We're nearly one week removed from the late national signing period opening up, and the recruiting classes of the MEAC and SWAC have come into better focus. So we decided to group the HBCUs together and give a ranking a shot below.
2017 FCS RECRUITING: HERO Sports ranked the Top 250 recruits
2017 FCS RECRUITING: HERO Sports ranked the Top 50 teams
Here are a couple of things to know:
- HERO Sports will publish an FCS national Top 50 classes piece and a FCS Top 250 incoming freshmen piece on Feb. 21. Leading up to that, we'll be breaking down each conference — all 13 — from an individual standpoint.
- How did we come up with our ranking list below? Simple — it's subjective, but all recruiting rankings are that way. We combined 247Sports, Rivals, their offer lists and our own thoughts to come up with our version of the FCS recruiting rankings. We provide some of their other top offers in the charts. This is our third year doing this.
- We don't include junior college or 4-year school transfers in this. This is strictly incoming high school graduates.
So below are the rankings for the MEAC and SWAC.
QUICK THOUGHTS ON THE HBCUs: If I had to pick a team winner from the HBCUs (note we will rank Tennessee State with the Ohio Valley Conference and Hampton has moved on to the Big South), I would give the trophy to Prairie View A&M, with schools like Howard, Grambling, Bethune-Cookman and South Carolina State also having top collections. But it was Prairie View that really had the nicest recruiting haul, with new coach Eric Dooley and his staff deserving a ton of credit after the coaching change.
While other programs may have grabbed a better individual here and there, the Panthers signed a loaded class — and we'll see those dividends in the next few years. The real strength of the Panthers' class comes on the defensive side of the ball. If we were to choose a MEAC winner, we have to go with Howard. Things are really rocking with the Bison right now coming off a 7-4 season with a young and talented lineup, and it will continue with this recruiting class.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A couple of HBCU programs have not gone public with their signing classes yet.
Swipe left to right on mobile devices to see "other offers":
THE HBCU TOP 40
|RK||FCS CHOICE||POS||PROSPECT||HOMETOWN||HGT||WGT||OTHER OFFERS|
|1||GRAMBLING||ATH||Maurice Robinson||Mobile, AL||6'1"||180||Alabama, LSU|
|2||PRAIRIE VIEW A&M||DE||Joshua Smith||New Orleans, LA||6'4"||250||Kansas decommit – 12 offers|
|3||N.C. A&T||WR||Israel Spivey||Ellenwood, GA||5'9"||165||Coastal Car. decommit – 7 offers|
|4||HOWARD||DT||Jayde Pierre||Sterling, VA||6'1"||305||Temple decommit – 6 P5 offers|
|5||GRAMBLING||QB||Ricky Travis||Greensburg, LA||6'4"||190||LaTech, LaLaf, LaMonroe, Jackson St, ArkPB|
|6||BETHUNE-COOKMAN||DB||Tyrese Spain||Tampa, FL||5'10"||165||Kentucky, Missouri|
|7||HOWARD||DB||Jalen Smith||Virginia Beach, VA||6'1"||175||Virginia, Navy|
|8||ALCORN STATE||DE||Jaaron Jackson||Lakeland, FL||6'3"||240||So. Alabama decommit – 22 offers|
|9||TEXAS SOUTHERN||OL||Drake Centers||Tatum, TX||6'3"||295||Texas St decommit – 7 offers|
|10||HOWARD||WR||A'jae Boyd||Antioch, CA||5'9"||170||Hawaii, San Jose St., New Mex|
|11||SAVANNAH STATE||RB||D'Angelo Durham||Grovetown, GA||6'1"||200||UTSA decommit|
|12||BETHUNE-COOKMAN||QB||Devin Black||Seffner, FL||6'1"||170||Iowa, Indiana, Louisville|
|13||MISSISSIPPI VALLEY ST.||QB||Chandler Robinson||Hollandale, MS||6'4"||200||La-Lafayette|
|14||FAMU||RB||Eddie Tillman||New Orleans, LA||5'9"||170||Oregon St., Idaho – 7 offers|
|15||MISSISSIPPI VALLEY ST.||RB||Caleb Johnson||Memphis, TN||5'9"||205||South Carolina|
|16||ALABAMA STATE||OL||Taurrian Stafford||Miami, FL||6'3"||325||Marshall, Akron, Toledo|
|17||FAMU||WR||Jordan Dillard||Miami, FL||6'2"||170||Toledo decommit – 6 FBS offers|
|18||ALCORN STATE||OL||Deshun Bradwell||Tallahassee, FL||6'4"||295||Troy|
|19||MORGAN STATE||WR||Brendan Easley||Columbia, SC||6'5"||205||Marshall, Stetson|
|20||S.C. STATE||DB||Jaydun Brunson||Blythewood, SC||5'10"||196||Army, Navy, Citadel – 6 offers|
|21||ALCORN STATE||RB||Trey Turner||Atmore, AL||6'0"||205||Austin Peay, Howard|
|22||PRAIRIE VIEW A&M||DB||Logan Jackson||Mesquite, TX||6'0"||170||Navy, Air Force – 9 offers|
|23||HOWARD||LB||Jomier Augustine||Suwanee, GA||6'0"||220||Army decommit – 7 offers|
|24||SOUTHERN||DB||Robert Rhem||Ocala, FL||5'10"||165||So. Alabama, FAU|
|25||PRAIRIE VIEW A&M||DE||Kyren Harris||St. James, LA||6'1"||230||Idaho, Cornell, Dartmouth, Southern|
|26||BETHUNE-COOKMAN||DB||Terrell Ware||Orlando, FL||5'11"||175||4 FBS offers – 9 total|
|27||ALABAMA A&M||WR||Tyrese Chambers||Baltimore, MD||6'1"||175||Morgan State|
|28||PRAIRIE VIEW A&M||DT||Kobe Love||Jackson, MS||6'1"||280||La-Lafayette, La-Monroe|
|29||GRAMBLING||DB||Ryan Fields||Cypress, TX||6'1"||170||3 FBS offers – 8 total|
|30||ALABAMA A&M||WR||Nathaniel Dell||Daytona Beach, FL||5'10"||155||FIU decommitment|
|31||ALABAMA STATE||OL||Juwan Callines||Portsmouth, VA||6'6"||335||App State, Howard, Morgan St.|
|32||N.C. A&T||OL||Lawrence Lagrone||Douglasville, GA||6'3"||330||Tennessee State|
|33||ALABAMA A&M||DT||Jalen McGhee||Atlanta, GA||6'1"||245||Ga. State, Char. Southern|
|34||GRAMBLING||RB||Queze Brutton||Tallahassee, FL||5'6"||160||Southern, Howard, Jackson St.|
|35||ALABAMA STATE||WR||Delancey Tolliver||Montgomery, AL||6'4"||210||Tennessee State|
|36||PRAIRIE VIEW A&M||DT||Jason Dumas||St. James, LA||6'1"||250||Kent St., Jackson St, Houston Bapt.|
|37||GRAMBLING||DE||Sundiata Anderson||Atlanta, GA||6'5"||220||UNLV, Eastern Kentucky|
|38||ARK-PINE BLUFF||OL||Noah Hayes||Oxon Hill, MD||6'5"||300||Buffalo, Del. State, Morg St.|
|39||FAMU||DE||Abu Bangura||Stockbridge, GA||6'3"||235||Ga. Southern decommit|
|40||S.C. STATE||WR||Xzavion Gordon||Chapin, SC||5'11"||190||Indiana State|