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July 27, 2009

Fast start puts Texas on top of team rankings

Rivals.com has released its first official team rankings for the class of 2010.

While signing day is still six months away, there definitely has been a group of schools that have jumped out of the gate and proven they're well on their way to having elite classes.

The first set of team rankings are based strictly on high school players - neither junior college nor prep school prospects have been ranked at this time.

Rivals.com national recruiting editor Jeremy Crabtree breaks down the top 25 and gives us his take on those team's efforts.

Team Rankings Top 25
1. Texas
Headliner: DE Reggie Wilson Mack Brown has the Longhorns in a familiar spot. Nobody in the nation recruits better early on than Texas, and the UT class is loaded with 16 four-star prospects that features many of the top players in the state of Texas.
2. LSU
Headliner: S Eric Reid The Tigers' group of 20 commitments features some major players from their own backyard and even more of an impact from the Lone Star State. Les Miles has made Texas a priority and it's paying off again.
3. Florida
Headliner: ATH Matt Elam In the past, Florida has taken a little bit more slower of an approach, but with the Gators red-hot on the field they've been aggressive early on. It's paid off with a tremendous early class of 15 that has one five star and 11 four-star prospects.
4. Oklahoma
Headliner: QB Blake Bell Oklahoma has done well in its own backyard, but the Sooners have continue to raid the deep Texas talent for top prospects. What also makes this class special is two major running back recruits in Brennan Clay and Roy Finch.
5. Alabama
Headliner: CB DeMarcus Milliner The Crimson Tide's early class started off with some significant pickups from right in their own backyard. Nine local players have already committed to Bama. That combined with ability to go into Texas, Georgia, Virginia and other national places have the Tide near the top again.
6. Georgia
Headliner: OL Brent Benedict UGA has had a lot of success in their own backyard and in Florida to start off its 2010 class. Of the 18 commitments for the Dawgs, all but one come from either Florida or Georgia. It's a approach that has paid off.
7. Texas A&M
Headliner: LB Corey Nelson A lot of the attention has been focused on Texas and Oklahoma, and for good reason, but the Aggies have jumped out of the gates with a great early recruiting start. A&M has 19 commitments and have made themselves an impact in the Dallas Metroplex once again.
8. Penn State
Headliner: QB Robert Bolden Joe Pa is the father of early recruiting, starting the trend in the early 90s. However, lately he's taken a more cautious approach. Still this early haul for the Nittany Lions is extremely talented. The 13 commitments feature some tremendous offensive talent.
9. Michigan
Headliner: QB Devin Gardner Rich Rodriguez has ventured all over the nation to lure in a solid start to the 2010 recruiting class. Florida and Texas have become happy hunting grounds for the Wolverines, but this class is still going to be based on talent in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
10. Notre Dame
Headliner: DE Chris Martin Some say this is a make or break year for Charlie Weis. But those questions haven't hurt the Irish at all in the recruiting front. The Irish have lured in some very good defensive talent, especially up front on the line. Two quarterbacks for depth were also needed and both were onboard early on.
11. Stanford
Headliner: RB Anthony Wilkerson It's unfair to call Stanford a surprise anymore because Jim Harbaugh can flat out recruit. The Cardinal have the top class in the Pac-10 for now, and it's a class that's filled not just with California talent, but with national prospects.
12. USC
Headliner: RB/ATH Dillon Baxter Call this a temporary parking spot for the Trojans, because there's no question that USC will once again compete for a recruiting national championship. USC just has too many big timers still on its board that it's going to be hard to keep them down unless they strike out with a lot of players. That won't happen.
13. Cal
Headliner: WR Tevin Carter See the note about the Trojans? The same exact thing can be said about the Bears. After doing a great job early on in California, Cal is involved with a ton of national prospects that could help them finish with a top 10 class if everything breaks the right way.
14. Florida State
Headliner: DE Corey Miller The Seminoles are in a good position to land a top-flight class with a foundation that's been built with the 10 commitments on board already. Defensive help is definitely coming to Tallahassee, especially on the defensive line, with this group of early commitments.
15. BYU
Headliner: QB Jake Heaps BYU has always done a solid job of recruiting players that fit their style, play hard and live up to everything that it means to be a BYU student athlete. However, the star this season by the Cougars has been amazing. Once again, BYU is being mentioned by many of the nation's best and the early haul has the Cougars poised to land a top 25 group.
16. Virginia Tech
Headliner: DE Zack McCray Tech is out of the gates with a class of 17 players that is diverse on both sides of the ball. The QB, OL, DL, LB and DB positions were definitely key early needs that have already been filled with this group.
17. Miami
Headliner: DT Todd Chandler The Canes have 13 early pledges, and the group is talented enough to earn them a spot in the top 20. There's still some major players listing The U, which could help them climb up the charts more. UM has some major defensive line help coming in with this group.
18. Ohio State
Headliner: RB Roderick Smith The Bucks aren't big on commitments with only nine pledges, but OSU is big on talent with five four-star recruits. The defensive line, especially at defensive end, is getting a major talent boost already with this group, and it looks like OSU has landed its running back of the future.
19. South Carolina
Headliner: DT Kelcy Quarles Offensive line was a monster priority for the Gamecocks this season, and Carolina has reeled in a very good and talented line class early on. The offensive line class features two four-star recruits and some good players that are extremely talented.
20. Georgia Tech
Headliner: CB Barry Bostic Tech only has nine commitments, but many of the nine commits are nationally ranked at their positions. This includes four players ranked as four recruits. The defensive staff at Tech has to be pumped with this great start as six of the nine recruits are defenders.
21. Washington
Headliner: QB Nick Montana Nobody has been more aggressive in the West than the Huskies, and it's paying off with a great recruiting start. There is no question it's a different world in Seattle from a recruiting standpoint. UDub is more aggressive than ever and is already pulling in some top prospects.
22. Michigan State
Headliner: DE William Gholston The Spartans have made a living in Michigan and Ohio under Mark Dantonio, and that's the trend again in the 2010 class. Eight of the nine commits are from in state and the other is from Ohio. The Spartans will continue to do well in Michigan and Ohio and its success in other areas that could determine how high they climb.
23. Pittsburgh
Headliner: DE T.J. Clemmings A run in June and July has helped the Panthers climb into the top 25. The Panthers aren't high on elite talent, but the class is high on solid players overall. Twelve of Pitt's commits are on the three-star level.
24. West Virginia
Headliner: QB Barry Brunetti West Virginia has definitely become a force with many of the top prospects throughout the Midwest and in the Southeast. WVU can go about anywhere East of the Mississippi and have a chance on a kid and that's proven with the start in this year's class.
25. Auburn
Headliner: DE Joel Bonomolo An aggressive approach early in the process has helped the Tigers jump out to an early spot in the top 25. The class features a lot of local and Southeast talent, but the Tigers also have a national pull that helps them go into other areas. There is still a ton left on the board for Auburn, so the Tigers could be a fast riser later in the season.

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