The top-10 college football recruiting classes of all time

The top-10 college football recruiting classes of all time

Part of what makes college football so special is the recruiting process. Some programs are much better at it than others.

While many might argue the transfer portal and name, image and likeness policies have turned college football recruiting into somewhat of an NFL-style free agency, it doesn’t take away from the fact a program still has to earn a player’s commitment.

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When looking at the top-10 recruiting classes of all time, it’s hard to ignore the Crimson Tide’s presence. Alabama makes up six of the 10 total spots. Four programs fill in the rest.

Ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

At No. 10 on this list is the 2013 Crimson Tide recruiting class. It had an overall rating of 319.50, but the star power on this list makes it seem as though it should be much higher. Six five-stars and a whole bunch of future NFL talent made up the 2013 class.

Rating: 319.50

Notable players: Reuben Foster, Derrick Henry, Jonathan Allen, O.J. Howard, Alvin Kamara, A’Shawn Robinson.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Crimson Tide had back-to-back classes in 2013 and 2014 that were so successful they wound up on the top-10 strongest recruiting classes of all time. This time, Nick Saban landed five five-star prospects. Many players from this class played vital roles in the program’s success and went on to have NFL careers.

Rating: 319.71

Notable players: Marlon Humphrey, Rashaan Evans, Cam Robinson, Da’Shawn Hand, Tony Brown.

Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch

The 2021 class for Ohio State included an impressive seven five-star prospects. Given that this class is still young, not many have had the opportunity to break out and receive national attention. One certainly has, but he is no longer with the Buckeyes.

Rating: 321.68

Notable players: Quinn Ewers, TreVeyon Henderson, J.T. Tuimoloau, Emeka Egbuka.

AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

This Alabama class included three five-star prospects and didn’t finish the cycle as the top-ranked class, but it’s still one of the top-10 strongest of all time. Because it was so recent, many of these players have not had the opportunity to see the field much.

Rating: 321.80

Notable players: Ty Simpson, Jeremiah Alexander, Jihaad Campbell, Emmanuel Henderson.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Seven five-star prospects made up this recruiting class for the Georgia Bulldogs A handful of NFL players and a few that transferred out of the program headlined this class.

Rating: 323.31

Notable players: Justin Fields, Channing Tindall, James Cook, Quay Walker.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

For Alabama fans, this class is one of the most memorable in recent history. It was loaded with talent that showed up and made an immediate impact. Multiple quarterbacks and wide receivers ended up breaking records.

Rating: 323.87

Notable players: Najee Harris, Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones, Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida program has been a recruiting powerhouse, which makes it somewhat surprising the Gators appear only once on this list. However, it’s not surprising they have a class inside the top five.

Rating: 324.62

Notable players: Ronald Powell, Dominique Easley, Sharrif Floyd, Matt Elam.

Margaret Kispert/The Register

The Crimson Tide’s latest recruiting class hadn’t seen the field yet at the time of this post, but it ranks as the third-strongest recruiting class of all time. This class is highlighted by nine five-star prospects at multiple positions. A few of these players are expected to play as true freshmen.

Rating: 327.68

Notable players: Keon Keeley, Caleb Downs, Kaden Proctor, Justice Haynes.

AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

Alabama’s 2021 class consists of a mix of players that are expected to be starters for the first time in 2023, and those that are entering their second or third year as a key contributors. It’s a class that has already proven strong, yet with plenty of room to grow.

Rating: 327.80

Notable players: JC Latham, Kool-Aid McKinstry, Dallas Turner, Agiye Hall.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

This Aggies recruiting class was reeled in by head coach Jimbo Fisher, who is no stranger to landing impressive classes. This class was also the center of much discussion regarding NIL and could have been what sparked a feud between Saban and Fisher.

Rating: 333.13

Notable players: Walter Nolen, Shemar Stewart, Evan Stewart, Conner Weigman.

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