. It was head coach Jimbo Fisher’s fourth straight class in the top 10. A&M’s 2018 recruiting class that started under former coach Kevin Sumlin was ranked 17th.


The opening of college football’s traditional signing window for high school prospects on Wednesday brought an apparent end to two of the cycle’s most notable recruitings.

Top-notch quarterback Jaden Rashada, who signed with Florida in December and then asked to be released from the commitment when a name, fantasy and likeness (NIL) deal fell through, announced on Wednesday that he was traveling to the state of Arizona.

“Glad to really be home!” Rashada posted on Twitter.

Also in the Pac-12 conference, Cormani McClain, previously signed to Miami, signed with Colorado to make it two straight years that coach Deion Sanders landed a five-star cornerback.

Rashada’s recruiting made national headlines and became something of a cautionary tale for the NIL era of college football.

The four-star rookie from California has been at the center of a recruiting struggle between Miami and Florida. This has led to a bidding war between recall collectives trying to secure sponsorship deals for athletes from these schools. Rashada originally committed to Miami, but returned to Florida and signed with the Gators early in the signing period after being offered an NIL deal that could have been worth over $13 million.

When it became clear that Gator Collective, which is not part of the school or the Florida Department of Athletics, did not have the money to fund the deal, Rashada asked to be released from his letter. of national intent. Florida granted the request.

Gators coach Billy Napier told reporters he couldn’t provide details about what happened with Rashada, but said he doesn’t plan to hear from the NCAA about any possible violations of recruitment rules.

“The reality is NIL’s current structure with involved third parties, involved agents, marketing reps, attorneys, collectives…very fluid and I think very unique dynamics,” Napier said. “I think at the end of the day, NIL is a strength for the Gators.”

Rashada is the high-profile recruit in high school in the first signing class of new Arizona State coach Kenny Dillingham. The 32-year-old Phoenix native and Arizona State graduate was hired in December.

Rashada’s father, Harlen, was on the Arizona State football team in the 1990s. Jaden Rashada called ASU his “childhood dream school”.

“I can’t wait to carry on the family name at the University and begin my journey. Forks! Rashada posted.

McClain’s recruiting was more traditional in its twists. One of the highest-rated players in the nation, he has been pursued by many of college football’s most successful programs, including Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State.

From Lakeland, Fla., McClain signed to Miami last fall, but even then it looked like he might be lured away from the Hurricanes by the Crimson Tide.

Then Sanders took over in Boulder, Colorado, and turned things around.

Last year, Sanders made recruiting history by enticing five-star cornerback Travis Hunter to walk away from a verbal commitment to Florida State and sign with Jackson State.

Never before has a player been so highly rated at a school that plays in the second tier of Division I football, the Championship Subdivision.

Colorado hired Sanders to turn around a program that has been stuck near the bottom of the Pac-12 for most of the past decade. McClain traveled to Boulder last month and soon after pledged to become the first five-star signing with the Buffaloes in more than a decade.

He made it official early on the day of the signing. McClain will join Hunter, who transferred to Colorado, in the Buffs’ secondary.

“The first time CU signed two five-star players in the same class,” Sanders said. “Same position, by the way, and both are dogs. Can’t wait to see them play together.”


Washington’s Nyckoles Harbor was one of the few five-stars, according to 247 Sports’ composite rating, who entered noncommittal signing day with genuine mystery surrounding where he would end up.

The decision was made in Oregon and South Carolina and the Gamecocks were the pick for the 6-foot-5, 225-pound rusher who could end up playing catcher in college.

Harbor is a track runner, has posted elite times in the 100 and 200m and has Olympic aspirations.


Oregon got a lot of attention early in the signing period, winning a handful of high-profile recruiting battles to be able to have the top-rated class in the Pac-12.

The Ducks missed Harbor but got another big score, landing four-star cornerback Rodrick Pleasant. The California player chose Oregon over its Pac-12 rival – at least for another year – Southern California.

“At the end of the day, we want to sign the best players everywhere, but if you can win in your footprint, and our footprint, California is certainly one of them, we want to be successful there and think that this year we have proved that we are capable of doing this,” Lanning told reporters.

USC, which joins the Big Ten after the 2023-24 school year, picked up a signing day win with four-star tight end Walker Lyons.

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