Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: August 22, 2011 11:03 am

Ranking the Mountain West recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. TCU

One could technically include this class in the Big East rankings but they top the Mountain West rankings for the last time. Quarterback Tyler Matthews has had a terrific summer and is a sharp signal-caller and the rest of the class is full of speed athletes like defensive back Daje Johnson.

2. Boise State

There seems to be more talent in this class, at this point, than other years thanks to the rise in the Broncos' profile. The staff has done well in talent-rich Florida, Texas and California and have a great quarterback incoming in Nick Patti.

3. San Diego State

The departure of head coach Brady Hoke last year means a new recruiting pitch for the Aztecs but they've managed to bring in some quality players. Quarterback Matt Morin is a strong-armed pick up for the program and they have several other underrated local talents halfway until Signing Day.

4. Air Force

It's always hard to judge service academy recruiting classes but at the moment, Air Force is winning the recruiting version of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Running back Johnathan Johnson has BCS offers and the rest of the class is full of solid players.

5. Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV, Wyoming

These four school do not have any commitments for the class of 2012.

Posted on: August 2, 2011 8:39 pm

Halfway to Signing Day: Big East Edition

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're right about halfway to Signing Day and that means it is time to take a look at the Big East and see how the conference is shaping up on the recruiting trail. Here's a few accolades for a few of the programs who are making head way (or not) at this point in August.

Big East Commitment List

Best class: TCU

The Horned Frogs are taking advantage of the move to a BCS conference on the recruiting trail, pulling in a very good class that isn't too far off of the other in-state powers. They've got two good quarterbacks in Austin Aune and Top 100 signal-caller Tyler Matthews, both of whom should benefit from a redshirt year once the arrive on campus. Tight end Griffin Gilbert is a bit of an under-the-radar guy but he catches everything thrown his way and could certainly add to the pro-style offense the team runs. Stud athlete Daje Johnson should be an all-conference performer in no time under Gary Patterson.

Work left to do: Rutgers

It's a solid but not spectacular class for the Scarlet Knights. They have some good pieces that fills some needs but there is no impact player that can come in and make an impact from day one like Savon Huggins was as part of last year's class.

Under the radar class: USF

The Bulls have the smallest class on the list but they have some players who could come in and play right away in tight end Sean Price and cornerback Chris Bivins. They picked up a quarterback who flashed a lot of potential in limited time last year in Tyler Cameron and have done a good job of grabbing other players who could play at one of the state's big three. They still need to find some more players to fill it out but halfway to Signing Day, the program is in good shape.

Top commit: Quarterback Bennie Coney (Plant City, Fla.), committed to Cincinnati.

Loading up: Louisville on offensive linemen (4), West Virginia on wide receivers (4), Cincinnati on defensive backs (4).

Frequent Fliers: Louisville, Syracuse and West Virginia, each with commitments from seven states.

Fence builders: TCU, 13 of 15 commitments from Texas.

Road to Signing Day storyline: Will the new coaches be able to close out?

The Big East is full of new head coaches (and a few entering their sophomore seasons) who are looking to close out their first full recruiting classes with a bang. Dana Holgorsen is out of his normal recruiting area at West Virginia but so far has done well, grabbing very good athletes such as Deontay McManus. Todd Graham has made in-roads at Pitt early on and could land some quality local athletes as well. But it's a long six months to Signing Day and it will be interesting to see if they can make their first effort at their new school a building block for the future.

Top 25 Teams:

22. West Virginia
Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 2:38 pm

Stanford nabs talented offensive lineman Shuler

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With a rigid academic profile and a football team that is now BCS-caliber, Stanford has to search the country for recruits that fit their specific profile for what they're looking for. The Cardinal staff went all the way into Brentwood (Tenn.) Monday night for their latest commitment, offensive lineman Graham Shuler, who felt the school was just what he was looking for.

"I actually decided a couple of weeks ago but I’ve really just been praying about it and talking about it with my coaches and my family and just really making sure that this is the best decision for me and at the end of last week, I just really realized this is it, this is where I want to be and what I want to do," Shuler told Scout. "I wanted to go to a school where I could get an incredible academic environment and a great education that would prepare me for my future. There’s no better school in the country that can prepare me for the field like Stanford can and the rest of my life in the classroom."

The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Shuler is the son of former Auburn tackle Rob Shuler, who played in the early 80's. While the son didn't follow in his father's footsteps to the SEC, he is on board with a rising power in the Pac-12 and is looking to help recruit a promising class for the school this year.

"I mean, right now I’m very excited about my decision," he said. "I’m not really sure what all I’m allowed to do. I want to better Stanford as much as possible and I will be a spokesperson, advocate for them for the rest of my life. So might as well start now. I want to be the best, I want to be on the team that’s the best, and that happens by surrounding yourself with the best players."

The fifth commitment for Stanford's class of 2012, Shuler has a 3.9 GPA and held offers from Clemson, Boston College, Mississippi State and Syracuse among others. As a testiment to the the Cardinal's national reach, all five commitments are from a different state and none of them are from California.
Posted on: June 20, 2011 12:38 am

Pittman makes Father's Day pledge to Michigan St.

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Things are just a little different in Midwest recruiting for the class of 2012. One Big Ten power, Michigan, has a new head coach who hasn't coached a game in Ann Arbor and another, Ohio State, faces the very real possiblity of NCAA sanctions thanks to a still-developing case.

While it has mostly been the Wolverines who have been able to build up some momentum on the recruiting trail, their in-state rival Michigan State is picking up steam as well and building a very good class. The Spartans added to it with a major verbal pledge Sunday afternoon in Canton (Ohio) defensive end Se'Von Pittman, who made a surprising Father's Day commitment.

"It was great getting the decision out of the way because now I can focus on other things, like my senior season," Pittman told SpartanMag.com. "What made me commit to Michigan State was Coach (Pat) Narduzzi and Coach (Mark) Dantonio. They're great coaches and I wanted to be a part of something like that, and just the fact that I wanted to be different. I wanted to go there and make my own name and be Se'Von Pittman at Michigan State."  

Ranked 63rd overall in the class of 2012 by MaxPreps, Pittman is planning on enrolling early in school and going through spring drills. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder is also planning on being a leader from the moment he steps on campus as the Spartans look to build off their best season in decades in 2011.

"I really think the program is a big thing," he said. "I really think with me being there, we can really get a Big Ten Championship, maybe even a BCS. Right now we got the coaches, we just need more players."

Michigan State was the choice for Pittman over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State among others. The four-star player is the first defensive lineman in the program's class of 2012, which currently sits at six commitments.

As a junior last year, Pittman had roughly 100 tackles and six sacks.
Posted on: April 22, 2011 9:39 am

4/22 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Happy Earth everyone. In addition to rinsing, reusing and recycling, be sure to reuse the Eye on Recruiting blog by continuing to visit for all of the latest recruiting information.

- Several top recruits have made their way to East Lansing to unofficially visit Michigan State.

- Athlete Dvario Montgomery was recently named a US Army All-American.

- Oklahoma State commit Dalton Santos is high on Arkansas after visiting for their spring game.

- Maryland and Mississippi State are the two latest offers for tight end Kent Taylor.

- Good look at how much top 25 BCS schools spend on recruiting as a school.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com