Posted on: November 17, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 7:16 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Recruiting in and of itself is extremely difficult. The stakes are high, jobs are at risk and the payoff at the end might be one kid making one play years down the road to win a game. Add in the amount of time college football coaches spend on the trail - recruiting is not a sometimes thing, it is an all the time thing - and one quickly understands why plenty of coaches will privately say that what they do leading up to Signing Day is one of their least favorite things about the job.
Some schools have a built-in advantage when it comes to players, others have to work extremely hard just to get a recruit to visit. For the most part, Penn State has been in the former category - a big state school, fertile recruiting ground in Pennsylvania, a legendary head coach, unmatched tradition and, literally, generations of players committed to play for the Nittany Lions since birth.
Now, following the shocking allegations involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky and involvement (or lack thereof) of Penn State officials, all of the factors the school had going for it have been shown the door just as quickly as Joe Paterno was pushed out. One of the men at the center of the scandal, Mike McQueary, was the recruiting coordinator (he's on administrative leave) and it's very likely nobody from the current staff will be retained. The house is going to be cleaned but the only problem is the people still inside it are going to have to cobble together a class of 2012 first.
"Penn State's reputation, especially in the Northeast part of the country was second to none," CBS Sports analyst Rich Rodriguez said last week. "If there was a player in that quadrant in the country, they had a chance to get them. ... They'll take a little hit and they'll recover and still be the choice in the Northeast part of the country."
The current recruiting class for the school is led by Glen Ellyn (Ill.) defensive lineman Tommy Schutt and totals 15 players. There has only been one public decommitment since the scandal broke but keep in mind that it is very early and plenty of the players have barely had time to think about recruiting with teams in the middle of playoff runs. The commits that have made public comments all generally have said they're taking a 'wait and see" approach and that's pretty consistent with other places that have seen a cloud hover over the program.
But soon, there won't be a time to wait and players will have to see what Penn State is offering and what others are. Don't be surprised if most of the class takes at least one visit to another school and continues to open the phone lines up to other staffs. There will be recruits among the 15 in the current class and others out there that simply want to go to Penn State and will likely end up signing in February. For those that aren't fully committed to the university, those that wanted to play for Joe Paterno and the current staff or those that are simply uneasy with the whole situation, it's going to be extremely tough for them to fax their letter of intent to State College.
Some uncommitted players who had been considering the school have already dropped them from consideration and that is the area the staff will have the most difficult time with. Athlete Joel Caleb, defensive end Noah Spence and defensive tackle Jamil Pollard are among the prospects that have decided to drop the Nittany Lions down on their list or take them off all together.
Can Penn State rebuild their reputation and recruit as good, if not better, than they were before? It depends on who they hire as head coach. The school is not going to receive NCAA sanctions from all indications so there will be no bowl bans or scholarship reductions to speak about. The most difficult thing going forward is the current group of coaches going into the living rooms of recruits across the country and convincing them and their parents that things will be ok in State College and Penn State is still a great place to get an education and play football.
It will get easier as time goes on and especially once a new head coach and staff are hired but for right now, recruiting players to become a Nittany Lion is the hardest sell in college football. Penn State should be back, some day down the road. For now though, it's tough roads ahead and an even tougher task on the recruiting trail.
Posted on: November 15, 2011 10:47 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 10:48 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
There are a myriad of issues at North Carolina but that didn't matter for Nathan Staub, not as much as the school itself and the chance to play football at the next level. The Buford (Ga.) linebacker committed to the Tar Heels Tuesday afternoon, ending the recruiting process to focus on his high school team's state playoff run.
“I just felt like North Carolina was where I needed to be," Staub told InsideCarolina.com. "There was a lot about it. I love the college atmosphere, great education, the culture down there is good, the coaching staff is good. Everything just kind of came together at North Carolina, I guess, as far as my criteria.”
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound inside linebacker selected UNC over Maryland, East Carolina and Virginia. Though people constantly refer to possible NCAA sanctions at the school, Staub shook off the negativity to see what the Tar Heels could offer.
"Not too much because North Carolina [offers] an incredible education," he said. "And past that they’re committed to their football program. So I felt like as long as I felt comfortable on the campus with the guys that I’ll be playing with and with the degree I was getting that I’d be okay. If there is a coaching change, I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it, but I’ll probably stick to my commitment.”
Staub is the 18th commitment for North Carolina's class of 2012 and sixth (yes, sixth) linebacker coming in next year.
Posted on: November 15, 2011 4:13 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 4:13 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
With the resignation of wide receivers coach David Kelly and serious NCAA issues at the school, UCF has been dropped as a school under consideration for Winter Park (Fla.) receiver Dvario Montgomery.
“That basically wrapped it up for me and showed me that that’s not where I want to be at all,” Montgomery told the Orlando Sentinel. “I kind of [crossed] them off my list.”
Montgomery is still looking at South Florida, Maryland, Tennessee and Louisville. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound athlete recently returned from an official visit to College Park and is now high on the Terps along with the Bulls.
“It was real good,” he said of his visit. “I liked the atmosphere, the only thing about it, it was cold. I could adapt to that fine. Other than that, everything was nice. I loved the coaches. Coach (Randy) Edsall, all of them … they were showing me so much love. They showed me basically everything that happens. The players, everyone was true, there was no messing around … I respected it.”
Montgomery is planning to commit after the season and figures to take his time looking at schools after crossing off local option UCF for numerous reasons.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:08 am
Edited on: October 13, 2011 11:49 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Twitter and recruiting are two things that Pete Carroll was well known for during his days at USC and even though he has moved on to the Seattle Seahawks, it appears he is still using a few of the tricks he learned in college.
Currently locked out of the NBA, Miami Heat forward LeBron James kicked off a series of events by sending a Tweet to ESPN reporter John Clayton in which he jokingly asked about the NFL deadline for signing free agents. James is familiar with playing football; in his sophomore year of high school he was named first-team all-state in Ohio as a wide receiver. At 6-foot-8, 250-pounds though, he would probably be a tight end or defensive end if he were playing now. His inability to finish games though, would probably hold him back from getting a fifth star.
CBSSports.com NFL Insider Mike Freeman said in his Daily Shoutout that some in the league have told him James could be a Pro Bowl tight end if he worked at it. Freeman, like just about everyone, believes it wouldn’t happen and won't happen.
It would be a disaster because of the contact. It's been a while since James was hit and the last time that happened was in high school for him. And don't give me the NBA is physical. The only thing that rivals the NFL in terms of physicality are the fighting sports.
That's not stopping the rambunctious Carroll from at least making a pitch. After first asking if James knew what the NFL rookie minimum is (about $375,000 in 2011), the unemployed basketball star responded that it was still more than he was making now (unlikely, especially considering that he made $16 million from the Heat alone last season, but I digress).
That didn't deter Carroll from continuing his pitch, offering to set up a tryout at Miami, where his son Brennan is the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. He also sent a long a present should James be interested:
Now, if Carroll were still in college and James were a recruitable athlete, what he did would make up several NCAA violations. Of course, he's somewhat familiar with those. Regardless, the head coach's frequent saying of 'Always Compete' continues to come across as 'Always Recruit' to this blog.
And based on this simulation of King James in the video game Madden, it's easy to see why Carroll thought the locked out basketball player was worth pursuing on the gridiron.
(Hat tip to the Eye on Football blog)
Posted on: September 30, 2011 11:24 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 11:26 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
With an NCAA investigation well underway and a tough couple of months for Miami, many wondered when some of the players in their top 10 recruiting class would start to have second thoughts about the Hurricanes. After an official visit to Knoxville, Lakeland (Fla.) defensive end Trent Taylor had enough doubts about the program to switch his commitment to Tennessee late Wednesday night.
“He really enjoyed his visit when he came up (to Tennessee),” Taylor's high school coach Robert Whitaker told GVX247.com. “He liked the coaching staff and stuff. There were so many unknowns with Miami."
Taylor also held offers from Alabama, Florida and Florida State among others. The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder is rated as the 16th-best defensive tackle in the country but has the speed and pass rush moves to play end if needed.
"Trent is a hustler from the word go, he's a power rusher who can bull rush, and a speed rusher who can quickly avoid pass blockers and get to the QB in a hurry," analyst Tom Lemming said of Taylor. "He always seems to get under the blocker's pads and pushes them into the backfield, and sometimes into the QB. Gives great effort, never lets up and never gives up, is smart enough to stay in position and rarely gets caught in misdirection, and is a sure tackler."
Taylor is the 17th commitment for the Vols' class of 2012. He has 21 tackles and two sacks through four games this season.
Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 4:23 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Peering into the crystal ball is something recruitniks do all the time. Which kid goes where? Is this recruit leaning toward school X or school Y? He talked about early playing time but he also wants to play with his friend in the Big Ten.
There are so many data points but it is still an inexact science. It's hard, but someone has to do it.
With all of the conference realignment news still swirling around college football, it's time once again to look into the future (The future? Yes, the future) and see - at least for the short term - what the landscape might look like. CBSSports.com has gathered up all of our experts on both the football side and the basketball side to project what all six of the current BCS automatic qualifying conferences will look like in 2014.
RapidReports: Up to the minute realignment updates
Eye on College Football: Conference Realignment Central
From the looks of it, no conference is going kaput. There is some shrinking and some bloating but all-in-all, it's just a few alteration from what the landscape will look like in 2012. Here are our projections for further conference realignment once the current wheeling and dealings are complete:
So we’ve got six conferences ranging in size from 12 to 16 programs. Which is strongest on the recruiting trail? Which is the deepest? Most top-heavy? Let’s take a look in alphabetical order.
Current picture: Four top 25 teams, 2-3 coaches on the hot seat.
#4 Florida State
Future outlook: Jimbo Fisher appears to have the Seminoles back and recruiting like they were in the 1990's. Not only is Florida State attracting top talent, they're closing well and look to be a perennial contender with top five class after top five class. Clemson has recruited very well under Dabo Swinney but that hasn't translated into the bowl games the Tigers want to be playing in - which is one reason 2011 is make or break for him. One figures that Miami will get hit with serious NCAA sanctions that will hamper their recruiting abilities going forward. At the same time, the Hurricanes getting fewer players out of their own backyard could allow other schools in the conference to come in and grab better players - which could be a nice boost for schools such as Virginia or Maryland. The additions of UConn, Pitt and Syracuse don't do too much but do provide increased access to both states for the northern end of the conference.
Current picture: Three top 25 teams, one coach on the hot seat.
Future outlook: The conference everybody is talking about will continue to be the conference everybody will be talking about. Texas and Oklahoma will still be Texas and Oklahoma as long as Mack Brown and Bob Stoops are on the sidelines for the Red River Rivalry every year. The Big 12 staying together means that schools such as Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri and others will continue to have access to a good number of Texas high school players - key in any success any of them have had over the years. Texas will still grab the best players in the state, that much won't change no matter what happens. There could be increased competition however, with Texas A&M being able to play the 'We're in the SEC' card. That probably hurts Oklahoma and Oklahoma State more than anyone. BYU will enjoy reaching into the Southwest even more than they currently do.
Current picture: Two top 25 teams, one coach on the hot seat.
Future outlook: The realignment shakeup is all about the survival of the fittest but the Big East is, without a doubt, the least fit. They have had schools make waves in the national picture before but they've done so largely by coaching up players, not grabbing five-star recruits. Cincinnati has done a good job in the Midwest and should be helped out by nearby powerhouse Ohio State being down slightly. Rutgers is on shaky ground if Greg Schiano is let go but, if he sticks around, they should be a program that is helped by the trickle affect of Miami being down since they recruit Florida well. Not much is lost with the three schools going to the ACC, a good number of programs will still continue to recruit in states such as Pennsylvania and New York for players. TCU and West Virginia will probably be the top dogs in the rankings with both having strong ties to Texas and Dana Holgorsen's reputation proceeding him. UCF is a hidden gem that adds the most since Orlando has really come along in terms of number of BCS players the area produces.
Current picture: Five top 25 teams, two coaches on the hot seat.
#13 Penn State
#21 Michigan State
Future outlook: Oh how the tables have been turned (off the field) in the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry. No one in the Big Ten has taken advantage of the turmoil in Columbus than the Wolverines under Brady Hoke. Given the quick turnaround, national prominence of the program and Hoke's ties to California, don't expect to see much drop off in Michigan recruiting over the next few years if they continue to win. Joe Paterno figures to retire at some point but Penn State sits in the middle of a talent-rich state and will continue to a solid job on the recruiting trail going forward. New Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson has done good job early on in locking up in-state talent and landing the number one quarterback in the country is a giant block to build on with future recruiting classes. Ohio State has been hampered with all that has gone but if they hire a top flight coach - as one would expect - all bets are off. The recruits in the state of Ohio alone will be able to keep them in the upper echelon of the conference regardless. Also watch out for Wisconsin, which will likely start getting better quality recruits the next few years following their success on the field.
Current picture: Two top 25 teams, five coaches on the hot seat.
#15 Arizona State
Future outlook: A few strong years of West Coast talent will form the basis of a strong conference going forward. The biggest cause for concern is the number of coaches who are on the hot seat and can lose their jobs. For some programs, that means starting over in recruiting. For others, it could be an upgrade. With both Los Angeles programs each dealing with some issues, the amount of talent available to programs like Washington, Utah, Colorado and others has never been higher. NCAA issues at Oregon might hamper the Ducks a little but as long as they're wearing a crazy uniform and have Phil Knight writing checks, they'll be ok. USC has continued to get top talent despite and should rebound from sanctions quicker than most programs because of that. If anything though, California will become much more of a battleground state with more programs looking at the recruits coming out the next few years.
Current picture: Eight top 25 teams, two coaches on the hot seat.
#8 Texas A&M
#10 Virginia Tech
#14 South Carolina
Future outlook: The nation's best conference on the field and the recruiting trail will only get better with the additions of Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. It's scary, actually, to think about. LSU, the Mississippi schools, Florida and Alabama should all benefit to increased access to Texas and the Aggies won't be any slouch by telling recruits that they can stay home and play in the SEC. The same is true of the state of Virginia, which has annually produced plenty of great players. Other schools have taken advantage of Georgia's increase in FBS talent the past several years and even though UGA has a coach on the hot seat, they'll be able to recruit well because of who's nearby. Will Muschamp has shown there's no drop off in the state of Florida for the Gators going forward and the Alabama-Auburn rivalry is becoming just as fierce on the recruiting trail going forward as the Iron Bowl has been on the field. Bottom line, no one recruits like the SEC and they're only getting stronger with their recent additions.
Tags: ACC, Air Force, Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, BCS, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Bob Stoops, Brady Hoke, BYU, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado, conference realignment, Dabo Swinney, Dana Holgorsen, Florida, Florida State, Greg Schiano, Houston, Indiana, Iowa State, Jimbo Fisher, Joe Paterno, Kansas, Kansas State, Kevin Wilson, LSU, Mack Brown, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Missouri, Navy, NCAA, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pac-12, Penn State, Phil Knight, Rutgers, SEC, South Carolina, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, UCF, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, West Virginia, Will Muschamp, Wisconsin
Posted on: September 21, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 10:07 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
- Top tight end recruit Kent Taylor could return to the field from a broken hand soon.
What do Georgia Tech recruits think about ACC expansion?
Moving to the ACC has made James Washington's commitment to Syracuse firmer.
West Virginia and Wake Forest offered 2013 running back Greg Bryant on Tuesday.
Offensive lineman Adam Pankey will take an unofficial visit to Pitt this week.
Will Muschamp's rant against the NCAA earned him some recruiting currency.
A recruiting trip to Ohio State ended up making Colorado head coach Jon Embree a Buff.
Shane Beamer discussed recruiting at Virginia Tech and the NCAA allegations at his previous stop, South Carolina.
Quarterback Shane Morris is both a recruit and a recruiter for Michigan.
Offensive lineman Jackson Bounamia committed to Air Force.
Kentucky landed athlete Fred Tiller out of Georgia.
Posted on: September 12, 2011 1:27 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 1:47 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Get kids on campus.
Visits, whether they be of the unofficial or the official variety, are the single biggest recruiting tool coaching staffs have and their best opportunity to leave a lasting impression on recruits. A big win at a full stadium while players are lined up on the sideline? Nothing goes further in terms of moving one school up to the top of the list or gathering a commit.
Brady Hoke had turned around Michigan's fortunes on the recruiting trail before even coaching a game in Ann Arbor, pulling in the top recruiting class in the nation before the season started. Following the team's last second win against Notre Dame Saturday in the first ever night game at home, Hoke made an even louder statement to the nation and, most importantly for his future, to recruits.
When Rich Rodriguez took over the program, one of the first things he tried to do was get a night game scheduled against a big name opponent. Why? It was all about recruiting and bringing in some big names for recruiting purposes. Though RichRod is no longer the head coach, his mission was certainly accomplished and Hoke will be the one to taste the fruits of his labor.
The list of visitors at the Big House this weekend was impressive and will be hard to top by any school this year. Five star offensive tackle Zach Banner, 2013 tackle Steven Elmer, 2013 running back Berkley Edwards (younger brother of Braylon Edwards), former USC commit Jordan Payton and 2013 receiver Laquon Treadwell were among the notable names in town for the game. Current UM commits Pharaoh Brown, Jeremy Clark, Allen Gant, Matt Godin, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Erik Magnuson, Mario Ojemudia, Terry Richardson and others were in attendance as well.
With the school's current recruiting class sitting at 23, Michigan is nearly finished with the class of 2012. As a result, the big win under the lights wasn't so much about this year but next. Following the game, 2013 safety Dymonte Thomas pulled the trigger and committed and he probably won't be the last to commit in the near future either.
Given that fellow Big Ten recruiting powerhouse Ohio State is dealing with an interim head coach and faces possible NCAA sanctions, Michigan is not only the class of the conference for the next couple of years but they appear to be back as a national power. The Midwest hasn't had the depth of previous years in terms of talent but Hoke has grabbed the best of the best and is looking to cherry-pick some of the best players in the West. His staff has several ties out there having coached at San Diego State and with the program rolling so far in 2011, don't be surprised to see more and more kids nationally taking visits to Michigan in the near future. Given the success of the game this past weekend, look for Michigan to continue to host a night game at least once a year going forward.
Following the game, 2013 quarterback Shane Morris tweeted Ann Arbor was the place to be. Based on the visitor list, it certainly was.
Don Bosco routs California's Mission Viejo
The game of the week as far as high schools go was probably the cross-country showdown between top ranked Don Bosco Prep and California powerhouse and 23rd-ranked Mission Viejo. One would expect a team as well coached as the Diablos to be pretty competitive despite going up against superior competition but they were blown off the field by Don Bosco. Quarterback Alex Bridgeford, a top Southern California quarterback, was sacked six times and threw four interceptions. Boston College commit Michael Strizak had two sacks by himself as the team applied pressure all night that Mission Viejo just couldn't handle.
It wasn't just Bridgeford that had trouble getting going against a nasty defense either. USC-bound running back Jahleel Pinner, a good-sized back who has no trouble running down hill, was limited to 47 yards on 18 carries. Considering the team has at least three FBS-caliber offensive linemen on the team, it was a bit surprising there were so many problems up front.
The Mission defense didn't help out at all during the game either, allowing Don Bosco running back John Wilkins to rush for 114 yards and two scores. Featuring two Big East commits, an ACC-bound linebacker and stud defensive end Darius Hamilton, this is a talented team that earned their ranking. Several players have mentioned competing for a mythical national championship this year and, based on the start of their season, might be well on their way to accomplishing the goal.
Gray runs into the record books
Ever since taking over as the primary rusher for Aledo (Texas), Johnathan Gray has been scoring touchdowns and racking up the yards at a record pace. The Texas commit set an impressive record on Friday and passed some pretty good players while doing so. Gray scored four times as his team fell to 4A powerhouse Lake Travis but that was still good enough to become the state's all-time leader in touchdowns scored with 148 over his career.
It's an impressive list of names he climbed over to take the record. Traylon Shead of Cayuga (Texas) was the previous record holder with 146. Former Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers had 136 touchdowns in high school. Cedric Benson and legend Kenneth Hall of Sugar Land (Texas) both had 127. Considering that Gray still has most of his season and a playoff run ahead of him, he should extend the record to where it won't be broken in a long time.
Allen tops Longview
Staying in the Lone Star State, huge win for Allen over one of the state's best teams in Longview. The Eagles are led on offense by Alabama-bound quarterback Alec Morris and Missouri commit Jonathan Williams, who both helped the team roll 42-23 on Friday. Morris threw for five touchdowns and the big signal caller is looking at making a big jump in the national rankings based on how he's performed during the summer camp circuit and into his senior year.
Big game Brian
Auburn commit Jovon Robinson and Vanderbilt-bound Brian Kimbrow are good friends and some of the top players in the state of Tennessee. The two played each other on Friday and Kimbrow put on a show, rushing for 367 yards and five (count 'em, five) touchdowns. Amazingly, he has over 1,100 yards through four games.
Video(s) of the week
There were so many good plays this week in high school games across the country that I had to select two videos. The first comes from Chatham (N.J.) as a broken play turns into fumble, pass and eventual 73 yard touchdown.
Florida running back commitment Mike Davis rushed for over 200 yards against Tifton County but this was the best run he had bar none.
- Several top prospects hold the key to winning the SEC recruiting battle.
Oklahoma State is making recruiting inroads into the Tulsa area.
Across the state, Oklahoma is developing a pipeline from Euless (Texas) Trinity High.
The Alabama game made for an epic recruiting weekend for Penn State even though the Nittany Lions fell short.
2013 receiver Ahmad Fulwood loved his visit to Florida last week.
TCU commit Tyler Matthews pulled out a win and threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns over the weekend.
Florida State and Miami coaches were out at the Miramar-Blanche Ely high school game to watch several top recruits.
Great profile of quarterback Luke Falk, who has Stanford, Arizona State and Utah at the top of his list.
Tags: ACC, Ahmad Fulwood, Alabama, Alabama, Alec Morris, Alex Bridgeford, Allen, Allen Gant, Arizona State, Auburn, Berkley Edwards, Big East, Big Ten, Boston College, Brady Hoke, Braylon Edwards, Brian Kimbrow, Cedric Benson, Darius Hamilton, Don Bosco Prep, Dymonte Thomas, Erik Magnuson, Florida, Florida State, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jahleel, Jeremy Clark, John Wilkins, Johnathan Gray, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Payton, Jovon Robinson, Kenneth Hall, Laquon Treadwell, Longview, Luke Falk, Mario Ojemudia, Matt Godin, Miami, Michael Strizak, Michigan, Mike Davis, Mission Viejo, Missouri, NCAA, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Penn State, Pharaoh Brown, Rich Rodriguez, Royce Jenkins-Stone, San Diego State, SEC, Shane Morris, Stanford, Steven Elmer, TCU, Terry Richardson, Texas, Traylon Shead, Tyler Matthews, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt, Zach Banner