Recruiting 2012 - C-USA East Needs & Concerns
UCF head coach George O'Leary
UCF head coach George O'Leary
Posted Jan 27, 2012

What does each C-USA East team need, and what are the concerns this offseason?

Recruiting 2012 

C-USA East Rankings

Recruiting 2011 | Recruiting 2010 | Recruiting 2009

CFN Top Prospects for 2012
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties 


- C-USA West Recruiting Rankings


1. UCF | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: A passing game. The Knights haven't been big on pushing the ball down the field under head coach George O'Leary, choosing to mostly pound away with the ground attack. The quarterback situation is solid for the next few seasons with Jeff Godfrey and Blake Bortles in place, but adding more to the receiving corps would be nice. The program hasn't gone hard after skill players in a few years, but this season that should change.

Team Concerns For 2012: The kicking game. The Knights are loaded with experience just about everywhere, and they should be terrific on defense. Big-tackling middle linebacker Josh Linam is done, and the defensive line could use a few more options, but everything is in place for a huge year. However, kicker Nick Cattoi is done and the punting situation has to be addressed for 2013 and beyond.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 54. That Class Was Heavy On ... The defensive front seven. Release the hounds. UCF signed two terrific corners in Bruce Dukes and Jeremy Davis, and the offense wasn’t ignored, but the class is loaded with strong players on the defensive front seven. Troy Gray is a safety-sized outside linebacker who should pair with middle prospect Miles Pace to give the Knights a strong corps in a few years, while JUCO transfers Toby Jackson and Cameron Henderson should be fantastic right away at the ends. With a little time, Demetric Anderson could be an anchor of a tackle.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 63. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive line. The offense has been hit-or-miss when the running game wasn't working, and now George O'Leary is taking care of the front wall to keep pounding away. Jose Jose has more than just a terrific name, he's one of the nation's better interior line prospects and should see time at center. Torian Wilson, Justin McCray, and Jordan McCray are large guards who should grow into key cogs for the ground attack, while 6-7, 310-pound Tony Jacob will be a key starting tackle soon.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 57. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. After losing the entire starting secondary to graduation, this was an absolute priority for George O’Leary and the Knights. The program did a magnificent job a few years ago of taking two-star players, such as CB Joe Burnett, and molding them into defensive stoppers. It may not have to do much coaching up of CB Josh Robinson, an outstanding all-around playmaker, who also drew interest from Michigan, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

2. Southern Miss | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: The offensive backfield. New head coach Ellis Johnson doesn't necessarily need quarterback and running back options for right now, and the skill spots were addressed over the last two recruiting classes, but that doesn't mean that more options wouldn't be nice. Arsenio Favor is the top quarterback option going into next year, but Anthony Alford is one of the nation's top prospects and good enough to push for the starting job.

Team Concerns For 2012: The defensive front seven. Depending on the alignment, six starters are gone off the front and the depth will be a bit of a problem. This class will come up with linebackers and a few JUCO prospects, but there won't be enough to make a big push even with so many jobs wide open. Both starting offensive tackles are gone.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 77. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. The Golden Eagles brought in a ton of players after going for the quick JUCO fix last year, and while the lines are getting plenty of work and JUCO corners Clifford Johnson and Martez Thompson will see time right away, this class is about lots and lots of pass-catching prospects, including tight end Collin Jarbo. JUCO transfer Jhyrtn Taylor is is the best receiver of the bunch, but speedy Tray Becton and Cooper Harrington could make a bigger impact before they’re through.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 56. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. Head coach Larry Fedora went big on JUCO transfers last year, and he got a few instant helpers this season with CB Reggie Hunt and massive offensive tackles Lamar Holmes and Jason Weaver certain to be in the rotation immediately, but mostly the Golden Eagle class is setting up the future for the offense. Two quarterbacks, four running backs, and four receivers were signed with JUCO transfer Kelvin Bolden a potential instant impact player at one wideout spot and Markese Triplett a big 6-4 target to build around for the future.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 61. That Class Was Heavy On ... JUCO transfers. His program headed in the right direction, Larry Fedora sought out players capable of keeping the momentum going right now. A league-high six junior-college players, four on offense and two of defense, will help fill in the holes at tight end, linebacker, and offensive tackle. LB Hendrick Leverette is already being counted on to offset Gerald McRath’s departure, and 6-5, 265-pound David Rue is angling to catch some of the passes that used to go to Shawn Nelson.

3. East Carolina | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: Offense. The Pirates haven't had too much of a problem putting up points and getting the passing game going under Ruffin McNeill, but now he needs to load up for the near future. More receiver talent is a must, but coming up with more options for the offensive line is also a need that'll be addressed. After bringing in a slew of defensive backs in 2009, this year's class needs more for the future.

Team Concerns For 2012: Defensive back. It's time for that 2009 class to kick in with three starters gone. The leader, QB Dominique Davis, has to be replaced with Rio Johnson getting the first look, but he'll need time to work behind a line that should be good in time, but needs a new left tackle to take over for Steven Baker.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 76. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. What does the worst defense in America need? People who can actually play defense. JUCO defensive ends John Lattimore and Leroy Vick are versatile enough to be moved around, while 290-pound Will Foxx has anchor potential. The biggest position upgrade could be at safety where Danny Webster and Domonique Lennon might be used out of the gate. Offensively, JUCO transfer Reggie Bullock is an intriguingly fast running back.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 99. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive tackles. New head coach Ruffin McNeill didn't have any time to do anything with the recruiting class, but he ended up getting four excellent offensive linemen to contribute right away. JUCO transfer Anthony Garrett will be an instant factor on the tackle depth chart, while Drew Gentry and Taylor Hudson were two of the team's best recruits.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 83. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. The Pirates have chosen to accentuate a team strength by bolstering an already talented secondary. Six defensive backs are the backbone of a relatively small class put together by Skip Holtz and his assistants. Damonte Terry, the top safety in the mix, is still raw, but has the speed and athletic ability to overshoot his grade at some point down the road.

4. Marshall | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: Offensive linemen. Doc Holliday has a ton of quarterback prospects in place, a true sophomore in Rakeem Cato to work around, and more talent on the way, and now he needs linemen to keep the passers clean. With both starting tackles gone, the outside of the line will get really young, really fast, opening the door for a few JUCO transfers.

Team Concerns For 2012: Offensive line. Along with both starting tackles done, so is right guard John Bruhin. Defensive playmakers need to emerge with end Vinny Curry, safety Omar Brown, and six starters gone, but there's more speed and athleticism coming up than the program has had in the last several years. That talent has to show up on the outside with linebackers George Carpenter and Tyson Gale done, along with backup middle option Kellen Harris.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 65. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterback. The last two classes have loaded up on receivers, and Levern Jacobs is a 4.4 speedster coming in this year, but the Herd needs more pop to the passing game and hopes to get it with three interesting options. 6-5 Blake Frohnapfel is a chucker, Cornelius Jones if coming in from Fort Union Military Academy to try to challenge right away, and Rakeem Cato out of Miami can do a little bit of everything. Tight ends Rakim Reed and Eric Frohnapfel will be big factors in a few years.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 80. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. If nothing else, new head man Doc Holliday will have plenty of pass catchers to use in a rotation. Last year's Herd class was full of big, strong receivers. This year's class is loaded with small, quick ones led by the lightning-quick Fred Pickett. Josh Lovell is a do-it-all tight end who could be good enough to be better than Cody Slate with a little bit of work, while Jazz King, Antwon Chisolm, and Demetrius Evans are all talented enough to be given a long look for early playing time. New quarterback Eddie Sullivan will have plenty of practice options to play around with.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 102. That Class Was Heavy On ... wide receivers. The Herd has loaded up on a bunch of big, physical wide receivers that other schools felt were a little unpolished at this stage of their careers. A collection of athletes who all go at least 6-2, most are expected to do an apprenticeship in 2009 before being turned loose. A local kid, C.J. Crawford is both big and very fast. Wayne Bonner, on the other hand, comes via East Mississippi Junior College, and is most likely to chip in right away.

5. UAB | Scout List  

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 87. That Class Was Heavy On ... Kickers. After two big classes and working on the skill positions last year, UAB got a little bit of everything without loading up on any one spot. JUCO transfers Lamar Johnson and Calvin Jones will be used right away in the secondary, and some big prospects, led by the 6-3, 343-pound Uneik Crumbley, are brought in for the line. Apparently, though, one of the big concerns is Josh Zahn, the team’s placekicker who followed up a 14-of-21 2009 with a 7-of-17 field goal 2010 season. Kickers Colin Anderson and Ty Long were brought into provide a challenge. Considering six games last year were decided by five points or fewer, a good kicker is a must.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 108. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. The offense was Joe Webb, Joe Webb, and Joe Webb last year, and now there's an immediate infusion of talent to try to change that with seven wide receivers, four of them from the JUCO ranks, led by big Darnell Williams; the team's instant No. 1 target. Five running backs, including two JUCO transfers, were brought in, while the star should be Greg Franklin.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 96. That Class Was Heavy On ... safeties. Of the 24 new Blazers signed by Neil Callaway, a big portion is projected as safeties once they arrive in Birmingham. That’s not such a bad thing, considering last year’s starters, Will Dunbar and Matt Taylor, were seniors. The two junior-college transfers, Hiram Atwater and Elliott McGaskin, should be ready to compete right away, and David Conner was good enough to get mail from Auburn, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State.

6. Memphis | Scout List

2012: What's Needed Now: After going after skill players over the last two classes, Memphis will be hitting the defensive side hard. New head coach Justin Fuentes has to upgrade the offensive line to allow all the young playmakers to shine, and while the Tigers should be fine for the next year or so, Fuentes needs players to develop for 2014.

Team Concerns For 2012: Defensive line. Both starting ends are done and top tackle Dontari Poe is leaving early for the NFL. The linebackers should be fine for now, and the secondary will be a positive soon, but none of it will matter without a good rotation up front. This recruiting class, though, won't be searching for any instant answers.


2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 73. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. What do you get for the team that needs everything? Everything. Larry Porter sprinkled in a few linemen here, a couple of defensive backs there, and a lot of skill players to try to jump-start the offense sooner than later. Big passers Domonique Harris and Taylor Reed will fight it out for time in the near future, but running back Artaves Gibson will be expected to see work immediately and the hope will be for Ryan Byrd and/or Jermaine Johnson to be a No. 1 receiver early on.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 78. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. New head coach Larry Porter isn't going to start out his era without any firepower. JUCO running back Ketarus Stanton and running back Jerrell Rhodes and Sean Farr from Hargrave Military Academy might be plugged in immediately. It'll be an interesting battle for the starting quarterback gig with four passers brought in. Kevin Wright is the best of the bunch, but JUCO transfer Andy Summerlin is ready right now. He'll be in spring ball and might have the inside track for the No. 1 spot.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 95. That Class Was Heavy On ... offensive linemen. Faced with some turnover in the trenches, Tommy West aimed to keep the area replenished by inking five linemen no smaller than 6-4 and 275 pounds. Of the group, G Ricky Hart really has Tiger fans excited. A 6-3, 315-pound drive blocker, who was pursued by the ACC and SEC, he’ll likely spend just one year as a backup before moving into the starting lineup.

- C-USA West Recruiting Rankings