Recruiting 2013 - Independent Rankings
Posted Feb 7, 2013

Ranking and analyzing the 2013 Independent Recruiting Classes

Recruiting 2013 

Independent Rankings

- Recruiting 2013 
CFN 2013 Conference Recruiting Rankings 
- ACC Atlantic | Coastal | Big East | Big 12 | Big Ten Leaders | Legends
- C-USA East | C-USA West | Ind. | MAC East | MAC West
- M-West MTN | M-West WEST | Pac-12 North | Pac-12 South
- SEC East | SEC West | Sun Belt

LAST YEAR 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 

1. Notre Dame | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: As good as last year was, a lot of problems were glossed over by the team's terrific ability to find ways to win. Everett Golson might have been great, but he needs to be a more consistent and efficient passer despite the loss of tight end Tyler Eifert and with so much turnover on offense. The defense should be special again, but it'll have to go on without Manti Te'o and find a replacement for Kapron Lewis-Moore on the end. The return game was inexcusably bad considering how good George Atkinson III is. The Irish averaged a pathetic 2.19 yards per punt return and just 19.6 yards per kickoff return.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive tackles. This is a fantastic class with a star for just about every spot, highlighted by the late get of defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, the overall star of the class. Once again, the Irish have a pipeline to tight ends with Durham Smythe and Mike Heuerman each looking the part. The receiving corps is terrific with Will Fuller and James Onwualu the best prospects, but Torii Hunter and David Robinson's son, Corey, the two big names in the bunch. Getting Jaylon Smith makes the linebacking corps special, and Cole Luke and Max Redfield are two starting defensive backs with next-level skills. However, the best overall position is offensive tackle with Steven Elmer, Mike McGlinchey and Colin McGovern all good enough to be the star of anyone's offensive line class, and Hunter Bivin isn't too far behind. John Montelus might be the nation's best guard prospect.

2. BYU | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The Cougars have to do a better job in pass protection. The line wasn't miserable, but it was mediocre for the ground game and it got the quarterbacks popped way too often. Three starters are back up front, but star tackle Braden Brown and center Braden Hansen are gone. The defense has to replace all three starters up front from a superior run D that finished second in the nation. The quarterback situation will be under the microscope needing Taysom Hill get back from a knee injury.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive backs. It's a surprisingly mediocre class, even though Bronco Mendenhall is bringing in a ton of prospects sprayed all across the positions. The defensive front has a great one in JUCO transfer defensive tackle Maataua Brown, and offensive guard Braden Kearsley is by far the star of the class with tackle ability and the strength to play inside. The defensive backfield has more than its share of bodies with Dallin Leavitt an excellent safety out of Oregon and Kai Nacua a good one out of Nevada. JUCO transfer Trenton Trammell is going to push for a starting corner job right away, while fellow JUCO pickup Samuel Lee will see time right away somewhere in the secondary.

3. Navy | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: Will there ever be a pass rush? It's part of the function of the Navy defense to not send players into the backfield on a regular basis, but there has to be more pressure on a regular basis after finishing 100th in the nation in sacks and 114th in tackles for loss. The running game, for being Navy, has to be even better. It sputtered and struggled against Army and San Jose State, and while it had some dominant games, it has to be more consistent. It would be nice if the placekicking improved after Nick Sloan hit just one of his final four attempts.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... The offensive backfield. Navy is coming in with a huge class of players with a surprising number of receivers to play around with - several will become defensive backs or running backs - and with Sean Spence leading a solid group of defensive linemen. There's actual size among the defensive tackles, especially with 310-pound Patrick Forrestal and 280-pound Dylan Fischer, and linebacker Colton Jumper will eventually be the team's leading tackler. However, it's Navy, so the emphasis will always be on the backfield. Dishan Romine is the only running back of note, but there are plenty of options coming in. Travis Marshall is the best of the quarterback lot that'll be developed for three years from now.

4. Old Dominion | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The Monarchs have to step up their run defense now that they're about to deal with the big boys. ODU gets eight starters back on a defense that was tremendous at getting into the backfield and hitting the quarterback, but allowed almost 200 rushing yards per game. Overall, the defense struggled against offenses who moved the ball without a problem as they tried to keep up the pace. The offense has to be prepared to not put up 548 yards per game.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Linebackers. What does the best offense in the FCS need? More weapons to compete at an FBS level, but new receivers Anthony Bonett and Kevin Privott aren't going to scare anyone for a few years. Shane McCarley is an undersized baller of a quarterback who could work out fine with a little development. The defense has to crank out some reinforcements, and it got a good won in linebacker T.J. Armstrong. Melvin Vaughn and Kanyia Anderson, like Armstrong, are safety-sized and need time to beef up.

5. Idaho | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: New head coach Paul Petrino has to get the offense and the running game working. The Vandals finished dead last in the nation in scoring, averaging just 15.8 points per game, burdened by a ground attack that didn't go anywhere, averaging just 89 yards per outing. The defense wasn't much better finishing with the third-worst scoring D while the special teams also needs more pop for the nation's worst punting game that averaged a yard per return. Everything has to start with the turnover margin after giving it up 39 times and only coming up

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ...
JUCO linebackers. The running game is looking for some instant help with JUCO transfers Jerrel Brown and Kris Olugbode, but the prepsters Isaiah Saunders and Danny Wilson are the better prospects. JUCOer Anthony Neyer will get a look at quarterback, and Dezmon Epps out of City College of San Francisco will eventually be a No. 1 target. However, the defense that needs so much help is getting the biggest infusion early on with Marc Millan from Santa Ana JUCO, Juan Martinez from CC of San Francisco and Broc Westlake from Sierra College.

6. Army | The 2013 Recruiting Class  

Team Concerns For 2013: The Knights have to keep working on coming up with some sort of a passing game. Of course, the Knights are all about the running game, but the passing attack - the worst in the nation last season - at least has to be more efficient. If you're going to run like Army does, you have to be able to hit the home run once in a while. On the flip side, the defense has to prevent the big play after getting bombed on time and again. It starts with a pass rush that did absolutely nothing with just 13 sacks on the year. The run defense wasn't a prize, either, allowing 232 yards per game.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The Knights have a decent quarterback recruit in Kado Brown, and there are plenty of running backs and receivers for the offense to work with. Offensive guard Patrick Joseph is the team's top recruit and might be needed sooner than later, and there are plenty of linebackers are bring brought in to add more speed and athleticism to the position. The talent, though, should be on the defensive line with ends Andrew McLean and Caleb Newman each good enough to have played at bigger schools. The each need to turn into pass rushers, and next year, the coaching staff has to find more bulk for the interior.

7. New Mexico State | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The Aggies have to work on everything. New head coach Doug Martin has to first work on the defense that failed to generate any pass rush and was miserable against anyone who wanted to run the ball. On the other side of the ball, there has to be a running game to give quarterback Andrew Manley a little bit of help. It starts with an offensive line that got Manley hammered and didn't come up with anything for the rushing attack. There's no hope of getting better without improving the turnover margin. The Aggies came up with just four picks and five recovered fumbles.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Receivers. It's a tough beat for Doug Martin with almost no time to work and no conference to sell to prospects, but he's doing what he can. Linebacker Brandon Hines is a nice get out of Texas, and running back Marquette Washington has the speed and size to end up working the offense around, but the key might be the receiving corps. Jerrion Burton and James Ooten out of California will eventually be starters, while Prentavious Morehead will someday be a No. 1 target.