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February 5, 2014

NSD: Top 25 classes breakdown

MORE: Complete Team Recruiting Rankings

Rivals.com takes a closer look at the top 25 teams in the national team rankings as National Signing Day comes to a close.

NOTE: Committed/signed numbers below in some cases reflect committed prospects whose Letters of Intent have not been officially signed. Rankings based on data available as of 6:30 p.m. ET.

A look at top 25 signing classes
1. Alabama
Total committed/signed: 26
Five-stars: 6. DB Tony Brown, LB Rashaan Evans, DE Da'Shawn Hand, DB Marlon Humphrey, OL Cameron Robinson, ATH Bo Scarbrough.
Four-stars: 13. OL Joshua Casher, ATH Ronnie Clark, QB David Cornwell, DT Josh Frazier, LB Shaun Dion Hamilton, OL J.C. Hassenauer, OL Dominick Jackson, DB Laurence Jones, OL Montel McBride, LB Christian Miller, DE D.J. Pettway, OL Ross Pierschbacher, WR Cameron Sims.
Three-stars: 6.
Average stars: 3.92
Points: 3,263
Instant impact: It was actually a surprise when the nation's No. 1 player, Da'Shawn Hand, picked Alabama, and his versatility and talent will help him see the field early.
Bottom Line: The Crimson Tide have taken home their sixth recruiting title in the last seven years -- a truly amazing feat. They may have missed out on the National Championship game, but the recruiting machine is still going strong in Tuscaloosa. Stealing five-star in-state linebacker Rashaan Evans from rival Auburn on Signing Day was the icing on the cake for the Tide.
2. LSU
Total committed/signed: 23
Five-stars: 2. WR Malachi Dupre, RB Leonard Fournette.
Four-stars: 14. DB Jamal Adams, DB John Battle, OL Garrett Brumfield, OL William Clapp, DE Deondre Clark, LB Clifton Garrett, DE Davon Godchaux, QB Brandon Harris, DB Edward Paris, WR Trey Quinn, DT Travonte Valentine, ATH Devin Voorhies, TE Jacory Washington, RB Darrel Williams.
Three-stars: 6.
Average stars: 3.74
Points: 2,844
Instant impact: It has to be Leonard Fournette. The country's best running back prospect is college-ready right now.
Bottom Line: The biggest positive mover on Signing Day was LSU, which landed Malachi Dupre, Travonte Valentine and three-stars Trey Lealaimatafao and Sione Teuhema while keeping Davon Godchaux committed. The Tigers took two of the top eight prospects in Texas in this class and landed the top-ranked player in Illinois, but this class is once again about in-state talent with Fournette and Dupre headlining the prospects staying at home.
3. Ohio State
Total committed/signed: 23
Five-stars: 1. LB Raekwon McMillan/
Four-stars: 15. LB Kyle Berger, LB Dante Booker, ATH Noah Brown, ATH Parris Campbell, WR Johnnie Dixon, DE Jalyn Holmes, OL Jamarco Jones, OL Marcelys Jones, OL Demetrius Knox, ATH Marshon Lattimore, WR Terry McLaurin, WR Curtis Samuel, DB Erick Smith, OL Kyle Trout, DB Damon Webb.
Three-stars: 7.
Average stars: 3.74
Points: 2,734
Instant impact: Defense was the Buckeye's weakness in 2013, but Raekwon McMillan has the talent to step in and shore up the middle immediately.
Bottom Line: Ohio State once again built its base in-state, landing Ohio's top three prospects for the second year in a row. From there the Buckeyes were able to pick off top talent from other Midwest states and had several recruiting wins in the South. The Buckeyes finished off their class by landing New Jersey defensive end Darius Slade, who had been committed to Big Ten programs Nebraska and Michigan State in the last month.
4. Florida State
Total committed/signed: 29
Five-stars: 3. RB Dalvin Cook, WR Ermon Lane, WR Travis Rudolph.
Four-stars: 13. DT Demarcus Christmas, QB J.J. Cosentino, LB Kain Daub, OL Alec Eberle, WR Javon Harrison, OL Roderick Johnson, DE Rick Leonard, DB Trey Marshall, OL Corey Martinez, OL Chad Mavety, DT Derrick Nnadi, LB Jacob Pugh, LB Delvin Purifoy.
Three-stars: 11.
Average stars: 3.59
Points: 2,636
Instant impact: Jimbo Fisher likes to have a healthy rotation at running back, and Dalvin Cook is a home run threat every time he touches the ball.
Bottom Line: Florida State was again one of the most active teams on National Signing Day. The Seminoles added five-star Ermon Lane, four stars Javon Harrison, Derrick Nnadi and Roderick Johnson on Wednesday along with three-star offensive lineman Derrick Kelly. Outsiders may point to the National Championship as a factor in the Seminoles' success this year, but half this class was on board before the 2013 season began.
5. Tennessee
Total committed/signed: 31
Five-stars: 2. RB Jalen Hurd, WR Josh Malone.
Four-stars: 16. DE Derek Barnett, LB Dillon Bates, DB Evan Berry, OL Dontavius Blair, DB Rashaan Gaulden, TE Daniel Helm, DE Joe Henderson, DE Dewayne Hendrix, DB Todd Kelly, DB Cortez McDowell, DB D'Andre Payne, WR Lavon Pearson, DT Michael Sawyers, RB Derrell Scott, LB Chris Weatherd, WR Vic Wharton.
Three-stars: 13.
Average stars: 3.65
Points: 2,600
Instant impact: Although he missed his senior season with an injury, there is too much opportunity for Jalen Hurd not to see the field as a freshman.
Bottom Line: Head coach Butch Jones went to 12 different states and the District of Columbia to build his first full class in Knoxville, but the heart of this class is the in-state talent. The Volunteers secured six of the top seven prospects in a loaded in-state class, including the two five-star prospects (Hurd and Josh Malone). That group includes the Signing Day addition of Rivals250 defensive tackle Michael Sawyers.
6. Texas A&M
Total committed/signed: 21
Five-stars: 3. QB Kyle Allen, DE Myles Garrett, WR Speedy Noil.
Four-stars: 10. LB Otaro Alaka, DE Qualen Cunningham, OL Jermaine Eluemunor, OL Avery Gennesy, DB Nick Harvey, DT Zaycoven Henderson, WR Frank Iheanacho, OL Zach Ledwik, DT DeShawn Washington, DB Donovan Wilson.
Three-stars: 7.
Average stars: 3.71
Points: 2,558
Instant impact: Several choices here; even though Myles Garrett needs to add weight to his frame, he's too good to keep off the field.
Bottom Line: How do you replace a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback? Sign the nation's top quarterback prospect. Kyle Allen has all the tools to be the face of the program and will compete for the starting job from day one. Add in the nation's No. 2 ranked player (Garrett) and give him a five-star receiver (Speedy Noil) to throw to, and the post-Johnny Football era in College Station looks bright.
7. Georgia
Total committed/signed: 20
Five-stars: 1. RB Sony Michel.
Four-stars: 12. DT Kendall Baker, TE Jeb Blazevich, DE Keyon Brown, DE Lorenzo Carter, RB Nick Chubb, LB Detric Dukes, DB Shattle Fenteng, WR Isaiah McKenzie, QB Jacob Park, DB Malkom Parrish, OL Dyshon Sims, OL Isaiah Wynn.
Three-stars: 6.
Average stars: 3.65
Points: 2,426
Instant impact: The Bulldogs need immediate help in the defensive backfield, and Malkom Parrish's versatility makes him a likely candidate for early playing time.
Bottom Line: Georgia's class is headlined by the best 1-2 running back punch in the country. Nick Chubb gives the Dawgs an inside running presence, while Sony Michel has the ability to hit the home run on every play. Depth is coming in on the defensive line and the secondary, both positions that could use immediate help. The Signing Day additions of Isaiah McKenzie and Lorenzo Carter -- two Under Armour All-America Game standouts -- put an exclamation point on this class.
8. Florida
Total committed/signed: 24
Five-stars: 1. DB Jalen Tabor.
Four-stars: 12. DT Khairi Clark, DB Duke Dawson, QB Will Grier, QB Treon Harris, DT Thomas Holley, DB J.C. Jackson, OL Nolan Kelleher, RB Brandon Powell, OL David Sharpe, WR Moral Stephens, DE Gerald Willis III, DB Quincy Wilson.
Three-stars: 11.
Average stars: 3.58
Points: 2,389
Instant impact: Jalen Tabor still needs seasoning before he is able to reach his full potential, but his ability to play safety or corner should help him see the field early.
Bottom Line: The big Signing Day story in Gainesville was the Gators flipping four-star quarterback/athlete Treon Harris from the national champs and their in-state rival, Florida State. With Will Grier already on board, the Gators close out with two of the top three dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. Defense was also addressed, with seven four- and five-stars added to the roster on that side of the ball.
9. Auburn
Total committed/signed: 23
Five-stars: 3. RB Racean Thomas, WR D'haquille Williams (JuCo), LB Tre Williams.
Four-stars: 11. DB Kalvaraz Bessent, DE DaVonte Lambert, DB Derrick Moncrief, DB Stephen Roberts, DB Nicholas Ruffin, DT Dontavius Russell, OL Braden Smith, DE Justin Thornton, ATH Stanton Truitt, QB Sean White, DE Andrew Williams.
Three-stars: 7.
Average stars: 3.65
Points: 2,352
Instant impact: Wide receiver D'haquille Williams is the No. 1 JUCO recruit in the 2014 class, and he is already on campus.
Bottom Line: The Tigers grabbed a big Signing Day pledge with offensive tackle Braden Smith, the nation's No. 50 ranked prospect, though they lost five-star linebacker Rashaan Evans to Alabama. The Tigers got better across the board via the 2014 class, but most are talking about the trio of offensive skill position players: quarterback Sean White, running back Roc Thomas and wide receiver D'haquille Williams.
10. USC
Total committed/signed: 19
Five-stars: 2. ATH Adoree' Jackson, DB John Smith.
Four-stars: 9. OL Chris Brown, TE Bryce Dixon, WR Rahshead Johnson, OL Toa Lobendahn, DB Jonathan Lockett, OL Damien Mama, DT Claude Pelon, OL Viane Talamaivao, DE Olajuwon Tucker.
Three-stars: 8.
Average stars: 3.68
Points: 2,220
Instant impact: Whether he lines up on offense, defense or both, five-star athlete Adoree' Jackson has the talent to start early in his career.
Bottom Line: USC joined LSU, Florida State and others making big noise on National Signing Day. The Trojans do not bring in big numbers for 2014, but they do bring in big talent, highlighted by the Signing Day additions of Adoree' Jackson, Juju Smith and Damien Mama. The strength of Steve Sarkisian's first class at USC is in the offensive line, where four of their five new additions are rated four-stars.
11. Notre Dame
Total committed/signed: 23
Five-stars: 1. OL Quenton Nelson.
Four-stars: 10. WR Justin Brent, OL Alex Bars, OL Jimmy Byrne, DT Jay Hayes, WR Corey Holmes, QB DeShone Kizer, LB Nyles Morgan, OL Sam Mustipher, DB Nick Watkins, TE Nic Weishar.
Three-stars: 12.
Average stars: 3.52
Points: 2,211
Instant impact: The Irish had just two early enrollees, but one was Justin Brent who comes in at a wide receiver position where opportunity exists.
Bottom Line: Notre Dame flexed their national recruiting muscle again in 2014, grabbing prospects from 14 different states. They had some hits and misses on National Signing Day but did add three-star defensive tackle Daniel Cage after getting in on him late. Quenton Nelson is the only five-star and could play tackle or guard for the Irish.
12. Miami (Fla.)
Total committed/signed: 26
Five-stars: 1. DE Chad Thomas.
Four-stars: 8. WR Braxton Berrios, OL Trevor Darling, DB Kiy Hester, DE Demetrius Jackson, QB Brad Kaaya, OL Kc McDermott, DT Anthony Moten, RB Joseph Yearby.
Three-stars: 17.
Average stars: 3.38
Points: 2,148
Instant impact: Running backs usually are among the first to contribute, and in Joseph Yearby the Hurricanes add an explosive home run threat.
Bottom Line: Head coach Al Golden is bringing in a class filled with high-potential prospects who will need a little seasoning before they're ready to compete. Five-star Chad Thomas has all the tools to be a feared edge rusher and fits the mold of so many who have gone before him at The U. Brad Kaaya is good enough to come in and compete immediately for the starting quarterback position vacated by Stephen Morris' graduation.
13. Clemson
Total committed/signed: 22
Five-stars: 1. QB Deshaun Watson.
Four-stars: 7. RB Adam Choice, WR Demarre Kitt, RB Jae'lon Oglesby, TE Milan Richard, LB Korie Rogers, WR Artavis Scott, WR Trevion Thompson.
Three-stars: 12.
Average stars: 3.45
Points: 2,116
Instant impact: It will be tough to keep Artavis Scott off the field early, especially with his abilities in the return game.
Bottom Line: Clemson kicked this class off early, grabbing a pledge from five-star quarterback DeShaun Watson on National Signing Day two years ago. The Tigers then went out and recruited talent around the dual-threat signal caller, including three Rivals250 wide receivers. Three-star linebacker Richard Yeargin III publicly declared his intentions to sign with the Tigers for the first time on Signing Day -- more than two years after Watson's commitment started the class.
14. Stanford
Total committed/signed: 20
Five-stars: None.
Four-stars: 9. LB Joey Alfieri, QB Keller Chryst, OL Reilly Gibbons, RB Christian McCaffrey, LB Bobby Okereke, TE Dalton Schultz, DB Brandon Simmons, DE Solomon Thomas, OL Casey Tucker.
Three-stars: 11.
Average stars: 3.45
Points: 2,115
Instant impact: As the highest ranked prospect in the class, expectations will be high for Solomon Thomas to see the field early.
Bottom Line: The Cardinal had a great start to Signing Day when Thomas pulled out a tree to announce he was headed to Stanford over Arkansas. They added three-star cornerback Terrence Alexander later in the day, besting Notre Dame and Ole Miss for his services. The most buzz-worthy additions come in the offensive backfield where four-stars Keller Chryst and Christian McCaffrey bolster the quarterback and running back positions, respectively.
15. Oklahoma
Total committed/signed: 26
Five-stars: 1. RB Joe Mixon
Four-stars: 8. WR Mark Andrews, OL Alex Dalton, OL Kenyon Frison, QB Justice Hansen, DB Steven Parker, RB Samaje Perine, WR Michiah Quick, WR Dallis Todd.
Three-stars: 14.
Average stars: 3.27
Points: 2,110
Instant impact: Joe Mixon is a third-down back in an every-down back body. He is one of those rare talents in this 2014 class.
Bottom Line: Big Game Bob Stoops also showed he gets it done on National Signing Day, reeling in four-stars Kenyon Frison and Michiah Quick on Wednesday. Steven Parker -- the state of Oklahoma's No. 1 ranked prospect -- actually was the one who got the week off to a good start for the Sooners, declaring his intention to sign with the home state school on Tuesday. He joins QB Justice Hansen as the four-star in-state prospects in this class.
16. Kentucky
Total committed/signed: 28
Five-stars: None.
Four-stars: 10. WR Dorian Baker, QB Drew Barker, WR Blake Bone, DB Mike Edwards, RB Mikel Horton, DT Cory Johnson, DB Kendall Randolph, OL Nick Richardson, DB Darius West, RB Stanley Williams.
Three-stars: 16.
Average stars: 3.29
Points: 2,016
Instant impact: Mike Edwards was not one of the Wildcat's six early enrollees, but if he can stay healthy he is an immediate talent upgrade at safety.
Bottom Line: Mark Stoops has transformed Kentucky recruiting since taking over as head coach following the 2012 season. One of his best moves was re-focusing on the state of Ohio, from where the Wildcats pulled 11 prospects in this class, including seven of the state's top 25. The headliner of the class, though, is in-state quarterback Drew Barker who showed his leadership abilities by keeping this class intact.
17. South Carolina
Total committed/signed: 20
Five-stars: None.
Four-stars: 9. LB Bryson Allen-Williams, TE Kevin Crosby, ATH Terry Googer, DT Abu Lamin, ATH Chris Lammons, DE Dante Sawyer, DB D.J. Smith, OL Donell Stanley, DT Dexter Wideman.
Three-stars: 11.
Average stars: 3.45
Points: 1,977
Instant impact: With Jadaveon Clowney headed to the NFL, Dante Sawyer can help contribute on a defensive line that lost its biggest pass rush threat.
Bottom Line: The Gamecocks had an enjoyable Signing Day, flipping Dexter Wideman from Florida State and three-star defensive end Blake McClain from Nebraska. They also won a Signing Day battle when Chris Lammons, a former Florida commitment, announced Wednesday he would sign with South Carolina over Wisconsin.
18. UCLA
Total committed/signed: 18
Five-stars: None.
Four-stars: 11. DE Matt Dickerson, OL Kolton Miller, DB Adarius Pickett, WR Austin Roberts, RB Nathan Starks, DT Ainuu Taua, DE Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, WR Alex Van Dyke, DB Jaleel Wadood, LB Zach Whitley, LB Kenny Young.
Three-stars: 7.
Average stars: 3.61
Points: 1,974
Instant impact: Austin Roberts is a unique talent, plus he is the son of a coach. Expect him to pick up the playbook early and make a mark as a freshman.
Bottom Line: The Bruins made big noise on Signing Day by pulling Rivals100 linebacker Kenny Young out of Louisiana. He joins a linebacker corps that includes Zach Whitley and three-stars Dwight Williams and Cameron Griffin. They also stocked the cupboard at cornerback, bringing in two of the top eight prospects at the position nationally. On the offensive side of the ball, size was key at the receiver position with three guys over 6-foot-2.
19. Ole Miss
Total committed/signed: 25
Five-stars: None.
Four-stars: 7. LB Demarquis Gates, DB C.J. Hampton, DT Garrald McDowell, WR Markell Pack, DB Tee Shepard, DE Breeland Speaks, OL Rod Taylor.
Three-stars: 17.
Average stars: 3.24
Points: 1,965
Instant impact: Tony Conner made a splash as a freshman, and C.J. Hampton could be a perfect complement at the safety position next fall.
Bottom Line: Ole Miss was the talk of the country in 2013 after signing three of the top 10 players in that country, and rightfully so as each went on to star as true freshmen this past fall. Delivering an encore performance has proven to be difficult, and yet the Rebels still finish 2014 with a top 20 national ranking. Hugh Freeze complemented their prep signees with JUCO prospects who will address immediate needs.
20. Texas
Total committed/signed: 23
Five-stars: None.
Four-stars: 6. RB Donald Catalon, WR Armanti Foreman, DB Edwin Freeman, QB Jerrod Heard, WR Lorenzo Joe, DE Derick Roberson.
Three-stars: 15.
Average stars: 3.17
Instant impact: There are higher rated recruits in this class, but cornerback Jermaine Roberts should find a spot in the rotation early.
Bottom Line: Texas is used to building its class early and did that again with this group. However, the Longhorns also had to close late, and four of their signees did not pledge until the final month before Signing Day. With four-stars Jerrod Heard, Lorenzo Joe, Donald Catalon and Armanti Foreman, the Longhorns are getting a boost in talent at the offensive skill positions with this 2014 class.
21. Arizona State
Total committed/signed: 26
Five-stars: None.
Four-stars: 7. ATH Kalen Ballage, LB Derik Calhoun, WR Jalen Harvey, DE Connor Humphreys, WR Eric Lauderdale, DT Dalvon Stuckey, ATH Tyler Whiley.
Three-stars: 18.
Average stars: 3.23
Points: 1,918
Instant impact: Wide receivers see the field early if they are ready, and the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Jalen Harvey is physically ready to play now.
Bottom Line: The Sun Devils sign just their second top 25 class in the last decade, and they did it despite doing a pretty lackluster job in what was a really strong year in-state. Tyler Whiley is their highest-rated in-state commit, but they were able to find success in California and they hit the JUCO ranks hard in 2014. The wide receiver position will get a shot of talent, and Derik Calhoun looks like a future captain at linebacker.
22. Michigan State
Total committed/signed: 22
Five-stars: 1. DE Malik McDowell
Four-stars: 6. OL Brian Allen, DT Craig Evans, ATH T.J. Harrell, RB Madre London, DB Montae Nicholson, DT Enoch Smith Jr.
Three-stars: 13.
Average stars: 3.27
Points: 1,912
Instant impact: Malik McDowell is one of the most impressive physical specimens in the country for 2014, and likely plays early ... as long as the Spartans receive his letter of intent.
Bottom Line: Michigan State had a chance to finish with as many as five additional prospects in the final few days of the class, and the Spartans were able to land three of them. McDowell was the big prize, though he may wait a few days before sending in his letter of intent. He and Craig Evans, who committed on Monday, are part of a big defensive line haul for the Spartans. They also lured T.J. Harrell from Florida on the first day of the signing period.
23. North Carolina
Total committed/signed: 22
Five-stars: 1. RB Elijah Hood
Four-stars: 4. OL Jared Cohen, QB Caleb Henderson, OL Bentley Spain, LB Tyrell Tomlin.
Three-stars: 16.
Average stars: 3.23
Points: 1,818
Instant impact: As the only five-star, Elijah Hood is an easy choice, and the 5-foot-11, 220-pound back is physically ready to play now.
Bottom Line: It was a quiet Signing Day in Chapel Hill, but the Tar Heels had built their class before the first Wednesday in February, and it boasts several future stars. Caleb Henderson is a solid game-manager who will be able to take over a huddle and do what the coaching staff asks of him. Bentley Spain is raw, but he has the tools to be a potential first-round draft pick at left tackle.
24. Penn State
Total committed/signed: 25
Five-stars: None.
Four-stars: 6. WR Saeed Blacknall, ATH Koa Farmer, TE Mike Gesicki, WR Chris Godwin, QB Michael O'Connor, WR De'Andre Thompkins.
Three-stars: 18.
Average stars: 3.20
Points: 1,797
Instant impact: Chris Godwin is an outstanding wide receiver who will come in at a position of need for the Nittany Lions.
Bottom Line: Bill O'Brien built the foundation of the Nittany Lions' 2014 class, and James Franklin finished it off. There were a few losses in the coaching transition, but Franklin's staff quickly plugged those with four-stars such as Saeed Blacknall and Koa Farmer. Michael O'Connor will benefit from learning under returning starter Christian Hackenberg and is one of the most important holdovers from the group O'Brien recruited.
25. Virginia Tech
Total committed/signed: 28
Five-stars: None.
Four-stars: 8. DB Holland Fisher, LB Melvin Keihn, RB Shai McKenzie, ATH Raymon Minor, WR Cameron Phillips, DB C.J. Reavis, DT Ricky Walker, RB Marshawn Williams.
Three-stars: 14.
Average stars: 3.11
Points: 1,792
Instant impact: Holland Fisher is a four-star holdover from the 2013 class who spent a year at prep school and should be that much more ready with an extra year under his belt.
Bottom Line: The Hokies' 2014 class was built with in-state talent, as 15 of the signees hail from Virginia. One of those prospects -- four-star athlete Raymon Minor -- declared his intentions on Signing Day, choosing to stay in-state rather than attend either Nebraska or Marshall, his other finalists. Surprisingly, though, the Hokies struck out with the top eight players in the state.

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