Recruiting is the lifeblood of college football, and it's time to break down who is winning the battles off the field in addition to the ones on television each weekend. This one will feature Conference USA recruiting, with the American Athletic Conference having already been published (linked below). The Mid-American Conference, Mountain West and Sun Belt are next.
Nine football programs are in a rebuilding Conference USA. Some programs that have some of the top individuals have smaller recruiting classes, and some with larger classes don't have a top-five C-USA commitment — but it's still early. We worked in conjunction with our partners at Rivals.com to rank the teams and individuals — though our ranking method is a bit different from the recruiting network's criteria.
The Top Three C-USA Program Rankings
No. 1 - Liberty: The Flames are dominating the Conference USA recruiting rankings, placing seven of their commitments on the FanBuzz Top 15 list for C-USA. The Flames boast the top three (see below), including four-star quarterback Jayden Bradford, whom the recruiting services dropped to a three-star prospect after previously having him as a Top 100, high-end four-star national prospect prior to him picking a Group of Five school instead of Power Five.
Bradford told FanBuzz this week that even though he had Power Five options (11 to be exact), Liberty was the perfect fit in his eyes. The South Carolina native is currently enrolled at the prestigious IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and he has a lot of faith in first-year coach Jamey Chadwell.
"I'm obviously going in with high expectations and standards for myself," Bradford told FanBuzz. "And with how well the staff has been doing with recruiting, the sky's the limit. With the expansion of the 12-team playoff, I know that the staff, players and recruits intend on being one of those 12 teams in the near future."
No. 2 - Western Kentucky: The gem of the group is Chukwunedu Okeke, but he isn't the only stud in this commitment class so far. While WKU has three players in the top 15, if this were expanded to a top 30, the Hilltoppers would have more like eight or nine on the list. The class is balanced and large (16 recruits so far), and the program is going places. There are several three-star-caliber recruits, and quarterback Tucker Parks is a hidden-gem steal out of the known hotbed of Texas. This is a good-looking class heading into the early signing period of December.
No. 3 - Florida International: What would you expect? FIU is located in the middle of one of the nation's top recruiting hotbeds in the Dade-Broward-Palm Beach three-county corridor, otherwise known as "South Florida" — not to be confused with the university located in Tampa Bay. The Golden Panthers have a nice, well-rounded class with many recruits coming on board very early — showing enthusiasm and commitment to what coach Mike MacIntyre is trying to build down in Miami. Much like WKU, if this were a top 30 list, FIU would have a lot more players on it — but top-name quarterback Clayton Dees and defensive tackle Robert Williams are elite C-USA pickups.
Rest of the Country - G5 Recruiting
National Top 15 Programs | National Top 100 Commitments
The Top 15 in Conference USA Recruiting
FanBuzz conference rankings are placed in order in conjunction with our professional partners at Rivals.com. However, they vary some.
|CUSA RK||RECRUIT||POS||C-USA CHOICE|
|4||Chukwunedu Okeke||DE||Western Kentucky|
|5||Jadon Mayfield||LB||Louisiana Tech|
|9||Mason Ferguson||WR||Louisiana Tech|
|11||Cameron Flowers||ATH||Western Kentucky|
|13||Zackariah Simmons-Brown||RB||Western Kentucky|
|15||Salahadin Allah||RB||Sam Houston|
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