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The 20 Big Recruiting Questions of 2009
Florida head coach Urban Meyer
Florida head coach Urban Meyer
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 2, 2009


What's happening this recruiting season? Does Urban Meyer still have to work to get players to Florida? How are the coaching situations at Texas and Penn State affecting recruiting? Is USC still the top dog? Check out CFN's 20 Big Questions for the 2009 Recruiting Season.

Recruiting 2009 - The 20 Big Questions

No. 1 to 4 - What's happening with Texas, Penn State, USC and Florida?

The 20 Big Questions of the Recruiting Season
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No. 5 to 8 | No. 9 to 12 | No. 13 to 16 | No. 17 to 20

4. Q: With the coaching situation in place at Texas, how much has that stability, or the potential of Will Muschamp if Mack Brown leaves, mattered? What's the biggest area of need for Texas to hit this recruiting season?

A: From Bobby Bragg, BurntOrangeBeat.com

There’s no doubt that the continuity at the defensive coordinator position has kept the Longhorns in the fight with Dre Kirkpatrick and Jarvis Jones. More importantly, it should help with the 2010 class as Coach Muschamp puts more of his own stamp on the defensive style and personnel and the recruiting of players that fit his style.

The biggest area of need for Texas is the defensive line. Texas graduates both starting defensive ends (Brian Orakpo and Henry Melton), its starting nose guard Roy Miller, and defensive tackle and part-time starter, Aaron Lewis. In this class, Texas added six defensive lineman:  five-star DE Alex Okafor of Pflugerville, Kilgore DE Dominique Jones, Elysian Fields DE/DT Kyle Kriegel, Round Rock Stony Point DE Tevin Mims, San Antonio Warren DT Calvin Howell, and Hoxie, Arkansas DT Derek Johnson.


3. Q: How much is the Penn State coaching uncertainty for a few years down the road hurting? What’s the biggest area of need to hit this recruiting season?


A: From Mark Brennan, Editor/Publisher, FightOnState.com

Penn State began the 2008 campaign with serious questions concerning Joe Paterno's future. He was 81 and in the final year of his contract, and then once the season started, he was slowed by a serious hip injury. I thought those three factors would really hurt the Lions on the recruiting front, but that was not the case. Because the team went 11-1 in the regular season and won the Big Ten title, that clearly mitigated many of the questions about the program prospects may have had.

After the season, Paterno had hip replacement surgery and recovered quickly. Then, shortly before his 82nd birthday, he was signed to a three-year contract extension. More importantly, his assistants received four-year contracts, a move that was obviously made to let prospects know the coaches who recruited them will be around at least as long as Paterno is. In the meantime, Penn State will finish with a class that is in or very near the national top 10.

With the December transfer of backup quarterback Pat Devlin, Penn State was left with only one passer who had eligibility beyond the 2008 season -- starter Daryll Clark. That made landing a blue-chip QB in this class vital. Fortunately for the Lions, shortly after Devlin left, they secured a commitment from Virginia standout Kevin Newsome. Penn State is still far too thin at quarterback. But without Newsome, the program would have been in serious trouble.


2. Q: How much does USC really have to fight to get recruits? Does the program sell itself at this point? What's the biggest area of need for USC to hit this recruiting season?

A: From Kevin Carden, SCPlaybook.com

Obviously, USC has become the top recruiting school in the nation under Pete Carroll, and it now has a legitimate shot at pretty much any prospect that it chooses to recruit. 

The reason that USC has reached the high level is because of the coaches hard work, and now that they are on top, I haven't seen any signs of them slowing down. The coaching staff is filled with young, energetic coaches that really excel and really push when it comes to recruiting.

With the departure of Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, Kaluka Maiava and Clay Matthews the Trojans need to bring in some linebackers. Right now, they have commitments Marquis Simmons and Vontaze Burfict (soft commit), but by Signing Day they have a chance to add Manti Te'o, Frankie Telfort and possibly even Jarvis Jones to the 2009 class, which would make it a real special group.

Safety was another area of need in this class and the Trojans really filled up early with some talented players like T.J. McDonald and Patrick Hall.

1. Q: Is it shooting fish in a barrel time for Urban Meyer at Florida?  Is he still as intense a recruiter as he was a two years ago? What’s the one area the team really needs to beef up?

A: From Bob Redman, Football, Basketball, and Recruiting Analyst, FightinGators.com

I would say it’s not that easy.  Being located in the high school football hotbed of the United States has its perks, but when SEC recruiting powers Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama, and LSU are all within eight hours drive, the recruiting is as tough as ever.  That doesn't even bring into play Florida State and Miami who are also big time recruiting powers, especially in the Sunshine State.

Meyer has held his own of course and the results have shown on the field, but he and his staff have definitely had to work as hard as anyone to land recruits.  I do believe it has been tougher this season simply because they are recruiting to as stacked of a roster as Florida has ever had.

Florida has quality depth at every position except for offensive tackle and they need a couple of play making wide receivers to match their outside speed receivers in the spread option offense. They currently have commitments from the number one offensive tackle in the country in Xavier Nixon and a couple of other offensive tackles in Jonotthan Harrison and Kyle Koehne, who is actually planning to play center at Florida. They also have their top two wide receiver prospects committed in five-star Andre Debose and four-star Nu'Keese Richardson who will both be vying for that spot vacated by Percy Harvin.

Florida has three tremendous tailbacks returning, but would like to land a big back with speed and that would be Scout.com's five-star and number two running back in the country Trent Richardson who is currently committed to Alabama.