Recruiting 2012 - Independent Team Rankings
Posted Feb 4, 2012

Ranking and analyzing the 2012 Independent Recruiting Classes

Recruiting 2012 

Independent Rankings

Recruiting 2012  
CFN 2012 Recruiting Rankings & All-Star Teams
- ACC Atlantic | Coastal | Big East | Big 12 | Big Ten Leaders | Legends
- C-USA East | C-USA West | Ind. | MAC East | MAC West | M-West
- Pac-12 North | Pac-12 South | SEC East | SEC West | Sun Belt | WAC

2012 CFN All-Ind
Recruiting Team

QB – Gunner Kiel, Notre Dame
RB – William Mahone, Notre Dame
RB – Keivarae Russell, Notre Dame
WR – Chris Brown, Notre Dame
WR – Dylan Collie, BYU
WR – Justin Ferguson, Notre Dame
TE – Steven Richards, BYU
OT – Mark Harrell, Notre Dame
OT – Jarron Jones, Notre Dame
OT – Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
OG – John Ferguson, Navy
PK – Ralphie Freibert, Army

DE – Troy Hinds, BYU
DT – Sheldon Day, Notre Dame
DT – Nate Hoff, Navy
DE – Romeo Okwara, Notre Dame
OLB – Zach Hester, Navy
MLB – Nick Baratti, Notre Dame
OLB – Sawyer Powell, BYU
CB – Jalen Boyd, Navy
S – C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame
S – Elijah Shumate, Notre Dame
CB – Tee Shepard, Notre Dame
P – No Punters Signed

1. Notre Dame | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class 

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... A star quarterback. Head coach Brian Kelly brought in some nice options over the years, but he didn't get anyone like Gunner Kiel,'s No. 1 ranked quarterback, who switched from LSU to Indiana to the Irish. The talent level is quickly improving over the last two classes with the most noticeable difference on the lines from the last two years. This year, if everything goes according to plan, the secondary will provide the biggest boost with a few nice safety prospects and corner Tee Shepard out of Fresno to soon be the team's shutdown coverman on one side.

Team Concerns For 2012: Besides solidifying the quarterback situation, the Irish have to work on the secondary that loses Harrison Smith and all the key starters. The defensive front won't have Ethan Johnson and Darius Fleming on the ends, but last year's class – led by Aaron Lynch – will take care of that. There's receiver talent to work with, but losing Michael Floyd will be a problem.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Quarterback, quarterback, quarterback. That's all that really matters this offseason with the choice of Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix one of the biggest keys to the 2012 campaign. The offense loses receiver Michael Floyd, but there's good potential returning at running back and receiver with T.J. Jones a great-looking target and Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick a strong 1-2 rushing combination. However, two starters return on the line. Again, though, the season won't go anywhere unless the quarterback play is stronger. The defense is more talented than it's been in years, helped mostly by the shocking return of linebacker Manti Te'o for one more season, but the secondary has to undergo a wholesale change. The defensive front has the potential to be fantastic is Aaron Lynch can build off his promising true freshman season, while the emergence of OLB Ishaq Williams would be a huge help to the front seven. The awful punting game could use a bigger season out of Ben Turk, and PK David Ruffer needs to be replaced.
2. BYU | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... After losing former super-recruit quarterback Jake Heaps to Kansas, BYU needed to find a new quarterback for the future. While there isn't anyone coming in with Heaps' hype, Tanner Mangum is highly regarded and could be in the starting hunt next year when Riley Nelson is done. The linebacking corps is getting the most talent, but overall the skill players should make the class.

Team Concerns For 2012: The Cougars have to find a new left tackle to replace Matt Reynolds, and two other starters are gone off a line that needs to do more for the running game. Backs J.J. Di Luigi and Bryan Kariya are gone, but Nelson is a good enough runner to take off from time to time to help the production. The defense has to replace corner Corby Eason and free safety Travis Uale.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Can the Cougars take things to another level after a terrific 10-3 season? A lot of the projections depend on who's leaving for Church missions, but one player sticking around is QB Riley Nelson, who took the starting job by the horns midway through last year and was so good that Jake Heaps ended up transferring to Kansas. Three starters are gone off the O line including bruising tackle Matt Reynolds, but Cody Hoffman and the receiving corps is in place and the running backs are just promising enough to keep the production going. The defense that finished 13th in the nation gets back just about everyone of note – again, with the exception of those leaving for missions – including Kyle Van Noy, who should be among the nation's most productive all-around linebackers. The one big loss is in the secondary where FS Travis Uale will be missed, but Daniel Sorensen is a rising star at the KAT position.

3. Navy | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... More running backs. If you're going to run an offense like Navy's options at running back are must. Speed is coming in with to fit the Midshipman type of smallish scooters, but there isn't a thumper of a fullback to rely on. The linebacking corps is getting some help, but a few years in the weight room will be a must to beef up the safety-sized prospects.

Team Concerns For 2012: Quarterback. Kriss Proctor is gone after a decent year, and now it's time for Trey Miller and Jarvis Cummings to show what they can do. The defensive front can't afford to lose size, but it's losing size with Jabaree Tuani and Jared Marks gone. Kwesi Mitchell was a steady safety whose experience will be missed, but the bigger issue is the lack of depth in the secondary.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: After a wildly disappointing season, the Midshipmen's first goal is to dominate with the running game again. It was fourth in the nation, but it didn't control games like it needed to. Gone is QB Kriss Proctor and in – most likely – will step Trey Miller, a quick runner who should put up huge numbers. Gee Gee Greene is the lone star returning in the backfield with FB Alexander Teich and slotback Aaron Santiago finished. The line wasn't as consistent as it needed to be, and that should be a problem early on with only two starters returning. The defense was a disaster, especially against the pass, but three starters return in the secondary and the entire starting linebacking corps returns. End Jabaree Tuani will be missed, but there's size on the inside even with NG Jared Marks finished.

4. Army | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class 

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Is head coach Rich Ellerson doing anything to help the woeful passing game? He's getting a few receiver prospects, but the class will mostly revolve around a defense that needs bigger and better bodies up front. Defensive tackle will be a big key to the class, while the secondary get an influx of prospects with the idea to become faster and more athletic in the back seven as soon as possible.

Team Concerns For 2012: More of a passing game is a must, but that's going to be a problem with starting receivers Austin Barr and Davyd Brooks done. The backfield is loaded and the line is strong in the interior, but tackles Robert Kava and Mike McDermott are gone. The defense gets nine starters back, but hitting machine Steven Erzinger is gone from the secondary.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: This should be the year Rich Ellerson's program takes a huge step forward. The Knights beat just one FBS team over the final two months of the season, but they have enough talent back to get back to a 2010 level and go bowling. QB Trent Steelman has to stay healthy to lead the nation's leading rushing attack, and all the parts are back including bruising FB Jared Hassin. The line loses both tackles, but the interior returns intact. The passing game was the worst in America, but it'll still hurt to lose receivers Austin Barr and Davyd Brooks. The defense only loses two starters – end Andrew Rodriguez and big-hitting rover Steve Enzinger. Geoffrey Bacon and Nate Combs are built like safeties, but they have to do more at linebacker, while 260-poundtackle A.J. Mackey represents the bulk up front.