The No. 1 name on the list has to be Jonathan Smith. He has been trending heavily with the Spartans lately and although he’s coming off a heartbreaking loss to Washington, he has built a solid program in Corvallis. It’s not easy to win there, but he has done just that.
Last year was his first true breakout season as he led the Beavers to a 10-3 record, just missing out on the Pac-12 title game.
And this year, Oregon State could win 10 games again if he can pull off the upset of the rival Ducks in Eugene. That’s a tall task, especially with all of the distractions surrounding the Michigan State coaching rumors, but if he can pull it off, he would have to be the unquestioned No. 1 candidate on everyone’s list.
The only concern here is that he isn’t known to be a great recruiter with classes ranging from 45-65 over the past couple of cycles, but maybe if he has more resources and a bigger assistant pool, he can fix that and secure top 25 classes in East Lansing.
Keep an eye on Smith because he’s the current favorite.