There is nothing more fascinating to watch in any given recruiting cycle, than the battles for recruits.
Whether its the hometown school going against a national power, a legacy school going against a more established team or a surprise school going against a blue blood, some battles are more fun to watch than others.
But it's not as fun for the coaches, who know in some cases, landing a recruit doesn't just strengthen their roster or tighten up their depth chart, but also wins them a PR battle.
Scout takes a look at six recruits in the class of 2017, and the six schools that desperately need those players.
Technically Dylan Moses is not an in-state target for LSU with him finishing up his high school career at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, but in reality, Moses is a Boot State five star. Les Miles has to keep Moses at home. LSU had Miles on their commitment list very early in the process, and he is a must for this class to be called great by the Tiger Nation. He is not taking an official visit to LSU because he is so familiar with the Tigers, but that means very little in his recruitment. If Moses does not land in Baton Rouge, it will be considered Miles' biggest failure on the recruiting trail since he became the head coach at LSU.
Darnay Holmes is the No. 1 cornerback in the country and the top two-way prospect in Southern California. UCLA has had success in the Southland since Jim Mora took over, but they've struggled to land an elite cover corner in that time. Holmes is one of the best pure cover corners the region has produced and is a special playmaker with the ball in his hands as a returner. UCLA has clearly made him their top defensive prospect and his father and Bruin defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin grew up together in Pasadena, where the Bruins play their home games. Holmes has spent a lot of time at UCLA over the last few years and he may be the most important defensive recruit for Mora since he took over five years ago.
Baron Browning, a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder from Kennedale (Texas) is a freakish athlete on the edge of the defense and he is the type of talent that Charlie Strong needs on is defense to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and up-tempo Big 12 offenses. They have yet to really hit a home-run for a five-star type in the Browning mold on the edge. Malik Jefferson has moved exclusively to middle linebacker, so the five-star could come in and push for early playing time on the edge.
Drew Singleton, the No. 68 prospect in the nation, has long been considered a Michigan lean, and he is a kid the Wolverines have to get. He likes Alabama and Clemson a lot, and Rutgers is hanging around, but the Paramus (N.J.) Catholic standout began being linked with the Wolverines when former Paramus Catholic coach Chris Partridge joined Michigan's staff after the 2014 season. He started in the recruiting office, but now is the linebackers coach and he recruits North Jersey. Michigan needs to get Singleton to continue to flex its muscle in the Garden State.
Ambry Thomas is being fought for by both Michigan and Michigan State as well as other programs, but I see him as a vital recruit for MSU. Cornerback is a need spot in this class and the Spartans have had good success in Detroit and at King over the last few years. He's a high priority for the Wolverines too, but given the situation and the need at the position, I see him as a vital remaining recruit for the Spartans in this class.
Foster Sarell is the No. 2 prospect in the country and may be the top recruit to come from Washington in a long, long time. Washington offered him very early in the process, but they still have to compete against Stanford, who's signed the last two big time elite lineman the state of Washington has produced, David DeCastro and Josh Garnett, and turned them into All-Americans and NFL First Rounders (and in Garnett's case, watched him win an Outland Trophy, despite being the son of a former Husky defensive lineman). That makes Sarell such a crucial recruit. Since Chris Petersen took over on Montlake, the Huskies have done a very good job of keeping the top players home, even with losing Jacob Eason to Georgia last year (Eason committed to the Bulldogs before Petersen had coached his first game). But to lose Sarell, when they've had three years to recruit him AND to a divisional rival would really hurt. That's why he's so crucial. He's not just a talent (the kind that could come in and start as a true freshman and even supplant a starter at the position), but to beat Stanford, who's been recruiting at a high level and has taken some key in-state kids from the Huskies, would be a huge win for Petersen and offensive line coach Chris Strausser. He may be the most important recruit to the Huskies since Budda Baker.
National recruiting analysts Allen Trieu, Brandon Huffman, Brian Dohn, Chad Simmons, Greg Powers and Greg Biggins contributed to this story.