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2009 M-West Recruiting - What It All Means
Utah QB Terrance Cain
Utah QB Terrance Cain
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 9, 2009


How does the 2009 Mountain West recruiting class really affect the college football world?

Recruiting 2009 ... Mountain West

Ranking the Mountain West classes

Click on each team for the fill class list and top players
Air Force | BYU | Colorado State | New Mexico | San Diego State
TCU | UNLV | Utah | Wyoming

- CFN Recruiting 2009
- 2008 CFN Mountain West Recruiting rankings
- 2007 CFN Mountain West Recruiting Rankings
- 2006 CFN Mountain West Recruiting Rankings


1. BYU   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 1
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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... RB Adam Timo
The player you might care about this year ... CB Lee Aguirre
What it all means to the real world of college football ... BYU and Bronco Mendenhall keep on loading up with talent. Of course, BYU is a different place with several of the incoming prospects to be off on a Church mission before they do anything on the field. That includes QB Riley Nelson, a former top recruit for Utah State who has the potential to be the next Cougar passing star. Tight end Richard Wilson will be fantastic in a few years.  

2. Utah   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 2
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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DT Late Heimuli
The player you might care about this year ... DE James Aiono
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The breakthrough, undefeated season meant a coup in the recruiting season. There are fantastic prospects for almost every spot with a few nice players to develop for a few years down the road, mixed in with a decent number of nice JUCO transfers to make an impact right away. There are major openings on offense with seven starters gone, and the chances will be there for a few players to provide instant depth.  

3. TCU   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 9
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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Casey Pachall
The player you might care about this year ... S Malcolm Williams
What it all means to the real world of college football ... These things go in cycles. The Horned Frogs brought in a huge, talented class in 2007 that not just scared away several prospects in 2008, but plugged in most of the holes. Last year’s haul was minimal, and now Gary Patterson and his staff have reloaded with a tremendous group with some nice linemen and outstanding potential for the defensive back seven.

4. UNLV   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 4
The class is heavy on ... Defensive backs. While this is a class full of variety, there isn’t a lot of star power. JUCO defensive end B.J. Bell will be asked to shine right away, Jordan Barrett is a top-shelf outside linebacker prospect, and the defensive backs should be solid. JUCO transfers Mike Grant and Warren Ziegler will provide instant depth at corner, while Courtney Bridget is a tall, promising corner for the other side. Chase Childers is a fast safety.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Jordan Barrett
The player you might care about this year ... DE B.J. Bell
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Once again, UNLV came up with a class well below the conference’s big three, but slightly ahead of the rest of the pack … that’s not a bad thing. Mike Sanford continues to bring in decent players in bulk with an eye towards the future. Corner was an instant need, so Sanford went the JUCO route, but this is a class to try to keep building after failing to generate much success on the field.  


5. San Diego State   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 6
The class is heavy on ... Skill positions. New head coach Brady Hoke needs to bring in the playmakers, and he has them in bunches with a few prospects for all the skill spots. QB Jake Bernard is a good-looking option for the near future, and Osmond Nicholas should be an eventual No. 1 target. The class is also big on corners, arguably the strength of the class, with several options coming in including Nat Berhe and Marcus Andrews.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB Nat Berhe
The player you might care about this year ... S Eric Pinkins
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Chuck Long never got the offense going on a consistent basis, but the real issue was the defense. This class addressed the secondary, but it was mostly about generating more firepower. There are already offensive linemen in place from last year’s class, and they should mature just in time for the new skill players to be ready.


6. New Mexico   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: d
The class is heavy on ... Quarterbacks. They might not be needed right away, and there are a few young options in Brad Gruner and Tate Smith already in place to push Donovan Porterie, who’s returning from injury, but the two new quarterbacks will be in the hunt for time by 2010. Darren Jones and Emmanuel Yeager are tall, athletic players who can do a little of everything.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... WR Derrell Person
The player you might care about this year ... DT Peter Gardner
What it all means to the real world of college football ... New head coach Mike Locksley is known for being a big-time recruiter, but he didn’t have a ton of time to work. This isn’t a big class, but there might be as many future stars as anyone has outside of the conference’s big three. It’s an athletic group, with the quarterbacks, WR Derrell Person, LB Dallas Bollema and RB Kasey Carrier all able to move. This class signified a shift away from the powerball of the past.  


7. Colorado State   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 5
The class is heavy on ... Quarterbacks. Billy Farris is gone opening up a hole at quarterback, and while there are options in Grant Stucker and Klay Kubiak waiting to step in, JUCO transfer Jon Eastman will be in the mix right away, Nico Ranieri might be the most talented player of the bunch, but the new recruit might have to wait around for a few years before getting his shot.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Nico Ranieri
The player you might care about this year ... S Travis Ford
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Second year head coach Steve Fairchild went for more of a quick fix last year, and there was a big class in 2007 that filled up most of the needs, so this class was about piecing together a few players here and there with an eye on the future. Next year’s class will likely be far bigger, and far better. There are just enough new players from the JUCO ranks, with QB Jon Eastman, RB Leonard Mason, and S Travis Ford, to provide a few ready-made prospects.  


8. Wyoming   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 8
The class is heavy on ... Quarterbacks. The rest of the class is mediocre, at generous best, but the quarterback recruits might be the best in the Mountain West. Austyn Carta-Samuels isn’t big, he isn’t fast, but he’s a player who could be the franchise sooner than later. For now, considering the woes at quarterback last season, the signing of JUCO transfer Robert Benjamin is a nod toward the present.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Austyn Carta-Samuels
The player you might care about this year ... S Tonka Marsom
What it all means to the real world of college football ...
Dave Christensen needs difference makers. The new head coach didn’t get the best of classes, but without a full year to bring in talent, he wasn’t able to show all he could do. The defense was addressed last year, so if this class doesn’t get much from the quarterbacks, this might be a bit of a lost class. Wyoming always has problems bringing in the top-flight talent, so Christensen will have to recruit to fit the program.  

9. Air Force   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 3
The class is heavy on ... Defense. As always, Air Force had to get a specific type of player, and as always, it went with smallish, quick defenders for the line and the secondary. Dan Zotto leads the way up front, while head coach Troy Calhoun brought in a few short, athletic corners. James Chambers could be a fixture at inside linebacker sooner than later.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Desi Rodriguez
The player you might care about this year ... PK Daniel Compton
What it all means to the real world of college football ...
Calhoun and his staff came up with a stunningly good class last year with several good options for the offense. This year is about building up the defense for the future, but there are just enough good athletes to eventually make this class become far better than it is at the moment. With the program good again, there’s a higher-caliber of player coming in, but there just aren’t a ton of stars in this class.