3 Recruiting Q&As: Oregon, Texas St, WVU

Posted Jan 21, 2014

3 Recruiting Q&As with Scout's Oregon, Texas State, West Virginia publishers

3 Recruiting Questions With Scout Publishers
- Auburn, Illinois, Hawaii | Alabama, Duke, Idaho
- Florida, Boise State, Arkansas, Ball State, Georgia Tech
- Arizona State, Fresno State, Georgia, Northwestern
- East Carolina, Kansas, Miami Univ. | BYU, Purdue, Nevada
- LSU, Rutgers, Southern Miss | Oregon, Texas St, West Virginia
- Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State

For more, go to eDuck.com

1) How has recruiting been different under Mark Helfrich than Chip Kelly?

Steve Summers, eDuck.com - Recruiting really hasn't changed much since Chip Kelly left for the NFL. Mark Helfrich said that some internal policies have changed in terms of assignments however, for the casual observer, it would be hard to determine what those changes have been. Helfrich's priority in recruiting is identical to Kelly's – to recruit the best candidate for Oregon. That means a good football player as well as one who is a good student and good citizen. Oregon's goal is to continue to be able to enroll all potential student-athletes that sign National Letters of Intent by summer term.

2) Has anything changed or is anything being adjusted in recruiting to combat the more physical – Stanford - teams?

I don't think Oregon recruits players to combat any other program, including Stanford. The Ducks focus in on winning the national championship, and while Stanford is a team the Ducks play every year, there is no more emphasis on Stanford than there would be on California, Washington, Washington State or Oregon State.

3) What's the No. 1 need the program needs to address with this recruiting class?

The No. 1 priority need with this class is likely the defensive line after graduating four seniors from the 2013 squad. Oregon is also seeking at least a few offensive linemen due to some attrition. Two early enrollees are already in school, one junior college transfer - cornerback Dominque Harrison - and one high school player - wide receiver Jalen Brown. Two other early signees, DL Tui Talia and OL Haniteli Lousi will enroll for spring term and be available for spring workouts. Perhaps the biggest addition for next season was that Marcus Mariota opted to stay in school rather than pursue the NFL draft.

Texas State
For more, go to BobcatIllustrated.com

1) Now that the program is more established and settled, what is Dennis Franchione doing on the recruiting trail compared to a few years ago?

He's really hitting the recruiting trail in-state and expanding it out of state. The staff has set up satellite camps around the state and multiple camps on campus to spread the brand of Bobcat football. For this class already, Coach Fran has five out-of-state commitments - that's unheard of for TXST football. There could be more on the way too. As for JUCO talent, the staff is really hitting the state of California and trying to make inroads. They've landed one Cali JUCO commit and could land 2-to-4 more.

2) What's the main pitch? What type of recruits are looking at TXST?

The main pitch is that Texas State is a program on the rise. It's an FBS program now and into the Sun Belt with teams like Troy, Arkansas State, and Louisiana Lafayette. Also, the newly renovated 30k on campus Bobcat Stadium and weight room is a really nice facility that gets the attention of recruits.

The recruits eyeing TXST are kind of the mid-level mid major talents. Those 2-3 star type kids who are passed over by the bigger schools.

3) What's the No. 1 need the program needs to address with this recruiting class?

It's a tie between the D-line and the QB position. The D-line lost 5 seniors - the entire starting front four - to graduation. Currently as of 1/19/14 the Bobcats have three D-line commits, but will be hosting another 4-to-5 between now and NSD.

At QB they have their starter in true sophomore to be Tyler Jones, but 3 scholarship QB's are gone, leaving only 1 other scholarship QB on the roster. So for the 2014 class Coach Fran went out and has gotten the commitments of three QB's for this class, with two spring enrollees – Patrick Reed and Randy Price -already on campus ready to compete for depth chart positioning come spring ball.

West Virginia
For more, go to BlueGoldNews.com

1) Are there more Geno Smiths, Tavon Austins and Stedman Baileys on the horizon, or is the bloom off the Dana Holgorsen rose?

Kevin Kinder, BlueGoldNews.com - There are some potential stars at receiver and running back on the WVU roster and recruiting lists, but the Mountaineers are definitely struggling at quarterback. The departure of Ford Childress and Clint Trickett's recent shoulder surgery leaves the spring depth chart as deep as your kid's plastic wading pool. Holgorsen did bring in an under-the-radar JUCO prospect for the spring in the form of Skyler Howard, and has freshman William Crest arriving in the fall, but questions remain about the ability to recruit highly-regarded QBs. To be fair, though, most of Holgorsen's star performers at previous stops weren't five-star prospects, either. Overall, Holgorsen's seat is definitely hot. Athletic Director Oliver Luck issued a "state of the program" address at the conclusion of last year that made it clear the time to produce is now. Another losing season could signal the end of the Holgorsen era.

2) Has the recruiting pitch been tougher now as opposed to a few years ago?

WVU will always have to overcome some negative perceptions in the recruiting game, but results this year have been strong. If the Mountaineers can close out with a couple of highly-rated players that they look to be in good shape with, this class will likely be the best in several years. It's important to note that this is not a quantum leap forward - West Virginia's group isn't going to be on anyone's Top 10 list this year. But the class does fill a lot of needs, and overall the quality of talent looks better. Looking forward, WVU has the makings of an outstanding 2015 class, with five commitments already, including three Scout.com four-star players. Whether it's tougher to sell players now on coming to WVU or not, it looks like West Virginia's revamped staff, which includes talented recruiters such as JaJuan Seider, Tony Gibson, Lonnie Galloway and newly-added Damon Cogdell, is paying dividends.

3) What's the No. 1 need the program needs to address with this recruiting class?

West Virginia needs a lot, which is a given coming off 7-6 and 4-8 records. It has addressed most of them with commitments from six offensive linemen and three cornerbacks to help build those positions. It needs a running back, and is the favorite for Donte Thomas-Williams, but it is still a bit short, at least in bodies, on the defensive line and quarterback. More pass rushers are being pursued, but at this point quarterback is the position that draws the most attention, and it doesn't look as if there are any others on the horizon in this class.