College football's 2021 recruiting class certainly had some misses, especially at the top. Defensive end Jack Sawyer was the No. 1 overall prospect in the class and has been a strong producer for top-ranked Ohio State but not the impact performer who justifies a top slot. Offensive tackle Tommy Brockermeyer, the No. 2 overall prospect, originally signed with Alabama then transferred to TCU. High school injuries have unfortunately carried over to college and plagued his career.
But while some of the elite high school talent from this class hasn't made a major impact, others have risen to great heights. Texas running back Jonathon Brooks, Penn State cornerback Kalen King and three-star Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean are all examples of prospects who weren't ranked but are now prominent figures across the sport.
With the benefit of nearly three seasons of player evaluation and production on Saturdays, we can now better assess the most impactful recruiting classes from the 2021 cycle as well. Some blue chips at the top were obvious, as they perennially recruit the best talent. Others have exceeded expectations and benefited from good evaluations. Those classes have climbed the ranking, and today's update includes four new entries.
Recruiting is far from an exact science, and the emergence of the transfer portal gives players their own ability to redo their college decision and seek a better opportunity to reach their potential without having to sit out a year. With several years of development and play on the field to reflect on, we are reranking the class of 2021 recruits and classes:
1. Caleb Williams, QB, USC Trojans
2021 ESPN 300 ranking: 16 (No. 1 QB-DT)