NFP Class of 2014 Top 25 team recruiting rankings

A very early look at the best classes being compiled in this cycle. Dave Miller

Print This May 20, 2013, 11:00 AM EST

13. Penn State: Just as Al Golden is doing a fantastic job at Miami (FL), Bill O'Brien is really faring well in State College in a terribly difficult situation. The Nittany Lions are bringing in a lot of help at wide receiver, led by De'Andre Thompkins. Chris Godwin and Troy Apke have also given their pledges. Defensively, linebacker Troy Reeder is very solid. Look for a good but small class in 2014 because of the scholarship limit that will begin next season.

14. Auburn: Gus Malzahn and his staff recently added two huge pledges from linebacker Tre' Williams and defensive end Justin Thornton, so expect that momentum to continue on The Plains. Meanwhile, center Josh Casher is arguably the best nationally at his position.

Charlie StrongUS PRESSWIRECharlie Strong is using his Sunshine State ties to raise the profile of Louisville.

15. Louisville: Charlie Strong, who rebuffed an offer to become the head coach at Tennessee, will be leading the Cardinals into the ACC with a lot of momentum. Wide receivers Isaiah Ford and DeSean Blair as well as safety Michael Johnson are Florida products that Strong was able to bring in because of his Sunshine State ties. And dual-threat quarterback Reggie Bonnafon could be the Cardinals' quarterback of the future.

16. Georgia: Mark Richt and his staff only have five pledges thus far, but one of those players is Sony Michel, a running back from South Florida who is the best in the country. He joins Jeb Blazevich, one of the nation's best tight ends. Tackle Dontavius Russell could be the anchor of future Georgia defenses, while Nick Glass is a very good safety.

17. Northwestern: Pat Fitzgerald is compiling perhaps the best haul in program history, and it's led by local quarterback Clayton Thorson, who will join Class of 2013 star dual-threat Matt Alviti. Running back Justin Jackson also gave the 'Cats a pledge, and athlete Dareian Watkins will likely contribute at receiver.

18. Texas Tech: New head coach Kliff Kingsbury has brought some of the momentum from Texas A&M back home to the Red Raiders, and the former quarterback has made offense a priority. Texas Tech has six wide receivers in the fray, led by Jakari Dillard. Running back Justin Stockton and quarterback Patrick Mahomes also are in the mix, but the school has only one defensive commitment: end L.J. Collier, although he is underrated.

19. Virginia Tech: The Hokies have had a very good spring on the recruiting trail, and this class is led by athlete Travon McMillian, who projects best as a defender but who wants to play quarterback. Bud Foster's unit will get help in the form of safeties C.J. Reavis, Kalen McCain and Terrell Edmunds, while tight end Xavier Burke and running back Marshawn Williams will help the offense.

20. Clemson: The Tigers hold a verbal commitment from the nation's top dual-threat quarterback, Deshaun Watson, but SEC teams are doing their best to get him to look elsewhere. Dabo Swinney, Chad Morris and the rest of the staff also have a pledge from playmaking running back Jae'lon Oglesby, while Milan Richard and Cannon Smith are two of the best tight ends in the country.

21. Kentucky: First-year head coach Mark Stoops is doing a marvelous job in Lexington, rallying a fan base that was wildly enthused for the team's spring game. The Wildcats' haul is led by quarterback Drew Barker, who will be joined by receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass, running back Mikel Horton and tight end Darryl Long. Stoops used his connections in the state of Ohio to put together a tremendous early list of verbal pledges.

22. Baylor: The Bears remain under the radar under Art Briles, but the start of this class is hard to overlook. Seven players are committed, led by athlete Davion Hall, who can play corner or wide receiver while possibly making an impact as a returner. And running back Terence Williams will try to make a similar impact as new Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams, who had a very good career in Waco.

23. Vanderbilt: James Franklin continues to make headlines on the recruiting trail at Vandy, as the Commodores have commitments from quarterbacks Kyle Carta-Samuels and Elijah Staley. But the real gem of this haul is defensive back Emmanuel Smith, who committed to Vandy in March over rival Tennessee.

24. Oklahoma: Bob Stoops has taken his lumps this offseason for various comments regarding paying players and the SEC, but it's been a good month for Stoops and his staff as they have picked up three commitments in May. Quarterback Justice Hansen headlines the group, and he'll be joined by running back Samaje Perine and wide receiver Dallis Todd. Stoops also made the secondary a major point of emphasis, so cornerbacks Marcus Green and Tito Windham Jr. are good "gets."

25. USC: Lane Kiffin and the Trojans were not able to land some higher-profile national players late in the 2013 cycle, so look for this haul to be West Coast-heavy. 'SC really needs to add depth up front despite scholarship restrictions, so it's no wonder that local offensive linemen Toa Lobendahn and Jordan Poland as well as in-state defensive linemen Tashon Smallwood and Austin Maloata have given pledges.

Five to watch

Michigan State
North Carolina

Five more to keep an eye on

Oklahoma State

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