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Looking At The Top 10 Recruiting Classes Heading Into National Signing Day

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The early signing period is finally here. A majority of the nation’s top 2021 recruits will ink letters of intent on Wednesday and officially transition from commitments to signees.

In order to get our readers ready for the big day, I decided to give an overview of the top 10 recruiting classes. Yes, there will be changes, but this is more of a preview than a review.

Recruiting is a major part of contending for a national title. Of the 10 teams on this list, seven of them also check in the top 10 of the latest College Football Playoff rankings.

When discussing the rankings of teams and prospects, I used the 247Sports composite numbers to get more of a universal view of how things stand. It should be noted that some of these teams and prospects are rated lower by other recruiting services.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Total commits: 22

Top 100 commits: 12

Top-ranked commit: OT JC Latham (5-star, No. 2 overall)

Overview: Alabama once again checks in at No. 1 overall in the recruiting rankings. The Crimson Tide leads the nation with six 5-star prospects committed, four of those coming in the trenches. So far, that has been a winning formula for building a competitive roster.

With DeVonta Smith and potentially Jaylen Waddle leaving, Alabama needs to replenish some of the depth at receiver. With the trio of Jacorey Brooks (No. 2 WR), Agiye Hall (No. 7) and Christian Leary (No. 8), Nick Saban and company have done just that.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

Total commits: 21

Top 100 commits: 12

Top-ranked commit: SDE Jack Sawyer (5-star, No. 4)

Overview: Ohio State has the second-most 5-star commits with five. Sawyer is primed to be that next great Buckeyes defensive end. But the other four are on the offensive side of the football, including Kyle McCord (No. 3 PS-QB), TreVeyon Henderson (No. 1 RB), Emeka Egbuka (No. 1 WR) and Donovan Jackson (No. 1 OG). That is an excellent haul.

It also doesn’t hurt to have wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (No. 15 WR), the son of the Indianapolis Colts legend, as another top 100 commit. It looks like whoever takes over for Justin Fields will have plenty of weapons.

3. Georgia Bulldogs

Total commits: 20

Top 100 commits: 7

Top-ranked commit: OT Amarius Mims (5-star, No. 7)

Overview: Like with Alabama, Georgia continues to build its roster from the trenches out. The Bulldogs have four offensive line commits, including three in the top 100. Mims (No. 3 OT), Micah Morris (No. 10 OT) and Dylan Fairchild (No. 5 OG) all look like future starters.

But Kirby Smart has to prove he can finally keep his backup quarterback Brock Vandagriff (No. 2 DT-QB) happy. While he is good enough to be an impact player from Day 1, the likely return of starter JT Daniels means Vandagriff must take a step back and develop.

4. LSU Tigers

Total commits: 19

Top 100 commits: 8

Top-ranked commit: S Sage Ryan (5-star, No. 28)

Overview: Despite the struggles from a 4-5 season, Ed Orgeron has put together another quality class in Baton Rouge. Garrett Nussmeier (No. 8 PS-QB) is a welcomed addition as LSU continues its search for a long-term option at quarterback. But will he start? Probably not with Myles Brennan, Max Johnson and TJ Finley all in the mix.

The concern for this group is the offensive line. As of now, there is only one O-line commit in the 2021 class. This comes a year after the Tigers signed only three, two of which were only 3 stars. We’ll see what happens on Signing Day.

5. Clemson Tigers

Total commits: 18

Top 100 commits: 6

Top-ranked commit: APB Will Shipley (5-star, No. 30)

Overview: Clemson continues to put weapons around future starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei. Shipley, Jake Briningstool (No. 1 TE) and Beaux Collins (No. 14 WR) are all top 100 prospects with high ceilings, but the offensive line also looks in good shape with three 4-star commits.

With linebackers Braylon Spector and James Skalski both being seniors, it was important to add future replacement options. Barrett Carter (No. 3 OLB) and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (No. 2 ILB) will go a long way in helping that cause.

6. Oregon Ducks

Total commits: 21

Top 100 commits: 5

Top-ranked commit: OT Kingsley Suamataia (4-star, No. 35)

Overview: Oregon doesn’t have a single 5-star commit in this class, but the Ducks lead the nation in 4-star commits with 16. This is a team that will have competition for quarterback Tyler Shough, who has been good — not great — this season. Ty Thompson (No. 4 PS-QB) is a borderline 5-star to go along with two 4-star guys in the 2020 class (Jay Butterfield and Robby Ashford.)

Suamataia (No. 6 OT) will have a chance to help replace the nation’s top offensive tackle in Penei Sewell, who has entered the 2021 NFL Draft after opting out.

7. Florida Gators

Total commits: 26

Top 100 commits: 3

Top-ranked commit: CB Jason Marshall (5-star, No. 27)

Overview: More than likely, Florida has Emory Jones ready to step into a starting role at quarterback with Kyle Trask expected to leave. That means they don’t need an immediate contributor, but the Gators still added Carlos Del Rio-Wilson (No. 11 PS-QB) for depth.

Despite having the most commits of any team in the top 10, Florida only has three in the top 100. And all three are on the defensive side of the football. Good thing Dan Mullen can develop offensive players.

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Total commits: 24

Top 100 commits: 4

Top-ranked commit: OT Blake Fisher (4-star, No. 52)

Overview: Notre Dame is doing noticeably better on the recruiting trail after finishing No. 18 in 2020. And of course, the top two commits are offensive line with Fisher (No. 8 OT) and Rocco Spindler (No. 3 OG), who has an awesome name.

Does senior quarterback Ian Book leave or does he utilize that extra year of eligibility? If he leaves, Tyler Buchner (No. 3 DT-QB) could be a viable first-year contributor at the position. Fighting Irish fans should be excited about this kid.

9. Michigan Wolverines

Total commits: 21

Top 100 commits: 4

Top-ranked commit: QB J.J. McCarthy (5-star, No. 22)

Overview: The Michigan brand is literally the only thing keeping this program going. Nothing Jim Harbaugh has done this season warrants a top 10 recruiting class. But reinforcements could still be on the way, including three top 100 offensive prospects.

McCarthy (No. 2 PS-QB) will almost immediately get into the starting quarterback conversation, but more help on defense is even more needed. Not entirely sure how two defensive back commits are going to improve a pass defense ranked No. 90, though.

10. Oklahoma Sooners

Total commits: 15

Top 100 commits: 4

Top-ranked commit: QB Caleb Williams (5-star, No. 6)

Overview: What helps a high-powered offense that scores a lot? A complementary pass rush that can get after the opposing team trying to play keep up. Clayton Smith (No. 2 WDE), Kelvin Gilliam (No. 6), Ethan Downs (No. 10) and Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge (No. 17 SDE) should help in that area.

Spencer Rattler should continue to take steps forward, but Williams (No. 1 DT-QB) will provide quality depth and can help set up this offense to continue rolling for the next several years. This is a team poised to be back in the CFB Playoff talk next season.

The small class is what’s holding them back from being ranked higher.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.

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