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2006 Conference USA Recruiting Rankings

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 11, 2006


Ranking the 2006 Conference USA recruiting classes and trying to figure out what it all means to the college football world.



1.
East Carolina
The class is heavy on ... Linebackers and offensive line. The Pirates got the most immediate help at linebacker with seven recruits led by JUCO transfers Orlando Farrow and Fred Wilson, who might be in the starting mix right away. Seven offensive linemen were brought in, but few are sure-thing prospects. If nothing else, it's a big group led by 350-pound Willie Barton and 300-pound Cory Dowless.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Dwayne Harris
The player you might care about this year ... LB Fred Wilson
What it all means to the real world of college football ...  There's a positive buzz about Skip Holtz's team. He's looking to strengthen the offensive line and the defense providing a solid foundation for the future, but he also got some talented skill prospects led by QB Dwayne Harris, RB Norman Whitley and WR Melvin Patterson.

2. Memphis
The class is heavy on ... Safeties. The Tigers looked to regenerate the secondary with five defensive backs and four safeties with 6-2 Corderick Govan sure to play a role early on. All four of the safeties are around 6-2 and should be killers after they get in the weight room.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Matthew Malouf
The player you might care about this year ... WR Duke Calhoun
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The skill players are in place with all the injured quarterbacks coming back and some good backs to replace DeAngelo Williams, but Duke Calhoun is a big target who might get a look in the rotation right away. To get the defense back on track, the back seven got the most attention, but there was only one recruit for the line.

3. Marshall
The class is heavy on ... Linebacker. This was a huge class with a little bit for every spot, but the strength was at linebacker led by JUCO superstar Josh Johnson. The offense also got help with a good class of receivers, two speedy running backs and a pounder in DeMorris Kilow, and two quarterback prospects.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Brian Anderson
The player you might care about this year ... WR Darius Passmore
What it all means to the real world of college football ... It'll be interesting to see how fast the class gets on the field. Certainly the JUCO talents will see time right away, and WR Darius Passmore has the potential to be the team's top target from day one, but the program needed a boost of athleticism and talent to make more of a splash in Conference USA.

4. UAB
The class is heavy on ... Tight ends. 6-4, 205-pound Courtney Smith is more of a big receiver than a true tight end, but he has the potential to grow into a good one. 6-5, 245-pound Cory Powers fits the mold a little better, while 6-5, 255-pound Justin Cofer should be a solid blocker in a few years.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB J.D. Douglas
The player you might care about this year ... WR Jared White
What it all means to the real world of college football ... UAB went to get more receivers with three tight ends and four wide receivers. Jared White might be too good to keep off the field right away, but this wasn't a quick fix class. This was a big class with an eye on the future, and it was one of the best in Conference USA.

5. Houston
The class is heavy on ... Quarterbacks. The end of the Kevin Kolb era is coming soon, and Houston is getting prepared with three quarterback recruits who are big and can all move. L.J. Castille is the most heralded of the bunch, but he'll have a battle on his hands with Roddy Green and Case Keenum.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB L.J. Castille
The player you might care about this year ... DT Kendal Mouton
What it all means to the real world of college football ... This is a massive haul of prospects with a little something for everywhere. It's a good class if you believe in strength in numbers, but there isn't a whole bunch of help for this year. The fruits of this year's labor won't ripen until 2008.

6. Tulsa
The class is heavy on ... Receivers. With five wide receivers and two tight ends coming in, head coach Steve Kragthorpe is looking for more weapons to get the passing game going. While he's not Garrett Mills, JUCO transfer Devin Adair might take over the open starting tight end slot. Three of the wide receivers are JUCO transfers.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Clark Harrell
The player you might care about this year ... TE Devin Adair
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Most of the Conference USA teams are looking towards the future with big classes full of freshmen that need developing. Not Tulsa. The defending champs got their share of players for down the line, but they also brought in five JUCO transfers that will be counted on right away and QB Clark Harrell, who might be number two on the depth chart.

7. Tulane
The class is heavy on ... Linebacker. The defense, all things considered, didn't play all that poorly early last year, but it could still use some replenishing. Five linebackers were brought in along with three safeties to give a boost to the defensive back seven. However, don't expect any of them to make an impact until at least 2008.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Kevin Moore
The player you might care about this year ... RB Andre Anderson
What it all means to the real world of college football ... How was head coach Chris Scelfo supposed to recruit considering the post-Katrina situation? Even so, he and his staff did a solid job and got a few really good skill players in QB Kevin Moore and RB Andre Anderson. Don't expect this class to turn things around right away, this is a class for the future.

8. Southern Miss
The class is heavy on ... Wide receiver. The best incoming prospects are on defense, but the biggest area of concern appeared to be receiver with seven brought in. Outside of 5-7 Faron Hornes and 5-9 Ralph Turner, this is a big, big group with the other five prospects averaging over 6-2. Ryan Ellis and Torris Magee have the most expected out of them.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Roshaad Byrd
The player you might care about this year ... DT Sean Merrill
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Southern Miss wants to get back to being dominant on defense, and this class should mean it'll be a rock again after 2007. The line got a big boost of talent with JUCO transfers Chris Johnson and Vontre Mason coming in. The offensive backfield was dealt with in past classes, so don't expect much from this year's class over the next few years when it comes to quarterbacks and running backs.

9. UCF
The class is heavy on ... Diversity. There isn't one area that got a big boost of talent, but George O'Leary brought in four offensive linemen, three receivers and three linebackers to use for the future. While there aren't any superstar prospects outside of QB Terry Mayo, just about every position got addressed.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DT Torell Johnson
The player you might care about this year ... QB Terry Mayo
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Considering the Golden Knights threw several freshmen defensive backs to the wolves last year, all bets are off on who might see time right away. While there might not be any obvious stars who can contribute right off the bat, 6-4, 240-pound JUCO transfer Terry Mayo should provide a push for the starting quarterback spot.

10. Rice
The class is heavy on ... Receiver. Rice and new head coach Todd Graham wants to make a 180-degree turn with the offense, and it needs receivers to do it. 6-4 Pierre Beasley is the best of a big lot with six wide receivers and solid tight end prospect Kasey Nobles coming in. All six receivers are over six feet tall with four of them 6-2 or taller.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... S Max Anyiam
The player you might care about this year ... WR Pierre Beasley
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Graham will likely give his first class a whole bunch of playing time as they get their feet wet in the new offense. Interestingly enough, no quarterbacks of note were signed, so what you saw last year is what you'll get. The secondary also got some major attention with four safeties and two corners, and all will get looks for playing time this year.

11. UTEP
The class is heavy on ... Receivers and offensive linemen. Seven receivers, three tight ends, and eight offensive linemen highlighted the huge class. None of the 18 players are highly rated, but there has to be the hope that at least three of the linemen and two of the receivers grow into living, breathing playmakers by 2007 with more of them competing for starting spots by 2008.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... P Kyle Peterson
The player you might care about this year ... LB Robert Williams
What it all means to the real world of college football ... It's all about the numbers. Head coach Mike Price brought in a whopping 29 recruits, but can any of them play? There isn't a "wow' recruit in the bunch and no obvious difference makers, so unless a few come out of the blue and shine, this might be a class that provides the depth over the next several years.

12. SMU
The class is heavy on ... Quarterbacks. Needing to replace Jerad Romo and Tony Eckert, head coach Phil Bennett might be looking for answers, at least depth, among the three quarterbacks brought in JUCO transfer Corey Slater to compete right away, Zachary Rhodes for the future, and Tim Crosby for the practice squad for down the line.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... TE Phillip Burley
The player you might care about this year ... QB Zachary Rhodes
What it all means to the real world of college football ... This was a step back, especially after last year's solid recruiting class. It would've been nice to have made a statement with a few top prospects, but there aren't any outside of tight end Phillip Burley. Last year's class was heavy on defense, this year's class was all about bringing in live bodies, and next year's class has to be about getting more offensive playmakers.