Recruiting 2009 - The 20 Big
No. 9 to 12 - What's happening with Colorado, Boise State, Wisconsin and
The 20 Big Questions of the Recruiting Season
No. 1 to 4
| No. 5 to 8
| No. 13 to 16
| No. 17 to 20
Q: How much juice does Dan Hawkins have on the
recruiting trail at the moment considering Colorado’s struggles so far?
What’s the one area the team really needs to beef up?
A: Kyle Ringo, Colorado football beat writer, Daily Camera
Dan Hawkins has a surprising amount of juice on the recruiting trail
considering his team has gone 13-24 in his first three years on the job.
With that track record, you wouldn't figure five-star defensive end Nick
Kasa of Broomfield, Colo., would be de-committing from Florida just days
after the Gators won the national championship to stay home and attend
CU. You also wouldn't expect the Buffs to even get a visit from the
likes of Byron Moore, a one-time USC commitment, who will decide on
national signing day between the Buffs, Trojans and Notre Dame. If
Hawkins can get in the conversation with these guys now (remember he
nabbed the No. 1 tailback in the nation in 2008, Darrell Scott), I
wonder what he might be able to do in recruiting if he ever has a
winning season in Boulder.
Now that Boise State is getting a better track record of developing pro
players, are the bigger recruits starting to pay more attention?
A: From Kevin
Yes, but that hasn't necessarily changed Boise State's recruiting
philosophy. The name "Boise State" gets our coaches into more living
rooms now than ever before, but that doesn't mean our coaches have
changed anything about not only who they recruit, but how they recruit.
Boise State has built a college football dynasty by going for players
that fit a specific profile. They must be football players above all.
That sounds obvious, but some of the higher ranked position players are
great at their position, but not really great Football players at
heart. They have the size, the speed, the strength, but they just
aren't good 'team first' football players. Boise State looks for the
equivalent of a basketball 'gym rat' first and foremost. Those types of
players are high football IQ players, but they're also passionate about
the game, obsessed with perfecting their craft, and dedicated to the
'team first' mentality first and foremost. Sometimes you can find those
qualities in a bigger sized recruit, and when our coaches do they pursue
them aggressively, and lately with more and more success.
Another thing Boise State looks for is players that are hungry to prove
themselves. Two examples of that, 1) Freshman QB Kellen Moore. Had
arguably the most impressive year of any Freshman QB in the Nation,
shredded the Oregon pass defense in his 3rd game as a collegiate
athlete, yet only had scholarship offers from Boise State and DI-AA
Eastern Washington out of high School because he only stands just over
6-0. 2) MLB commit Allen Mooney. He is the No. 26 ranked MLB by
Scout.com, but at only 5-10ish he's viewed by some as undersized, and
was passed over by most 'name' schools. It is that type of player,
talented, driven, but also hungry to prove himself, that has made Boise
State into such a dominant force on the college football landscape.
10. Q: How come there hasn't been much of a
buzz about recruiting at Wisconsin under Bret Bielema? What's the
biggest area of need for UW to hit this recruiting season?
A: From Benjamin Worgull, Publisher of BadgerNation.com
One of the reasons that there hasn't been much buzz about Bielema's
recruiting is the inability for the Badgers to grab big-time talent from
out of state. Unofficially this season, the Badgers offered scholarships
to 10 players that participated in high school all-star games and all of
them chose not to attend Wisconsin.
In four recruiting classes under Bielema, the Badgers have inked 85
kids. Of those 85 kids, they've inked only seven recruits that have been
rated either four or five stars by Scout Media and all five have been
from the state of Wisconsin. Only Racine Park's John Clay has been an
Another reason is the players the Wisconsin coaching staff have
recruited aren't highly ranked to begin with. Of the 20 verbal commits,
eight only have a two star ranking, including three of the last four.
The Badgers have only signed four players in the last four months and
only Pat Muldoon was highly sought after on a national scale. Of course,
if East St. Louis wide receiver Kraig Appleton picks UW over Illinois,
UW's ‘09 class would end with a bang.
The last, but certainly not least, reason why this class hasn't received
much buzz is because of the status of the head coach. In his first
season replacing Barry Alvarez, who many consider one of the best unsung
recruiters of his time, Bielema recorded a program-record 12 wins and
won the Capital One Bowl over Arkansas with a team comprised mostly of
Since then, Wisconsin is 16-10 and 0-2 in bowl games, including a
29-point crushing to Florida State, the Badgers worst bowl loss since
1960. With fans calling for Bielema to be fired and with a recruiting
class devoid of the big names and impact players that went other
directions, there isn't much positive buzz heading into the 2009 season.
With the Badgers losing three senior starters on the defensive line, the
need for quality players to fill the gaps was priority one. Early
returns suggest that Wisconsin accomplished just that. Wisconsin's first
two signees for the 2009 class was four-star recruit and 17th-ranked
defensive tackle Jordan Kohout from Waupun (who has recovered nicely
from a shoulder injury) and defensive end Shelby Harris, a three-star
recruit that was the key athlete that led Mequon (WI) Homestead to two
state championships in three years.
Wisconsin also added Tyler Dippel, a solid athlete that played
linebacker in high school but will play defensive tackle for UW,
defensive end David Gilbert from Northeast (FL) H.S. and defensive end
Pat Muldoon from St. Xavier H.S. in Cincinnati, who chose UW from his
over 32 scholarship offers.
9. Q: Just how much are Mark Dantonio and his
Michigan State staff able to take advantage of Michigan’s down season?
What’s the biggest area of need for MSU to hit this recruiting season?
A: From Mike Fowler, Managing Editor and Publisher,
The Spartans coaching staff really took advantage of Michigan’s
ill-advised decision to turn away from Bo Schembechler’s style of
football - a brand of football that brought them forty years of
success – and dominated the in-state recruiting scene.
Of the top
ten prospects in the state, MSU got seven of them. Two went to Ohio
State, only one to Michigan. The big names in this class for the
Spartans are four-star linebacker, Christian Norman of Detroit
Renaissance along with four star running backs Edwin Baker of Oak Park
and Larry Caper of Battle Creek. One of the two running backs will
likely play immediately to replace Spartans all-time great Javon Ringer.
wanted to address the offensive and defensive lines due to heavy
graduation losses and ity did so with stunning success. MSU will add US
Army All American David Barrent and three star prospects Henry Conway of
Shaker Heights, OH, Blake Treadwell (son of offensive coordinator Don
Treadwell) of East Lansing and Nate Klatt of Canal Fulton, OH.
in particular, looks better than his three star ranking and is likely to
make an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball.
this incoming class isn’t likely to impact on-field results for a couple
of years, MSU is already set to make a run at the conference
championship this year. It clearly has distanced itself from the
so-called “Little Eight” and is set to become a major player in the Big
Ten conference as long as Mark Dantonio is the head coach.