Head of the class: OT D.J. Fluker, RB Trent Richardson Buzz: Alabama dominated its home state again, landing the state's top seven players. The Tide also landed the top prospect in Florida in running back Trent Richardson, a terrific safety in Rod Woodson from Mississippi and three solid offensive linemen from Georgia. This is the second consecutive No. 1 class hauled in by Saban and company.
Big fish that got away: OL Bobby Massie (to Ole Miss).
Head of the class: LB Dorian Bell, CB Corey Brown Buzz: The Buckeyes jumped out of the gate early, securing a majority of their commitments before the season even got into high gear. As always, Ohio State did a lot of their damage in their backyard, plus they went national to score some other key prospects. A late addition of four-star offensive tackle Marcus Hall was a nice boost right before Signing Day.
Big fish that got away: CB Justin Green (to Illinois)
Head of the class: QB Matt Barkley, DE Devon Kennard Buzz: Another year, another elite class for the Trojans. USC once again has the best class in the Pac-10, and this year's group has plenty of stars other than Barkley and Kennard. Patrick Hall is one of the nation's best athletes, and the five-star prospect should star at safety in the future. Kennard might have ascended to the No. 1 ranking in the nation, but he suffered a knee injury.
Big fish that got away: LB Vontaze Burfict (to Arizona State)
Head of the class: DT William Campbell, S Justin Turner Buzz: While it was a disappointing season on the field for the Wolverines, there were only a few disappointments in the recruiting front. Rich Rodriguez was able to scour the nation for the type of offensive skill players – led by quarterback Tate Forcier and athlete Jeremy Gallon – that should help immediately.
Big fish that got away: DT DeQuinta Jones (to Arkansas)
Head of the class: WR Jheranie Boyd, DE Donte Moss Buzz: North Carolina's recruiting has changed since Butch Davis took over the program. The Heels now are consistently involved with top players up and down the East Coast. UNC nailed it at numerous key positions including along the defensive line, at linebacker and at wide receiver. UNC dominated its home state, pulling in seven of the top 10 players.
Big fish that got away: OT Xavier Nixon (to Florida)
Head of the class: ATH Ray Ray Armstrong, RB Lamar Miller Buzz: Obviously, running back Bryce Brown would be the headliner of this class had he decided to sign. But Armstrong and Miller are talented prospects and lead a strong class for the 'Canes. In addition to Miller, Miami signed another talented running back in Mike James. Miami also did well along the offensive line. But it's on defense where the Hurricanes really hit the jackpot. Armstrong will be a monster at linebacker or safety, and the defensive line is loaded. Brandon McGee is a great get at cornerback.
Big fish that got away: WR Andre Debose (to Florida)
Head of the class: CB Gabe Lynn, DT JaMarkus McFarland Buzz: The Sooners landed another nationally regarded class, thanks mainly to the defensive group heading to Norman. The Sooners reeled in three top-50 national prospects – Lynn, McFarland and linebacker Ronnell Lewis. Major depth was added at linebacker with head-hunter Tom Wort a major steal from the state of Texas.
Big fish that got away: WR Rueben Randle (to LSU)
Head of the class: WR/TE Morrell Presley, OT Xavier Su'a Filo Buzz: Rick Neuheisel said he was going to make recruiting his No. 1 priority. Some outsiders might view the Bruins' class as second-rate compared with USC's, but there's no question there is more talent heading to Westwood than in years past. The Bruins moved up the charts with a nice NSD effort that saw them land surprises signings from Su'a Filo, a Rivals100 offensive lineman, four-star athlete Randall Carroll and four-star athlete Damien Thigpen.
Big fish that got away: LB Manti Te'o (to Notre Dame)
Head of the class: ATH Ronnie Wingo Jr., CB Darius Winston,
Buzz: With limited talent in-state this year, the Arkansas staff scoured the heartland and the southeast for top prospects and brought in a nationally ranked class. Winston and offensive lineman Colby Berna were big pickups and ensured that the top in-state players stayed home. The Razorbacks signed good players from Texas and Louisiana. Brandon Mitchell – a former LSU basketball commitment – may be the sleeper of the class at quarterback.
Big fish that got away: OL Aubrey Phillips (to Florida State)
Head of the class: RB Edwin Baker, OT David Barrent Buzz: The Spartans were one of the nation's biggest surprises, and they also surprised a lot of local observers with their dominating in-state class. Led by recruiting coordinator Mark Staten and ace recruiter Dan Enos, Michigan State scored some major head-to-head wins against Michigan.
Big fish that got away: DE Michael Buchanan (to Illinois)
Head of the class: WR Jemari Roberts, LB Shayne Skov Buzz: Easily one of the nation's biggest surprises. The Cardinal's average national recruiting ranking the past three years was 51st, but Jim Harbaugh reeled in the school's first top-25 class since 2003. The Cardinal did a tremendous job in California and nationally.
Big fish that got away: G Michael Philipp (to Oregon State)
Head of the class: LB Zeke Motta, LB Manti Te'o Buzz: It was an up-and-down season for Notre Dame, on the field and on the recruiting trail. The Irish started out well and scored some big-time early commitments, then lost some players late. But that doesn't take away from the good group heading to South Bend. Major needs were met along the offensive line with Zach Martin and Alex Bullard, and linebacker also was filled with some impact prospects.
Big fish that got away: CB Marlon Pollard (to UCLA)
Head of the class: RB Christine Michael, WR Uzoma Nwachukwu Buzz: With the exception of Michael, Texas A&M didn't clean up with the most highly rated in-state players. The Aggies did pick up a laundry list of quality players from within Texas and a few great ones from outside. Four-star prospect Patrick Lewis is an undersized offensive lineman who is tenacious and could be an option at either guard or center. Another Louisiana native, Jonathan Stewart, is a physical linebacker who will add toughness to the defense. Chris Henderson is a disruptive interior defensive lineman, and Steven Terrell adds size and athleticism to the secondary.
Big fish that got away: S Craig Loston (to LSU)
Head of the class: WR Chad Bumphis, DE Fletcher Cox Buzz: Despite being faced with the obstacles of a 4-8 season and a coaching change, Mississippi State put together a terrific class that has its strength from within the state borders. The top players of the class are Mississippi natives and extremely athletic additions to the roster. The Bulldogs also picked up one of the top junior college prospects in the country in defensive lineman Pernell McPhee and got some versatility in athletes such as Cameron Lawrence and Nickoe Whitley.
Big fish that got away: WR Patrick Patterson (to Ole Miss)
Head of the class: QB Kevin Newsome, OT Eric Shrive Buzz: Penn State hasn't drawn the type of national headlines that Ohio State or Michigan have this recruiting season, but the group heading to Happy Valley definitely will keep the Nittany Lions on the right track. Quarterback was a monster priority for the Nittany Lions, so that's why landing four-star dual-threat Kevin Newsome was vital. The group is heavy on offensive linemen, and there are some great ones in the group, led by Shrive. The defensive back group also is special with four-star prospects Derrick Thomas and Darrell Givens at cornerback.
Big fish that got away: LB Jelani Jenkins (to Florida)