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2008 M-West Recruiting - What It All Means
Utah WR Aiona Key
Utah WR Aiona Key
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 12, 2008


How does the 2008 Mountain West recruiting class really affect the college football world?

Recruiting 2008 ... Mountain West
Ranking the MAC classes

Click on each team for the fill class list and top players
Air Force | BYU | Colorado State | New Mexico | San Diego State
TCU | UNLV | Utah | Wyoming

- 2007 Mountain West Recruiting Rankings
- 2006 Mountain West Recruiting Rankings


1. BYU
The class is heavy on ... Tackles. The glamour boys on both sides of the ball will be protected as head coach Bronco Mendenhall and his staff brought in six tackle prospects, three for the O and three for the D. JUCO transfer Jessie Taufi is likely to push for a starting job on the offensive side, while you can all but pencil in JUCO transfer DT Bernard Afutiti and Tevita Hola for All-Mountain West honors. Throw top end prospect Coleby Clawson into the mix, and the Cougars have a killer defensive line in place for the next two years.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB Cameron Comer
The player you might care about this year ... TE Austin Holt
What it all means to the real world of college football ... BYU has a strong team coming into 2008 anyway, and it just got a whole lot better with the top JUCO superstars ready to come in and shine. LDS Church missions always mean several of the high school prospects need to be waited on for a few years, but there's enough instant talent brought in to potentially put the program over the top to make it a national player.

2. Utah
The class is heavy on ... Wide receivers. JUCO superstar Aiona Key is a 6-4, 210-pound athlete who should rip apart Mountain West secondaries. There's a whole lot of talent coming in along with him with Luke Matthews and Kendrick Moeai adding even more size, and JUCO star Dudley LaPorte ready to step in and start at tight end. In other words, the team needed targets for Brian Johnson, and it got them.
The player who'll someday big deal ... RB Sausan Shakerin
The player you might care about this year ... WR Aiona Key
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Depth schmepth. Utah loaded up with really, really good players from Key to RB Sausan Shakerin to TE Dudley LaPorte to DT Sealver Siliga to CB Lamar Chapman. There are instant starters, depth, and a lot of front line players to keep Utah in the hunt for the Mountain West title. This isn't a class relying in numbers; the drop-off comes quickly.

3. Air Force
The class is heavy on ... Tight ends. Six prospects were brought in with tight end experience and potential, and most will be moved elsewhere and developed. There's excellent athleticism and good size across the board to hope for one or two to build the short passing game around. The offensive line also got a slew of help with eight prospects.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Nick Green
The player you might care about this year ... S Corbin Brown
What it all means to the real world of college football ... All of a sudden, the program is hot again. Head coach Troy Calhoun has made Air Force a player in the Mountain West race again, and it showed with plenty of good bodies to play around with. Now it's about finding the right fits. There isn't a lot of instant help ready to take things to another level, but there's a nice base being built for the future.

4. UNLV
The class is heavy on ... Linebackers. The Rebels improved the defense with the most talent coming in at linebacker. JUCO transfer Heivaha Mafi is a big inside prospect who'll help ease the loss of Beau Bell, while David Blair is a talented player who could've gone to several Pac 10 teams. Travis Trickey and Beau Orth are also promising.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... S C.J. Cox
The player you might care about this year ... LB David Blair
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Despite several lousy seasons under head coach Mike Sanford, this wasn't a class looking for a quick fix from the JUCO ranks. With several young receiver prospects coming in that won't likely be heard from for several years, and with several defensive line prospects needing seasoning, this is a good class with an eye on the future. Will Sanford be coaching them once they're ready?

5. Colorado State
The class is heavy on ... Defensive linemen. Colorado State needs to get more physical and better against the run, and new head coach Steve Fairchild did his best to beef up the defensive front with four tackles and three ends including three JUCO transfers. There aren't any sure stars, but tackles Sevaro Johnson and Scott Albritton, along with end Sam Stewart, were brought in to be factors from day one.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... OT Joe Caprioglio
The player you might care about this year ... WR Marquise Law
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Last year's recruiting class was put together for the future. Fairchild will reap the benefits of that group next year, and he went out and went after more help for right now in this class. That doesn't mean the high school players were ignored, especially on offense, but there aren't any top-shelf prospects guaranteed to be all-stars.

6. San Diego State
The class is heavy on ... The offensive line. For the second straight season, head coach Chuck Long went after the offensive linemen to set the foundation for his offense. Last year's prospects are about to contribute, but it's going to be a while for this year's class of blockers to get involved. Even so, guards Jimmy Miller and Erik Quinones are promising, and JUCO transfer Taylor Wallace could see a little time at tackle.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DE J.J. Autele
The player you might care about this year ... QB Drew Westling
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Talk about filling an instant need, the Aztecs desperately had to have a quarterback with the loss of Kevin O'Connell, and it came through by getting Drew Westling, a Tulsa transfer who fits the offense like a glove. He has a few good weapons to work with in receivers Dominique Sandifer and Malcolm Culver with the hope that at least one of them can shine early on.

7. New Mexico
The class is heavy on ... Wide receivers. After losing Marcus Smith and Travis Brown, the Lobos had to restock the shelves with pass catchers. Five wideouts and tight end Lucas Reed will all get looked at early on to fill the hole. Bryant Williams got long looks from Michigan State and Nebraska out of high school, but had to go the JUCO route and now comes in as one of the nation's top transfers. Three JUCO offensive tackles were brought in for depth. 
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Joe Harris
The player you might care about this year ... WR Bryant Williams
What it all means to the real world of college football ... New Mexico never comes up with monster recruiting classes, but it does a good job of getting the players who fit the system and produce well under Rocky Long. This year's group isn't any different. There are plenty of bodies, plenty of prospects to play around with in spring and fall camps, and plenty of promise in several areas. What's missing is the sure-thing star or three to make the Lobos more of a challenger to BYU and Utah.

8. Wyoming
The class is heavy on ... Defensive line. The real stir was made by the prospect for the passing game, getting former Arizona State QB Dax Crum and five pass catchers, but the bulk is on the defensive line with six defensive end prospects brought in with the hope of finding one or two who'll help generate a more of a pass rush right away. However, there aren't any top stars to count on meaning it'll likely be at least two years before anyone from this group makes any noise.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Ben Durbin
The player you might care about this year ... QB Dax Crum
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Karsten Sween is a good quarterback who's been decent since arriving on the scene a few years ago, but he's been inconsistent. Now there will be a big-time fight to for control of the offense with Crum a big bomber who's ready made to make the Cowboy offense potent again. Wyoming always has a battle on its hands to bring in top prospects, so it has to make sure it gets just the right players to fit the system. However, it'll need to start generating more offense, and Crum might do it.

9. TCU
The class is heavy on ... Receivers. This is a small overall class with no real talent to get excited about, but there are four decent receivers coming in led by tight end Walker Dille. JUCO transfer Marques Parker needs to be an immediate regular in the rotation, while big targets like Corey Fuller and Sam Shutt will get time to develop.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Greg Burks
The player you might care about this year ... WR Marques Parker
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Last year's class was loaded with likely starters and plenty of all-star potential, and that scared away several good players this year; there simply weren't that many scholarships available to offer. While this class was hardly a disaster, it was a stopgap to next year. However, if Parker, JUCO all-star offensive lineman Zach Roth, and defensive tackle Jeremy Coleman can shine right away, the coaching staff will have done its job.