For both high school and college, the 2011 football season has barely begun and there are only a handful of official visits that have taken place. However, February and National Signing Day are already in sight and several programs have positioned themselves nicely with some strong foundations.
Texas commit Malcom Brown has helped the Longhorns jump out to the top class in the country.
We take a look at the Top 25 recruiting classes in the country heading into the heart of the season.
Headliners: DT Malcom Brown, RB Johnathan Gray
Quick hitter: Due to its traditional fast starts, Texas is always at the top of the early team ranking calculations but with all but three of the Longhorns commits rated four-stars or better, Texas won’t move far from the top if it moves at all.
Headliners: WR Chris Black, ATH Eddie Williams
Quick hitter: Highlighted by a phenomenal group of linebacker commits, Alabama is setting up for another terrific class. With several elite targets still out there, the Crimson Tide isn’t done yet either.
Headliners: OT Kyle Kalis, OT Erik Magnuson, DE Chris Wormley
Quick hitter: Brady Hoke’s first full year on the recruiting trail has yielded strong early returns, particularly in both Michigan and Ohio.
Jameis Winston is the nation's top quarterback and part of a terrific FSU class.
Headliner: OT D.J. Humphries
Quick hitter: Will Muschamp has recruited what he knows in the class of 2012 with loads of defensive talent and some productive work in his home state of Georgia.
Headliner: QB Jameis Winston, DE Mario Edwards
Quick hitter: Already with the top group of defensive line commits in the country, Florida State looks poised to add several more national recruits in the coming months.
6. Texas A&M
Headliner: RB Trey Williams
Quick hitter: Building off of its recent on-the-field success, the Aggies have been among the quickest out of the gates in the 2012 class and don’t seem to be slowing down.
Headliner: LB Torshiro Davis
Quick hitter: Once again, LSU is relying on in-state talent. Though many of the current commits are raw, athleticism is in abundance in LSU's 2012 class. What else is new?
The Miami recruiting class is holding strong for now behind one of the top backs in the country, Duke Johnson.
Headliner: APB Duke Johnson
Quick hitter: Faced with more recent off-the-field adversity than any program in the country (and that is saying something), Miami remains strong with 24 commitments many of whom are home-grown products.
10. Notre Dame
Headliner: DT Jarron Jones
Quick hitter: The Fighting Irish are not only recruiting at an extremely high level under Brian Kelly but they have found a renewed defensive focus with loads of talent coming in on that side of the ball.
Headliner: TE Ricky Parks
Quick hitter: Recruiting off of a national championship, Auburn is poised for a characteristic fall and winter push under its terrific recruiting staff.
12. South Carolina
With Shaq Roland, South Carolina will likely land the top player in its own state for the fourth straight year.
Headliner: ATH Shaq Roland
Quick hitter: For the fourth consecutive year, South Carolina will likely sign the top player in its home state (Roland). There is plenty more talent on board as well.
Headliner: RB Alex Ross
Quick hitter: Though the class is currently small with only 14 commitments, every pledge is elite leaving the Sooners with plenty of room to continue to climb the 2012 rankings.
Headliners: DE Eli Harold, LB Kwontie Moore
Quick hitters: Following a 4-8 season, no one would have expected to see Virginia in the top 15 at this stage but head coach Mike London is proving to be a recruiting heavyweight.
Headliners: ATH Corey Coleman, WR Kiante’ Griffin
Quick hitter: Art Briles has the Baylor program firing on all cylinders and recruiting is no different with some of the top players in Texas buying in.
16. Penn State
Armani Reeves is one of the few Penn State commits that won't be playing inside the tackle box.
Headliner: CB Armani Reeves
Quick hitter: Penn State is a blue collar team and it is bringing in a blue collar recruiting class with lots of beef and physicality committed from both sides of the line of scrimmage.
Headliner: OT John Theus
Quick hitter: The Bulldogs have to get the job done on the field but remain in striking distance on the recruiting trail led by the likes of the five-star Theus.
18. Virginia Tech
Headliners: DE Jarontay Jones, APB J.C. Coleman
Quick hitter: A typical Virginia Tech class that has yet to get much fanfare, the Hokies have a deep group committed of typical tough Beamer-style players.
Headliner: S LaDarrell McNeil
Quick hitter: Fueled by a furious July and August on the recruiting trail, Tennessee is quickly picking up the pace heading into the heart of recruiting season.
Evan Boehm is part of Missouri's continued success on the field and in the recruiting realm.
Headliners: OG Evan Boehm, RB Jonathan Williams
Quick hitter: Under Gary Pinkel, Missouri has shown that it can line up and play with anyone. It is starting to recruit with the same confidence.
Headliner: OT/DT Arik Armstead
Quick hitter: It’s tough to make the Top 25 with only 10 commitments but USC has pulled in an all-star group, all from within its own state.
22. Texas Tech
Headliner: ATH Dominique Wheeler
Quick hitter: The Red Raiders have yet to stray outside the boarders of the Lone Star State, led by four big home-grown offensive linemen.
23. Arizona State
Headliner: LB Salamo Fiso
Quick hitter: Of Arizona State’s 23 commits, five are from California’s powerhouse program of Long Beach Poly. Four-star Fiso leads the way.
24. Ohio State
Headliner: S De’van Bogard
Quick hitter: Some negative national attention and the resignation of Jim Tressel have slowed the Buckeyes’ recruiting but they remain in the Top 25 despite having only 12 commitments.
25. Michigan State
Headliner: WR Aaron Burbridge
Quick hitter: Along with the top player in the state of Michigan (Burbridge), Michigan State has also done plenty of work in Ohio landing six commitments out of it’s southern neighbor including four-star quarterback Tyler O’Connor.