Recruiting 2012 - Key
The Inside Info - Part Two
What's happening this recruiting season? Several Scout publishers
provide their insider info on the key questions that matter to the real
world of college football.
- The Key Questions, OU, Ohio St, Utah, Texas Tech, & more
Recruiting 2012 - The Key Questions,
Texas, Washington, Oregon, State, & more
Recruiting 2011 - The Key Questions,
Alabama, Oregon, Boise State, & more
Recruiting 2011 - The Key Questions
Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions
Recruiting 2009 - The Key Questions
CFN Top Prospects for 2012
to 50 | No. 51
to 100 | No. 101 to 150
to 200 | No. 201
to 250 | No. 251
Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends |
| Guards & Centers
| Def. Tackles |
CFN Top 150 | 2010 CFN
Top 200 | 2011
CFN Top 300
Q: 1) What's the biggest recruiting need the coaching staff has to address and 2) what would make this a successful recruiting season?
1) This may seem to be a broad answer, but anybody watching the Longhorns this season could see that Texas needed help on the offensive side of the ball, both in terms of adding line talent and depth and finding more skilled playmakers. And of course, quarterback was arguably the biggest need.
The Longhorns addressed all of those concerns, pulling in talented signal-caller Connor Brewer, who picked Texas over offers from schools like Alabama. Jalen Overstreet is more like the mobile zone-read quarterbacks the Longhorns have had success with in the past, and is athletic enough that he could wind up elsewhere.
At running back, Texas grabbed arguably the best player in the class in Johnathan Gray, who should be the lightning to Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown's thunder. And in Cayleb Jones, Marcus Johnson and Kendall Sanders, the Longhorns have three big-time receivers, all of whom are bigger than 6-feet tall. Jones is the prototypical 6-3 wideout who is a nightmare on jump balls, and Sanders has fantastic speed.
But the offensive line might have been the best coup of all. Texas needed depth at offensive tackle — this past year, the Longhorns started true freshman Josh Cochran — and grabbed the top JUCO tackle in the country in Donald Hawkins, to go with two of the Scout.com top-10 offensive tackles in Kennedy Estelle and Camrhon Hughes. Both Hawkins and Hughes are in for the spring (as is Brewer), meaning they could help contribute immediately. And none of that mentions five-star offensive guard Curtis Riser, Scout.com's No. 2 player at his position.
Of the five, five-star players in this Texas class, four — Gray, Jones, Estelle and Riser — were on the offense.
2) Holding the class together. Texas is still in on some exciting prospects, but those would mostly be frosting on an already well-made cake. Texas currently has the No. 2 overall class on Scout.com, and is only a high three-star player away from regaining the top spot the Longhorns have held for most of this recruiting cycle.
More importantly, Texas filled a number of needs, from adding more speed at outside linebacker and safety with Peter Jinkens and Adrian Colbert, respectively, to the aforementioned job on the offensive side of the ball. And Texas landed upgrades at defensive tackle with Malcom Brown and Alabama transfer (via junior college) Brandon Moore.
It's a line of scrimmage game, and Texas brought in 10 linemen,
including three five-star players. Take this class in a vacuum, and it's
a great class. But add in consideration for the young talent the
Longhorns brought in with the 2010 and 2011 classes, and it's a no-doubt
home run. Classes like those three are a big reason the Longhorns are
optimistic that they'll be back among their title-competing ways in a
hurry. - Kevin Flaherty, Longhorn
1) Biggest needs were at offensive tackle and at Defensive Line. Washington needed to replace starting WT Senio Kelemete, and although Micah Hatchie (6-5 293 Soph) looks to be the heir apparent, they need to get another one in waiting. Erik Kohler (6-5 300 Junior) has played tackle but may be better suited to guard. Thus the Huskies need to pull in a heavyweight tackle in this class.
They have in-state gem Nathan Dean (6-5 295) already in and are hoping to pull in Lakes' Zach Banner (6-9 320), but are in a ferocious battle with USC to get him. On the defensive line, the Huskies must replace Alameda Ta'amu at tackle. They pulled in JC transfer Josh Banks (6-3 285) to help with that, and are hoping that sophomore Danny Shelton can pick up the slack as well.
2) Washington will have great difficulty calling this class a success. It will not be a bust by any means, but anytime you have five high caliber players in your own back yard and lose most of them, it's hard to not be disappointed. Stud QB Jeff Lindquist stayed home, but OG Josh Garnett, TB Keivarae Russell (Notre Dame), OT Walker Williams (Wisconsin), and WR Cedric Dozier (Cal) passed, and OT Zach Banner is still undecided between UW and USC. If Banner swings UW's way, it will lessen the sting. And if the Huskies can hang onto QB Cyler Myles soft verbal, they will have a QB class that could be one for the ages. – Dave Samek,
1) There was more than one need, with big Oregon State needs at OL, S and CB. The Beavers proceeded to land highly regarded prospects at each – 5 OL, 4 S and 3 CB.
2) With the No. 1 Guard prospect in the nation in Isaac Seumalo and TE Caleb Smith reiterating their commitments, OSU looks to be holding onto their class down the stretch, one that is ranked in the low 30s nationally. If they continue to hold on and finish strong, which it looks like they will, it will wind up an excellent recruiting class for Oregon State. – Barry Bolton,
1) The offensive line. Washington State has 6 o-linemen in this class, with an emphasis on o-tackles.
2) It's already a solid success story if you look at the machinations Mike Leach has made. He had 19 commits on the board when he arrived in December -- he's since replaced 9 of those -- and added 12 of his own -- in the short time he's been in Pullman. So has already put his stamp on the class, particularly at WR and LB. If he lands a few more of his remaining targets in these final days, it's that much bigger a success story. – Barry Bolton,
San Jose State
1) With the departure their overall top defensive player, 1st Team All-WAC safety Duke Ihenacho, and both starting cornerbacks from last season, Peyton Thompson and Brandon Driver, the San Jose State coaching staff has made the defensive backfield a high priority this recruiting season. Their efforts will not go unrewarded, as they have already signed safety Ryan Harper from Phoenix Junior College, and received verbal a commitment from safety Christian Tago, a 3-Star rated prospect from Highland High School in Palmdale, Calif., who is athletic enough to have a shot at quarterback as well. Additionally, the Spartans also have received verbal commitments from two SoCal cornerbacks, Miles Milner of Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, and Jimmy Pruitt from powerhouse Helix High School in La Mesa.
2) Head Coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff have logged a lot of miles, and visited literally hundreds of high schools in California, Arizona, and even as far away as Texas. It was important that the staff not only find the players, but also convince them to commit to San Jose State early in the process. Long- time San Jose State fans were amazed when the Spartans had 17 players committed to the program before Christmas, an unprecedented number in any previous year.
By all accounts, it appears that all that hard work by the coaching
staff is about to pay off, as long as they can hold on to those players
that have committed to San Jose State thus far. For the past several
weeks, San Jose State's recruiting class has been the highest rated
group in the Western Athletic Conference. Maintaining the top spot will
be a major coup for a program that hasn't had a winning season since
2006. - Mike Morgan, Inside