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August 24, 2012

Breaking down 2013 team rankings

MORE: Team rankings | Rivals250

This week marked the post-summer rankings releases at Rivals.com, with several schools benefitting from the new prospect ratings. Rivals.com's Kynon Codrington breaks down the latest top 20 of the 2013 team rankings.

Top 20: Class of 2013 team rankings
1. USC Trojans
Total commits: 18
Star average: 4.28
Points: 3,067
Top commitments: DB Su'a Cravens (No. 8 in Rivals100), PQB Max Browne (No. 10 in Rivals100), CB Jalen Ramsey (No. 11 in Rivals100), SDE Kenny Bigelow (No. 12 in Rivals100), RB Ty Isaac (No. 19 in Rivals100), RB Justin Davis (No. 41 in Rivals100), CB Chris Hawkins (No. 79 in Rivals100), SDE Kylie Fitts (No. 100 in Rivals100)
The Buzz: Five Trojan commitments are five-star prospects in the Rivals100 as Lane Kiffin and his staff find themselves at the top of the team rankings. The Trojans had a great month of July gaining eight commitments. USC's class is loaded from top to bottom and it may not be done as the Trojans are trying to get Lake City (Fla.) Columbia OT Laremy Tunsil to campus for an official visit.
MORE USC: USCFootball.com
2. Michigan Wolverines
Total commits: 23
Star average: 3.61
Points: 2,542
Top commitments: PQB Shane Morris (No. 17 in Rivals100), DT Henry Poggi (No. 58 in Rivals100), OLB Mike McCray (No. 81 in Rivals100), OT Patrick Kugler (No. 88 in Rivals100), OT Kyle Bosch (No. 92 in Rivals100), S Dymonte Thomas (No. 102 in Rivals250), OT Chris Fox (No. 112 in Rivals250)
The Buzz: Michigan has put together a solid class led by five-star quarterback Morris. The Wolverines landed Avon (Ohio) cornerback Ross Douglas in July after he decommitted from Penn State following the NCAA sanctions. Pickerington (Ohio) North tight end Jake Butt saw his stock rise following his standout performance this summer at The Opening.
MORE MICHIGAN: TheWolverine.com
3. LSU Tigers
Total commits: 22
Star average: 3.64
Points: 2,495
Top commitments: CB Tre'Davious White (No. 34 in Rivals100), OT Ethan Pocic (No. 41 in Rivals100), SDE Frank Herron (No. 77 in Rivals100), PQB Hayden Rettig (No. 91 in Rivals100), OG Josh Boutte (No. 99 in Rivals100),
The Buzz: LSU received a big bump in the ratings this week as Shreveport (La.) Green Oaks cornerback Tre'Davious White jumped 124 spots to No. 34 in the Rivals100. Memphis (Tenn.) defensive end Frank Herron and New Iberia (La.) Westgate offensive guard Josh Boutte also landed in the new Rivals100 rankings. Keep an eye on Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely cornerback Rashard Robinson, who is an underrated cover corner with elite speed.
MORE LSU: TigerBait.com
4. NOTRE DAME Fighting Irish
Total commits: 19
Star average: 3.58
Points: 2,293
Top commitments: OLB Jaylon Smith (No. 3 in Rivals100), OLB Alex Anzalone (No. 48 in Rivals100), OT John Montelus (No. 57 in Rivals100), OT Steve Elmer (No. 61 in Rivals100)
The Buzz: The nation's top-rated outside linebacker received a one-spot bump in the Rivals100 as Smith is now the No. 3 player overall. Notre Dame boosted its ranking when Wyomissing (Pa.) outside linebacker Alex Anzalone committed to the Irish in July at The Opening. They were able to flip four-star Philadelphia (Pa.) Roman Catholic wide receiver William Fuller from his Penn State commitment in August.
MORE NOTRE DAME: IrishIllustrated.com
5. FLORIDA Gators
Total commits: 18
Star average: 3.67
Points: 2,236
Top commitments: CB Vernon Hargreaves III (No. 7 in Rivals100), RB Kelvin Taylor (No. 47 in Rivals100), ILB Daniel McMillian (No. 82 in Rivals100), WR Ahmad Fulwood (No. 86 in Rivals100), DT Caleb Brantley (No. 90 in Rivals100),
The Buzz: The Gators media relations department has been in the news lately trying to spin the recent string of players backing out of their commitments. In spite of those troubles head coach Will Muschamp was able to land the top-rated player in the state as Hargreaves committed in July before Friday Night Lights. Busnell (Fla.) South Sumter safety Keanu Neal made big moves in the Rivals250, moving up 142 spots to No. 108.
MORE FLORIDA: InsidetheGators.com
6. ALABAMA Crimson Tide
Total commits: 18
Star average: 3.67
Points: 2,216
Top commitments: TE O.J. Howard (No. 5 in Rivals100), RB Altee Tenpenny (No. 37 in Rivals100), WDE Jonathan Allen (No. 38 in Rivals100), OT Grant Hill (No. 69 in Rivals100), PQB Cooper Bateman (No. 114 in Rivals250)
The Buzz: The buzz quite simply is the emergence of Prattville (Ala.) Autauga Academy tight end O.J. Howard and his new five-star ranking. Howard was downright dominant this summer at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, The Opening and Gridiron Kings. Huntsville (Ala.) OT Grant Hill climbed 41 spots to No. 69 after his effort at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge.
MORE ALABAMA: TideSports.com
7. GEORGIA Bulldogs
Total commits: 28
Star average: 3.36
Points: 2,176
Top commitments: S Tray Matthews (No. 98 in Rivals100), ILB Johnny O'Neal (No. 129 in Rivals250), WR Reggie Davis (No. 142 in Rivals250), CB Reggie Wilkerson (No. 214 in Rivals250), PQB Brice Ramsey (No. 222 in Rivals250)
The Buzz: The Bulldogs have secured 26 commitments already with Newnan (Ga.) safety Tray Matthews leading the way. Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County quarterback Brice Ramsey improved at every elite event capping off the summer with a 517-yard and seven-touchdown showing in the championship game victory for the Southeast team at Gridiron Kings in Orlando. Swainsboro (Ga.) wide receiver Rico Johnson had a breakout performance this spring at the Charlotte NIKE Camp. Johnson missed his junior year with eligibility issues, but he is one to watch this fall after generating some buzz this off-season.
MORE GEORGIA: UGASports.com
8. AUBURN Tigers
Total commits: 17
Star average: 3.71
Points: 2,146
Top commitments: ILB Reuben Foster (No. 2 in Rivals100), WDE Carl Lawson (No. 4 in Rivals100), SDE Dee Liner (No. 21 in Rivals100), WR Earnest Robinson (No. 45 in Rivals100), ILB Trey Johnson (No. 80 in Rivals100)
The Buzz: Coach Gene Chizik scored a huge recruiting coup when Reuben Foster announced he was switching his pledge to Auburn from the defending BCS national champions and in-state rival Crimson Tide. Pinson Valley (Ala.) flanker Earnest Robinson shot up 68 slots in the Rivals100 to No. 45. Pro-style quarterback Jeremy Johnson went from unranked to No. 191. Tashawn Bower and Jason Smith recently added their fourth star this week and sit just outside of the Rivals250.
MORE AUBURN: AuburnSports.com
9. OHIO STATE Buckeyes
Total commits: 16
Star average: 3.63
Points: 2,093
Top commitments: SDE Joey Bosa (No. 25 in Rivals100), CB Cameron Burrows (No. 27 in Rivals100), CB Eli Woodard (No. 29 in Rivals100), ATH Jalin Marshall (No. 53 in Rivals100)
The Buzz: The Buckeyes' class isn't the biggest, but they have a solid foundation. Four-star running back Ezekiel Elliott impressed at The Opening showing soft hands and a nice burst. Dual-threat quarterback J.T. Barrett looked good at the Elite 11 Finals in Los Angeles displaying above average arm strength.
MORE OHIO STATE: BuckeyeGrove.com
10. TEXAS A&M Aggies
Total commits: 28
Star average: 3.29
Points: 2,079
Top commitments: WR Derrick Griffin (No. 40 in Rivals100), DT Isaiah Golden (No. 138 in Rivals250), DT Kerrick Huggins (No. 193 in Rivals250), OG Ishmael Wilson (No. 197 in Rivals250), DQB Kenny Hill (No. 201 in Rivals250), CB Noel Ellis (No. 200 in Rivals250)
The Buzz: New head coach Kevin Sumlin is out to prove he can recruit with the best programs in the SEC. The Aggies' class features nine four-star commitments, including a wide receiver from Hawaii. On Tuesday, Texas A&M picked up a pledge from three-star Auburn (Ala.) athlete Cameron Echols-Luper. Echols-Luper is a multi-purpose threat and has a chance to be an effective slot receiver when he arrives in College Station.
MORE TEXAS A&M: AggieYell.com
11. FLORIDA STATE Seminoles
Total commits: 18
Star average: 3.44
Points: 2,053
Top commitments: OLB E.J. Levenberry (No. 35 in Rivals100), APB Ryan Green (No. 43 in Rivals100), OG Ira Denson (No. 71 in Rivals100), OT Austin Golson (No. 115 in Rivals250), WR Tony Stevens (No. 152 in Rivals250), WR Isaiah Jones (No. 159 in Rivals250)
The Buzz: The Seminoles have added dynamic skill position players to the fold in Green, Jones and Orlando (Fla.) Evans wide receiver Kermit Whitfield. Green is one the best athletes in the state. He can line up in the slot or at corner. Whitfield will join cousin and 100-meter blazer Marvin Bracy in Tallahassee next year to form one of the fastest offensive tandems in college football.
MORE FLORIDA STATE: Warchant.com
12. TEXAS Longhorns
Total commits: 14
Star average: 3.79
Points: 1,921
Top commitments: DT A'Shawn Robinson (No. 22 in Rivals100), DQB Tyrone Swoopes (No. 26 in Rivals100), OT Kent Perkins (No. 30 in Rivals100), OLB Deoundrei Davis (No. 50 in Rivals100), OT Jake Raulerson (No. 78 in Rivals100), CB Antwuan Davis (No. 105 in Rivals250), WR Jake Oliver (No. 127 in Rivals250),
The Buzz: Robinson added the coveted fifth-star in the latest Rivals100 rankings. Swoopes continues to make strides at the position, but he still needs to improve his understanding of play concepts. Raulerson is one of the more intriguing players to project as he can play OL, DE, TE and long snap. Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips safety Marcell Harris named a top six that includes the Longhorns.
MORE TEXAS: Orangebloods.com
13. CLEMSON Tigers
Total commits: 17
Star average: 3.47
Points: 1,880
Top commitments: SDE Robert Nkemdiche (No. 1 in Rivals100), OLB Dorian O'Daniel (No. 46 in Rivals100), WR DeMarcus Robinson (No. 76 in Rivals100), SDE Elijah Daniel (No. 109 in Rivals250), RB Tyshon Dye (No. 208 in Rivals250)
The Buzz: Give credit to Dabo Swinney and his coaching staff for landing the No. 1 player in the Rivals100. Nkemdiche is the headliner in an excellent class for Clemson. O'Daniel and Robinson are seated comfortably in the Rivals100. Fort Myers (Fla.) South Fort Myers athlete Jayron Kearse hails from the same high school as All-ACC playmaker and current Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
MORE CLEMSON: TigerIllustrated.com
14. SOUTH CAROLINA Gamecocks
Total commits: 20
Star average: 3.30
Points: 1,803
Top commitments: ILB Larenz Bryant (No. 50 in Rivals100), CB Brendan Langley (No. 250 in Rivals250), PQB Connor Mitch (Four-star outside Rivals250), ILB Gerald Turner (Four-star outside Rivals250), OT D.J. Park (Four-star outside Rivals250), OLB Matt Rolin (Four-star outside Rivals250)
The Buzz: The Gamecocks dipped into North Carolina to pick up Rivals100 linebacker Larenz Bryant. Marietta (Ga.) Kell cornerback Brendan Langley is an athletic two-way star from the Peach State. Orlando (Fla.) Jones defensive end Devin Washington has the frame to add weight without losing his burst. His head coach is former University of Miami and NFL defensive lineman Kenard Lang.
MORE SOUTH CAROLINA: GamecockCentral.com
15. VANDERBILT Commodores
Total commits: 21
Star average: 3.14
Points: 1,723
Top commitments: DQB Johnathon McCrary (No. 123 in Rivals250), ILB Nigel Bowden (Four-star outside Rivals250), WR Carlos Burse (Four-star outside Rivals250)
The Buzz: McCrary is a great get for head coach James Franklin. Vanderbilt has three four-stars in this class and it doesn't look as if the 'Dores are slowing down. Don't look now, but they are ranked higher than in-state rival Tennessee.
MORE VANDERBILT: VandySports.com
16. WASHINGTON Huskies
Total commits: 19
Star average: 3.26
Points: 1,710
Top commitments: WR Demorea Stringfellow (No. 52 in Rivals100), DQB Troy Williams (No. 101 in Rivals250), DT Elijah Qualls (Four-star outside Rivals250)
The Buzz: Stringfellow is the top prospect in the class for the Huskies. Qualls doesn't wow, but he is a hard-nosed player with toughness. Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd cornerback Kevin King committed to Washington this week. King has a long arms and good instincts and should provide depth in the secondary.
MORE WASHINGTON: UDubNation.com
17. VIRGINIA TECH Hokies
Total commits: 16
Star average: 3.35
Points: 1,620
Top commitments: CB Kendall Fuller (No. 6 in Rivals100), S Holland Fisher (No. 68 in Rivals100), PQB Bucky Hodges (Four-star outside Rivals250)
The Buzz: Every year coach Frank Beamer quietly puts together a strong class that doesn't get the hype of other programs. This year is much of the same with the exception of five-star and the nation's top cornerback Kendall Fuller. Fuller was a huge target for the Hokies and he has a chance to start when he arrives in Blacksburg. Bealeton (Va.) Liberty strongside defensive end Wyatt Teller announced for Virginia Tech last week.
MORE VIRGINIA TECH: HokieHaven.com
18. VIRGINIA Cavaliers
Total commits: 18
Star average: 3.22
Points: 1,595
Top commitments: APB Taquan Mizzell (No. 20 in Rivals100), CB Tim Harris (No. 164 in Rivals250), CB Kirk Garner (Four-star outside Rivals250)
The Buzz: Taquan Mizzell chose the Cavs on Tuesday to give coach Mike London his first five-star player since arriving in Charlottesville. "Smoke" is the blue chipper of the Virginia class and look for him to turn recruiter to friend and teammate Quin Blanding. Garner is a feisty corner and lines up opposite Fuller at Good Counsel. Kannapolis (N.C.) A.L. Brown wide receiver Keeon Johnson is a reliable vertical threat from the Tar Heel State.
MORE VIRGINIA: CavsCorner.com
19. TENNESSEE Volunteers
Total commits: 17
Star average: 3.29
Points: 1,488
Top commitments: S Kameron Miles (No. 125 in Rivals250), SDE Jason Carr (No. 216 in Rivals250), WR Paul Harris (No. 230 in Rivals250), ATH Jalen Reeves-Maybin (Four-star outside Rivals250)
The Buzz: Four-stars Harris and Reeves-Maybin committed to the Vols over the last month. Harris is a skinny pass-catcher that does a nice job running intermediate routes. Reeves-Maybin is a versatile prospect that is dangerous in space. His future may be on defense as he can play safety or outside linebacker depending on the scheme. Knoxville (Tenn.) Christian Academy wide receiver Josh Smith is a productive split end with great hands.
MORE TENNESSEE: VolQuest.com
20. NORTH CAROLINA Tar Heels
Total commits: 16
Star average: 3.25
Points: 1,418
Top commitments: DT Greg Webb (No. 121 in Rivals250), CB Brian Walker (No. 212 in Rivals250), OT R.J. Prince (Four-star outside Rivals250)
The Buzz: The recent addition of Greg Webb to the class gives the Tar Heels a nice bump. Mentor (Ohio) dual-threat quarterback Mitch Trubisky should fit in nicely with Larry Fedora's fast-pace offense. Charleston (W. Va.) athlete Ryan Switzer is a Wes Welker clone. Switzer stood out in a loaded field at The Opening. He isn't the biggest, but he understands how to find the holes in defense and was constantly open for his Super Bad team in Oregon.
MORE NORTH CAROLINA: TarHeelIllustrated.com



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