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Recruiting hierarchy

Looking at which teams are winning recruiting wars

Posted: Tuesday January 15, 2008 2:02PM; Updated: Tuesday January 15, 2008 4:14PM
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Patrick Johnson
LSU received a huge recruiting boost when vaunted cornerback Patrick Johnson switched his commitment from Miami to the Tigers.
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The easiest way to rank a recruiting class is to wait four years and add up a school's wins and losses. But where's the fun in that? With three weeks to go until national signing day, most programs have a pretty good idea how their class will look. And while it's a fruitless exercise to rank classes that aren't yet complete, it's not hard to figure out which category some of the nation's high-profile programs belong in at the moment.

The rich getting richer

These schools return stocked depth charts and are already considered top contenders for the 2008 national title. On top of that, they also appear poised to reel in top classes.

GEORGIA

Needs: Not much -- the Bulldogs bring back almost everyone from a team that went 11-2.
Recruits to watch: Summerville (S.C.) receiver A.J. Green wowed everyone at the Under Armour All-America Game and could give quarterback Matthew Stafford another target. DeAngelo Tyson, a 6-foot-2, 276-pounder from Statesboro, Ga., could carry on the Bulldogs' defensive line tradition. Running back Richard Samuel is already enrolled and could add some depth immediately behind Knowshon Moreno and Caleb King.
What now?: Georgia's class is just about full. Lineman A.J. Harmon, who switched his commitment from Clemson to Georgia at the U.S. Army All-American Game on Jan. 5, has said he is firmly committed.

LSU

Needs: The defending national champs lose both starting cornerbacks and also could use more depth at linebacker. The Tigers return a veteran offensive line, which means the time is now to get the players who eventually will replace those veterans.
Recruits to watch: Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely High cornerback Patrick Johnson switched his commitment from Miami to LSU earlier this month and intends to enroll this semester. With Chevis Jackson and Jonathan Zenon gone, Johnson may get a chance to compete for a starting spot immediately. LSU also has a commitment from Garland, Texas, defensive end Chancey Aghayere, a 6-4, 244-pounder who could eventually replace Tyson Jackson.
What now?: The Tigers have 23 commitments, but they may add a few more players before all is said and done.

OHIO STATE

Needs: Receivers.
Recruits to watch: Wideout DeVier Posey from Cincinnati impressed at the Army game and could play early. Jake Stoneburner, a 6-6, 225-pounder from Dublin, Ohio, has receiver speed and tight end skills, which could give Big Ten defenses matchup nightmares in the future.
What now?: With 18 commitments, the Buckeyes are close to wrapping up their class. They remain a candidate to sign Jeannette, Pa., quarterback Terrelle Pryor, but their main competitor is rival Michigan.

USC

Needs: The school that has stockpiled the most talent in the country probably could take a year off from recruiting and still be fine.
Recruits to watch: Offensive lineman Matt Kalil, the younger brother of former Trojans center Ryan Kalil, is regarded as one of the nation's best. So is Kalil's Anaheim (Calif.) Servite High teammate D.J. Shoemate, who will join an already talented stable of running backs.
What now?: Don't be fooled by the Trojans' relatively low ranking from the major recruiting services. They only have 14 commitments. USC typically closes strong. The Trojans remain in the hunt for Buford, Ga., defensive tackle Omar Hunter, Detroit defensive end Nick Perry and the captain of the Class of 2008's all-name team, Baton Rouge, La., offensive lineman Freddie Smooth.

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