Tag:Jim Grobe
Posted on: January 23, 2012 5:24 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 6:32 pm
 

ACC Signing Day Overview



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. While the past few years haven't been kind to the ACC in terms of on the field reputation, several schools are making quite the push on the recruiting trail. In 2010, no ACC team finished in the top 15 in the Maxpreps top 25 team rankings. In 2012, as many five could, including two top-five class possibilities. The league is very top-heavy but there's a clear talent influx headed to the East Coast with the upcoming class.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, ACC
College Commits Top 100 Moving
6. Miami 31 6
9. Florida State 16 4
13. Clemson 20 2
15. Virginia Tech 26 0
20. Virginia 25 2

Top storylines

1. Can Miami close on a top 10 class despite NCAA cloud?

This isn't what head coach Al Golden signed up for but it's what he has to deal with - which he's done superbly so far. It's no surprise that they've gotten some of the best players in their backyard and really sold recruits on the program despite whatever looming NCAA sanctions are bound to hit during their careers. One thing to keep in mind is that the Hurricanes can offer plenty of early playing time given the losses they've had due to underclassmen declaring for the NFL Draft or graduation. There are several players that really aren't up to the caliber that Miami usually recruits but given Golden's track record of molding talent in previous stops, the full story on this class won't be written for some time. There are impact players on both sides of the ball, players who will add much-needed depth and potential redshirt candidates in what could be the ACC's largest class. A handful of players are still being recruited hard by other programs and will not doubt be hearing how hard the program will get hit by the folks in Indianapolis for the Nevin Shapiro scandal. It will be interesting to track down and see if the Hurricanes trend up or down on Signing Day in the team rankings.

2. Does Florida State close with a bang or go bust?

In his first year as head coach, Jimbo Fisher quickly brought the Seminoles back to national prominence in February by grabbing commitments from top recruits in talent producing Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. 2011 had an elite recruit at each position outside of quarterback and FSU finished with a top three class. It looked like the program was destined for a similar finish early in the 2012 recruiting cycle but have been hit by several defections (notably to Alabama) and the crown jewel this year, quarterback Jameis Winston, is a threat to sign with another school and/or get drafted by a major league baseball team. There's still several very talented players, especially along the defensive line, but you wonder if this group gets picked apart or if Fisher and the talented recruiters on his staff close with a bang.

3. Does Clemson bring in another big haul?

If there was one big surprise on Signing Day last year, it was how well Clemson did. One of the frequently asked questions seemed to be how the Tigers were able to pull so many highly regarded recruits but it appears that Dabo Swinney and his staff's recruiting ability is one of the best in the ACC and one of the top groups on the East Coast. This year's group of commitments has plenty of talented players who should see early playing time and help Clemson reload for another ACC title run this season. The group is heavy along both lines but the Tigers are in the running for some impressive skill position talent this final week and could be poised for another big Signing Day.

4. Better in-state battle: Miami-Florida State or Virginia-Virginia Tech?

The fact that Virginia is even in the discussion is a testament to what Mike London had done in terms of turning around the program. Both programs in the state are about done with their recruiting classes and the Cavaliers could wind up with more top 100 commitments than their in-state rival. Virginia Tech's group is deeper and more balanced but doesn't have quite the impact players at the top that you would expect. Still, both programs look like they'll have a strong class come February 2nd.

Further to the South, both Florida programs are locked into a battle that could see both wind up as top 10 classes when all is said and done. Miami will have a bigger, deeper class while Florida State will likely end up with a star-filled group of players that might not have the numbers. Both programs be in a battle down to the final hours to see who finishes with a higher class ranking from the looks of it.

Most impressive class: Miami

Most underrated class: N.C. State

Work left to do: Boston College

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
4. Mario Edwards Jr. DL Florida State
12. Jameis Winston QB Florida State
13. Nelson Agholor ATH Uncommitted
17. Eddie Goldman DT Uncommitted
25. Travis Blanks DB Clemson
41. Eli Harold DL Virginia
45. Joel Caleb ATH Uncommitted
56. Mario Pender RB Florida State
63. Michael Moore DE Virginia
72. Deon Bush DB Miami
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Mike Siravo, Boston College
Chad Morris, Jeff Scott and Brent Venables, Clemson
James Coley, Dameyune Craig, Eddie Gran and Lawrence Dawsey, Florida State
Mike Locksley, Maryland
Mike Reed and Jerry Petercuskie, N.C. State
Matt Lubick, Duke
Brian Bohannon and Andy McCollum, Georgia Tech
Terry Richardson and Brennan Carroll, Miami
Chris Kapilovic and Vic Koenning, North Carolina
Anthony Poindexter, Virginia
Shane Beamer and Torrian Gray, Virginia Tech

Head coach under pressure: Randy Edsall, Maryland

Top ACC class prediction: Florida State

Top ACC signee: Mario Edwards, Jr.

ACC school-by-school
Atlantic Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 LB Steven Daniels
OL Win Homer
There's not a real impact player in this class and that's the biggest issue. A solid group of front seven players and lineman, the lack of skill position talent is notable.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DB Travis Blanks
ATH Germone Hopper
QB Chad Kelly
DT Carlos Watkins
Another very good class for the Tigers, Blanks is versatile and might be the best cover guy in 2012. Kelly has a strong arm and should take over for Tajh Boyd when the time comes.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 DE Chris Casher
DE Mario Edwards Jr.
DE Dante Fowler Jr.
QB Jameis Winston
 This might be the best collection of D-linemen in the country. Edwards is likely to end up in Tallahassee and it's almost unfair to pair him with guys like Casher and Fowler off the edge. If Winston arrives on campus, then this group has great potential down the road.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Wes Brown
LB Abner Logan
OL Mike Madaras
 A solid effort by Edsall, it remains to be seen what kind of magic Locksley can work this year. Brown has a chance to play early in a variety of roles but there's a lot of talent that needs to be developed in this class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
22 DT K'Hadree Hooker
QB James Summers
DE Kenderius Whitehead
 Though the Wolfpack missed out on some of the top in-state talent, this is an underrated group that has a lot of solid contributors. Summers seems to be the guy going forward while Whitehead is a great addition on the DL.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 QB Tyler Cameron
LB Dominique Gibson
 Jim Grobe doesn't play many recruits early so it will be awhile before we know how good any of this class will be but Cameron is a great pick up and one of the top QBs in South Florida.
Coastal Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 WR Max McCaffrey
DB Dwayne Norman
RB Shaquille Powell
Powell could have played at some bigger programs and is a hard runner who brings a lot to the table for the Blue Devils. There's a lot of skill position players who are not that fast but can contribute in a variety of areas.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 ATH Dennis Andrews
DE Francis Kallon
QB Justin Thomas
 Thomas will be a very good fit in the option offense at QB and might be the fastest triggerman Paul Johnson has ever had. Yellow Jackets also look like they're getting a good overall group of linemen.
- Team page
- Commitment list
31 DB Deon Bush
DE Jelani Hamilton
RB Randy Johnson
DE Tyriq McCord
There's a ton of explosiveness in this class but there's also a few questionable players in this group in terms of talent level. After "Duke" Johnson's senior year, it looks like the Hurricanes are getting the two best players in the state in him and Hamilton.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 LB Shakeel Rashad
OL J.J. Patterson
LB Phillip Williamson
 Between the NCAA, Butch Davis and the new staff, not much is expected of the Tar Heels' 2012 class. Losing QB Patton Robinette during UNC orientation to Vanderbilt is a huge blow.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DE Eli Harold
LB Kwontie Moore
DE Michael Moore
DE Courtnye Wynn
 Kwontie Moore is an impressive linebacker who can hit like Ray Lewis and run like a safety. The defensive linemen in this class should have plenty guys who see early playing time.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 RB J.C. Coleman
RB Drew Harris
DE Jarontay Jones
DB Donaldven Manning
 Jones is a big time DE but the there's plenty of players who will re-stock the wide receiver and defensive back positions. Coleman and Harris are going to be a very good 1-2 punch in the back field very soon.

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: April 21, 2011 2:34 pm
 

Australian punter a lesson in finding players

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe jumped on the post-spring ACC conference call this afternoon and told an interesting story about, of all things, an Australian punter the school recruited. Grobe is known for finding diamonds in the rough out of high school but for at least one player, he had to go through several steps to really "discover" punter Alex Kindal.

A Demon Deacons assistant coach was watching a home-made recruiting video of Kindal playing Australian Rules Football and immediately brought the tape to Grobe to watch.

“He was just punting the ball and the ball never came down,” Grobe said. “We were getting it at over five seconds hang time.”

The staff obviously didn't know much about Kindal outside of his tape and decided to pursue him. Because some players have been known to make adjustments to their tape (speeding them up to make them look faster for example), Wake Forest started calling around to see if the kicker was legitimate or not. Grobe called someone who ran a kicking academy and he confirmed that Kindal was indeed worth recruiting. He signed with the school after taking a visit and is part of the Deacons' class of 2011.

Although Kindal will come in during the summer, the adjustment to life in Winston-Salem, North Carolina won't be quite as difficult as him getting used to playing American football.

“He’s not punted before,” Grobe said. “I don’t know if he even knows how to put a football uniform on. He’s an Australian rules kid, but he’s a neat kid, he’s a smart kid, he's good character and all those kinds of things. He’s obviously got a great leg. Now, can we put him in a uniform and get him to take a snap, get the ball off on time, mechanics and all those kinds of things? Just from pure ability level this kid’s got a big-time leg.”

Kindal might have to come in and play right away. Last year's punter Shane Popham is gone and kicker Jimmy Newman struggled with injuries last year. Newman could end up punting (he certainly has the leg for it according to Grobe) but took too long to get the ball off last year and stuck mostly to kicking as a result.

The lesson from everything? You never know what you'll discover after watching a recruiting highlight tape, even if it is of Australian football.

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