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Tag:Mike Sherman
Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:00 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:03 pm
 

A week out: MaxPreps Top 25 team rankings



Posted by Bryan Fischer


We're a week away - if you can believe it - from the class of 2012 finally putting pen to paper and ending all of the drama surrounding their recruitment. There's still plenty of uncommitted players out there and lots of teams looking to move up in the class rankings. At the moment, it looks like Alabama has a stranglehold on the top spot but there's a small chance that another team could knock them out if a surprise or two ends up committing.

Below is an overview of the current Maxpreps top 25 class rankings,  from the Crimson Tide to the Cardinal, and a few notes on each.


MaxPreps Top 25 recruiting classes for 2012
School Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
27 DB Landon Collins
DB Geno Smith
ATH Eddie Williams
RB T.J. Yeldon
The Crimson Tide have already won a title in January and it's possible they'll get another come February 1st. This group has so many playmakers on both sides of the ball that several in this group will have to redshirt. Alabama is also in the running for several top commits so the rich might get even richer.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 DT Malcom Brown
RB Johnathan Gray
WR Cayleb Jones
OL Curtis Riser
Just another ho-hum group of stars for the Longhorns. The class is highlighted by Gray, who set just about every record imaginable in high school and should be a factor early on in running the ball.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Erik Magnuson
DB Terry Richardson
The Wolverines held the top spot in the class rankings for most of the year and still have a chance to finish there on Signing Day. This is a great group, especially on the o-line, that fills most of the team's depth needs and should make defensive coordinator Greg Mattison very happy.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Jonathan Bullard
OL Jessamen Dunker
OL D.J. Humphries
TE Kent Taylor
Will Muschamp has a chance to reload quickly with the current group of commits. He's got good depth coming in along both lines and is in the running for several elite players like Stefon Diggs, Nelson Agholor and Tracy Howard.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Bri'onte Dunn
DT Tommy Shutt
DE Noah Spence
DE Adolphus Washington
This class was dead in the water for most of the year but has quickly gone from so-so to top five nationally thanks to Urban Meyer. There's a few offensive contributors but the real star power in this group is along the front seven.
- 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
18 OL John Michael McGee
TE Taylor McNamara
WR Durron Neal
WR Derrick Woods
The offense reloads at receiver quite well and Neal has a chance to be a special playmaker with his talent. The offensive line also gets a nice boost with McGee and Ty Darlington in the interior.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Vadal Alexander
DE Torshiro Davis
LB Trey Granier
WR Avery Johnson
The Tigers are still in the running for some elite players when Signing Day rolls around but Les Miles has to be happy with the speed and athleticism the current class has. Johnson, if he sticks, could fill in quickly for the departed Rueben Randle.
- 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
18 QB Zach Kline
OL Freddie Tagaloa
DB Shaq Thompson
WR Bryce Treggs
This is a top 10 class for now. The emphasis is added because the departure of Tosh Lupoi to Washington has really thrown this group for a loop and caused several, such as Thompson, to look around before signing.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Matt Davis
DB DeVante Harris
LB Jordan Richmond
RB Trey Williams
This was a top 10 class before Mike Sherman was fired and it looks like Kevin Sumlin will be able to keep the Aggies right around there. Davis and Williams are two dynamic players on offense and it's possible they'll be joined by former Texas commit, wide receiver Thomas Johnson too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 RB Mike Davis
DB Jordan Diggs
DB Chaz Elder
WR Shaq Roland
There's not the buzz with this group like there was last year grabbing #1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney. Still, they have two great pick ups in Davis and Roland on offense and several other pieces that should make this a top 8-12 class come February 2nd.  
- 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
17 QB Gunner Kiel
WR Deontay Greenberry
DB Tee Shepard
DB Elijah Shumate
Landing Kiel is a signature moment for Brian Kelly and gives the Irish their quarterback of the future. The Cali Kids, Greenberry and Shepard, will play right away.
- 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.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB T.J. Davis
TE Darrion Hutcherson
RB Jovon Robinson
WR JaQuay Williams
Coordinator changes hurt this group, especially in terms of depth, but there are quality ball players from top to bottom. It wouldn't be surprising if Hutcherson and Williams leave a mark as freshmen.
- Team page
- Commitment list
12 WR Darreus Rogers
LB Jabari Ruffin
OL Jordan Simmons
OL Max Tuerk
This is the first class truly limited by NCAA sanctions but that doesn't mean Lane Kiffin hasn't been able to pull in some great players. The Trojans are also in the running for elite, top 20 players on Signing Day too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 RB Todd Gurley
DL Jordan Jenkins
RB Keith Marshall
OL John Theus
It's not a 'Dream Team' like last year but there's several players like Gurley and/or Marshall who will play early on. They have to land their remaining targets, such as lineman Avery Young, to go from solid to a great class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Devante Bourque
WR Jason Croom
DB LaDarrell McNeil
TE Justin Meredith
With mass staff changes and a down year, the Vols haven't gotten the elite player or two that everybody is used to seeing. Croom and Meredith are excellent weapons on offense though but there's a chance they could lose one of their top defenders on Signing Day too.
- 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
18 DE DeForest Buckner
RB Byron Marshall
QB Jake Rodrigues
WR Dwayne Stanford
Chip Kelly's flirtation with the NFL has thrown some for a loop but it looks like the Pac-12 champs will only add to a very good 2012 class. Marshall and Rodrigues are perfect fits on offense
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Cordale Boyd
OL Jeremy Ward
RB Jonathan Williams
This isn't a great recruiting class for the Hogs but it could be if Dorial Green-Beckham signs, as many expect. Williams has injury concerns but might be the sleeper running back in the class of 2012.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Brandon Banks
RB Brian Kimbrow
QB Patton Robinette
Kimbrow and Robinette appear to be the future of the Commodores offense and that's a great start for a group that might end up as good or better as their counterparts in the state.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Devonte Fields
ATH Daje Johnson
QB Tyler Matthews
Very few teams in the country are bringing in as fast, collectively, a group as the Horned Frogs are. Johnson is a special talent and Matthews can take his time to develop into a nice signal-caller.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 OL Nick Davidson
LB Noor Davis
RB Barry Sanders
DT Jordan Watkins
It's not often you find the Cardinal in the top 25 in recruiting but things are rolling on the Farm. This is linemen heavy and has several recruits who should see early playing time. Stanford is also in the mix for elite offensive linemen Josh Garnett and Andrus Peat.



Category: NCAAF
Tags: ACC, Adolphus Washington, Alabama, Andrus Peat, Arkansas, Auburn, Avery Johnson, Avery Young, Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders Jr., Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Brandon Banks, Bri'onte Dunn, Brian Kelly, Brian Kimbrow, Bryce Treggs, Byron Marshall, Cal, California, Carlos Watkins, Cayleb Jones, Chad Kelly, Chaz Elder, Chip Kelly, Chris Casher, Clemson, Cordale Boyd, Courtnye Wynn, Curtis Riser, D.J. Humphries, Daje Johnson, Dante Fowler Jr., Darreus Rogers, Darrion Hutcherson, DeForest Buckner, Deon Bush, Deontay Greenberry, Derrick Woods, Devante Bourque, DeVante Harris, Devonte Fields, Donaldven Manning, Dorial Green-Beckham, Drew Harris, Durron Neal, Dwayne Stanford, Eddie Williams, Eli Harold, Elijah Shumate, Erik Magnuson, Florida, Florida State, Freddie Tagaloa, Geno Smith, Georgia, Germone Hopper, Greg Mattison, Gunner Kiel, J.C. Coleman, Jabari Ruffin, Jadeveon Clowney, Jake Rodrigues, Jameis Winston, JaQuay Williams, Jarontay Jones, Jason Croom, Jelani Hamilton, Jeremy Ward, Jessamen Dunker, John Michael McGee, John Theus, Johnathan Gray, Jonathan Bullard, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Diggs, Jordan Jenkins, Jordan Richmond, Jordan Simmons, Jordan Watkins, Josh Garnett, Jovon Robinson, Justin Meredith, Keith Marshall, Kent Taylor, Kevin Sumlin, Kwontie Moore, Kyle Kalis, LaDarrell McNeil, Landon Collins, Lane Kiffin, Les Miles, LSU, Malcom Brown, Mario Edwards jr., Matt Davis, Max Tuerek, Miami, Michael Moore, Michigan, Mike Davis, Mike Sherman, Mountain West, NCAA, Nelson Agholor, NFL, Nick Davison, Noah Spence, Non-BCS, Noor Davis, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pac-12, Pac-12, Patton Robinette, Randy Johnson, Ray Lewis, Rodd Gurley, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Rueben Randle, SEC, Shaq Roland, Shaq Thompson, South Carolina, Stanford, Stefon Diggs, T.J. Davis, T.J. Yeldon, Tajh Boyd, Taylor McNamara, TCU, team rankings, Tee Shepard, Tennessee, Terry Richardson, Texas, Texas A&M, Thomas Johnson, Tommy Shutt, Torshiro Davis, Tosh Lupoi, Tracy Howard, Travis Blanks, Trey Granier, Trey Williams, Ty Darlington, Tyler Matthews, Tyriq McCord, Urban Meyer, USC, Vadal Alexander, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, Will Muschamp, Zach Kline
 
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:10 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 2:58 pm
 

SEC 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. Nobody treats the day more like a national holiday than those in the SEC and this year could be a banner year for the conference, especially with newcomers Texas A&M and Missouri. There's a chance half the league ends up with a top 15 class and it is looking favorable that one team signs the country's top recruit. The rich, it seems, just seem to get richer on Signing Day.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, SEC
College Commits Top 100 Moving
1. Alabama 27 6
4. Florida 19 5
8. LSU 20 1
11. Texas A&M 20 2
12. South Carolina 24 1
16. Auburn 16 4
18. Georgia 17 5
19. Tennessee 21 0
22. Arkansas 22 1
23. Vanderbilt 21 1

Top storylines

1. Is this an all-time great class for Alabama?

As good as Nick Saban is at winning games and building all-time great defenses, he might be even better at recruiting. It hurts to lose trusted lieutenant Sal Sunseri to Tennessee but this still has the makings of one of Alabama's greatest hauls ever. In addition to the elite players the Crimson Tide have already landed, they have a really good chance at grabbing defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and there's still an outside chance they can flip quarterback Jameis Winston. Still, as presently constructed, there's no doubt Alabama winds up #1 in the team rankings and is in the discussions for one of the top classes in recent memory.

2. How well do the newcomers fare?

Welcome to the big, bad SEC Missouri and Texas A&M. Now, how well do you recruit? At the moment, not bad at all. Despite a head coaching change, the Aggies have several talented top 100 players and should finish in the top 12 if they don't crack the top 10. The Tigers grabbed one of the best high school quarterbacks in the country and are in the running for the nation's top recruit (though they may be behind, they're still in the race). The quality depth might be present like elite classes Florida or Alabama have but it appears that the move to a new league hasn't hurt either program.

3. Does Auburn expereince a championship bounce?

It's a catch-22 for the Tigers, on one hand they won a BCS national championship not too long ago and were cleared by the NCAA. On the other hand they've lost both their coordinators and have seen some waffling from some of their commitments. It still looks like they're destined for a top 15 class but it's also possible they lose a top player or two, such as recent decommit Ricardo Louis (whose recruitment isn't over). If they can land one of the elite prospects left on their board, such as lineman Avery Young or linebacker Kwon Alexander, it would be safe to say Auburn's class got a nice uptick from winning a title. If they don't, the staff turnover might have negated it.

4. Can Vanderbilt top Tennessee in the class rankings?

The fact that this is even a storyline is a testament to what James Franklin has done. Neither team has an incoming class that screams 'wow,' but each has a few impressive recruits. Tennessee will probably finish with a deeper class but it might lack an elite prospect while Vanderbilt could wind up with a few top players and solid but not great depth. It's a pivotal year for both programs and you wonder if getting someone like current pledge and top 25 running back Brian Kimbrow to sign will provide a boost for the Commodores over their in-state rival.

Most impressive class: Alabama

Most underrated class: South Carolina

Work left to do: Ole Miss

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
1. Dorial Green-Beckham WR Uncommitted
7. John Theus OL Georgia
10. Landon Collins DB Alabama
13. Nelson Agholor ATH Uncommitted
14. Stefon Diggs WR Uncommitted
17. Eddie Goldman DT Uncommitted
18. D.J. Humphries OL Florida
19. Shaq Roland WR South Carolina
20. Keith Marshall RB Georgia
23. Geno Smith DB Alabama
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Jeremy Pruitt, Chris Rumph, Kirby Smart and Lance Thompson, Alabama
Curtis Luper, Trooper Taylor and Tommy Thigpen, Auburn
Kris Cinkovich, Tim Horton and Chris Klenakis, Arkansas
D.J. Durkin, Aubrey Hill, Derek Lewis and Dan Quinn, Florida
Todd Grantham and Rodney Garner, Georgia
Tee Martin, Randy Sanders and Chuck Smith, Kentucky
Brick Haley, Greg Studrawa and Frank Wilson, LSU
Maurice Harris and Chris Kiffin, Ole Miss
Greg Knox, Tony Hughes and Chris Wilson, Mississippi State
Andy Hill and David Yost, Missouri
G.A. Mangus, Steve Spurrier Jr. and Lorenzo Ward, South Carolina
Darin Hinshaw, Terry Joseph and Sal Sunseri, Tennessee
Clarence McKinney, Brian Polian and Terrell Williams, Texas A&M
John Donovan, Herb Hand and Ricky Rahne, Vanderbilt

Head coach under pressure: Derek Dooley, Tennessee

Top SEC class prediction: Alabama

Top SEC signee: Dorial Green-Beckham

SEC school-by-school
East Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Jonathan Bullard
OL Jessamen Dunker
OL D.J. Humphries
TE Kent Taylor
Will Muschamp has a chance to reload quickly with the current group of commits. He's got good depth coming in along both lines and is in the running for several elite players like Diggs, Nelson Agholor and Tracy Howard.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 RB Todd Gurley
DL Jordan Jenkins
RB Keith Marshall
OL John Theus
It's not a 'Dream Team' like last year but there's several players like Gurley and/or Marshall who will play early on. They have to land their remaining targets, such as OL Avery Young, to go from solid to a great class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 DB Zach Blaylock
DT Thomas Chapman
QB Patrick Towles
Towles is the headliner for this group and one of UK's best quarterback commits in a long time. There's three Blaylock's that are supposed to sign and Zach is the best of the bunch. The Wildcats might add one or two more on top of the 24 committed.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 OL Evan Boehm
OL Simon Goines
QB Maty Mauk
This is very solid first effort as the Tigers look to join the SEC and could get even better if they land #1 overall recruit Dorial Green-Beckham. Mauk looks to fit right into the Mizzou system and make the transition from prolific high school passer to prolific college passer.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 RB Mike Davis
DB Jordan Diggs
DB Chaz Elder
WR Shaq Roland
There's not the buzz with this group like there was last year grabbing #1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney. Still, they have two great pick ups in Davis and Roland on offense and several other pieces that should make this a top 8-12 class come February 2nd.  
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Devante Bourque
WR Jason Croom
DB LaDarrell McNeil
TE Justin Meredith
With mass staff changes and a down year, the Vols haven't gotten the elite player or two that everybody is used to seeing. Croom and Meredith are excellent weapons on offense though but there's a chance they could lose one of their top defenders on Signing Day too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Brandon Banks
RB Brian Kimbrow
QB Patton Robinette
Kimbrow and Robinette appear to be the future of the Commodores offense and that's a great start for a group that might end up as good or better as their counterparts in the state.
West Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
27 DB Landon Collins
DB Geno Smith
ATH Eddie Williams
RB T.J. Yeldon
The Crimson Tide have already won a title in January and it's possible they'll get another come February 1st. This group has so many playmakers on both sides of the ball that several in this group will have to redshirt. Alabama is also in the running for several top commits so the rich might get even richer.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Cordale Boyd
OL Jeremy Ward
RB Jonathan Williams
This isn't a great recruiting class for the Hogs but it could be if Dorial Green-Beckham signs, as many expect. Williams has injury concerns but might be the sleeper running back in the class of 2012.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB T.J. Davis
TE Darrion Hutcherson
RB Jovon Robinson
WR JaQuay Williams
Coordinator changes hurt this group, especially in terms of depth, but there are quality ball players from top to bottom. It wouldn't be surprising if Hutcherson and Williams leave a mark as freshmen.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Vadal Alexander
DE Torshiro Davis
LB Trey Granier
WR Avery Johnson
The Tigers are still in the running for some elite players when Signing Day rolls around but Les Miles has to be happy with the speed and athleticism the current class has. Johnson, if he sticks, could fill in quickly for the departed Rueben Randle.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 RB I'Tavius Mathers
QB Bo Wallace
DE Channing Ward
This isn't a big class so far as Hugh Freeze looks to completely rebuild Ole Miss but Wallace is one of the top Juco QBs and Ward might be a the best player in-state, so landing him is a huge boost.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 DT Quay Evans
DE A.J. Jefferson
ATH Will Redmond
There's nothing that sticks out about this group in particular but it could move from solid to good if Dan Mullen can secure commitments from QB Jeremy Liggins and LB Richie Brown. Adding those two to recent pledge Jefferson would make for a very nice year for the Bulldogs.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Matt Davis
DB DeVante Harris
LB Jordan Richmond
RB Trey Williams
This was a top 10 class before Mike Sherman was fired and it looks like Kevin Sumlin will be able to keep the Aggies right around there. Davis and Williams are two dynamic players on offense and it's possible they'll be joined by former Texas commit, wide receiver Thomas Johnson too.



Category: NCAAF
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Alabama, Andy Hill, Arkansas, Aubrey Hill, Auburn, Avery Johnson, BCS, bo Wallace, Brandon Banks, Brian Kimbrow, Brian Polian, Brick Haley, Channing Ward, Chaz Elder, Chris Kiffin, Chris Klenakis, Chris Rumph, Chris Wilson, Chuck Smith, Clarence McKinney, Cordale Boyd, Curtis Luper, D.J. Durkin, D.J. Humphries, Dan Mullen, Dan Quinn, Darin Hinshaw, Darrion Hutcherson, Dave Yost, Derek Dooley, Derek Lewis, Devante Bourque, DeVante Harris, Dorial Green-Beckham, Eddie Goldman, Eddie Goldman, Eddie Williams, Evan Boehm, Florida, Frank Wilson, G.A. Mangus, Geno Smith, Geno Smith, Georgia, Greg Knox, Greg Studrawa, Herb Hand, I'Tavius Mathers, Jadeveon Clowney, Jameis Winston, James Franklin, JaQuay Williams, Jason Croom, Jeremy Liggins, Jeremy Pruitt, Jeremy Ward, Jessamen Dunker, John Donovan, John Theus, Jonathan Bullard, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Diggs, Jordan Jekins, Jordan Richmond, Jovon Robinson, Justin Meredith, Keith Marshall, Keith Marshall, Kent Taylor, Kentucky, Kirby Smart, Kris Cinkovich, Kwon Alexander, LaDarrell McNeil, Lance Thompson, Landon Collins, Landon Collins, Lorenzo Ward, LSU, Matt Davis, Maty Mauk, Maurice Harris, Mike Davis, Mike Sherman, Mississippi State, Missouri, NCAA, Nelson Agholor, Nick Saban, Ole Miss, Patrick Towles, Patton Robinette, Quay Evans, Randy Sanders, Ricardo Louis, Richie Brown, Ricky Rahne, Rodney Garner, Rueben Randle, Sal Sunseri, SEC, Shaq Roland, Shaq Roland, Signing Day Overview, Simon Goines, South Carolina, Stefon Diggs, Steve Spurrier Jr., T.J. Davis, T.J. Yeldon, Tee Martin, Tennessee, Terrell Williams, Terry Joseph, Texas, Texas A&M, Thomas Chapman, Thomas Johnson, Tim Horton, Todd Grantham, Todd Gurley, Tommy Thigpen, Tony Hughes, Torshiro Davis, Tracy Howard, Trey Granier, Trey Williams, Trooper Taylor, Vadal Alexander, Vanderbilt, Will Muschamp, Will Redmond, Zach Blaylock
 
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:39 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 12:41 pm
 

Sumlin hitting recruiting trail hard at Texas A&M


Posted by Bryan Fischer

Texas A&M has not been a regular occurrence in the top 10 team rankings after Signing Day but the school has still done fairly well all on the recruiting trail all things considered. The Aggies are currently 11th in the Maxpreps team rankings and have a good shot to move up and be yet another SEC team within striking distance of the top spot with their class of 2012. New head coach Kevin Sumlin has been on a whirlwind, non-stop march to grab some of the best and brightest in the state of Texas since taking over the program last month and hopes to bring a little more consistency to A&M's recruiting efforts over the coming months and years.

Although most of the leg work for this year's class was done by Mike Sherman and the previous staff, Sumlin has kept things together remarkably well and is even adding a few new recruits here and there. He sat down with CBSSports.com for a wide-ranging Q&A.to discuss his recruiting strategy, how he plans to transition the school to the SEC and why his familiarity with players from being at Houston is an advantage.

CBSSports.com: You're bringing Kliff Kingsbury with you as offensive coordinator, what kind of coach and recruiter is he and how much of an advantage is it to have a guy a lot of recruits grew up seeing play?

Sumlin: "Kliff has been around us for the last four years at Houston. He's done a great job with the quarterbacks, not just Case Keenum but the others. I think we were 13th in the country (in passing) two years ago with a true freshman, 4th string quarterback. He's a great mind and a great player and the kids bond with him.

"It doesn't hurt (in recruiting). There are a lot of kids who know who he is, a lot of parents in the state of Texas who know who he is and remember him for what he accomplished (at Texas Tech). So it doesn't hurt us at all in recruiting, particularly among quarterbacks."

Have you been able to figure out what you have to work with at A&M already
and how do you see the transition going? 


"Winning helps in recruiting. What you want to do is, and what we've done wherever we've been, is utilize the talent that is there and recruit more. We didn't have some big fullbacks at Houston, we had a couple of midgets who were fast. Your job is to win games.

"Some people will look at it as, 'Well, you're losing your quarterback, losing receivers, losing running backs.' But sometimes when you have a young quarterback it's better because you're not having to break somebody down. We've got a freshman that's coming in January (Matt Davis), Johnny Manziel is a redshirt freshman and Jameil Showers is a sophomore. That's three young guys coming into the spring competing. We tried to recruit those guys at Houston too."

How big is it that you know a lot of the roster from recruiting them at Houston?

"We did try to recruit a lot of those guys at Houston so obviously we thought highly of them as prospects. It's going to be fun. Those kids look at is as being fun and they're comfortable with us because they know us."

What's the reception been like in general?

"It's been great. The biggest question I think was what was going to happen to recruiting. For about two weeks, we really just held it together until the Dead Period. We'll have another huge recruiting weekend coming up, the next two weekends will be critical. For the better part of a month, I've been recruiting players and coaches. Coaches are a heck of a lot harder."

Did you make it a point to look for coaches with SEC experience?

"Somebody said that to me, that you have to have coaches with SEC experience. I look at it this way, I've seen it and I know what it looks like. I've coached in two national championship games and every BCS bowl game there is. There's nothing higher than that in college football. We beat Mississippi State in Starkville a couple of years ago with a little bitty team. We'll be alright."

Do you expect some growing pains with the staff transition and the move to a new league?

"There's always growing pains. People forget that at Houston, we started out 1-3. I like the fact that people have forgotten about that. But it gets to a point where the players have a feel for you and you have a feel for them and then you can feel comfortable and handle adversity. I think I'm a better coach now then I was then.

"It helped me to be able out to practice and get a feel for personnel. It helped to go clean up the recruiting board because here are the numbers but here's where we're deficient maybe talent-wise. We've adjusted some of the numbers in recruiting because of that."

A lot of people have questioned the move to the SEC, is there any worry in regards to the level of competition?

"Why isn't it a positive? What's bad about it? You're playing in the best division in the best league in the country. I knew that before I took the job. It's not something they sprung on me. I look forward to it.

"It hasn't hurt (recruiting). We walk around with (SEC logos) on shirts and stuff like that and it hasn't hurt recruiting at all. There are certain kids that just like to compete against what they think is the best league and the best players and be a part of that. Sure it's going to take some work but it also is an opportunity, it gives you a clear choice in the state of Texas right now. It really gives you a division of schools, not just the universities but leagues. You've got the Big East, the Big 12 and the SEC and I think kids pay attention to that."

Of the six straight BCS titles, four teams have won them. Does that parity, if you can call it that, lend encouragement that you can play at a high level in the league?

"If I were to tell you, just five years ago, that Florida or Tennessee were not in the SEC Championship Game and you're talking about South Carolina and Georgia, that's just how much the league has changed. Five, six years ago, the argument was the East was the dominate side. When you look back at it, it's gone back and forth. It's hard to say Tennessee and Florida won't be back. South Carolina was in the game last year for the first time and won 10 or 11 this year. There's been some shifts in power over the last 10, 15 years. From that stand point, you've got to feel good. We're not coming into the league with a short stick, we've got resources. I think we've got a talent pool in the state of Texas and, to a certain extent, Louisiana, that we can draw on and help us and sustain us. So you've got to be encouraged.

Does it help that you coached at A&M before and know the lay of the land there?

"It does. It's a unique place and it has a lot of tradition. A university where, from the outside, you might not understand it but it such a unique environment. I think when we travel and play in some of the venues in the SEC, there may be some people who may be a little shocked when they walk into (Kyle Field) the first time. It is a great place to play, passionate fans, students that stand the whole game. I've come out of both locker rooms there and sometimes you can't even hear anything. As a player and coach, that's the kind of environment you look for. I think that's why we'll be a good fit in the SEC."

Do you worry about other SEC schools invading and recruiting Texas?

"No, I don't worry about that. They came to Houston before this. It's just part of it and it's not going to change."

Did your last game at Houston and the way you went out stick with you a bit?

"It gets under my skin a little bit. I did a poor job. Anytime you play like that, it gets back to you as a coach. Nobody played well, nobody coached well. It was just a poor performance. We've learned from everything. Positives, negatives, handling adversity, that's what you do. Every time, win or lose, we go back and evaluate ourselves and we evaluate ourselves just as much in a win as a loss. You can't take anything for granted and it's damn hard to win every game. We got close but it's hard to do."


Posted on: December 10, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Sumlin can save promising Texas A&M class

Posted by Bryan Fischer

As soon as Mike Sherman was let go as head coach at Texas A&M, many speculated that Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin would take the drive up highway 6 and take over. That's exactly what will happen, with CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman confirming that Sumlin had accepted an offer to be the Aggies next coach on Saturday morning.

Sumlin, 47, understands the culture in College Station and knows how to recruit there. He worked under R.C. Slocum at the school and was an assistant on Bob Stoops' Oklahoma staff before moving on to Houston. Sumlin took over for Art Briles and led the Cougars to two 10-win seasons and two division titles while compiling a 35-17 record.

As Feldman notes, Sumlin has the reputation of being a good motivator, player's coach while maintaining discipline. Sherman left him some talent as the Aggies move to the SEC next season and a top 10 recruiting class for 2012. In addition to hiring a good staff, the first task that Sumlin has to do is hit the recruiting trail and try and keep the pieces for February together.

At the moment, there have only been a handful of defections following Sherman's firing and it's doubtful there will be many more. MaxPreps has A&M's class ranked ninth in the country with top players such as quarterback Matt Davis, linebacker Jordan Richmond and running back Trey Williams. After securing everybody's pledge over the next few weeks with in-home visits, Sumlin will have to go about filling the rest of the class out. He knows Texas high schools very well and can bring in a few players who maybe hadn't considered the Aggies before.

Going forward, it's obviously a step up in terms of a job. Conference USA to SEC is quite a leap on the field. Off the field, Sumlin knows the lay of the land and will have that added selling point of playing in the country's best conference. He likely will try to lock down the talent-rich Houston area and it should be fun to see how he does against Texas and other powerhouses such as LSU on the recruiting trail.

The facilities are there in College Station, it's a solid program and now they have a pretty good salesman. It shouldn't be too hard for Sumlin to save the 2012 class and hit the ground running in 2013.

Posted on: December 4, 2011 10:46 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2011 10:46 pm
 

Texas two-step as Longhorns add to class late

Posted by Bryan Fischer

A recruit making a commitment to Texas in the month of December is pretty rare given that Mack Brown usually has the entire class locked up by the end of the spring. The Longhorns added two players over the weekend however, as Athens (Texas) athlete Kendall Sanders and Clear Springs (Texas) wide receiver Marcus Johnson.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Johnson has been on a wild ride the past month with his recruitment. Originally a Texas Tech commitment, he pledged to Texas A&M following the team's Thanksgiving night loss to Texas. The Longhorns got involved with a late offer and after head coach Mike Sherman was let go, it was only a matter of time before he committed elsewhere.

“I picked Texas because I've grown up loving the program,” Johnson told Hookem.com. “It's an honor to receive an offer from Texas. It really is a dream come true.”

Sanders also went through much the same process as Johnson. Maxpreps' 23rd-ranked athlete decommitted from Oklahoma State on Monday after being a part of the the Cowboys class since right after Signing Day in February. But Sanders simply had to change his pledge once the Longhorns coaching staff extended the four-star an offer.

"Really, I was like Texas?! Texas?! It was my dream," he told Orangebloods.com. "I got this opportunity to see my dream, take it or go somewhere else? So I was like, I have to go with my dream. I have to complete my dream."

Both players add to what will likely be the top wide receiver groups in the country with MaxPreps 2nd-ranked receiver Cayleb Jones and 13th-ranked Thomas Johnson. Texas has 21 commitments for the class of 2012, which is ranked second overall.

"Sanders shows very good speed to the ball, great range, and he's an aggressive defender who attacks the line of scrimmage in run support and delivers hard hits," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He can read and react with the best of them and does a good job when playing the ball. Considered to be one of the top three prospects in northeast Texas and is an explosive ball player who reads and reacts well and is as active as they come."

Posted on: December 1, 2011 10:29 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 10:32 pm
 

Texas A&M class could fall but maybe not by much

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Following a heart-breaking loss to rival Texas that seemed to sum up a season of frustrations, many following Texas A&M football thought it was only a matter of time before head coach Mike Sherman would be let go by the school. They didn't have to wait long, as it was announced Thursday night that he was being let go by the school.

Though it was a rough first few years in College Station, the former NFL coach seemed to hit his stride with the program in the second half of 2010 and the Aggies came into the season ranked in the top 10 with hopes of competing for a Big 12 title and BCS bowl. Several second half implosions later and Sherman is gone and the once promising A&M recruiting class for 2012 might be picked apart.

While former coach Dennis Franchione had recruited well if you go by the rankings, coaching was an issue. It took awhile for Sherman clean up and get up to speed on the recruiting front but appeared to be making significant progress. With the success of last season, 2012 and 2013 especially, appeared to breakthrough classes as the Aggies also gained the additional advantage of being able to pitch playing in the SEC to Texas players.

As with all firings, things are too early to tell with a recruiting class right now but it would surprise no one if A&M's currently 8th-ranked class of 2012 slipped a little. Currently sitting at 24 members almost two months from Signing Day, the group has top 100 players such as running back Trey Williams and a strong offensive lean to the group. With a contact period underway and plenty of coaches doing home visits, you can bet that schools have contacted Aggie commits to gauge their interest. Missouri and Oklahoma Statein particular could be someone to watch out for in terms of stealing a few commitments.

Because Sherman was an offensive coach, it possible several players will look elsewhere. Based on comments from many of the commitments however, it's clear there is a strong bond among the Aggies' class of 2012. The current staff has done a great job selling the school and despite the firing, most of the players should stick around on Signing Day. The key to keeping a top 15 (or higher) class will be on the administration and how quickly they can bring in a new head coach.

If anything, the departure of Mike Sherman will set Texas A&M back with the class of 2013 as the new coach comes in and has to quickly establish the lay of the land while maintaining what is already a very good group of players in 2012. The Aggies should be fine if they find the right guy but then again, that's been said time and time before.



Posted on: December 1, 2011 10:03 am
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Posted on: December 1, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: December 1, 2011 10:04 am
 

12/1 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

  Auburn is recruiting quarterback Jameis Winston, despite their self-imposed restrictions.

 Coaching changes at like Arizona State, Illinois, UCLA and Washington State have recruits concerned about the future.

 Missouri quarterback commit Maty Mauk was named Mr. Ohio.

 Urban Meyer should instantly enhance recruiting at Ohio State.

 Georgia will have its chance to impress defensive back Chaz Elder.

 Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman is ramping up recruiting on defense.

 Tom Bradley is out selling the positives of Penn State to recruits.

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