Hey Judes: 2018 Recruiting Class Player Rankings – The CI 25 Edition

    With the 2018 recruiting class underway, this week's edition of Hey Judes dials in on the top prospects in the cycle and where they stack up in the first-ever release of Campus Insiders' top 25 recruits known as the CI 25.

    February 9, 2017

    With the 2018 recruiting class underway, this week’s edition of Hey Judes dials in on the top prospects in the cycle and where they stack up in the first-ever release of Campus Insiders’ top 25 recruits known as the CI 25. 


    Thursday was a big day for Campus Insiders family — you know those people I’m forced to spend 40-plus hours a week with. I’m pretty sure that’s a loose definition of a family … kidding (slightly).

    But, seriously, it was a big day. We released our inaugural CI 25, which ranks our top 25 prospects in the 2018 recruiting class. It’s a brand we’re all excited to build as we continue to expand our recruiting coverage, which, fortunately (or unfortunately) for you, means you get to read more words from yours truly.

    The ironic part of our release of the CI 25 is the fact that right after it went live, Lorenzo Lingard, who is featured in our rankings, announced his college commitment. So, it was a big day for the Miami native.

    And that’s where we’ll pick up today’s discussion.

    Miami Momentum

    My friend Zach Abolverdi wrote a wonderful story regarding comments from Uncle Luke about how the Gators are getting ready to take over South Florida recruiting now that they have Randy Shannon, Corey Bell and JaJuan Seider all on the same coaching staff. Well, that may be true, but the Hurricanes were the winners on Thursday when they added Lingard to their 2018 class.

    Florida will undoubtedly continue its pursuit of the No. 2-ranked running back in the Sunshine State, but Lingard was a must-get for Miami. After missing out on 4-star tailback Anthony McFarland in the 2017 class, the ‘Canes needed to add a dynamic playmaker to their backfield, and Lingard can be just that. Mark Richt’s staff will likely try and ride this way in hope of adding 4-star wide receiver Mark Pope as well.

    Oregon Coaching Staff Changes

    I’m not here to talk at length about Jimmie Dougherty, his brief tenure with the Ducks, or his new job at UCLA. However, what I will say is that many of Oregon’s 2017 signees were unaware of Dougherty’s move from Eugene to Los Angeles. Deommodore Lenoir, Jaylon Redd and Bruce Judson, who are all planning on playing snaps at wide receiver for the Ducks, did not see Dougherty’s move coming. Redd was especially displeased by it.

    And none of them had heard a word about Dameyune Craig, who is being rumored as a potential replacement for either Dougherty or now-former co-offensive coordinator David Reaves. Craig was fired by LSU last week, and he would be an excellent hire for Willie Taggart’s staff, complimenting Thursday’s addition of Marcus Arroyo as passing game coordinator. Imagine the damage the Ducks could do on the recruiting trail if they put Taggart, Craig and Mario Cristobal out on the road. That is an elite core of recruiters, and I really hope it happens.

    Brad Davis And The Florida O-Line

    Not many Gator fans had heard of Brad Davis when Jim McElwain hired him from North Texas to coach the Florida offensive line. In fact, the day before he was hired, I was told the Gators were trying to gauge Cristobal on whether or not he would consider leaving Oregon to head to Gainesville. But low and behold, Florida hired Davis, and it that might be an undervalued hire.

    Everything that I’ve heard about Davis has been positive. He seems to be a fiery, passionate coach and one helluva recruiter. It sounds like he’ll bring some energy to the Gators’ offensive line, which can go a long way with offensive line prospects in the 2018 class and future classes. That’s something that was missing with Mike Summers.

    Texas Tapping Into Other States

    When Charlie Strong was the head coach of the Longhorns, he may not have won many games, but he did recruit like a madman. He believed there was enough talent in the Lone Star State that he didn’t need to tap into his Florida contacts and pull players to Texas from outside pipelines. No, he tried to build the program back up by recruiting in-state players.

    Well, Tom Herman certainly knows the value of locking down the borders, but that won’t stop him from bringing non-Texas natives to Austin. On Thursday, the Longhorns gave a scholarship offer to 4-star offensive tackle Max Wray, who committed to Georgia in March. Now, I highly doubt Texas can flip Wray. Kirby Smart will fight tooth and nail for him. But it says something about Herman’s recruiting strategy. Texas has offered 29 out-of-state players, and it’s not being shy about invading the SEC. The Longhorns’ offer to Wray was their fourth offer to a current SEC commit. It’s heating up, people.

    Fight On, Trojans

    If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I have an irrational love for the Pac-12. I was born and raised in the heart of the SEC, but have always enjoyed watching Pac-12 football games. Maybe the credit goes to the fact I grew up watching Carson Palmer, Reggie Bush, Joey Harrington and a series of exciting players out West.

    Regardless, it’s looking like I’ll have a great opportunity to interview USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin next week, and I’m extremely excited about it. I actually tabbed Martin as the top recruiter in the Pac-12 this past season, as he helped the Trojans land the No. 5 overall class in the 2017 cycle. And I plan on telling him as much when we hop on a phone call to go over the current status, and the future, of USC recruiting. So be on the lookout for a story next week. I can’t wait.

    MORE: How An Early Signing Period Will Change College Football Recruiting

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