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2009 Sun Belt Recruiting - What It All Means
Troy DT Riley Flowers
Troy DT Riley Flowers
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 9, 2009


How does the 2009 Sun Belt recruiting class really affect the college football world?

Recruiting 2009 ... Sun Belt

Ranking the Sun Belt classes

Click on each team for the fill class list and top players
Arkansas State | Florida Atlantic | FIU | Middle Tennessee
North Texas | Troy | UL Lafayette | UL Monroe | Western Kentucky

- CFN Recruiting 2009
- 2008 CFN Sun Belt recruiting rankings
- 2007 CFN Sun Belt Recruiting Rankings
- 2006 CFN Sun Belt Recruiting Rankings

1. Western Kentucky   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: NR
The class is heavy on ... Bulk. There’s a little of something for every spot with no one spot getting the complete and total focus. The team was awful last season with a tough mix of seniors and unproven young players, and this class is built to be a foundation for the next several years. The skill position players are the stars of the show with QB Courtney Dalcourt, RB Keshawn Simpson, and WR Jamarielle Brown all going to be fixtures by 2012.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Courtney Dalcourt
The player you might care about this year ... PK Monte Merrick
What it all means to the real world of college football ... With the move up to full-time FBS status, the program needed to make a statement and a bit of a splash this recruiting season. It did both. This was a huge class with several players good enough to compete for jobs right away, but the idea with this haul was to build the foundation for the future. It’s a surprisingly strong class that should be the foundation for next several years.  

2. Troy   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 2
The class is heavy on ... Ready made defensive linemen. The Trojans had the Sun Belt’s best offensive line last year by far, but three starters are gone. While there’s depth and potential with the returning players, this class made sure the front five is loaded with four JUCO transfers, led by tackle Tyler Graves. The defensive side got some fantastic tackle prospects with JUCO transfer Riley Flowers good enough to play just about anywhere.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... WR Anthony Williams
The player you might care about this year ... DT Riley Flowers
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Last year’s class was about building for down the road, and this year’s class is about being better right now. With the tremendous JUCO transfers coming in, and with a good nucleus already in place, there’s no reason to think the defending Sun Belt champions will slip even with several key starters needing to be replaced.  

3. ULM   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 3
The class is heavy on ... Wide receivers. This is a huge class with the major emphasis on the offense, and most specifically, the receivers. With seven prospects coming in over various shapes and sizes. JUCO transfer Cordario Calvin will be expected to play right away, but Tristan Warren might be the best of the lot, and Otis Peterson and Tavarese Maye will battle it out for who’ll be the fastest.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Kolton Browning
The player you might care about this year ... DE Quantez Hunter
What it all means to the real world of college football ... ULM has always hung around the top of the Sun Belt but hasn’t been able to get over the hump. The last two classes have been excellent with the defensive line the strength last year and the offense getting addressed this season. If the 2008 class was supposed to be the one that finally changed things around, combined with this class, 2010 should be fantastic.

4. FIU   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 5
The class is heavy on ... Defensive back. This was a decent class all the way around, but the major focus was on stopping the pass with some good defensive ends in Joshua Forney and Thatcher Starling, and several defensive backs with decent speed, and surprisingly, a lot of size. Terrance Taylor was a nice pickup at safety while Wayne Times is a good-looking corner prospect.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... C/OG Rupert Bryan
The player you might care about this year ... DE Thatcher Starling
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The last two classes have been pointed toward the defensive side after loading up on skill players in 2007. The program made an about face halfway through the season and started to play better once Paul McCall, who’s back, took over the reins at quarterback, and now the hope is for the last two classes to beef up the D enough to be more of a player in the Sun Belt title chase.


5. Middle Tennessee   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 4
The class is heavy on ... Skill players. There’s a sprinkling of new recruits here and there, but the stars are at the skills with QB Jamal Ramsey one of the league’s best prospects and running backs David Jones and William Pratcher each good enough to change around the woeful running game. The receivers have size and speed, but they’re extremely unpolished.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB Kenneth Gilstrap
The player you might care about this year ... RB David Jones
What it all means to the real world of college football ... After going after the defense for the last few years, now it’s all about the offense and restocking the shelves. This is a strong class that should provide excellent depth for 2010 and 2011. The returning team is young, loaded with experience, and good enough to win the Sun Belt. This year’s class has a few players that could find their way into the lineup here and there, but it’s unlikely that anyone will make a huge impact right away. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.


6. Florida Atlantic   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 7
The class is heavy on ... Cornerback. By far the best prospects of this year’s class are in the secondary where De’Andre Richardson and Keith Reaser are two really fast, really good corners who should be fixtures in the FAU defensive backfield for years. Winfred Strickland and Treon Howard aren’t as fast or as good, but they should provide decent depth down the road.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB De’Andre Richardson
The player you might care about this year ... DE Corey Henry
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Here’s the problem. FAU needs to own Miami when it comes to the prospects not strong enough to go to the big Florida schools, and it’s not. FIU swooped in and took several players in the “State of Miami,” as head coach Howard Schnellenberger would call it, and had a better recruiting class. How much longer will Schnellenberger be running the program? Compared to FIU and its young head coach, Mario Cristobal, the coaching future in Boca Raton is a bit of an issue.

7. Arkansas State   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 6
The class is heavy on ... Receivers. QB Phillip Butterfield is the star of the show here, and he’ll have plenty of targets to work with including Carlos McCants, a smallish, quick receiver who should be a number one target at some point. JUCO transfer Lucious Henderson is for right now. The defense was almost completely ignored.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Phillip Butterfield
The player you might care about this year ... OG Sifa Etu
What it all means to the real world of college football ... ASU always seems to find ways to find the right players to not only fit what Steve Roberts wants to do, but can develop to fill the gaps. This class might not be anything too special, especially considering the defense didn’t get much of any help, but the firepower will be there for down the road. Interestingly enough, last year’s class mostly focused on wide receivers, just like this year. There are athletes for both sides of the ball depending on what the staff wants to play around with.  


8. North Texas   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 1
The class is heavy on ... Receivers. If you’re going to run the offense head coach Todd Dodge wants to run, you need targets. The Mean Green passing game got an influx of receivers with two JUCO transfers for right now in Jamaal Jackson and Mike Outlaw, while freshman Daniel Mayberry might be the most talented of the lot.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Daniel Prior
The player you might care about this year ... OT Jeremy Bean
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Last year the coaching staff crushed it out of the park with a fantastic class, so there weren’t a lot of openings to fill for the future. However, considering how bad the defense has been, this class wasn’t all that attentive to the needs on an immediate basis. The secondary was addressed last year, but the front seven didn’t get a whole bunch of instant help outside of LB Tony Charles and DT Shavod Atkinsin.  


9. UL Lafayette   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 8
The class is heavy on ... Defensive line. The receiving corps is also a strength, but the stars are on the defensive front with two JUCO transfers, Tyrell Gaddies for the middle and Jordan Topp for inside or out. Two of the team’s best recruits are for the future with Brandon McCray a top tackle and Justin Anderson an interesting tweener who could end up at linebacker or in a hybrid role.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... OG Daniel Lamelle
The player you might care about this year ... DT Tyrell Gaddies
What it all means to the real world of college football ... If last year was about bringing in the quarterbacks, this year was about getting the defense in line for the future. However, compared to the rest of the league, this is a relatively mediocre overall haul that looks even lighter considering last year focused on quantity over quality. However, the 2006 and 2007 classes were excellent and are just starting to shine through.