Five teams that could really make some noise with 2020 classes
With the class of 2019 officially signed, it’s time to turn the page to 2020 and look at five schools that have a chance to make some serious noise on the recruiting trail over the next 12 months.
The U had an uncharacteristic year on the recruiting trail, as movement among the staff and a coaching change hamstrung the school prior to the Early Signing Period. After putting an emphasis on transfers following the hire of new head coach Manny Diaz, the Hurricanes signed a class of just 17 members in 2019, which ranked No. 35 nationally. In 2020, Miami already has nine commitments, seven of which are ranked as four-stars, good enough for No. 3 nationally. Assuming the numbers work out for the Canes to sign 20-plus, expect them to be well within the Top 25 once again.
Jeremy Pruitt’s first full class in Knoxville rose all the way up to No. 12 in the final 2019 team rankings, an improvement of eight spots from the the No. 20 ranked class the Vols signed with limited time in 2018. Tennessee fans are hoping that with an improved season on the field in 2019, next year’s class can go even higher. Tennessee has four commits in 2020 already, and has made it clear it plans on being involved with several elite recruits in the class, including five-star Arik Gilbert, the teammate of current Vols quarterback commit Harrison Bailey.
3. OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes barely making the Top 25 in recruiting rankings? That’s been unheard of in recent years, but that’s exactly what happened this year as the Buckeyes finished No. 21 nationally. With limited spots in the class, Ohio State signed just 17 prospects, a number that is sure to increase in Ryan Day’s first full class in Columbus. The Buckeyes already have seven commits in 2020, including five-star offensive lineman Paris Johnson, and are likely to be back inside the Top 10 nationally by next year at this time.
Has Dan Mullen finally found his footing as a recruiter in Gainesville? It appears that way after the Gators closed strong both during the Early Signing Period and on Wednesday. After spending most of the year outside the Top 25 nationally, Florida finished at No. 8 overall, with a class that included five-star California product Chris Steele. Despite recently losing a commitment from quarterback Anthony Richardson, the Gators are already back in the Top 10 in 2020 with seven commits, highlighted by Rivals100 wide receiver Leonard Manuel. After showing promise on the field in 2018, a return to the Top 10 is likely on the recruiting trail in 2020.
After having basically less than a month to build his first class in Lincoln following his undefeated run as UCF’s coach in 2017, Scott Frost managed to sign the nation’s No. 16 overall class with a full year to recruit the class of 2019. The successful class came on the heels of a 4-8 season for the Huskers in 2018, and with expectations higher on the field in 2019, they might be even higher off of it in recruiting.
Frost and his staff have shown an ability to go out of state and win battles, including luring Rivals100 athlete Wandale Robinson right out of Kentucky’s back yard in December. Assuming the national recruiting approach continues, Frost and company are likely to continue to disrupt the college football world over the next year.