Tag:Gene Chizik
Posted on: February 2, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 1:44 pm
 

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Taking stock of the day in the SEC:

WINNERS:

Alabama:
No surprise that Nick Saban's crew put together yet another huge Signing Day, with the No. 1 spot in the Maxpreps team rankings wrapped up after adding No. 1 offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio to what had already been a massive haul. The Tide pulled in a perfect 3-4 defensive end in Jeoffrey Pagan (pictured) and flipped supremely athletic outside linebacker Brent Calloway back from Auburn (after he'd committed to the Tigers at the U.S. Army All-American game), two major missions accomplished. Top those off with the rest of the Tide's commitments -- including five-star teammates RB Dee Hart and S Hasean Clinton-Dix -- staying securely in the fold, and missing out on Isaiah Crowell (and likely No. 1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney ) barely even stings.

Video: Jeoffrey Pagan highlights

Georgia: Linebacker Kent Turene was an awfully nice pickup. But landing Crowell was a seismic development, the one member of the much-ballyhooed "Dream Team" the tailback-starved Bulldogs absolutely had to have. He alone was enough to push Mark Richt into the winner's column, but add in Turene and the successful fending off of challenges for commits like defensive back Corey Moore, and even missing out on Pagan won't be enough to wipe the smile off of the faces of Bulldog fans.

Video: Todd Grantham talks Signing Day  

Auburn: Losing Calloway to the hated Tide stung, and the euphoria of watching Kouandjio announce for the Tigers dissipated quickly as he elected not to sign his LOI on Signing Day, eventually joining Calloway and his older brother in Tuscaloosa. But Chizik got a ton of help for his occasionally-porous defense anyway, inking one of the nation's best safeties in Erique Florence and a rock-solid defensive tackle prospect in Crowell teammate Gabe Wright. The Tigers also wasted no time replacing cornerback decommitment Marcus Roberson with coveted Mississippi athlete Jermaine Whitehead, a Mississippi State commitment. Even without Kouandjio, the Tigers landed a top-10 class that proved their program-changing 2010 haul was no fluke. Still, Tiger fans have to wonder: if they weren't coming to Auburn, couldn't Calloway and Koundjio have gone somewhere other than Alabama?

Video: Gene Chizik talks Signing Day at CBS College Sports , Kiehl Frazier commits , Coaches react to Erique Florence decision

Ole Miss: Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen enjoys pointing out the raw numbers of his team's players and recruits come from the state they share with the Rebels, but it was Houston Nutt who ran away with nearly all of the state's top-ranked talent. Having already secured the signatures of former Bulldog commitment five-star linebacker C.J. Johnson and highly-regarded receiver Tobias Singleton, the Rebels added to their in-state haul by keeping top-100 wideout Nickolas Brassell out of the clutches of the Tide. The battle between Nutt and Mullen on the recruiting trail was more-or-less a draw in 2010, but there's little question who had the upper hand this season.

LSU: The day was unusually quiet by the usually madcap Bayou Bengals' Signing Day standards, but that happens when you have your state on virtual lockdown and that state provides enough talent for one of the nation's best classes all on its own. Simply making sure their commitments (most notably offensive tackle La'El Collins and defensive counterpart Anthony Johnson) made it across the dotted line would have guaranteed Les Miles a successful Signing Day. But keeping Shreveport's Jermauria Rasco (pictured) -- one of the nation's most highly sought-after defensive ends -- at home (and away from Texas) more than made up for missing out on Florida defensive tackle Tim Jernigan.

Vanderbilt:
The Commodores won't finish anywhere near the top of the league's recruiting rankings, of course. But given the limited time James Franklin had to work with, the results were quite impressive. Franklin flipped Virginia Tech quarterback commitment Lafonte Thourogood first thing Signing Day morning and brought in several other candidates for immediate playing time, like Ohio tight end Dorien Bryant.

LOSERS:

Florida:
The Gators, as always, can still boast one of the nation's best classes, and no one anywhere signed a better QB-RB combo than Jeff Driskel and the underrated Mike Blakely. Roberson's arrival was a nice Signing Day surprise, and Will Muschamp and Co. turned away a serious Ohio State challenge for receiver JaJuan Story. But particularly looking at the way their rivals at Georgia and Florida State finished, Gator fans won't be happy about being unable to make up any ground with prospects like Jernigan, Curtis Grant, or Stephone Anthony. Roberson wound up the only new addition on Signing Day, and even he somewhat fell into the Gators' laps after his wild commitments and decommitments to Texas Tech and Auburn. Muschamp will be cut plenty of slack this season after his late arrival in Gainesville, but another class that so completely cedes the limelight to the Dawgs and 'Noles won't be as easily forgiven.


Mississippi State:
How thin was the Bulldogs' final class after seeing the likes of Johnson, Singleton and -- most painfully -- Whitehead decommit? Not one of their 23 commitments ranked among the top 25 at their position, according to Tom Lemming. The Bulldogs struggled going head-to-head with Ole Miss within Mississippi, and came up empty when going abroad for players like Washington D.C.-based Kevin McReynolds, who signed with UCLA. Players like receiver Joe Morrow and defensive tackle P.J. Jones are unquestionably SEC-grade talents, but after such a productive, promising year on the field, the lack of recruiting punch is puzzling.

Arkansas: There's nothing particularly disappointing about the Razorbacks' 2011 class (though watching tight end commitment Chris Barnett sign with Michigan wasn't fun), and keeping home-grown talent like quarterback Brandon Allen and tackle Brey Cook in Arkansas was a bright spot. But when you share a division with Alabama, LSU, and Auburn, "nothing particularly disappointing" may not be good enough to stay in the mix for a division title.






Posted on: February 2, 2011 6:48 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 9:58 am
 

CBS Sports National Signing Day Show

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The Super Bowl is still a few days away but college football's offseason equivalent is finally upon us with National Signing Day 2011. CBS Sports is providing fans across the country with the most extensive multi-media coverage of National Signing Day across the CBS College Sports Network, CBSSports.com, MaxPreps.com and the CBSSports.com College Network.

CBS College Sports Network will have seven hours of coverage in households across the country beginning at 10 AM ET. Featuring recruiting expert Tom Lemming and guest analysis from former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, the CBS Sports National Signing Day Show will deliver in-depth analysis of all the news throughout the day.

Hosts Adam Zucker and Molly Qerim will be joined in studio by Lemming, Rodriguez and former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer. Brian Jones reports from Austin, Texas, where he will interview many of the nation’s elite prep players, who are gathered for USA Football's Team USA vs. The World game. Aaron Taylor will report from the west coast on Pac-12 football.

Below is a brief rundown of some of the elements of the show, which features interviews with players and coaches from across the country.

Early Show 10 AM – 1 PM ET

10 AM Hour

Tom Lemming’s Top Ten recruiting classes are unveiled and Brian Jones interviews Notre Dame commits George Atkinson III (#12 WR), Josh Atkinson (#25 CB), and Matt Hegarty (#1 OG).

11 AM Hour

A conference-by-conference recruiting breakdown with Lemming and Rodriguez as well as an interview with Nebraska commit Aaron Green (#3 RB).

12 PM Hour

An interview with Texas head coach Mack Brown, new Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and new Miami head coach Al Golden. Brian Jones also interviews Auburn commit Kiehl Frazier (#2QB).

Late Show 3 PM – 7 PM ET

3PM Hour

Tom Lemming will update his Top Ten Recruiting Classes and there will be interviews with Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen. Fresh off a win in the BCS National Championship game, Auburn head coach Gene Chizik will discuss the run to the title and the incoming class he hopes fuels the Tigers to another.

4 PM Hour

Rutgers commit Savon Huggins (#1 RB) joins the program for an interview as well has his future head coach Greg Schiano. SEC head coaches Derek Dooley of Tennessee and Nick Saban of Alabama will also discuss their recruiting class of 2011.

5PM Hour

UCF head coach George O’Leary and Boise State’s Chris Petersen join the program to provide prospective from non-BCS conference schools.

6PM Hour

Aaron Taylor will interview new Stanford head coach David Shaw and Cardinal commit Wayne Lyons (#4 safety) will also join the program for an interview. CBSSports.com college football columnist Dennis Dodd will provide his thoughts before the show wraps up with the day’s winning (and losing) recruiting classes.

Tune in and get all the latest about the nation’s best high school athletes and more, only on the CBS College Sports Network. More Signing Day coverage

More Signing Day Coverage
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:18 pm
 

SEC Signing Day at a glance

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As always, National Signing Day promises to be a seismic day in the nation's most cutthroat recruiting conference, the SEC. Here's a rundown of what you'll need to keep an eye on:

Players to Watch

Isaiah Crowell , RB, Carver (Columbus, Ga.): Potentially the final piece in the puzzle of Mark Richt's "Dream Team" of a 2011 class, Crowell will decide between his home-state Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama. The Maxpreps No. 6 running back and No. 55 player overall, Crowell has all the gifts necessary to make a Marcus Lattimore- esque impact, particularly at a Georgia program desperate for a difference-maker at the tailback position. No recruit at any position at any team in the SEC is as big a "must-get" as Crowell appears to be for the Dawgs.

Cyrus Kouandjio , OT, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): The No. 3 player in the country according to Tom Lemming, the 6'7", 290-pound prototype tackle (pictured) might hail from Maryland but nonetheless appears to be an intra-state battle between Alabama and Auburn. The Tide can offer Cyrus to chance to play alongside brother Arie Kouandjio (a redshirt freshman at Tuscaloosa) and are considered the team to beat, but the Tigers have made a late charge after Cyrus's visit to the Plains last weekend.

Jermauria Rasco , DE, Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.): Les Miles has already put together a stunning collection of homebred Louisiana talent for his 2011 class, but LSU fans may feel it won't be complete without the explosive Rasco, the Maxpreps No. 6 DE and a top-50 player overall. But to keep one of the most hotly-contested recruits in the country at home, Miles will have to fend off a serious charge from Florida State.

Teams to Watch

Alabama:
Few teams in the country (if any) close as well as the Tide, and if Nick Saban can land Crowell, Kouandjio, and consensus national No. 1 recruit Jadeveon Clowney (who you probably know by now will delay his announcement until Feb. 14), Alabama will lay claim to the nation's top recruiting class once again. Then again, even if they sign only one of the three, the Tide's class is so deep already they'll be in the mix for that honor all the same.

Georgia: It's not just Crowell; the Bulldogs are in play for several other major recruits, like Maxpreps No. 4 defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan and mammoth JUCO defensive tackle Johnathan Jenkins, who could have the same impact as the nose tackle in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense that Terrence Cody once had at Alabama. Putting the finishing touches on what's already a terrific class could prove to be a critical turning point for Mark Richt's Georgia tenure.

Auburn: As much attention as their competition in Tuscaloosa, Athens and Baton Rouge have received of late, it's Auburn that sits at No. 3 in the Maxpreps team recruiting rankings , and the Tigers could move even higher. No. 5 safety Erique Florence and coveted defensive tackle Gabe Wright are both expected to sign with Auburn, and Gene Chizik could also flip Mississippi State commitment Jermaine Whitehead, a prized defensive back. If Auburn can keep Alabama from re-flipping one-time Tide commitment Brent Calloway, their class should rank right alongside their in-state rivals.

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

No one's going to complain too terribly much about Will Muschamp's finish on the recruiting trail, given the limited time with which he and his new staff have had to work. (Not to mention the presence of eye-popping skill position talent like ultra-polished quarterback Jeff Driskel.) But with Georgia and Florida State both poised to bring in substantial hauls, Florida fans still can't be happy about a class that stands at just 16 commitments today, or that Muschamp has added just two players to it since his hire. Finishing with big-time talents like fresh Auburn decommitment Marcus Roberson, blue-chip linebackers Curtis Grant or Stephone Anthony, or defensive tackle Tim Jernigan would go a long way towards soothing any frazzled Gainesville nerves.

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