Will Alabama Football or the Texas A&M Aggies finish with the top 2022 class? Should recruiting success be measured by the number of 5-Star recruits signed by each school?
Wednesday’s National Signing Day will answer only the No. 1 class question and based on four recruiting sources, the final No. 1 may not be unanimous.
The 5-Stars get most of the buzz but a better measurement is how schools compare with the Top 50 and the Top 100 rated players.
With the addition of On3.com, there is now a source that averages player ratings from the recruiting industry’s four most well-known sources. In addition to the On3 player ratings, 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN are also used.
Signing Day will change the numbers some with five of the current Top 50 for 2022 as yet unsigned. Of the 45 in the Top 50 who have signed, 24 of them, in an equal distribution of eight each, have been signed by Alabama Football, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Texas A&M Aggies. Add in the two signed by LSU and the one each, signed by Florida and Missouri and the SEC has 28 of the top players in the 2022 class. The Big Ten is next with nine, Top 50 players. The ACC has three. the Pac 12 has two and the Big 12 has one of the Top 50. The remaining two of the 45 signed, chose Notre Dame and Jackson State.
For fans of expanding ‘parity’ in college football, these numbers show that goal is now, and always was, a pipedream. Instead, lax NCAA enforcement, coupled with the evolving NIL terrain means the richer get richer still.
The pattern in the numbers seen in the Top 50 players does not change in the Top 100. Alabama Football leads the way with nine more top players, followed by Texas A&M with six more. Georgia, Clemson and Texas add three each. Six other programs add two more top players and 11 programs add just one more each.
While not every top-rated recruit reaches the perceived potential defined by the raters, most college football experts agree the teams with the most Top 100 players will usually prevail. That, at least 41, of the Top 100 rated recruits, are headed to three SEC teams helps explain the panic other Power Five conferences have about an expanded Playoff.
The Aggies may close the gap with the Crimson Tide on Signing Day, but the Crimson Tide has a three-player lead in Top 100 recruits.
Across the FBS, 24 college football programs have signed 2022, Top 100 players. Outside the FBS, Jackson State signed two. The Auburn Tigers have signed zero. Bryan Harsin’s top-rated, 2022 recruit is No. 163.