Fun list here: What’s the best college football recruiting class of the last nine years? (Nine is used instead of a round number like 10 because nine years is how long Rivals has been around.) Although there’s no criteria given for what makes the “best” recruiting class, wins, titles, and NFL talent clearly are the key factors in this discussion.
There can’t be much debate over the Top 2 – Florida’s loaded 2006 class (Tebow, Harvin, two titles, one Heisman) vs. USC’s stacked 2003 class (Bush, Sedrick Ellis, LenDale White, two titles, one Heisman). Coming out of high school both classes were considered awesome, and both met expectations. When I think of dominance, I lean USC, but Florida’s probably the same pick because Tebow was that team for three years.
(This is the portion of the post where some of you gripe about Bush’s illegal activity and how none of his USC stats exist. Go ahead, get it all out of your system.)
If you want to bring NFL talent into the discussion, the 2002 Ohio State class could elbow its way into the discussion – Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, AJ Hawk and Bobby Carpenter stack up well against any other recruiting class’s top four players in this time period. Too bad Maurice “Get My Goose On” Clarett couldn’t get his act together. That group has a title and a Heisman, as well.
My sleeper on this list is the 2006 Texas class, which was ranked 20th (lowest on the list) coming out of high school, had zero 5-star signees, but finished with a title (thanks to someone not in the class, Vince Young), and produced plenty of NFL talent (McCoy, Charles, Cosby and Finley). That group vastly exceeded expectations and if McCoy doesn’t get hurt in the first quarter of the title game against Alabama two Januarys ago, who knows, maybe they have two titles. [Rivals]