The 2012 signing class is full of talent. While it may not be as top-heavy with can’t-miss stars as years like 2008 and 2009, it may be among the deepest groups we’ve seen in recent years.
Here’s OKTC’s final list of the top 10 prospects, regardless of position, for the Class of 2012.
1. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR –
DGB went wire-to-wire as our consensus No. 1 recruit in 2012. At 6’6 with great speed, he has the measurables to be a dominant wide receiver at the collegiate level. The most impressive WR prospect since Julio Jones and AJ Green, Green-Beckham will more than likely become the top passing target at whatever school he chooses. He’s played it close to the vest recruiting-wise and is one of the few blue chip prospects left on the board. He’ll choose between Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
2. Landon Collins, DB –
Collins made waves when he committed to Alabama at the Under Armour All-Star Game a few weeks ago, and his mother made even bigger news when she upstaged his choice by downplaying it and saying “Geaux Tigers, LSU No. 1” on air immediately after his commitment.
On the field, Collins came on strong this year and is a headhunting safety who punishes receivers and running backs alike. At 6’1 220 and posting a legit 4.4 in the 40, Collins’ metrics are off the charts. He’ll look to step in and fill the void left by Mark Barron – a player he compares favorably to at this point. If anything, Collins is bigger and faster than Barron was coming out of high school four years ago.
3. Mario Edwards, DE –
Edwards is a physical freak who has the potential to be a Day One starter when he goes to Florida State or LSU in the fall. He’s been committed to the Seminoles since March and has family ties there, but he’s given Texas and LSU a serious look late in the process. Edwards is a commitment FSU simply can’t afford to lose down the stretch, but despite his soft commitment this will go down to SIgning Day. The size and speed Edwards brings is special, and he’ll be a force for years to come on the defensive line. He’s a run-stopping defensive end, but in some systems could slide inside as a three technique, as well.
4. Shaq Thompson, DB/ATH –
Like Collins, Thomson is a big safety prospect who can play in the defensive backfield in coverage but can also play on the line of scrimmage in a nickel or dime package. The California commitment would be the top player projected at his position most years.
5. Stefon Diggs, WR/ATH –
A blazing wideout out of Maryland, Diggs is a dynamic player who can stretch defenses and get playing time early. Diggs will likely head south for college as Auburn and Florida both feel confident about their chances with him heading into the home stretch. He can be moved around all over the field and will be a versatile weapon wherever he lands.
6. Arik Armstead, OL/DL –
Armstead’s recruitment has had some bizarre twists and turns. A prototypical offensive tackle in college, Armstead has made his desire to play on the defensive line known to recruiters at multiple schools. He was all but committed to Cal until super-recruiter Tosh Lupoi headed to Washington. His brother, a former student at Southern Cal, is also factoring into his recruitment as the two had designs to be a package deal. Late rumors, though, indicate his brother’s career may not continue. Armstead was set to commit to either Notre Dame or Auburn last week, but delayed his decision as he awaits the SEC’s ruling on whether or not his brother could transfer in immediately. Alabama is trying to get in on the talented big-man late in the process, and there seems to be no resolution in sight. He may wait until NSD or after to make a decision.
7. T.J. Yeldon, RB –
Yeldon was a firm commitment to Auburn for months before flipping to in-state rival Alabama right before the recruiting dead period began in December, setting off a firestorm of discussion and rumors on message boards and Twitter. Yeldon enrolled at Alabama in January as an early high school graduate and will figure into the Tide’s rotation in the backfield immediately. At 6’2, 210, Yeldon fits the mold of the big, physical backs that Nick Saban has used in winning two titles in the last three years.
8. Eddie Goldman, DT –
Goldman showed flashes of brilliance at times in 2012, but he’s got some room left to develop as a player. His inclusion here is based on his potential and physical attributes. Once he learns to play every down, he’ll be an unstoppable anchor in the middle of a defensive line at the school of his choice. Long thought to be a Florida State lean, with Alabama also a serious contender, Auburn has emerged as a legitimate option for the big nose tackle. Don’t be surprised if the Tigers pull a shocker and pull Goldman (and Diggs) out of the Maryland/DC area.
9. Johnathan Gray, RB –
A big, shifty back out of Aledo, Texas, Gray, a Longhorn commit, has the speed to burn defenses once he gets to the second level while also being strong enough to get yards between the tackles. He’ll push to be a part of the RB rotation in Austin as a freshman.
10. DJ Humphries, OT –
The Florida commit and enrollee is the top true offensive tackle in this class. He’s not at the level of some of the franchise tackles from recent years, and that’s why he’s not higher up this list, but his length and reach will make him the type of player who could be a two or three year starter at the next level for the Gators.
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