With the spring evaluation period underway, college coaches are scrambling to connect with recruits over the next six weeks, in hopes of landing recruits before summer approaches.
Many schools have already landed a majority of recruiting targets, while others are just getting started.
MaxPreps ranks which schools have jumped ahead recruiting the class of 2012.
CBS Sports Team Recruiting Rankings1. TexasNumber of verbal commitments:
15Key recruit: Cayleb JonesStill on the board: Johnathan GrayNext year's name to know: Dontre WilsonFreshman to follow: Terrance CookComment:
Texas continues to gobble up top targets very early in the recruiting process, a tactic that some fans have questioned lately. It's hard to argue with the talent in this class however, at least on paper. Connor Brewer
is a top pro-style quarterback, and he'll have Jones, a silky-smooth receiver, and Skyline standout Thomas Johnson
to throw to. Running back Gray still hangs in the balance; there's a good chance he lands in Austin, despite the Longhorns' landing Malcolm Brown
in 2011.2. Florida StateNumber of verbal commitments:
7Key recruit: Mario EdwardsStill on the board: Jameis WinstonNext year's name to know: Derrick HenryFreshman to follow: John WolfordComment:
Simply put, it will be another outstanding year on the recruiting trail for the Seminoles, who have followed up a stellar 2011 haul with the foundations for a great 2012. Edwards and fellow defensive end Dante Fowler
both have extremely high ceilings as quick, powerful pass rushers. Chris Casher
also fits that mold. Florida State is already the favorite for 2013 star Derrick Henry, who will rank among the nation's top recruits. 3. FloridaNumber of verbal commitments:
9Key recruit: Matt JonesStill on the board: Dorial Green-BeckhamNext year's name to know: Kelvin TaylorFreshman to follow: Jonathan HadenComment:
Will Muschamp is excelling at his first full crack at a recruiting class, particularly after the Gators limped to the finish line a bit - at least by Urban Meyer standards - in 2011. Jones combines speed and size, but could use his terrific build more to his advantage. Muschamp still has an outside shot with No. 1 recruit Green-Beckham. With his more orthodox, pro-style offense, Muschamp stands a much better chance to land 2013 phenom Taylor and should be in good shape with 2013 defensive back Leon McQuay
, a teammate of Jones at Armwood.
4. Texas A&MNumber of verbal commitments:
16Key recruit: Corey ThompsonStill on the board: Trey WilliamsNext year's name to know: Vincent TaylorFreshman to follow: Jordan ThomasComment:
This already has the makings of one of Texas A&M's best recruiting classes in recent years, with several big fish still yet to try, like Williams and quarterback Matt Davis
. The Aggies are also in the final three for Gray, but landing him is a longshot. Troy Green
, another running back who is already committed to the Aggies, may project better as a linebacker. Thompson can play receiver, but his 6-foot-2 frame will allow him to thrive at safety.
5. LSUNumber of verbal commitments:
9Key recruit: Avery JohnsonStill on the board: Landon CollinsNext year's name to know: Riley FergusonFreshman to follow: Leonard FournetteComment:
While Louisiana is not as rich in elite talent as it was in 2011, there are still recruiting prizes to be had. Les Miles and staff have already landed exciting wide receiver Travin Dural
and impressive linebacker Trey Granier
. The Tigers still have their sights set on Collins, one of the top recruits in the country. LSU may not land a top quarterback in this cycle. That could make Ferguson, whom the Tigers have already offered, a priority in 2013.6. AlabamaNumber of verbal commitments
: 10Key recruit: Eddie WilliamsStill on the board: Kwon AlexanderNext year's name to know: Reuben FosterFreshman to follow: E.J. MossComment:
Alabama has been aggressive on the recruiting trail, securing 10 commitments and remaining involved in the recruitment of several high-profile targets still undecided. One of those is Alexander, who has been linked to quarterback Jameis Winston and linebacker Reggie Ragland
as a possible package deal. Ragland has already pledged to the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban has landed two players from state power Prattville: Justin Thomas
and Caleb Gulledge
. Foster, a powerful young linebacker, loves Alabama, but is being heavily-courted by a number of programs.7. USCNumber of verbal commitments:
5Key recruit: Arik ArmsteadStill on the board: Ellis McCarthyNext year's name to know: Hayden RettigFreshman to follow: Jason FaoComment:
USC's recruiting continues to be sanction-proof; that is, the Trojans continue to land some of the most talented recruits in Southern California, and by extension, the country. Armstead, a two-way star, has limitless potential. Jordan Payton
is a polished receiver who has been highly productive for powerhouse Oaks Christian. Rettig, whose brother Chase plays at Boston College, could be tops in what appears to be a deep pool of California signal callers in 2013.8. TCUNumber of verbal commitments:
8Key recruit: Edward PopeStill on the board: Devin FullerNext year's name to know:
Ben HughesFreshman to follow:
This is by far the most interesting class to watch, given the two major stories surrounding TCU this season: its Rose Bowl victory and its acceptance into the Big East. The latter so far has not impacted the Horned Frogs' recruiting, as they haven't shown much desire (or need) to recruit in traditional Big East territory. Fuller, whose father is a TCU alum, could be a worthwhile exception. Pope, the brother of former Horned Frogs cornerback Jason Teague, is coming off a season lost to injury, but should bounce back nicely for 3A juggernaut Carthage before he arrives at TCU in the fall of 2012.
9. Penn State
Number of verbal commitments:
6Key recruit: Jarron JonesStill on the board: Noah SpenceNext year's name to know: Brian LemelleFreshman to follow: Chandler KincadeComment:
Penn State didn't land its first 2011 recruit until late May last year, so to say the Nittany Lions are ahead of last year's pace is a great understatement. Relative to recent years, this year's crop of Pennsylvania recruits is very deep, featuring five Top 100 players, including Rushel Shell
(No. 11) and Spence (No. 4). However, Penn State has already landed Jones and Jamil Pollard
, two big targets from out of state to support its instate efforts, so Joe Paterno's staff is poised for a potentially great recruiting class.10. Ohio StateNumber of verbal commitments:
5Key recruit: Kyle KalisStill on the board: Ifeadi OdenigboNext year's name to know: Jalin MarshallFreshman to follow:
Though the Buckeyes only have five commitments, they are already prepared to bring in a talented haul. Warren Ball
and Bri'onte Dunn
provide what would be the best tandem of backs in this class; Both are built to play on Sundays. Kalis is highly elusive and great at finishing his blocks. The Buckeye State is incredibly deep at defensive end this year, and it will be almost impossible for Ohio State not to end up with at least two premier recruits at the position.