Recruiting 2013 - Sun Belt Rankings

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 7, 2013


Ranking and analyzing the 2013 Sun Belt Recruiting Classes

Recruiting 2013 

Sun Belt Rankings

- Recruiting 2013 
 
CFN 2013 Conference Recruiting Rankings 
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LAST YEAR CFN 2012 Recruiting Rankings & All-Star Teams
- ACC Atlantic | Coastal | Big East | Big 12 | Big Ten Leaders | Legends
- C-USA East | C-USA West | Ind. | MAC East | MAC West | M-West
- Pac-12 North | Pac-12 South | SEC East | SEC West | Sun Belt | WAC 
  
1. 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.

2. 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 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.

3. 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?

4. 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.

5. 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.


6. 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.

7. 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.

8. ULM | 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.