Thursday, July 25, 2024

From LSU to Oregon, historic commitments dot the 2025 college football recruiting class

On Wednesday, 247Sports released an update to the Top247 rankings for the class of 2025, serving as the last update before the most important data point in the evaluation process: senior seasons. The combination of an escalating NIL landscape and shakeups in conference realignment has led to nearly a half dozen schools claiming their highest-rated commits ever, per 247Sports, as we approach the 2024 season.

While this update is the most comprehensive look at the rising senior class to this point, it should be noted that there will still be plenty of moves made in the three updates before rankings become finalized after the second National Signing Period in early February of 2025. For example at this stage of the evaluation process last cycle, defensive end Deshawn Warner was a three-star with an 87 grade before entering the Top247 at No. 173 in October and finishing as the Kansas Jayhawks‘ highest-ranked signee of all time, finishing at No. 67 after a stellar senior campaign and an impressive showing at the All-American Bowl.

Here is a look at six committed prospects who currently hold the No. 1 spot on their respective schools’ all-time commit list according to 247Sports.

LSU QB commit Bryce Underwood 

No. 1 overall in Top247

It might be hard to believe, but if current No. 1 overall player Bryce Underwood can hold off a charge from Ohio State quarterback commit Tavien St. Clair and others, the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder would become the first No. 1 prospect to sign with the Bayou powerhouse. Underwood has a stellar 40-2 record as a starter over three years at Belleville High School in Michigan and can drive the football into tight coverage windows operating in a pro-style spread attack. Underwood’s projectable physical tools and elite high school production are even more impressive when considering the future Tiger is only 16-years-old and will not turn 17 until the week before the first game of his senior season.

The Tigers have previously signed two No. 2 overall prospects per 247Sports’ rankings in Leonard Fournette and Derek Stingley. 

Oregon WR commit Dakorien Moore 

No. 5 overall in Top247

Green fireworks replaced the traditional red, white, and blue pyrotechnics in Duncanville, Texas this Fourth of July as the No. 1 wide receiver for the class of 2025 selected the Ducks over a heavy-hitting final group of Texas, Ohio State, and LSU. Moore is a freakshow athlete with wind-legal 10.4 100m dash speed and immense technical skill at the wide receiver position which manifested in a junior campaign that saw him total 71 receptions, 1,523 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns for back-to-back Texas 6A Division I state champions Duncanville. 

247Sports National Scouting Analyst Gabe Brooks has said on multiple occasions that Moore plays the game with a “deserved swagger” which pairs nicely with Ducks’ head coach Dan Lanning who is certainly recruiting with cigar-puffing swagger as Oregon appears to be trending with two additional top 10 prospects in Jonah Williams and DJ Pickett en route to a potentially historic recruiting haul.

New York Giants edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux finished No. 6 overall in the 2019 recruiting cycle per 247Sports before starring with Oregon and becoming the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Kansas State TE commit Linkon Cure

No. 26 overall in Top247

There might not be a better feeling for diehard college football fans outside of winning games in the fall than earning a commitment from an in-state five-star prospect. Kansas State fans got exactly that on the first day of July when the No. 26 player in the country spurned Oregon, Texas A&M, and rival Kansas to put on the purple and white. Cure plays wide receiver at the prep level for Goodland High School in Kansas, but his estimated 6-foot-6, 220 pound billing makes the eventual transition to tight end a rather easy one to project. The five-star Kansan is extremely elusive for his size after the catch, and further displays his elite athletic profile with above-the-rim showstopping moments on the basketball court and three state title winning performances over the last two years in the 110m and 300m hurdles. 

Kansas State starting quarterback Avery Johnson is the Wildcats’ highest-rated signee in the modern recruiting era, finishing as the No. 85 overall prospect per 247Sports in the 2023 recruiting cycle. 

SMU OT commit Dramodd Odoms

No. 57 overall in Top247

It didn’t take long for Rhett Lashlee and SMU to find another No. 1 all-time commit after new five-star quarterback Keelon Russell (No. 10 overall ) flipped to Alabama in early June. The Mustangs’ move to the ACC and deep NIL collective pockets have led to a potentially historic 2025 recruiting haul that currently ranks No. 20 in the country, highlighted by 247Sports’ No. 57 overall player Dramodd Odoms. The No. 7 offensive tackle prospect in the country was verified this offseason hovering around 6-foot-6, 275 pounds and has showcased the desired athletic traits to stick at left tackle long-term over three years starting for Houston prospect factory Lamar High School, home to former Pro-Bowlers Brian Orakpo and Josh Gordon.

SMU starting quarterback Preston Stone is the Mustangs’ highest-rated signee in the modern recruiting era, finishing as the No. 148 overall prospect per 247Sports in the 2021 recruiting cycle.

Texas State commits LB Ke’Von Carter, EDGE Niklas Fisher

Top-100 players in Texas, 88 ratings

Texas State head coach G.J. Kinne made a statement in his first game in charge of the Bobcats, taking Texas State to Waco and knocking off Baylor. Kinne and the Bobcats are following up on their record-setting 2023 season which saw them win the first bowl game in program history with a historic recruiting haul, headlined by two prospects who would be the highest-rated signees in program history. Front-seven defenders Ke’Von Carter and Niklas Fisher both have three-star 88 grades to their name and ooze developmental upside. Texas State’s highest-rated signee sported an 86 rating, so the Bobcats are clearly recruiting at a higher level than ever before. 

A product of San Antonio Wagner, Carter is a rangy linebacker with a decorated track and field profile, while Fisher is a well-put-together edge rusher who dominated Houston area 6A competition as a junior for Cypress Ranch. Texas State will be a popular dynasty selection in the upcoming EA Sports CFB 25 video game, and if Texas State can keep Kinne from taking a ride on the coaching carousel the Bobcats should be loaded with Power Four quality talent on both sides of the ball for years to come.

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