It’s early fall, and 92 of the top 100 players in the Class of 2021 have verbally committed to schools. Four schools — South Carolina, North Carolina, Syracuse and Washington — have landed four espnW 100 prospects, while four schools have three.
Many traditional powerhouses — South Carolina, UConn, Notre Dame and Stanford — find themselves in the top 10 of the recruiting class rankings, but there are some sleeper teams as well.
Texas had the No. 16 class in 2020 and was ranked outside the top 20 in 2019, yet new coach Vic Schaefer, who left Mississippi State in April, has the Longhorns back in the top five. Tennessee also fell outside the top 20 last year, but second-year coach Kellie Harper has the Lady Vols in the top 15 thanks to four commits, including two in the top 50.
Top-ranked prospect Azzi Fudd has yet to declare and is keeping her recruitment process private. She is unable to take any official visits before the November signing period after the NCAA extended its recruiting dead period through Jan. 1.
For now, we rank the top 25 recruiting classes for the Class of 2021.
1. South Carolina Gamecocks
Highest-ranked commit: PG Raven Johnson (No. 2)
Dawn Staley brought in the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in 2019 when the Gamecocks landed four prospects in the top 11. South Carolina had just one commit — PG Eniya Russell, the No. 43 prospect — last cycle, but the Gamecocks are atop the class rankings again with four 2021 prospects inside the top 15, led by Johnson, a true point guard who has developed her 3-point range. G Saniya Rivers and F Sania Feagin are the third- and fourth-ranked prospects, respectively, while G Aubryanna Hall is ranked 14th overall.
2. North Carolina Tar Heels
Highest-ranked commit: W Teonni Key (No. 9)
Courtney Banghart signed an eye-opening class in her first go-round in Chapel Hill, and she might have already outdone herself with her second signing class. Key has good ball skills, a strong mid-range jumper and gets on the glass on both ends. No. 17 Kayla McPherson is an explosive guard with deep range from 3. No. 18 Morasha Wiggins has a terrific blend of size and skill, while No. 20 Destiny Adams improved her rebounding and defensive skills over the past year.
3. UConn Huskies
Highest-ranked commit: G Caroline Ducharme (No. 5)
Ducharme is one of the most improved players in the country heading into her senior campaign. F Amari DeBerry, the No. 15 prospect, has a skill set similar to UConn’s Olivia Nelson-Ododa thanks to her elite size, length and mobility. No. 30 Saylor Poffenbarger is a versatile guard who has 3-point range and size to post up in the paint. The Huskies, who signed No. 1 prospect Paige Bueckers in the Class of 2020, are still in the hunt for Fudd as well.
4. Texas Longhorns
Highest-ranked commit: F Aaliyah Moore (No. 6)
Vic Schaefer landed two top-10 players in his first recruiting class in Austin, Texas. In Moore, the Longhorns get someone who has excellent footwork and hands and is a hard worker down low. PG Rori Harmon, who is ranked 10th, is an elite finisher in the paint and keeps defenses honest with her ability to shoot the 3 off the dribble.
Niele Ivey officially succeeded the legendary Muffet McGraw on April 22. Days later, she landed Miles, a five-star prospect out of Blair Academy in New Jersey who shows flashes of former Old Dominion and WNBA star Ticha Penicheiro in her game. Within the same week, the Irish got a commitment from Sonia Citron, a 6-foot-1 guard who has a solid mid-range pull-up jumper and good awareness on the defensive end.
6. Stanford Cardinal
Highest-ranked commit: W Brooke Demetre (No. 11)
Demetre is a versatile 6-foot-2 forward who will help the Cardinal in the frontcourt. F KiKi Iriafen, the 19th-ranked prospect, has tremendous upside and has a skill set resembling former Cardinal stars Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike. PG Jzaniya Harriel, ranked No. 78, is a quality scorer from Northern California.
7. USC Trojans
Highest-ranked commit: P Clarice Akunwafo (No. 21)
Akunwafo is an active and disruptive defensive presence with an emerging offensive game. G Rayah Marshall (No. 27) has as much potential as anyone in the class. She is a big guard with a smoothness to her game.
8. Oregon State Beavers
Highest-ranked commit: W Talia Von Oelhoffen (No. 25)
Von Oelhoffen is a 5-foot-11 guard and strong perimeter player who fits in well with Scott Rueck’s system. Greta Kampschroeder, the No. 32 player, is one of the best shooters in the country, be it off the dribble or in a catch-and-shoot situation.
Maryland landed two talented players in its 2021 class. Sellers is a versatile 6-foot guard who has every tool — shooting, floor vision and passing — and can guard multiple positions. Emma Chardon, a 4.5-star prospect from Switzerland, has shown the ability to deliver on the big stage.
10. Northwestern Wildcats
Highest-ranked commit: G Hailey Weaver (No. 35)
This could be coach Joe McKeown’s deepest class ever. Weaver and No. 50 Jillian Brown are two quality perimeter players whose skill sets complement each other. No. 56 Caileigh Walsh is a stretch 4 player who is learning the value of physicality in the paint. The Wildcats have two four-star prospects: Anu Ademusayo, who has elite height and length, and Melannie Daley, an under-the-radar prospect who has serious game as a three-level scorer.
11. Syracuse Orange
Highest-ranked commit: F Latasha Lattimore (No. 38)
Syracuse landed three international prospects in its five-player class. Lattimore and PG Shayeann Day-Wilson (No. 41) both play for Crestwood Secondary School in Canada, while four-star forward Maud Huijbens is from the Netherlands. No. 51 Amani Bartlett is a slasher-type forward who makes her presence known defensively and on the glass. G Nyah Wilson (No. 99) comes from Texas powerhouse Duncanville High School.
12. Florida State Seminoles
Highest-ranked commit: PG O’Mariah Gordon (No. 31)
Gordon is a dynamic point guard who hails from Florida’s Braden River High School. Makayla Timpson, the No. 48 player, is a 6-foot-2 forward who simply makes plays that many others cannot because of her natural ability. Three-star forward Mariana Valenzuela played prep ball at Florida’s Montverde Academy.
13. NC State Wolfpack
Highest-ranked commit: G Aziaha James (No. 36)
James is an athletic slashing guard with a serious scoring prowess. P Sophia Hart, the No. 64 player, will fit in with the Wolfpack’s system well thanks to her craftiness. Four-star Jessica Timmons has good scoring skills and pressures the ball defensively very effectively.
14. Tennessee Lady Volunteers
Highest-ranked commit: F Sara Puckett (No. 43)
Coach Kellie Harper made quite the regional haul. G Kaiya Wynn, the No. 62-ranked prospect, went to Ensworth High School in Tennessee but will finish her high school career outside of Houston, Texas. Puckett and No. 45 Karoline Striplin are from Alabama, while three-star prospect Brooklynn Miles is from Kentucky.
Conner is a fundamental shooter with extreme confidence on the floor. Aaronette Vonleh (No. 100) is a powerful post player whose brother is Denver Nuggets PF Noah Vonleh. Arizona continues to be successful in landing international recruits, and that is evident in Anna Gret Asi, a 4.5-star point guard from Estonia who can run the show.
16. Washington Huskies
Highest-ranked commit: G Ashtynne Marotte (No. 63)
Jody Wynn and her Washington coaching staff traveled all over the world for its five-player class. Marotte is a 6-foot guard from Texas. Marisa Davis (No. 76) is a 6-foot-1 wing from Arizona. Avery Van Sickle (No. 85) is a 5-foot-10 point guard from Colorado. No. 94 prospect Jess Finney is a 5-foot-10 guard from Arizona. And four-star guard Olivia Pollerd is from Australia.
17. Michigan Wolverines
Highest-ranked commit: G Laila Phelia (No. 28)
Phelia is a skilled guard who has proven she can play anywhere on the perimeter. No. 68 Ariana Wiggins is a dynamic and quick point guard. Three-star forward Taylor Gibson will provide physicality in the paint for the Wolverines.
18. Louisville Cardinals
Highest-ranked commit: G Payton Verhulst (No. 12)
Verhulst is one of the top guards in the country with a smooth jumper and some flair to her game off the bounce. Four-star Sydni Schetnan doubles as a volleyball player. At 6-foot-5, she might have even more potential on the basketball court.
19. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Highest-ranked commit: PG Knisha Godfrey (No. 40)
Nikki McCray-Penson took over at Mississippi State in the spring, and her Bulldogs staff immediately went to work in recruiting. Godfrey, No. 55 Jasmine Shavers and three-star Mia Moore are three guards who can push the tempo and put pressure on opposing defenses in the SEC.
Ediger is a skilled 6-foot-2 forward out of Hamilton High School in Michigan. No. 92 Addison O’Grady is a physical forward/post player out of Colorado whose style of play will fit in well in the Big Ten. Four-star wing Sydney Affolter is an active and skilled player out of Illinois.
21. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Highest-ranked commit: W Kendall Coley (No. 49)
Nebraska has a deep class thus far with five commits. Coley is a stretch forward who could see some time at the 4 and eventually the 3 in her college career. Allison Weidner (No. 80) is a perimeter player who knows how to hunt down shots. Four-star Tatiana Popa is a 6-foot-5 finesse stretch forward/center type with a European-style game. Kendall Moriarty is a 6-foot-1 guard with perimeter skills. Alexis Markowski is a physical forward with good hands who can knock down shots from beyond the arc.
22. Purdue Boilermakers
Highest-ranked commit: F Sacha Washington (No. 57)
Purdue brings in two top-100 players in Washington, a 6-foot-2 forward from Georgia, and Skye Williams, a 5-foot-10 guard out of Ohio who is ranked No. 93. Jayla Smith runs the lanes well and gets on the glass. Ava Learn is a finesse forward with the ability to stretch the floor.
23. Arizona State Sun Devils
Highest-ranked commit: W Meg Newman (No. 33)
Newman is a tough and intelligent utility forward who can play multiple positions on the floor. Four-star prospect Jade Melbourne, an excellent passer who can shoot along the perimeter, joins Charli Turner-Thorne’s program from Australia.
24. West Virginia Mountaineers
Highest-ranked commit: G Emma Shumate (No. 59)
Shumate is a good shooter with a good court awareness. No. 81 Messiah Hunter is a talented guard with a nice pull-up jumper. Wynter Rogers is a 3.5-star wing/forward who can knock down the 3, while Ja’Naiya Quinerly is a confident point guard.
25. Arkansas Razorbacks
Highest-ranked commit: PG Jersey Wolfenbarger (No. 7)
Wolfenbarger might be the steal of the class. She is a skilled 6-foot-5 guard who might still be growing, and that usually means there are aspects to her game that remain untapped. Samara Spencer, a 3.5-star prospect, is a quick and fast guard. Arkansas has two three-star prospects in the fold as well: Ashlyn Sage, a lengthy shooter who can knock down the 3, and Emrie Ellis, a lanky forward who can run the floor.