Sport The Overlooked Success Stories of the 2018 Recruiting Cycle

21:25  14 february  2018
21:25  14 february  2018 Source:   si.com

Change in recruiting calendar makes February less frantic

  Change in recruiting calendar makes February less frantic There's a strange sense of calm that has replaced the tumult typically associated with college football recruiting this time of year. The arrival of a December signing period has removed much of the suspense from the traditional national signing day that takes place on the first Wednesday of February. About three-quarters of the top 250 high school football prospects already have signed , according to a composite ranking of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports .

While Georgia, Texas and Alabama hauled in the Signing Day praise, other Power 5 programs had cause to celebrate this recruiting cycle , too. February 14, 2018 . Now that signing day has wrapped up, teams have a few weeks to step back and analyze their 2018 classes before spring practices

Despite officially only being two months old, the 2018 cycle already features four programs with double-digit commitments and a handful with multiple 4- and 5-star talents. Since the program has grabbed two straight Big 12 championships, it's no surprise recruiting success has followed.

Will Muschamp et al. posing for the camera© Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Now that signing day has wrapped up, teams have a few weeks to step back and analyze their 2018 classes before spring practices begin next month. Georgia won the first Wednesday in February in a landslide, wrapping up its 26-person class with seven five-star recruits in the fold to finish atop the 247Sports Composite rankings, while reigning champion Alabama came in at No. 7 with two five-star players and 12 four-star signees. Georgia’s successful signing period came as no surprise as Kirby Smart continues to gain momentum in Athens, and the teams behind the Bulldogs in the top 10 were all perennial powers that routinely land some of the nation’s best recruiting hauls.

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In the 2017 recruiting cycle , Barry Odom and his staff have been swimming upstream. In this Storystream. 2018 Missouri football recruiting : Everything you need to know. View all 75 stories . Next Up In Links.

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Below, we go beyond the headliners to look at the 2018 rankings from a different perspective, examining five teams, one from each Power 5 conference, that pleasantly surprised with their recruiting class’s spot in the final 247Sports Composite rankings. Because recruiting rankings are often a reflection of the past more than a predictive tool, these surprises reflect five teams that recruits view to be trending positively. Let’s look at why.

Washington (No. 13)

Five-star recruits: 0

Four-star recruits: 11

Three-star recruits: 10

In-conference class rank: No. 2 in the Pac-12

2017 class rank: No. 22 overall, No. 5 in the Pac-12

The Huskies finished 2017 ranked 16th in the final AP Poll after logging double-digit wins for the second consecutive season. Coach Chris Petersen is heading into his fifth year at Washington, and even after his team failed to return to the College Football Playoff after its first appearance in 2016, there’s a sense he is building something big. The Huskies managed to flip a four-star player who’d committed to USC, De La Salle (Calif.) DT Tuli Letuligasenoa, and they’re winning recruiting battles with the cream of the college football crop. If that continues, this team should be loaded to compete for the Pac-12 for years to come.

4-star WR Jacob Copeland’s mom, in Alabama and Tennessee gear, walks out of commitment ceremony as he picks Florida

  4-star WR Jacob Copeland’s mom, in Alabama and Tennessee gear, walks out of commitment ceremony as he picks Florida <p>Four-star wide receiver Jacob Copeland committed to Florida on National Signing Day. He picked the Gators over offers from Alabama and Tennessee.</p>Four-star wide receiver Jacob Copeland committed to Florida on National Signing Day. He picked the Gators over offers from Alabama and Tennessee.

Urban Meyer wants to have more Ohioans in his next recruiting class. So which prospects will Ohio Ohio State Will Focus on These Ohioans for the 2018 Recruiting Cycle . But his point still stands — Ohio State can't become so national it forgets about or overlooks the talent in its own back yard.

With National Signing Day in the books for 2017, the wheels have already started turning for recruits in the 2018 class. Here’s a look at the trends and players that will be major factors as the next recruiting cycle begins.

South Carolina (No. 19)

Five-star recruits: 0

Four-star recruits: 9

Three-star recruits: 13

In-conference class rank: No. 7 in the SEC

2017 class rank: No. 21 overall, No. 8 in the SEC

South Carolina finished second in the SEC East in 2017, going 9–4 and 5–3 in conference play. That marked its first winning record since ’14 and its best record since ’15, and though the Gamecocks’ recruiting ranking didn’t rise dramatically from 2017, cracking the top 20 is evidence that Will Muschamp is not just riding the coattails of the previous regime two years into his stint in Columbia. Georgia will be an enormous obstacle in the division next season and likely for many to come, and the Bulldogs dipped into the Palmetto State to grab four-star linebacker Channing Tindall, the No. 3 player in the state, but the Gamecocks did land three of the top 10 in-state prospects, the same number as Clemson did (though they are still waiting on four-star Dutch Fork DB/WR Bryce Thompson to meet academic requirements). If South Carolina is as well-stocked as it appears to be, it might be able to make the Bulldogs’ road to Atlanta uncomfortable.

Georgia makes big statement with No. 1 class on National Signing Day

  Georgia makes big statement with No. 1 class on National Signing Day They may have been runner-ups for the national championship but Georgia was the clear-cut winners on National Signing Day.&nbsp;They may have been runner-ups for the national championship but Georgia was the clear-cut winners on National Signing Day.

I mean, look, you go to California and recruit , even with the success they've had, they're still not the big dog. Reporting like this is brought to you by a staff of experienced local journalists committed to telling the stories of your community. Photos: Husker football staff on the 2018 recruiting class.

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NC State (No. 26)

Five-star recruits: 0

Four-star recruits: 6

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Three-star recruits: 17

In-conference class rank: No. 6 in the ACC

2017 class rank: No. 53 overall, No. 10 in the ACC

Jumping 27 spots is a remarkable leap for the Wolfpack after an up-and-down 2017. After losing the season-opener to South Carolina, NC State ripped off six straight wins, peaking at No. 14 in the AP Poll before losing to Notre Dame and Clemson in consecutive weeks. After a handful of offseasons on the hot (more like moderately warm) seat, Doeren flirted with the Tennessee job in November and ultimately parlayed those conversations into a new five-year contract to stay in Raleigh. That vote of stability must appeal to recruits, who have seen a talented team that’s never quite been consistent enough in recent seasons. And with the several of the Wolfpack’s star defensive linemen off to the NFL, including near-certain first-round pick Bradley Chubb, Doeren and company needed returns like this to keep pace in the ACC Atlantic.

Baylor (No. 30)

Five-star recruits: 0

Four-star recruits: 6

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  National Signing Day 2018: One big thing to watch from top 10 classes Sporting News breaks down the top 10 classes from the college football recruiting cycle — and one big thing to watch from each.Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State and Texas all jostled for the top spot with impressive hauls in this cycle, though the Bulldogs took the No. 1 spot in those rankings, knocking Alabama from atop the rankings for the first time since 2011.

Five programs off to the hottest starts in 2018 recruiting cycle . While inconclusive until National Signing Day, in the meantime the rankings do a good job laying out which programs are having the most success attracting coveted prospects.

While inconclusive until National Signing Day, in the meantime the rankings do a good job laying out which programs are having the most success attracting coveted prospects. After analyzing five programs that have gotten off to slow starts in the 2018 cycle last week, this week SI.com is breaking

Three-star recruits: 16

In-conference class rank: No. 4 in the Big 12

2017 class rank: No. 40 overall, No. 5 in the Big 12

Baylor won exactly one game in its first season under new coach Matt Rhule. In the wake of the sexual assault scandal that rocked campus, the Bears appeared to still be picking up the pieces from Art Briles’s ouster—but their record was better than it looked at face value. Four of Baylor’s losses came in one-score games, two of which were against ranked teams: No. 3 Oklahoma on Sept. 23 and No. 23 West Virginia on Oct. 21. Despite a dismal record, Rhule proved last fall that his team, at its best, could play with anyone. Apparently recruits agree.

Minnesota (No. 37)

Five-star recruits: 0

Four-star recruits: 3

Three-star recruits: 23

In-conference class rank: No. 7 in the Big Ten

2017 class rank: No. 59 overall, No. 12 in the Big Ten

The P.J. Fleck Effect is taking hold. The most exciting young coach to move jobs last offseason didn’t exactly deliver fireworks in year one at Minnesota as the Golden Gophers finished 5–7 and missed a bowl game, but when it comes to recruiting, he seems to be gaining a foothold. After just about a month on the job last winter, Fleck signed the country’s No. 59 class; now, after losing four more games than it did in 2016, Minnesota’s class ranks No. 37. (It’s also one of the larger recruiting classes out there, at 26 players.) Compared to other Big Ten teams, the Gophers are also upping their game, rising to seventh in the conference rankings after sitting above only Indiana and Purdue the previous season. Fleck’s biggest signing was arguably IMG Academy (Fla.) offensive lineman Daniel Faalele, a four-star recruit rated among the nation’s top 20 tackles. Faalele is inarguably Fleck’s biggest signing in a literal sense: He is listed at 6'8" and 400 pounds.

Recruits Have a Surprising Pick for the Top Brand in College Football .
​College football has transformed into a billion-dollar industry and everything now is about the "brand." While winning on the field will always be important to the success of programs, that's not all that goes into attracting recruits. As part of a recent study, 224 incoming college recruits were asked to rank their top Power 5 teams based on their interest to attend the university if they were hypothetically considered the No. 1 recruit in the nation. What the research revealed was veryWhile winning on the field will always be important to the success of programs, that's not all that goes into attracting recruits.

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