Recruiting never stops. The 2018 class is officially in the books and attention has turned to 2019. While the coming months will be an introductory period to the class for some, teams have already been hard at work, with a few off to fast starts.
The Bulldogs just signed the top class for the 2018 cycle and are already showing that they will be serious contenders to do so in 2019. The group includes six players ranked in the ESPN Junior 300 with three ranked in the top 10. Among them are the top two wide receivers in the class, Jadon Haselwood, a long and smooth target, and Dominick Blaylock, an explosive player with quick hands. Georgia just signed seven of the top 10 players within their home state, and Kirby Smart is again demonstrating that it will not be easy for other programs to lure top Peach State players. All seven commitments for 2019 are from inside the state lines, with ESPN Junior 300 pass-rusher Nolan Smith (a Savannah native) attending school in Florida at IMG Academy.
The Aggies were able to close well and finish with a top-20 class in 2018, but with a full year to work on the 2019 class, Jimbo Fisher and his staff could compete for a top-10 finish next year. Of the handful of commitments, four are ranked in the ESPN Junior 300, including No. 1 safety Brian Williams, a potential playmaker in the secondary. While Fisher landed ESPN 300 QB James Foster on signing day, he has another top QB prospect on board for 2019 in No. 2 pocket-passer Grant Gunnell. The class also includes a pair of in-state receivers, Kameron Brown and Chase Lane.
The Hurricanes were among the fast starters a year ago and are again for 2019. They have one of the biggest classes at this point, but it's not just about numbers. Miami is filling key needs on defense with ESPN Junior 300 defensive tackle Denzel Daxon and linebackers Jesiah Pierre and Diamante Howard. The same can be said of the offensive line, led by quick guard Renato Brown. The skill talent is headlined by local ESPN Junior 300 receiver Brieon Fuller, who has a good blend of length and speed and can also create yards after the catch.
Each of the Crimson Tide's pledges is ranked, with three inside the top 100. The Crimson Tide addressed secondary needs with the 2018 class and now have more talent headed to that group in safety Brendan Gant and No. 6-ranked corner Brandon Turnage. The Tide went into Georgia for top-10 outside linebacker King Mwikuta, a rangy prospect with high upside.
The Sooners are looking for a third straight top-10 class. The class includes two prospects ranked No. 1 at their respective positions: dual-threat quarterback Spencer Rattler, a talented signal-caller with a smooth, quick delivery; and tight end Austin Stogner, a big target with strong hands.
Five prospects you need to know
LB Owen Pappoe
ESPN Junior 300 rank: 4
Pappoe could be the next big linebacker from Georgia. He already has been in the recruiting process for quite some time, gaining offers early in his high school career. Pappoe has narrowed his list to Clemson, Auburn and Georgia, but he is still planning spring visits to Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan. The 6-foot-1, 207-pound prospect would like to commit before the season, so those spring visits will be big.
OL Devontae Dobbs
ESPN Junior 300 rank: 7
Dobbs has become a national recruit very quickly. He has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State and plenty of others. Early on, Michigan State made a big impression on the in-state prospect, but Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State have caught up. Michigan might have a shot to get back in the picture after falling out early, but it will be a tough battle to land the 6-foot-5, 286-pound lineman.
DT Ishmael Sopsher
ESPN Junior 300 rank: 8
Sopsher has Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas, Clemson, Michigan, Georgia, Mississippi State, Florida State, Tennessee and Penn State in his top group. A 6-foot-4, 330-pound defensive tackle, Sopsher has visited a few schools, including LSU and Alabama. In the end, he might be tough to pull from Louisiana.
WR Marcus Washington
St. Louis, Missouri
ESPN Junior 300 rank: 11
Washington's offer list has grown tremendously over the past few months, seemingly adding a new big offer every week. While he doesn't have an official top list yet, Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and Penn State are schools in good position with the 6-foot-2, 177-pound receiver.
RB Trey Sanders
ESPN Junior 300 rank: 17
Sanders decommitted from Alabama in January but still holds the Tide in high regard, and Alabama will have a definite shot to get him back. Plenty of schools have been coming after him, including Florida State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Ohio State. He could have an active spring with official visits, and at 6 feet and 216 pounds, ranked as the top running back in the 2019 class, he will have his pick of where he'd like to visit.