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2018 recruiting class starting to take shape for top teams

Many teams around the country are starting to shift their focus to the 2018 recruiting class. With that in mind, take a look at where some of the nation’s most prominent programs currently stand with the junior class.

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Alabama’s run over the past decade has been incredible and there is no reason to think it won’t continue to reel in excellent prospects in the 2018 class. Nick Saban’s squad has two 2018 commitments in the Rivals250. Running back Dameon Pierce and tight end Malcolm Epps are already on board with the Crimson Tide. Defensive end Jordan Davis from Memphis (Tenn.) Southwind is Alabama’s newest 2018 commitment.

Ohio State has the No. 2 class of 2017 class and already has two of the best 2018 players committed. Five-star quarterback Emory Jones is a star in the making and has the potential to be the best quarterback Urban Meyer has had at Ohio State. Running back Brian Snead, No. 18 in the 2018 Rivals250, is hoping to be the next great running back in Columbus.

Clemson's landed the top recruit in the class on Thursday night. QB Trevor Lawrence announced on Twitter his intent to play for Clemson and many more highly rated prospects will surely follow. Rivals250 linebacker Mike Jones is also committed to Clemson.

Washington's lone 2018 is quarterback Jacob Sirmon. The Rivals100 signal caller decided early on that he wants to play in his home state and has a lot of faith in Chris Petersen. Washington’s recruiting momentum has kicked up a few notches already and a win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff would do a ton for the Huskies.

USC, PENN STATE, FSU OFF TO FAST STARTS

USC, Penn State, and Florida State dominate the conversation when it comes to the best 2018 recruiting class right now. Each has one five-star but Penn State has four four-stars while USC and Florida State have three. Penn State and Florida State each have six commitments and USC has four.

Five-star defensive end Micah Parsons leads Penn State’s class that also features strong group of four-stars. The Rivals100 tight end combo of Zack Kuntz and Patrick Freiermuth will present a ton of matchup problems for opponents. Rivals250 quarterback Justin Fields will have standout Rivals250 wide receiver Justin Shorter as a target. Offensive lineman Chris Bleich will bring more size to a unit that continues to be a major priority for James Franklin’s staff.

Micah Parsons
Micah Parsons

James Cook, Dalvin Cook’s brother, is the lone five-star in Florida State’s class right now. There is a lot to like about four-stars Justin Watkins, Robert Cooper and Isaiah Bolden, and Seminole fans should be excited about what they will bring to the table. Three-stars Christian Meadows and Charles Strong are also committed to Florida State.

Five-star quarterback Matt Corral looks to carry on the tradition of talented Trojan quarterbacks. Four-star linebackers Raymond Scott and Bo Calvert hope to make sure the Trojans are solid on defense. Rivals250 athlete Marcus Johnson is dynamic and will provide plenty of fireworks in the Coliseum.

HOW TOP TEAMS IN 2017 LOOK SO FAR IN 2018

Oklahoma sits at No. 3 in the 2017 team rankings and the Sooners are off to a great start in 2018. They have their quarterback in Rivals100 prospect Cameron Rising and the offensive tackle that will protect him in Brey Walker, No. 29 in the Rivals100. Three-star defensive back Jordon Austin has locked up his spot in the 2018 class as well.

Georgia represents the fourth-place team in the 2017 team rankings and the Bulldogs started of the 2018 recruiting cycle by pulling in two commitments in the trenches. Rivals250 offensive lineman Max Wray and Rivals250 defensive lineman Adam Anderson will help in high priority areas for Kirby Smart’s team.

Texas A&M hit the ground running for the 2018 class. Rivals250 offensive linemen Luke Matthews and Cole Blanton lead the class followed by three-star defensive tackle Dominic Livingston, wide receiver Montel Parker, and quarterback Cade Fortin. The Aggies continue to push toward the top of the team rankings in 2018.

Michigan has a lot of momentum in the 2017 class and that should carry over to the 2018 class. Rivals250 offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor was a major priority early for Jim Harbaugh and his staff as they focus on building a strong foundation up front. Linebacker Otis Reese is the second member of the 2018 Rivals250 to commit to the Wolverines and he could be special in Don Brown’s defense.

LSU's coaching instability doesn’t seem to have hurt its 2018 recruiting class. Rivals100 prospects Kelvin Joseph and Caden Sterns, and Rivals250 defensive back Nadab Joseph will really help the secondary. Zadock Dinkelman will try to take the quarterback position in Baton Rouge to the next level.

Notre Dame landed Phil Jurkovec, one of the best quarterbacks in the 2018 class. He will be joined in the backfield by Rivals250 running back Markese Stepp. Notre Dame has done a very good job recruiting on the defensive side of the ball for 2018. Rivals250 linebacker Matthew Bauer is one of the best at his position and will be a tackling machine in South Bend. Linebacker Ovie Oghoufo and defensive linemen Jayson Ademilola and Justin Ademilola have also committed to Notre Dame.

Tennessee’s gem in 2018 is five-star offensive lineman Cade Mays. It’s very important that the Volunteers don’t let him get away. Rivals250 athlete Alontae Taylor will bring versatility to Knoxville. Three-star defensive back Bryson Richardson was also an important commitment for Butch Jones’ staff.

Miami's highest-rated prospects so far are defensive backs Josh Jobe and Gilbert Frierson. Along with defensive back D.J Ivey, wide receiver Daquris Wilson, and athletes Thomas Burns and Jalen Patterson, speed is coming back to Coral Gables. The Canes also hold an important commitment from offensive lineman Delone Scaife.