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2014 Syracuse Recruiting Class Analysis

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 6, 2014


2014 Syracuse Orange ... Head Coach: Scott Shafer


Syracuse Orange

2013 Record: 7-6
8/31 Penn State (in NJ) L 23-17
9/7 at Northwestern L 48-27
9/14 Wagner W 54-0
9/21 Tulane W 52-17
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/5 Clemson L 49-14
10/12 at NC State W 24-10
10/19 at Georgia Tech L 56-0
10/26 OPEN DATE
11/2 Wake Forest W 13-0
11/9 at Maryland W 20-3
11/16 at Florida St L 59-3
11/23 Pitt L 17-16
11/30 Boston College W 34-31
Texas Bowl
12/27 Syracuse L 21-17


Syracuse | The 2014 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2014: Becoming a more dangerous passing team. Although young QB Terrel Hunt showed flashes of potential once he took over the job, the Orange still finished 2013 with four more picks than touchdown passes. Now that backs Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley have graduated, the offense may not be able to count on the ground game as much as it did the past two seasons. If the program is going to take another step forward in the ACC, it’ll have to attack defenses with more balance and unpredictability than it did in 2013.

The 2014 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive back. Safeties Treevon Prater and Rodney Williams are rangy hitters, and corners Lamar Dawson and Cordell Hudson are going to be a part of the puzzle. The linebacking corps is okay, and the defensive line ahs options with Chris Slayton a good one for the end. Massive OT Denzel Ward has a world of upside, while receivers K.J. Williams and Steve Ishmael are talented. Quarterbacks Alin Edward and A.J. Long are quick athletes to develop.

2013 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 73. That Class Was Heavy On ... Instant defensive linemen. It was expected to be a rocky class with the coaching change with Scott Shafer doing everything he can keep the commitments. The passing game has some options for the future with midrange quarterback prospects Austin Wilson and Mitch Kimble along with receivers Corey Cooper and Corey Winfield, but for now, the team needs factors on defense and it got them from the JUCO ranks. Linebackers Josh Kirkland and Luke Arciniega could provide a little bit of depth, but safety Darius Kelly and defensive linemen Wayne Williams and Trevon Trejo are each expected to come in and produce immediately. The 335-pound Williams could be an anchor on the inside.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 62. That Class Was Heavy On ... The defensive line needs prospects. The Orange have tried everything possible over the last few classes to get more talent for the offense, and now is when it all has to kick in with an upgrade of talent ready to sweep in. Three starters are gone off the defensive front along with most of the top backups, so any lineman who comes in must be prepared to shine immediately. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 55. That Class Was Heavy On ... More offense, more offense, more offense. The 2010 class was loaded up with prospects for the offensive side of the ball, and head coach Doug Marrone kept the fun going with a heavy class of offensive prospects to move around where needed. The quarterback fight should be an interesting one with Aston Broyld and Terrel Hunt to dangerous playmakers, while running backs Tyree Smallwood and Adonis Ameen-Moore are shifty, multi-talented backs with good size. Marrone also added six receivers led by Brandon Reddish out of Brooklyn.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 69. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offense, offense, offense. After loading up with a ton of defensive back prospects last year, this year's massive class brings in players to salvage something out of Doug Marrone's offense. 17 offensive players were brought in headlined by quarterbacks John Kinder and Jonny Miller and six running backs. The D wasn't ignored with linebackers Malcolm Carter and Myles Davis good enough to see time early.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 92. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. Understanding the need to address a secondary that was last in the Big East in pass efficiency defense, the staff loaded up on defensive backs. In fact, almost half of the entire class was either a safety or a cornerback. The best of the lot are corners Torian Phillips, Phillip Thomas, and Dale Peterman, who’ll all have a shot for immediate playing time.

Wake Forest | The 2014 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2014: The offense. Dave Clawson was hired to be the head coach for a number of reasons, with his prowess as an innovator at the very top of the list. The Demon Deacons might need a miracle worker after averaging 4.3 yards per play and 18.3 points per game in 2013. Competition is going to be intense at every spot on the offensive depth chart, especially since long-time starting QB Tanner Price and star WR Michael Campanaro no longer have any eligibility left in Winston-Salem.

The 2014 Class Is Heavy On ... Quarterback. New head coach Dave Clawson didn’t have any time to work, but he was still able to keep Travis Smith and John Walford, two talented quarterback options to develop over the next few years. Running back Isaiah Robinson and receivers Kameron Uter and Jayland Barbour should eventually add more pop to the offense. The defense got bodies, but there aren’t any major stars with defensive end Rashawn Shaw and tackle Willie Yarbary the best of the bunch.

2013 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 58. That Class Was Heavy On ... Outside linebacker. This is a massive class with a little bit for everyone. The line got a future starting tackle in Taylor Chambers, while Josh Harris could be better, and center Cory Helms will someday be the quarterback up front. The bulk is on defense with several outside linebacker prospects led by Wendell Dunn and Lance Virgile, who'll bring speed along with the size to add several pounds of good weight, while Ford Howell and Ali Lamot are going to be factors. Brad Watson will be a starting corner sooner than later.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 69. That Class Was Heavy On ... The passing game. Wake Forest is hardly known for its air attack, bit it has to have the pieces in place for 2014 with Tanner Price and Ted Stachitas done in a few years. The receiving corps lost talented Chris Givens a year early to the NFL, and this year’s class could produce a prospect or two to make an early impact. More than anything else, head coach Jim Grobe wants to go after as many good players as possible regardless of position.  

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 75. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. This is a smallish class after coming up with a little bit of everything last year, and while head coach Jim Grobe got a few good players like quarterback Kevin Sousa and receiver Airyn Willis, the key are the three offensive linemen brought in to build the foundation to finally get the offense moving again. Hunter Goodwin is a tall, athletic tackle, while Cody Preble and Dylan Intemann were brought in for the interior. Andre Wiggins will eventually be a star somewhere in the defensive back seven.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 53. That Class Was Heavy On ... Variety. Jim Grobe got a little of everything across the board with Tanner Price the passer to take over the offense in the near future, while Nick Knott and Joseph Byrd are quick backs who fit the system. Antonio Ford and Daniel Blitch are promising offensive linemen for the interior, while Duke Mosby has anchor potential on the defensive front. Only six defensive recruits were signed on, but four of them are for the secondary with Merril Noel a good corner who would've been rated higher if he was a wee bit taller than the generously listed 5-8.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 59. That Class Was Heavy On ... linebackers. Now that Aaron Curry and Stanley Arnoux have exhausted their eligibility, it’s time for the Deacons to replenish at linebacker. While this year’s four recruits aren’t very big, they can all fly to the ball, which is exactly the way Wake likes its defenders. The prototype is Justin Jackson, a 6-1, 203-pounder with 4.5 speed and a better vertical leap than most of the ACC’s receivers.

Texas Bowl
Syracuse 21, Minnesota 17
Basically … Terrel Hunt escaped the pass rush and ran for a 12-yard score with just over a minute to play to give Syracuse a four point lead, but the D had to hang on for dear life with a late Minnesota deep pass into the end zone going through Drew Wolitarsky’s hands. The final heave was batted away, and the Orange came away with the tough win. Hunt and Jerome Smith ran for short scores to give Syracuse a 14-3 lead in the third quarter, but the Gophers came back through the air with Maxx Williams catching a 20-yard touchdown pass and Wolitarsky hitting the home run on a 55-yard pass play for a 17-14 lead but a special teams breakdown led to SU’s final score. Brisly Estime took a punt 70 yards down to the Minnesota 14, and Hunt took care of the rest.

- Syracuse QB Terrel Hunt completed 19-of-29 passes for 188 yards and ran 15 times for 74 yards and two scores.
- Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner completed 11-of-22 passes for 205 yards and two scores and ran 13 times for 24 yards. Philip Nelson completed 2-of-7 passes for 18 yards, and ran twice for 14 yards.
- Minnesota RB Daniel Cobb ran 18 times for 91 yards.
- Syracuse PR Brisly Estime returned two punts for 82 yards with a gamechanging 70-yarder, and returned three kickoffs for 56 yards. - Syracuse LB Cameron Lynch made eight tackles with a sack, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
- Minnesota DB Cedric Thompson made 14 tackles with a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery.

at Syracuse 34, Boston College 31
Basically … Syracuse got an eight-yard Josh Parris touchdown catch with six seconds remaining to finally pull ahead for good in a seesaw game. BC started out the scoring with a 26-yard Andre Williams touchdown run, but the Orange scored the next 21 points on short touchdown runs from Josh Parris, George Morris and Terrel Hunt after the D came up with a few key stops. BC swung back with Chase Rettig threw two nine-yard touchdown passes and ran for a score, but after the two teams traded field goals, Hunt went to work on the game-winning drive in the final two minutes.
- Boston College RB Andre Williams ran nine times for 29 yards
- Syracuse QB Terrel Hunt completed 29-of-43 passes for 270 yards and two scores with a pick, and he led the team with 90 yards and a score on 17 carries.
- Syracuse converted 12-of-18 third down chances, BC converted 3-of-10
- Boston College QB Chase Rettig completed 11-of-19 passes for 168 yards and two scores with a pick

at Florida State 59, Syracuse 3
Basically … If Jameis Winston and Florida State were distracted, they didn’t show it. Winston threw two touchdown passes in a nearly-perfect performance, Levonte Whitfield ran for a 74-yard score and James Wilder Jr. ran for touchdowns from three and 37 yards away in the blowout. The defense did its part, holding Syracuse to 247 yards of total offense and getting a 31-yard fumble return for a score from Chris Casher. Syracuse’s only points came on a fourth quarter 32-yard field goal from Ryan Norton.
- Winston completed 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns.
- Syracuse had the ball for 41:42 to Florida State’s 18:18.
- The Seminoles had just four third down chances, and converted one of them.
- Florida State averaged 11.8 yards per carry and 11.5 yards per pass.

Pitt 17, at Syracuse 16
Basically … Pitt hung on with a well-timed timeout sniffing out a fake in the final minute as Syracuse lined up for a 53-yard field goal attempt. The Orange tried for the fourth down play instead and failed to give the Panthers the win. Pitt got a seven-yard Manasseh Garner touchdown catch in the second and a five-yard Isaac Bennett touchdown run in the third. Syracuse started out the scoring on a 36-yard Jerome Smith touchdown run, but Pitt’s Aaron Donald blocked the extra point – it would matter – and scored in the third on a 42-yard Alvin Cornelius catch.
- Pitt QB Tom Savage completed 28-of-41 passes for 218 yards and a score with a pick.
- Syracuse LB Cameron Lynch made 11 tackles with two sacks and three tackles for loss. Durrell Eskridge made 12 tackles with a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
- Pitt DT Aaron Donald made nine tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries and a blocked extra point.
- Pitt finished with 21 rushing yards on 27 carries.

Syracuse 20, at Maryland 3
Basically … Jerome Smith ran for scores from one and 21 yards out and Ryan Norton hit two field goals as Syracuse rumbled past a mistake-prone Maryland. The Terps turned it over four times and only managed a 23-yard Brad Craddock field goal in the third quarter.
- Syracuse RB Jerome Smith ran 28 times for 118 yards and two scores.
- Maryland WR Amba Etta-Tawo caught six passes for 109 yards.
- Syracuse QB Terrel Hunt completed 15-of 24 passes for 140 yards with a pick, and he ran seven times for 67 yards.
- Syracuse committed 12 penalties for 115 yards, and Maryland committed two for ten yards. The Terps turned it over four times to Syracuse’s two.

at Syracuse 13, Wake Forest 0, Nov. 2
Basically … Terrel Hunt broke a scoreless tie midway through the third quarter with a six-yard touchdown run, which was all of the scoring that Syracuse needed to get back to .500. WR Jarrod West found WR Brisly Estime a few minutes later on a 25-yard scoring strike, putting the Orange out ahead 13-0 in a defensive struggle. Wake Forest was unable to overcome an injury to star WR Michael Campanaro, and failed to even reach the Syracuse red zone.
- Wake Forest converted just 4-of-18 third-down attempts.
- For Syracuse, the shutout was the school’s first in a league game since 1996.
- The two teams combined for 23 punts.
- Deacon LB Brandon Chubb collected a game-high 11 tackles to go along with a couple of pass breakups.

at Georgia Tech 56, Syracuse 0
Basically … Georgia Tech threw an interception on its first possession, and that was it for the mistakes as the ground game ripped off 394 yards and seven scores with Vad Lee scoring twice in the second quarter and Zach Laskey scoring from six and three yards out before closing out the day with a one-yard touchdown. Syracuse turned the ball over three times and managed just 208 yards of total offense.
- Not every day goes like this for Georgia Tech, but when it works, it’s a thing of beauty. The offense came up with an early turnover, and that was the only thing that went wrong with no more turnovers, no penalties and big run after big run. 14 different players ran the ball with the team averaging close to six yards per carry.
- Blow this off and move on. Sometimes the Georgia Tech offense is unstoppable, and Syracuse didn’t have any answers with the linebackers always a half-step behind and too many plays made down the field. The D couldn’t get off the field.
- The Orange couldn’t keep the chains moving and was out of its offensive rhythm from the start. The Terrel Hunt and Drew Allen each failed to do much for the passing game, combining to complete 13-of-29 passes for 65 yards and two picks. The inability to hit on third downs was a disaster – it gave Georgia Tech’s offense more chances to control the game.
- Vad Lee has been through his ups and downs, but he was on his game against the Orange, completing all three of his passes for 88 yards with a 46-yard touchdown to Darren Walker. He made every right decision, running for 75 yards and three scores on just 13 carries.

Syracuse 24, at NC State 10
Basically … Syracuse got past a banged up NC State with an 18-yard touchdown run from Prince-Tyson Gulley and an eight-yard score from Terrel Hunt in the final 6:13 for 14 unanswered points and the win. The Orange started out the scoring with a one-yard Jerome Smith scoring run, but the Wolfpack tied it at seven with a 21-yard touchdown catch from David J. Grinnage in the second quarter. State only managed a 27-yard Niklas Sade field goal in the second half.
- It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but the Orange got by with the running game to carry the way to the win. The O should’ve controlled the clock a bit better, but with Jerome Smith running for 140 yards and Prince-Tyson Gulley tearing off 132 yards on nine carries, it was more about the big play.
- Brandon Mitchell wasn’t ready to go at quarterback for NC State, even though he warmed up, but his injured foot kept him out. Pete Thomas completed 17-of-35 passes for 151 yards and score with a pick, but he got injured. There wasn’t any running game to pick up the slack. SU averaged 9.1 yards per carry to NC State’s 2.9 yards.
- After getting blown away by Clemson, Syracuse might not have been razor sharp, but it got a road win before having to go back on the road to face Georgia Tech. It’s going to be a fight to get three more wins to go bowling, especially with Florida State and a road game at Maryland to deal with, but if the running game works like it did against NC State, it should get the three wins.
- NC State is really hurting and it needs time to heal. With two weeks off, the Pack should look different and fresher, but it has to go to Florida State. There’s still time to go bowling with several winnable games left, but there can’t be any more big injuries and Mitchell has to be ready.

Clemson 49, at Syracuse 14
Basically … Clemson was explosive and effective as Tajh Boyd threw five touchdown passes including a 60-yarder to Adam Humphries on the opening drive and a 91-yarder to Sammy Watkins. Syracuse hit a home run of its own with a 66-yard Jerome Smith touchdown run, but Clemson stayed comfortably ahead, getting up 35-7 going into halftime on a 40-yard touchdown catch from Martavis Bryant.
- This was Clemson at its best. It was a potentially dangerous road game in a sometimes hostile environment, and Tajh Boyd – who hit 20-of-27 passes for 455 yards and five scores - all but put the game away in the first minute. Boyd got time and he bombed away for big scoring play after big scoring play. Forget about the brain cramp – the Tigers were focused.
- Syracuse couldn’t stop the Tiger receivers. The secondary kept getting caught, even though the defensive front generated pressure on Boyd. Jay Bromley and the front seven got behind the line, but it didn’t happen enough to stop the bombs.
- The Orange running game worked just fine, cranking up 323 yards helped by a few huge runs, but the offense needed the passing attack to fly to keep up the pace. Terrel Hunt completed just 8-of-24 passes for 52 yards and three scores, while Drew Allen completed 3-of-4 throws for 17 yards and an interception.
- There’s a reason Vic Beasley is rocketing up draft boards. The Clemson defensive end cranked out five tackles with two sacks. He’s unblockable.

at Syracusat Syracuse 52, Tulane 17
Basically … Terrel Hunt threw four touchdown passes including two to Clay Cleveland as Syracuse had no problems with the Green Wave. Tulane pulled within 11 in the first quarter on a 45-yard Rob Kelley run, but Hunt answered with a 16-yard scoring run to go along with two one-yard touchdowns from Prince Tyson-Gulley and Jerome Smith on the way to a 42-17 first half lead. The Orange scored the final 17 points of the game.
- Terrel Hunt looks like a keeper. He was cool and calm, completing 16-of-21 passes for 175 yards and four scores, and he took off and made things happen on the ground when needed. The offense played one of its sharpest games of the year.
- Tulane ran well, but it didn’t stick with it. The offense relied too much on Nick Montana and the passing attack, and while he was fine, the ground game was productive. The Green Wave ran 28 times, Syracuse 45.
- Orange LB Cameron Lynch led the team with nine tackles with a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss. The Syracuse defense came up with a nice performance, and Lynch was the one who seemed to stop things before they started.
- Tulane didn’t get any pressure on Hunt. The pass rush was non-existent, and the Orange skill players got to do whatever they wanted.

e 54, Wagner 0, Sept. 14

Basically … Syracuse did everything right with Terrell Hunt throwing three touchdown passes and Jerome Smith running for two short scores. The Orange gained 595 yards and had a 37-0 first half lead, but the points kept coming highlighted by a 65-yard Jarrod West touchdown catch.
- After the problems in the first two weeks against Penn State and Northwestern, Syracuse needed a breather. Terrell Hunt was razor sharp hitting 15-of-18 passes for 265 yards and three scores, but everyone got fat on the Wagner defense. Four Orange passers combined to complete 28-of-35 throws for 359 yards and four touchdowns.
- The defense did its part allowing just 34 passing yards and giving up five first downs. This was nothing more than a scrimmage for an Orange team that got to empty the bench and try out some things. It would’ve been nice to have this game in the opener as a tune-up, but with Tulane up next, now there’s a chance to come up with a nice little run before getting a week off to prepare for Clemson.

at Northwestern 48, Syracuse 27, Sept. 7
Basically … Northwestern scored the first 20 points of a game with Syracuse that was never competitive. The Orange drew to within 20-7 in the second quarter, but the Wildcats responded with two quick touchdowns just before halftime to ensure that the outcome would never be in doubt in the second half.
- Head coach Pat Fitzgerald continues to brilliantly juggle two quarterbacks, without incident. Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian combined to go 30-of-37 for 375 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. Colter added 87 yards and a score on the ground.
- New Syracuse coach Scott Shafer, though, has concerns with his quarterback situation. Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen regressed in Week 2, getting picked off four times.
- The Wildcats hung up 48 points on a decent Syracuse D ... without the services of All-Big Ten RB Venric Mark. When Mark returns to health, few defenses on the schedule are going to successfully stall this diverse Northwestern attack.
- The one knock on the Wildcats in Week 2? Defense. For Fitzgerald's liking, Northwestern gave up too many yards, while getting to Orange quarterbacks just one time.

Penn State 23, Syracuse 17, Aug. 31
Basically … Christian Hackenberg threw two interceptions, but he also had a strong debut throwing for 278 yards with two scores including a 51-yarder to Allen Robinson and a 54-yarder to Geno Lewis. Syracuse’s running game was held in check, but Jerome Smith managed touchdown runs from ten yards out in the third and one yard away in the fourth. Sam Ficken nailed three field goals for the Nittany Lions.
- This was hardly a thing of beauty in any way. Penn State turned it over four times and only converted one of 16 third down chances, but the defense held firm time and again and Hackenberg came up with a big win in his first start. He showed off the deep ball accuracy and the poise that made him one of the nation’s top recruits.
- The Syracuse passing game couldn’t find any consistency. Drew Allen completed 16-of-37 passes for 189 yards and two scores, and while he connected on a few big plays, he didn’t get the chains moving.
- Penn State DT Da’Quan Jones came up with a monstrous performance. He not only led the team with 8.5 tackles for loss, but he got into the backfield time and again and gummed up the works against a strong Syracuse ground attack.
- Jerome Smith ran for 73 yards and two scores for the Orange, and came up with a few nice runs, but there was rarely anywhere to go. P.T. Gulley ran for just 24 yards on 12 carries.

Spring Analysis

Why To Get Excited … for a change, the Orange will be carrying a head of steam into a new campaign. It won the final four games of 2012, highlighted by a 38-14 Pinstripe Bowl rout of former rival West Virginia. The one-two punch of Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley on the ground will provide ample cover for the new quarterback.

Why To Be Grouchy … the program will endure a lot of turnover this fall, both on the depth chart and on the sidelines. Its two primary leaders a year ago, head coach Doug Marrone and QB Ryan Nassib have moved on to the NFL. So, too, for that matter have all five of last season’s All-Big East performers.

The Number One Thing To Work On Is … developing a new quarterback between now and the opener with Penn State. Nassib was Syracuse’s best passer since Donovan McNabb was still an amateur. Of the cadre of unproven passers hoping to replace No. 12, none has ever started a game at this level or thrown a scoring strike for that matter.

Team Concerns For 2013: The Orange needs new head coach Scott Shafer to get more out of the special teams. Ross Krautman wasn't awful hitting 15-of-23 field goals, but the return game went nowhere and the punting game was among the worst in the nation with Jonathan Fisher averaging just 38.4 yards per kick. The secondary loses strong safety Shamarko Thomas and corner Ri'Shard Anderson from a group that gave up way too many long passes. Replacing quarterback Ryan Nassib will be the offseason concern, but replacing left tackle Justin Pugh will be almost as big a problem.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Instant defensive linemen. It was expected to be a rocky class with the coaching change with Scott Shafer doing everything he can keep the commitments. The passing game has some options for the future with midrange quarterback prospects Austin Wilson and Mitch Kimble along with receivers Corey Cooper and Corey Winfield, but for now, the team needs factors on defense and it got them from the JUCO ranks. Linebackers Josh Kirkland and Luke Arciniega could provide a little bit of depth, but safety Darius Kelly and defensive linemen Wayne Williams and Trevon Trejo are each expected to come in and produce immediately. The 335-pound Williams could be an anchor on the inside.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 62. That Class Was Heavy On ... The defensive line needs prospects. The Orange have tried everything possible over the last few classes to get more talent for the offense, and now is when it all has to kick in with an upgrade of talent ready to sweep in. Three starters are gone off the defensive front along with most of the top backups, so any lineman who comes in must be prepared to shine immediately. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 55. That Class Was Heavy On ... More offense, more offense, more offense. The 2010 class was loaded up with prospects for the offensive side of the ball, and head coach Doug Marrone kept the fun going with a heavy class of offensive prospects to move around where needed. The quarterback fight should be an interesting one with Aston Broyld and Terrel Hunt to dangerous playmakers, while running backs Tyree Smallwood and Adonis Ameen-Moore are shifty, multi-talented backs with good size. Marrone also added six receivers led by Brandon Reddish out of Brooklyn.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 69. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offense, offense, offense. After loading up with a ton of defensive back prospects last year, this year's massive class brings in players to salvage something out of Doug Marrone's offense. 17 offensive players were brought in headlined by quarterbacks John Kinder and Jonny Miller and six running backs. The D wasn't ignored with linebackers Malcolm Carter and Myles Davis good enough to see time early.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 92. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. Understanding the need to address a secondary that was last in the Big East in pass efficiency defense, the staff loaded up on defensive backs. In fact, almost half of the entire class was either a safety or a cornerback. The best of the lot are corners Torian Phillips, Phillip Thomas, and Dale Peterman, who’ll all have a shot for immediate playing time.


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