Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (2024)

College football recruits in the Class of 2020 have truly gone through it all: the start of the NIL era, the rise of the transfer portal, countless coaching changes, multiple rounds of conference realignment, a pandemic and now the end of amateurism in college athletics.

Four years later, it’s time to review how college football’s highest-rated recruiting classes panned out. While philosophies on roster building have dramatically shifted and the portal has made it easier to make up for recruiting misses, strong talent evaluation and development are still essential for competing at the highest level.

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The purpose of this annual project is to find out which programs are doing the best job of identifying great players, keeping them in their program and winning with them. We have previously re-ranked the classes of 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014. This year’s revised top 25 includes 11 classes that did not finish in the top 25 in the 247Sports Composite team rankings on signing day, which means 11 fell out of the top 25: Texas A&M (then No. 6), Auburn (7), Oklahoma (12), Oregon (13), North Carolina (14), Washington (17), Nebraska (20), Stanford (21), Florida State (22), Arizona State (24) and Kentucky (25).

The scoring system for grading these classes is a 0-to-5 scale inspired by the recruiting industry’s star system. We are grading scholarship players and walk-ons who earned scholarships, based on what they’ve achieved over four years, not what they might do in the future.

5 points: All-American, award winner, top-50 NFL Draft pick
4: Multi-year starter, all-conference honors
3: One-year starter or key reserve
2: Career backup
0: Minor or no contribution

Because class sizes vary, we focus on class average (total points divided by total signees) with a bonus added to each class based on its four-year record. The attrition rate listed counts all signees who left school due to transfer, grad transfer, dismissal, ineligibility or injury. Players are graded by their contribution regardless of whether they transferred.

One obvious takeaway from this year’s cycle: The impact of the portal was severe. The average attrition rate for 2020 recruiting classes was nearly 60 percent. Class scores were down significantly. Last year, 18 classes finished with a grade of 2.50 or better. This year, only two did. How is that possible? It’s simple: There were a lot more zeros than usual.

Which programs did the best job of finding, retaining and developing difference-makers? Here is our re-ranked top 25 for the Class of 2020.

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (1)

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1

Georgia

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (2)

After finishing with the No. 1 recruiting class on signing day, Kirby Smart reminded reporters to have some patience: “This class will be judged based on how they finish, not where they rank right now, which is not any concern of ours.”

These blue-chip players signed up to help the Bulldogs finally make good on their championship ambitions. Four years later, they’re the winningest senior class in school history and two-time College Football Playoff national champs. When you keep stacking elite recruiting classes like Smart did, eventually that pursuit becomes undeniable.

For the third year in a row, Georgia finished No. 1 in our re-rank. This program-changing class had an extremely high hit rate with its 11 top-100 signees. In fact, the five-stars – Carter, Jones, Ringo and Washington – are already playing in the NFL. In an ultra-competitive year for in-state prospects, Georgia got Jones and several key players to stay home while also plucking big-time national recruits out of Florida (Carter), Louisiana (Van Pran), Arizona (Ringo), Las Vegas (Washington) and California (RB Kendall Milton, WR Jermaine Burton).

McConkey was one of the great finds of the cycle, a zero-star recruit from Chatsworth, Ga., who was likely heading to FCS Chattanooga before Georgia offered in late January. The 2024 second-round pick is one of eight NFL Draft picks from this class so far, with several more to come.

This was the cycle in which Georgia signed Wake Forest grad transfer Jamie Newman and USC transfer JT Daniels to try to solve its question mark at quarterback after Jake Fromm went pro. Beck didn’t flinch and patiently waited three years for his chance to start. He’s expected to be a first-round pick next year and could be the first QB selected. Beck is one of five 2020 signees who opted to stay in school and chase a third CFP title ring as fifth-year seniors.

Offensive line was another key need for this class, and Georgia was able to hold onto its commits after losing position coach Sam Pittman to Arkansas late. Jones and Van Pran proved they were ready to start as redshirt freshmen, and Ratledge developed into an All-SEC performer.

Stats

Adjusted average

3.00

Class rank in 2020

1

Four-year record

50-4

Attrition

46%

Top Signees

DL Jalen Carter

OL Broderick Jones

OL Sedrick Van Pran

WR Ladd McConkey

QB Carson Beck

CB Kelee Ringo

TE Darnell Washington

OL Tate Ratledge

DL Nazir Stackhouse

WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (3)

2

Alabama

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (4)

These guys kept the streak alive: Every recruiting class that played for Nick Saban at Alabama won a national title. This class helped win it all in 2020 and played for another title in 2021.

Saban signed two of the absolute best players in the cycle: Young, the Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick, and Anderson, the two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year who went No. 3 overall and was NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Alabama found eight multi-year starters in this class and seven more who earned starts during their time in Tuscaloosa.

Sixteen members of the signing class eventually transferred, but there were several gems in that group as well, including LB Drew Sanders (third-round pick) and WR Javon Baker (fourth-round pick).

Stats

Adjusted average

2.80

Class rank in 2020

2

Four-year record

49-6

Attrition

62%

Top Signees

QB Bryce Young

LB Will Anderson Jr.

DB Brian Branch

LB Chris Braswell

DB Malachi Moore

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (5)

3

Michigan

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (6)

Michigan’s recruiting classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 all finished in the top three in our re-ranks, and Jim Harbaugh’s staff found many studs in the next two classes as well. Stacking a bunch of classes that are expertly evaluated and developed is what it takes to build up a Playoff contender and eventually a national champion.

Corum rushed for 3,737 yards, most among all Power 5 backs from the 2020 class, and a school-record 58 touchdowns during his remarkable career. Zinter blossomed into a unanimous All-American. Jenkins, Wilson and Harrell joined them in becoming NFL Draft picks. DL Braiden McGregor and DBs Makari Paige and R.J. Moten also developed into starters for the Wolverines. Together, they proved it’s possible to win it all without five-stars and top-five classes on signing day.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.46

Class rank in 2020

10

Four-year record

42-7

Attrition

61%

Top Signees

RB Blake Corum

OL Zak Zinter

DL Kris Jenkins

WR Roman Wilson

Edge Jaylen Harrell

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4

Ohio State

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (8)

Ryan Day’s first full recruiting cycle as Ohio State’s head coach is highlighted by five-stars who lived up to the hype in Stroud, Smith-Njigba and Johnson. It’s easy to forget now with Stroud dominating in the NFL, but the Rookie of the Year was a three-star recruit at the end of his junior year whose recruitment didn’t blow up until he won Elite 11 MVP. His signing day decision to pick Ohio State was a crucial win for Day.

This class also featured transfer RB Trey Sermon, who led the Buckeyes in rushing during their run to the national title game in 2020. The defensive recruiting misses have hurt, but Ransom, LB Cody Simon and DL Ty Hamilton are returning starters for 2024.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.45

Class rank in 2020

5

Four-year record

40-7

Attrition

46%

Top Signees

QB C.J. Stroud

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

OL Paris Johnson

OL Luke Wypler

DB Lathan Ransom

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5

Missouri

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (10)

Transition classes are usually tough. The early signing period and the transfer portal make building a good initial class even tougher. Eli Drinkwitz and his staff aced the assignment with this class, yielding a lot of hits who helped lead an 11-win season in 2023.

Cook was a longtime commit Drinkwitz inherited and should be one of the SEC’s top QBs this season. But Abrams-Draine was a late get, a former Ole Miss commit who developed into an All-American. Rakestraw, a second-round draft pick, was a key signing day victory over Alabama and Texas. Drinkwitz also landed some helpful transfers in this cycle with OL Michael Maietti and WRs Keke Chism and Damon Hazelton.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.42

Class rank in 2020

51

Four-year record

28-21

Attrition

38%

Top Signees

DB Kris Abrams-Draine

DB Ennis Rakestraw Jr.

QB Brady Cook

DB Jaylon Carlies

K Harrison Mevis

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6

Iowa

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (12)

The Hawkeyes have few peers when it comes to evaluating and developing talent. This class featured four four-star signees but is loaded with three-stars who became studs for Kirk Ferentz and his staff. Van Ness, the No. 1,063 prospect in his class, went pro after his redshirt sophom*ore season and was the No. 13 overall pick in 2023. Higgins was No. 1,646 in his class and racked up 171 tackles in an All-America season in 2023. Taylor, an unranked prospect from Australia, became one of college football’s all-time great punters and holds several NCAA records.

This group has played in two Big Ten title games together and is not done leaving a legacy. The Hawkeyes have nine signees from this class back for a fifth year in 2024, including returning starters Higgins, Lachey, Richman, RB Leshon Williams, OL Logan Jones, DL Yahya Black and DL Deontae Craig.

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (13)

7

Clemson

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (14)

Dabo Swinney’s highest-rated recruiting class, assembled while the Tigers were defending national champs, had five five-stars and 10 top-100 signees. Murphy (first-round pick), Bresee (first) and Simpson (third) lived up to expectations as three-and-pro studs. Uiagalelei’s college career didn’t play out like that, but the two-year starting QB is now back in the ACC at Florida State. Parks is coming back from injury but has been a 28-game starter for the Tigers.

There was more attrition than usual for a Clemson class with some highly touted misses (RB Demarkcus Bowman, WR E.J. Williams, CB Fred Davis II) among the 13 signees transferring out of the program, though five did leave as grads.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.36

Class rank in 2020

3

Four-year record

40-12

Attrition

54%

Top Signees

DE Myles Murphy

DT Bryan Bresee

LB Trenton Simpson

OL Walker Parks

QB DJ Uiagalelei

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8

TCU

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (16)

This class signed to play for Gary Patterson and succeeded under Sonny Dykes, helping lead the Horned Frogs on an improbable run to the CFP title game to cap the 2022 season. Seven signees were impact starters on that 13-win squad, and four have become NFL Draft picks.

Johnston led the way as a first-round pick after consecutive All-Big 12 seasons. Miller was overshadowed by five-star Zach Evans in this class but developed into a star and a third-round pick. Patterson inked several more talented players who departed during the coaching change, including Evans, LB Khari Coleman and OL Tyler Guyton, who became a first-rounder at Oklahoma.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.33

Class rank in 2020

23

Four-year record

29-20

Attrition

54%

Top Signees

WR Quentin Johnston

RB Kendre Miller

OL Brandon Coleman

DL Dylan Horton

LB Jamoi Hodge

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (17)

9

Texas

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (18)

Tom Herman’s final recruiting class at Texas wasn’t as highly regarded as the No. 3 classes in 2018 and 2019 but featured several stars who helped Steve Sarkisian get the program rolling to a Big 12 title and CFP semifinal in 2023. Robinson was everything Longhorns fans hoped and more as an All-American, Doak Walker Award winner and top-10 pick. Ford and Barron emerged as two of the Big 12’s best defenders.

Fourteen members of the class departed via the portal, including touted QB Hudson Card transferring to Purdue. But Barron, Majors, Collins and DL Vernon Broughton are back for Year 1 in the SEC.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.27

Class rank in 2020

9

Four-year record

32-17

Attrition

64%

Top Signees

RB Bijan Robinson

LB Jaylan Ford

DB Jahdae Barron

OL Jake Majors

DL Alfred Collins

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (19)

10

LSU

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (20)

Former coach Ed Orgeron and his staff closed on this top-five class during their 2019 national championship season. They pieced together a solid haul on defense with eight players who earned starts for the Tigers and several standouts on the D-line. Cox, a one-year portal pickup from North Dakota State, impressed in the SEC and became a fourth-round pick.

But it’s no surprise this class had a lot of attrition. Five-stars TE Arik Gilbert and CB Eli Ricks didn’t stay long in Baton Rouge and are among the 17 signees who transferred. The two QBs inked in this cycle, Max Johnson and T.J. Finley, are still in college after multiple transfers.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.27

Class rank in 2020

4

Four-year record

31-19

Attrition

68%

Top Signees

DE BJ Ojulari

DT Jaquelin Roy

DE Ali Gaye

LB Jabril Cox

WR Kayshon Boutte

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (21)

11

Tulane

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (22)

Pratt was the No. 99 quarterback recruit in his class coming out of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and proved to be a program changer for Willie Fritz. The AAC Offensive Player of the Year and seventh-round draft pick built an incredible college resume, leaving as the Green Wave’s all-time leading passer after 44 starts with a conference title, a Cotton Bowl upset of USC and a top-10 finish followed by an 11-win senior season.

Tulane had by far the best retention rate among the top 25 classes in this year’s re-rank and got a ton of production from this group. Fritz inked 17 players in this class who started games for Tulane and helped lead a stunning turnaround from 2-10 to 12-2 in 2022.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.27

Class rank in 2020

70

Four-year record

31-21

Attrition

24%

Top Signees

QB Michael Pratt

OL Rashad Green

LB Jesus Machado

WR Duece Watts

OL Josh Remetich

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (23)

12

Notre Dame

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (24)

This class might not be considered one of the strongest of the Brian Kelly era at Notre Dame, but it still helped the Irish win a lot of games. Mayer quickly emerged as one of college football’s best tight ends, becoming a two-time All-American and a second-round draft pick. Watts enjoyed an incredible breakout season as a Nagurski Award winner and unanimous All-American in 2023. He’s back for his fifth year along with four members of this class.

The Irish also found impactful one-year transfers in WR Ben Skowronek and CB Nick McCloud for their 2020 squad that played for an ACC title and reached the CFP.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.26

Class rank in 2020

18

Four-year record

40-11

Attrition

59%

Top Signees

TE Michael Mayer

DB Xavier Watts

DL Rylie Mills

RB Chris Tyree

DL Jordan Botelho

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (25)

13

Utah

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (26)

Kyle Whittingham and his coaches did one heck of a job closing on this class. Phillips made a massive last-minute flip from Ohio State and lived up to expectations as a unanimous All-American in 2022. Fillinger, another late flip who was pledged to Texas, has become a 27-game starter. Vaughn flipped from FCS Lamar to Utah on signing day, joined as a walk-on and has earned 24 starts. Kincaid was an FCS transfer from San Diego and developed into a first-round pick.

This signing class also featured RB Ty Jordan, the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year who tragically passed away in 2020.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.23

Class rank in 2020

30

Four-year record

31-15

Attrition

45%

Top Signees

CB Clark Phillips III

TE Dalton Kincaid

DE Van Fillinger

CB Zemaiah Vaughn

WR Money Parks

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14

South Carolina

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (28)

Will Muschamp knows how to evaluate and recruit, that’s for sure. His last recruiting class at South Carolina brought in a whopping 19 players who started games for the Gameco*cks.

The biggest story of the cycle was the dramatic pursuit of Burch, the five-star who ultimately chose to stay home. He spent three years at South Carolina before transferring to Oregon. Lloyd and Bell transferred, too, and just became NFL Draft picks. Punter Kai Kroeger was a first-team All-American in 2022. WR Jalen Brooks, an FCS transfer, was a good find who also got drafted.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.22

Class rank in 2020

19

Four-year record

22-26

Attrition

52%

Top Signees

RB MarShawn Lloyd

TE Jaheim Bell

DL Gilber Edmond

DL Tonka Hemingway

DL Jordan Burch

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (29)

15

Western Kentucky

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (30)

Coach Tyson Helton’s first full recruiting cycle with the Hilltoppers was loaded with gems. Corley was one of the best playmakers in Conference USA and just became a third-round draft pick. Evans and Tinsley shined as All-CUSA performers. Leslie, a 40-game starter, is back for his fifth year. Five members of this class (Evans, Tinsley, Simpkins, RB Noah Whittington and kicker Brayden Narveson) have transferred to Power 5 programs, but they helped WKU win a lot of games and play for a conference title in 2021 before moving on.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.21

Class rank in 2020

84

Four-year record

31-22

Attrition

63%

Top Signees

WR Malachi Corley

OL Quantavious Leslie

LB JaQues Evans

WR Mitchell Tinsley

DB Kendrick Simpkins

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (31)

16

Cincinnati

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (32)

Cincinnati’s 2018 class was full of impact players who powered their CFP run in 2021, but the Bearcats don’t make the Playoff without Ford. The Alabama transfer and All-AAC performer put up more than 1,500 yards and 20 TDs and is one of seven players from this class who started games for coach Luke Fickell during that magical season.

Many of the lowest-rated three-stars in this class ended up being the biggest contributors. Ford and Scott got drafted, and many others have transferred out since Fickell left for Wisconsin, but Gerhardt did stick around and will be a three-year starter.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.19

Class rank in 2020

43

Four-year record

34-15

Attrition

69%

Top Signees

RB Jerome Ford

WR Tyler Scott

DB Deshawn Pace

OL Jake Renfro

OL Gavin Gerhardt

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17

Tennessee

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (34)

The final recruiting class of Jeremy Pruitt’s three-year head coaching stint yielded 14 players who started games for the Vols and many who’ve shined under Josh Heupel. Hyatt won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver during his All-America season in 2022. Jones, a USC transfer, was a dynamic playmaker who earned SEC Special Teams Player of the Year honors. Cade Mays, another key transfer pickup from Georgia, was an All-SEC performer and draft pick.

Cooper Mays, Spraggins and Thomas have all started 30-plus games and are back for 2024. DE Tyler Baron and DBs Tamarion McDonald and Doneiko Slaughter also developed into multi-year starters before they transferred.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.18

Class rank in 2020

11

Four-year record

30-19

Attrition

63%

Top Signees

WR Jalin Hyatt

WR Velus Jones Jr.

OL Cooper Mays

OL Javontez Spraggins

DL Omari Thomas

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (35)

18

Miami

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (36)

After a 6-7 debut season, coach Manny Diaz landed transfers who helped right away with King, Borregales (the Lou Groza Award winner in 2020), OL Jarrid Williams and DE Quincy Roche. The rest of the class has provided mixed results.

Van Dyke impressed early in his career, earning ACC Rookie of the Year in 2021, and started 28 games. Rivers and Restrepo are returning starters who should end up being among the best in the class for Mario Cristobal. But several of Miami’s highest-rated recruits – DB Avantae Williams, DE Chantz Williams, RB Jaylan Knighton – are among the 17 signees who’ve transferred out of the program.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.15

Class rank in 2020

16

Four-year record

27-21

Attrition

65%

Top Signees

QB Tyler Van Dyke

OL Jalen Rivers

WR Xavier Restrepo

QB D’Eriq King

K Jose Borregales

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19

Duke

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (38)

This class signed to play for David Cutcliffe and went 5-18 over their first two years together. They stuck around through the coaching change and played a significant role in helping Mike Elko flip the program’s fortunes.

Barton, a three-star signee from Tennessee, started as a true freshman and developed into an All-American and first-round pick. Stinson has been a three-year starter, and Dalmolin will be, too. Mausi (Auburn) and Peebles (Virginia Tech) moved on after Elko took the Texas A&M job but were key starters on defense.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.13

Class rank in 2020

63

Four-year record

22-27

Attrition

45%

Top Signees

OL Graham Barton

DB Jaylen Stinson

LB Dorian Mausi

TE Nicky Dalmolin

DT Aeneas Peebles

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20

Texas Tech

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (40)

Matt Wells’ first full recruiting cycle in Lubbock has ultimately proved to be a strong haul. Wilson was an under-the-radar portal pickup from Texas A&M with freaky talent who turned into a top-10 NFL Draft pick. Brooks, a three-star signee, ranked No. 4 nationally in rushing yards (1,538) last season and is poised for another All-Big 12 season. Rogers, a 42-game starter, is the Big 12’s most experienced returning lineman.

Though 22 members of the class exited the program, many of them were not misses. The Red Raiders inked QB Donovan Smith, who’s now starting at Houston, in this class and found another three-star steal in WR Ja’Lynn Polk, who thrived at Washington and just became a second-round pick.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.13

Class rank in 2020

48

Four-year record

26-23

Attrition

73%

Top Signees

DE Tyree Wilson

RB Tahj Brooks

OL Caleb Rogers

WR Myles Price

LB Krishon Merriweather

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (41)

21

Florida

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (42)

Dan Mullen brought in 13 future starters in this signing class but few All-SEC performers. Richardson, a four-star in-state signee, had to wait his turn behind Emory Jones and flashed exciting potential as the Gators’ starter in 2022 before the Colts made him the No. 4 overall pick. Dexter and Shorter also developed into draft picks. Georgia transfer OLB Brenton Cox made an immediate impact and earned 33 starts but ended up getting dismissed during coach Billy Napier’s debut season.

Proven starters Umanmielen (Ole Miss) and OL Richie Leonard IV (Florida State) transferred this offseason, bringing the total number of departures from this class up to 20.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.09

Class rank in 2020

8

Four-year record

25-25

Attrition

65%

Top Signees

QB Anthony Richardson

DL Gervon Dexter Sr.

WR Justin Shorter

DL Princely Umanmielen

DB Rashad Torrence II

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (43)

22

Mississippi State

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (44)

Joe Moorhead and his coaching staff put pretty much this entire class together, locking up 22 signees on the December signing day. Two weeks later, they got fired. The late Mike Leach inherited a bunch of talent with this group.

Rogers, their 40-game starting QB who’s now at Washington, broke several school records and finished No. 2 on the SEC’s all-time passing list. Forbes developed into an All-SEC cover man who was the No. 16 overall pick in 2023. Richardson, Griffin, Wheat and WR Jaden Walley all became quality multi-year starters. The Bulldogs also inked two great running backs in this cycle in Woody Marks (transferred to USC) and Dillon Johnson (Washington).

Stats

Adjusted average

2.07

Class rank in 2020

28

Four-year record

25-24

Attrition

54%

Top Signees

CB Emmanuel Forbes

QB Will Rogers

CB Decamerion Richardson

WR Lideatrick Griffin

LB Tyrus Wheat

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23

Oklahoma State

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (46)

All this group did was achieve three Top 25 finishes, win two of the final three Bedlam games and play for two Big 12 titles. As usual, Mike Gundy and his coaches hit on their in-state and Texas recruiting and won with a class featuring just one four-star.

Presley and Owens were two of the Big 12’s best wideouts last season and are back for more in 2024. Sills, a West Virginia transfer, was an invaluable leader and All-Big 12 performer for their 12-win squad in 2021. The Cowboys did lose some good ones to the portal in Cobb (USC), CB Jabbar Muhammad (Washington/Oregon) and RB Dominic Richardson (Baylor), but it didn’t set them back.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.06

Class rank in 2020

41

Four-year record

37-15

Attrition

58%

Top Signees

WR Brennan Presley

OL Josh Sills

WR Rashod Owens

CB Korie Black

LB Mason Cobb

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (47)

24

Penn State

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (48)

Penn State joins Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson in extending its streak of making this top 25 in all seven years we’ve done the re-rank. This time, it was a close call.

This class had legitimate NFL talent, as usual. Fashanu just became the No. 11 overall pick. Brown, a junior college transfer, started in the Super Bowl as a rookie with the 49ers. Jacobs, Washington, Johnson and WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith developed into multi-year starters. What held this class back were an unusual number of misses. Lambert-Smith became the 15th member of the class to exit when he transferred to Auburn this spring.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.06

Class rank in 2020

15

Four-year record

32-16

Attrition

56%

Top Signees

OL Olumuyiwa Fashanu

DB Ji’Ayir Brown

LB Curtis Jacobs

WR Parker Washington

TE Theo Johnson

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (49)

25

Kansas

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (50)

The lowest-rated 2020 recruiting class in the Big 12 has proven to be a transformative one for Kansas. Les Miles’ staff deserves plenty of credit for sharp evaluations, and these players deserve credit for sticking around after an 0-9 season in 2020 and Miles’ abrupt exit.

Lance Leipold and his coaches have worked their magic with this crew. They developed Daniels, the No. 128 ranked QB in his class, into one of the Big 12’s top playmakers. Arnold, Cabeldue, WR Luke Grimm and RB Daniel Hishaw Jr. have helped him establish an explosive offense. Bryant, a two-time first-team All-Big 12 pick, and Dotson are an excellent duo at corner.

They’ve led a stunning turnaround over the past three years culminating in the Jayhawks’ first winning season (9-4) and first bowl victory since 2008. Eleven members of this class returned as fifth-year seniors for 2024, including seven who’ve started 20-plus games, and have this program poised for another huge season in 2024.

Stats

Adjusted average

2.06

Class rank in 2020

56

Four-year record

17-30

Attrition

54%

Top Signees

QB Jalon Daniels

CB Cobee Bryant

CB Mello Dotson

WR Lawrence Arnold

OL Bryce Cabeldue

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (51)

Honorable mention

RkTeamAvg2020RecordAttrition

26

Northwestern

2.04

47

19-27

42%

27

North Carolina

2.02

14

31-21

64%

28

2.02

91

39-14

58%

29

2.01

50

23-25

43%

30

2.01

99

39-12

62%

31

2.01

60

27-21

52%

32

1.99

45

29-21

65%

33

1.98

26

27-19

45%

34

1.98

22

31-17

61%

35

Oregon

1.96

13

36-12

64%

(Illustration: Dan Goldfarb for The Athletic; Photos: Tim Warner / Getty Images, Steve Limentani / ISI Photos, Steven King / Icon Sportswire)

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (62)Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (63)

Max Olson covers national college football for The Athletic. He previously covered the Big 12 and recruiting for ESPN.com. Follow Max on Twitter @max_olson

Re-ranking 2020’s actual top 25 recruiting classes, 4 years later (2024)

FAQs

What is a 5 star high school recruit? ›

A five-star prospect is deemed to be amongst the top 30 players nationally, ones that are expected to immediately contribute as freshmen regardless of where they sign. That puts them in the top 0.01% of that recruiting class.

What is a 4 star football recruit? ›

4-star recruits

These prospects have excellent knowledge of the game and ability. They will most likely start their freshman year in college and are the best player on their club or high school team.

How many 5 stars are in a recruiting class? ›

There are 32 five-stars every year, making them essentially college football's version of first-round picks. Here's how every five-star recruit in the 2023 class graded out in their true freshman season.

Who has the number one recruiting class in football this year? ›

1. Georgia (28 commits).

What percent of 5 star recruits go pro? ›

In this article, we'll explore the percentage of five-star recruits who get drafted and what that means for college football programs. According to On3's Draft by Stars data, five-star recruits have a 63% draft rate over the past five years.

What is a zero star recruit? ›

The next tier of college football prospects are pursued, albeit more quietly than the top recruits. Lastly, there are the guys who don't get recruited at all. They dream of a college football scholarship, but no coaches are calling. I call these players “no-star recruits.” I was a no-star recruit.

What is a blue chip recruit? ›

Collegiate players being scouted by professional franchises may also be referred to as blue chips. Blue chip players are those who have proven themselves to be among the best at their positions in their respective sports and are more sought after and wanted than other players.

How much is a 5 star football recruit worth? ›

In conclusion, the value of a 5-star recruit is significant, with an average worth of $650,000 per year to their program. However, it is important to note that being a 5-star recruit does not guarantee success at the professional level in either football or baseball.

How good is a 3 star recruit football? ›

There are roughly 15,000 high school football players each year. A three-star grade signals that we think a prospect can play at the Power Four, Group of Five or even FCS level and each three-star rating means something a little bit different.

How much is a 3 star recruit worth? ›

A 3-star DT worth $500K, a 4-star WR $1 million: The sticker shock of college football recruiting beyond 2022. In early March, The Athletic reported that a five-star 2023 recruit signed an $8 million NIL deal with a school's donor collective.

Is there a 1 star recruit? ›

The Rivals process is very similar: A five-star prospect is considered to be one of the nation's top 25-30 players, four star is a top 250-300 or so player, three-stars is a top 750 level player, two stars means the player is a mid-major prospect and one star means the player is not ranked.

Can you be a 2 star recruit? ›

In fact, there are many successful college football players who were not highly recruited out of high school. While being a two-star recruit may not garner the same attention and scholarship offers as a five-star recruit, it does not necessarily mean that a player is not talented enough to play at the collegiate level.

Who is the number one prospect in football in 2024? ›

The 2024 NFL Draft presents an exciting quarterback class full of notable names. It is led by USC's Caleb Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner and dynamic dual-threat quarterback. Williams is followed by Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr., who likely would have been the best pass catcher in the 2023 NFL Draft.

How many 5 star recruits are there in 2024? ›

Vendors List. Heading into National Signing Day, most of the 32 five-stars recruits in the 2024 cycle made their decisions official.

What is the best football team in 2024? ›

AP Top 25 Updated Jan 8, 2024
RankTeamPoints
1Michigan (61) 15-01525
2Washington 14-11459
3Texas 12-21356
4Georgia 13-11328
15 more rows

What makes someone a 5 star recruit? ›

In short, five-star recruits are the best of the best and are expected to have a significant impact on their teams. What is this? Four-star recruits are also highly regarded and often have a combination of size, strength, speed, and skill that make them stand out.

What is the difference between 4 and 5 star recruits? ›

Star ratings

Most services use 5 stars for the highest ranked recruits and only a few players at each position attain this rank. 4 stars is a typical ranking for most recruits at schools which regularly finish as one of the top ranked teams in a particular sport.

What is a five star recruit in basketball? ›

In men's basketball, 5-star athletes are the best recruits in the country and have outstanding athleticism far beyond their peers. Prospects who are considered the best player on their club or high school team are typically considered 4-star athletes.

How do you become a star recruit? ›

FOOTBALL STAR RATINGS

The only way to earn a National Radar Star is by attending a Recruit Nation Showcase and being evaluated by the Dream All-American Committee, National Radar Scouts and the College Coaches in attendance. Email info@dreamsportsgroup.net to update your player information (picture, offers, size, etc.)

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