February 9, 2009

Stanford class ranks as one of the top surprises

MORE: Position recruiting breakdown: Offense | Defense | Team recruiting rankings

We asked the members of the recruiting coverage staff which school's class surprised them the most this year. Here are their responses.

Jeremy Crabtree's answer: There isn't much debate for me: Stanford. The Cardinal's average national recruiting ranking the past three years was 51st, but coach Jim Harbaugh reeled in the school's first top-25 class since 2003. The Cardinal did a tremendous job in California and nationally. You could make a case for Michigan State, but the Spartans are a winning program. Stanford isn't - yet - but that might change after a recruiting class like this.

Mike Farrell's answer: To me, the biggest surprise has to be Stanford. For Jim Harbaugh and his staff to put together a national top-20 class with all of the academic restrictions they face is remarkable. The last time Stanford finished in the top 25 was in 2003, and to finish just behind UCLA for the No. 3 slot in the Pac-10 this year is outstanding. Stanford has more academic hurdles than any "Big Six" program, and it's not even close - and Harbaugh still pulled in a top-20 class.

Jamie Newberg's answer: Coach Jim Leavitt and USF finished with their highest team ranking in history, at No. 30 overall and No. 2 in the Big East. USF is making significant recruiting steps. For the first time, USF beat Florida for a recruit: defensive end Ryne Giddins. The Bulls beat Miami on linebacker Sam Barrington and defensive back Kayvon Webster. They also won battles for running backs Lindsey Lamar and Adaris Bellamy, defensive end Julius Forte, safety Jacquez Jenkins and wide receiver Sterling Griffin. The defensive line group is outstanding and the strength of this class.

Barton Simmons' answer: Mississippi State had plenty of excuses this year. The Bulldogs went 4-8 and the season was characterized by a complete absence of offense. A charismatic head coach was fired before the recruiting homestretch, and that coincided with a resurgence from archrival Ole Miss. Despite that, Mississippi State added its best quarterback prospect in years (Tyler Russell), more defensive standouts (Fletcher Cox and Josh Boyd) and a perfect candidate - Chad Bumphis - to play the role of Percy Harvin in new coach Dan Mullen's offense. The Bulldogs finished in the top 25 in recruiting and signed 14 of the top 30 recruits in Mississippi.

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2007 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.