Rival Views: Which top-10 class is the biggest surprise?
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney don’t always see eye to eye. In this edition of Rival Views, the two debate which team is the biggest surprise in the top 10 of the team recruiting rankings prior to this new rankings release:
ASK FARRELL: Can Alabama still make the CFB Playoffs?
FARRELL'S VIEW: AUBURN
Auburn is a surprise to me in the national top 10 rankings for the class of 2020. It's not that Gus Malzahn hasn't been able to recruit well, but this has been a challenging season on the field and there always seem to be Malzahn rumors rolling around that other programs can use against the Tigers. Auburn has lost to some high-profile teams this season but have been competitive, so that certainly helps.
The Tigers are in the same state as the Alabama Crimson Tide, they border Georgia and the Bulldogs have been as dominant as Alabama in recruiting, and they recruit against Clemson, Florida and many others on a regular basis. To be in the top 10 now is a very impressive surprise for Auburn.
GORNEY'S VIEW: TEXAS A&M
There has always been this talk of Texas A&M being this sleeping giant in college football. The Aggies have yet to emerge, but if they keep recruiting so well then it could happen because Jimbo Fisher is an elite coach.
Texas A&M finds itself fifth overall in the team rankings and that’s especially impressive because the Aggies haven’t had a particularly strong season and they’re really not in the national conversation like Auburn, Florida and, of course, Alabama, Georgia and LSU in the SEC. Still, the Aggies are recruiting really well and could finish even better heading into the early signing period.
The Aggies already have five-star receiver Demond Demas in the class and recently they’ve landed commitments from high four-stars Donell Harris and Chris Morris, two big-time out-of-state targets. Elite defensive back Jaylon Jones could be special in A&M’s defense as well.
Plus, if Texas A&M can get five-star running back Zachary Evans to stay home, then it would have signed the top-three prospects in the state, the first team to ever do that in the Rivals era dating back to 2002. And the 2021 class in Texas is loaded as well, so A&M could really be making a move in the national conversation in the coming years.