Recruiting 2011 - Ranking All The Classes
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher
Posted Feb 7, 2011

Was this the recruiting season that will make Florida State a superpower again? Head coach Jimbo Fisher came up with a whopper of a class, while USC set the foundation for a post-sanction future, Auburn and Alabama each battled it out for some top players, and Texas and Ohio State quietly loaded up. Starting with the top ten, here are CFN's ranking of all 120 recruiting classes.

Recruiting 2011 ... The Rankings

CFN's Class Rankings ... Top Ten

Recruiting 2011 | Recruiting 2010 | Recruiting 2009

CFN 2011 Recruiting Rankings

- No. 1 to 10 | No.11 to 20 | No. 21 to 30
- No.  31 to 40No. 41 to 50 | No. 51 to 60
- No. 61 to 70 | No. 71 to 80 | No. 81 to 90
- No. 91 to 100 | No. 101 to 110 | No. 111 to 120 
- ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA
- MAC | M-West | Pac 12 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC

10. Tennessee | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Offensive linemen. Derek Dooley did a tremendous job with a class that might bring Tennessee back to the level that everyone has been waiting for. JUCO transfer safety Byron Moore will be used right away, JUCO transfer defensive tackle Maurice Couch will step inside instantly, and linebacker A.J. Johnson is a stud, but the key to the class is the bulking up on the offensive line with two Signing Day pickups in Cameron Clear and Antonio Richardson. Clear needs a while to bulk up, but the athleticism is there to be special. 6-5, 290-pound Kyler Kerbyson is ready soon, and guards Marcus Jackson and Alan Posey are promising.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 11. That Class Was Heavy On ... The passing game. The defense was hardly ignored in Derek Dooley's first class with three excellent linemen in JUCO transfer DT John Brown and ends Jacques Smith, and Corey Miller all good enough to see time right away. JUCO transfer Dave Clark needs to play a big role this year at one corner, while JaWaun James might be the SEC's best recruit for the O line. Before leaving, Lane Kiffin made a big deal out of securing the quarterbacks, and Dooley kept them around with Tyler Bray, a very big, very talented passer to go along with Nash Nance and JUCO transfer Matt Simms. Simms will be expected to compete for the starting job this offseason. Four terrific receivers were signed with Da'Rick Rogers, Justin Hunter, and Matt Milton all with next level skills.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 20. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. The defensive line got a big boost with Jonathan Hollins and Rae Sykes likely to provide immediate help on the end, and the linebackers are strong with Jerod Askew with all the skills to be special. The secondary got the most help with six defensive backs, and they’re all fantastic. Safety Darren Myles might be the best prospect of the group, while Nyshier Oliver and corners Janzen Jackson, Mike Edwards, Eric Gordon and Marsalis Teague all have the potential to be stars.

9.  Clemson | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … The passing game. After a few yeas of focusing mostly on the defense, the Tigers came up with something for the offense that struggled last year with three new quarterback prospects and several dangerous receivers with Sammy Watkings, a five-star talent with next-level upside, and Charone Peake and Martavis Bryant, two big, strong receivers who could be involved immediately. Eric MacLain is one of the nation’s top tight ends. Defensively, Corey Crawford isn’t Da’Quan Bowers, but he’s a pass rusher who might make some noise this year.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 21. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. Dabo Swinney did a nice job loading up on defense, while also getting a few key pieces for the offense including receiver Martavis Bryant and tackle Reid Webster. Josh Watson and Corey Crawford should quickly become terrors for the defensive front, and Jake Nicolopulos Justin Parker will be key starters in the linebacking corps by 2012, but the strength is in the secondary where corners DeAndre Hopkins and Darius Robinson are speedy defenders with All-ACC potential. Bashaud Breeland is the key safety signing with excellent size and great range.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 45. That Class Was Heavy On ... ends. Even with Ricky Sapp and Da’Quan Bowers bringing quickness off the edge, Clemson had little luck getting to the quarterback in 2008. Malliciah Goodman and Spencer Shuey have been brought in to push the starters and kickstart a tired pass rush. Once he sharpens his fundamentals and adds a few more pounds, Goodman has the blazing speed and long arms to be a real nuisance to ACC quarterbacks.

8. Georgia | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Offensive tackle. The dream class should change around Georgia football over the next several years with superstar prospects like QB Christian LeMay, RB Isaiah Crowell, and DE Ray Drew all with the potential to be major national figures, but for all the flash for the offense and for all the good things done in the secondary, the key should be on the offensive front with rock-solid prospects for the interior in David Andrews and Chris Mayes, and top tackles in Watts Dantzler, Zach DeBell, and Xzavier Ward to bank on by 2014 to provide next-level talent on the outside.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 16. That Class Was Heavy On ... The lines. After signing a ton of skill players last season, Georgia needed the building blocks this year. The team's best recruit was Alec Ogletree, a guided missile of a linebacker who was the key to the defensive haul several months ago. Up front, head coach Mark Richt inked Brent Benedict out of Jacksonville, one of the nation's top tackle recruits, and also got the very promising Kenarious Gates. On the defensive side, Garrison Smith spurned Alabama, Florida State, Florida, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC to be the leader of the Dawg line in the near future. T.J. Stripling will be a terror on the end after hitting the weighs and adding at least 25 pounds, while Michael Thornton is a ready-made tackle who's good enough to see time right away.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 10. That Class Was Heavy On ... skill players. This isn’t a big class, but it’s a class full of talent with a few top-shelf skill players looking to be the next big thing now with Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno gone. Aaron Murray is the receiver to combine with A.J. Green to potentially give the Dawgs the SEC’s best 1-2 receiving punch, while QBs Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger should wage an interesting battle for the starting spot in the near future. Only one running back, Washaun Ealey, signed on, but he’s a good one.

7. Oregon | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Lots and lots of talent. Oregon hasn’t exactly struggled in the recruiting world over the last few years, but it hasn’t made a national splash like this with big-time prospects all across the board. The receiving corps got a mega-boost with JUCO transfer Rahsaan Vaughn ready to be a No. 1 guy right now, while the offensive line got some special talents in Tyler Johnstone, Jake Fisher, and Andre Yruretagoyena. The mega-coup, though, was ripping the heart out of USC by taking away the nation’s No. 1 corner, DeAnthony Thomas, at the last second.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 13. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. The stars are elsewhere, but the numbers are in the secondary as corner Dior Mathis and safety Erick Dargan lead a fast and talented group. DE Curtis White and guard Nick Rowland will be all-stars before their done, and JUCO transfer Ryan Clanton will be part of the offensive tackle rotation right away. The real excitement is over Lance Seastrunk, another talented runner to add to the equation choosing Oregon over Texas, Florida, LSU and Oklahoma. QB Bryan Bennett doesn't quite fit the normal Duck norm, but he's a great athlete who'll add more passing to the offense.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 29. That Class Was Heavy On ... special teams. The Ducks made an investment in their future on special teams with the signings of P Jackson Rice and PK Mike Bowlin. Both were ranked in the top 3 at their respective positions, and will have an opportunity to become the cornerstones of the unit now that P Josh Syria and PK Matt Evensen are gone. Rice and Bowlin won’t get the attention of, say, a Cliff Harris or Boseko Lokombo, but that doesn’t they won’t play an integral role down the road.

6.  USC | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Defensive linemen. Considering the limitations the Trojan coaching staff has to deal with, this was a phenomenal class with a little something for every spot. While it would’ve been a jaw-dropping haul had top corner DeAnthony Thomas not done an about face and picked Oregon at the last second, it’s still impressive thanks mostly to the defensive front. End Greg Townsend leads a fast, aggressive group of ends, while tackle Christian Heyward was a strong get out of San Diego. Offensively, the spotlight will be on the battle for the future starting quarterback spot between Max Wittek and Cody Kessler, while Amir Carlisle has all the makings of the next great Trojan running back.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 6. That Class Was Heavy On ... A Pete Carroll-like class. Lane Kiffin might not have gotten every player he wanted, but he sure came up with his share of star players to stop the bleeding. Dillon Baxter and D.J. Morgan are the type of do-it-all backs who can be like other star Trojan runners and play right away. Robert Woods might be the nation's No. 1 receiver recruit, and if he's not, Kyle Prater probably is. Xavier Gimble is one of the nation's top tight ends and Giovanni Di Poalo is one of the best centers, but the real prize is Seantrel Henderson ... maybe. One of the nation's top three all-around recruits, the sure-thing offensive tackle is waiting to make sure the NCAA isn't going to crush the Trojan program before officially signing on. JUCO transfers George Uko and linebacker Glen Stanley are ready to step in and start tomorrow, while the four defensive backs signed are strong enough to grow into starters down the road. In other words, don't assume USC is dead quite yet.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 5. That Class Was Heavy On ... defense. Ever wonder why the Trojans always have one of the toughest defenses in the country? This class will give you a hint. USC continued its annual tradition of loading up on some of the nation’s premier defenders, landing a top 10 player at each level on the field. S T.J. McDonald and DE Devon Kennard look as if they could move into the lineup from Day 1 if there wasn’t so much talent already ahead of them.

5.  Alabama | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Defensive linemen. With yet another phenomenal class, the rich get richer ... while also sticking it to Auburn with OT Cyrus Kouandijo verbaling to the Tigers and signing with the Tide. The receiving corps is awesome with 6-4 Marvin Shinn and 6-2 Danny Woodson bringing the size, and Bradley Sylve providing the speed. Ha’Seaon Clinton-Dix might be the nation’s best safety prospect, and Trey DePriest is’s No. 1 ranked middle linebacker, but the key to the class could be up front on defense with JUCO transfers Quinton Dial, a 6-5, 310-pound future NFL draft pick, and 6-4, 340-pound Jesse Williams, ready to clog the inside. Xzavier Dickson fits the Bama scheme perfectly at one end, and Jeoffrey Pagan whould be a strong pass rusher with a little bit of time.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 5. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. How good is Nick Saban and his staff when it comes to recruiting? The Tide didn't have a ton of needs with so many great classes brought in over the last few years, and the monster class that capitalizes on the national title is supposed to come in next year, but that doesn't mean that several top players available this season didn't want to come wear the Crimson uniform. Phillip Sims is by far the most talented quarterback prospect the Tide has had in several years, and the receiving corps will be loaded with DeAndrew White, Ronald Carswell, Blake Sims and Keiwone Malone would all be No. 1 targets at just about anywhere else. The defensive backfield is amazing with the best class in America led by top corner prospect Demarcus Milliner and big-time safety Jarrick Williams. Johnavon Fulton has NFL corner speed and JUCO transfer Dequan Menzie could see time immediately.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 2. That Class Was Heavy On ... linemen. Nick Saban and his staff brought in yet another loaded class that is among the best in the country with RB Trent Richardson leading the way, but the bulk is up front. From JUCO transfer James Carpenter, who might get a starting spot on the offensive line right away, to Darrington Sentimore, Chris Bonds, and Anthony Orr, who’ll load up the defensive front, the Tide secured the lines for the next several years.

4.  Auburn | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … the defensive back seven. Even without Cyrus Kouandijo, all the attention will be paid to an offensive line that features the nation’s best guard prospect, Christian Westerman and top center, Reese Dismukes. Getting defensive tackle Gabe Wright was a nice pickup on Signing Day, but the real teeth in this class is in the defensive back seven. Justin Garrett is a safety-sized linebacker who should be a disruptive force, and Kris Frost has big-time upside. Safety Erique Florence can play anywhere in the secondary, and corners Jonathan Rose, Jermaine Whitehead, and Rubensen Therezie are big, strong talents on the outside. QB Kiehl Frazier and running backs Quan Bray and Tre Mason will stock up the backfield in a few years.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 4. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill stars. The class went big on defense coming up with a whale of a group for the line led by tackles Jeffrey Whitaker and Kenneth Carter, and coming up with a key signing getting end Corey Lemonier out of Florida. LB LaDarius Owens will be an All-SEC performer before he's done, and enough good defensive backs were brought in to secure the secondary for the next few years. As good as the defensive class is, the stars signed on offense should make a bigger impact as offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has his players to work with. Cameron Newton is a 6-6, 245-pound quarterback with a live arm, Trovon Reed and Antonio Goodwin are special receiver prospects, and Michael Dyer could've gone anywhere as, arguably, the nation's top running back recruit. If he wasn't No.1, he was in everyone's top five. Throw in all the help on the line, including JUCO transfer tackle Roszell Gayden and top guard Eric Mack, and the Tiger offense should be fantastic.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 19. That Class Was Heavy On ... receivers. After the problems on offense over the last few years, Gene Chizik and his staff went hard after players who can put points on the board. Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn needs bodies, and he got them with QB Tyrik Rollison a player for the future, Onterio McCalebb a nice running back prospect, and a whole slew of receivers to finally get the passing game going. Travante Stallworth and Emory Blake are the best of a good lot, while tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen could be a centerpiece of the passing game in a few years.

3. Texas | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Malcolm Brown. It’s Texas, so there’s the normal dizzying array of four and five-star talents across the board – the secondary, defensive line, and receiving corps are LOADED with this class - but the two things that truly matter are 1) the offensive line and 2) Malcolm Brown. The running back-by-committee thing hasn’t worked too well since Jamaal Charles left, and the hope is for the 220-pound Brown to be the fast thumper who can take over the ground game. Will the Longhorns finally have the front five to pave the way? Garrett Greanlea and Sedrick Flowers aren’t going to be ready right away, but they’ll need to be anchors as soon as possible. Fun stat: every recruit is from Texas.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 2. That Class Was Heavy On ... Phenomenal talent. The Texas haul of players would've been gushed over even more if it wasn't for Florida's epic class. The offensive backfield got a few players, but there's superstar power everywhere else with Mike Davis and Darius White leading a terrific group of six receiver recruits. DE Jackson Jeffcoat was the big pre-Signing Day story picking the Longhorns over Florida, Oklahoma and USC, while Reggie Wilson is every bit the star end prospect. Mack Brown stole Ohio linebacker Jordan Hicks away from Ohio State, Florida, USC, and Alabama, and got Tulsa safety Demarco Cobbs from Alabama and Oklahoma's clutches. Corner Adrian White should be in the NFL in five years.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 3. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive linemen. The Longhorns loaded up with elite players all across the board with the bulk of the star power coming on the defensive front. Alex Okafor will be a killer after he spends a few years in the weight room, and Calvin Howell and Derek Johnson will battle it out for the honor of being the next great Longhorn defensive tackle. Kyle Kriegel is a potential pass rushing terror, while Dominique Jones is a tweener who’ll see time on an All-Big 12 team before he’s through.

2. Ohio State | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … the defensive front seven. All eyes will be on Braxton Miller, who might be the quarterback and the key to the start of the 2011 season, but the Buckeyes will be loaded for years to come thanks to the pickup of several amazing defensive players. The Signing Day coup of Curtis Grant, the nation’s top outside linebacker, was the icing on the cake for a class that came up with NFL talents in Michael Bennettat defensive tackle and Steve Miller on the outside. Ejuan Shazier will be the team’s next great inside linebacker, while brother Ryan Shazier will be a star on the outside.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 20. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. Predictably, Ohio State didn't come up with its normal jaw-dropping haul of NFL talents after coming up with the nation's top class last year. But that didn't mean that a few key prospects weren't signed led by superstar offensive tackle prospect Andrew Norwell, who'll be great once he hits the weight room. The receivers aren't the sure things of past classes, but Corey Brown, James Louis and Tyrone Williams can move. Roderick Smith is a freakishly talented running back who could've gone anywhere in the Big Ten and got a big push from Georgia and Oklahoma.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 1. That Class Was Heavy On ... everything. Name the position and about 100 other teams would be ecstatic to do as well overall as Ohio State did in any one area other than quarterback (and Kenneth Guiton isn’t a bad prospect). Running back? Jaamal Berry and FB Carlos Hyde are the stars of a good group. The receiving corps, led by Cris Carter’s son, Duron, is special, the offensive tackles are all prototypes, the defensive tackles big and quick, the linebackers fast, and the defensive backs even faster. This class has it all.

1. Florida State | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … High expectations. Florida State has done its normally strong job of recruiting over the past several years, but now with the transition of power well in the rearview mirror, the program is rocking on the recruiting trail. Jimbo Fisher did a nice job last year, but that was nothing compared to the haul he brought in this season led by defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, safety Karlos Williams, outside linebacker James Wilder, and offensive tackle Bobby Hart. They’ll be expected to be All-ACC stars in the near future, while JUCO transfer defensive tackle Cornellius Carradine is ready for right now. Position-wise, the defensive line got the most attention with a jaw-dropping group of players who should make the Noles a brick wall for the next four years. There might have been a few stunning losses here and there, including linebacker Stephone Anthony to Clemson, but this the program’s best class in a long, long time.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 12. That Class Was Heavy On ... Jimbo Fisher's ability. Any worries now that Florida State couldn't recruit quite as well without the Bobby Bowden touch? The transition turned out to be a plus as Fisher was able to sell stability to a slew of tremendous prospects that upgraded the team's talent level in a hurry. WR Christian Green was a steal from Florida and Georgia, while Kenny Shaw is the type of target to get excited about even if Green didn't sign. DT Darious Cummings was taken away from Florida and Auburn, defensive end Bjorn Werner was a key get for the line, and Jeff Luc is an NFL-ready defender who'll be the next great Seminole linebacker. Throw in star corner prospect Lamarcus Joyner and safety Greg Dent, and FSU did more than just fine.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 16. That Class Was Heavy On ... safeties. With their secondary going through a bit of an overhaul, the Seminoles focused on that unit, specifically the safeties. Florida State has signed four of them, two who rank among the ten best in the country at the position. Willie Downs and JaJuan Harley are outstanding talents, whose families won’t be traveling far on Saturdays. Both teens hail from Tallahassee, and decided some time ago to remain close to home.