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Recruiting 2012 - M-West Needs & Concerns

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 30, 2012


What does each Mountain West team need, and what are the concerns this offseason?

Recruiting 2012 

Mountain West Needs

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 

RANKINGS BASED ON THE 2011 CFN M-WEST RECRUITING RANKINGS.
2012 RECRUITING RANKINGS TO COME SIGNING DAY


TCU WAS NO. 1

WAC 2. Boise State | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: The Broncos could use a few defensive linemen, or else next year will have to focus mostly on the front four. Quarterback has been addressed over the last few classes, and receivers are in place for the future. Linebacker might turn out to be the strength with a little bit of time, while the stars of the class will be for the secondary.

Team Concerns For 2012: Defensive line. Considering all four starters are gone and a few good backups are also bolting, there might be some push at the last second to see if some warm bodies can come in to provide a little bit of help. Of course, all eyes will be on Joe Southwick and Grant Hedrick to see if either one can come close to being another Kellen Moore. RB D.J. Harper is getting another year, and he has to prove he can handle Doug Martin’s workload.

What’s Coming In: COMING SIGNING DAY ONCE THE OFFICIAL LISTS ARE ANNOUNCED

The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Defensive front seven. How much impact has Boise State’s move to the Mountain West had on recruiting? Yawwwwwwn. Down the road, the move up might matter a little bit, but it didn’t do much this year with a good class, but not an elite one. However, JUCO transfer safety Dextrell Simmons is a special prospect and corner Eric Agbaroji is a nice pickup for the secondary. The strength is on the defensive front, including linebacker Blake Renaud for the middle, with tackle Jeff Worthy and ends Sam Ukwachu and Robert Ash all expected to be rocks over the next several years.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 94. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quality over quantity. There simply weren't any spots to fill, and it showed with a light class. However, the players brought in were good ones highlighted by big receiver Matt Miller, QB Grant Hedrick, who won't be in the mix until at least 2013, and corner Bryan Douglas, the next great Bronco shut-down defender. This year's defensive line didn't need a whole bunch of work, but it got a little boost from JUCO transfer Tyrone Crawford, a speed rusher for the outside.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 62. That Class Was Heavy On ... Linebacker. While the Broncos were able to come up with a little something for several spots, the stars are at linebacker where John Michael Davis and Allen Mooney were two tremendous gets, while Gabe Linehan should be excellent with a little time in the weight room. This is the Boise State 2013 starting linebacking corps. Two good quarterbacks, Joe Southwick and Mikey Tamburo, were also signed to develop until Kellen Moore is done.

WAC No. 2. Fresno State | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: New head coach Tim DeRuyter is speed recruiting, trying to put something together in a short time. The receiving corps got some help in 2010, but more talent and more firepower is needed for 2014 and beyond. DeRuyter’s first job will be to improve the defense, but that’s for the 2013 class. For now, he’s just trying to salvage something out of the short time.

Team Concerns For 2012: Defensive tackle. The linebacking corps is loaded with prospects from a terrific 2009 class, so DeRuyter should come up with a good rotation. Now he has to hope that Tyeler Davison and Donavaughn Pritchett are ready to roll at defensive tackle. There’s no Logan Harrell, but there’s plenty of size. Andrew Gustafson has to show early on this offseason that he’s ready to step in for Bryce Harris at left tackle.

What’s Coming In: COMING SIGNING DAY ONCE THE OFFICIAL LISTS ARE ANNOUNCED

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: XX. That Class Was Heavy On ... Outside linebackers. The defense found a pass rush last year for the first time in everal seasons, and now the outside linebackers are being brought in to keep the fun going. Donavon Lewis, Ekiro Ederaine, and Kyrie Wilson are the three-star talents, but Lewis is the only one built like a real, live linebacker. The offense didn’t get a bunch of help, but QB Marcus McDade and lightning-fast Dillon Root could pay off right away. 

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 62. That Class Was Heavy On ... The passing game. Even though Derek Carr, the brother of David Carr, is likely the starting quarterback in the very near future, the Bulldogs were able to sign Lester Fontenette, a promising bomber from San Diego, while Kelly O'Brien is a JUCO transfer who might end up being the No. 2 man in the mix for the next few seasons. The dangerous Josh Harper is a big, fast target who combines with another good receiver, Davon Dunn, and the 6-6 Victor Dean to load up the team with receivers. Matt Darr is the nation's best punting prospect.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 78. That Class Was Heavy On ... Linebacker. Headlined by local product, Travis Brown, the linebackers were clearly the stars of this class, followed closely by the defensive ends. Pat Su’a and Daniel Salinas move like safeties, while Nat Harrison should be a good one after a little bulking up. On the defensive front, JUCO transfer Donnie Pritchett will be plugged in right away in the rotation, but Nikko Motta could eventually turn out to be better.

WAC No. 3. Hawaii | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: It might sound crazy for Hawaii, but it needs quarterbacks. David Graves will have the job all to himself for now, but new head coach Norm Chow has to find a few good backup options to fight for the gig. The offensive line has to be addressed for down the road, and Chow will want to make better use of the tight ends, meaning he has to go get them.

Team Concerns For 2012: The passing game needs to go back to being the Hawaii passing game, and that could happen with a more experienced receiving corps returning. The linebacking corps loses two key starters in Aaron Brown and Corey Paredes, and three starters are done on the line, but the 2010 class did a good job of bringing in prospects for the front with Moses Samie and Marcus Malepeai about to become major factors.

What’s Coming In: COMING SIGNING DAY ONCE THE OFFICIAL LISTS ARE ANNOUNCED

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: XX. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. The bulk of the class is at defensive back where corners Ellis Henderson and Brian Clay lead a strong group coming in for the secondary. The immediate impact, though, should be at receiver where JUCO transfers Cecil Doe and Chris Gant will be asked to be the new playmakers from Day One, working on the other end of Bryant Moniz’s passes. There isn’t much else for the offense with the class working mostly to improve the defensive side for a second year in a row.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 87. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. It's Hawaii so the passing game was hardly ignored with a slew of new receivers signed to go along with QB Kevin Spain from Arizona, but this class is all about the defense and all about getting better up front. There isn't the JUCO influx of last year when head coach Greg McMackin looked to immediately patch all the gaping holes. This is about the strength in numbers with seven linemen of all shapes and sizes to build around.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 60. That Class Was Heavy On ... JUCO, JUCO, JUCO. Overall, the offense got the biggest boost with three quarterback prospects, including two good ones in Cayman Shutter and Corey Nielsen, and several backs and receivers, but it’s the junior college haul that should make the most noise. Head coach Greg McMackin brought in ten ready-made players with the most help coming for the defensive line with tackles David Hofoka and Zach Masch.

3. Colorado State | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: New head coach Jim McElwain didn’t get any time to work after helping lead Alabama to the national title. The last few Ram recruiting classes have been strong, and they’re going to have to make due for a while with this class not likely to be anything special. The linebacking corps will get one star to work around with Deonte Wortham coming in from out of Dallas, but overall it’s going to be a mad scramble to piece something together.

Team Concerns For 2012: Quarterback. With Pete Thomas transferring to NC State, the Rams lose their franchise quarterback who was supposed to be hitting his stride right about now. Garrett Grayson was one of last year’s good recruits, and he has to grow up in a real hurry or McElwain will have some work to do all offseason. The O line needs the most instant help with three starters gone.

What’s Coming In: COMING SIGNING DAY ONCE THE OFFICIAL LISTS ARE ANNOUNCED

The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Running back. Head coach Steve Fairchild took over the job a few years ago wanting to get physical with the ground game. The Rams were 103rd in the nation in rushing last year (partly because of all the sacks the line gave up). This class revolves around the backfield to help out franchise quarterback Pete Thomas with five good recruits led by big, fast Dorian Brown and with thumper George Talanoa, who could be a linebacker is he’s not a fullback.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 104. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. LB Charles Favors might be the star of this recruiting class, but the Rams need a few linemen to shine. With all the quarterbacks brought in last year finding more signal calling prospects wasn't a pressing need, but the Rams still signed three decent ones highlighted by Peter Thomas, a big bomber who'll get a long look this offseason. But the strength-in-numbers part of the class is on the defensive line with six players led by end Ra'Shawde Myers.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 103. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. Billy Farris is gone opening up a hole at quarterback, and while there are options in Grant Stucker and Klay Kubiak waiting to step in, JUCO transfer Jon Eastman will be in the mix right away, Nico Ranieri might be the most talented player of the bunch, but the new recruit might have to wait around for a few years before getting his shot.


4. UNLV | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: Head coach Bobby Hauck has done a good job on the recruiting trail over his first few seasons, but it hasn’t shown on the field. He wants his team to be far more physical on both sides, but he’s not doing too much for the offensive line with the defense expected to get more talent coming off a few deep classes of defenders.

Team Concerns For 2012: Receiver. Young in several areas last year, this will be a more experienced team of veterans on both sides of the ball. However, Phillip Payne and Michael Johnson leave gaping holes in the receiving corps. After going hard after defensive backs for a few years, the efforts have to pay off for the program with three starters and two good reserves done in the secondary.

What’s Coming In: COMING SIGNING DAY ONCE THE OFFICIAL LISTS ARE ANNOUNCED

The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Cornerback. The last two classes focused on the defense, with the 2009 haul loading up on defensive back. This class is trying to get more pop for the offense with a few decent quarterback prospects, led by JUCO transfer Sean Reilly, and the star of the entire class is JUCO linebacker Princeton Jackson, but the best position is corner. Fred Wilson and safety-sized Brandon Baker promising for down the line, while JUCO transfer Kenneth Spigner has to make a splash right away.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 100. That Class Was Heavy On ... Key defensive linemen. Bobby Hauck didn't have much time to put together the recruiting class he might have wanted, but he did a good job of sprinkling in some star prospects with the bulk. Only two defensive linemen were brought in, but tackle Desmond Tautofi could be a cornerstone tackle while Ian Bobak should be a pass rushing terror with a little bit of time. Overall, Houck wants a more physical team, and this class should be a good start. 

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 81. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. While this is a class full of variety, there isn’t a lot of star power. JUCO defensive end B.J. Bell will be asked to shine right away, Jordan Barrett is a top-shelf outside linebacker prospect, and the defensive backs should be solid. JUCO transfers Mike Grant and Warren Ziegler will provide instant depth at corner, while Courtney Bridget is a tall, promising corner for the other side. Chase Childers is a fast safety.

5. San Diego State | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: After years of loading up with skill players, now the Aztecs need to do more for the defensive side. Linebackers appears to be set for the next few years, but the line will get more bodies even though there’s a young group already ready to do more in the 3-4. Head coach Rocky Long likes big offensive linemen, and he’s bringing in some great-looking tackles; this could turn out to be the best haul of blockers in the Mountain West.

Team Concerns For 2012: Quarterback and running back. That’s what last year’s recruiting class was for with Long loading up with a ton of bodies and several options to throw into the mix, but it’s still too early to find another Ryan Lindley or Ronnie Hillman right away. The defensive line needs players from this class to be a part of the battle for jobs right away with all three starters gone along with both outside linebackers.

What’s Coming In: COMING SIGNING DAY ONCE THE OFFICIAL LISTS ARE ANNOUNCED

The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Skill players. New head coach Rocky Long is bringing in a huge class, and while there aren’t a lot of superstars after the departure of Brady Hoke, there are enough good players on offense to start pounding the rock the way the new staff wants to. QB Chad Jeffries and RB Brandon Wright will have to wait their turn for a few years, but they’re strong talents who’ll be the future, while WR Jemond Hazely and TE Sam Meredith will be a big part of the passing game.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 72. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. Brady Hoke has worked on improving the skill talent over the last two seasons, and this class was built to allow all the new players to shine. This was a big class that addressed several areas, but the best players were on the offensive front led by JUCO transfer Juan Bolanos, a massive player who'll be thrown into the rotation right away. Emmanuel Beavers and Zach Dilley who'll be the cornerstones for the future. JUCO transfers Riley Gauld and Joe Unga will also be counted on early.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 87. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill positions. New head coach Brady Hoke needs to bring in the playmakers, and he has them in bunches with a few prospects for all the skill spots. QB Jake Bernard is a good-looking option for the near future, and Osmond Nicholas should be an eventual No. 1 target. The class is also big on corners, arguably the strength of the class, with several options coming in including Nat Berhe and Marcus Andrews.

WAC No 5. Nevada | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: The program didn’t exactly capitalize off the big 2010 season with last year’s class, but it come up with a boatload of running backs meaning head coach Chris Ault can look elsewhere. He’ll get quarterbacks for 2015 with the 2009 class providing several options in development and with Cody Fajardo appearing to be the franchise for the next few seasons. The defensive back seven could use more options for down the line, but several young players will be a part of the 2012 season.

Team Concerns For 2012: Defensive line. There doesn’t appear to be any panic in this recruiting class, with so many prospects coming in a few seasons ago, but the Wolf Pack has to replace three starters and a few good backups on the line. A No. 1 target has to emerge with Rishard Matthews gone.

What’s Coming In: COMING SIGNING DAY ONCE THE OFFICIAL LISTS ARE ANNOUNCED

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: XX. That Class Was Heavy On ... Running backs. After the record-setting Colin Kaepernick/Vai Taua rushing era has ended, the program needs reinforcements. The good quarterback crop of 2009 should kick in starting this year, so Tanner Roderick should get plenty of time to learn. The running backs might not have the talent of other Nevada positions, but Kendall Brock, Teondray Caldwell and Superiorr Reid fit the Pistol.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 91. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The quarterbacks were brought in last season so the offense was taken care of. This year, something had to be done to boost the depth on a defense that can't stop anyone's running game. Seven prospects were signed for the defensive line with a premium put on speed, quickness, and pass rushing ability. There isn't the bulk needed to clog up the middle, but there pass rush will be a strength.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 106. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. With Colin Kaepernick set to be the franchise for the next few years, Nevada’s two new passers, Mason Magelby and David Fales, will get plenty of time to develop. However, JUCO transfer Maurice Patterson is a good-looking receiver who’ll get Kaepernick throwing to him this year.

6. Wyoming | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: Just how much is the needle pointing up? With QB Brett Smith in place for the next few seasons, now it’s about putting in the pieces around him. The 2010 class of receives should be maturing, but now the Cowboys need more running back prospects with Alvester Alexander taking off early for the NFL. Beefing up the secondary with more bodies is a must.

Team Concerns For 2012: Offensive tackle. Both Clayton Kirven and John Hutchins are gone, as is center Brandon Self. UW will get really young really fast, and the depth still needs developing. Defensive end is a mega-concern with Josh Biezuns and Gabe Knapton done, and next year’s projected end pair doesn’t have much in the way of bulk. This is a very, very young team in several areas across the board, so even after last year’s success, patience will be vital.

What’s Coming In: COMING SIGNING DAY ONCE THE OFFICIAL LISTS ARE ANNOUNCED

The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … The passing game. The defense wasn’t ignored with several interesting outside linebacker prospects brought in, but with the sudden departure of Austyn Carta-Samuels, doing more for the anemic passing attack was a must, With five true receivers coming in, led by the smallish, quick London Muse, the receiving corps is getting an infusion of bodies. The quarterback gig is open, and Adam Pittser out of Illinois will get an instant shot at the job, while athletic Brett Smith will be part of the mix.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 90. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receiver. Austyn Carta-Samuels has to throw to someone. After hitting the jackpot and getting a quarterback who could play right away last year, the Cowboys now need to upgrade the passing game with more dangerous targets. JUCO transfers Mazi Ogbonna and DeJay Lester need to be a big part of the offense right away, while C.J. Morgan will be a speedy target who could be the No. 1 in the near future. On the other side of the ball, JUCO transfer Austin Daniels might start right away at one corner.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 105. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. The rest of the class is mediocre, at generous best, but the quarterback recruits might be the best in the Mountain West. Austyn Carta-Samuels isn’t big, he isn’t fast, but he’s a player who could be the franchise sooner than later. For now, considering the woes at quarterback last season, the signing of JUCO transfer Robert Benjamin is a nod toward the present.

7. Air Force | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: The Falcons have to try to improve a defense that struggled way too often, and it’s time for the 2009 recruiting class of good defensive players to come up big. This year’s class is full of athletic lineman who’ll move around between linebacker and the front line starting in 2014. As always, the players are coming in who can run the attack with some talented, speedy running backs who can contribute early on.

Team Concerns For 2012: Tim Jefferson. The school’s all-time winningest quarterback might not have been a typical option runner, but he was a smart, tough leader who ran the offense extremely well. Also gone is backup Connor Dietz, leaving the door open for one of last year’s top recruits, Kent Rollins, among several other options, to battle with Tucker Tipton.

What’s Coming In: COMING SIGNING DAY ONCE THE OFFICIAL LISTS ARE ANNOUNCED

The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Quarterbacks. The Falcons got plenty of help for the defensive line with fantastic ends coming in to provide a tremendous pass rush for the next several years. The secondary also got bodies with Cedric Parker leading a good group of corners. The focus will be at quarterback with Kent Rollins a ready-made option playmaker and Colton Huntsman and Teddy Ruben two runners who’ll get their shot. 6-4, 205-pound Christian Gann will be a No. 1 receiving target soon.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 83. That Class Was Heavy On ... Linebacker. This is a diverse class with a little something for all spots, but for the second straight season the top players are on the defensive side. Linebacker got the biggest influx of talent with three interesting prospects including Austin Arias, a safety-sized tackling machine who got a little interest from the Arizona schools but was too small for a big-time program. He, along with Joey Nichol and Seth Kline, will be the keys to the defense in a few years.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 117. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defense. As always, Air Force had to get a specific type of player, and as always, it went with smallish, quick defenders for the line and the secondary. Dan Zotto leads the way up front, while head coach Troy Calhoun brought in a few short, athletic corners. James Chambers could be a fixture at inside linebacker sooner than later.

8. New Mexico | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: < Former head man Mike Locksley was supposed to be a big-time recruiter, and while he came up with a nice player here and there, he didn’t get the job done and the shelves are hardly stocked. Bob Davie believes in tough defense, but he also wants to come up with the building blocks up front to give an even bigger boost to a line that got plenty of prospects last year.

Team Concerns For 2012: Defensive line. Davie will spend most of his time reworking and rebuilding a line that was among the nation’s most miserable under Locksley. Two starters are gone, but it’ll be a veteran front that has to be night-and-day better for any sort of instant turnaround. Solidifying the guard situation is also a must losing both starters.

What’s Coming In: COMING SIGNING DAY ONCE THE OFFICIAL LISTS ARE ANNOUNCED

The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Offensive linemen. Mike Locksley was supposed to be a great recruiter after rocking at Illinois, and while he has maintained his pipeline to Maryland/Washington D.C., he hasn’t gotten a slew of difference makers. This year, his class is trying to do more up front on offense with Korian Chambers, a 6-6, 350-pound JUCO transfer, needing to shine right away at tackle. 6-7, 345-pound Jamal Price will blot out the sun at one tackle spot.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 85. That Class Was Heavy On ... Wide receivers. After bringing aboard a slew of quarterbacks last year, the Lobos needed an upgrade in receiving talent for the near future. Head coach Mike Locksley, even after a bizarre and disastrous 2009, was able to use his talents as a recruiter, which was considered his strength when hired, to sign on four receivers led by Joshua Ford from Washington D.C., Locksley's pipeline that brought in so much talent to Illinois, and Detchauz Wray. Even with all the quarterbacks in last year's class, Locksley was still able to get Tarean Austin out of Florida.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 88. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. They might not be needed right away, and there are a few young options in Brad Gruner and Tate Smith already in place to push Donovan Porterie, who’s returning from injury, but the two new quarterbacks will be in the hunt for time by 2010. Darren Jones and Emmanuel Yeager are tall, athletic players who can do a little of everything.