Recruiting 2013 - Sun Belt Needs & Concerns
Posted Feb 6, 2013

What does each Sun Belt team need and what are the concerns?

Recruiting 2013 

Sun Belt Recruiting Rankings

CFN Top Prospects for 2013
- 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 

Arkansas State | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The Red Wolves first and foremost have to hope that Bryan Harsin can be the next great head coach after Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn were so successful. More than anything else, his team has to be far, far better on special teams. The placekicking was fine, but the punting game was the worst in the nation and the return game was miserable. Offensively, replacing Ryan Aplin will be a chore, and it won't be a plus to not have receivers Taylor Stockemer and Josh Jarboe to help out the new starter. The defense has to generate more of a pass rush.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive backs. It's not a star-studded class, but it's not too bad considering the coaching change. JUCO transfer Chandler Rogers will boost the quarterback depth, while defensive tackle Logan Carl was a great get who'll eventually anchor the line. Eventually, receiver Dijon Paschal will be a No. 1 target. Safety Jeremy Fulcher and corner Mark Johnson lead a deep group of defensive back options to build around for the next few seasons.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 80. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. Last year's class focused mostly on the offensive backfield, and the transfer of Auburn's Michael Dyer will eventually give new head coach Gus Malzahn a star to work around, but this year's class is about to be loaded with running backs. Quarterback is the concern going into 2013, and this year's class will bring options. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 96. That Class Was Heavy On ... The offensive backfield. The defensive front got the most help last year and the receiving corps of 2009 should come into its own this year, and now the skill players are in place for the backfield of the near future. Speedy RB Artez Brown is the gem of the class, but Quintin Sparkmon has nice potential. Quarterbacks Darion Griswold and J.D. McKissic are totally different prospects. The 6-5, 240-pound Griswold is the passer, the 5-8, 170-pound McKissic is the runner.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 106. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. While the offense got a lot of help, especially at running back with the instant help from JUCO transfer Dwayne Frampton and his sub-4.4 speed, but the defense will get the most immediate upgrade with two fantastic linebacker prospects in Quashaun Lee and JUCO transfer Michael Lombardo and four strong defensive linemen. JUCO transfers Blake Chavis and Brandon Joiner each likely to start or at least be major factors in the end rotation.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 116. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. QB Phillip Butterfield is the star of the show here, and he’ll have plenty of targets to work with including Carlos McCants, a smallish, quick receiver who should be a number one target at some point. JUCO transfer Lucious Henderson is for right now. The defense was almost completely ignored.  

Georgia State | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The team needs help everywhere after coming up with just one win, and it has to start by not turning the ball over on a regular basis. The O gave it up 35 times in just 11 games with interceptions a major problem. the running game failed to do much of anything on a consistent basis, hitting the 100 yard mark just three times. The defense that got gouged against the run has to be far stronger in the front seven.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The Panthers need to boost up the talent level almost everywhere, and it's going to start on the defensive line with JUCO transfer George Rogers out of Miami and end Mackendry Cheridor two nice pieces to work around for the next few seasons. Linebacker Kight Dallas will one day be the team's leading tackler, while Kingsley Ejike is a nice athlete for somewhere in the corps. The offense is going the JUCO route for backfield depth getting quarterback Clay Chastain and running back Gerald Howse, but receiver Calvain Holmes might be the team's best pickup for the O.

Louisiana-Lafayette | The 2013 Recruiting Class  

Team Concerns For 2013: The secondary that was occasionally disastrous, giving up a Sun Belt worst 283 yards per game, has to replace three starters including both corners. The pass rush was solid, but ends Cordian Hagans and Emeka Onyenekwu are gone. The kickoff return game has to be far more effective after averaging just 18.29 yards per try, while the punt returners weren't exactly explosive averaging a mere 6.35 yards per attempt. .

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive backs. This is a potentially excellent Sun Belt class if defensive end Courtney Miggins and linebackers James Clark and George Williams pan out, but right away, everything depends on the JUCO transfers. Corners Cedric Tillman and and Corey Trim were signed on to instantly fill major voids in the secondary, and offensive tackle Johnny Kight has to be penciled in right away at one spot. The kicking game got two excellent signings in punter Daniel Cadona from Australia and JUCO transfer kicker Stephen Brauchle.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 101. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receiver. The offensive line got a slew of prospects last year, but head coach Mark Hudspeth is still going after more options, especially for the inside. The receiving corps is fine for next season, but it needs more options to battle it out for starting jobs in 2013 and beyond. This haul won't have any one star target who's an obvious No. 1, but it'll be a strength in numbers class. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 95. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. New head man Mark Hudspeth loaded up with lots and lots of bodies. RB Montrel Carter is the team’s best recruit, while Alonzo Harris is one of the nation’s top fullback prospects. There aren’t many stars for the offensive front, but JUCO transfer Brandon Bender should be part of the mix right away and guard prospect Jaylen Hunter and tackle Frederick Moore have decent potential. The secondary got plenty of help at corner, especially with speedster Dexter Aucoin.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 103. That Class Was Heavy On ... Bodies. Lots of bodies. A class of 24 players might might not seem like that much, but the coaching staff brought in a lot of key prospects for a lot of positions, most notably at running back where Aaron Spikes should be the new Ragin' Cajun rushing star. The secondary got the most attention with four decent safeties and two speedy corners, while the star of the class should be JUCO LB Bernard Smith, who could be the team's leading tackler this year.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 119. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive line. The receiving corps is also a strength, but the stars are on the defensive front with two JUCO transfers, Tyrell Gaddies for the middle and Jordan Topp for inside or out. Two of the team’s best recruits are for the future with Brandon McCray a top tackle and Justin Anderson an interesting tweener who could end up at linebacker or in a hybrid role.
South Alabama | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The running game has to be far more effective after dying down the stretch - 18 yards against Hawaii is inexcusable - and coming up with just four rushing scores over the final six games. Turnovers were a huge problem with 33 giveaways that destroyed offensive momentum time and again, but the defense didn't exactly bail the O out of too many jams. The pass rush went bye-bye outside of the six sacks generated against Nicholls State.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Skill players. Joey Jones and his staff didn't ignore the defense, coming up with linebacker Jalen Wells and JUCO transfer Desmond Lavelle for the middle, but the stars on on offense. Noah Armstrong will one day be the team's top offensive tackle, while Kaleb Blanchard might be too good to keep out of the running back mix right away. It's a deep stable of receivers led by Dejon Funderburk and JUCO transfer ShaVarez Smith, while quarterback Brett Sheehan was a great get with tremendous upside.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 113. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive line. The Jaguars are going to have to build from the inside out with the line depth gone thanks to graduation. This year's class will go big on guard and center, while the secondary will get some instant help from the JUCO ranks. Corner options are going to be a must, and this class should bring them. 

Texas State | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The Bobcats had their moments on both sides of the ball, but this year the pass defense has to be night-and-day stronger. Most current Sun Belt teams can't bomb away, but after allowing 200 yards or more in every game but two - and those two coming against Navy and New Mexico teams that never threw - there's work to do in the secondary. It would help to come up with a pass rush after failing to come up with one in eight of the 12 games. The offense has to find something that works on a regular basis and stick with it.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... JUCO defensive backs. The team went big on JUCO talents all across the board with tight ends Tristan Henderson, Kris Petersen and Lawrence White to go along with guard Brandon Sarabia and running back C.J. Best; all should see work right away. Prep running back Jamel James is the star of the class, and quarterback Tyler Jones was a good get, but overall, it's about JUCO, JUCO, JUCO. The secondary signed immediate depth help with Donta Clanton and Trey Garrett out of California, and Demetrius Woodard from Blinn JC.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 119. That Class Was Heavy On ... Head coach Dennis Franchione has to go heavy to upgrade an offensive line that loses three starters and needs more quality depth. The defensive line also needs help with the depth on the ends lacking. For now, simply coming up with more FBS bodies is the main job, and the opportunities will be there for young players to be in the hunt for playing time.

Team Concerns For 2012: Besides the offensive line, the Bobcats have to come up with more options for a linebacking corps that wasn't all that great last year and now has to replace Josh Minde on the strongside and Bryan Iwuji in the middle. The biggest issue, though, is the left side of the O line with tackle Michael Chambers and guard Jon Vernon gone. 

Troy | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The Trojans have to be better on defense - but you've heard that before. The program has had way too many problems on a regular basis when it had to come up with a key defensive stop. There's no pass rush, finishing last in the league in tackles for loss and 113th in the country in sacks, and the pass defense hasn't helped the cause. Turnover margin was a huge issue last year, finishing last in the Sun Belt hurt mostly by coming up with just six interceptions.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Running back. After rocking with the Sun Belt's best recruiting classes over the last few years, there weren't too many openings. Guard Taylor Edwards was a good get, and some decent defensive backs were signed, but the best players are for the offensive backfield with the signing of Tim Longmire out of Tallahassee and fullback Josh Anderson, who could've gone to a much bigger school.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 102. That Class Was Heavy On ... The Trojans came up with the Sun Belt's best recruiting class last season and is scheduled to bring in another whopper. The defensive line has been worked on over the few seasons, and now it should be about the skill spots with several running back prospects ready to come in to beef things up after all the top running options are scheduled to be gone after next year.

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 83. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive ends. Enough of that … Larry Blakeney and the coaching staff appear to be sick of having a poor defense. Last year’s class was the best in the Sun Belt by far, and this year’s class could be even better, at least on the defensive front. With fantastic gets in JUCO transfer Tony Gillsepie, a 6-2, 315-pounder who’ll be planted in the middle of the line right away, and speed-rushing JUCO end Marty Stadom for the outside. JUCO transfer safety Brynden Trawick is a 6-2, 210-pound hitter who’ll be the immediate Sherriff of the secondary. 6-7, 200-pound Dallas Tidwell will be an interesting quarterback to develop for well down the road.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 79. That Class Was Heavy On ... Greg Jenkins to Brett Moncrief. The Trojans are now known for their high-powered offense and huge passing numbers, and they got a couple of stars to keep the production rolling. Greg Jenkins is an athletic JUCO transfer with the ability to step in and take over Levi Brown's old starting spot right away. Adding to the receiver talent is Brett Moncrief, a 6-3, 205-pound JUCO transfer who looks the NFL part. He could've gone to Ole Miss or Mississippi State, but chose Troy. On defense, the recent struggles in the secondary were addressed with seven corners signed including Dionte Ponder, a ready-made playmaker with big-time upside.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 85. That Class Was Heavy On ... Ready made defensive linemen. The Trojans had the Sun Belt’s best offensive line last year by far, but three starters are gone. While there’s depth and potential with the returning players, this class made sure the front five is loaded with four JUCO transfers, led by tackle Tyler Graves. The defensive side got some fantastic tackle prospects with JUCO transfer Riley Flowers good enough to play just about anywhere.

ULM | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The secondary was a disaster, and it wasn't just because teams had to bomb away to try keeping up the pace. The offensive line could stand to be tougher and more consistent, and it would be nice to get more from the running backs so Kolton Browning doesn't have to carry all of the workload. The pass rush needs to generate more big plays, but it was a young front three that should mature into something special over the next few years. Offensively, finding a No. 1 target to replace Brent Leonard will be a focus in spring ball.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. Quarterback Bivins Caraway is a smallish baller who could fit the Kolton Browning mode, and tight end Everett Anderson was a good signing for an offense that could use as many targets as possible for down the road, but the offensive line got the biggest boost with tackle Chase Regian the best option in the class and guards Trey Martin and Matt Oubre good interior blockers who could be big factors with a few years in the weight room. Defensive tackle David Elias will someday be a factor as an interior pass rusher.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 110. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive back. The Warhawks will be going after a huge class with a little something for everyone, but the secondary will get the most attention with a slew of safeties coming in for the 3-3-5 alignment. There's no need to go after anyone for the offensive backfield with the shelves stocked for a few years, but a few receivers will come in to provide more options for Todd Berry's four and five-wide sets.

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 119. That Class Was Heavy On ... The passing game. Head coach Todd Berry didn’t need to do much at receiver last year after the previous regime loaded up in 2009, but he went long this year with several solid targets. Earnest Carrington is a tall, promising quarterback, but he could be pushed in a few years by Brayle Brown, a mobile passer with a little bit of upside.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 111. That Class Was Heavy On ... Linemen. The biggest instant impact should be in the secondary with JUCO transfers Montavious Hill and Dan Jackson brought in to be in the starting mix right away, but the Warhawks loaded up on the lines. Six defensive ends, two centers, two guards, and four offensive tackles make it a strength-in-numbers class, but OT Jon Fisher is a good one who should be the star of the bunch.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 80. That Class Was Heavy On ... Wide receivers. This is a huge class with the major emphasis on the offense, and most specifically, the receivers. With seven prospects coming in over various shapes and sizes. JUCO transfer Cordario Calvin will be expected to play right away, but Tristan Warren might be the best of the lot, and Otis Peterson and Tavarese Maye will battle it out for who’ll be the fastest.

Western Kentucky | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: Bobby Petrino has a nice base of players to work with. First, he needs to improve the passing game that was efficient, but didn't crank out a ton of yards averaging a mere 205 per game. Without quarterback Kawaun Jakes, 6-7 James Mauro will get the first shot to run the attack. The O line could be a little better in pass protection, and losing two starters on the right side won't help. The defense is loaded in the back seven with linebacker Andrew Jackson returning, but three starters are gone up front including starting tackles Jamarcus Allen and Rammell Lewis.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Receivers. This is a massive class with a boatload of pickups for several areas. The defensive line is LOADED with fresh bodies including JUCO transfer defensive tackle Maurice Bennett and 290-pound prepster Joe Fennell to make an instant impact for a front four that needs help. But this is a Bobby Petrino offense, and he's going to want receivers. Aaron Jackson and Cam Lewis are huge targets with great upside, and Jalen Edwards is a speedster who could be used in a variety of ways. Quarterback Todd Porter was an interesting recruit to develop, but will he still have Petrino around three years from now?

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 121. That Class Was Heavy On ... Head coach Willie Taggert is paving the road for down the road with the lines. The offensive line is about to get an important infusion to build for 2014 and beyond. The line might not be a need right now, but it's going to get the most key players with some huge, HUGE bodies ready to blast away for the interior.

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 86. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. Quality, not quantity. The Hilltoppers didn’t get many defensive backs, but they got some strong players to lock down the secondary right away. Champ Lewis is a tall, talented safety who blew off Maryland, South Florida, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and other mid-level BCS programs, and made Iowa State mad. Corner Eric Robinson-Berry committed to Louisville, ending others from going after him, and then decommitted to go to WKU. Quartterrio Morgan isn’t another Bobby Rainey, but he’s a quick, talented back for head coach Willie Taggart to make into a star.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 118. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. There are so many players brought in last season that there wasn't a ton of room for too many new players, but new head coach Willie Taggart wanted to upgrade the offense as soon as possible and he was able to sign JUCO bomber Matthias Pelesasa and all-around playmaker Brandon Doughty to give the team more options. WR Joel German could be a No. 1 target right away.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 84. That Class Was Heavy On ... Bulk. There’s a little of something for every spot with no one spot getting the complete and total focus. The team was awful last season with a tough mix of seniors and unproven young players, and this class is built to be a foundation for the next several years. The skill position players are the stars of the show with QB Courtney Dalcourt, RB Keshawn Simpson, and WR Jamarielle Brown all going to be fixtures by 2012.