NCF On The Trail: #UltimateESPN300

Ultimate 300: Pac-12's top classes 

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
10:30
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Since 2006, only once has USC not claimed the top recruiting class in the Pac-12, which makes the Trojans an easy selection as the top recruiting school in the conference. But the Ultimate ESPN 300 proves that several other Pac-12 programs have seen terrific recruiting success over that time as well. Here’s a look at the top five Pac-12 recruiting schools over the past eight years:

1. USC
The Trojans' 15 entries in the Ultimate ESPN 300 are the most of any Pac-12 program. Proven or potential superstars have been signed in each of USC’s past six classes, with OT Matt Kalil, QB Matt Barkley, WR Robert Woods, ATH Marqise Lee, DT Leonard Williams and safety Su'a Cravens all signing with USC between 2008 and 2013. The Trojans also landed two recruits in the top 20 of the ultimate rankings, with safety Taylor Mays joining Barkley. Sanctions have hurt USC in the past three seasons, but it wouldn't be surprising to see new head coach Steve Sarkisian finish the 2014 season on a positive note and put together a terrific 2015 class.

Ultimate 300: Big 12's top classes 

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
10:30
AM ET

The Texas-Oklahoma rivalry is bigger than football, but it’s always a fun topic of discussion when the rivalry talk turns to past success. It’s a conversation starter with the release of the Ultimate ESPN 300 class rankings, which ranks every top recruit since 2006. Oklahoma has a dozen players in the Ultimate ESPN 300; Texas has nine.

Here is a look at the top five Big 12 programs that have consistently put together stellar recruiting classes since ESPN began ranking recruits:

1. Oklahoma

The Sooners might start slow some years, but each year they continue to put together top recruiting classes that produce talent that can compete with any team in the country. The 2006 class was one of Bob Stoops’ best, as it produced the No. 1 running back in DeMarco Murray, a future Heisman Trophy winner in quarterback Sam Bradford and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. With players such as offensive lineman Trent Williams, wide receiver Ryan Broyles and tight end Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma is one of the most consistent teams in college football. Stoops produces winners.


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Ultimate 300: ACC's top classes 

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
10:30
AM ET

Clemson has the most top-20 players in the Ultimate ESPN 300, which ranks all top recruits since 2006. Florida State has the most overall. So which ACC school has recruited the best since 2006?

Here is a look at the five ACC schools that consistently put together strong recruiting classes and have developed that high school talent.

1. Florida State
The top of the recruiting rankings often reflect the top of the BCS rankings (see: Alabama), so to those who follow recruiting, it should not have been too much of a surprise to see Florida State finally return to the ranks of college football’s elite. Jimbo Fisher has strung together back-to-back top-two recruiting classes and could claim the recruiting title in 2014. Known for developing quarterbacks, Fisher turned E.J. Manuel into a first-round pick and coached Jameis Winston to a Heisman Trophy. The defensive-line recruiting has been outstanding, too. Bjoern Werner was a first-round pick in 2013, and Timmy Jernigan has the looks of a first-round selection. The same could be said for former No. 1 recruit Mario Edwards, an FSU sophomore who was among the best defensive players in the national championship game. In total, the Seminoles have 18 players in the Ultimate 300, by far the most of any ACC school. One of the best indicators of how well a team recruits is to look four years down the road at the NFL draft. And in 2013, the 11 Seminoles drafted were the most of any school.


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Ultimate 300: SEC's top classes 

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
10:30
AM ET

The SEC has dominated the recruiting world over the past several years. Since 2008, the SEC has had at least three schools finish in the top 10 of the ESPN recruiting class rankings each year. Last year, the conference had an impressive six schools ranked among the top 10 recruiting classes in the country. This year is much of the same, as seven SEC schools are ranked in the top 10.

Here’s a closer look at the five best recruiting SEC schools in the Ultimate ESPN 300.


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Ultimate 300: Big Ten's top classes 

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
10:30
AM ET

ESPN put together an Ultimate ESPN 300 list of top prospects from 2006 to the present. Many Big Ten schools have flourished after landing players from the list.

Here is a look at the top recruiters over that span in the Ultimate ESPN 300 class rankings:

1. Ohio State:
Since 2006, the Buckeyes have had six top-10 ranked classes, topping out at No. 3 in 2013. With top prospect after top prospect, Ohio State has always done well recruiting. Quarterback Braxton Miller even made the Ultimate 300 list at No. 32 overall. Ohio State has landed more than 59 four-star prospects during this time, a not-so-surprising fact when you look at the Buckeyes’ record over the past few seasons.


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Ultimate ESPN 300: Future members 

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
11:00
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It’s never too early to look ahead to next year. Here are five current prospects in the 2014 class we feel could make their mark in future editions of the Ultimate ESPN 300.

RB Leonard Fournette (LSU): It’s not just based on the fact that he’s the top-rated player in the ESPN 300, but rather the perfect blend of talent, need and fit that awaits him at LSU. Fournette is an ideal downhill back for LSU's system. He is physically ready to carry the load and should have an immediate chance to make an impression with the Tigers' lack of depth in the backfield.


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Ultimate 300: Big 12's top recruits 

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
10:30
AM ET

It’s always fun to think back to the former stars of college football recruiting. The Big 12 had a few players who made an impact during their respective recruiting processes.

Here are five players from the Big 12 who made the top 50 of the ESPN Ultimate 300.


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Ultimate 300: Pac-12's top recruits 

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
10:30
AM ET

As signing day closes in for the 2014 class, ESPN scouts took a look back at every recruiting class, beginning in 2006, and compiled an Ultimate ESPN 300 -- the top 300 prospects based on incoming potential and college production. Pac-12 standouts dotted the list throughout, but here is a detailed look at the top five Pac-12 recruits of the past eight years.


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Ultimate 300: ACC's top recruits 

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
10:30
AM ET

An interesting look at recruiting classes over the better part of the past decade, the Ultimate 300 took years of data and on-field performance and compiled it to complete the list of the 300 best recruits since 2006. It is no surprise that Alabama had the most former recruits in the rankings, but it is an ACC school that finished No. 2.

How a prospect fared in college impacted where he was slotted, although NFL production was not considered. Below are the top five recruits in the Ultimate ESPN 300 to sign within the ACC.

1. DE Da'Quan Bowers -- Clemson
Ultimate ESPN 300: 12

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Ultimate 300: Big Ten's top recruits 

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
10:30
AM ET

There have been plenty of memorable prospects and players to come through the Big Ten, but RecruitingNation's scouts have put together their Ultimate ESPN 300 list of top recruits.

Here are the top five Big Ten recruits who made the list:


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Ultimate 300: SEC’s top recruits 

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
10:30
AM ET

The ESPN Ultimate 300 looks back at the best recruits since 2006, and it’s hardly surprising that the SEC made its presence felt in the rankings.

Here’s a look at the top five SEC recruits in the Ultimate ESPN 300:


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Ultimate ESPN 300: The underachievers 

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
10:00
AM ET
The Ultimate ESPN 300 is RecruitingNation's ranking of the best prospects since we began evaluating high school athletes in 2006. Here's a look at five players who underachieved:


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Ultimate ESPN 300: The overachievers 

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
9:30
AM ET
The Ultimate ESPN 300 is RecruitingNation's ranking of the best prospects since we began evaluating high school athletes in 2006. Here are five players who exceeded expectations:

QB Robert Griffin III (Baylor): Schools and evaluators missed on Griffin because they were quick to classify him as an athlete because he was an elite hurdler. We stated that "he has the arm strength to make all the throws and is an amazing athlete.” However, Baylor coach Art Briles deserves credit -- he was the only coach to offer Griffin a scholarship at quarterback early in the process while at Houston, where Griffin committed despite already having talented QBs such as Case Keenum on board. When Briles took the Baylor job, Griffin followed because he was sold on Briles' system.


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