- RECRUITING - Top QBs highlight FSU's No. 1 class

Wednesday, April 25
Top QBs highlight FSU's No. 1 class

 Joe Mauer
QB Joe Mauer, the nation's No. 1 prospect, is one of several top 100 players to choose FSU.

With their usual Signing Day flair, the Florida State Seminoles have signed the No. 1 class of the 2000-01 recruiting campaign. Here are my top 20 classes:

1. FSU -- The Seminoles really filled their needs at almost every position and came on very strong at the end, landing QBs Joe Mauer and Adrian McPherson, RB Eric Shelton, DB Jerome Carter, and LB Willie Jones. They lost a lot of seniors, but have gained what's probably a better class than the group that just left.

2. Michigan -- The Wolverines are not too far behind FSU. They really needed RB help and got Kelly Baraka and David Underwood. They needed pass rushers and got Pat Massey and Pierre Woods. They needed secondary help and got Ernest Shazor and Marlin Jackson. All those are five-star players.

3. LSU -- The Tigers' signees are almost as good as those of the top two; this is their best class in years. They signed nine of the top 10 Louisiana prospects, including superstars such as WR Michael Clayton, TE Marcus Spears and DE Marquise Hill. From Texas they signed top OL Ben Wilkerson and one of that state's best athletes in RB Joseph Addai.

4. Texas -- The Longhorns addressed their needs at OL, landing seven of the top nine at that position in the state. They also got one of the nation's top RBs in Cedric Benson and maybe the best kick returner in Quan Cosby.

5. Tennessee -- The Vols did a great job at RB; though they lost Carnell Williams to Auburn, they gained Jabari Davis, Cedric Houston and Derrick Tinsley. They also brought aboard one of the nation's premier LBs in Kevin Simon, one of the top DBs in Robert Boulware and top WRs in Montrell Jones and Michael Collins.

6. Oklahoma -- The Sooners' best class in years. They raided Texas effectively, signing top DL Tommie Harris, RB Donta Hickson and WR Brandon Jones, and they also got every prospect they wanted in-state.

7. Miami -- The Hurricanes were a definite top 5 team until the coaching change, but Larry Coker and his staff rebounded well. They were able to keep a majority of committed players in the fold. They landed the nation's top LB in Leon Williams, a great DB in Antrel Rolle and a top-notch DT in Orien Harris.

Tom Lemming is editor of Prep Football Report. For information on how to subscribe to Prep Football Report's three yearly magazines and five newsletters, fax your request to 847-842-1313 or write to P.O. Box 59113, Schaumburg, Ill. 60159. Attention new subscribers: You'll receive Lemming's Class of 2001 wrap-up issue FREE if you subscribe for the upcoming season. For year-round recruiting updates, call Tom Lemming's Prep Football Hotline at 900-860-9888. Calls are $1.79 per minute, and callers must be 18 years old or have parents' permission.

8. Washington -- The Huskies signed two of the finest WRs in Reggie Williams and Charles Frederick. They also did a great job in-state and got everybody they wanted, including RB Ty Eriks. And they signed a blue-chip QB in Casey Paus and one of Alaska's top prospects in the past 10 years, DL Tui Alailefaleula.

9. Clemson -- No program signed more super WRs than the Tigers, and they didn't have go outside the state to do so. Roscoe Crosby, Airese Currie and Tymere Zimmerman will form a terrific trio, and they'll be complemented by blue-chip TE Ben Hall.

10. Wisconsin -- The Badgers did a great job of filling needs at every position, including QB (Owen Daniels), DT (Anttaj Hawthorne), and several in-state defensive linemen, as well as one of nation's top two CBs in Brett Bell.

11. Georgia -- The Bulldogs started slowly with the coaching change but finished well, thanks to Mark Richt keeping recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner on the staff. Among the stellar players they signed are QB D.J. Shockley, WR Fred Gibson, LB Marquis Elmore and All-American junior college CB Brandon Williams.

12. UCLA -- The Bruins recruited extremely well in-state, signing such stars as DB Matt Ware, OL Bob Cleary, RB Tyler Ebell and DB Jibril Raymo. But they also ventured outside California to land three blue-chippers in Arizona WR Junior Taylor, Texas OL Colin Barker and Pennsylvania TE Keith Carter.

13. Notre Dame -- The Fighting Irish signed only one five-star player but several four-star players. Top-flight TE Mark LeVoir could end up at OT, and they signed big-time help for the secondary in Lionel Bolen, Marcus Wilson and Dwight Ellick. They got the WR they wanted in Carlos Campbell and a real stopper in ILB Corey Mays.

14. USC -- The Trojans' class got a major boost when top-ranked DL Shaun Cody signed on Wednesday, and it also features such super prospects as QB Matt Leinart and RB Darryl Poston.

15. Penn State -- Some observers may think this is a down year for the Nittany Lions, but I don't agree. They did a good job in the East, landing DL Charles Rush and one of nation's premier offensive linemen, Tyler Reed. They missed out on a couple of great ones -- LB Leon Williams and RB Kevin Jones -- but they came on strong at the end.

16. N.C. State-- The big surprise this year. The Wolfpack did a terrific job in Florida's Broward and Dade counties, loading up on great prospects from the state, including RB Tramain Hall, WR Sterling Hicks, DB Greg Golden and QB Jay Davis. They also did a good job in-state.

17. Mississippi -- This is the Rebels' best class in years, led by three players from Madison (Miss.) Central High School -- OL Chris Spencer, WR Mike Espy and RB Sylvester Brown -- as well as DB Ratavious Biddle.

18. Nebraska -- The Huskers closed effectively with late additions DL LeKevin Smith and RB Marques Simmons to a class that already included DL Titus Adams and QB Mike Stuntz.

19. Ohio State -- Like Miami, the Buckeyes rebounded extremely well from the late coaching change, landing highly rated RBs Lydell Ross and Maurice Hall, along with super WR Angelo Chattams and defensive linemen Simon Fraser and Marcus Green.

20. Illinois: -- The Illini reached into California to sign highly rated QB Matt Dlugolecki, and they were able to retain some of the state of Illinois' top prospects, notably DL Lionel Williams, RB Abe Jones, OL Rob Needham and RB Morris Virgil.

Rounding out the top 30:

21. Florida
22. Purdue
23. Auburn
24. Georgia Tech
25. Iowa
26. Stanford
27. Arizona
28. South Carolina
29. Alabama
30. Virginia Tech

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Complete signing lists of Lemming's top 20 classes

ACC signings

Big 12 signings

Big East signings

Big Ten signings

Big West signings

Conference USA signings

Independents signings

Mid-American signings

Mountain West signings

Pac-10 signings

SEC signings

WAC signings

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