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Tag:Recruiting
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:55 pm
 

PODCAST: Recruiting Update

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We are less than a week away from national signing day. That one day a year where 18-year old high school kids become the most important people in the college football world as they officially sign their letters of intent to attend the school of their choice. So in the latest episode of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, we bring you up to speed on what you may have missed and what you should expect next week.

Our own Bryan Fischer joins Adam Aizer to talk about the top classes and players in the country, about the recruiting Urban Meyer has already done now that he's at Ohio State, and whether or not Florida State is on the verge of losing a key quarterback recruit to Alabama. All that and even more.

Remember, all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store.


You can listen to the podcast in the player below, pop out a player to keep browsing, or download the MP3 right to your computer.



Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:50 pm
 

Paul Johnson criticizes oversigning in recruiting

Posted by Chip Patterson

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson has never been afraid to speak his mind, and he certainly has plenty to say when it comes to oversigning in recruiting.

Johnson has openly criticized the practice over oversigning in the past, but chose to address the issue directly in a news conference on Friday. The practice has been a local topic of conversation after Alabama pulled their 2012 offer from North Atlanta High running back Justin Taylor. Taylor, one of the top running backs in the state, was offered a grayshirt from the Crimson Tide and promised a spot in the 2013 class.

“That’s like (if) we go out there, we’ve got 15 commitments and we just keep recruiting over the top of them,” Johnson said. “Now, people do that, but not many. And then they just come back and they tell ‘em, ‘Hey, sorry, you’ll have to come next year. You’ll have to come in the spring. We found somebody better than you. We oversigned.’ That’s wrong. And it’s wrong on both sides. It’s just wrong.”

Taylor is reportedly considering his options, and may take head coach Nick Saban's offer to join the program in 2013. The running back missed his senior season with a knee injury, and could benefit from the extended rehab. In addition to criticizing programs, Johnson has publicly expressed discontent with prospects who treat the verbal commitment as a flexible agreement.

Recruiting has always been a hot button topic for Paul Johnson, especially at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets must compete with the top SEC schools in the nation for in-state recruits, while still maintaining the school's academic standards. When other schools like Alabama are using oversigning to lock up the best local recruits, it makes the job for Johnson's staff even more difficult as they fight the uphill battle to assemble the strongest class possible.

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 11:59 am
 

Live Chat: Bryan Fischer talks Recruiting

Join recruiting blogger Bryan Fischer for a live chat at 1 p.m. ET to talk about the Top 25 Recruiting Rankings, which has Alabama at No. 1.

Can Alabama and Nick Saban dominate the college football world for the next few seasons? How are USC and Oregon doing recruiting wise? What should we expect on National Signing Day on Feb. 1? Join us to answer these questions and more.


Posted on: November 2, 2011 6:33 pm
 

Examining Alabama's recruiting class

Posted by Bryan Fischer

In case you haven't heard there is a, well, epic match up on CBS this week between Alabama and LSU in Tuscaloosa. As part of extensive coverage of both teams on CBSSports.com and CBS Sports Network, the Eye on Recruiting will be breaking down the biggest reason each team is thinking BCS national championship this year: the players they are recruiting.

Today we'll take a look at what Nick Saban is doing on the trail. The Tigers currently have 20 commitments for the class of 2012.

Team Ranking: 4th overall, 2nd in the SEC
Number of recruits: 19
Number of five-stars: One, cornerback Geno Smith.
Best position:
Linebacker. Ryan Anderson, Tyler Hayes, Dillon Lee and Reggie Ragland.
Weakest position:
Offensive lineman, one commitment.
Top recruit:
#19 Geno Smith (left)
Sleeper:
Defensive tackle Darren Lake.
Top target:
#9 overall recruit Landon Collins.

Ever since Nick Saban signed on in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide have been in the running for the top recruiting class in the country. It's remarkable how consistently good they've recruited, grabbing a mix of five-star talent with solid in-state prospects that turn into high draft picks later. If there's an elite recruit somewhere in the country, chances are they have Alabama somewhere on their shortlist, especially on defense.

This year's class isn't complete by any means but is stacked with athletes that can run and that can hit. Geno Smith is the top ranked player committed to the Tide and should be an excellent fit in Saban's defensive system that has churned out an NFL corner just about every year. Safety Eddie Williams is a big safety who can roam the secondary and provide punishing hits while out-leaping opposing receivers for interceptions. No group is as deep as the linebackers the team is looking to sign in February. Dillon Lee is a big interior 3-4 linebacker who can drop quickly in coverage while Reggie Ragland is another polished linebacker that fits the mold of a Courtney Upshaw or Dont'a Hightower. This class is heavy on defense and, frankly, loaded on that side of the ball.

Offensively, wide outs Chris Black and Amari Cooper are not Julio Jones physically but are super fast and quick - just the type of player you want to get into open space so they can score. There's a few athletes, such as Justin Thomas, who could play multiple positions while Kenyan Drake could be the next in line at the running back position to impress with a great blend of speed and power. They didn't land top quarterback Gunner Kiel the first time but have a solid replacement in Alec Morris, who is a big signal-caller at every bit of 6-foot-3, 240-pounds.

The one glaring need for this class is probably at offensive line. That is normally a position the staff has done a great job with but this year it seems to be lacking, with only Brandon Greene committed at the position. Don't be surprised if the school doesn't sign at least one additional tackle if not more.

Heading into the home stretch of this recruiting cycle, Saban is looking to do what he does best: close. With Pete Carroll and Urban Meyer no longer coaching college football, it's fairly easy to say that he's the best recruiting coach in the country. It remains to be seen how hard they'll go after Kiel now that he's back on the market but there's certainly a chance after the Tide lost another highly ranked quarterback, Jameis Winston, to Florida State. Running back Keith Marshall, Barry Sanders Jr., wide receiver Dwayne Stanford, offensive tackle Avery Young, defensive end Jordan Jenkins, tackle Armond Armstead and cornerback Tracy Howard are some other top targets remaining on the board the program is heavily pursuing. Safety Landon Collins will be in Tuscaloosa this weekend for an official visit and a win could go a long way in him putting on crimson instead of purple and gold.

As big a game as this will be Saturday, it is also one of the biggest recruiting weekends of the season for the Alabama coaches. Nick Saban already has a great group committed in 2012 and certainly will add to it between now and Signing Day.

Posted on: August 18, 2011 3:44 pm
 

MaxPreps' 2011 high school football kickoff guide

By MaxPreps' Stephen Spiewak

With states like Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina getting underway this weekend, it's safe to say that high school football is officially back.

While every season brings its own magic, the 2011 season — chock full of rare talent, tremendous games and intriguing storylines — has a chance to be truly special.

MaxPreps has compiled a comprehensive guide to the season, for high school pigskin fans and recruiting followers alike.

Welcome back, football.
CLICK HERE FOR THE MAXPREPS HIGH SCHOOL KICKOFF GUIDE
Posted on: August 12, 2011 2:34 pm
 

NCAA decision has impact beyond HS games

Posted by Bryan Fischer

On Thursday, the NCAA moved swiftly to end any talk of high school games on The Longhorn Network or conference networks but upon closer examination, the decision could have a bigger impact than once thought.

The Board of Directors, responsible for passing the interpretation on games, also appeared to close the door to another significant programming source: recruiting. Other programming featuring recruits, such as shows or highlights, look to be off the table for the networks.

The interpretation approved by the Board:
Broadcasts of Youth Programming on Institutional- or Conference-Branded Networks (I)
The academic and membership affairs staff determined it is not permissible for an institution- or conference-branded network to broadcast (audio or video) programming involving prospective student-athletes. [References: NCAA Constitution 2.11 (the principle governing recruiting) and NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1 (general regulation), 13.4.3.1 (recruiting advertisements), 13.10.3 (radio/TV show), 13.10.3.1 (announcer for broadcast of prospective student-athlete’s athletics contest), 13.10.3.2 (game broadcast/telecast), 13.15.1 (prohibited expenses) and 13.15.1.2 (fundraising for high school athletics program)]
The language obviously rules out high school games on for the Longhorn Network and others, such as those run by the Big Ten, Mountain West and, soon, by the Pac-12. By saying those networks can't air any "programming involving prospective student-athletes," any shows dedicated to recruiting appear to be off the table. This could include Signing Day coverage which would have been a stable of the February programming for all of the networks given the frenzy around that time of year.

The interpretation should also extend to school-owned radio networks broadcasting high school games or airing shows dedicated to recruiting. The language of "branded network" could also mean that respective digital networks and websites are also limited in what they can show.

Of course, NCAA interpretations have caused confusion before, such as the one involving recruiting services such as Rivals or Scout. At the moment however, it appears the NCAA has plugged a bigger hole then intended. Is a YouTube video ok?
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 1:24 pm
 

SEC proposing major changes to recruiting model

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The Southeastern Conference is proposing several major changes to NCAA bylaws concerning football recruiting, according to a letter obtained by CBSSports.com.

The letter, from SEC commissioner Mike Slive to Leeland Zeller, the NCAA's associate director of Academic and Membership Affairs, was sent June 15 ahead of the Recruiting and Personnel Issues Cabinet meeting that was held this past weekend.

In it, Slive details the SEC's position on several hot-button recruiting issues after they were discussed at conference meetings in Destin, Fla.

Among the highlights:

  • The SEC endorses the return of text messaging. Currently, coaches cannot text with recruits (at all) but they can email them or send them a Facebook message. The current rules have already caused several coaches to self-report violations after accidentally texting a prospective student-athlete and some coaches privately gripe this is one of the rules they'd like to seen thrown out sooner rather than later. In talking with several administrators from other conferences, there should be plenty of support if the SEC puts forth a proposal to allow texting. The letter does note that while the conference's position is to allow texts, there should be limits in order to not overwhelm prospective recruits.
  • An earlier date for the first off-campus contact by coaches with recruits.
  • Current rules force compliance to monitor follower requests on Twitter and friend requests on Facebook sent to institutional staffers (coaches, administrators, etc.). The SEC says this monitoring "presents a significant compliance challenge" and wants staff members to be able to accept them without having to go through compliance first.
  • The SEC will introduce a proposal for the upcoming NCAA legislative cycle that will permit any coach or staff member to receive phone calls placed by recruits, recruits' parents or recruits' coaches. Phone calls to and from recruits is currently tightly regulated and the SEC proposal would expand contact with recruits as a way to alleviate some compliance concerns associated with monitoring and reporting. Essentially, the SEC is looking to deregulate a lot of the legislation concerning phone calls and texting.
  • The conference would like to redefine the four recruiting periods (Contact, Evaluation, Quiet and Dead) on the calendar into three (Off-campus, on-campus and dead). The SEC wants the off-campus period to be a combination of the current contact and evaluation periods with the rationale that they would eliminate the media from blowing up reports of the so-called "bump" rule being violated. The bump rule, the letter states, "is a source for media reports questioning the integrity of involved coaches, create the expectation that high school coaches arrange incidental contact during an evaluation period, and place college coaches intent on following the rules at a distinct disadvantage." The change is significant and would allow spring football recruiting to take on an even greater importance in the recruiting cycle. Coaches would be able to talk to players freely when they visit campuses in the spring and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the number of verbal commitments to skyrocket as recruits commit when a coach comes to visit.
  • Although the letter states the conference supports earlier official visits - especially taking visits during the summer - they do not propose a specific date the visits should start because "no clear consensus exists around the date that might be established." Slive notes that there is some concern that summer official visits would allow some schools to pay for recruits to come to campus and then allow them to participate in their summer camp at the same time, thus covering travel costs for recruits to camps where players would be evaluated.
  • It has been previously discussed, but the SEC will submit an NCAA-wide proposal that bans 7-on-7 and other so-called "non-scholastic" events from college campuses. The conference also will submit a proposal that bans coaches from involvement in local sports clubs.
Needless to say, the SEC is making a major legislative push to alter many of the rules governing recruiting. Given the way the NCAA legislative cycle operates, it will likely be awhile before proposals turn into bylaws, but the SEC is certainly sending a message that its members want changes to the way things are currently operating.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:33 pm
 

On the hot seat: How some coaches are recruiting

Posted by Bryan Fischer

CBSSports.com Senior Writer Dennis Dodd rolled out his annual Hot Seat Ratings, giving every FBS head coach a grade from 0 (can't be touched) to 5 (it's time to win now). Only one head coach is burning up on the seat with the maximum rating of 5 but there are plenty of others who begin the season feeling some heat. Being on the list puts a lot of the coaches in a tough position on the recruiting trail as they look to turn things around while battling the perception that they won't be there when the recruit steps on campus. Taking a look at several of the coaches on the list, here's how they're doing on the recruiting trail:

Dennis Erickson, Arizona State
Hot Seat Rating: 3.5
2012 Commitments:12
Top Recruit: Wide receiver Kenny Lawler

Erickson is in an interesting position. With a team featuring plenty of upperclassmen and what is expected to be a very good defense, the Sun Devils are likely the favorites for the first Pac-12 South title. Erickson has only had one really good season in Tempe and never has been able to break through and grab elite talent on the recruiting trail. He put together a class last year that mostly addressed needs and was solid but not spectacular. The 2012 class could be one of the better ones Arizona State has pulled in recently, getting off to a good start and leading the Pac-12 with 12 commitments. This is an offense-heavy class with plenty of skill players and he recently added quarterback T.J. Millweard, who was committed to Virginia Tech.

Mark Richt, Georgia
Hot Seat Rating: 3.5
2012 Commitments:10
Top Recruit: Defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor

Richt responded to critics and managed to put together what might have been his best recruiting class ever last year. It was a strong year for talent in Georgia and the Bulldogs took advantage, grabbing a "Dream Team" of recruits. The prize was running back Isaiah Crowell, who many think can come in and make an instant impact on offense after the in-state team fought off powers like Alabama and Florida State for his services. The 2012 class hasn't seemed to build off the momentum however, as Georgia has already lost out on some in-state commitments and are behind in others. There's plenty of time for the tide to turn, however, and as Richt proved last year, he can close down the stretch.

Ron Zook, Illinois
Hot Seat Rating: 4.0
2012 Commitments: 4
Top Recruit: Defensive back TaJarvis Fuller

Zook is known as a good recruiter and he put together a diverse class last year. It's not a great year for talent in the Midwest and Zook is using the southern ties he had while at Florida to make Illinois active in the South, especially in Georgia. He made a nice pickup with Fuller and with a bit of instability in the Big Ten, could nab a prospect or two that might have gone elsewhere. Zook will ultimately have to win to keep Illinois in the minds of the rising seniors but he's on pace to pull in another solid class this year.

Mike Locksley, New Mexico
Hot Seat Rating: 4.5
2012 Commitments: 0

New Mexico is New Mexico so it will always be tough to get recruits to come, especially in the midst of a 2-22 run under Locksley. But credit to the head coach and his staff, they were able to reach into California, Florida and Maryland among other places to get some talent. Known as a superb recruiter in the Maryland/Washington D.C. area, the fact that Locksley got five-star tackle Cyrus Kouandjio to make a visit to the school and keep the Lobos in his final five was quite the accomplishment. The school doesn't have any commitments in 2012 and it will be interesting to see how many wait to see if the hot seat gets too hot for Locksley to stay on it.

Luke Fickell, Ohio State
Hot Seat Rating: 3.5
2012 Commitments: 8
Top Recruit: Running back Warren Ball

Fickell had his fingerprints all over Ohio State's last recruiting class as co-defensive coordinator and was the lead recruiter for one of the Buckeyes' key linebacker commitments, Ryan Shazier from Florida. He is dropped into a very difficult situation however, first following a beloved and successful head coach in Jim Tressel and second, dealing with the looming threat of NCAA sanctions. While he managed to keep the prize of the 2012 class, top 100 offensive lineman Kyle Kalis, in the the fold for awhile, he ended up decommitting and now the Buckeyes are seeing the state of Ohio raided by other Big Ten programs like Michigan, Nebraska and Michigan State. Fickell is a tried and true Buckeye so he knows how to sell the school, the only question is if he'll be successful at it and that remains to be seen.

Rick Neuheisel, UCLA
Hot Seat Rating: 4.0
2012 Commitments: 3
Top Recruit: Running back Steven Lakalaka

Just about everybody thought UCLA was on the right track when Neuheisel managed to pull in two top 20 classes in 2008 and 2009. Since then however, things have reversed course on the field and off. Last year's class did manage to get two big talents from out-of-state in defenisve tackle Kevin McReynolds and top 100 quarterback Brett Hundley but it was by no means a deep and talented class. While it was going to be small due to scholarship numbers, Neuheisel just didn't seem to be able to close with some players and the Bruins are barely on the map in California this year, taking a back seat to Arizona State, Washington, Oregon and their crosstown rival USC. It's getting close to a make or break year for UCLA and Neuheisel and he can only hope that Hundley is as advertised and can make a difference in the win column this season.

Paul Wulff, Washington State
Hot Seat Rating: 5.0
2012 Commitments:5
Top Recruit: Wide receiver Dalen Jones

It's not easy to recruit to the Palouse though Wulff has added some nice pieces over the years, but just can't seem to find enough of them. Wulff reached into Florida and California very well last year and even managed to grab highly regarded offensive lineman Alex Mitchell out of nearby Portland. That said, Wulff is on the hot seat (a very hot seat) and, because it's the hot seat at Washington State, that generally takes the school out of the running for any big time recruits. They've done well all things considered and have extended early scholarships to several California and Florida athletes in hopes of building up an early relationship. It will always be tough for Wulff to recruit and doing so while worried about job security is extra tough.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com