Top Classes Pre-Signing Day


Feb. 1, 2007

By Pat Stevens


The pre-signing day top five classes could very well be unchanged come the day letters are faxed, February 7th.


"Almost all of my Top 100 are committed and firm already, a rare situation in my 28 years doing this," CSTV's Tom Lemming says.


There were 12 remaining available players when Lemming issued his final Class of 2007 rankings on Monday.


That list is now 10 with No. 1 safety in the land Major Wright committing to Florida and running back Lennon Creer (No. 43) announcing for Tennessee this week.


With signing day drawing near, the anticipation of what these crew of players will bring to each school is building. 


USC, Miami, North Carolina, Florida State and Florida head the hunt for No. 3-ranked overall Marvin Austin, the highest rated player still available.


Game-breaking running back Noel Devine (No. 7) is also uncommitted, but Lemming expects him to go the prep school route even if he does sign a letter of intent.


Of the schools on the outside looking in, LSU could be the one to make a top five push if No. 4-ranked overall Joe McKnight decides to stay home, or if it lands the No. 16 prospect in the land, Terrance Toliver. Lemming feels it will come down to Alabama, USC and LSU for McKnight, but the Tigers have just one to beat out for Toliver.  Then again, it's not just one school - it's the team claiming Lemming's No. 1 pre-signing period class and the defending national champs.


But onto those who have given their word, and already plan to ink their letters of intent in under a week's time.


To see the full list of commits for each and any team, use our Recruiting Quick Search and search by school.


1 - Florida


"There's no real knock out player but it's a heavy class on defensive linemen and has an even field of impact talents," Lemming says.


He credits the Gators doing a great job in and out of state, notably pulling Carlos Dunlap out of South Carolina. Dunlap jumped into Lemming's Final Top 100, all the way to No. 28, based on impressive athleticism on his senior film and talk amongst coaches across the country.


Toliver would be a great late get and it's been a two-horse race for sometime now for the athletically-blessed wide receiver out of Hempstead, Texas.


Justin Trattou was another recent commit for the Gators, having passed up an earlier commitment to Notre Dame. He was a surprise talent at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and Lemming says he's actually No. 101 on his list of seniors


Rainey is known for his breakaway speed, Davis and his magnificent athleticism on the line, Wright as being the biggest hitter in America, and Hernandez a big tight end that can barrel through and out-maneuver defenses.


Headliners: Major Wright (No. 14), Torrey Davis (No. 17), Aaron Hernandez (No. 21), Carlos Dunlap (No. 28), John Brantley (No. 31), Chris Rainey (No. 49), Lorenzo Edwards (No. 52), James Wilson (No. 61), Cameron Newton (No. 64), John Brown and Justin Trattou.


2 - Tennessee


"It's one of the best of all-time for the Vols as the staff went and got the best player out of three different states," Lemming says.


Chris Donald comes from in-state, Eric Berry jumps from Georgia, Ben Martin leaves Ohio and Gerald Jones will pack his bags and leave Oklahoma.


"It's a 30-player class, which keys some into being tabbed a top class, but not only is it a big class, it's big on stars."


Berry had the huge All-American bowl week where he displayed his cover corner prowess, while Donald, Martin and Jones were also big hits in San Antonio.


Headliners: Eric Berry (No. 11), Chris Donald (No. 18), Gerald Jones (No. 22) and Ben Martin (No. 45).


3 - Texas


The Longhorns got everybody they wanted except for maybe No. 2-ranked Ryan Mallett, who they passed on to get John Brantley. However, Brantley switched to Florida after having verballed to Texas and Mallett was already set on heading to Michigan before any ground could be made back up.


But don't be fooled, they have one ready in the wings. John Chiles is expected to fill the QB needs if necessary. He is a versatile talent that Lemming expects to be a formidable signal caller in Austin.


Headliners: Tray Allen (No. 19), John Chiles (No. 20),  Andre Jones (No. 56), Keenan Robinson (No. 81), Malcolm Williams (No. 88), Curtis Brown and Blaine Irby


4 - USC


A couple more could still be on the way in either Marvin Austin, Joe McKnight or Donovan Warren.  


Once again the Trojans had their way in California, snagging Marshall Jones and what Lemming believes will end up being Warren too. Michigan just received a late visit from the WR/DB but Lemming thinks he's USC's to lose.


The best of the West Coast-bred bunch are Chris Gallipo, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl MVP, and Marc Tyler, the explosive back rehabbing from a broken leg.


Headliners: Marc Tyler (No. 5), Chris Gallipo (No. 6), Everson Griffen (No. 12), Kris O'Dowd (No. 42), Malcolm Smith (No. 58), Marshall Jones (No. 85), Aaron Corp (No. 68), Broderick Green and Martin Coleman.


5 - Notre Dame


A great offensive class that claims 14 All-Americans but lacks depth on the defensive side of the ball.


The No. 1 overall player in the 2007 class is already enrolled and ready to go. Jimmy Clausen is on campus and waiting in the wings, studying the playbook and looking to deliver on the hype he's had since he's anchored the top spot in Lemming's rankings when they were first issued junior year.


Robert Hughes was the latest to announce for the Irish, picking them over Illinois just last week.


Headliners: Jimmy Clausen (No. 1), Mike Ragone (No. 33), Armando Allen (No. 38), Greg Little (No. 40), Gary Gray (No. 54), Duval Kamara (No. 55), Robert Hughes (No. 59), Golden Tate (No. 79), Chris Little (No. 83), Aaron Nagel, Matt Romine and Harrison Smith.



Next In Line: South Carolina, LSU, Nebraska, Georgia and Auburn.



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