In each of the previous four college football recruiting cycles, Alabama and Georgia have finished in the top three classes, and while neither is currently in that group, both are heading there.
The Bulldogs are poised to crush the top three again after several ESPN 300 engagements, led by two big additions on defense. After picking up top-five linebacker Raylen Wilson from Florida, they returned to the sunshine state to add No. 3 LB Troy Bowles. The son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles, the four-star is an instinctive, physical player who could be an immediate contributor. In the secondary, they landed No. 2 safety Joenel Aguero, an explosive and aggressive presence in the mold of former Bulldogs defenseman Richard LeCounte III.
Alabama has more ground to make up in the standings, but the Crimson Tide are moving up and into the top 10. to this class, as Dylan Lonergan joins new five-star Eli Holstein. Lonergan, also a talented baseball prospect, is a balanced and accurate passer with good arm strength. Further bolstering their offensive class, the Tide also secured commitments from No. 2 running back, Judge Haynes, and ESPN 300 offensive lineman, Olaus Alinen. The son of former Georgia RB Verron Haynes, young Haynes, who ran over 2,000 yards as a junior, gives the Crimson Tide a powerfully built and nimble runner.
USC benefited from the latest player ranking update and was able to take the top spot in the Pac-12. QB Malachi Nelson moved to the top of the ESPN 300 rankings, giving the Trojans not only the No. 1-ranked QB overall, but also the No. 1-ranked wide receiver, as Zachariah Branch moved into that slot. One of the fastest players in this class, the new five-star Branch has consistently proven himself to be one of the most electric offensive playmakers with his blend of speed, quickness and excellent ball skills. .
The departure of Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma surprised many, but the Sooners have bounced back quite well and are now ahead of their former head coach. Oklahoma has been a big mover with a mix of new ESPN 300 pickups and several previous engagements making huge jumps in the updated player rankings. QB Jackson Arnold, OL Cayden Green and defender Adepoju Adebawore all made jumps of at least 20 spots in the ESPN 300. On top of that, the Sooners also added top 10 commitments OLB Lewis Carter and RB Daylan Smothers.
ESPN 300 commits: 14 | Previous ranking: 1
Independent ranking: 1
Best Offensive Commitment: WR Braylon James (#54)
Best defensive engagement: OF Keon Keeley (#24)
The Fighting Irish have signed back-to-back top-10 classes and are not only on course to extend that streak, but also to the country’s top class. New coach Marcus Freeman has his fingerprints in all of this class with multiple key additions on the defensive side of the ball. Keeley is a long edge defender who can be a disruptive passing presence. LB Drayk Bowen was a big pick-up in the state as Indiana’s top-rated player. The Irish have two ESPN 300 defensive back commitments in Peyton Bowen of Texas and Adon Shuler of New Jersey. There’s also some promising offensive talent on board, led by ESPN 300 WR James, a long vertical threat who posted a 4.47-second laser dash for 40 yards this spring on the camp circuit.