Reranking college football's 2020 recruiting class: Top recruits, teams

Illustration by ESPN

College football's 2020 recruiting class certainly had some misses starting at the top. While wide receiver Julian Fleming and defensive end Desmond Evans, ranked as the Nos. 1 and 2 recruits out of high school in the ESPN 300, are solid contributors, neither has been an immediate-impact difference-maker like projected.

As some of the elite high school talent from this class might not have impacted the college game yet, others have risen to greater heights, namely Jordan Addison, who went from the No. 57-rated receiver as a recruit to No. 1.

Recruiting is far from an exact science, and the emergence of the transfer portal gives players their own ability to redo their college decision without having to sit out a year for a better opportunity at reaching their potential. Addison is an example of that, as is Jahmyr Gibbs, who went from Georgia Tech to Alabama and from the No. 19 RB to No. 2 on our rerank.

The 2020 cycle also ended with Dabo Swinney locking down his first No. 1 class. Behind Clemson were Georgia, Alabama, LSU and Ohio State. Alabama is the only team of those five to make the College Football Playoff both years. LSU, on the other hand, has gone 16-14 since landing the No. 4 class, parting ways with coach Ed Orgeron during that time as well.

Below, we examine how different the 2020 recruiting cycle would look if we reranked players based on their college production. We break down what the top 25 players and top 10 classes from the 2020 cycle would look like knowing what we know now.

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Top 25 recruits | Top 10 classes

1. Bryce Young, QB

Alabama | 2020 ESPN 300 ranking: 5 (No. 1 QB-DT)

Coming off a 455-yard heroic passing performance in a loss vs. Tennessee, Young has been as advertised in every facet. He took Alabama to the national championship game and won the Heisman Trophy in his first full season as a starter. He has proven time and again that he is a rare difference-maker with elite passing skills and extremely high football instincts. The former five-star quarterback is on pace to eclipse 7,000 career passing yards in his junior season. Young is currently ranked as a top-three QB prospect in the 2023 draft.