The Big 12 was the clear winner of the conferences during the early signing period. Seven teams from the conference rank among the top 25 recruiting classes in 2009, and 27 nationally ranked players signed with a school from the Big 12.
Rivals.com recruiting analysts Jerry Meyer and Justin Young break down and rank the recruiting efforts of each conference for the early signing period.
There are four teams from the ACC that are ranked among the top 16 recruiting classes nationally. The conference is led by North Carolina, the top overall class in the country. The Tar Heels inked two of the five incoming five-star prospects in John Henson, the top incoming player in the conference, and Dexter Strickland, the top incoming point guard in the ACC. Florida State snagged five-star guard Michael Snaer out of California. Clemson landed one of the biggest in-state recruits in school history in Milton Jennings. Duke has a pair of skilled in-state big men coming to Durham next year in Ryan Kelly and Miles Plumlee. There are 24 Rivals150 prospects coming to the ACC next season.
The Big East has four teams ranked within the top 25 after the early signing period while three other teams (Pitt, West Virginia and Georgetown) are just a hair outside. Villanova leads the charge as the Wildcats signed two of the four incoming five-star players. Power forward Mouphtaou Yarou and point guard Maalik Wayns are tops at their respective positions. Connecticut inked five-star center Alex Oriakhi while Pittsburgh landed Dante Taylor, the No. 24-ranked player nationally. There are 21 Rivals150 prospects joining the Big East next year. West Virginia signed the top shooting guard, Dalton Pepper, and the top sleeper, Deniz Kilicli. There are 20 Rivals150 players coming to the Big East next year.
There are three Big Ten teams ranked within the top 25. Indiana checks in at No. 7 overall. The Hoosiers' class is led by four-star prospects Christian Watford, Maurice Creek and Derek Elston. Surprisingly, there is only one five-star player who signed with a Big Ten school this year. Minnesota was the winner as Royce White, an in-state player, is the No. 19 player overall in the class. Illinois locked up one of the best incoming backcourts in the nation with Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson and Joseph Bertrand. Nineteen Rivals150 prospects signed with a Big Ten school during the early period.
There are three teams from the SEC ranked within the top 25. Florida leads the charge at No. 6 overall thanks to the strength of Kenny Boynton, one of the two incoming five-star prospects in the league. Boynton could be a player of the year candidate as a freshman in the SEC. Kentucky locked up the other five-star prospect, Daniel Orton. The Wildcats come in at No. 13 overall in the team rankings. Alabama rounds out the group with a solid five-man class led by former 2008 signee Tony Mitchell, who is taking a prep year this season. There are 15 Rivals150 prospects joining the league next year.
After several years of major signings, the Pac-10 is in a down season for major players. Only two teams are ranked within the top 25 and only one five-star player signed with a Pac-10 school during the early period. Washington was the clear winner with Abdul Gaddy, one of the elite point guards nationally. UCLA is the team winner, coming in at No. 8 overall with a strong five-man class. The star power is lacking compared to year's past. Keep an eye on Oregon State. New coach Craig Robinson has reeled in a pair of Rivals150 prospects in Roberto Nelson and Joe Burton. There are 14 Rivals150 prospects joining the league at the moment.