Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • NFL
  • NCAA FB
  • Tennis

Signing Day Checklist: Wrapping up the Big East

By J. Darin Darst | CBSSports.com Staff Writer

Earlier in the week we looked at the Big East and what they needed for Signing Day. Did everybody get what they wanted? Nobody's perfect, but let's take a look at how each team in the Big East did Wednesday.

Cincinnati

Signees: 20

247Sports National Rank: 57

Overview: Despite losing out on some guys, the Bearcats still ended up with a Top 60 class. A lot of that is helped by some solid junior college candidates like No. 3 weakside DE Jerrell Jordan and No. 2 all-purpose back Rodriguez Moore.

Needed to Address: DB, LB, TE. Cincinnati needed to shore up the secondary and got three cornerbacks, including Howard Wilder. It also got the TE it needed in Travis Johnson, who signed with Cincinnati over South Florida and Missouri.

Headliner: Johnson. Getting the 12th-rated tight end in the nation was a huge signing.

Instant Impact: Moore, who transfers from ASA College, should step in right away to bolster the running game.

Best-Case Scenario: Cincinnati has a handful of transfers coming in, which should provide an immediate impact and put Cincinnati in contention for the Big East title.

Connecticut

Signees: 27

247Sports National Rank: 68

Overview: With 15 three-star athletes signed, including quarterback Tim Boyle, the Huskies have to be somewhat happy with their class.

Needed to Address: TE, WR, LB. Three of those three-star athletes are linebackers, inlcuding Chris Britton, who was also recruited by Pittsburgh. It also needed wide receivers and got two strong ones in Brian Lemelle and Dhameer Bradley.

Headliner: Britton is the top player in the class. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker made 125 tackles during his senior year of high school and should help the UConn defense.

Instant Impact: Bradley. The wide receiver is already enrolled, which should give him a jump on learning the offense.

Best-Case Scenario: UConn gets all the young pieces together, including new QB Boyle and its two new WRs and is leading the Big East in two seasons.

Houston

Signees: 26 247Sports National Rank: 58

Overview: Big East newcomer Houston makes its mark known early, getting one of the better classes in the conference. John O'Korn picked Houston over Syracuse, South Florida and Mississippi State. It also already had four strong junior college players enrolled, including OLB Caleb Tucker.

Needed to Address: DL, LB, WR. Houston addressed its needs, especially at wide receiver, signing four players, including DeMarcus Ayers. Linebacker might be a concern as it signed just one after Tucker in two-star Tyler McCloskey.

Headliner: Deondre Skinner. Ranked as the 29th-best tight end by 247Sports, Skinner picked Houston over Arkansas and LSU.

Instant Impact: Junior college DE Trevor Harris should be able to step right in on the defensive line and help the Cougars with one of their "need" areas. He was timed at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash.

Best-Case Scenario: The Cougars got some help on the defensive line right away, but the offensive players might be a year or two away. Keep an eye on the Cougars as a team that could definitely contend for the Big East in 2014.

Louisville

Signees: 16

247Sports National Rank: 42

Overview: Louisville only had 16 recruits, but sometimes it's quality over quanity. It was the only team in the conference to get two four-star recruits in WR James Quick and quarterback Kyle Bolin. The Cardinals are once again going to be the cream of the Big East crop.

Needed to Address: DL, LB, WR. It definitely got what it needed with WR Quick, who is rated as the sixth-best WR by 247Sports. It can get even stronger with a commit from Taj Williams (No. 37 WR), who hasn't made a decision. Louisville also snagged two three-star outside linebackers in Keith Kelsey and Donel Elam.

Headliner: Quick. Anytime you get somebody who was recruited heavily by Ohio State and Alabama, that's a major deal. Huge get for Louisville.

Instant Impact: Quick. As a member of the 247Sports High School All-America Team, this kid should jump right into the starting role.

Best-Case Scenario: In what could be Louisville's last season in the Big East, expect the Cardinals to once again be the champion.

Memphis

Signees: 28

247Sports National Rank: 87

Overview: Memphis must do something after going 4-8 last season, and there are some nice names in this class that should help the Tigers improve. They got six junior college players, including DE Kewan Alfred, who is the No. 7 ranked JUCO DE. Nykiren Wellington, who is the 27th rated JUCO OT, is also a nice signing.

Needed to Address: DL, LB, WR: Memphis needed linebackers and picked up just one in Claude George. Wide receiver was also important, and the Tigers got two JUCOs in Joe Craig and Adrian Henderson.

Headliner: All-purpose back Marquis Warford was the top player in the class, choosing Memphis over Rice. He ran for 2,322 yards and 31 touchdowns last year in high school.

Instant Impact: Both JUCO WRs should help the offense right away.

Best-Case Scenario: Warford is a stud. If the JUCO WRs and new quarterback Brayden Scott are studs, then the Memphis offense will be one of the best in the conference.

Rutgers

Signees: 22

247Sports National Rank: 47

Overview: Battling Louisville as the winner in the recruiting war, Rutgers falls just short but once again comes through with a nice 2013 class.

Needed to Address: DL, LB, WR: Defensive line was a big focus, and Rutgers did a good job, getting the No. 43-, No. 60- and No. 72-rated defensive ends. Nick Arcidiacono is the leader of the class at that position, picking Rutgers over Boston College and Bowling Green. Its linebacker recruiting was a little thin, losing out on Skai Moore, but getting Nick Internicola.

Headliner: Nadir Barnwell. The dual-threat quarterback/cornerback was the No. 8 athlete in the nation, according to 247Sports. Michigan State and Florida were both interested, but the New Jersey native stayed home.

Instant Impact: Internicola. He was highly recruited by West Virginia and Cincinnati, but he decided to go to Rutgers. After losing out on Moore, expect Internicola to fill the void.

Best-Case Scenario: Rutgers will once again be right there at the top of the Big East next year and if all falls well can overtake Louisville.

SMU

Signees: 23

247Sports National Rank: 70

Overview: When it comes to recruiting, SMU has done pretty well compared to Conference USA, but it will need to step it up a little in the Big East. It finished about middle of the pack in its first year in the conference but ended up with the No. 1 JUCO RB in Traylon Shead, who signed in December. Deion Sanders Jr. also signed last month and hopefully ends up as exciting as his dad.

Needed to Address: DL, LB, WR. For a team that needed DT and LBs, it only get a couple of them. Zelt Minor is one of the best in the class, ranking as the No. 65 defensive tackle in the nation. Carlos Carroll is the top LB, choosing SMU over San Diego State. JaBryce Taylor will join Sanders to bolster the receiving core.

Headliner: Tight end Jeremiah Gaines had offers from Ole Miss and California but decided to sign with SMU. He had 14 touchdowns in high school last season, so he could be a nice find for the Mustangs.

Instant Impact: Shead. The former Texas commit, who ran for 1,194 and 17 TDs at Navarro JC, should step right into the SMU offense.

Best-Case Scenario: Deion Sanders Jr. is an explosive as his father, Shead turns out to be one of the best running backs in the nation and the defense holds up. All that adds up to one of the most exciting teams to watch and makes SMU an immediate contender in the Big East.

Temple

Signees: 23

247Sports National Rank: 81

Overview: Unfortunately for Temple, the Owls have one of the worst-rated classes in the Big East. The good news is that a three-star linebacker is heading to school in Buddy Brown. The Owls got a nice running back in Zaire Williams, who is ranked as the 35th-best RB in the nation.

Needed to Address: DL, LB, WR. It needed a linebacker and got one of the best. It also signed Jarred Alwan. It needed wide receivers and got just two, including Cory Crawford.

Headliner: Brown. The linebacker picked Temple over Arizona, Arizona State and Georgia Tech.

Instant Impact: Brown. Expect him to step in right away to help a defense that ranked 90th in the nation last year.

Best-Case Scenario: If Temple finds a few diamonds in the rough to go along with the players listed above, the Owls just might be able to snag a bowl bid in a couple of seasons.

UCF

Signees: 18

247Sports National Rank: 80

Overview: Another team trying to make its mark in the Big East after leaving Conference USA, UCF had the second-lowest signees in the conference with 18. It did get two pretty good guys in the secondary in safety Chequan Burkett and cornerback Shaquill Griffin. It also might have found the quarterback of the future in Pete Dinovo, who picked UCF over Houston and South Florida.

Needed to Address: DL, LB, WR. UCF needed defensive line help and did a pretty good job getting Seyvon Lowry. Linebacker was also a "need" position and it signed Mario Mathis, who was ranked as the 47th-best ILB in the nation. But the one area UCF was looking to upgrade was wide receiver, and the Knights didn't sign one.

Headliner: Micah Reed was a Top 50 running back and had offers from Indiana and Kentucky but chose to stay close to home and sign with UCF.

Instant Impact: Reed. With Latavius Murray gone, Reed should be able to get some carries and contribute right away.

Best-Case Scenario: Reed turns out to be the next Kevin Smith, while the defenders in this class help UCF be one of the better defensive teams in the conference and make the Knights a sleeper in the conference.

South Florida

Signees: 23

247Sports National Rank: 54

Overview: The Bulls ended up with some nice recruits, getting Lamar Robbins and Derrick Calloway to choose South Florida over Louisville. It obviously couldn't get some big names like Denver Kirkland and Darius Tice, but new coach Willie Taggart still did a nice job in his first season with the Bulls. Michael White was a Top 50 pro-style QB who decided to choose South Florida over Marshall.

Needed to Address: DL, LB, WR. Taggart fell short trying to get WR Marquez Valdes and only ended up with one WR in the 2013 class. Deadrin Senat and Dominique Threatt were both nice signings at defensive tackle.

Headliner: Robbins. The three-star cornerback had lots of offers on the table, including Louisville, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Instant Impact: Robbins. South Florida will definitely find a way for Robbins to get involved in the secondary.

Best-Case Scenario: Give Taggart another season to piece together a great team and South Florida could find itself fighting with Rutgers for a Big East title.

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

College Football Video

September 17, 2014
Taysom Hill joins Jim Rome (5:36)
1 September 17, 2014
Jameis Winston suspended
(2:56)
2 September 17, 2014
Jake Waters on the Doug Gottlieb Show
(8:33)
3 September 17, 2014
Ameer Abdullah on the Doug Gottlieb Show
(9:50)

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop

Mens Baltimore Orioles Majestic Charcoal 2014 AL East Division Champions Locker Room T-Shirt

MLB Division Champs Gear
Get your team today
Shop Now