The 2022 recruiting cycle is coming to an end, and while educated projections will send excitement through college football fan bases nationwide, ultimately no indicator is better in judging the value of a class than time itself.
With the benefit of three seasons to evaluate player production and accumulated wins on Saturdays, we can now better assess the most impactful classes from the 2019 cycle. Some blue chips at the top were obvious, as they perennially recruit the best talent.
However, there were some surprises in this reranking of programs who developed the best talent.
The Bulldogs fell just short of the top class on signing day, but in retrospect, this was indeed the best haul of that cycle. This group played a key role in helping Georgia secure the national title this season -- it made its biggest impact on the Dawgs' stingy defense.
Five-star DE Nolan Smith, LB Nakobe Dean, S Lewis Cine and DE Travon Walker were the top four defensive prospects signed that year. All four have played significant roles for that unit, with Dean winning the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker.
The offense added some important pieces as well in starting RT Warren McClendon and WR George Pickens, both ESPN 300 prospects. This class also demonstrated that impact performers could arise from lesser-touted signings, as one-time walk-on and national championship MVP QB Stetson Bennett arrived as a bounce-back from junior college.