Posted: Wednesday December 7, 2005 1:19PM; Updated: Wednesday December 7, 2005 1:27PM
Coach Mack Brown has been capitalizing on the 'Horns' run to the Rose Bowl.
By Jamie Newberg, Scout.com
Will anyone catch Texas this year in the Scout.com recruiting rankings? As we enter the final weeks of the recruiting year, the Longhorns are sitting on 24 commitments and the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation. Let's take a closer look at the top 10 recruiting classes in the country -- and who has a chance to catch Mack Brown's group.
The Longhorns amazingly had 20 commitments by mid-June. The headliners include defensive ends Eddie Jones (Kilgore, Texas) and Brian Ellis (Grand Prairie, Texas); linebackers Sergio Kindle (Dallas) and Dustin Earnest (Texarkana, Texas); running back Vondrell McGee (Longview, Texas); cornerbacks Ken Beasley (Orange, Texas) and Chykie Brown (Galena Park, Texas); offensive tackle Ja'Marcus Webb (Mesquite, Texas); defensive tackle Lamarr Houston (Colorado Springs, Co.); wide receivers Phillip Payne (Garland, Texas) and Montre Webber (Hearne, Texas); and quarterback Sherrod Harris (Arlington, Texas). All of these prospects are ranked in the top 20 at their respective positions. This class got even better with the addition of Jevan Snead (Stephenville, Texas). Snead, the Scout.com No. 8 quarterback, had previously been committed to Florida. This is a super, well-balanced group headed to Austin.
The Bulldogs have been stuck at No. 2 since Scout.com unveiled the team recruiting rankings in October. Like Texas, Georgia has been consistent and got off to a fast start. Headed to Athens are quarterback Matthew Stafford (Dallas); offensive linemen Kiante Tripp (Atlanta) and Justin Anderson (Ocilla, Ga.); linebacker Akeem Hebron (Wheaton, Md.); defensive ends Demarcus Dobbs (Savannah, Ga.) and Brandon Wood (Tallapoosa, Ga.); and wide receiver Tony Wilson (Daytona Beach, Fla.). The Dawgs will have recruits like Stafford enrolling early and they will over-sign and have a huge class. They have a chance to catch Texas.
The Gators have been on a roll since their big home win against Florida State. Since the victory they have picked up commitments from defensive tackle Brandon Antwine (Garland, Texas); offensive lineman Jim Barrie (Tampa); tight end Trent Pupello (Tampa); wide receivers Jarred Fayson (Tampa) and Bryan Thomas (Zephyrhills, Fla.); running back Brandon James (St. Augustine, Fla.); OL/DL Lawrence Marsh (Augusta, Ga.); juco linebacker Larry Grant (San Francisco); and cornerback Jacques Rickerson (St. Augustine, Fla.). The week before the game Florida got commitments from wide receiver/safety Jamar Hornsby (Jacksonville, Fla.) and wideout Justin Williams (Folkston, Ga.). Throw in wide receiver Damian Williams (Springdale, Ark.), offensive lineman Carl Johnson (Durham, N.C.), defensive tackle Corey Hobbs (Oviedo, Fla.) and linebacker Dustin Doe (Jasper, Fla.) and you have the makings of an unreal class for coach Urban Meyer. And the Gators aren't even close to being finished.
4. Notre Dame
Surprise, surprise. The Fighting Irish are back in more ways than one. Coach Charlie Weis is hot. Some big-time recruits are headed to South Bend, such as quarterback Zach Frazier (Mechanicsburg, Pa.); running backs James Aldridge (Merrillville, Ind.) and Munir Prince (St. Louis); fullback Luke Schmidt (Jasper, Ind.); wide receivers Richard Jackson (Clermont, Fla.) and Rob Parris (Cleveland); offensive linemen Chris Stewart (Klein, Texas), Eric Olsen (Brooklyn, N.Y.), and Bartley Webb (Springdale, Ark.); cornerbacks Darrin Walls (Pittsburgh) and Raeshon McNeil (Mocksville, N.C.); and safeties Sergio Brown (Maywood, Ind.), Jashaad Gaines (Las Vegas) and Leonard Gordon (Ft. Campbell, Ky.).
Surprise number two. National Hot 100 prospects like tight end Nate Byham (Franklin, Pa.), defensive tackle Jason Pinkston (Pittsburgh) and wide receiver Dorin Dickerson (Imperial, Pa.) have committed to play for Dave Wannstedt. Running back Kevin Collier (Churchville, N.Y.), offensive lineman Joe Thomas (Lakewood, Ohio), linebacker Nate Nix (Clairton, Pa.) and defensive tackle Joe Maleki (Murraysville, Pa.) are all big-time four-star prospects headed to Pitt. Watch for JUCO safety Lowell Robinson (Buffalo, N.Y.), who has the potential to make a huge impact. Jovani Chappel (Trotwood, Ohio) and Ricky Gary (Pahokee, Fla.) are talented cornerbacks as well.