The Top 5 Recruiting Classes of 2009#1. OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes went wire-to-wire as Scout's No. 1 class. Ohio State got off to a fast start with 22 commitments pledging to the Buckeyes by the Fourth of July headlined by 5-star recruits Dorian Bell, Melvin Fellows and Johnny Simon. It had been a quiet autumn for the Buckeyes with only one commitment since Sept. 1. Then they locked up the No. 1 spot by signing offensive tackle Marcus Hall. The Buckeyes are looking to inject a heavy dose of speed with five defensive backs signed, headlined by two-way athlete Corey Brown and offensive imports James Jackson, poached from the state up North (that means Michigan for those outside the loop) and three key play-makers from the Sunshine State in running backs Jaamal Berry and Carlos Hyde and wide receiver Duron Carter.
Alabama made another mad dash for the No. 1 spot, only to come up just short. With a solid contingent already committed before Signing Day, Alabama had a huge Signing Day haul, including linebacker Tana Patrick, running back Eddie Lacy and offensive tackle Brandon Moore. Alabama has an impressive class across the board, headlined by five-star-rated running back Trent Richardson, linebacker Nico Johnson, and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Michael Bowman and Kevin Norwood are big, talented receivers who should complement Julio Jones well. Alabama recruited depth and talent at every position including a deep pool of offensive linemen spearheaded by massive tackle D.J. Fluker.
The Bayou Bengals of LSU enjoy one of the best location-based recruiting advantages in the entire country as the only BCS school in a talent-rich area. Les Miles and his Tigers have stretched beyond the state of Louisiana though, securing a commitment from one of the most dangerous players in the country in quarterback Russell Shepard of Houston. LSU also has a commitment from the nation's No. 1-ranked safety prospect in Craig Loston, another Texas product. All of the big names aren't from out of state though, as five-star defensive tackle Chris Davenport hopes to maintain the recent tradition of dominating interior linemen for the Tigers. Michael Ford, Scout's No. 3 running back, also hails from Louisiana. Signing Day decisions by defensive end Sam Montgomery, linebacker Barkevious Mingo, and No. 1 wide receiver Rueben Randle lifted the class.
One of the big movers on Signing Day, UCLA had a terrrific finish with signatures from big offensive linemen Xavier Su'a-Filo and Stan Hasiak, as well as a cross-country pull in four-star running back Damien Thigpen. UCLA also signed a top-10 class in 2008. Four-star quarterback Richard Brehaut could be thrust into action early next year, and a new favorite target should be the nation's No. 1 tight end, Morrell Presley. Presley wasn't the only former Trojan commit that inked with UCLA. Randall Carroll made the switch as well, vaulting the Bruins past the Trojans in the rankings and into the top 5.
#5. N. CAROLINA
North Carolina did a terrific job of securing the state's top talent. With four ACC teams within the state borders, the Tar Heels secured signatures from five of the top seven prospects from North Carolina. UNC is doing more than just securing its own borders though with high-profile commitments from out-of-staters, including quarterback Bryn Renner (Virginia) and offensive linemen Brennan Williams (Massachusetts) and Johnnie Farms (Georgia). The headliner in this Tar Heel class, though, is a homegrown product: Scout.com's No. 1 defensive end Donte Moss from Jacksonville, N.C.
(Ranking by Scout.com)
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