Ranking the Top 10 2024 CFB Recruiting Classes After the Summer Surge (2024)

Ranking the Top 10 2024 CFB Recruiting Classes After the Summer Surge

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    Ranking the Top 10 2024 CFB Recruiting Classes After the Summer Surge (1)

    Georgia QB commit Dylan RaiolaAubrey Lao /Getty Images

    With NIL deals shaping the college football recruiting world and December giving us the vast majority of signings these days, by the time opening kickoff rolls around, most teams have the bulk of their work done on their upcoming class.

    This year is no different, with two-time defending national champion Georgia leading the way and a bunch of other elite classes following suit.

    As has been the case in recent years, the SEC and Big Ten dominate the 2024 recruiting rankings, and that's why they've predominantly stolen the show once the pigskin gets tossed in the air, too. But there's one outlier lurking in Bleacher Report's top 10, using its resurgent 2022 season as a catalyst.

    Plenty of official and unofficial visits (not to mention flips) can change the picture of these rankings between now and the time ink can first touch paper just before Christmas, but several teams are in prime position to pull down terrific classes.

    Based on analysis and independent video study of recruits, a nod toward major-service recruiting rankings and weight of elite players versus quantity of players, here are the teams in ideal positions for bringing in the best class in the '24 cycle after the summer session.

10. Michigan Wolverines

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    Ranking the Top 10 2024 CFB Recruiting Classes After the Summer Surge (2)

    Jim HarbaughJeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Commitments: 27 (17 4-stars, 10 3-stars)

    Most Dynamic: Jadyn Davis, 4-star QB, Charlotte, North Carolina

    One of the best quarterbacks on the move in the class, Davis can weave away from pressure and has enough arm strength to make the majority of passes, despite not being elite in that area. When you factor in athleticism, he's an exceptional pull for coach Jim Harbaugh.

    With J.J. McCarthy having just two seasons of eligibility remaining, the Wolverines needed an heir with star quality, and Davis looks like their guy.

    Analysis

    Last year's Wolverines recruiting class was lacking for a team that had just enjoyed back-to-back trips to the College Football Playoff semifinals.

    This season's haul is more indicative of the two-time Big Ten champions.

    Most recruiting services have the Wolverines higher than this, but they're short on the best of top-tier talent. Still, this is a deep, terrific class. The tackle tandem of Andrew Sprague and Blake Frazier, especially, should thrill Michigan fans who love to pound the rock.

    Getting tight ends Hogan Hansen and Brady Prieskorn gives Harbaugh the nation's top group at that position, and running back Jordan Marshall is a game-changer.

    This is a class heavy on trench men with some athletes sprinkled in. It's a big class already, so a lot of movement up the rankings is doubtful. But this is a very nice group.

9. LSU Tigers

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    Brian KellyAP Photo/Sam Craft

    Commitments: 23 (16 4-stars, seven 3-stars)

    Most Dynamic: Cai Bates, 4-star CB, Orlando, Florida

    On film, Bates looks like one of those silky-smooth LSU defensive backs who can cover the field and is big and physical enough to rattle receivers and make plays on the ball. Standing at nearly 6'2" and 180 pounds, he's physically ready to play.

    The Tigers have higher-ranked players, but Bates and linebacker Tylen Singleton may be the best playmakers in the group, so the future of the defense is in good hands.

    Analysis

    Perhaps the best thing about the class coach Brian Kelly has assembled is the depth of talent, and he has a few spots remaining for zeroing in on top targets. A class of 23 is about right for this time of year, and while this year's group is shorter on top-50 talent, this is still a very good class.

    Safety Dashawn McBryde teams with Bates for a nice one-two secondary punch at the top of the rankings, but skill position players are major feathers in Kelly's visor for this year's group, too.

    Texas wide receiver Jelani Watkins and Joseph Stone of Georgia gives the Tigers a couple of good-looking pass-catchers, alongside tight end Trey'Dez Green. Lone Star State running back Caden Durham is a high-end talent, too.

    Jacksonville quarterback Colin Hurley is a player Kelly zeroed in on for a long time, and LSU appears happy with the intriguing signal-caller despite his not being among the nation's top-ranked players at his position. It will be interesting to see how they close the class.

8. Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Ranking the Top 10 2024 CFB Recruiting Classes After the Summer Surge (4)

    James Franklin Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Commitments: 24 (16 4-stars, eight 3-stars)

    Most Dynamic: Quinton Martin, 4-star RB, Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania

    Without a doubt, Martin being in Penn State's backyard was an awesome thing for coach James Franklin and Co., especially considering how well as he's done with keeping kids home in recent memory. Because the 6'2", 205-pound athlete is one of the best prospects in the class.

    The thought here is that he's criminally underrated and should be a 5-star prospect. Martin is big, physical and fast enough to excel at running back or safety, but he will play on offense in Happy Valley. He looks like the perfect player to learn from Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen and be the next great Lions back.

    Analysis

    Much like the last two years, the bulk of Franklin's recruiting work is done before the Penn State season starts, and he has hit on more exciting talent than most coaches in recent cycles.

    That's a big reason the Nittany Lions have a legit chance to catapult past Michigan and Ohio State and win the Big Ten this year.

    The quality and diversity of talent Franklin pieced together in his previous two classes is evident again in this cycle. Tight end Luke Reynolds, offensive tackle Liam Andrews, quarterback Ethan Grunkemeyer, wide receiver Josiah Brown and the interior offensive line combo of Cooper Cousins and Donovan Harbour sit atop PSU's class and are perfect examples.

    There are quality players coming in at every position, which is the true sign of a coach who already has built his roster with quality talent in the past few classes and is just outfitting his depth and roster to win big.

7. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Jimbo FisherBob Levey/Getty Images

    Commitments: 20 (one 5-star, 17 4-stars, two 4-stars)

    Most Dynamic: Cameron Coleman, 5-star WR, Phenix City, Alabama

    The town of Phenix City is no friend to Alabama coach Nick Saban's powerhouse program, as the Crimson Tide has lost out on in-state receivers Justyn Ross and E.J. Williams, defensive back Ray Thornton III and defensive lineman Tomarrion Parker to Clemson. Now, Coleman is off to Aggieland.

    While coach Jimbo Fisher will have to hold off Auburn's Hugh Freeze, who won't stop coming after Coleman, he seems dialed in to head to A&M, and the 6'3", 180-pound pass-catcher is a top-tier product who looks college-ready. He is an awesome class centerpiece.

    Analysis

    After a banner recruiting campaign in the 2022 class, Fisher's work in living rooms took a small step back last year as the Aggies failed to make a bowl game on the field.

    Rumors of the demise in College Station were greatly exaggerated, at least if you look at the work they've done with prospects this year. Again, the Aggies are near the top of the recruiting rankings, and they have several spots remaining. They've out-recruited rival Texas in a big way, too.

    Drelon Miller joins Coleman as quality receivers to build the offense around. Defensive lineman Dealyn Evans will grow into an interior defender or maybe a jumbo strong-side defensive end, and he's a kid everybody wanted.

    The Texas safety tandem of Jordan Pride and Myles Davis may be the best duo at the position in the country, and a couple of big pulls on the offensive line with Blake Ivy and Isendre Ahfua will add depth to a group of young, stellar linemen already in College Station.

6. Tennessee Volunteers

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    Josh HeupelAP Photo/Wade Payne

    Commitments: 20 (one 5-star, 14 4-stars, five 3-stars)

    Most Dynamic: Mike Matthews, 5-star WR, Lilburn, Georgia

    With Josh Heupel's pinball-wizard offense entrenched in Knoxville, convincing elite receivers to head to Rocky Top shouldn't ever be an issue. When you have Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman making noise in NFL preseason camp and guys like Bru McCoy, Dont'e Thornton, Squirrel White and Ramel Keyton on deck, it shouldn't slow down.

    Matthews looks like another great one; a special two-way high school player on a great team who could have thrived on offense or defense but will catch passes for the Vols. He told Volquest's Matt Ray he has focused on his physicality this offseason and, coupled with his dynamic skill set, he may be the nation's top receiver prospect.

    Analysis

    With Monday's commitment of composite 4-star Alabama edge-rusher Jordan Ross (a 5-star on 247Sports' rankings), the Vols surged into the top 10. They need another couple of defensive line pledges, but this class is really, really good.

    Quarterback Jake Merklinger gives Heupel another weapon in a future stable that includes Nico Iamaleava. Wide receiver Braylon Staley teams with Matthews for a great duo (and tight end Jonathan Echols is a big need, too). Offensive tackle Bennett Warren is a potential early plug-and-play option on the front for the Vols.

    The Nashville-area duo of linebacker Edwin Spillman and cornerback Kaleb Beasley could be terrific, in-state pulls for Heupel, and do-it-all defensive back Boo Carter is vastly underrated and has an alpha mentality that will resonate early on Rocky Top. This is a deep, strong group, and there are several spots remaining with big targets in mind.

5. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Nick SabanKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Commitments: 18 (two 5-stars, 11 4-stars, five 3-stars)

    Most Dynamic: Julian Sayin, 5-star QB, Carlsbad, California

    Jaylen Mbakwe may be ranked higher than any other prospect in Alabama's class, but make no mistake: Sayin is the top-tier signal-caller the Tide needs, especially with concerns surrounding the race between current guys on campus, Ty Simpson, Jalen Milroe and Tyler Buchner.

    The 6'1" Sayin isn't the tallest quarterback in the class, but the nation's No. 2-ranked signal-caller is a big-time thrower who can make every pass and possesses the athleticism to get away from defenders and make things happen while moving the pocket, too. It's unfair to compare him to California native and former Bama great Bryce Young, but Sayin has big-time ability.

    Analysis

    The dean of SEC coaches and arguably the greatest ever showed no signs of his dynasty diminishing in the last cycle when Nick Saban built the nation's top recruiting class. While there are questions surrounding this year's Tide, the guess here is they'll be terrific once again.

    While this year's recruiting class isn't going to challenge for the top spot, it's still very strong.

    Mbakwe and California cornerback Zabien Brown give the Tide a special set of corners who can shut down the field, and Georgia tight end Caleb Odom is one of the best players in a deep group at the position in this year's class. Wide receiver Amari Jefferson has a college-ready body to step onto the field and shine.

    Birmingham, Alabama, defensive lineman Jeremiah Beaman and California safety Peyton Woodyard are another couple of exceptional prospects folks aren't talking about nearly enough. Yes, this group pales in comparison to the '23 class, but six to eight spots remain to outfit with elite talent.

4. Florida Gators

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    Ranking the Top 10 2024 CFB Recruiting Classes After the Summer Surge (8)

    Billy NapierJohnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images

    Commitments: 22 (two 5-stars, 14 4-stars, six 3-stars)

    Most Dynamic: Jamonta Waller, 5-star Edge, Picayune, Mississippi

    Recruiting wins like pulling Waller from under the nose of Ole Miss and with Auburn's Hugh Freeze trying to pluck him is why coach Billy Napier has the Gators with an elite class in August.

    The 6'2", 225-pound Waller is a bit undersized for an edge-rusher but has a projectable frame that could add 20-30 pounds and still be athletic enough to be a prototypical outside linebacker. He is physical at the point of attack and is all over the field. He has a special upside, and Gators fans should be thrilled.

    Analysis

    Tearing down and starting over takes time, but the question is just how patient will Florida Gators fans be after Napier's first year in Gainesville was mediocre?

    If the Gators can weather what may be another mediocre (or worse) season on the field, reinforcements will arrive in the '24 class. Maybe this group will see evidence of change and stick with their pledges.

    This class is strong, even if some services love it a little more than others. Cornerback Xavier Filsaime is a big pull out of Texas, alongside quarterback DJ Lagway, who has dipped a little in the rankings and needs to improve consistency but has a big upside.

    The linebacker duo of Myles Graham and Adarius Hayes are the highest-rated, but Aaron Chiles may be the best of a very good trio. And defensive lineman Amaris Williams still has tons of teams coming after him despite his pledge to Florida and is a player who could get on the field wherever he goes.

    Napier's class is surprisingly strong, especially with uncertainty abounding in The Swamp this season.

3. Florida State Seminoles

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    Mike NorvellDavid Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Commitments: 21 (three 5-stars, 12 4-stars, four 3-star)

    Most Dynamic: KJ Bolden, 5-star WR/ATH, Buford, Georgia

    Bolden is one of the most electrifying prospects in this cycle, and it was a major win for the Seminoles and coach Mike Norvell this month when the Atlanta-area star chose FSU over Georgia and Auburn.

    Other teams will come calling, but if the Seminoles have the type of season they expect on the field this year, they hold a strong chance to keep the terrific, do-it-all athlete who should slot in as a defensive back and specialist. He also can shine with the ball in his hands, though, and Florida State could elect to play him on offense. Bolden has options.

    Analysis:

    It has been a very, very good start to the cycle for Norvell, who is riding a wave of momentum that looks like he could have things moving in the right direction again in Tallahassee.

    The Seminoles are primarily raking in the Peach State, which is surprising given Georgia's recent success. While it isn't hurting the Bulldogs in the rankings, they are taking some key "wants" from Kirby Smart.

    Landen Thomas was committed to UGA for a while, but the top-ranked tight end in the class flipped to the 'Noles, and he should play right away, along with Bolden. Getting those two to go along with early recruiting wins in the state such as Kameron Davis and quarterback Luke Kromenhoek are huge.

    FSU has some big Sunshine State "wins" too, with cornerback Charles Lester III and running back Micahi Danzy, and getting offensive tackle Manasse Itete to come all the way from California is a big deal, too. This is shaping up to be the best high school group Norvell has put together by far.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Ryan DayJason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Commitments: 21 (four 5-stars, 14 4-stars, two 3-stars)

    Most Dynamic: Jeremiah Smith, 5-star WR, Hollywood, Florida

    There are few assistant coaches in the nation who recruit their specialty position as well as Ohio State offensive coordinator Brian Hartline, a former NFL wide receiver who connects with prospects as well as anybody.

    Smith is the best player in the class in my opinion, a can't-miss receiver who can do it all, taking the lid off the defense and making a highlight-reel play every time he touches the ball. He is dynamic in space, and he can beat you in every way a receiver can. After the incredible wide receiver haul the Buckeyes pulled in last year, Smith highlights another embarrassment of riches.

    Analysis

    What a start for coach Ryan Day, and the two best prospects in the group are Smith and fellow receiver Mylan Graham, another top-20 recruit and 5-star prospect who could have gone anywhere in the nation but chose to stay in Big Ten country and move from his Indiana home. Add in Jeremiah McClellan, and this is another terrific receiving class.

    Defensive lineman Justin Scott and cornerback Aaron Scott are elite defenders who will help fortify that side of the ball, and the lineman has the size and potential to get on the field immediately.

    The Buckeyes continue to build for the future of the quarterback position as well by getting Georgia prospect Air Noland to head north. The No. 5-ranked signal-caller in the class continues the trend of Ohio State getting top-tier players at that position.

    Waves of star players outfit this class, and the Buckeyes still have plenty of room for it to grow.

1. Georgia Bulldogs

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    Ranking the Top 10 2024 CFB Recruiting Classes After the Summer Surge (11)

    Kirby SmartEzra Shaw/Getty Images

    Commitments: 26 (four 5-stars, 17 4-stars, five 3-stars)

    Most Dynamic: Dylan Raiola, 5-star QB, Buford, Georgia

    There may be some question about whether Raiola is the top-ranked player in the class, considering UGA classmate Ellis Robinson IV and especially Ohio State wide receiver commit Jeremiah Smith could lay stake to that claim, but Raiola is the best signal-caller by a long shot.

    The former Buckeyes commit flipped to the Dawgs, and he even transferred to powerhouse Buford High School to finish his prep days and head down to Athens soon after. He is a sturdy, strong-armed signal-caller who has all the tools to be a great one and a game-changer for the two-time defending champs.

    Analysis

    Coach Kirby Smith is on top of the college football world, and it doesn't look like it's changing any time soon with the way he's recruited at his alma mater. While those efforts have been elite since he started, this year's Bulldogs haul is kicking it up a notch.

    When you consider UGA really hasn't done that great keeping kids in state during this cycle and the Dawgs are still the runaway top-ranked class, it proves their national reach.

    Robinson is a plug-and-play shutdown corner who could start for many of the teams around the nation as a true freshman, and linebacker Justin Williams will continue the trend of great second-level defenders playing for Smart.

    Jaden Reddell has as high of a ceiling as any tight end in the nation, and guys like defensive lineman Joseph Jonah-Ajonye, offensive tackle Daniel Calhoun, wide receiver NiTareon Tuggle, cornerback Demello Jones and defensive lineman Jordan Thomas are all top-100 prospects, too.

    This class heading to play for the Red and Black is deep and darn good.

    All stats courtesy of CFBStats and Sports Reference unless otherwise noted. Recruit rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

    Follow Brad Shepard on Twitter, @Brad_Shepard.

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