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Recruiting 2010 - The Insider Answers, Part 6
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 27, 2010


Did the rumors about Bob Stoops leaving make a difference at Oklahoma? Is Houston Nutt recruiting well at Ole Miss? These questions and more in Part Six of the key questions and insider answers for the 2010 recruiting season.

Recruiting 2010 - Key Questions

The Inside Info - Part Six

 
What's happening this recruiting season? Several Scout publishers provide their insider info on the key questions that matter to the real world of college football.

- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 1 - Is Bama taking advantage?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 2 - Is Miami keeping the top players home?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 3 - Do recruits care about JoePa's future?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 4 - How is FSU doing without Bowden?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 5 - Does the loss of Carroll matter at USC? 
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 7 - Are Urban's health issues a problem? 
- Recruiting 2009 - The Key Questions

Q: Ed Orgeron had his problems, but he could recruit. Is Houston Nutt having the same success at Ole Miss?

A: Houston Nutt is closing in on his second Top 20 recruiting class in his two full recruiting efforts. A lot of that success has been derived off of back-to-back Cotton Bowl appearances and victories over Top 20 teams - Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Nutt appears to be having more success in the state of Mississippi this year due to gaining some familiarity in the state and building some long-term relationships with coaches and players and the stability of his coaching staff. From an Ole Miss perspective, Nutt's recruiting has been as good as his on-the-field coaching. ... From Chuck Rounsaville, Publisher of The Ole Miss Spirit and omspirit.com

Q: What’s the focus of the Indiana coaching staff? Is it trying to go after an all-around upgrade in talent or is it trying to get a few Darius Willis-type stars to build around?

A: I think the general philosophy has always been to continue to upgrade the talent level across the board - quality depth has long been an issue at IU, and continuing to improve in that area was once again a focus this recruiting season. But with that said, there was undoubtedly a desire for this year's class to include some immediate impact types, particularly in the secondary where IU loses one starting corner (Ray Fisher) and both starting safeties (Nick Polk, Austin Thomas). That's why IU went after a couple of JUCO defensive backs in Lenyatta Kiles (who's already enrolled) and Andre Kates (whom they are hoping to hang on to as signing day approaches), and both would have a chance to help immediately. ... From John Decker, HoosierNation.com

Q: Did the rumors of Bob Stoops leaving have any effect on recruiting? Is he going after any top quarterbacks or is it assumed that it’s Landry Jones’s show for the next three seasons?

A: The Sooners have been a quiet force this year while on the way to securing the second best recruiting class in the country, according to the Scout.com rankings system. They pulled down top commits from all over the country, including a clean sweep of Kansas where they nailed down the top three players in the state (Blake Bell, Justin McCay, Geneo Grissom).

And it even seemed that Bob Stoops able to use the coaching rumors surrounding him and the Notre Dame Job to his advantage on the recruiting trail by going in to the homes of some of the top recruits in California, like Top 100 recruits Kenny Stills and Tony Jefferson, and showing them that he was not interested in leaving, but instead more interested in having them bring their talents to play under him in Norman. Just over a week later both players announced their intentions to sign with the Sooners and both are now on campus as they enrolled for the January semester. That was the big news of Oklahoma's recruiting year, because those two signings secured the class as one of the most elite. ... From Greg Powers, SoonersIllustrated.com

Q: What’s the main focus of Jeff Tedford and his Cal staff? Who are the next NFL-caliber skill stars to come from this class?

A: The 2010 class focused on the offensive line, wide receivers and linebackers. With one week to go before signing day, the Bears are batting .333.

Let's start with the positive…the linebacker class is arguably the best in the nation. Chris Martin is the nation's top outside linebacker, according to Scout.com. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound stud is destined for the NFL. He will make an immediate impact in Cal's 3-4 defense that struggled last season with sub par LB play. Middle linebacker Cecil Whiteside is another big-time get for the Bears. He's slated to play opposite Martin next season at the LIZ backer, there's no question both could come into camp and earn starting spots. Dave Wilkerson and Nick Forbes could also make waves on a smaller scale.

Now, the ugly…the Bears vertical game has been less than stellar the last two seasons and must replace receivers Nyan Boateng and Verran Tucker. With that said, Cal has lost two wide receiver recruits to Fresno State in the last month. Davon Dunn and Josh Harper both reneged on their verbal commitments to be Bulldogs. In obvious desperation to fill huge voids in the class, Cal offered two receiver prospects with nary a whisper of interest from the Pac-10. Both players gave verbal commitments but it’s apparent neither will make a splash this upcoming season. The uber-talented Tevin Carter can come in and start immediately, but he alone can’t save this group.

The offensive line class is not much better, unless the Bears can lock down a coveted left tackle to fill in for departing Mike Tepper in the coming days. Cal has one of the best prospects in the West in four-star tackle Alex Crosthwaite but he’s slated to play right tackle. Interior lineman Chris Adcock and Geoff Gibson are not impact players by any means.... From Mario Gomez, CalSportsDigest.com

Q: What does Southern Miss have to do to patch the holes to get to the Conference USA title game in 2010?

A: Southern Miss was only a few plays away from having a ten win season last year. Offensively, USM must replace four seniors from the offensive line. They also must replace their top two running backs, one in four year starter Damion Fletcher. The offensive line must gel quickly replacing four starters, and a running back must emerge to keep this high octane offense on the go. The good news is that USM is on the verge of another solid recruiting class, and there is plenty of talent to fill in the missing pieces on offense. The quarterback position will be an interesting spring battle, with former starter Austin Davis returning from injury. A healthy DeAndre Brown to start the season will also do wonders for this offense, who will feature several explosive stars including the explosive Tracey Lampley. Also look for another receiver to relieve the attention Brown will receive next year. Morris, Pierce, Assad, Lampley, all have a chance to get a lot of looks.

Southern Miss returns eight of eleven starters on defense. The biggest question marks last season were in the secondary after struggling against the pass all season long. On the whole, USM gave up 3,401 yards through the air, with an average of 261 yards per game. The good news is that there is help on the way. Former Alabama signee Alonzo Lawrence comes into the mix, along with emerging star Jamie Collins who saw playing time as a true freshman last season.

The bulk of the defensive line returns, including first team all conference run stuffer Anthony Gray. All three starting linebackers return including leading tackler Korey Williams that should aid an already stingy run defense. USM had success pressuring the quarterback late last season, and must continue to get pressure from ends Corderro Law and Roshaad Byrd. A talent upgrade in the secondary should help against the pass happy offenses of Conference USA.

Perhaps one of the biggest pieces to the puzzle comes in the kicking game. After struggling all season in the kicking game including missing 10 extra points, Coach Larry Fedora went out and signed Memphis area kicker Corey Acosta. With an effective kicking game last season, some outcomes of close games might have gone the other way for the Golden Eagles. ... From Drew White, GoldenEaglePride.com

- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 1 - Is Bama taking advantage?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 2 - Is Miami keeping the top players home?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 3 - Do recruits care about JoePa's future?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 4 - How is FSU doing without Bowden?
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 5 - Does the loss of Carroll matter at USC? 
- Recruiting 2010 - The Key Questions, Part 7 - Are Urban's health issues a problem? 
- Recruiting 2009 - The Key Questions