Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Sun Belt Recruiting Top Commitments: Defense Dominates 2024 Class

Sun Belt recruiting is the lifeblood of this college football conference, and it's time to break down who is winning the battles off the field in addition to the ones on the gridiron each weekend.

This piece will feature Sun Belt recruiting, with the Conference USA, American Athletic Conference (AAC), Mid-American Conference (MAC), and Mountain West Conference (MWC) having already been published. Then we will finish with the final September national rankings for the Group of Five — both teams and individuals.

There are 14 football programs in the Sun Belt. Some programs that have some of the top individuals have smaller recruiting classes, and some with larger classes don't have a top 10 Sun Belt commitment — but it's still early. We worked in conjunction with our partners at to rank the teams and individuals — though our ranking method is a bit different from the recruiting network's criteria.

2024 Sun Belt Team Recruiting Rankings

A Southern Miss helmet.

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

No. 1 - SOUTHERN MISS: This class is absolutely loaded with talent — just check the individual rankings below. The Golden Eagles have bolstered their defense with players Power Five teams covet, and they have an outstanding quarterback on board in John White, and that's just the beginning of the list of reasons they look stellar on paper so far in recruiting. Keep an eye on RB Jalen Washington, too.

No. 2 - APPALACHIAN STATE: Much like Southern Miss, what Appalachian State is bringing in on defense is impressive — starting with defensive lineman Jackson Bussey. In fact, the defensive line as a whole — and the front seven beyond that — looks very strong. It's clearly the cornerstone group of this class so far, and it's early. Along with the top 30 recruits listed below, keep an eye on Terrell Spruill, Talan Dudley and Anthony Rosier, as well as Kaleb Neal on defense. This school may be in the mountains of North Carolina, but it has mined exceptionally well in the talent-hotbed state of Florida.

No. 3JAMES MADISON: The Dukes may be relatively new to the FBS ranks, but they aren't new to winning recruiting battles against Group of Five schools — they've been doing it for years under current coach Curt Cignetti and former coach Mike Houston. It may sound like a broken record in the Sun Belt ranks, but JMU is also performing well on the defensive side of the ball when it comes to recruiting talent.

No. 4 - MARSHALL: When your school is in West Virginia, you must go out-of-state to mine talent, and Marshall is doing exactly that. The Thundering Herd are performing particularly well in Ohio and Georgia — so they've proven they can reach across the Ohio River for that blue-collar Rust-Belt talent in the Buckeye State, or they can go down south for the sunshine, skill and speed. Quarterback JacQai Long out of Hurricane, W.V. provides that in-state cherry on top of what is already a fine class.

No. 5 — TEXAS STATE: This spot was a tough call because there are several programs that could fit into this final slot (Coastal Carolina comes to mind). Texas State is performing well on the field and is doing well off the field in recruiting. Not surprisingly? Every single one of the 14 commitments is from the talent hotbed of Texas. Future Bobcats quarterback Brad Jackson must like the looks of throwing the ball to future stud receivers Kylen Evans and Jordan Martin, from McKinney and Dallas, respectively.

Rest of the Country - G5 Recruiting

American (AAC) | Conference USA (C-USA) | Mid-American (MAC) | Mountain West (MWC) | Sun Belt (SWC)

National Top 15 Programs | National Top 100 Commitments

2024 Sun Belt Player Recruiting Rankings

FanBuzz conference rankings are placed in order in conjunction with our professional partners at However, they vary some.


1 Christopher Jones LB Southern Miss
2 Caleb Moore DT Southern Miss
3 Aaron Travis DE Southern Miss
4 Elijah Hall ATH Troy
5 Javon Hammonds LB Marshall
6 Kylen Evans WR Texas State
7 Zach Cody CB Coastal Carolina
8 Devin Collier S Georgia Southern
9 Doran Moore QB Coastal Carolina
10 Deuce Walker CB Georgia State
11 Jerrian Graham ATH South Alabama
12 Jackson Bussey DE Appalachian State
13 Kevin Norwood DT South Alabama
14 Myles Woods S Coastal Carolina
15 Jordan Martin WR Texas State
16 John White QB Southern Miss
17 Alberto Mendoza QB James Madison
18 Dylan Williams WR Marshall
19 Jordan Rowe OL La. Monroe
20 Jah Jah Boyd CB James Madison
21 Tyler Norris OT Texas State
22 Miles Adams DL Southern Miss
23 Michael Sylvalie LB Texas State
24 Milton Ferguson CB James Madison
25 Caleb McCreary QB Troy
26 Aidan Steinfeldt TE Marshall
27 Jamauri McClure RB South Alabama
28 Corey Myrick CB Marshall
29 Jose Leon WR Appalachian State
30 Khalil Witherspoon ATH Old Dominion

MORE: Sun Belt Conference Could be G5's Top League