The 20 Big Questions of the Recruiting Season
No. 1 to 4
| No. 5 to 8
| No. 9 to 12
| No. 13 to 16
Q: Has the luster of the 2007 season worn off,
or is it still a plus with this batch of recruits? What's the biggest
area of need for Kansas to hit this recruiting season?
senior writer for Jayhawk Illustrated and Phog.net
Kansas Coach Mark Mangino says on almost every
Signing Day that the Kansas coaching staff keeps getting in more and
more doors that, just a few years ago, would have been shut to them.
Typically, it's been a slight crack in the door here and a crack there.
But with the combination of the Orange Bowl season and the addition of a
brand-new football-only complex, the door has been thrown open this
glance, the Jayhawks won't ink a top-notch class, but when you look at
Mangino's other lightly regarded classes, this one stands out as his
best. Ohio athlete Bradley McDougald was once committed to Ohio State,
while KU also has a big back in Texan Toben Opurum, who chose the
Jayhawks over offers from Notre Dame and Florida. Both are players that
Kansas probably wouldn't have gotten two years ago.
needs in this year's class were dictated by the need to slow down the
Big 12's spread offenses. The Jayhawks needed to stock the secondary,
while finding some pass rushers on the defensive line. Kansas seemed to
accomplish the former by snagging six defensive backs, including two of
the top safeties in Texas in Prinz Kande and Dexter Linton. They also
added five defensive linemen, including JUCO-transfer Quintin Woods, who
originally signed with Michigan, Kevin Young, who enrolled early, and
Tyrone Sellars, who was named the top player in Nebraska this season.
Randall Dent and JUCO All-American Travis Stephens are two undersized
defensive tackles who should harass the quarterback up the middle. The
Jayhawks also needed to add depth at quarterback, running back and
receiver, and did so.
19. Q: Are recruits looking at the success of
the last few years on offense and seeing Rice as a viable option? Is the
program getting players it didn’t have a shot at last year? What’s the
biggest area of need for Rice to hit this recruiting season?
A: From David Mooney, Publisher, Owl Digest
Let me start by saying I think there are 5-to-7 guys in the class that
are deserving of higher individual rankings. Subsequently, I think the
Rice Class overall is very under-ranked. Quite objectively, this is a
Top 50 class and one of the best in C-USA. Perhaps with more success on
the field, players will not be penalized for committing early to the
Owls – most have turned down subsequent BCS offers.
The transfers Rice picked up on offense this year answer this question
even better. The Owls received players from two of the most prestigious
programs in college football history when QB Nick Fanuzzi transferred
from Alabama in August, and then another one recently when one of the
most dynamic recruits of the 2008 recruiting class, Four-Star RB Sam
McGuffie transferred back home to Houston from Michigan.
that, I don’t think there’s any question recruits have noticed the Owl’s
offensive output, especially this year when so many new records were
established. The class has a very athletic quarterback in one-time Iowa
State commit, Taylor McHargue. He reminds us a lot of Chase Clement,
actually. We also have a very fast running back (4.38) coming in the
form of Charles Ross. He’s a big 6-2 slasher that is perfect for the
Owl’s zone running scheme. Even faster is Wide receiver Donte Moore, who
at 6-2 was timed at 4.32 seconds in the forty at a University of Texas
Football Camp last summer. Rounding out the Offense are 3 Offensive
Linemen who chose Rice over BCS programs (Bobby Janisch, Jon Hodde, Cade
Shaw); and a strong legged kicker - US Army All-American Bowl invitee
last season helped with that in some cases, but the Owls assembled most
of their class by June. However, there are players throughout the class
that have offers from BCS programs so you could say the quality of Rice
recruits continues to increase.
loaded up on offense in the class of 2008, so defense, particularly
defensive back, was a priority this year. The Owls have accomplished
their goal and then some with eight players that will start out playing
in the secondary among 14 current defensive commits. Improving team
speed was also a priority – every one of their secondary recruits runs
4.5 or better in the 40.
18. Q: What is this Iowa State coaching staff
selling that Gene Chizik’s staff didn’t?
What’s the biggest area of need for ISU to hit this recruiting season?
A: From Greg Ohlson, Cyclone Sports Report
The biggest thing the staff is selling is stability. The new staff has
more ties to the state of Iowa and some to Dan McCarney's former staff
at Iowa State. The players fully believe that Coach Rhoads can be
successful and that he won't go anywhere when he does because Iowa State
is his dream job. The thing that Iowa State needs the most of is
defense. The Cyclone defense has really struggled the past few years
and one major reason is due to the lack of a consistent pass rush. The
new staff is really looking hard for some impact defensive ends.
17. Q: How much did the losses to Utah and TCU
hurt BYU’s recruiting for this year? What's the one area the team really
needs to beef up?
A: From Brandon Gurney, BigPurpleNation.com
The loss to Utah hurt more than the loss to TCU in that BYU recruits
against Utah regularly, but seldom if ever against TCU. What hurt with
both the losses was the necessary momentum needed to land the remaining
top 4 recruits on BYU's radar in Manti Te'o, Xavier Suafilo, Latu
Heimuli and LT Filiaga. BYU whiffed on all of them and if they had
busted the BCS or at least had beaten Utah this recruiting outcome would
likely have been different, especially with the in-state recruits which
were Suafilo, Heimuli and Filiaga. BYU has lost a ton of momentum
heading into LOI day.
The area where BYU really needs help is at linebacker and defensive
tackle. Landing quality cornerbacks is always a huge challenge for BYU
and this year their cornerback recruiting was lacking once again.
They're usually able to pick up some quality defensive tackles, but
really missed out on two top-shelf defensive tackles in LT Tuipulotu and
Latu Heimuli who both signed with Utah. Linebacker was the biggest
weakness of the defense last year and they did okay here with the likes
of Kyle Van Noy, Thomas Bryson and some others, but they missed on three
big LDS linebacker recruits who could have helped immediately in Te'o,
Filiaga and Steven Fanua.