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Alabama, LSU, Ohio State own nation's top 3 recruiting classes

Joshua S. Kelly/USA TODAY Sports
Urban Meyer is known as an excellent recruiter and delivered the Big Ten's only top-10 recruiting class in 2014.

The usual suspects cleaned up on the recruiting trail this year. National Signing Day was Wednesday, and schools such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State again signed top-10 classes.

But as we showed Tuesday, merely signing highly touted prospects isn't enough; the players have to be developed once they get on campus. Still, actually getting them on campus is step one.

Here's a look at the nation's consensus top-10 recruiting classes, using's "composite rankings" as the basis of the list.

1. Alabama

Past five recruiting rankings: 1st in 2013, 1st in 2012, 1st in 2011, 5th in 2010, 2nd in 2009.
Top 100 signees: 13. Top recruit: OT Cameron Robinson, No. 4 overall, West Monroe (La.) High.
Buzz: Yawn -- another recruiting cycle, another top-ranked class for the Tide. Alabama signed six of the nation's top 16 players, and four of them attended out-of-state high schools. Alabama signed the top-ranked player in Alabama, and also reeled in the top guy in Iowa, Virginia, South Carolina and Oklahoma (a quarterback from Norman, which can't please Bob Stoops).

2. LSU

Past five recruiting rankings: 6th, 14th, 7th, 7th, 1st.
Top 100 signees: 9. Top recruit: RB Leonard Fournette, No. 1 overall, New Orleans St. Augustine.
Buzz: LSU usually cleans-up in-state, but three of the state's top-five prospects went elsewhere -- and to SEC foes Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M to boot. But Les Miles still brought in another touted class. LSU signed half of the state's top 20 players and also brought in big-timers from Florida, Illinois and Texas.

3. Ohio State

Past five recruiting rankings: 2nd, 5th, 6th, 20th, 4th.
Top 100 signees: 10. Top recruit: LB Raekwon McMillan, No. 21 overall, Hinesville (Ga.) Liberty County.
Buzz: Coach Urban Meyer is a recruiting demon, and he proved it again. He reeled in big-timers from Georgia, Texas, Florida, Michigan and -- of course -- Ohio. The Buckeyes signed the top five in-state players and six of the top seven.

4. Florida State

Past five recruiting rankings: 10th, 3rd, 2nd, 9th, 12th.
Top 100 signees: 6. Top recruit: RB Dalvin Cook, No. 13 overall, Miami Central.
Buzz: The Seminoles parlayed their national title into another big-time class. FSU signed three of the top six players from Florida, including Cook, and all three are from south Florida, which is a poke in the eye to rival Miami.

5. Texas A&M

Past five recruiting rankings: 9th, 16th, 35th, 19th, 24th.
Top 100 signees: 5. Top recruit: DE Myles Garrett, No. 2 overall, Arlington (Texas) Martin.
Buzz: A&M is the hottest program in Texas right now, and Kevin Sumlin made it pay off on the recruiting trail. Garrett could (should?) start immediately, and he is one of three top-10 players signed by the Aggies. The others are the nation's top quarterback (Kyle Allen from Arizona) and the No. 1 wide receiver (Speedy Noil from Louisiana).

6. Tennessee

Past five recruiting rankings: 24th, 20th, 14th, 8th, 7th.
Top 100 signees: 4. Top recruit: WR Josh Malone, No. 36 overall, Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp.
Buzz: Coming off a 5-7 season, this was an especially nice job by Butch Jones and his staff, who signed a whopping 33 prospects. The state of Tennessee doesn't exactly produce a lot of talent, but there were three national top-100 players in the state this cycle and the Vols signed them all, including two (one is Malone) from the Nashville area.

7. Auburn

Past five recruiting rankings: 13th, 11th, 8th, 6th, 22nd.
Top 100 signees: 3. Top recruit: RB Roc Thomas, No. 23 overall, Oxford (Ala.) High.
Buzz: Auburn always has recruited well, and this year was no different. The Tigers signed four of the top seven in-state players, which is huge when you're going against the Nick Saban recruiting juggernaut. Auburn signed five junior college players, a sign that coach Gus Malzahn wants some immediate help at certain positions. The Tigers also did well in Georgia, as they usually do.

8. Georgia

Past five recruiting rankings: 11th, 8th, 5th, 12th, 5th.
Top 100 signees: 4. Top recruit: DE Lorenzo Carter, No. 18 overall, Norcross (Ga.) High.
Buzz: The Bulldogs signed three of Georgia's top six players and also got big-timers from Florida and North Carolina. Interestingly, two of the top three signees are running backs. Georgia did likewise in 2011, signing touted tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall in the same class.

9. Florida

Past five recruiting rankings: 3rd, 4th, 11th, 1st, 8th.
Top 100 signees: 4. Top recruit: CB Jalen Tabor, No. 14 overall, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Academy.
Buzz: Like Tennessee, Florida had a losing record this season. The Gators especially needed linemen on both sides of the ball, and the defensive line haul was especially impressive. Tabor could start right away; he already is enrolled and will go through spring practice. But this class appears to be lacking in offensive playmakers.

10. Notre Dame

Past five recruiting rankings: 5th, 19th, 9th, 17th, 16th.
Top 100 signees: 3. Top recruit: LB Nyles Morgan, No. 53 overall, Crete (Ill.) Crete-Monee
Buzz: Coach Brian Kelly put together his second consecutive top-10 class. The Irish signed players from 14 states, including two of the top four players in New Jersey, the top player in Indiana and top-10 players in New York, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio and Maryland.

Of the top 10 classes, seven belong to teams in the SEC (yep, Florida was ninth nationally but seventh in the SEC); there was one Big Ten school (Ohio State), one from the ACC (Florida State) and one independent (Notre Dame). Here is a look at the top class in the other leagues:

AAC: USF, class rank of 40th.
Big 12: Oklahoma, class rank of 13th.
Conference USA: Marshall, class rank of 56th.
Mid-American: Western Michigan, class rank of 69th.
Mountain West: Boise State, class rank of 68th.
Pac-12: USC, class rank of 11th.
Sun Belt: Western Kentucky, class rank of 85th.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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