The familiar hum of fax machines in college football offices across the country typically signifies the end of a frenzied recruiting period and beginning of national signing day.

Programs such as LSU, Ohio State, Florida State, Ole Miss and Michigan hold out hope of landing the nation's top recruiting class of 2016, but it's a familiar team that could surprise some Wednesday when top recruits finish submitting their binding letters of intent.

Alabama has claimed the top recruiting class the past five years, but a slow start thanks to coaches preparing for the College Football Playoff hindered the Crimson Tide, and its recruiting class is ranked anywhere from seventh to 12th by most national recruiting websites.

But the program could receive a big, late boost.

"The team with the longest runway right now is Alabama," said JC Shurburtt, national recruiting analyst for Saturday Down South. He points to a group of highly-rated high school recruits still left on the school's radar that could give the Crimson Tide a big enough push to propel them back into the top spot.

Nothing, however, is a certainty when it comes to college football recruiting, and if some commitments tip a different way, then we could see a new team sitting atop this year's class rankings.

Other possible contenders include LSU, Florida State, Ohio State, Michigan and Ole Miss.

The Rebels currently sit in the third spot according to, 247Sports, and and would need a strong push to finish at the top, but this class is already garnering a lot of buzz among recruiting experts.

Somewhat surprisingly, Les Miles and his staff are putting together another top recruiting class at LSU. This on the heels of a melodramatic season during which Miles appeared on his way out as the Tigers head coach until an 11th-hour reprieve kept him at the school.

"They have the best home-field advantage," said Mike Farrell, national recruiting coordinator at "They are the only Power 5 team in Louisiana and Louisiana is loaded with talent and kids grow up in Louisiana playing at LSU and they don't care too much who the coach is going to be down the road, they want to play in the Purple and Yellow."

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer saw his program lose nine underclassmen to the NFL draft, but the Buckeyes will count on another strong recruiting class to help reload next season. "You look at these guys and you expect them to be instant impact guys," Farrell said.

Another Big Ten program receiving lots of hype this recruiting season is Michigan.

The Wolverines are coming off a successful first season under new coach Jim Harbaugh. This class is key to Michigan's long-term success.

"This is a really important class because he's put a lot into this," Farrell said. "This is going to be a key class to determine how quickly they are able to close that gap with Ohio State. If this class doesn't pan out as expected, it could set him back a few years."