A Look at College Football’s Top Recruiting Classes for 2016
The recruiting season for college football in 2016 is well underway. National Signing Day is now just a couple of weeks away and will take place on February 3rd, so now is as good a time as any to take a look at the very best recruiting classes so far this year. Every school wants to claim that No. 1 spot and there are a few challengers worth mentioning in 2016. Today, we’ll go through the best schools in the business and see if any of them can possibly overcome LSU in this new year.
It’s pretty obvious that the LSU Tigers are the hot favorites to get that No. 1 finish this year. Head coach Les Miles can boast of an impressive number of top 100 recruits, including fourteen very exciting players with four-star status who have all committed to LSU. The first name to mention has to be Saivion Smith, a five-star rated player and the second best cornerback in the game. Smith looks set to be a big player in the future and has already helped LSU by taking an active role in recruitment himself, encouraging some of his old teammates and friends to join him in Baton Rouge.
LSU are particularly blessed in the cornerback department.
After sealing the No. 2 ranked player in Smith, the Tigers also got the No. 3 and No. 4 cornerbacks in the game: Trayvon Mullen and Kristian Fulton. Fans will also be able to enjoy watching the likes of four-star defensive backs Cameron Lewis and Andraez Williams, while the highly-rated duo of defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence and offensive tackle Willie Allen will probably be heading to Louisiana too. The quarterback could be the one area in which LSU might be lacking, but efforts are being made to secure Dwayne Haskins. The Tigers have done plenty of reinforcement, but could come to regret their lack of focus on a signal caller.
Can Anyone Catch the Tigers?
It’ll be hard for any team to overtake the Tigers at this point, but there is still time for that to happen. If anyone can beat LSU to the number one spot, it’s the Michigan Wolverines. One of the most-respected and successful college football teams in the nation has enjoyed a good recruiting season so far. The Wolverines have landed 23 commits, 14 of which can boast of four-star status.
While LSU have focused on defensive-minded players, Michigan have gone all-in on offense. Quarterback Brandon Peters is certainly one to watch, while the Wolverines have also gotten the best-ranked RB in the class: Kareem Walker. Ben Bredeson and Michael Onwenu, both offensive lineman, are also solid players.
Still, Michigan’s class isn’t complete, with the team desperately needing a pass rusher of some kind. Rumor has it that the Wolverines are favorites to bring in the top-ranked recruit in the class, Rashan Gary. Gary is a defensive linesman who has the ability to be a huge player for the Wolverines.
Michigan staff are also said to be closely monitoring a variety of other, highly-ranked individuals. If the Wolverines can get Gary to sign, along with a few other top players, they might have a chance of stealing the No. 1 finish from under LSU’s nose.
Another team that is still in the running for the top spot is the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama’s recruitment hasn’t really got going yet, with just 17 commits to give them the No. 8 class overall. However, Crimson Tide staff are about to up the ante with some big names said to be signing up as National Signing Day approaches. The national champions allegedly have a very good chance of adding five-star players Ben Davis and Lyndell Wilson to their roster.
The top ranked junior college player, Jonathan Kongbo, is one of many names that could be following in the footsteps of Davis and Wilson in the weeks to come. Mecole Hardman Jr., Terrell Hall, Demetris Robertson, Shyheim Carter and several others could commit to the Crimson Tide soon. If things go to plan, we can certainly expect to see Alabama in the top 3 classes.
We’ve looked at the main favorites for the number one spot, but there are always surprises in college football and various other teams are still pushing to earn the title of best recruiting class in 2016. One example is the Buckeyes. Ohio State is actually currently ranked as the No. 3 class with some particularly exciting top-100 recruits in the form of signal caller Dwayne Haskins and athlete Jordan Fuller. The Buckeyes can also boast of five-star defensive linesmen Jonathon Cooper and Nick Bosa. It might be tricky for them to get to No. 1, but Ohio State could stay in the top 3 with a few more recruits.
Florida State will also try to finish as highly in the rankings as possible, with the Seminoles currently sitting in the No. 4 spot. We talked about the No. 2 cornerback, Saivion Smith, heading to LSU, but Florida State managed to get the No. 1 cornerback in Levonta Taylor. Signal caller Malik Henry is another high potential player, with Florida State hoping to bring in various other top-100 players in the near future. Names on the list of potential recruits include Landon Dickerson, Nate Craig-Myers and Terrell Hall.
Finally, we have the Georgia Bulldogs and Ole Miss Rebels. Both of these teams will hope to finish highly in the rankings and have brought in some exciting young stars. Georgia managed to get five-star signal caller Jacob Eason, along with tight end Isaac Nauta and offensive tackle Ben Cleveland, both rated with five stars too.
The Bulldogs are currently No. 5 and are set to sign a few more five-star players before February. Meanwhile, the Rebels got the top-ranked QB in the nation in Shea Patterson, along with the best-rated offensive tackle in Gregory Little. Time will tell if either team can break into the top 3.