College football’s 2020 class is settled. Georgia signed the country’s top class, per the rankings, while Alabama and Clemson had even higher average player ratings. These teams and a few others will remain the primary national title contenders.
But everybody else should have a chance to claim some kind of recruiting victory. That’s why I’ve appointed 51 recruiting state champs.
I’ve arrived at each selection by scanning the 247Sports Composite player ranking and trying to figure out who best got talent out of each area.
Here’s a map:
This is a subjective exercise, of course. It also ignores that several elite teams recruit nationally and don’t worry much about their home states. But if you want to win an argument about who recruited best in each state, the rankings are a good way to do it. They are, after all, highly predictive of future team success.
All references to rankings are to the Composite, which collects evaluations from across the industry, unless otherwise noted. In a few spots, I had to be creative.
Here’s how I picked every state:
- Alabama: Alabama landed four of the top five and seven of the top nine locals, easily reclaiming Alabamian glory after lagging there a bit in 2019.
- Alaska: There are two Composite recruits here, and the top one signed with ULNV. The Rebels are a notorious power in Alaska. No need to look that up!
- Arizona: Georgia landed the state’s top player, #1 cornerback Kelee Ringo, but of Arizona’s nine blue-chips, only one team signed two of them: Ohio State.
- Arkansas: Arkansas got three of the state’s top six players, which is enough to do the job even though Texas A&M and UNC got the only two blue-chips.
- California: If I told you California had 31 blue-chip prospects, USC signed two, and Arizona State signed seven, would you believe me? You would not. But you’d be wrong. Maybe USC should have fired its coach or something.
- Colorado: Extremely open. The nod goes to Virginia for landing far and away the top-ranked prospect in the state, four-star OT Andrew Gentry.
- Connecticut: Another very open state. Let’s pick Miami, because they got the #1 from CT and because Miami’s only map presence being here is amusing to me.
- Delaware: Delaware landed the only Composite-rated player in its home state, three-star inside linebacker Darry Williams. Go Hens.
- D.C.: Another extremely open field. Georgia and Maryland signed the District’s two five-stars, and Maryland’s finished rated slightly higher.
- Florida: Clemson signed three of the top nine Floridians, which seems like enough to get ahead of Florida, FSU, and Miami, who all signed a bunch of slightly lower rated blue-chips. (Florida did have the #1 player, and if you want to make a case for them, cool.) Overall, the state’s Big Three have had an unusually hard time keeping the best players home.
- Georgia: The Peach State is now a recruiting goldmine, and every elite program operates there. The best 2020 haul was probably at Auburn, which didn’t get a top-five Georgian prospect but did get six of the top 24, all blue-chips.
- Hawaii: Notre Dame got the top Hawaiian, and the top of the board was otherwise split between a bunch of schools. But BYU signed four of the top 21, a strong effort in a tough field.
- Idaho: Boise State kept two of the state’s top four players home.
- Illinois: The best players spread their commitments all over, so Texas A&M can have the #1 spot based on getting the top player, four-star S Antonio Johnson.
- Indiana: Purdue signed two of the top three locals.
- Iowa: Iowa got three of the top five and four of the top eight.
- Kansas: Minnesota grabbed two of the top three Kansans, though it would be fair to give this to Nebraska for getting the #1 prospect (by a lot), high four-star OT Turner Corcoran.
- Kentucky: Kentucky kept five of the top eight home.
- Louisiana: LSU had the best season ever and also got three of Louisiana’s top four prospects, including the top two.
- Maine: Neither 247 nor Rivals recognizes a 2020 recruit from Maine. Maine’s Gatorade Player of the Year didn’t sign. The Black Bears, the only scholarship program in Maine, brought in a mere one player from Maine. The award for Maine Recruiter of the Year goes to a lobster, the thing that convinces the most people per year to go to Maine.
- Maryland: These top prospects spread out too, but Clemson wins for landing the #1 national recruit, defensive tackle Bryan Bresee.
- Massachusetts: Michigan landed three of the top five, treating Massachusetts like it was …
- Michigan: Michigan landed three of the top six.
- Minnesota: Wisconsin signed the state’s comfortable #1 recruit and also #7.
- Mississippi: Mississippi State signed two of the top five locals and four of the top 11. Maybe you’re wondering, “Hey, how’d they do that despite making a coaching change?” It helped that they didn’t fire Joe Moorhead until after December’s Early Signing Period. This is because a guy pretended to pee like a dog. Also, coaches leaving jobs after Signing Day is not great.
- Missouri: Missouri didn’t sign any of the top nine but did get four of the top 16, and all are at least upper-mid-three-stars.
- Montana: The state has two Composite recruits. The slightly higher-rated one picked Montana, while the other picked Montana State.
- Nebraska: Nebraska continues to recruit well locally, even as Scott Frost takes a national approach. The Huskers got the #1 and #5 players in the state.
- Nevada: Georgia signed the #1 Nevadan, five-star ATH Darnell Washington, who ranked 196 spots ahead of any other.
- New Hampshire: UCLA signed the only rated player in the state, four-star quarterback Parker McQuarrie, the state’s first blue-chip recruit ever.
- New Jersey: Ohio State signed the top two players, and Michigan signed #5 and #7. Have fun in the Big Ten East, Greg Schiano.
- New Mexico: Utah got the #1 player, three-star TE Connor O’Toole, and there were only four rated recruits in the state.
- New York: Purdue signed the #1 New Yorker, four-star RB Tirek Murphy, and it’s hard to make a case for any other program.
- North Carolina: Clemson got #1, but North Carolina got the next three, and five of the top 11.
- North Dakota: Rivals gives us one North Dakotan recruit, who signed with North Dakota State. Congrats to him for winning approximately four national titles.
- Ohio: Ohio State got the top two. Ohio State still does pretty much what it wants in Ohio.
- Oklahoma: Oklahoma retained the state’s #1 recruit and also got #7, while nobody else made big moves at the top.
- Oregon: The state has no blue-chips, and it seems the Ducks focused attention elsewhere. But Oregon State still got two of the top five locals, a big deal for OSU.
- Pennsylvania: Ohio State grabbed by far the #1 Pennsylvanian in five-star WR Julian Fleming, but Penn State got four of the top seven.
- Rhode Island: Neither the Composite nor Rivals lists anyone from Rhode Island committing anywhere. The state’s Gatorade Player of the Year doesn’t seem to have signed. Bryant didn’t sign a single Rhode Islander. Brown might not have. But Rhode Island signed at least one.
- South Carolina: South Carolina might’ve gotten four of the top five locals and seven of the top nine. (It’s unclear the morning after NSD if the Gamecocks’ best recruit, five-star DL Jordan Burch, actually signed.)
- South Dakota: Congratulations to Nebraska on getting the lone rated recruit, three-star defensive tackle Nash Hutmacher.
- Tennessee: Tennessee accompanied its strong close to the 2019 season by recruiting well for 2020, signing three of the top four locals and six of the top 10. All are four-stars.
- Texas: #1 Texan RB Zachary Evans didn’t sign on the February Signing Day after exiting an agreement with Georgia in December. As such, Texas A&M landed two of the next three, plus three other blue-chips.
- Utah: Oregon got the only five-star, the little brother of a current Duck. But Utah dominated otherwise, signing four of the top five.
- Vermont: Nothing doing here, according to the recruiting services. There are no scholarship programs in Vermont. As such, I am once again recognizing the best recruiter in Vermont as Bernie Sanders.
- Virginia: Penn State signed three of the top nine.
- Washington: Washington got the top recruit and three of the top six.
- West Virginia: West Virginia got the top two, a year after the first five-star in the history of the state, OT Darnell Wright, picked Tennessee.
- Wisconsin: Wisconsin swept the top five.
- Wyoming: Wyoming, eternally Wyoming’s only team, also got the state’s only rated recruit.
Where do you disagree with this list?
Probably somewhere, though of course I was correct in all of my selections. Feel free to let me know.