Clemson failed to make the College Football Playoff last season, and after a string of four straight top-10 overall and top-ranked ACC classes, the Tigers fell short of both those marks during the 2022 cycle. How they perform on the field this season remains to be seen, but the Tigers have roared back in recruiting, once again leading their conference, and are now in the mix for the nation’s No. 1 class. Adding to a list of a commitments that already included four four-star defensive linemen, they beat Alabama for five-star DT Peter Woods. One of the most explosive linemen in this class, Woods can be a disruptive force with his blend of quickness and power, reminding us of current Clemson all-conference player Tyler Davis.
Tennessee has experienced plenty of struggles in recent years, but Josh Heupel is creating positive buzz in recruiting and has the Volunteers rising in the rankings. QB Nicholaus Iamaleava’s commitment in March laid the foundation for this class, and since then, they’ve successfully built upon that. Key recent additions include Chandavian Bradley, an edge defender who can be a disruptive pass-rusher with his length and initial quickness, and Cameron Seldon, a physical target with strong hands and good speed who could be a quick contributor.
Oregon, LSU and Miami are all starting over with new head coaches, and each is showing early promise as it assembles its first full class.
Dan Lanning led Georgia’s national championship defense last season, but now leading Oregon’s program, he scored a huge win on the offensive side of the ball in landing five-star QB Dante Moore. The highest-ranked signal-caller to the commit to the Ducks in the ESPN 300 era, Moore gives them an accurate passer who sees the field well and possesses a quick release.
LSU’s Brian Kelly used the Fourth of July holiday to set of his own fireworks on the recruiting trail, adding six four-star commits since the start of the month and propelling the Tigers up the rankings. While they only have one commit among the top-20 in-state players, the Tigers have extended their reach nationally by landing prospects from throughout the country. WR Jalen Brown, out of Florida, possesses the tools to develop into a dangerous player in the passing game with fluidity and quickness, allowing him to create separation as a route runner and make plays after the catch. They also went out of state for two big wins in ESPN 300 defensive ends Da’Shawn Womack (Maryland) and Joshua Mickens (Indiana).
Mario Cristobal’s return to Miami has brought high expectations and strong early returns in recruiting. On the heels of adding one of the nation’s top quarterbacks in Jaden Rashada, the former Hurricanes assistant landed the No. 1 OT in the country in Francis Mauigoa. Out of Florida’s IMG Academy, the five-star recruit is a massive and powerful man with good feet who can develop into a dominant force for them in the offensive trenches.
ESPN 300 commits: 13 | Previous ranking: 1
Independent ranking: 1
Top offensive commit: WR Braylon James (No. 46)
Top defensive commit: DE Keon Keeley (No. 23)
The Fighting Irish have inked two consecutive top-10 classes and are not only off to a strong start to extend that streak, but also contending for the nation’s top class. New coach Marcus Freeman has his fingerprints all over this class with multiple key additions on the defensive side of the ball. Keeley is a lengthy edge defender who can be a disruptive pass-rushing presence. LB Drayk Bowen was a big in-state pickup as the top-rated player in Indiana. The Irish have two ESPN 300 defensive back commits in Peyton Bowen out of Texas and Adon Shuler out of New Jersey. There is also some promising offensive talent on board, led by ESPN 300 WR James, a lengthy vertical threat who posted a laser 4.47 40 this spring on the camp circuit.