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Blog Entry

Big East Signing Day Overview

Posted on: January 27, 2012 10:55 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 11:10 am
 


Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. Things are in a state of flux in the Big East and it seems that the lack of stability at some programs has hampered some recruiting classes. Things are still going well but it's going to be an interesting Signing Day for the league with several new head coaches and programs shuffling in and out like recruits change commitments.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings
College Commits Top 100 Moving
None - - -

Top storylines

1. Does Greg Schiano leaving destroy Rutgers' class? 

If there's a coaching change to come out of left field, it might be Schiano's, who leaves just days before Signing Day. Rutgers had been in the middle of building their best recruiting class in years and had locked up a lot of in-state talent in a great year for recruits in New Jersey. Now all of that is in jeopardy with the shock recruits are feeling quite evident from many of their comments. Expect the Scarlet Knights to drop out of the running for several of the top uncommitted guys on their board and other school calling everybody in their class to see if they want to take a late official visit and reconsider their pledge.

2. Can Paul Chryst build out a good first effort?

Another swift departure out of town for Todd Graham has led to a very good hire for Pittsburgh in Chryst, who jumps over from Wisconsin where he did an excellent job of developing talent. Graham did a good job of keeping top in-state talent close to home and landed the top big back in the country in Rushel Shell. There are a lot of good pieces, especially on offense, but it's up to Chryst to keep everybody committed and build on it with others in his first effort on the recruiting trail as head coach. More than anything, he can hopefully bring some stability to the program.

3. How are the newcomers doing?

Every report and indication has the Mountaineers playing in the Big 12 in 2012, until the i's are dotted and t's crossed, they're going to be stuck in Big East purgatory for now. Dana Holgorsen knows the league and recruiting in Texas in particular but has hit the state of Florida extremely hard with the incoming class. Regardless of the exact timing, this will be the first group of recruits brought in to play in the Big 12 so it's worth tracking to see if that leads to a boost when the faxes are in or whether the big Orange Bowl victory or coaching turnover has a bigger impact.

4. West Virginia's first Big 12 class... at some point.

While the majority of teams the Big East has added over the past year or so won't join the league for another year, it's still worth tracking how the newcomers fare on the recruiting trail. In the case of a school like Boise State, the past success of the program has led to one of the best classes in recent memory with solid depth and a handful of players that should be in the mix for playing time earlier than is normal on the Blue Turf. Houston and UCF have done a solid job considering coaching turnover and scandal while SMU has still tried to keep things going despite losing the school's top recruiter. The class of 2012 might not play right away in the Big East but you have to keep tabs on them since they will in the not to distant future.

Most impressive class: Pittsburgh

Most underrated class: South Florida

Work left to do: Syracuse

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
11. Rushel Shell RB Pittsburgh
27. Ronald Darby ATH Uncommitted
29. Darius Hamilton DE Uncommitted
35. Devin Fuller ATH Uncommitted
91. Leonte Carroo WR Rutgers
95. Bennie Coney QB Cincinnati
105. Chad Voytik QB Pittsburgh
107. Wayne Morgan DB Uncommitted
108. Adam Bisnowaty OL Pittsburgh
109. Quanzell Lambert LB Rutgers
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Kerry Coombs, Mark Elder and Steve Stripling, Cincinnati
George DeLeone, UConn
Vance Bedford, Clint Hurtt and Brian Jean-Mary, Louisville
Bob Bostad and Joe Rudolph, Pittsburgh
Brian Angelichio and Jeff Hafley, Rutgers
Todd Fitch and Phil McGeoghan, South Florida
Scott Shafer and Tyrone Wheatley, Syracuse
Robert Gillespie and Daron Roberts, West Virginia

Head coach under pressure: Skip Holtz, South Florida

Top Big East class prediction: Louisville

Top Big East signee: Rushel Shell

Big East school-by-school
Program Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
32 QB Bennie Coney
RB Dennis Norfleet
OL Caleb Stacey
Butch Jones has done a good job at hitting needs and filling out his class. Coney won't be ready to play right away but has the physical tools to fit right into the offense. Norfleet is an absolute steal at running back.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Casey Cochran
WR Neally Cunningham
WR John Green
Not a lot of remarks about this group other than the fact that Cochran is a very solid pick up at quarterback and is smart and has a strong arm.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Keith Brown
LB James Burgess
LB Nick Dawson
The trio of top linebacker Charlie Strong has managed to grab headline this class but it has several other very good grabs that could have played at bigger programs. OL depth is notable.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 OL Adam Bisnowaty
RB Rushel Shell
QB Chad Voytik
The headliners for the Panthers are on offense and they should fit right into Chryst's system. Voytik has a compact throwing motion and strong arm while Shell is a multipurpose threat who is a load going downhill.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 WR Leonte Carroo
OL J.J. Denman
LB Quanzell Lambert
You can put TBD next to this class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB Chris Bivins
WR D'Vario Montgomery
TE Sean Price
Bivins and Price are SEC-caliber players and terrific adds by the staff. Montgomery is a big time threat who should see early playing time and is part of a very athletic freshman class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Kyle Knapp
TE Ron Thompson
Knapp and Thompson are two solid adds but other than that, the most remarkable thing about the Orangemen is adding all-Namer Pancho Barnwell.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 QB Ford Childress
WR Deontay McManus
ATH Brandon Napoleon
Childress is a guy you can project to put up big time numbers in Holgorsen's system and you can say the same about a dynamic threat in McManus. Good job at addressing needs while adding athleticism.



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