Recruiting 2009 Team Rankings - No. 31 - 60
Posted Feb 6, 2009

The 2009 CFN Recruiting Rankings - No. 31 to No. 60.

Recruiting 2009 ... The Rankings

CFN's Ranking of the 2009 Classes - No. 31 to 60

- CFN Recruiting 2009

- CFN 2009 Recruiting Rankings
No. 1 to 30 | No. 61 to 90 | No. 91 to 120

31. Nebraska   
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. It was a common theme for teams throughout this recruiting season after everyone’s defense got ripped apart … get better against the pass. Nebraska was no exception with five good defensive backs to go along with DE Jason Ankrah and linebackers Eric Martin and Chris Williams for the front seven. JUCO transfer Dejon Gomes is a big, fast corner, while Lazarri Middleton and Andrew Green have good size and excellent speed.

The class is heavy on ... the passing game. Three quarterbacks, five wide receivers and two tight ends … head coach Rich Brooks is looking for more out of a passing attack that was supposed to feature Curtis Pulley, before he was booted off the team. There aren’t any stars at receiver, but Anthony Kendrick, Ridge Wilson, LaRod King and Chris Matthews are big. Really big. 6-3 and up big. The quarterback battle will be tremendous with Morgan Newton, Ryan Mossakowski and Brian Adams all starting-quality prospects.

33. California 
The class is heavy on ... linemen. The Bears did not discriminate when it came to big bodies this year; they’re feeding both sides of the ball with an impressive array of linemen. The program was especially effective on the offensive line, going all the way to New Jersey to land top-ranked C Mark Brazinski and robbing Oregon of T Charles Siddoway. Both are the type of players who are capable of cracking the starting lineup by their second season.

Georgia Tech
The class is heavy on ... linemen. For Paul Johnson, success starts on the lines, and he recruited with that thought in mind. With both sides of the ball being hurt by graduation, the Yellow Jackets added four big bodies to the offense and five on defense. The front four returns just one starter, creating an opening for 345-pound tackle J.C. Lanier to avoid a redshirt and make a quick ascent up the depth chart.

Michigan State
The class is heavy on ... linebackers and running backs. MSU’s early success under Mark Dantonio has come from a strong running game and athletic linebackers, and this class reflects that. Edwin Baker and Larry Caper are in to help try to replace Javon Ringer in the backfield, while Chris Norman and Tyquan Hammock are linebackers who can move. Norman, especially, was a coup for the program with the athleticism and toughness to be a star early on. 

36. North Carolina State 
The class is heavy on ... defensive linemen. Tom O’Brien and his assistants absolutely loaded up on defensive linemen with this class, going as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as Georgia to find space-eaters. Willie Young, Alan-Michael Cash, and Shea McKeen have only one year of eligibility remaining, so this group will be expected to eventually form the backbone of the defensive front for the next four or five seasons.

Arizona State
The class is heavy on ... backs. Four backs are headed to Tempe determined to light a spark under a running game that floundered a year ago. Cameron Marshall, Shane McCullen, and Jamal Miles are three-star Sun Devils and among the top 100 high school runners in the country. While Marshall is a 208-pound thumper, McCullen is an intriguing blend of good size and blazing speed, who could also wind up playing on defense if the need arises.

38. Illinois  
The class is heavy on ... defensive linemen. Lost in the Ron Zook era amidst the publicity around the offense has been a defense that’s been consistently strong. This year’s recruiting class helped the defensive front more than any other area with promising pass rushers Cornellius Carradine and Michael Buchanan for the outside with Lendell Buckner and Akeem Spence for the inside. Buckner has the body and the upside to be special.

39. Missouri
The class is heavy on ... offensive reinforcements. The defense was hardly ignored with DT Sheldon Richardson a sure-thing All-Big 12 talent and JUCO transfer Josh Tatum is a plug-n-play linebacker, but with all the superstars gone off the offense, head coach Gary Pinkel had to find a new wave of offensive prospects to develop. Blaine Dalton is a smallish quarterback who can move, while RB Kendial Lawrence and receivers Jaleel Clark and Kerwin Stricker are going to be counted on to shine by 2011.

40. Oklahoma State
The class is heavy on ... pass rushers. The Cowboys weren’t bad at getting into the backfield over the last few years, but they weren’t good at closing. Getting to the quarterback in the pass-happy Big 12 South is a must, and OSU put a priority on bringing in players who can do that. David Paulsen will be a starter on the outside within the next three years, while Anthony Rogers could be special with a little seasoning. Linebackers LeRon Furr and Jordan Barnes can move and will be excellent blitzers.
The class is heavy on ... Defensive backs. There are some really nice players being brought in at several positions, but the best combination of star power and bulk is in the secondary with a few fantastic safety prospects, led by Craig Bills, one of the nation’s best, and two excellent corners in Lee Aguirre and Trevor Bateman. The offense loaded up on decent running back prospects with Adam Timo considered among the best in the nation, if he doesn’t move to safety, with Peni Maka’afi and Anthony Heimuli each certain to keep the ground game rolling.

42. Baylor   
The class is heavy on ... the passing game. Being in the Big 12 South with all the big-time passing attacks, head coach Art Briles wasted no time in going hard after defensive backs, bringing in several decent safeties, but his reputation as a top offensive head coach helped land a ton of really good, really surprising prospect. Do the receivers want to play with star sophomore QB Robert Griffin? Oh yeah. Darius Jones is a smallish, quick playmaker who could be a No. 1 target right away, but Skyler Scott, Tevin Reese, Willie Jefferson and Glasco Martin are all good enough to emerge as future stars in the system. QB Bryce Petty will be a superstar in a few years.

Virginia Tech 
The class is heavy on ... backs. Even after watching redshirt freshman Darren Evans emerge as the feature back, the Hokies concentrated on further building depth at the position. Being brought to Blacksburg are three playmakers, which was missing from the offense a year ago. Two of those backs, David Wilson and Tony Gregory, are four-star gems with enough wiggle to make people miss in the open field. Both provide a nice complement to the north-south style of Evans.

44. Washington State 
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. The only reason why last year’s pass defense wasn’t worse off was because the run D was so easy to navigate. The Cougars realize there’s still plenty of work to be done in the secondary. They beat out the likes of Arizona State and Boise State for talented CB Nolan Washington, and bagged five safeties with the potential to start at some point in their careers. Heck, Wazzu even got themselves a Locker, beating out Washington for Jake Locker’s cousin, Casey. 

The class is heavy on ... ends. Even with Ricky Sapp and Da’Quan Bowers bringing quickness off the edge, Clemson had little luck getting to the quarterback in 2008. Malliciah Goodman and Spencer Shuey have been brought in to push the starters and kickstart a tired pass rush. Once he sharpens his fundamentals and adds a few more pounds, Goodman has the blazing speed and long arms to be a real nuisance to ACC quarterbacks. 

46. Kansas   
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. The Jayhawks went out to get better on defense, and it did with LB Huldon Tharp, three JUCO defensive ends, end Kevin Young, and tackle Randall Dent all coming in to form the foundation for the future of the defense, but it’s the secondary that got the most help with six prospects led by corner Prinz Kande, a speedy, big coverman, while the safeties are all terrific led by JUCO transfer Calvin Rubles and true freshmen Bradley McDougald and Darian Kelly. 

The class is heavy on ... receivers. The Gophers needed to bring in more talented targets for the future, and they might have gotten their No. 2 receiver, alongside Eric Decker, in JUCO transfer Hayo Carpenter. Bryant Allen and Victor Keise come from out of state, Missouri and Florida, respectively, to develop. The real stars of the show might turn out to be tight ends Ra’shede Hageman and Kendall Gregory-MgGhee. Hageman is the total package.

48. Oregon State 
The class is heavy on ... offensive linemen. With so much turnover going on here, it was time for Mike Riley to replenish in the trenches, a key to the program’s success in recent years. A half-dozen new linemen are set to hit Corvallis, hoping to open holes for Jacquizz Rodgers as soon as possible. The name to remember in the short term is Michael Philipp, a can’t-miss guard, who had offers from everyone in the Pac-10 and is physically ready to play right now

The class is heavy on ... offensive tackles. After losing Branden Albert and Eugene Monroe to the NFL in successive seasons, the Cavaliers have bolstered their offensive line with a whopping six tackles standing 6-5 or taller. Like the last three great Virginia linemen, including D’Brickashaw Ferguson, the school traveled north to get Oday Aboushi, a 305-pounder with considerable upside and nasty demeanor. Landing four-star mountain Morgan Moses was the upset of this group.

50. Arizona 
The class is heavy on ... pass-catchers. If you’re going to successfully run Sonny Dykes’ offense, you better have depth at the receiver position. The Wildcats took a quantum leap in that direction, signing more than a half-dozen wideouts and tight ends. The hands-down gem of that group is local standout Adam Hall, who had his choice of destinations. Actually, there’s so much talent here, it could free up Hall to move over to safety, where he’s just as dangerous. 

51. Cincinnati  
The class is heavy on ... tight ends. Can you say overkill? Cincinnati has signed four of the country’s top 100 tight ends, providing plenty of depth for Ben Guidugli and Kazeem Alli. From the program that turned Connor Barwin into the Big East’s sack leader a year ago, you can count on one or two of these tight ends, like Will Saddler and Mitch Kessel, to switch position at some point in their ‘Cat careers.

The class is heavy on ... receivers. Head coach Dan Hawkins and his staff brought in a few nice safeties, signed two good quarterbacks, and landed superstar DE Nick Casa, but the spotlight will mostly be on the three receivers who’ll be asked to contribute early on. JUCO transfer Andre Simmons has the size and the potential to be a No. 1 target from the start, while Terdema Ussery and Jarrod Darden both very big, very good targets.

The class is heavy on ... defensive linemen. The Badgers have been surprisingly soft up front over the last few years. Poor tackling has been part of the problem; injuries have been the other part. This year’s class addressed the needs up front led by tackle Jordan Kohout, arguably the state’s top recruit. Pat Muldoon and Shelby Harris are strong pass rushing prospects who have to come through and shine sooner than later.

54. Utah   
The class is heavy on ... The passing game. The Utes loaded up on receivers big-time last year, but apparently that wasn’t enough with even more targets coming in this year, including JUCO transfers Antoine Smithson and Ray Magee, to help an offense that loses all the starting receivers. Jamal Smith should be the best of the bunch, but he might not emerge for a few years. Meanwhile, JUCO transfer Terrance Cain will make a push for Brian Johnson’s open quarterback spot.

55. TCU  
The class is heavy on ... Offensive tackle. The Horned Frogs got commitments from a few very nice running backs like Jurell Thompson and Matthew Tucker, and someone has to pave the way for them. The interior of the line wasn’t ignored, Eric Tausch is a good prospect at either guard or center, but the tackles got the attention with three tall, athletic options in Ty Horn, James Dunbar, and John Wooldridge.

56. Duke 
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. The Blue Devils perennially struggle to stop opposing passers, which prompted David Cutcliffe to go extremely heavy on the secondary. Almost one-third of the class is either a safety or a cornerback, led by Taylor Sowell, a 6-0 speedster who garnered a lot of attention from the rest of the ACC. Duke had rare success in South Carolina, a credit to the job being done by secondary coach Derek Jones.

57. UCF
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. After losing the entire starting secondary to graduation, this was an absolute priority for George O’Leary and the Knights. The program did a magnificent job a few years ago of taking two-star players, such as CB Joe Burnett, and molding them into defensive stoppers. It may not have to do much coaching up of CB Josh Robinson, an outstanding all-around playmaker, who also drew interest from Michigan, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

58. Houston
The class is heavy on ... offensive linemen. The loss of three starting linemen to graduation prompted Kevin Sumlin to spend extra time cultivating the next generation of Cougar blockers. Three new tackles and three new guards provide a nice foundation for the future and the present. At tackle, for instance, Ralph Oragwu is a three-star high-schooler with enormous upside and Roy Watts is a ready-made JUCO transfer, who turned away offers from SEC and Big 12 suitors.

Wake Forest  
The class is heavy on ... linebackers. Now that Aaron Curry and Stanley Arnoux have exhausted their eligibility, it’s time for the Deacons to replenish at linebacker. While this year’s four recruits aren’t very big, they can all fly to the ball, which is exactly the way Wake likes its defenders. The prototype is Justin Jackson, a 6-1, 203-pounder with 4.5 speed and a better vertical leap than most of the ACC’s receivers.

60. Hawaii  
The class is heavy on ... JUCO, JUCO, JUCO. Overall, the offense got the biggest boost with three quarterback prospects, including two good ones in Cayman Shutter and Corey Nielsen, and several backs and receivers, but it’s the junior college haul that should make the most noise. Head coach Greg McMackin brought in ten ready-made players with the most help coming for the defensive line with tackles David Hofoka and Zach Masch.

- CFN 2009 Recruiting Rankings
No. 1 to 30 | No. 61 to 90 | No. 91 to 120