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College Football Recruiting Analysis: Class of 2018 Re-Ranked

College Football Recruiting Analysis: Class of 2018 Re-Ranked

College Football Recruiting Analysis: Class of 2018 Re-Ranked

The importance of recruiting quality players cannot be overstated when it comes to building a college football roster. Sometimes it is a no-brainer to recruit certain players, but the real success comes in finding some diamonds in the rough. The Class of 2018 had a couple of surefire hits at the quarterback position with Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, but the crop of receivers available in the recruiting world was plentiful.

So what if you had to re-rank the Class of 2018 now, given the hindsight of benefit from the past three seasons? Would the player rankings still look the same? The top spots feel pretty solid, but there would be a bunch of shuffling after that.

Let's take a look back at that Class of 2018 and see how the rankings might look given the benefit of hindsight.

Note: This list references the 247Sports Composite rankings.

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

No. 1 Pro QB, No. 1 overall

The recruiting experts didn't miss their mark on Lawrence. He lived up to the hype with the Tigers with a national championship and multiple appearances in the playoff. He will go on to be the expected No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

2. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

No. 1 dual QB, No. 2 overall

Although Fields left Georgia, he proved his value at Ohio State. Fields led the Buckeyes to multiple Big Ten titles and College Football Playoff appearances and was a Heisman Trophy finalist along the way. He is expected to be the highest-drafted QB out of Columbus in a very long time.

3. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

No. 5 WR, No. 39 overall

His teammate DeVonta Smith may have taken home the Heisman Trophy in 2020, but Waddle became one of the best wide receivers in college football at Alabama.

4. Micah Parsons, DE, Penn State

No. 2 WDE, No. 5 overall

Penn State's linebacker tradition was upheld with Parsons. He did not play in 2020 but already proved to be among the top defensive players in the nation during his time in Happy Valley.

5. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

No. 5 TE, No. 162 overall

Dan Mullen struck gold with Pitts. He became a Heisman Trophy finalist at a position where such an achievement is difficult to accomplish, but Pitts was easily the best tight end in the class.

6. Penei Sewell, OG, Oregon

No. 2 OG, No. 57 overall

Sewell wasn't flying under the radar when being recruited, but he did develop to be one of the top offensive linemen in the country. He may have been ranked higher if these were adjusted today.

7. Joseph Ossai, DE, Texas

No. 11 WDE, No. 186 overall

The star Longhorn linebacker earned consensus All-American status in 2020. His pass-rushing skills have him projected to be a first-round draft pick.

8. Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa

No. 12 DT, No. 45 (JUCO)

Iowa pulled a gem out of the junior college ranks with Nixon. He was named the Big Ten's defensive player of the year in 2020 and he was an anchor on the Iowa defensive line.

9. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

No. 15 WR, No. 84 overall

LSU's offense was a monster in 2019, and Chase was just one of the reasons why. Chase was the Biletnikoff Award winner in 2019 and a unanimous All-American during LSU's national title season.

10. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

No. 41 WR, No. 229 overall

Injuries may have gotten in the way in his final two seasons, but Moore would clearly be evaluated better today. Just outside of the top 40 on the receiver rankings out of high school, Moore earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the Paul Hornung Award and was a consensus All-American in 2018.

Best of the Rest:

(alphabetical order)

JT Daniels, QB, Georgia

No. 2 Pro QB, No. 16 overall

Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

No. 36 WR, No. 192 overall

Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

No. 9 TE, No. 224 overall

Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

No. 3 WR, No. 13 overall

Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

No. 9 WR, No. 203 overall

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

No. 68 WR, No. 339 overall

Michael Penix Jr., QB, Indiana

No. 21 Pro QB, No. 548 overall

Jack Sanborn, ILB, Wisconsin

No. 17 ILB, No. 337 overall

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC

No. 2 WR, No. 11 overall

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

No. 1 CB, No. 6 overall

Xavier Thomas, DE, Clemson

No. 1 SDE, No. 3 overall

Pooka Williams Jr., RB, Kansas

No. 9 RB, No. 272 overall

— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Patreon, on Twitter @KevinOnCFB, on Instagram, and Like him on Facebook.