The recruiting world is changing up. Who had the top ten 2019 recruiting seasons, including transfers?
The world of recruiting has blown up.
The early signing period in December means that 90% of the work on the prepsters is already done before the bowl games and before February.
The traditional National Signing Day on the first Wednesday in February still sort of matters for a few top programs, and for new coaching staffs looking for live bodies, but it’s quickly becoming a nothing burger with cheese.
And then there’s the new funky twist – the transfer portal.
Now, it’s not just enough to recruit high school and JUCO prospects. If you’re not actively recruiting disgruntled players – even if it’s sort of a no-no – and if you’re not pinging the graduate transfers, you’re being left behind.
More than that, landing a fantastic transfer is even bigger than getting a four-star high school prospect. 1) That transfer almost certainly is locked in and isn’t going anywhere else, and 2) you know what you’re getting.
A four or five-star high school kid is truly a prospect. A grad transfer has a resumé, and a top transfer quarterback is a game changer.
Now, teams have to look at recruiting differently – and so do all the recruiting services. Landing a top transfer means more. Get a whole lot of them, and the classes take on a whole different meaning.
So to throw all the top transfers into the equation, which ten teams really had the best recruiting – or, more to the point, offseasons – in 2019?
10. Florida Gators
The Gators had a fantastic recruiting class of prep players, landing star corner prospect Chris Steele along with a boatload of five-star guys to make Dan Mullen’s first full recruiting season a rousing success.
The offensive line is loaded up with options and depth to develop over the next few years, and along with Steele, the defensive backs are amazing.
Mullen also landed a few strong linebackers in Tyron Hopper and Jesiah Pierre, but they need time and bulk weight – they’re built like safeties.
However, ready to go right now is Louisville grad transfer Jonathan Goddard, a do-it-all 6-4, 255-pounder who made 70 tackles with 9.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss in his two seasons with the Cardinals.
Steele is still the star of the class based on his upside, but in terms of getting a sure-thing defensive playmaker, Goddard is the second-best get in the class.
9. Clemson Tigers
It’s an amazing class by any standards other than Clemson’s.
Dabo Swinney is used to landing the five-star guys with ease, but he and his Tigers didn’t dominate Alabama for the national title until the early signing period was over. Even so, it’s a good enough class to keep the national championship run going.
And as last year showed, playing true freshmen isn’t a problem for this program.
Throw WR Joe Ngata on the pile of great young Tiger receivers for Trevor Lawrence to throw to, and fellow 6-4 receiver Frank Ladson isn’t far behind.
The defensive backs are fantastic, too, with Joseph Charleston and Andrew Booth among the nation’s best safety prospects.
There might not be any big-time transfers coming in – and losing quarterbacks Kelly Bryant to Missouri and Hunter Lawrence, last year, to Northwestern hurts – but the high school guys are more than strong enough to make it a wonderful class.