Saw this on CNNSI and figured that this was fairly pertinent what with NSD just a few days away. Take a look at #5
Top 15 All-Time College Football Recruiting Classes
put a post up seeing if anyone could guess which of Ms classes was ranked #5 all time....my money says no one.
Shame on me for not doing my homework before posting this, but oh well. I think Michigan's recruiting class in 96 or 97, with Henson, Terrell, Walker, Epstein, etc. was a hell of a class. Ranks pretty high on my list.
I would have been like you, and guessed the '98 Henson class that was ranked #1 would have been it.
But this was interesting...
Agreed, that was the first one that came to my mind. Justin Fargas was in it as I recall.
This list seems to be much more weighted toward team results (for good reason). I think almost every team on the list won a national title. I was surprised at the OSU class which was included; I expected a class with a few more of their more famous players (aka not Steve Bellisari).
I was about to say the same thing. OSU's '98 class played its sophomore, junior and senior years during OSU's relative down period from 1999-2001. It was an odd choice. I would have gone with one of their classes from the mid-'90s or '00s.
If you count Miami's 5th year seniors (like he gives credit to the class in some of the posts). 5 if you count in team scrimmages. :-)
Might explain our Rose Bowl record some...though we did beat some of those teams on the list. ;-)
was better than 13th place. It was a monster.
What blew me away was despite how good some of these recruiting classes were on paper, how few of them resulted in a large number of NFL prospects/starters. Even those old OSU classes under Cooper - which seemed like NFL factories at times - resulted in a couple of good pros and a bunch of meh players. Just surprising how that played out.
The other interesting fact I noticed was how a number of those classes - like FSU and Miami in the 80s and 90s, USC in 2003 - ultimately became known at least as much for their off-the-field transgressions (and recruiting issues) as their on-field success. Even though FSU's run in the 90s was amazing on paper, the first thing that pops in my head is Free Shoes U. I feel like there is some sadness in that.
One of the most impressive classes I ever saw assembled (without the benefit of hindsight, obviously) was FSU's class in 1991. They signed 25 guys, 18 of them were high school all-americans. I *THINK* their only QB that year was Thad Busby. But they had Charlie Ward in the system and I think Chris Weinke had signed with them the year before.
The 1991 class featured the top offensive and top defensive player in the country. The top defensive guy was Derrick Brooks (who was still a safety prospect) and the top offensive guy was Marquette Smith (who transferred after his mom got sick).
I mentioned this in another thread...but one of the more incredible recruiting efforts was by Notre Dame in 1990. Normally, a school will offer scholarships to 150-200 kids. Notre Dame offered something like 37 kids scholarships. And signed 18 of them. Of the 18 that they signed, 12 of them played in the NFL. Bryant Young, Jerome Bettis, Jeff Burris, Aaron Taylor, Lake Dawson, Willie Clark, Pete Berrich, Greg Lane, Jim Flanigan, Oliver Gibson, Anthony Peterson and Tim Ruddy were all in that class.
I interviewed Jeff Burris when he got back from his recruiting trip. Most of the kids that signed were brought in for the Notre Dame football banquet at the end of the year. Bob Costas was the speaker.
Burris is an impressive guy. He was the star athlete at his high school in Rock Hill, SC. He was a running back who was everyone's all american. He was the class president and easily the most popular guy in school. His school won the state title...by beating their crosstown rival.
But he came back from that visit and was on cloud nine. He couldn't stop talking about it.
That class was stellar, and had our defense even showed up in 2000, we would have competed for a national title.
It was good, but I think I'd rank our '95 class (which included Brady, Woodson, Streets, Hall, Renes and others) above it.
The '96 class (Hutchinston, Backus, Brandt, Dhani Jones, Ian Gold, Tommy Hendricks) was also very good, although its star (Jason Kapsner) ended up never getting PT.
"I'm obviously biased here, but I believe you've made a mistake. You mention that in the 1947 season, Notre Dame was ranked #1, but after UM won the Rose Bowl the AP voted again, giving UM the National Championship. All of this is correct, but then in describing Notre Dame's 1946 class you credit them with 3 national titles from 1946-1949, which would include the 1947 title. While Notre Dame claims the 1947 title (incorrectly, as you have shown), it should not be given to them from an impartial source such as SI. I doubt this will be changed in the article, but some acknowledgement would be much appreciated."