Recruiting 2009 - The 20 Big Questions
No. 5 to 8 - What's happening with West Virginia, Cincinnati, Texas Tech
The 20 Big Questions of the Recruiting Season
No. 1 to 4
| No. 9 to 12
| No. 13 to 16
| No. 17 to 20
Q: How much have things changed at West
Virginia from the RichRod era recruiting-wise? What's the biggest area
of need for WVU to hit this recruiting season?
A: From Kevin Kinder, BlueGoldNews.com
Believe it our not, Bill Stewart's first full-fledged recruiting class
could be the best ever in Mountaineer history. Stewart assembled an
assistant coaching staff full of top-notch recruiters, such as veteran
Doc Holliday, who holds sway in Florida, and rising newcomers like Chris
Beatty and Lonnie Galloway. The mechanics of the operation didn't change
a great deal when Rich Rodriguez departed, but the one significant
change is the fact that West Virginia has focused on players who aren't
academic risks. Going into Signing Day, only a couple of the expected
full class of 25 haven't qualified yet, and those are very close to
wind up with a Top 15 class, and was able to address pressing needs at
wide receiver and cornerback. Logan Heastie, Deon Long and Stedman
Bailey should provide immediate help as WVU moves to incorporate more
passing into its attack, and the Mountaineers also added three excellent
cover corners in Michael Carter, Pat Miller and Brodrick Jenkins to
bolster depth issues at that spot. West Virginia not only got highly
rated players, but also got players that fit its recruiting needs across
7. Q: Has all the talk about Brian Kelly
leaving soon (or at least within the next four years) been a problem at
Cincinnati? What’s the one area the team really needs to beef up?
Dave Berk, Founder/Publisher, BearcatInsider.com
While Brian Kelly has seen his name linked to several jobs over the past
few months he’s stressed his long term plans are to remain at
Cincinnati. After winning the Big East title this past season Kelly and
his staff know they’ve got things headed in the right direction and have
seen the University of Cincinnati step up their efforts to provide Kelly
with the tools needed to have long term success. Ground breaking for
new practice facilities and an indoor facility has happened with the
next step coming with expansion to Nippert Stadium. Kelly knows he’s in
a state with a high number of college prospects that can feed his team
the talent needed for success at a high level. At this time prospects
are buying into him being with the Bearcats for the long term.
question headed into the spring and next season will come from the
defensive backfield. The loss of Mike Mickens, DeAngelo Smith and
Brandon Underwood leaves a huge hole. In last years class and this
year’s class Kelly looks to have found the talent needed to fill these
voids. Dominique Battle saw time this past season and Kelly stuck with
Class of 2008 member Reuben Johnson who enrolled at Cincinnati in
January and is expected to play a key role next season. Kelly will also
look at Junior College recruit Malik James and Chris Williams to fight
for playing time next season. While the defense loss ten seniors that
started this past season, the play of the defensive backs have been a
key ingredient to the success the team has seen the past two seasons.
6. Q: Is Texas Tech starting to get a better
look from pro prospects, or is Mike Leach still recruiting to type when
it comes to the offense? What’s the biggest area of need for Tech to hit
this recruiting season?
A: From Mark Sparrow, RaiderPower.com
Texas Tech has begun to get more of a look from pro prospects this year,
especially with the success of the team and the additional media
coverage that comes along with that. Michael Crabtree is currently
projected to be one of the top 5 picks in the upcoming NFL draft, which
does nothing but help Coach Leach out on the recruiting trail.
That being said, Leach still recruits the type of player that he
believes will succeed in his system. Sometimes those are 5-star future
NFL prospects; some times they are 2-star players out of a local high
system, the most valuable players can be the ones who don’t necessarily
have the all the athletic measurables you would expect in a top caliber
collegiate recruit. They can be the kids who are willing to give 100%
every time they step out on the field and have the most important
measureable of all: heart.
The biggest area of need for this years recruiting class is in the
secondary. The Red Raiders already have commits from 6 defensive backs,
which will likely be all that they take. The star of the group is former
Oklahoma Sooner commit Will Ford, who switched his pledge to Tech back
in June of last year.
5. Q: Is last year’s disaster a plus in any
way, since now Rich Rodriguez can tell recruits they can play right
away? What’s the biggest area of need for Michigan to hit this
A: From Tom Beaver, from GoBlueWolverine.com
No disaster is a plus; if anything the 3-9 season opened Coach Rodriguez
to even-more-excessive negative recruiting than ever, which only winning
can stop. Nevertheless, Coach Rod and his assistants are
super-recruiters, so things look good regardless.
The five biggest needs:
(5) any great players, at any position.
As far as quarterbacks go, U-M has already enrolled a top-notch run-pass
signal-caller in Tate Forcier, plus the Wolverines look to be in a
strong position for yet another top-player in the Wolverines' new prime
recruiting ground of central-Florida in Deerfield Beach's Denard
As far as safeties go, U-M has already enrolled central-Floridians Mike
Jones and Vlad Emilien, and Ohio commitment JT Turner is a 5-star guy DB
who can play either safety or corner.
As far as the "great players at any position," instate lineman William
Campbell fits the bill -- he's the only guy who has ever played both
ways in a U.S. Army All-American Bowl game.