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Tag:Louisville
Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:17 pm
 

Big 12 Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Taking stock of National Signing Day in the Big 12.

WINNERS

Texas Tech: While the Red Raiders ended up outside the MaxPreps Top 25 when Signing Day wound down, there's no denying that Tommy Tuberville brought in an impressive class of signees. Branden Jackson should eventually be an asset to a middling front four once he fills out his frame, and for the meantime Tuberville brought in two well-regarded JUCO defensive linemen. It'll be interesting to see what Tech does with the glut of high-profile tailbacks that signed; DeAndre Washington, Bradley Marquez, and Kenny Williams all look talented enough to start, but Washington and/or Marquez might be better suited to some sort of slotback role instead. It's a nice problem to have at a school that doesn't typically bring in strong recruiting classes. 

Texas A&M: The Aggies don't have the recruiting chops of rivals Texas, but A&M did manage to snag Brandon Alexander from the Longhorns' grasp in a Signing Day showdown, which helps bridge the talent gap between the two programs just that little bit. The Aggies were also odd beneficiaries of forgery, as CB Floyd Raven's LOI to Ole Miss was found to be written by Raven's mother (who clearly had her own very strong ideas about what was best for her son); Raven is now officially an Aggie. No word on how awkward Mother's Day will be at the Raven household.

Texas: While Oklahoma's small signing class left it out of Tom Lemming's Top 25, Texas cruised to yet another Top 10 spot, thanks to the signing of stud tailback Malcolm Brown and freak athlete Steve Edmond (who can play wide receiver, linebacker, or pretty much any position that accommodates those between 200 and 290 pounds). Look out for Cedric Reed, a prototypical blue chip DE who could dominate soon. At 60, Mack Brown's not going to be in Austin forever, but if these types of classes keep up, he is going to leave a glut of talent for whoever takes over for him. 

LOSERS

Kansas State: Head coach Bill Snyder lived up to his reputation by bringing in eight JUCO players to this recruiting class (EIGHT!), and few of them are highly regarded. The high school recruits aren't much better, either; for every Ian Seau (Junior's nephew) with a list of decent offers, there are several high school signees with nearly barren offer sheets. The Wildcats were surprisingly decent in 2010, even reaching the Pinstripe Bowl, but their recruiting shows no signs of momentum. This is the type of class one expects from a 3-9 team. 

Baylor: Baylor's fighting an uphill battle in terms of tradition and resources to begin with, so it doesn't help to see Oklahoma poach longtime commit Nila Kasitati from Baylor for barely any better reason than "because Bob Stoops felt like it." The Bears did snipe talented tailback Jermichael Selders from West Virginia today, so it's not as if Art Briles was completely passive, but this still looks like a level of talent that must depend on a game-changer at quarterback like Robert Griffin III if Baylor's going to make any noise in the conference. Baylor needs wideout Jonathan Lee to contribute in a hurry.

Iowa State: The highlight of Iowa State's day, and probably its entire recruiting class, is landing wideout Quenton Bundrage over Cincinnati, Louisville, and Marshall today. ISU's class may end up good, but it probably won't, considering how few recruits ISU had to beat a BCS team other than Minnesota for. Paul Rhoads is a good coach with a bright future in college football, but he didn't strike gold today.

Posted on: February 2, 2011 12:42 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 12:47 am
 

Big Ten Signing Day at a glance

Posted by Adam Jacobi

With Nebraska joining the already tradition-rich Big Ten, the pressure's going to be on the conference's best teams to keep producing more than ever. Here are some key factors coming into National Signing Day.

Players to Watch

Curtis Grant - With the news on Tuesday night that Ohio State was out of the running for Aundrey Walker, Curtis Grant is one of just two uncommitted prospects left on MaxPreps' Top 100 that's still considering the Buckeyes. If the Buckeyes do land Grant, however, he'll be the trophy of the class; Grant is a beast of a linebacker, with the size and speed to play inside or outside. Ohio State loses star linebackers Brian Rolle and Ross Homan this season, and the depth in the LB corps isn't great; between that and the value a fast, hard-hitting safety brings to special teams, it'd be a shock if Grant didn't get on the field immediately for OSU. The Buckeyes' main competition for Grant's services is Florida, though UNC or Virginia could potentially come into play here.

Andre Sturdivant - One of the top remaining prospects in Big Ten country is Andre "Tank" Sturdivant, who played linebacker this year but looks like a classic convert from MLB to DE; he's big and strong, and plays better north-and-south than in space. He could be a multiple-year starter at DE for most Big Ten teams, and he's still weighing his options for next year. Michigan State and Penn State appear to be neck-and-neck for the defender, while Toledo is the default "close to home" option for the Cleveland, Ohio native. Thing of it is, though, if Ohio State starts missing on its several last-minute prospects once the LOIs start rolling in and still has a scholarship open, we could easily see the Buckeyes make an offer to Sturdivant and let him stay close to home with a better program than MSU or PSU. There's really no telling where this commitment goes.

Darian Cooper - DT Darian Cooper is yet another legitimate D-I prospect from the football factory that is DeMatha HS in Baltimore, and it's easy to see why; Cooper is a cannonball of a defensive lineman, standing at 6'1" and weighing close to three bills. He's still fast enough to have lined up at end at times for DeMatha, and that first step quickness combined with his low point of leverage should be enough to give larger, slower offensive linemen nightmares. Cooper will choose between Michigan, Iowa, and Georgia Tech tomorrow, and considering the lack of depth on both Michigan and Iowa's defensive fronts, it seems like Cooper would find immediate playing time if he went to the Midwest.

Teams to Watch

Penn State - The Nittany Lions have the capacity to to fill up just about all of their 25 allotted signing spots this class. What they don't have are the commits themselves; only 15 players have announced verbal commitments to PSU thus far. Joe Paterno's age is obviously limiting the amount of recruiting he can do, and it can't have helped that defensive coordinator Tom Bradley was thisclose to heading to Pitt in the middle of recruiting season. If opposing teams are citing imminent instability in their negative recruiting against PSU, they're wise, and it's working; this class has no business being so small. Let's see if JoePa can work some magic and bring in some late names to help coax the 2011 freshman class into respectability. 

Indiana - Yes, Indiana. Incoming head coach Kevin Wilson has an uphill battle ahead of him, but if his job keeping commitments on board is any indication of how much recruits like the guy, we could see a turnaround in Bloomington. Wilson kept four-star LB Zack Shaw (an April '10 verbal) in the fold, and just this past weekend TE Jake Reed canceled a visit to Iowa and rebuffed offers from Stanford and Louisville -- where Charlie Strong is recruiting like crazy -- to reaffirm his commitment to the Hoosiers. Those two have set a good example; Wilson now needs the rest of his class to follow suit when it comes time to put pen to paper.

Michigan - Coming into Tuesday, the Wolverines had six known offers out and room to accommodate them all; so far, one has committed and the other five are still available. They're no slouches, either; one is the aforementioned Darian Cooper, and the other five all have several major college offers. Brady Hoke could use a strong finish to an otherwise lackluster first recruiting class (hardly his fault, of course), and what better day for such a finish than Signing Day?

The Below-the-Radar Storyline You'll Need to Follow

It's obviously foolish to grant much immediate importance to recruiting rankings; only rarely do true freshmen substantially contribute to a team's success, and by the time most guys in a recruiting class find their way to the field, it's two or three years later and the work they've put in with the program generally outweighs their recruiting bona fides by then. And yet, it has to be pointed out that despite their recent BCS bowl berths, neither Wisconsin nor Iowa is recruiting at a level that's substantially higher than that of incoming Nebraska. Yes, Iowa and Wisconsin are both on the MaxPreps Top 25, but their inclusion over Nebraska may be due to little more than the fact that the Huskers only have 18 players committed, a relatively small class compared to the Hawkeyes and Badgers. Any illusions Big Ten foes may have harbored about a mediocre Nebraska program should be out the window by now.

More Signing Day coverage is here at CBS. 

Posted on: January 29, 2011 9:31 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2011 11:12 pm
 

Big East needs, commits and hopes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Cincinnati

Biggest need: Offensive line. Two starters are already gone due to graduation and next season could feature seniors across the board. This is not only an area of need for the future but one that needs bodies heading into next season as well.

Best verbal commit: Running back Jameel Poteat.

Hope to get: Linebacker Dexter Moody.

Connecticut

Biggest need: Receiver. The new staff will likely see a big hole at a lot of positions with several seniors gone from the Big East champion. Finding a dynamic wide receiver to help take pressure off the running game will likely be at or near the top of the recruiting board.

Best verbal commit: Linebacker Jefferson Ashiru.

Hope to get: Defensive back Adrian Amos.

Louisville

Biggest need: Offensive linemen. The Cardinals take a huge hit on the offensive line due to graduation so it’s important to find players to fill out the depth chart and be ready to step in if there’s injuries.

Best verbal commit: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Hope to get: Tight end Jon Davis.

Pitt

Biggest need: Defensive end. Brandon Lindsey returns to a unit that should be solid next year but will be a senior so new head coach Todd Graham will have to replace him shortly. It’s tough to recruit when you’re the third coach since the end of the season but Graham will have to make adding an end a priority.

Best commit: Defensive tackle Khaynin Mosley-Smith.

Hope to get: Quarterback Michael Eubank.

Rutgers

Biggest need: Defensive line. Rutgers was dead last in the Big East in sacks by a mile. They need at least one player in the current class to step in and help out.

Best verbal commit: Running back Savon Huggins.

Hope to get: Defensive tackle Marquise Wright.

South Florida 

Biggest need: Skill players. The Bulls have someone to build around in quarterback B.J. Daniels but the key is finding some playmakers to put around him. There are a few on the roster but adding to the current group can give USF a chance in the Big East.

Best verbal commit: Wide receiver Andre Davis.

Hope to get: Defensive tackle Elkino Watson.

Syracuse

Biggest need: Secondary. Syracuse had a lot of youth on the team last year but can still improve in several areas. The Orangemen will pencil in three seniors at the backend so there’s at least one position group that needs some added depth.

Best verbal commit: Wide receiver Dyshawn Davis.

Hope to get: Defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds.

West Virginia

Biggest need: Defensive line. The Mountaineers had a very good defense last year (third in the country in total defense) but will need to add a player or two to the defensive line with an eye for 2012 with a senior-laden bunch already in Morgantown.

Best verbal commit: Defensive back Terrell Chestnut.

Hope to get: Safety Roderick Ryles.

Posted on: January 27, 2011 9:39 am
 

1/27 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- The commitment of Tre Mason to Auburn has resulted in Isiah Crowell dropping the Tigers from consideration and canceling an official visit.

- Georgia Tech continues to close on several prospects, recently landing defensive end Trey Flowers of Hunstville, AL.

- Great story on how Florida International has gone from worst to first by winning the Sun Belt, but they are now starting to compete with BCS-conference schools on the recruiting trail.

- An update on Kentucky commitment Jon Davis, who is considering Illinois and Louisville as well.

- New Maryland head coach Randy Edsall has dipped in Florida for his most recent commitment, landing defensive tackle Keith Bowers.

- Quarterback Jacoby Brissett will visit Miami, not Florida, with his final official visit before Signing Day.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com