The class of 2013 is in the books. With the national letters of intent signed and faxed, and recruiting classes complete with the exception of a handful of prospects, I take a look at the top classes by position on offense.
Christian Hackenberg is the crown jewel of Penn State's 2013 class, but he's not the only talented quarterback heading to Happy Valley.
The pick here was fairly simple, Penn State. The Nittany Lions signed a pair of signal callers in the class, led by the top ranked high school quarterback in the class, the mobile and strong armed Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union, Va./Fork Union Military). While the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Hackenberg dominates the conversation at the position, the signing of four-star junior college signal caller Tyler Ferguson (Visalia, Calif./College of the Sequoias) is also of importance. Not only will the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Ferguson fight for the starting job staring this spring, but he will enable the Penn State staff to bring Hackenberg along at a slower pace.
Also considered – Texas A&M, LSU and Tennessee.
This is simply an easy choice and a true embarrassment of riches, Alabama, Nick Saban and staff sign big time talent at the running back position annually, but the 2013 class is something to behold. The Crimson Tide not only inked three backs ranked among the nations best in Altee Tenpenny (North Little Rock, Ar./West), Tyren Jones (Marietta, Ga./Walton) and Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga.), but also the all-time leading rushed in high school football history in Derrick Henry (Yuless, Fla.). While Henry could line up at a number of positions in the future with taking handoffs being one of them, the trio of Tenpenny, Jones and Kamara are locked into the running back position.
The key to this class is versatility, and three backs that possess different strengths. The 5-foot-8.5, 203-pound Jones is one of the most instinctive and pure backs in the 2013 class featuring terrific feet, quickness and balance, while Tenpenny has the coaches dream running back body type along with natural strength, leg drive and sub 4.5-speed. In Kamara, Alabama is getting a back that can carry the ball, catch the ball as well as any in the class out of the backfield and could factor in the kickoff return game.
Also considered – Notre Dame, Michigan, Southern California, Florida and Nebraska.
The wide receiver position was a very tough call with Texas A&M receiving the nod. The Aggies signed five, and maybe six receivers, depending of the future position of five-star athlete Ricky Seals-Jones (Sealy, Texas). Leading the way for Kevin Sumlin and staff in the class is JaQuay Williams (Fork Union, Va./Fork Union Military Academy). The 6-foot-4, 204-pound fifth year prospect from Georgia is already on campus, will go through spring practice and is expected to make an instant impact. While Williams will be the first of the talented group to hit the field, wide receivers coach David Beaty set up the position for the future.
Sebastian LaRue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) and Laquvionte Gonzalez (Cedar Hill, Texas) is a dangerous pair of slot prospects with explosive ability in the return game. LaRue is a tough, competitive advanced route runner with punt return skills, while Gonzalez is among the quickest prospects in the class with game changing kickoff return ability. Joining the talented duo is Top247 outside receiver Kyrion Parker (Manvel, Texas) and Jeremy Tabuyo (Honolulu, Hi./St. Louis).
The Aggies edged out Ohio State at the position. Urban Meyer and staff made an impressive late push, adding as much speed and playmaking as any program in the country. The trio of Jalin Marshall, Corey Smith (Scooba, Ms./East Mississippi C.C.) and James Clark (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) is dynamic, and all-purpose back Donte Wilson (DeSoto, Texas) will likely line up in the slot or split out as much or more than he lines up in the backfield.
Also considered – Florida, LSU, Auburn, Baylor and Washington.
The nod here goes to the Miami Hurricanes, who signed a pair of talented prospects. While there is not a flashy name among the duo, there is talent and versatility. Beau Sandland (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College) is the top ranked junior college tight end in the 2013 class with offers from coast-to-coast, while Standish Dobard (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr) was offered by the majority of the Southeast Region powers.
The duo will provide a nice blend of playmaking in the passing game, Sandland, and in-line blocking in the run game, Dobard. Along with being talented and versatile, both prospects are already on campus, will go through spring practice and will impact winning from day one next season.
Also considered – LSU, Alabama and Vanderbilt.
The best class on the offensive line boiled down to the trio of Michigan, Notre Dame and Texas with the Longhorns getting the slight nod. While Texas didn’t ink the top five and 10 level class accustomed to seeing of the last decade, the offensive line haul is among the best in the Mack Brown era.
Texas received national letter of intent from five prospects on Wednesday led by the nations top junior college offensive tackle in Desmond Harrison (San Pablo, Calif./Contra Costa. The 6-foot-7, 305-pound late bloomer physically is a big time athlete on the edge, and is joined by the likes of Darius James (Killeen, Texas/Harker Heights), Kent Perkins (Richardson, Texas/Lake Highlands), Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas) and Rami Hammad (Irving, Texas). The class features five prospects with versatility led by James, who could line up anywhere from right tackle to center at the next level. All four high school prospects were ranked in the Top247.
Notre Dame and Michigan also inked five line prospects in the class, and like Texas, the Fighting Irish signed five four-star prospects.
Also considered – LSU, Ole Miss and UCLA.
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