Recruiting 2012 - Mountain West Team Rankings
Posted Feb 4, 2012

Ranking and analyzing the 2012 Mountain West Recruiting Classes

Recruiting 2012 

Mountain West Rankings

Recruiting 2012

CFN 2012 Recruiting Rankings & All-Star Teams
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2011 CFN M-WEST Recruiting Rankings

2012 CFN All-MWest
Recruiting Team

QB – Nick Patti, Boise State
RB – Jack Fields, Boise State
RB – Steven Lakalaka, Hawaii
WR – Dalen Jones, Fresno State
WR – Trent Sewell, Wyoming
TE - Armand Nance, Boise State
OT – Kwayde Miller, San Diego State
OG – Dejon Allen, Hawaii
C – Andy Agen, Air Force
OG – Travis Averill, Boise State
OT – Nico Siragusa, San Diego State
PK – Seamus McMorrow, San Diego State

DE – Darien Barrett, Boise State
DT – Alex Barrett, San Diego State
DT – Gerron Borne, New Mexico
DE - Will Hopkins, Air Force
OLB – Sam Awrabi, Wyoming
MLB – Deonte Wortham, Colorado State
OLB – Richard Winston, New Mexico
CB – Chaz Anderson, Boise State
S – Chanceller James, Boise State
S – Kendrick Mathis, San Diego State
CB – Donte Deayon, Boise State
P – No Punters Signed

1. Boise State | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... 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.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Is it time to doubt Boise State now that Kellen Moore is finally gone? The Broncos aren't off to the Big East until next year, and they'll need the year to rebuild and reload with Joe Southwick and Grant Hedrick battling to take over for Moore. The running game also takes a hit with Doug Martin and D.J. Harper done, while star tackle Nate Potter and two other starters up front are gone. Only one starter – corner Lee Hightower – is back on defense. 

2. San Diego State | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... 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.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Can Rocky Long keep the momentum going in a good first year after taking over for head coach Brady Hoke? The top offensive stars – QB Ryan Lindley and RB Ronnie Hillman – are gone, as are three starters on the line. All the top receivers are back, and they'll have to shine in shootouts with the defense needing three new starting linemen and losing top tackling linebacker Miles Burris in the 3-4. Leon McFadden should be among the Mountain West's best corners. 

3. Air Force | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... 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.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: There's always massive turnover at Air Force and there are always a slew of big needs to be filled, but unlike the last few years, quarterback will be the biggest concern with Tim Jefferson finally done along with backup Connor Dietz. Eight starters are gone off the nation's third-ranked rushing offense, while the defense that struggled so much loses Jordan Waiwaiole and three starting linebackers. In all, eight starters are gone off the defense. On the plus side, several young defenders saw time throughout last year. 

4. UNLV | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... 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.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Will things ever start to turn around for the Rebels? It's head coach Bobby Hauck's third year, and he needs to find an identity for an offense that didn't go anywhere and a D that couldn't stop anyone but Hawaii. The running game should be fine with Tim Cornett and Dionza Bradford good enough to work around. Finding a steady quarterback is a must between Sean Reilly and Caleb Herring, but the nation's 118th-ranked passing game will struggle even more with Michael Johnson and Phillip Payne done. Six starters are gone from a defense that finished 118th in points allowed. 

5. Colorado State | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... 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.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain has to jump-start an offense that finished 101st in the nation in scoring, but his bigger issue is a miserable defense. Getting more out of the defensive line is a must with three starters back and six starters returning to the back seven. Can QB Pete Thomas take another step forward under McElwain? His top receivers are back and Chris Nwoke is a good back to hand off to. However, three starters are gone up front. 

6. Wyoming | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... 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.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: After the shocker of a 2011 season, the pressure will be on to do even more. Everything will start with QB Brett Smith, and while Alvester Alexander took off early to the NFL, the running game should be terrific. Both starting tackles are gone as is top receiver Mazi Ogbonna. The defense was one of the worst in America against the run, and now both starting ends are gone along with top linebacker Brian Hendricks. Three starters return in the secondary. 

7. New Mexico | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... 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.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Bob Davie has a ton of work to do trying to erase the disaster that was the Mike Locksley experience. Any improvement has to start with the lines that get three starters back on the offensive side and has some rebuilding to do on the defensive front. Tackling-machine linebacker Carmen Messina is gone as are both corners. QB B.R. Holbrook has to establish himself as the leader from the start, and he has decent receivers to work with including TE Lucas Reed. The rushing combination of Demarcus Rogers and Crusoe Gongbay will be featured from the start.

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. 

8. Hawaii | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... 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.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: New head coach Norm Chow should make Hawaii into Hawaii again offensively once he chooses a quarterback. David Graves is the front-runner, and he'll have some nice pieces to work with led by powerful running back Joey Iosefa and Jeremiah Ostrowski and Billy Ray Stutzmann to throw to. Three blockers are gone off the line including both starters on the left side. The defense wasn't exactly a rock, and now it has to replace three starters on the line and loses linebackers Aaron Brown and Corey Paredes. 

9. Nevada | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class
The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... 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.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: It might not be a return to 2010, but the Wolf Pack should be decent after moving to the Mountain West. Three starters are back up front, but receivers Rishard Matthews and Tray Session are gone. QB Cody Fajardo is an emerging star with his excellent running ability, and he needs help from emerging back Stephfon Jefferson to take the heat off. The defense came up with one of its best years under Hall of Fame head coach Chris Ault, but key replacements are needed on the line and five of the front seven are gone. The secondary is full of three seniors after finishing first in the WAC in pass efficiency defense. 

10. Fresno State | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... 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.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: New head coach Tim DeRuyter will try to put the bark back in a defense that fell off the map last year. Losing tackle Logan Harrell won't help the cause, but eight starters are back including leading tackler Travis Brown. The offense will work around underappreciated running back Robbie Rouse, who should be a threat to put up huge numbers behind a decent-looking line with three starters back. QB Derek Carr needs to come into his own even though leading receiver Devon Wylie is gone.