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The Chase: Five Contenders

The chase for the recruiting championship for the 2014 cycle, powered by 247Sports Composite, includes one heavy favorite and four contenders at this stage.

The nation's top cornerback prospect, Marlon Humphrey, is one of several highly-rated prospects Alabama could add to what may be the highest-rated numerical class on record.



247Sports team rankings are calculated exclusively using 247Sports Composite prospect rankings and ratings. 247Sports Composite uses a proprietary formula to equally weight prospect rankings and ratings from major recruiting media outlets.

Within the team rankings formula, each recruit is weighted in the rankings according to a Gaussian distribution formula (a bell curve), where a team's best recruit is worth the most points. You can think of a team's point score as being the sum of ratings of all the team's commits where the best recruit is worth 100 percent of his rating value, the second best recruit is worth nearly 100 percent of his rating value, down to the last recruit who is worth a small fraction of his rating value. This formula ensures that all commits contribute at least some value to the team's score without heavily rewarding teams that have several more commitments than others.



The Class of 2014 recruiting championship will be decided on national signing day- Feb. 5.

Here are the primary contenders today, determined subjectively and through the use of internal mathematical projections.

Alabama

Current Rank- 1
Current Points- 295.97
Overview- The Crimson Tide’s class, numerically, could eventually surpass Florida’s all-time high of 321.80 in the 2010 cycle.
Best Bets- Marlon Humphrey, CB, Hoover (Ala.) (0.9973/5 Stars); Jalen Tabor, CB, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate (0.9877/5 Stars); Laurence Jones, S, Monroe (La.) Neville (0.9846/5 Stars)
Odds at No. 1- 70 percent
Must Read Link- BamaOnline.com Recruiting War Room

LSU

Current Rank- 12
Current Points- 235.29
Overview- The Tigers have the highest ceiling for their class in the country as nearly a half-dozen five-star prospects who could very well be LSU-bound have yet to make their decision. LSU has only 15 verbal commits at this time.
Best Bets- Leonard Fournette, RB, New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine (0.9994/5 Stars); Tony Brown, CB, Beaumont (Texas) Ozen (0.9950/5 Stars); Speedy Noil, WR, New Orleans (La.) Edna Carr (0.9910/5 Stars), Malachi Dupre, WR, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis (0.9906/5 Stars); Gerald Willis, DT, New Orleans (La.) Edna Carr (0.9880/5 Stars); Clifton Garrett, LB, Plainfield (Ill.) South (0.9863/5 Stars)
Odds at No. 1- 15 percent
Must Read- Geaux247 on if the Bama loss impacts recruiting

Florida State

Current Rank- 7
Current Points- 253.99
Overview- The Noles’ season, combined with the fact that they have top to bottom the best recruiting coaching staff in the country, has let to a flurry of activity with top prospects, so the story of this class has yet to be written and chances are there are a good many surprises in the final 2014 class for the Noles. Florida State fans should hang on to their hats in the coming weeks as there could be an epic finish.
Best Bets- Dalvin Cook, RB, Miami (Fla.) Central (0.9892/5 Stars) (Florida flip); Travis Rudolph, WR, Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal Newman (0.9604/4 Stars); Roderick Johnson, OT, Florissant (Mo.) Hazelwood Central (0.9454/4 Stars)
Odds at No. 1- 7.5 percent
Must Read- Inside Word: In-Depth with Dalvin Cook

Ohio State

Current Rank- 5
Current Points- 261.66
Overview- Ohio State has plenty of upside in the 2014 class and Urban Meyer and company in their previous two cycles in Columbus have closed as well as anyone in the country. The upside is there and a surprise pull or two could have the Buckeyes contending for the top spot.
Best Bets- Raekwon McMillan, LB, Hinesville (Ga.) Liberty County (0.9906/5 Stars); Marshon Lattimore, ATH, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville (0.9825/4 Stars); Chad Mavety, OT, Garden City (N.Y.) Nassau Community College (0.9200/4 Stars)
Odds at No. 1- 5 percent
Must Read- Urban Meyer’s Barnstorm Recruiting

Texas A&M

Current Rank- 4
Current Points- 262.72
Overview- One thing that is certain about the Aggies- they will keep recruiting until the ink is dry on the letters-of-intent. New targets for Texas A&M popped up down the stretch last cycle and the same could happen in this one. They may not quite have the space to be No. 1, but a surprise pull or two (Brown or Noil/Willis out of Louisiana) could have them in contention.
Best Bets- Frank Iheanacho, WR, Houston (Texas) Westside (0.9663/4 Stars); Braden Smith, OL, Olathe (Kan.) South (0.9694/4 Stars); Nick Gates, OL, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman (0.8619/3 Stars).
Odds at No. 1- 2.5 percent
Must Read- The Pulse of Aggieland- Recruiting Scoop

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