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The Top 10 Players of the 2024 Mountain West Recruiting Class

A lot of talent is entering the conference. Who made the top 10?

Now that all the signings are official and the classes are finalized, it’s time to break down this year’s Mountain West recruiting classes. It’s a fun time of year because teams have secured so much talent, and coaches, players, and fans dream of each one of them reaching their potential.

Our aim here at MWCConnection is to discuss how much talent and potential are entering the conference in this recruiting class. This will be accomplished through numerous different posts this month. Some of these posts will be team-specific, and others will be looking more from the standpoint of the conference as a whole. Today is a snapshot of the top talent entering the Mountain West in this class. Here is our version of the top 10 recruits this cycle.

Here is a breakdown of how we came up with the teams.

It’s important to remember there is no perfect formula for recruiting, but we considered a few different things. Since the first signing day, I (Mike) have spent a lot of time watching highlight film and scouring through 247 player rankings, offer lists, and level of competition. Jeremy and Zach lent their thoughts as well. What you see below is the result of that process.

It is important to keep in mind this isn’t a prediction on who will make the most significant impact or end up the best players in four years. Instead, it is a statement of who are the best recruits entering the Mountain West as freshmen. Recruiting rankings should never be mistaken as an exact science, as each year, some highly-rated players don’t live up to their rating, and players entirely off the radar end up making a big impact. However, the rankings end up getting it right more often than not.

It should be noted that this was the most difficult recruiting cycle to compile into a top 10 in the seven years this list has been published. Normally, somewhere between 15 and 20 players are considered, and the list is trimmed down from there, with a tough call or two. This year, as least 25 players were discussed, and expanding the list was a thought, but it was decided to stay at 10, which meant many players who would have made this list in past years did not this time around.

With that being said, here are the top 10 recruits in the 2024 recruiting class.

1) LB Melvin Laster (UNLV)

Melvin is hands down one of the best recruits in the Mountain West Conference. He is the ideal middle linebacker, flying to ball and completely shutting down the run game. Laster has tremendous reactions on the field, moving quickly to where he needs to be, and filling gaps instantly. He stands out as a blitzer, and is quick enough to be a benefit in pass coverage. Melvin should play immediately next season and should develop into the leader of the defense at some point in his career.

2) WR Jordan Ross (Colorado State)

Jordan is one of the most talented players entering the conference in this high school class. He is dangerous with the ball in his hands, running effortlessly down the field and he breaks arm tackles with ease. Ross is a complete receiver who is skilled getting the ball near the line of scrimmage or on a deep route. He beats corners easily if he gets too much space but can also blow by tight coverage due to his speed. Jordan will likely play from day one and should have a great college career.

3) DB Jason Mitchell II (San Diego State)

Jason is arguably the top defensive back recruit entering the Mountain West this year. He combines great field awareness with plus athleticism and has gained expereince playing in one of top high school programs in the nation. Mitchell has advanced coverage skills as a cornerback, able to win his matchups in any technique or coverage while matching their height and speed. He has effortless speed, running down skill players at the line of scrimmage and stops them in their tracks with his hitting ability. Jason has a bright future ahead of him and is a good bet to play next season as a true freshman.

4) WR Will Cianfrini (San Diego State)

Will is an extremely talented receiver who may actually be a bit underrated. He is a complete receiver who is exceptional at gaining separation with releases in his routes and fluid change of direction. Cianfrini knows how to use his long arms and vertical leap to catch passes and then demonstrates his speed down the sideline after the catch. He tracks the ball well and adjusts his routes to ensure he comes down with the ball. Will could see the field for the Aztecs as soon as next season with his level of talent and projected growth.

5) ATH Sire Gaines (Boise State)

Sire is a tremendous talent that the Broncos flipped shortly before signing day. On offense, he is an explosive running back who combines vision, power, and speed to get past multiple defenders on his way to huge runs. Gaines is also sure-handed and can run some routes to add another dimension to his game. As a defender, he reacts quickly as he sees the play unfold, makes forceful tackles on the run, and can line up at a multitude of positions. Sire is expected to get a chance to play both ways, but will likely begin his time at running back.

6) RB Lamar Radcliffe (San Jose State)

Lamar was a late commit to the Spartan class, but instantly becomes one of their most talented. He has huge size for a running back which gives him a lot of power between the tackles, but he can run as fast as most players in the open field. Radcliffe makes changes direction effortlessly, without losing any speed, which enables him to blow by defenders. He has good vision blowing past the line of scrimmage and breaks a lot of tackles with his strong build. Lamar should play next year in some facet and is a potential star for San Jose State.

7) QB Danny O’Neil (San Diego State)

Danny is an extremely talented quarterback Coach Lewis secured early in his tenure. He appears extremely comfortable in the pocket and has an easy throwing motion. O’neil is able to make every throw on the field, fitting passes into tight windows and displaying nice touch on deep throws. He can also extend plays with his legs, either moving around in the pocket or tucking it and running to pick up yards on sneaky runs. Danny has a bright future as a multi-year starter at quarterback.

8) DB Isaiah Buxton (San Diego State)

Isaiah was a huge get in this class for Coach Lewis. He is a clear playmaker on both sides of the ball with his speed and awareness on the field. Buxton has as smooth backpedal and geat hands to make a play on the ball due to his time as a receiver. He is a hard hitter in space, and a textbook tackler in run support, staying low and getting his legs into his tackles. Isaiah may need some time to focus on playing solely defense, but his talent is clear and it won’t be long before he makes an impact.

9) WR Landon Bell (Colorado State)

Colorado State is known for recruiting a lot of wide receivers, and Landon is another one. He is a huge target who does the bulk of his production on deep balls down the sideline. Bell is great at getting a step or two on cornerbacks by making a quick cut early in his route and then using his long strides to create distance. He high-points the ball well and has great footwork around the sideline. Landon looks like a classic deep threat in a passing offense and it’s easy to see him succeeding at Colorado State.

10) LB Clay Martineau (Boise State)

Clay is a productive linebacker for the Broncos in this recruiting class. He displays great field awareness and is constantly in proper position to make a play. Martineau is a sound tackler in the open field as well as the backfield when he is blitzing. He has no issue stopping the run, but also has a lot of experience in defending passes in the flat and playing zone near the line of scrimmage. Clay looks like a complete linebacker and is probably best suited to play the weakside.

Recruits also considered: RB Cincere Ramsey (San Diego State), EDGE Damarrion White (Fresno State), DB Joseph Bey (San Jose State), RB Dylan Riley (Boise State), QB Darius Curry (Colorado State), DB Dagan Myers (Colorado State), WR Marshel Sanders (Fresno State), DL Zaiden Wallace (Nevada), EDGE LeVar Talley (Nevada), RB Anthony McMillian (San Diego State), WR Damien McDaniel (UNLV), LB Kahekili Pa’ao’ao (UNLV), EDGE Eltoum Murgus (Wyoming), LB Daegon Bryant (Wyoming)


As many of you may know by now, I like to also break lists like these down into tiers. Tiers can be helpful in providing a different angle to look at things. If one made an argument for flipping some of the spots on this list but kept them within the same tier, I wouldn’t put up much of a debate.

Tier 1: Laster

Tier 2: Ross, Mitchell, Cianfrini

Tier 3: Gaines, Radcliffe, O’Neil

Tier 4: Buxton, Bell, Martineau

Tier 5: Ramsey, White

Tier 6: Bey


  • This list includes recruits from five different schools, with Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State, San Jose State, and UNLV being represented on the list. The Aztecs topped the list with four recruits, with Boise State and Colorado State having two apiece. The Rams, and Spartans rounded things out to complete the top ten.
  • However, the Bulldogs, Wolf Pack, and Cowboys had players in our “also considered” list, along with additional players from the Broncos, Rams, Aztecs, Spartans, and Rebels.
  • Laster was the clear top recruit in the conference this cycle, but as can be
  • This list is pretty balanced, with six offensive players (including the one athlete) and four defensive recruits. Looking at positions, the list contains three wide receivers, two running backs (including the athlete), two defensive backs, two linebackers, and one quarterback.
  • Laster was the clear top recruit in the conference this cycle. As can be seen in the tier rankings, a number of players were more difficult to separate. Still, there is a top four, top seven, and top ten. Although the gap between the top ten and top twelve is slim.
  • As mentioned at the start of the post, this list is packed with talent and some recruits who would have been deserving in other years did not make the list this cycle. The last two spots were extremely hard to determine and three other players posed serious consideration. That is why they are mentioned first in the also considered list. The rest of the list is alphabetical by school.

Your turn: Do you agree or disagree with the players on this list? Who else belongs on this list? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Coming Tomorrow: The 2024 Mountain West All-Recruit Teams. We will roll out our first and second teams featuring the top high school signees in this class.

Follow @Mike_SBN for all MW recruiting news and updates. Jeremy Rodrigues and Zach Ballard also contributed to this article.