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Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

The 2023 recruiting cycle is fully underway, but much is still to be determined. While a few big names have made commitments, over 200 prospects in the ESPN 300 remain undeclared, including nine of the 10 five-stars.

While this talent race is far from over, several schools have gotten off to strong starts, and among that group are some familiar names.

Notre Dame, which just signed a top-10 class for 2022, leads the pack early on, and Georgia, which has signed six straight top-three classes, is once again in that mix.

Also, among the fast-starting classes are some names we don’t regularly see battling within the top 10, such as Texas Tech and Louisville.

The Red Raiders have cultivated some early momentum in their home state under the direction of new head coach Joey McGuire, an excellent recruiter who came over from Baylor and prior to that was a successful high school head coach in the Lone Star state.

The Cardinals got off to a slow start in 2022 and finished near the bottom of the ACC but have come out the gate much stronger, already securing an ESPN 300 QB in Pierce Clarkson and a high-upside edge defender in Adonijah Green.

Texas A&M signed the No. 1 class in 2022 and was followed by Alabama, and while both are further down the rankings with smaller classes at this stage, they’re among the teams to watch as the 2023 cycle unfolds.

ESPN 300 commits: 6

Independent rank: 1
Top offensive commit: RB Sedrick Irvin Jr. (four stars)
Top defensive commit: DE Keon Keeley (No. 23)

The Fighting Irish have inked two consecutive top-10 classes and are off to a strong start to extend that streak. New head coach Marcus Freeman has his fingerprints all over this class with multiple key additions on the defensive side of the ball. Keeley is a lengthy edge defender who can be a disruptive pass-rushing presence. LB Drayk Bowen was a big in-state pickup as the top-rated player in Indiana. The Irish have multiple ESPN 300 commits in the secondary, including top-five S Peyton Bowen out of Texas and top-10 CB Justyn Rhett, a prospect with a good blend of size, explosiveness and foot quickness.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 5

SEC rank: 1 of 14
Top offensive commit: OT Bo Hughley (No. 100)
Top defensive commit: CB Marcus Washington (No. 84)

The defending national champions are contenders to sign a seventh straight top-three class. Located in a talent-rich state, they are doing well at home with commitments thus far from two of the top 10 prospects in Georgia in Washington and Hughley. They pulled WR Raymond Cottrell, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect with quick, strong hands out of Florida. During their title run, the Bulldogs got great production from freshman TE Brock Bowers and are now adding more young talent to that position with commitments from ESPN 300 TEs Pearce Spurlin and Lawson Luckie.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 3

Big Ten rank: 1 of 14
Top offensive commit: OG J’ven Williams (No. 45)
Top defensive commit: CB Lamont Payne (three stars)

The Nittany Lions spent most of the 2022 cycle near the top of the class rankings, and early in the 2023 cycle, they’re back near the top. They are doing a nice job in the offensive trenches with several talented OL pickups led by Williams, the top-rated player in the state and a mobile and physical blocker. They continue to find success in the Washington, D.C., area with multiple commits out of Virginia, including Alex Birchmeier, a flexible and aggressive blocker. TE Andrew Rappleyea was a nice flip from Michigan, as he is a productive receiving target with good hands and body control.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 3

SEC rank: 2 of 14
Top offensive commit: TE Luke Hasz (No. 64)
Top defensive commit: DE Kaleb James (four stars)

The Razorbacks are stacking up talent at tight end with three ESPN 300 commits. Hasz comes out of a winning program in Oklahoma and, as a receiving target, runs good routes and has sure hands. Shamar Easter was a home-state keep and is a lengthy target with a big catch radius and good hands. Jaden Hamm runs well and can be an aggressive blocker. LB Carson Dean is a name to watch in this class, as he is an active presence with good range and agility and could develop into a highly productive player in the mold of Arkansas LB Bumper Pool.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 2

Big 12 rank: 1 of 10
Top offensive commit: QB Jake Strong (four stars)
Top defensive commit: S Brenden Jordan (No. 186)

New head coach Joey McGuire has been known as a strong recruiter and brings a high-energy style to the Red Raiders. Now with a full cycle to work, they are a team to watch in recruiting. The foundation of the class is built on in-state talent, including QB Strong, a passer who has continued to improve throughout his high school career and has good arm strength and accuracy. Jordan can be a sound tackler in the secondary, and edge defender Isaiah Crawford is a lengthy prospect with nice upside.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 4

ACC rank: 1 of 14
Top offensive commit: QB Pierce Clarkson (No. 137)
Top defensive commit: DE Adonijah Green (No. 146)

The Cardinals’ 2022 class took a bit to come together as they finished near the bottom of the ACC, but they are off to a much stronger start for 2023. Clarkson is a passer with a strong arm and background at the position, as he’s the son of longtime quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson. Receiver Jahlil McClain should have good synergy with Clarkson, as the two are high school teammates at St. John Bosco in California. Green is a pickup with a high ceiling for development. He is a lean but lengthy player with good initial quickness and was among the top performers at a loaded Under Armour Camp in Atlanta this spring.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 4

Big Ten rank: 2 of 14
Top offensive commit: OT Luke Montgomery (No. 68)
Top defensive commit: ATH Cedrick Hawkins (No. 214)

A staple near the top of the recruiting rankings, the Buckeyes are recruiting at a high level once again. Offensive linemen Montgomery and Joshua Padilla were two key in-state keeps as both are ESPN 300 prospects and among the top three in Ohio. Ty Lockwood is a tight end with the tools to be a well-rounded player at the position. Athlete Hawkins projects to the secondary where he can be an excellent player with his great feet and physical style of play.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 1

Big 12 rank: 2 of 10
Top offensive commit: QB Austin Novosad (three stars)
Top defensive commit: LB Christian Brathwaite (No. 300)

Novosad is a smooth passer with good arm talent who reminds us of LSU QB Myles Brennan. Micah Gifford can be a productive receiving target, as he possesses good quickness and has shown he can make the tough play in contested matchups. Defensively, Brathwaite not only possesses good initial explosiveness, but good pursuit range as well. ATH Javeon Wilcox projects to the secondary and brings an attacking style of play and should be a good special teams contributor early on.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 3

Pac-12 rank: 1 of 12
Top offensive commit: QB Malachi Nelson (No. 2)
Top defensive commit: N/A

Lincoln Riley has assembled a small but talented offensive class so far. Two key in-state pickups who were planning to join Riley at Oklahoma flipped to their hometown school when Riley made the change. Nelson is the No. 2 QB in the class with a smooth release and the ability to make tough throws on the move. Makai Lemon is high school teammates with Nelson and has good hands and quickness. WR Zachariah Branch, out of Las Vegas, is one the fastest players in this class and can be an electrifying playmaker with the ball in his hands.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 2

Big 12 rank: 3 of 10
Top offensive commit: QB Jackson Arnold (No. 39)
Top defensive commit: N/A

The Sooners took a hit when five-star QB Malachi Nelson decommitted and followed Lincoln Riley to USC. The new staff rebounded quite well, though, by landing Arnold, the No. 6-ranked QB in the class, who has a smooth, compact delivery, as well as good pocket mobility. The Sooners also have a promising target in the passing game on board in Ashton Cozart, who is a lengthy receiver with big-play speed.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 2

Big Ten rank: 3 of 14
Top offensive commit: RB Cole Cabana (No. 108)
Top defensive commit: LB Raylen Wilson (No. 56)

Early on, the Wolverines secured a commitment from one of the top in-state prospects in Cabana, a slashing runner who can also be a productive receiving target out of the backfield. In-state WR Semaj Morgan has a compact build but a strong lower body to break tackles. Wilson, a powerful linebacker with good range, was a big out-of-state pickup.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 2

SEC rank: 3 of 14
Top offensive commit: QB Nicholaus Iamaleava (No. 13)
Top defensive commit: S Jack Luttrell (three stars)

The Volunteers were able to score a big, early win on the recruiting trail with the commitment of ESPN 300 QB Iamaleava. Among the top QBs in the country, he is not only a talented passer, but he also moves well. While he is a player they can build this class around, TE Ethan Davis was among the first commits for 2023. A talented basketball player as well, he is still developing but has good ball skills and the ability to win contested matchups.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 3

ACC rank: 2 of 14
Top offensive commit: QB Chris Parson (No. 181)
Top defensive commit: DT Keith Sampson (No. 209)

The Seminoles are working to add more talent to their quarterback room. After signing ESPN 300 QB A.J. Duffy in 2022, they have added another top-300 signal caller in Parson. A player with the mobility to create problems as a runner, he can also be a dangerous big-play threat as a passer with a strong arm and impressive deep ball. The Seminoles added some strong additions to their defensive line in Sampson, who can be a stout presence, and Lamont Green Jr., a lengthy defender who runs well and has good upside.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 2

Big Ten rank: 4 of 14
Top offensive commit: OG Johnathan Slack (No. 296)
Top defensive commit: DE Andrew Depaepe (No. 207)

The Spartans are working to notch a second straight top-20 class and are off to a good start. Offensive guards might not get fan bases fired up, but Slack is a very good in-state pickup, as he’s a blocker with good feet and excellent functional strength. The Spartans went into rival Big Ten country to land DE Depaepe out of Iowa, a player with good strength and motor. They went into Texas to land a powerful thrower at QB in Bo Edmundson.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 0

Big Ten rank: 5 of 14
Top offensive commit: QB Marco Lainez III (four stars)
Top defensive commit: DE Chase Brackney (three stars)

Not surprisingly, the Hawkeyes’ class is not real flashy, but it has a very solid foundation. QB Lainez is a consistent, smooth and accurate passer who looks like a nice fit for Iowa’s offense. Known for its eye for and developing offensive lineman, Iowa landed top-five center Leighton Jones. Defensively, Brackney displays good power to collapse the pocket and set the edge vs. the run.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 2

SEC rank: 4 of 14
Top offensive commit: OT Colton Thomasson (three stars)
Top defensive commit: DE Anthony James (No. 126)

The Aggies signed the top class for 2022, anchored by an outstanding haul along the defensive line, and are continuing to add talent to that unit for 2023. James is a player with a nice blend of size, initial quickness and agility, and DL Johnny Bowens displays a good get-off and strength.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 3

Big 12 rank: 4 of 10
Top offensive commit: N/A
Top defensive commit: CB Jamel Johnson (No. 110)

Early on, Texas has been able to land some top in-state defensive prospects led by Johnson, a DB with good ball skills and the size and toughness to support the run. Along the defensive line, ESPN 300 prospect Dylan Spencer gives the Longhorns an explosive player with a good motor in the trenches.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 1

ACC rank: 3 of 14
Top offensive commit: ATH Robby Washington (No. 280)
Top defensive commit: LB Bobby Washington (three stars)

Mario Cristobal is establishing himself as one of the elite recruiting head coaches and is tasked with rebuilding his alma mater. Twin brothers Robby and Bobby Washington are good in-state pickups. Robby is projected to the offensive side of the ball, where he brings speed and can be dangerous with the ball in space. Antonio Tripp is an out-of-state pickup for the Hurricanes and is an interior OL with good body quickness.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 1

SEC rank: 5 of 14
Top offensive commit: WR Shamar Porter (No. 248)
Top defensive commit: S Ty Bryant (three stars)

The Wildcats signed a top-25 class for 2022 and are contending to do so again. WR was an area of need addressed in the previous class, and they are continuing to add talent to that unit with Porter, a lengthy and sudden target. They are also active in the state with three of the top six players in Kentucky on board, led by OT Malachi Wood, a tall tackle with a big frame to develop.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 1

Big Ten rank: 6 of 14
Top offensive commit: ATH Christopher Johnson (No. 221)
Top defensive commit: N/A

Greg Schiano has been able to restore some recruiting juice to Rutgers and looks to have them in the race for a top-25 class. Florida is always an important recruiting ground for the Scarlet Knights, and they pulled ESPN 300 athlete Johnson, a speedster who could project to multiple spots but will probably be used as an offensive skill player. They have kept a pair of high three-star OLs close to home in John Stone and JaSire Peterson, the latter of whom they brought back into the fold after he had decommitted for a brief period.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 0

Group of 5 rank: 1
Top offensive commit: TE Khamari Anderson (three-stars)
Top defensive commit: LB Trevor Carter (four-stars)

The Bearcats are showing they are ready for a move to the Big 12 with their play on the field and their ability to recruit among the better classes in the country. Four-star LB Carter was a big in-state win, and interior OL Evan Tengesdahl was another strong, home-state pickup as he took home positional MVP honors this Spring at the Under Armour Camp in Ohio. Anderson can be a productive target in the passing game, as he is a smooth runner with good hands.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 0

Big Ten rank: 7 of 14
Top offensive commit: OG Dylan Senda (three stars)
Top defensive commit: S Jacob Lewis (three stars)

The Wildcats have landed a pair of three-star offensive linemen in Senda, an interior OL who can bend well, and Anthony Birsa, who is from the state. Athlete Frank Covey projects to the offensive side of the ball where he can be a versatile threat with good speed, excellent ball skills and experience at QB and WR.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 0

Big Ten rank: 8 of 14
Top offensive commit: OT Gunnar Gottula (three stars)
Top defensive commit: CB Dwight Bootle II (three stars)

Scott Frost is continuing to work to reestablish the Huskers program as one of the best in the Big Ten and country. It has not been an easy task, but based on in-state talent, Nebraska is off to a solid start for 2023. Gottula is an aggressive blocker who moves well, and Sam Sledge is a good home-state addition to develop in the trenches. The Cornhuskers went to the Northeast to land their QB in William Watson III, who lacks ideal size but has a quick, smooth release and can make plays on the move and improvise.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 1

Pac-12 rank: 2 of 12
Top offensive commit: WR Ahmari Borden (No. 298)
Top defensive commit: N/A

Stanford signed the No. 1 class in the conference for 2022 and is building a nice foundation for this cycle, especially on the offensive side of the ball. WR Borden is a lengthy target with quickness and will be an aggressive blocker. Tiger Bachmeier is a competitive prospect who can be a reliable receiving target.


Football recruiting class rankings: Notre Dame starts at No. 1

ESPN 300 commits: 2

SEC rank: 6 of 14
Top offensive commit: N/A
Top defensive commit: CB Jahlil Hurley (No. 18)

The Crimson Tide have only two commits, but both are among the top 50 nationally and top three at their respective positions. Hurley is an agile and smooth corner with good length, and safety Elliot Washington has good range, can change directions well and is a physical presence in the back end.


Scorecard | 2022 class rankings | 2021 class rankings | 2020 class rankings

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