The Official College Football Off-Season Thread
|6 years ago||'04 #1|
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The Official College Football Off-Season Thread
We all need a college football fix so let's keep all college things from all programs and conferences across the country here. Post articles, pictures, videos, national signing day, spring practice, alerts and anything y'all can find from your favorite teams. Let's keep this going all the way until the season starts in September.
I know the deepest teams on the BX are obviously the great almighty U and the f**gots from Tallahassee but let's hear from every program. Contribute as much as y'all can.
I'ma start this off .........
|6 years ago||'04 #2|
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On Feb. 2, Scouts Inc. will name the nation's top recruiting class. And we've learned a lot about some of the players. But which preps will shine brightest by the time they're college seniors (if they become seniors)? We asked our analysts to gaze into their blue-chip crystal balls and hand out the awards four years in advance. The envelopes please...
Jeff Driskel QB, Florida
Quick release, faster start. As Driskel's peers line up prom dates, the nation's No. 1 passer is already on campus, receiving tutelage from new Gators offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, undecided
Compact (5'11", 210) and hits top gear in a hurry.
Biletnikoff Award (Best Wide Receiver)
George Farmer, USC
Built like a young Dez Bryant, with a mean streak. "Farmer has all the tools and will benefit from having a great QB," says ESPN's Billy Tucker. Who's that QB? See: 2014 Unitas winner.
Charone Peake, Clemson
Tall, fast and can line up almost anywhere on the field.
Doak Walker Award (Best Running Back)
Malcolm Brown, Texas
Described by Scouts Inc. as a "load back who can handle lots of carries," Brown (2,596 yards in 2010) compares well with UT great Ricky Williams, a two-time Walker winner.
Aaron Green, Nebraska
Says ESPN's Tom Luginbill: "Near impossible to get a direct shot on."
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (Best Quarterback)
Max Wittek, USC
At California's Mater Dei High, he had to replace legend Matt Barkley. At USC, he'll have to replace ... Matt Barkley. But with a big arm and fearless approach, Wittek ought to be just fine in those shoes ... again.
Jerrard Randall, Oregon
Should be a perfect dual-threat fit for the Ducks offense.
Outland Trophy (Best Interior Lineman)
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, undecided
The No. 3 overall prospect stands 6'7", weighs 325 and runs like a tight end. Best part about Kouandjio: He's a dominant block-finisher.
La'El Collins, OT, LSU
He's 6'5", 281 pounds and has the balance and nimbleness of a tightrope walker.
Lombardi Trophy (Best Lineman or Linebacker)
Jadeveon Clowney DE, Undecided
Our experts didn't need to confer: All agreed on Clowney. "No matter who he's faced," says ESPN.com's Jeremy Crabtree, "he can't be stopped."
Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU
Even at 300 pounds, Johnson moves at fast-forward speed.
Special thanks to ESPN.com recruiting experts Tom Luginbill, Billy Tucker, Jeremy Crabtree and Craig Haubert for their nominations.
|6 years ago||'04 #3|
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Alabama tops loaded SEC
Newberg By Jamie Newberg
With national signing day (Feb. 2) around the corner, here is a breakdown of how things are looking in the SEC. Schools are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of their rank in the conference.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Commits: 23 | ESPNU 150: 8
Overview: Has any team in the nation recruited as well as Alabama over the past several years? This class is no different, as the Crimson Tide currently sit at No. 3 overall. It has star power and the Crimson Tide filled needs. You have to be impressed with what coach Nick Saban and Alabama did once again, especially out of state, landing players like safety Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips), running back Demetrius Hart (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips), linebacker Trey DePriest (Akron, Ohio/Springfield), defensive end Xzavier Dixon (Griffin, Ga./Griffin) and wide receiver Bradley Sylve (Port Sulfur, La./South Plaquemines).
Top prospect: Clinton-Dix is the top-rated commitment to date, but that could change with what's left on Alabama's board. Regardless, the nation's No. 2 safety prospect brings it all to the table. He has size, speed and plays with great instincts. He supports the run and can play the pass.
Don't be surprised if: The Crimson Tide land the nation's top prospect, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe). He's torn between Alabama and South Carolina and there's the chance he doesn't do anything on national signing day. Instead, he could wait and sign on his birthday which happens to be Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. Alabama is also sitting pretty with the nation's No. 3 prospect, offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha), and the Tide are also co-leaders for the country's No. 4 prospect, running back Isaiah Crowell (Columbus, Ga./Carver).
Commits: 28 | ESPNU 150: 3
Overview: A lot of firepower is headed to Arkansas with this 2011 class, currently ranked No. 17 in the country. Coach Bobby Petrino has help coming in at every position, including wide receiver, tight end and across the defensive front. Arkansas has nabbed eight four-star prospects including receiver Quinta Funderburk (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Smith), defensive end Lonnie Gosha (Lake Butler, Fla./Union County) and tight end Demetrius Dean (Fayetteville, Ark./Fayetteville). Quarterback Brandon Allen (Fayetteville, Ark./Fayetteville) should be an ideal fit in Petrino's offense.
Top prospect: Offensive guard Mitch Smothers (Springdale, Ark./Springdale) looked very good all week during the Under Armour practices, battling some of the nation's top defensive linemen. The nation's No. 3 guard prospect gets off the ball well and excels at both run blocking and pass protection. He played tackle in high school.
Don't be surprised if: Arkansas pulls a surprise or two, especially from Louisiana. The Razorbacks are battling Florida and Texas to try to get defensive end Jermauria Rasco's (Shreveport, La./Evangel Christian Academy) last visit this weekend.
Commits: 23 | ESPNU 150: 7
Overview: Auburn has so much momentum coming off its epic season and national title. The Tigers' big need was offensive line and they recently landed five-star OT Christian Westerman (Chandler, Az./Hamilton) to go along with center Reese Dismukes (Spanish Fort, Ala./Spanish Fort) and guards Greg Robinson (Thibodeau, La./Thibodeaux) and Thomas O'Reilly (Marietta, Ga./Pope). They also landed their ideal fit at quarterback in Kiehl Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Shiloh Christian) and currently sit at No. 8 overall and they are climbing.
Top prospect: Westerman is the No. 6 recruit overall and the No. 2 offensive tackle prospect in the country. He originally committed to Texas, but changed his mind late last week, as the Longhorns made changes within their coaching staff (i.e., losing OL coach Mac McWhorter). He's good enough to get on the field next year at Auburn and has an incredibly bright future.
Don't be surprised if: Auburn has a big closing finish to this class. The Tigers are still on some big-time recruits like Kouandjio, Crowell and four-star prospects defensive lineman Gabe Wright (Columbus, Ga./Carver) and safety Erique Florence (Valley, Ala.). Should be an interesting final few days for the Tigers.
|6 years ago||'04 #4|
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Commits: 15 | ESPNU 150: 6
Overview: While fans out there are questioning what's going on in Gainesville with the new Will Muschamp regime in regard to recruiting, let's remember that of their 15 commitments, six are ESPNU 150 members. Florida has landed the nation's top quarterback in five-star Jeff Driskel (Orlando, Fla./Hagerty) as well as wide receiver Ja'Juan Story (Brooksville, Fla./Natures Coast), tight end A.C. Leonard (Jacksonville, Fla./University Christian), running back Mike Blakely (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee) and defensive backs De'Ante Saunders (DeLand, Fla./DeLand) and Jabari Gorman (Miami/Pace). Florida is currently ranked No. 5 overall.
Top prospect: Driskel is No. 1 for a reason; he has all the tools and makeup to become an outstanding signal caller for Muschamp and Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. He has size (6-foot-4, 224 pounds), good speed and deceptive athleticism. Driskel has an outstanding arm and should excel in the pro-style set.
Don't be surprised if: The Gators have an explosive close to their recruiting class. They are in on some big-time prospects like ESPNU 150 members Stephone Anthony (Wadesboro, N.C./Anson), Curtis Grant (Richmond, Va./Hermitage) and Curt Maggitt (West Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer), all linebackers. Then you have two defensive line studs like Tim Jernigan (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) and Rasco. They are also trying to turn Texas Tech commit Marcus Roberson (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Michigan OL Jacob Fisher (Traverse City, Mi./Michigan West), but it won't be easy.
Commits: 23 | ESPNU 150: 5
Overview: While the Dawgs may not have landed everyone on their "Dream Team," coach Mark Richt is coming pretty close. In-state stars like defensive end Ray Drew (Thomasville, Ga./Thomas County Central), tight end Jay Rome (Valdosta, Ga.), wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (Valdosta, Ga.), safety Damian Swann (Atlanta/Grady), defensive end Sterling Bailey (Gainesville, Ga./East Hall), offensive tackles Watts Dantzler (Dalton, Ga.) and Xzavier Ward (Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County) are all headed to Athens. Plus, quarterback Christian LeMay (Mint Hill, N.C./Butler) and linebacker Ramik Wilson (Tampa, Fla./Jefferson) are two big-time out-of-state commits. A big haul for this program considering the season they had.
Top prospect: Lots of stars here, but the top-rated recruit for Georgia is Drew. The No. 2-rated end in the nation has good size, runs very well and can create problems for an offense coming off the edge. Not to mention that he is the centerpiece of the "Dream Team" and could help lure even more big-time recruits to the Dawgs.
Don't be surprised if: Georgia closes with five-star running back Isaiah Crowell. He will likely wait until Wednesday, and that would cap the Dream Team class very nicely. UGA is also in good position to turn linebacker Kent Turene (Sunrise, Fla./Boyd Anderson) away from USC and perhaps land juco standout defensive tackle Jonathan Jenkins (Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.).
Commits: 22 | ESPNU 150: 1
Overview: Hats off to Joker Phillips and Kentucky for a job well done with their 2011 recruiting class. They are a fringe top 25-30 team and that doesn't happen very often in Lexington when it comes to football. The nucleus of this class is littered with 14 three-star commitments and some really good football players like safety Glen Faulkner (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis), linebacker Demarius Rancifer (Pensacola, Fla./Catholic), running back Marcus Caffey (Atlanta/Grady) and offensive tackle Darian Miller (Lexington, Ky./Bryan Station).
Top prospect: Jon Davis (Louisville, Ky./ Eastern) is a tremendous talent. The ESPNU 150 athlete is extremely versatile and run the ball, catch the ball or chase the ball on the other side. Davis could play a variety of positions for the Wildcats and is a great get for Phillips and Kentucky.
Don't be surprised if: Kentucky closes with a few big-name recruits like linebacker Lamar Dawson (Danville, Ky./Boyle County). He's keeping things close to the vest but the in-state ‘Cats could prove tough to beat. They are also working Alabama commit Daryl Collins (Gadsden, Ala./Gadsden City), who is scheduled to visit Kentucky this weekend.
Commits: 22 | ESPNU 150: 5
Overview: When it's a great year on the Bayou, like it is this season, you can bet the farm that the Tigers will reel in one of the top recruiting classes in the nation like they have this year. Coach Les Miles is loading up again and currently has the nation's No. 10-ranked class. Ten of their top 11 commits to date are in-state studs, led by two five-star prospects in defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (New Orleans/O. Perry Walker) and offensive tackle La'El Collins (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist).
Top prospect: Johnson is an absolute beast in the middle at tackle. He's explosive, very strong and athletic enough to line up a defensive end and give you a speed rush. He's a dynamic talent who has a chance to be the next great defensive lineman in Baton Rouge.
Don't be surprised if: LSU closes with another defensive lineman or two. The Tigers have been in the thick of it for a long time with Jernigan and Rasco. It will take some doing to seal the deal, but LSU is on the prowl.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Commits: 26 | ESPNU 150: 0
Overview: This is a very good class headed to Starkville. In a normal year it would get the deserved publicity, but the SEC is far from normal -- especially the way the league has recruited as a whole this season. Once again, Dan Mullen and his staff have landed some dynamic athletes on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs have also loaded up on linemen on both sides of the ball and have a talented signal-caller headed their way in Dakota Prescott (Haughton, La./Haughton).
Top prospect: Athlete Jermaine Whitehead (Greenwood, Miss./Amanda Elzy) is a versatile talent who can play on either side of the football. He's terrific with the ball in his hands, has very good speed and quickness. He's just a dangerous offensive weapon. Defensively, he could line up at either cornerback or safety.
Don't be surprised if: Mississippi State lands defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds (Washington D.C./St. Johns College). He raved about his official visit there last weekend, but he did the same after visits to UCLA and Syracuse. He travels to Kansas State this weekend, and while the Bulldogs have a shot they are trailing UCLA and Syracuse right now. McReynolds is waiting until national signing day to make his decision.
Commits: 29 | ESPNU 150: 1
Overview: There's been a Rebel rising over the past few weeks, as Ole Miss has been on fire on the recruiting trail. In typical Houston Nutt fashion we are seeing a team close fast and with big numbers. Over the past couple of weeks they have won major recruiting battles for wide receiver Tobias Singleton (Madison, Miss./Central), defensive tackle Uriah Grant (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton C.C.), cornerback Floyd Raven (Reserve, La./East St. John) and athlete Philander Moore (Brenham, Texas/Blinn C.C.). Then they beat Mississippi State for four-star inside linebacker prospect C.J. Johnson (Philadelphia, Miss.) this past Tuesday.
Top prospect: Singleton has good size (6-1, 190 pounds), speed and is a guy that can pretty much do it all. He racked up over 1,800 yards of offense and 19 touchdowns as a senior.
Don't be surprised if: The Rebels close with two more in-state studs in athletes Nickolas Brassell (Batesville, Miss./South Panola) and Jermaine Whitehead. Brassell was once committed to the Bulldogs and is now likely headed to Starkville. He is scheduled to visit Alabama this weekend. Meanwhile, the Rebels are trying to turn Whitehead away from Mississippi State.
Commits: 30 | ESPNU 150: 0
Overview: Steve Spurrier and South Carolina reeled in a large 2011 class with help coming in from everywhere. The defense will get a boost with recruits like defensive linemen Kelcy Quarles (Fork Union Military Academy) and Gerald Dixon (Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe), linebacker Edward Muldrow (Snellville, Ga./South Gwinnett) and safety Kadetrix Marcus (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson). Wide receivers Damiere Byrd (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek) and Shamier Jeffery (Saint Matthews, S.C./Calhoun County), tight end Drew Owens (Charlotte, N.C./Kell) and Brandon Shell (Goose Creek, S.C.) should bolster the South Carolina offense.
Top prospect: Marcus is a playmaker on the back end who can support the run or play the pass. He's tough, aggressive and doesn't shy away from contact. Marcus also plays with great instincts and is more suited at the strong safety position.
Don't be surprised if: Clowney stays home. Most feel it will be tough for him to leave South Carolina for Alabama, especially with the in-state pressure mounting by the hour. It has to help Clowney see in-state stars shine in Columbia like Alshon Jeffery, Marcus Lattimore and his former teammate Stephone Gilmore. Also, South Carolina should find out early next week whether it lands defensive tackle Phillip Dukes (Manning, S.C./Manning).
Commits: 23 | ESPNU 150: 4
Overview: The Vols have quietly put together a top 25 recruiting class with a chance to really move up over the next few days. This group is led by four ESPNU 150 members in wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett (Saginaw, Mich./Saginaw), offensive guard Marcus Jackson (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach), linebacker A.J. Johnson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) and running back Marlin Lane (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland). They have also done well replenishing both lines of scrimmage, as well as the safety position.
Top prospect: Arnett should complement receivers Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers very well because he's an inside guy who lacks great size but has unreal quickness and is very dangerous with the ball in his hands.
Don't be surprised if: Tennessee makes a big jump in the recruiting rankings as it is awaiting decisions on some big-name prospects like defensive lineman Gabe Wright, linebackers Curt Maggitt and Lamar Dawson, and offensive tackles Cameron Clear (Memphis, Tenn./Central) and Antonio Richardson (Nashville, Tenn./Pearl-Cohn).
Commits: 15 | ESPNU 150: 0
Overview: Eleven of Vanderbilt's 15 commitments are three-star prospects. This class is dominated with offensive linemen as five are headed their way. The Commodores also landed a couple of quarterbacks and running backs led by Damien Fleming (Jacksonville, Fla./Ribault) and J.J. Keels (Melbourne, Fla./Florida Air Academy). Defensive prospects are low on numbers now, but that could change over the next few days for new Vandy head coach James Franklin.
Top prospect: Keels is a three-star prospect and the No. 37 running back prospect in the nation. At 5-10, 182 pounds, he has pretty good size and shows good balance, vision and quickness. As a junior he rushed for over 1,800 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Don't be surprised if: The Commodores make a nice late run. Right now they have a big last visit weekend scheduled with over a dozen recruits coming in.
Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at .
Follow Jamie Newberg on Twitter: @JNewbergESPN
|6 years ago||'04 #5|
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SEC recruiting needs: Eastern Division
January, 28, 2011
By Chris Low
We now turn our attention to the recruiting needs of the Eastern Division teams in the SEC.
Given the fact that four of the six teams in the East finished with losing records this season, it’s safe to say this is a needy division right now.
Linebacker: The Gators are looking for at least two linebackers in this class. Seniors Brandon Hicks and A.J. Jones both exhausted their eligibility.
[+] EnlargeJanoris Jenkins
Kim Klement/US PresswireFlorida cornerback Janoris Jenkins returns next season, but the Gators need depth at the position.
Quarterback: John Brantley will be a senior, and it’s doubtful Trey Burton fits the pro-style offense new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will implement. The Gators had to have a marquee quarterback and got the No. 1-rated guy in the country in Jeff Driskel, who’s already enrolled in school and will go through spring practice. It wouldn’t hurt to add a second quarterback.
Defensive back: Yes, there’s some young talent in the program, but safeties Ahmad Black and Will Hill are both gone, and cornerback Janoris Jenkins will be a senior next season. What’s more, cornerback Jeremy Brown, who will be a junior, has been beset with injuries.
Running back: It seems like the Gators have been looking for that prototypical every-down running back forever. They really like early enrollee Mike Blakely, but he recently had shoulder surgery and will miss the spring.
Running back: Caleb King has been a disappointment, and his future at Georgia would appear to be shaky at best. Washaun Ealey will all of a sudden be a junior. The Bulldogs need to add some pop in their backfield, which is why everybody in red and black is keeping his fingers crossed that Isaiah Crowell of Columbus, Ga., picks Georgia. He’s rated by ESPN as the No. 1 running back prospect in the country.
Nose guard: If you’re going to effectively run a 3-4 defense, you’ve got to have a big, imposing nose guard that clogs the middle and eats up the run. Terrence Cody was that guy at Alabama, and Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is looking for his version of Cody. The Bulldogs are wooing 6-4, 340-pound junior college nose guard John Jenkins.
Quarterback: The dismissal of Zach Mettenberger left the Bulldogs dangerously thin at quarterback, and Logan Gray is now a receiver. So they had to have a quarterback in this class, which makes Christian LeMay of Charlotte, N.C., such an important get.
Cornerback: Grantham felt the Bulldogs were a cornerback short this season. Now, Vance Cuff is gone, and Brandon Boykin will be a senior next season. Georgia needs to add depth to a talented cornerback tandem of rising juniors Sanders Commings and Branden Smith.
Receiver: How do you replace everything that Randall Cobb provided for the Wildcats? Not only is he gone after deciding to turn pro, but so is Chris Matthews. They combined to catch 16 touchdown passes this season. Replacing their playmaking ability won’t be easy.
Defensive line: Three of the four starters from the bowl game are gone, including dependable tackle Ricky Lumpkin. The Wildcats hope promising tackle Mister Cobble is over his academic issues, but still need to add interior help. Rising senior tackle Mark Crawford ended this season on suspension. They could also use some pass-rushing help on the outside after finishing with 21 sacks this season, which was tied for next to last in the league.
Linebacker: Fortunately for the Wildcats, Danny Trevathan decided to stay in school. He led the SEC in tackles this season, but will be a senior next season. So will Ronnie Sneed. Ridge Wilson will be a junior, so it’s time to start finding the guys who are going to fill their shoes. There are a couple of young linebackers in the program the Wildcats like, including rising sophomore Qua Huzzie.
Defensive line: The Gamecocks should be very talented in the defensive line next season even though they’re losing end Cliff Matthews and tackle Ladi Ajiboye. But with tackles Travian Robertson and Melvin Ingram both coming up on their senior seasons, South Carolina is going to need help down the road. The good news is that the Gamecocks are in great shape to get defensive end Jadeveon Clowney of Rock Hill, S.C. Clowney is the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect and a big-time pass-rusher.
Linebacker: South Carolina lost two senior starters in Tony Straughter and Josh d!ckerson, and Rodney Paulk will be a senior next season. Shaq Wilson only played in one game this season because of a hamstring injury and will be a redshirt junior next season. Obviously, the Gamecocks need to develop depth across the board at linebacker.
Defensive back: Covering the pass was an adventure this season for South Carolina, which finished 10th in the SEC in pass defense and gave up 23 touchdown passes. The Gamecocks are looking for more cover guys at cornerback, especially with the possibility of Stephon Gilmore turning pro following next season.
Defensive tackle: The Vols desperately need interior defensive linemen. They had to move ends over there to play this season. Montori Hughes was a big disappointment, although it helps that Marlon Walls will be returning from injury.
Linebacker: Three senior linebackers are gone, including team leader Nick Reveiz. Austin Johnson will be a senior next season, and Greg King has had lingering injuries.
Quarterback: Tyler Bray was one of the better true freshman quarterbacks in the country this season, but the Vols had to have some insurance at the position. They went out and got quarterback Justin Worley of Rock Hill, S.C. He was the Gatorade Player of the Year in South Carolina and is already enrolled in school.
Running back: The running game wasn’t nearly as consistent as it needed to be this season, and the Vols could really use a home-run hitter at tailback. Tauren Poole will be a senior next season, and David Oku left the program.
Quarterback: The quarterback position has been a problem area for the Commodores the past couple of years. Larry Smith has struggled mightily, and now he’s going to be a senior. Jared Funk, who played some toward the end of last season, is gone. The Commodores hope Jordan Rodgers can come through if his shoulder problems are cleared up. Either way, they need at least one quarterback in this class in the worst way.
Defensive line: The Commodores are looking for more muscle inside, especially with T.J. Greenstone coming up on his senior season. They also need to stock up on pass-rushers after finishing last in the SEC last season with 20 sacks.
Linebacker: John Stokes’ graduation hurts in a number of different areas, and middle linebacker Chris Marve will be a senior. This has historically been a strong position for the Commodores, and they need to replenish.
Offensive line: It’s been difficult for Vanderbilt to find offensive linemen and even more difficult to keep them healthy. The Commodores have to build some depth up front offensively.
|6 years ago||'04 #6|
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SEC recruiting needs: Western Division
January, 28, 2011
By Chris Low
For many, National Signing Day in college football is more anticipated than the season itself.
It’s just around the corner, Wednesday to be exact.
We’ll start with the Western Division in the SEC and take a look at each team’s recruiting needs:
[+] EnlargeJulio Jones
AP Photo/John RaouxAlabama is losing star receiver Julio Jones to the NFL.
Offensive line: Alabama has been swimming in All-America and All-SEC offensive linemen the past three years, but it’s time to replenish up front. With James Carpenter departing, the Crimson Tide need to find a left tackle. Junior college signee Aaron Douglas, who started his career at Tennessee and was a Freshman All-American two years ago, could be the answer.
Receiver: Talents like Julio Jones don’t come around very often, and he’s now headed to the NFL a year early on the heels of a record-setting junior season. Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks will both be seniors next season, so finding a few more playmakers on the perimeter is a priority.
Defensive end: Whether it’s defensive ends or outside linebackers, the Crimson Tide are looking for some finishers in their 3-4 scheme to help improve their pass rush. Defensive end Marcell Dareus declared early for the NFL draft. The Tide’s other starting end, Luther Davis, is also gone, while “Jack” linebacker Courtney Upshaw will be a senior next season. Alabama finished in the middle of the SEC pack this season with 27 sacks.
Receiver: There won’t be a more talented receiving corps in the SEC next season. However, Greg Childs, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright will all be seniors. Cobi Hamilton will be a junior, so it’s imperative that the Hogs add some youth to their talented receiving stable.
Tight end: D.J. Williams ended his Arkansas career as one of the best pass-catching tight ends in SEC history. Also gone is Ben Cleveland. Rising junior Chris Gragg had his moments this season, but he’s going to need some help down the road.
Defensive back: The Hogs are losing half of their starting secondary in cornerback Ramon Broadway and strong safety Rudell Crim. Free safety Tramain Thomas and cornerback Isaac Madison return, but both will be seniors next season. Cornerbacks will be at the top of the Hogs’ wish list.
Offensive line: Tackles DeMarcus Love and Ray Dominguez were both seniors along with left guard Wade Grayson. Several of the Hogs’ backups on the offensive line will be seniors next season.
Offensive line: The Tigers lose four senior starters on their offensive line. Left tackle Lee Ziemba, right guard Byron Isom and center Ryan Pugh all earned some type of All-SEC honors. Getting tackle A.J. Greene back will help. He was a starter at right tackle until he injured his knee in the third game. The Tigers’ top offensive line signee from last year, Shon Coleman, remains on hold. He’s battling Leukemia.
Defensive line: Most of the guys who played the meaningful snaps up front defensively for the Tigers this season are gone. The big loss was Lombardi Award winner Nick Fairley declaring early for the NFL draft. Rising sophomore end Nosa Eguae will be looking for all the help he can get, even though there are some promising young defensive linemen in the program.
Quarterback: It was only one season, but what a season it was for Cam Newton. The 2010 Heisman Trophy winner will now take his shot at the NFL, leaving Auburn thin in the quarterback ranks. Rising junior Barrett Trotter is probably the guy to beat next season. The Tigers needed a multi-dimensional quarterback in this class and think they scored a perfect fit for Gus Malzahn’s offense in Kiehl Frazier of Springdale, Ark. He’s rated by ESPN as the No. 2 quarterback prospect in the country.
Linebacker: The Tigers have been lacking for depth at linebacker the past two seasons, which is the reason Josh Bynes and Craig Stevens played so many snaps. They’re gone now, and Eltoro Freeman will be a senior next season. Auburn went looking for linebackers last recruiting period and is looking for a few more this year.
Defensive line: With defensive tackle Drake Nevis graduating, muscle inside is a priority. The same goes for adding some top-flight pass-rushers at end. The return of Sam Montgomery will be a huge plus for the Tigers, who didn’t get to the quarterback nearly as much once he got hurt this season. They’re looking for a few more pass-rushers just like him.
Receiver: Terrence Toliver is gone, and suddenly, Russell Shepard and Rueben Randle will be juniors next season. The Tigers need more firepower on the outside, in particular a deep threat at receiver. They’re hopeful that four-star commitment Jarvis Landry of Lutcher, La., can come in and help provide more big plays next season.
Quarterback: It was a struggle in the passing game all season for LSU, which finished with just 10 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. Jordan Jefferson did play better toward the end of the season, but he and Jarrett Lee are both rising seniors. It was critical that the Tigers get a marquee quarterback in this class, and they were able to get one at midterm. Former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger is already enrolled and will go through spring practice. The 6-5, 230-pound Mettenberger threw 32 touchdown passes last season at Butler (Kan.) Community College.
Linebacker: The Bulldogs are losing all three starters, and Chris White and K.J. Wright were their top two tacklers this season. Ferlando Bohanna is one of the 22 freshmen they redshirted last season and will get every chance to win a starting linebacker job in the spring.
Defensive line: In particular, Mississippi State is looking for ends and guys that can get to the quarterback. Pernell McPhee is gone, and Johnathan McKenzie left the team in September. The Bulldogs’ depth up front was also hurt by the tragic death of Nick Bell, who passed away in November after a bout with cancer.
Receivers: Dan Mullen is always looking for more receivers, even though the Bulldogs redshirted four of those guys last season. With the kind of offense Mullen wants to run, it’s important that Mississippi State bring in more guys on the perimeter who can stretch the field.
Defensive line: The Rebels lost four senior tackles, both starters and both backups, and one of those was Jerrell Powe, one of the best run-stoppers in the league. Kentrell Lockett has applied to the NCAA for a sixth season. Regardless of whether or not he gets another season, the Rebels need more pass-rushers. Wayne Dorsey, a touted junior college transfer, struggled last season.
Receiver: An overall lack of production at receiver really hurt Ole Miss this season, and the Rebels’ two most dependable wide receivers, Markeith Summers and Lionel Breaux, are both gone. They need to find some more playmakers at the receiver position.
Defensive back: The Rebels lost two of the three in their safety rotation, and the one coming back, Damien Jackson, will be a senior. They’re also in need of cornerbacks, and just generally need to beef up a secondary that took its lumps this season. Ole Miss gave up 24 touchdown passes and intercepted only six passes.
Quarterback: Jeremiah Masoli’s year is up, leaving Nathan Stanley and redshirt freshman Randall Mackey, who’s more of a runner. Junior college signee Zack Stoudt is already on campus and will participate in spring practice.
|6 years ago||'04 #8|
$12,861 | 0
[B]January 28, 2011
MORE: Team rankings Top 50 | The final Rivals250 | Previewing the final visit weekend
Alabama overtook the top spot in the team recruiting rankings from Texas last week, but can the Crimson Tide sustain their lead through Signing Day? Teams like Florida State, LSU, Georgia, and Auburn are making a charge for the top.
Team Rankings Top 25
Total commits: 21 Alabama's class is led by a pair of five-star prospects, one on each side of the ball, in safety Hasean Clinton-Dix and all-purpose back Demetrius Hart. Nick Saban has shown in his time in Tuscaloosa that the Crimson Tide will close strong and they are aiming to do that one again in 2011. The top target likely to announce for Alabama between now and Signing Day is offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.
Top remaining targets: OT Cyrus Kouandjio, DE Jadeveon Clowney, RB Isaiah Crowell, WR Nickolas Brassell
Total commits: 22 As has become routine, Mack Brown and Texas have this class nearly completed with less than two weeks remaining before Signing Day. The crown jewel of the class is five-star running back Malcolm Brown. Texas did not retain the commitment of offensive tackle Christian Westerman as he made the switch to the National Champion Auburn Tigers on Friday. With not much space left and the teams immediately on their heels looking to add more, it will be tough for the Longhorns to retain the No. 2 spot in the rankings.
Top remaining targets: DE Brandon Alexander, DE Jermauria Rasco
3. Florida State
Total commits: 24 Jimbo Fisher and company did a very good job stocking up their class during the early portion of the process, specifically when they brought in five-star running back James Wilder Jr. and five-star safety Karlos Williams. Down the stretch they have a legitimate shot to land a few more major targets, led by five-star linebacker Tony Steward.
Top remaining targets: LB Tony Steward, DE Jermauria Rasco, DT Timmy Jernigan, DE Jadeveon Clowney, DE Tre Jackson
Total commits: 22 LSU has a trio of five-stars topping its class, all of whom are in-state prospects - offensive tackle La'El Collins, defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, and wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The remaining focus of the class will be on the defensive side of the ball, specifically the front seven, and coach Les Miles is looking to land a few of the nation's best in those spots. This past week the Tigers added defensive tackle Mickey Johnson.
Top remaining targets: DT Timmy Jernigan, DE Jermauria Rasco, LB C.J. Johnson, OT Antonio Richardson
Total commits: 25 Lane Kiffin and company haven't allowed NCAA sanctions to put a cramp in their recruiting. The Trojans are once again a.ssembling a top class which is currently led by wide receiver George Farmer and athlete De'Anthony Thomas. The Trojans have cast a wide net in hopes of adding a few more pieces to their class down the stretch.
Top remaining targets: ATH Marqise Lee, WR Junior Pomee, CB Ryan Henderson, OG Cyrus Hobbi, OT Troy Niklas
Total commits: 22 The National Champions are likely to have a furious closing where they steal many headlines like they did during the 2010 season. In recent weeks, Gene Chizik and company already landed five-star linebacker Kris Frost and stole away Brent Calloway from Alabama. They were able to pull Christian Westerman away from Texas and down the stretch they will look to snag Texas Tech commitment Marcus Roberson, as well as others. This week, they snagged three more commitments moving them from No. 8 to No. 6. The commitments came from tight end Brandon Fulse, linebacker Tre Mason, and linebacker Devaunte Sigler.
Top remaining targets: CB Marcus Roberson, DT Gabe Wright, S Erique Florence, OT Antonio Richardson
Total commits: 23 The Bulldogs have talked throughout the process of landing a 'Dream Team', largely consisting of Peach State products. So far, they have kept talent such as defensive back Malcolm Mitchell, Jay Rome, Damian Swann and Sterling Bailey home, That haul was strengthened on Friday with the addition of five-star defensive end Ray Drew. Now Mark Richt will turn their focus on landing five-star running back Isaiah Crowell. Georgia saw a lot of movement in the last week, going from No. 10 to No. 7 in the team rankings.
Top remaining targets: LB Kent Turene, RB Isaiah Crowell, DE Johnathan Jenkins
Total commits: 23 Oregon's class is strong at the top, led by five-star athlete Colt Lyerla. The Ducks also did a good job of going into California to snag wide receiver Devon Blackmon and defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. With Chip Kelly's squad looking to return to the national title game, they are looking to add even more depth and talent over final week.
Top remaining targets: LB Lamar Dawson, DT Delvon Simmons, ATH Marqise Lee, DT Christian Heyward, DE Branden Jackson
9. Notre Dame
Total commits: 23 Brian Kelly's class at Notre Dame got a shot in the arm recently when the Irish were able to swing two former commitments back their way - defensive end Aaron Lynch from Florida State and defensive end Stephon Tuitt from Georgia Tech. The class is led by their haul on the defensive front, which in addition to Lynch and Tuitt also includes five-star Ishaq Williams. With their class nearly complete, they will look to add one or two more pieces before Signing Day most likely.
Top remaining targets: RB Savon Huggins, OT Troy Niklas
Total commits: 24 Clemson is looking to reload its roster in 2011 and they have done that with their recruiting class, especially at certain offensive positions. At wide receiver the class is led by Sammy Watkins. An equally electric player to Watkins is running back Mike Bellamy, a fellow five-star. Down the stretch, Dabo Swinney and company are hoping to add some five-star firepower on defense as well with Stephone Anthony and Tony Steward leading that charge.
Top remaining targets: DE Jadeveon Clowney, LB Stephone Anthony, DT Phillip Dukes, LB Tony Steward, LB Brandon Ellerbe, TE Jerell Adams
11. Ohio State
Total commits: 21 The Buckeyes 2011 signing class will be led by a trio of high ranking four-star prospects - quarterback Braxton Miller, defensive tackle Michael Bennett, and defensive back Doran Grant. It could be capped off by the addition of one of the nation's elite prospects, linebacker Curtis Grant. The five-star inside linebacker is very high on Florida and Ohio State, with North Carolina and Virginia also in the picture. The Buckeyes look good to land offensive line Aundrey Walker and are trying to get Florida commitment, wide receiver Ja'Juan Story to make the switch.
Top remaining targets: LB Curtis Grant, ATH Darius Jennings, OG Aundrey Walker, QB Cardale Jones, WR Ja'Juan Story
Total commits: 16 Bob Stoops once again dipped into Texas and landed a few of the nation's best prospects, specifically wide receiver Trey Metoyer and running back Brandon Williams, both of whom have been awarded five-star status. The Sooners were recently dealt a blow when Brandon Carter switched his commitment to TCU. At this time, it seems the 2011 class may be completed for the powerhouse based in Norman.
Top remaining targets: None
Total commits: 19 The Golden Bears have loaded up on in-state talent to put together a solid list of commitments. Amongst their best prospect are defensive tackles Mustafa Jalil and Viliami Moala, defensive end Todd Barr, and running back Brendon Bigelow. Out of state, Jeff Tedfordsnagged the likes of defensive end Brennan Scarlett from Oregon, defensive back Avery Walls from Virginia, and offensive lineman Matt Williams from North Dakota. An addition or two is possible, but not more than that.
Top remaining targets: CB Kameron Jackson
14. North Carolina
Total commits: 22 The Tar Heels have loaded up on a class of 22 prospects, with a focus in-state and out-of-state. The in-state haul was led by quarterback Marquise Williams, wide receiver T.J. Thorpe, defensive tackle Devonte Brown, and linebacker Travis Hughes. Butch Davis also went to Virginia to land offensive lineman Landon Turner and Indiana for offensive lineman Kiaro Holts. The Tar Heels hope to bring in a few more players before the dust settles as well.
Top remaining targets: RB Savon Huggins, CB Samuel Smiley, LB Stephone Anthony, LB Curtis Grant, DT Phillip Dukes, DE Max Issaka, LB Keeon Virgile, DE Jadeveon Clowney
15. Ole Miss
Total commits: 28 Houston Nutt has successfully kept four of the top in-state prospects home, landing wide receivers Donte Moncrief and Tobias Singleton, as well as offensive lineman Aaron Morris and athlete Cody Prewitt. This week that trend continued with the addition of five-star linebacker C.J. Johnson. Johnson was joined by defensive back Floyd Raven and defensive tackle Uriah Grant in committing to the Rebels. Those three commitments helped move Ole Miss from No. 22 to No. 15 in the rankings. They are not likely done either.
Top remaining targets: LB Cedrick Cooper, DT Donald Pennington, WR Nickolas Brassell, WR Josh Pinkston, ATH Joe Price, DT Walton Taumoepeau
16. Texas Tech
Total commits: 24 The Red Raiders got huge news earlier this week when four-star defensive back Marcus Roberson committed. Now, they just have to stave off the efforts of Auburn and others to change his mind. Roberson is joined at the top of the class by tight end Jace Amaro. Roberson isn't the only commitment they must work to retain, four-star running back Kenny Williams and other commitments are also looking at options down the stretch. Also, look for Tommy Tuberville and company to try to add some more on defense especially after losing defensive tackle James Castleman to Oklahoma State this week.
Top remaining targets: LB Kent Turene, LB Shaun Ward, DE Branden Jackson, DT Delvon Simmons, DE Desimon Green, DE Bryant Dubose
Total commits: 16 Offensive lineman Tyler Moore and running back Aaron Green headline the Cornhuskers haul in 2011. The Huskers best chance of landing another highly ranked player is likely defensive tackle Todd Peat Jr.. In addition to Peat, they are in the thick of things with numerous other targets who can help strengthen the overall haul brought in by Bo Pelini and staff.
Top remaining targets: DT Todd Peat Jr., DE Joseph Carter, LB Keeon Virgile, K Mauro Bondi, DE Akeem Gonzales, WR Robert Lockhart, CB Dion Bass
Total commits: 23 Derek Dooley and his staff have added four major additions since the start of November, all four prospects are considered four-star talent - offensive lineman Marcus Jackson, defensive tackle Maurice Couch, wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett, and athlete Izauea Lanier. As far as current commitments, the Vols are in a f!ght to retain the services of linebacker A.J. Johnson, who the Florida Gators are pursuing heavily. The Vols will look to add even more pieces down the stretch with a lot of open prospects still on their radar.
Top remaining targets: LB Lamar Dawson, DE Leon Mackey, LB Curt Maggitt, DT Gabe Wright, S Byron Moore, OL Cameron Clear, OT Antonio Richardson
Total commits: 15 After undergoing a drastic change to their coaching staff since the conclusion of the 2010 season, the Gators have done a fair job of retaining their commitment list. The class is led by the top quarterback in the nation, Jeff Driskel, and a versatile offensive athlete in running back Mike Blakely. Over the final two weeks, Will Muschamp will look to work a little magic and close strong with his first class in Gainesville.
Top remaining targets: DT Timmy Jernigan, CB Marcus Roberson, DE Johnathan Jenkins, DE Tevin Westbrook, OT Jacob Fisher, WR Junior Pomee, LB A.J. Johnson, LB Stephone Anthony, LB Curtis Grant, DT Elkino Watson
Total commits: 26 Steve Sarkisian is becoming a royal pain to USC, UCLA, Cal and others in California, while also doing a good job at keeping in-state talent at home. A recent switch of defensive end Stephan Nembot from Washington State and commitment from WR Marvin Hall were big gets. This week they moved up five spots in the rankings due to the additions of four-star running back Bishop Sankey, as well as the three-star foursome of offensive lineman Paulay Asiata, defensive backs Marcus Peters and Kameron Jackson, as well as quarterback Derrick Brown.
Top remaining targets: OG Akeem Gonzales, QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Malcolm Creer
21. South Carolina
Total commits: 30 Steve Spurrier is once again bringing a lot of prospects into Columbia. The class is led by two trenchmasters, defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and offensive lineman Brandon Shell. With nearly a loaded class, spots will be limited down the stretch but the Gamecocks are still likely to land the No. 1 prospect in the nation, Jadeveon Clowney, and another prospect or two.
Top remaining targets: DE Jadeveon Clowney, DT Phillip Dukes, TE Jerell Adams, LB Cedrick Cooper, DT Leon Mackey
Total commits: 28 Arkansas has already loaded up for 2011, landing 28 commitments. Despite that hefty number of commitments the staff is still welcoming numerous prospects on campus over the final two weekends and adjustments will happen in the class. The top of the group includes two in-state commitments, quarterback Brandon Allen and offensive lineman Brey Cook. They also did well in the Lone Star State luring away tight end Chris Barnett and defensive back Tevin Mitchel. This past week they added the services of wide receiver Kane Whitehurst.
Top remaining targets: ATH Desmond Roland, ATH Brandon Swindall, LB Kiero Small, TE Dillon van der Wal, TE Jerell Adams, TE Andrew Peterson, RB Tarek Odom
Last edited by Cap Peeler; 01-29-2011 at 07:26 PM..
|6 years ago||'04 #9|
$12,861 | 0
Total commits: 18
Jim Harbaugh's departure from Palo Alto led to a couple bits of bad news for Stanford on the recruiting front, as USC raided The Farm and stole outside linebacker Anthony Sarao and all-purpose back Amir Carlisle. Despite those losses, the Cardinals still have a Top 25 class behind the strength of linebacker James Vaughters, safety Wayne Lyons, offensive lineman Brendon Austin, defensive end Charlie Hopkins, and wide receiver Ty Montgomery. They will look to fill the spots made void by departures over the next week.
Top remaining targets: CB Ronnie Harris, OT Troy Niklas, CB Jermaine Whitehead
24. Oklahoma State
Total commits: 26 The addition of a pair of three-star defensive tackles - James Castleman who switched from Texas Tech and Alex Villareal who switched from Houston - helped move Oklahoma State into the Top 25 this week. Mike Gundy's class is led by a pair of four-star prospects on offense in quarterback J.W. Walsh and running back Herschel Sims. At this point, Oklahoma State's class is likely done.
Top remaining targets: DE Brandon Alexander
Total commits: 25 Texas Christian surged to the Top 25 this past week with some big news. Four-star defensive tackle Chuck Hunter committed. Then three-star defensive tackle Jon Lewis switched from Texas Tech to the Horned Frogs. The switching wasn't over as three-star defensive back Brandon Carter (Oklahoma) and three-star offensive lineman Carter Wall (SMU) also made the move. As for the remainder of their class, look for the Horned Frogs to possibly add one more prospect.
Top remaining targets: DE Brandon Alexander
|6 years ago||'04 #10|
$12,861 | 0
January 27, 2011
Rivals.com recruiting staff
MORE: Announcement watch | Commit predictions | National Signing Day coverage
Why has Florida struggled to close on prospects since Will Muschamp's arrival?
Is Texas done with recruiting this year?
Why has UCLA been such a disappointment this year in recruiting?
These questions and more are addressed by Rivals.com's recruiting analysts as we are just days away from National Signing Day.
Time is running out for Will Muschamp's first class with the Gators.
Why has Florida struggled to close out players since Will Muschamp has taken over?
- Pete from Gainesville, Fla.
Recruiting is largely about relationships. And it's difficult to build relationships in a month. Florida's targets aren't players with which the Gators are the obvious top option. If that were the case, Muschamp and his staff wouldn't have a difficult time closing the deal right now.
But the Gators are going after players with four and five stars with so many different options. And because of that, they're having to battle programs such as Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State, all of which have pretty well-entrenched coaching staffs. The top prospects already know the coaches at those schools. Most, in fact, have known them for more than a year. Florida doesn't have that luxury, and that has made it hard to land elite prospects.
Also, don't forget this: The new staff in Gainesville also had to put a great deal of energy into keeping the players who already were committed when Muschamp took over. That in itself hasn't been easy, as a few have switched to other schools. In essence, Florida has had to f!ght battles on two fronts.
Is Texas done with recruiting this year or will they add a couple of players near Signing Day? Will they lose any others or was Christian Westerman the only one?
- Fred from Tyler, Texas
Texas is still heavily pursuing Brenham (Texas) defensive end Brandon Alexander. He has taken official visits to Texas A&M, TCU and Texas and will head to Arkansas this weekend. Most people close to the situation feel that the three-star defender will be a Longhorn on Signing Day.
The Longhorns also have a very outside shot at Shreveport (La.) Evangel four-star defensive end Jermauria Rasco. To replace Westerman, the Longhorns are looking at the commitment lists of other teams. They made inquiries about Rockdale (Texas) offensive tackle Le'Raven Clark but he informed them that he would be sticking with his Texas Tech pledge. Now they are trying to get Cedar Park (Texas) offensive tackle Spencer Drango on campus for an official visit this weekend. The Rivals250 prospect has been a longtime Baylor commit and feels a real sense of loyalty to the Bears. However, the invite from Texas is tempting and he will make up his mind on Friday if he will visit or not.
As for the rest of its class, Texas managed to avoid defections in the wake of a 5-7 season and a lot of staff turnover. Players such as Steve Edmond, Josh Turner, Cedric Reed and Quincy Russell hinted at possibly looking around but the Longhorns managed to keep all of them in the fold. If any other prospects from their commitment list defect it would come as a huge surprise.
What are you predictions on where the following players will end up - Tony Steward, Timmy Jernigan, Jacoby Brissett and Curt Maggitt and why?
- John from Fort Myers, Fla.
Will Tony Steward leave Florida?
Tony Steward will select Florida State over Clemson. Steward is an admitted fan of Florida State and will opt to stay in his home state.
Timmy Jernigan does a good job keeping everyone wondering, rarely granting interviews. It is believed to be a battle between Florida State and LSU, but nearby Florida remains in the picture and Jernigan will tell you he is a big fan of the Gators. This weekend he is expected to visit Tennessee with his final decision coming on National Signing Day. As of right now, Florida State is his most likely destination but his recruitment won't conclude until the ink is dry on the paper.
Jacoby Brissett is another prospect who rarely grants interviews. Brissett, also a very good basketball player, is entertaining the idea of playing both football and basketball at the next level. His school list appears to be down to Wisconsin, Washington, Miami, and Florida. He has visited the Badgers and Huskies and is set to see Miami this weekend. Florida hasn't received an official visit. At this point, Wisconsin appears to be the leader due to Brissett liking their coaching staffs very well on both the gridiron and the hardcourt, but Miami's need for a quarterback could swing things.
Curt Maggitt continues the trend of prospects that has opted not to speak. While rumors have swirled that Tennessee made a major impression at the end of the day he appears likely destined for the Swamp to play for the Florida Gators. The Gators have long been considered his leader and he can go play with former teammates such as Matt Elam.
Rivals rankings aside, which SEC team has hit its needs the most this recruiting year?
- Ted from Jacksonville, Fla.
Alabama, Georgia and LSU also are loading up with talented prospects, but Auburn is the pick. That's largely because the Tigers have the most needs out of the SEC's top programs.
But while Auburn is losing a lot on both sides of the football, in almost every area where someone key departs it is picking up a high-level player. At quarterback, where the Tigers lose All-American and Heisman-winning quarterback Cam Newton, they've landed four-star player Kiehl Frazier. Equally important was that Auburn bring in several offensive linemen (a spot at which graduation will take a heavy toll) and the Tigers will do just that. Leading that group of impressive recruits is four-star tackle Christian Westerman, a one-time Texas commit.
A lot of talent also departs on defense, but in that area the Tigers also are doing well for themselves, particularly at linebacker where five-star talent Kris Frost and four-star prospect Brent Calloway are the headliners. Calloway has been promised his first look at running back, but we still feel his future is on defense. The top pickup in the secondary is Rivals250 safety Jonathan Rose.
Not backing down
Who's left for USC and do you see them pulling any major recruiting upsets between now and Signing Day?
- Ken from Racho Verde, Calif.
Believe it or not, USC is going full steam ahead in recruiting and not looking back. The coaching staff believes they can still bring in more people and it seems like they'll worry about any recruiting repercussions from the NCAA sanctions later.
Marqise Lee from Serra is the top guy left on the board, but there are many others. Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde teammates Junior Pomee and Ryan Henderson want to play together in college and USC and Utah are the leaders. They're expected to announce on National Signing Day.
Troy Niklas, Antonio Richardson, Aundrey Walker, Cyrus Hobbi, Torian White and Miles Mason are some offensive linemen still under consideration. Hobbi, a four-star from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro will pick USC, UCLA or Arizona State on Friday.
On the defensive side, San Diego (Calif.) Point Loma defensive tackle Christian Heyward is still a top target and the Trojans are still recruiting some defensive backs. There seems to be no slowing down Lane Kiffin's staff until sanctions hit where numbers could be drastically limited. We don't see any major surprises from USC come Signing Day but the Trojans sure are loaded up heading into next season.
Tommy Tubberville has found recruiting success at Texas Tech.
Who has been the biggest surprise class in the Big 12 and why?
- Jed from Jasper, Okla.
Texas Tech has definitely been the biggest surprise. The Red Raiders are coming off a somewhat disappointing season with a new coach but they have done a great job in not just locking up in-state talent but from the SEC region where new head coach Tommy Tuberville has ties.
Getting a commitment from the nation's No. 2 cornerback, Marcus Roberson from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas was huge as he had previously listed a top two of Auburn and Florida. The Red Raiders did not use a tight end under the previous regime so they needed a difference maker on campus. They landed a huge one with Jace Amaro from San Antonio (Texas) MacArthur, ranked as the No. 3 player at his position in the country. He should step in and contribute immediately. Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson running back Kenny Williams should also have a chance to play early and was a head-to-head win over Texas A&M on the recruiting trail.
Tech has a chance to improve their class even more with the McKeesport (Pa.) defensive line duo of Delvon Simmons and Branden Jackson. If they land those two it will easily be the best class the Red Raiders have ever signed.
Why has UCLA been such a disappointment this year in recruiting?
- Ted from Tempe, Ariz.
A lot of factors are playing against UCLA here. The cross-town rival Trojans are taking a big class so a lot of Southern California talent is being gobbled up by USC. That's only one of the problems though. Mainly, offensive players are concerned because offensive coordinator Norm Chow left for Utah and a new coordinator is coming in so there is some uncertainty there. Coach Rick Neuheisel has not hired a new defensive coordinator yet. Hiring former Miami coach Randy Shannon would be a major boost - maybe in recruiting, too - and he recently interviewed in Los Angeles so that's something to watch.
There also isn't a lot of traction after a 4-8 season. Serious questions at quarterback, a coach that's starting to feel the hot seat, instability at the coordinator spots are only a few of the problems. The Bruins could close with a few quality prospects because Neuheisel is a phenomenal recruiter but there are a lot of questions surrounding UCLA's program.
|6 years ago||'04 #13|
$12,861 | 0
|6 years ago||'04 #14|
$12,861 | 0
|6 years ago||'04 #15|
$12,861 | 0
2011 Senior Bowl: NFL Draft Stock Up For Christian Ponder, Leonard Hankerson
Jan 29 7:38p by Andy Hutchins
Two players who were bitter rivals in their collegiate careers headlined the 2011 Senior Bowl's list of players who may have gotten a boost with a good game.
Florida State's Christian Ponder, named the Senior Bowl MVP, proved he can move an offense with a seven-for-13 performance through the air that included two touchdown passes.
His favorite target was Leonard Hankerson, a lanky receiver from FSU's bitter rival, Miami. Hankerson collected five passes for 99 yards, including a touchdown from Ponder, and may have flashed enough talent to remind NFL scouts of past Miami studs at wideout, like Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson.
Texas A&M's Von Miller capped an excellent week in Mobile with another good game. He recovered from a lackluster senior season in 2010 by showing why he was a favorite choice for preseason awards lists with speed and hustle, and harassed the North's quarterbacks all day.
Perhaps the most talked-about name of the 2011 Senior Bowl, Jake Locker might have gotten the slightest bump in the game. The Washington product started slowly, completing only one pass in a poor first quarter, but played better in the game's second half, leading the North's only touchdown drive.
Sure, it was a drive aided by a pass interference penalty on a poorly thrown pass, and Locker did fumble on the drive, but being able to put a bad start behind him shows the sort of mental makeup that often translates to "confidence" for NFL scouts.
|6 years ago||'08 #16|
$121 | 1
|6 years ago||'08 #17|
$121 | 1
|6 years ago||'06 #18|
$20,248 | 131
cardale is depending on grades...if not he's off to toldedo
i want grant