Tag:Butch Davis
Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:27 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 9:27 pm
 

UNC recruiting put in a difficult spot

Posted by Bryan Fischer

There might not be a more interesting recruiting situation in the country than at the University of North Carolina. Their head coach was fired before the season - but after ACC Media Day. The program is in the middle of putting together their response to a set of serious allegations from the NCAA and, by the way, they're still facing a rebuilding job from a pure numbers standpoint because they've had so many players declared ineligible or leave to the NFL draft.

It's going to be a tough road to Signing Day for interim head coach Everett Withers. Not only must he continue to keep the current 12 players in the Tar Heels' recruiting class committed but he'll have to deal with plenty of negative recruiting out on the road. Unlike a USC, Miami or Ohio State that can sell players on their history and tradition of sending players to the NFL when times are tough, North Carolina isn't an elite school when it comes to that. Given the fact that there is so much uncertainty surrounding possible - and by possible we mean likely - NCAA sanctions, it's going to be difficult for the school to land high end talent.

That's not to say they can put together a solid class however. UNC is well known for its academics and Chapel Hill is a great college town. There's a good deal of talent in the Carolinas and nearby states such as Virginia and Tennessee. There's some solid players already committed at the moment, such as offensive lineman J.J. Patterson, tight end Justin Meredith and quarterback Patton Robinette. If they can build around that group, possibly target a few speedsters on either side of the ball and evaluate others well, there's no question the program can make it through this year before learning how handcuffed they'll be going forward.

Butch Davis, John Blake and the school administration have put the Tar Heels football program in a tough spot. They certainly can dig out of it with good effort but it will be an uncertain road until Signing Day and beyond.

Posted on: August 15, 2011 10:28 am
 

Ranking the ACC recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. Florida State (Ranked number four overall by Maxpreps)

It's no surprise to see the Seminoles at the top of this list given what Jimbo Fisher has done on the recruiting trail recently. The defensive front seven players alone makes this a special group and that's not even considering grabbing the top dual-threat quarterback in Jameis Winston.

2. Miami (#5)

The Hurricanes have done excellent work with Al Golden's first full recruiting class, especially on the defensive side with players such as Jelani Hamilton and Raphael Kirby. There's a lot of speed in the class as one would expect given their South Florida talent base.

3. Virginia (#8)

How about the job Mike London has done on the recruiting trail? Michaei Moore is a top 100 defensive end he lured from Maryland and linebacker Kwontie Moore is a possible impact player early on given his size and speed.

4. Virginia Tech (#11)

Frank Beamer usually pulls several talented players out of the Tidewater and this class is no exception. Defensive end Jaraontay Jones and linebackers Deon Clarke and Trey Edmunds are a great building block for the Hokie defense.

5. Clemson (#13)

Despite Dabo Swinney being on the hot seat this season, the Clemson staff can still recruit. There's two top 100 players in the group and defensive back Travis Blanks should be able to make an impact early on with his terrific coverage skills.

6. Georgia Tech

It's a good year for talent in Georgia and north Florida and the Yellowjackets are taking advantage. Although they don't have an elite player, defensive end Junior Gnonkonde, linebacker Tyler Stargel and lineman Will Adams are several very good players in the class.

7. North Carolina

One of the more intriguing classes due to the resignation of Butch Davis and possible NCAA sanctions, the Tar Heels have done a solid job under the circumstances. Quarterback Patton Robinette is an Elite 11 quarterback and could be someone to build around in tough times.

8. Maryland

Randy Edsall has taken some heat for not connecting with several local high schools but he's grabbed some good local athletes nevertheless. Quarterback Shawn Petty has impressed during the summer and Mike Madaras is an offensive lineman anybody would love to have.

9. Duke

The Blue Devils have to play by a second set of rules given their admissions standards so evaluation is key in more ways than one. The current class is a good effort when viewed in that light and players like linebacker Deion Williams are a nice pick up.

10. N.C. State

You never hear much about the efforts of Tom O'Brien and staff but they seem to specialize in finding a few diamonds in the rough from year to year. Quarterback A.J. Doyle and defensive tackle K'Hadree Hooker are the anchors on either side of the ball for the Wolfpack.

11. Boston College

The Eagles look to have another solid, but under the radar, class at the halfway point in the recruiting cycle. They have an all-name candidate in Win Homer but also several other players who can develop on offense.

12. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons recently lost quarterback Alec Morris to Alabama but that should give you an indication as to how they evaluate. This is a smaller class that will likely see numbers rise as they see recruits go through their senior seasons.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 10:06 am
 

8/4 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Michigan has assembled the top class in the country by mining the best recruits in the Midwest.

Randy Edsall opens up about recruiting at Maryland.

Michigan State has five spots left in their class of 2012 and they are looking for a safety to fill at least one of them.

What if a Georgia high school had more FBS recruits than any in the country but Georgia or Georgia Tech didn't get one of them?

 Indiana, with the nation's top quarterback in the fold, has a strong in-state flavor with their recruiting class.

Is rock bottom for Ohio State a walk-on switching to Michigan because of the NCAA scandal at the school?

Commitments:

Kentucky picked up two linemen on both sides of the line in defenisve end Daniel Ross and offensive tackle T.J. Jones.

Iowa State received a commitment from cornerback Will Watson.

Following the departure of Butch Davis, cornerback Nate Dortch has changed his commitment to Miami.
Posted on: August 2, 2011 4:33 pm
 

Halfway to Signing Day: ACC Edition

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're right about halfway to Signing Day and that means it is time to take a look at the ACC and see how the conference is shaping up on the recruiting trail. Here's a few accolades for a few of the programs who are making head way (or not) at this point in August.

ACC Commitment List

Best class: Florida State

One of only two schools to have multiple Top 100 commits, Jimbo Fisher is once again building a very strong class for 2012. The Seminoles address both needs (such as at the kicker spots) and go after some really high quality athletes. Dante Fowler and Mario Edwards are a scary combo off the edges at defensive end and there are some weapons on offense too in speedster Marvin Bracy and Christo Kourtzidis. A lot of top players have Florida State on their short list so it will be interesting to see how much stronger this class can become.

Work left to do: Wake Forest

Obviously the Demon Deacons have the smallest class but they do have some solid pieces to build around, such as in quarterback Alec Morris. Jim Grobe and will likely see recruiting pick up once they get a chance to evaluate players off of their senior years which means they have a lot of work left to do with the season coming up.

Under the radar class: Virginia

Rival Virginia Tech has the most commitments in the country but it is Virginia that has quietly put together a very, very good class. Unlike the Hokies, Mike London has managed to grab a Top 100 member in end Michael Moore and has a terrific linebacker headed his way in Kwontie Moore. The program has done a good job of relying on the in-state talent base while not forgetting to hit nearby areas like Maryland/Washington D.C. The Cavaliers are already ranked in the top 25 and if they can close strong, it wouldn't be surprised to see them move up a little bit in the team rankings.

Top commit: Defensive end Mario Edwards (Denton, Texas), committed to Florida State.

Loading up: Virginia on offensive linemen (5), Miami on quarterbacks (3), Virginia Tech on defensive backs (3+).

Frequent Fliers: Duke, commitments from nine states.

Fence builders: Miami, 19 commitments from Florida.

Road to Signing Day storyline: North Carolina.

It will be very interesting to see how the Tar Heels proceed without Butch Davis at the helm. The NCAA news has been swirling around the program since last summer but it is important to keep in mind that by the time this signing day rolls around, recruits will know what type of sanctions (if any) the program will be hit with. They've got a solid class at the moment but given that the news of Davis' departure only recently happened, it could take a while to see how it affects the current class and recruiting going forward.

Top 25 Teams:

3. Florida State
5. Miami
10. Virginia Tech
12. Clemson
16. Virginia

Posted on: July 29, 2011 11:26 am
 

7/29 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- Interesting story on recruiting services for players.
Quarterback Faton Bauta took an unofficial visit to UCF.

Athlete Janarion Grant was one of the top performers at USF's Sling and Shoot 7-on-7 Tournament.

Miami head coach Al Golden talks a little recruiting.

 Minnesota seeks an in-state recruiting coup.

  West Virginia is hoping to close out their summer with a commitment or two out of their summer camp.

With North Carolina coach Butch Davis gone, Virginia Tech lost a recruiting thorn in their side.

Commitments:

Mississippi State added receiver Fred Brown and speedster Brandon Holloway to their class.

 Offensive lineman Joe Harris selected South Carolina over Georgia and Clemson.

 Corner Jhavon Williams will head to UConn to play ball.

 Kansas picked up quarterback Bilal Marshall from South Florida.

  Receiver D'Arthur Cowan made it official: he was going to Arkansas.

Number 18 is in for Arizona State and it's defensive end Jarvis Lewis.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:45 pm
 

Early recruit reaction to Davis firing is mixed

Posted by Bryan Fischer

A state of shock.

That's likely what many North Carolina recruits are feeling following the sudden dismissal of Tar Heels' coach Butch Davis on Wednesday. That the school chose to wait until it did - two days after ACC media days and eight days before fall camp started - was a bit surprising to just about everyone.

So how does it affect North Carolina's recruiting? Only time will tell but it isn't going to be positive.

It was Davis who was chiefly responsible for luring the class of 2011 to Chapel Hill despite the possibility of severe NCAA sanctions stemming from violations involving former assistant John Blake and instances of academic fraud that caused several players to lose their eligibility. Despite the head coach being shown the door, that class has already begun college and won't be able to leave unless released by the university.

Undoubtedly many are upset after being told by the staff that things would blow over in short order. They obviously knew this could end up happening down the road and so far none are speaking out. According to The Virginian-Pilot, the players can't speak with the media after being told by the school to keep quiet.

For the upcoming class of 2012, things are a bit different.

Running back Greg Garmon had the Heels as his top school but following the dismissal, has dropped the school way down his list according to Scout.

"I no longer have a leader," Garmon said.

Defensive end target Sheldon Rankins had similar thoughts.

“It’s always a shocker to hear the head coach of the football team you really like got fired … but you take it as it is and go with it,” Rankins told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I was already looking at other options because of the NCAA sanctions, so it didn’t really affect me that much. Everything is still wide open.”

Though neither have completely ruled out the school, it's going to be quite the uphill battle for the interim staff to land either given the uncertainty. The pair doesn't speak for every recruit however. Offensive tackle Jon Heck is one of several UNC commits in the upcoming class to say they're still on board despite the recent news.

"It is unfortunate and I wish that I could still play under Coach Davis but like I said I considered this possibility from the get-go, so I am still a 100% committed to UNC," Heck told Rivals.

North Carolina currently has 12 commitments for the class of 2012 though none is considered an elite prospect. While it remains to be seen how many actually stick with their commitment on Signing Day, at least they'll be able to make a more informed choice than their peers in the 2011 class. Remember that all of this is before any possible sanctions handed out by the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which will only make things worse. You can bet that opposing schools have already begun negatively recruiting and used all this against the Heels.

No matter how you slice it, it's going to be tough for North Carolina out on the recruiting trail.
Posted on: March 16, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: March 16, 2011 5:33 pm
 

Delvon Simmons gets release from UNC

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MaxPreps eighth-ranked defensive tackle Delvon Simmons has been released from his letter of intent, North Carolina head coach Butch Davis confirmed to CarolinaBlue.com.

Simmons surprisingly chose the Tar Heels on Signing Day despite never taking an official visit to the school. The 6-foot-5, 265 pound defensive tackle asked for his release following the departure of line coach Brian Baker, who was only on staff for a month. Baker followed Charlie Coiner, who filled in following the departure of disgraced assistant John Blake.

According to Scout.com, Simmons listed USC, Pitt, Texas Tech, Iowa, Oregon, Florida and Rutgers as schools he would like to be released to. He is expected to choose between Texas Tech or USC.

News is not all bad in Chapel Hill however, as former North Carolina defensive tackle Brandon Willis rejoined the team on Monday following a transfer to UCLA.

Posted on: February 4, 2011 8:37 pm
 

Video: UNC Signing Day Recap

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Butch Davis managed to to pull in an impressive recruiting class at North Carolina for 2011 despite staff turnover and the threat of NCAA sanctions on the horizon. 

Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
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