Recruiting 2009 Team Rankings
Posted Feb 6, 2009

These guys might not look all that scary, but they're part of the nation's best recruiting class. Ohio State loaded up with a tremendous haul of talent to lead the 2009 CFN Recruiting Rankings. Check out where all 120 FBS teams are ranked in the aftermath of Signing Day.

Recruiting 2009 ... The Rankings

CFN's Ranking of the 2009 Classes

- CFN Recruiting 2009

- CFN 2009 Recruiting Rankings
No. 31 to 60 | No. 61 to 90 | No. 91 to 120

The speculation of how good recruiting classes are is hit or miss at best, a fruitless exercise at worst. So how should a class be ranked? How many good prospects did a program get? How many stars? How many needs were filled and how did the program do to get the guys it was targeting? All that matters is how the players who come in develop, handle the pressure of college life, and perform on the field, no matter what they were ranked coming out of high school. However, for now, on paper, here's how well the teams seemed to do in the 2009 recruiting season.

1. Ohio State  
The class is 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.

2. Alabama  
The class is 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.
3. Texas
The class is 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.

The class is heavy on ... the defensive front seven. Russell Shepard has star potential in some way, shape or form either at quarterback or receiver, and WR Rueben Randle and S Craig Loston will make a ton of money someday, but the stars are on the lines with Chris Davenport, Joshua Downs, and Sam Montgomery for the defensive front, with JUCO transfer Akiem Hicks ready to come in right away and play, while Chris Faulk and Stavion Lowe will be starting on the offensive front sooner than later.


The class is 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.

The class is heavy on ... cornerbacks. In a Pac-10 that’s usually flush with quality passers, the Bruins wisely answered with a quartet of really good cornerbacks. All four earned no less than three stars and were ranked in the top 50 at the position. The best of the bunch is Marlon Pollard, who fielded a slew of offers, and has an enormous upside to match his leaping ability

7. North Carolina 
The class is heavy on ... receivers. Carolina’s response to losing Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Tate, and Brooks Foster to the NFL was to sign a half-dozen receivers, headed by four-star stud Jheranie Boyd. No returning wideout caught more than 11 passes a year ago, meaning Boyd and his classmates will get every opportunity to play right away in September. In fact, they’ll be counted on to do so.

The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. Everyone in the Big 12 went heavy on the secondary, seeing it as a must after the offensive explosion of this year, but Oklahoma got the best ones of the bunch. Gabe Lynn might be the nation’s best corner, and Marcus Trice isn’t all that far behind. Javon Harris and Kevin Brent will be starting safeties by 2011, while Demontre Hurst and Marshall Musil are interesting prospects.

South Carolina  
The class is heavy on ... linebacker. The Gamecocks loaded up at wide receiver with Alshon Jeffrey and Lamar Scruggs excellent prospects, and the safeties are tremendous with Stephon Gilmore and Quin Smith stars for the future. The stars are at linebacker with Devonte Holloman and Damario Jeffery safety-sized defenders who could blow up after a little bit of time in the weight room, while JUCO transfers Tony Straughter and Josh Dickerson looking to see time early on.

10. Georgia   
The class is 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.

11. Penn State  
The class is heavy on ... receivers. The strength of the class is at offensive tackle, but the immediate need was at receiver with Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood gone. Joe Paterno and his staff aren’t going to ask the incoming freshmen to step in and start right away, but it would be nice if Justin Brown, Shawney Kersey, Brandon Felder, Devon Smith and Christian Kuntz were able to push for potential playing time. Brown is the star of the bunch, but Kersey and Smith are the speedsters who could make a more immediate impact.

12. Ole Miss  
The class is heavy on ... skill players. This is a huge class with a little something for all the spots, but Houston Nutt and his staff mostly tried to get players to get the offense moving even more. Quarterback Raymond Cotton will get time to develop with Jevon Snead already under center, while running backs Darius Barksdale and Rodney Scott are just a few of the good prospects looking to shine in the Nutt system. Pat Patterson is a special receiver prospect, while Ja-Mes Logan and Montez Phillips have size and speed.

13. Florida   
The class is heavy on ... quality over quantity. While there were a few misfires with the Gators not getting everyone they were hoping for, especially after the national title season, the stars they did get were top-shelf. Xavier Nixon might be the nation’s best offensive tackle prospect, Jelani Jenkins is arguably the top linebacker, Gary Brown is among the best defensive tackles, Nick Alajajian and Jonotthan Harrison are among the best guards, and Andre Debose is a top receiver. There aren’t a lot of prospects for each spot, so if the stars bust, there isn’t a lot to fall back on.

Texas A&M   
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. Eight players were brought in to help out the secondary, and head coach Mike Sherman got a slew of really good ones. JUCO transfer Coryell Judie might be penciled into a starting corner spot right away, while four safeties, Steven Campbell, Malcolm Johnson, Colton Valencia and Charlie Thomas are all good enough to challenge for playing time from the moment they set foot on campus.

The class is heavy on ... QB Tate Forcier. Last year, head coach Rich Rodriguez put all his eggs in the Terrelle Pryor basket, and the plan backfired. The quarterback situation last year was a liability at best, an utter disaster at worst, and something had to be done. Now it’s all about Forcier, a small, quick athlete from San Diego who fits the mold of the type of quarterback needed to take the program out of the doldrums. He might be asked to start from day one.

16. Florida State 
The class is 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.

17. Notre Dame  
The class is heavy on ... talent. There isn’t any one need here that needed a desperate filling, so Notre Dame went national and brought in some superior talents. Manti Te’o is widely considered to be the nation’s best linebacker prospect, Chris Watt might be the nation’s best offensive tackle, and guar Alex Bullard, RB Cierre Wood, and LB Carlos Calabrese are among the best at their respective positions.

18. Miami
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. Never at a shortage for quality defensive backs, Randy Shannon is making sure it stays that way with this class. All four of this year’s additions are ranked no lower than No. 40 nationally at their position. S Ray Ray Armstrong is a 6-3, 210-pound beast in the mold of former ‘Cane Sean Taylor. Corners Brandon McGee and Jamal Reid are a couple of top 10 talents, who were hotly pursued by schools in the ACC and SEC.

19. Auburn  
The class is 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.

20. Tennessee   
The class is 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.

21. Stanford 
The class is heavy on ... pass-catchers. If the Cardinal is going to continue this forward push that started when Jim Harbaugh was hired, it needs to improve offensively. Like, now. This class provides some exciting weapons for whenever QB Andrew Luck takes over the offense. Stanford bagged a pair of four-star wideouts, Jamal Patterson and Jemari Roberts, to go along with easily the best collection of tight ends in the country. Both Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo are massive targets, who could have gone just about anywhere.

22. Mississippi State  
The class is heavy on ... receivers. What do you get a team that’s been among the worst in America in passing over the last few years? Targets. Tyler Russell was a must-get quarterback for new head coach Dan Mullen to develop over the next year or two, and he needs guys to throw to. Seven receiver prospects were brought in with JUCO transfers Maurice Langston and Leon Berry looking to add help right away. Chad Bumphis is the best prospect of the lot.

23. Arkansas  
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. The defensive line got a ton of bodies, but few of them were standout prospects. The offense got more players to fit the Bobby Petrino style with the line getting the biggest boost. However, the coaching staff mostly loaded up in the secondary with six nice prospects led by corner Darius Winston and JUCO transfers Anthony Leon, Rudell Crim and Andru Stewart.

24. West Virginia 
The class is heavy on ... Skill position players. The Mountaineers have roped in a slew of speedy, dynamic backs and receivers, who can go a long with the ball. What else is new? This class, which is particularly heavy on outstanding wideouts, is tailored-made for an offense that hopes to throw the ball more than in the past. Logan Heastie was fielding interest from the likes of Florida and USC, so he might waste little time getting on the field.

25. South Florida  
The class is heavy on ... The defensive line. Can you say epic haul? Jim Leavitt is retooling his defensive front on the fly, with a mix of talented ends and tackles from junior college, post-graduate schools, and high schools. George Selvie, Aaron Harris, and Terrell McClain won’t be around forever, so it was important to bring new reinforcements to ensure the success of the defense for the foreseeable future. DT Leslie Stirrups was supposed to be one of the cornerstones of the 2006 class, but is just now making it to Tampa after problems with grades.

26. Pitt

The class is heavy on ... backs. How do you answer the departure of star LeSean McCoy to the NFL after his sophomore season? You sign four young backs, who’ll be in a position to contribute in a year or two. There’s a nice blend of skills in the group. Dion Lewis and Jason Douglas provide the dash. At 205 pounds, Kevin Adams will bring the punch if he doesn’t move to safety. Raymond Graham, who was also pursued by Rutgers and Maryland, has a chance to be the best of the group.

27. Rutgers  
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. The departures of S Courtney Greene and CB Jason McCourty made this unit a priority for Greg Schiano and the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers didn’t have to travel very far to land S Abdul Smith and CB Duron Harmon, two of the best at their positions in the region. Schiano added quality and quantity to the secondary, which will prove especially valuable a year from now.

The class is heavy on ... linebackers. Maryland continues to stockpile the type of versatile linebackers that eventually move on to play on Sundays. Seven, in fact, are packing their bags for College Park, even though there’s no urgency for any to play right away. From New Jersey to South Carolina, Ralph Friedgen swept down the Eastern seaboard searching for athletic defenders who can play with range. It’s obviously early in the process, but Lorne Goree appears to be the best of a deep bunch.

The class is 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.

30. Texas Tech   
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. Tech can’t beat Texas or Oklahoma without being able to slow down the pass, and it made sure the defense got plenty of attention to try to upgrade the secondary. D.J. Johnson and Yahshua Williams are very big corners who’ll get time to develop. Adding more size are safeties Will Ford and Terrence Bullitt, while Daniel Cobb will be in the starting mix in a few years.

- CFN 2009 Recruiting Rankings
No. 31 to 60 | No. 61 to 90 | No. 91 to 120