Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

January 31, 2010

Rivals.com Recruiting Roundtable, Part II

We're taking a break this week from the College Football Roundtable. Instead, with National Signing Day fast approaching, we asked our recruiting experts to fill in for the weekend.

We had three recruiting questions Saturday and have three more today in our special College Football Recruiting Roundtables.

1. IT HAS BEEN SAID A STAFF'S RECRUITING ABILITY DOESN'T REALLY SHOW UNTIL ITS SECOND SEASON ON THE JOB. IN THAT VEIN, IS THERE A SECOND-YEAR COACHING STAFF THAT HAS DONE BETTER THAN YOU EXPECTED ON THE RECRUITING TRAIL?

Jeremy Crabtree's answer:
I look at the job Chip Kelly has done at Oregon and marvel at what he was able to accomplish on the field and in this year's recruiting wars. The Ducks have done a good job in Oregon and California, and were able to go into Texas and get Lache Seastrunk, go into Michigan and get Dior Mathis and go into Arizona and get Nick Rowland. All of those guys will be good players for the Ducks.

Barry Every's answer:
You have to give credit to Gene Chizik for what has done at Auburn in his second signing class. Michael Dyer was a steal from the state of Arkansas. I really like the athleticism and potential of defensive players Jawara White, Craig Sanders and LaDarius Owens. I also really like what Steve Sarkisian has done at Washington in nailing down a workhorse such as Deonte Cooper and landing monster defensive tackle Sione Potoae.

Mike Farrell's answer:
Gene Chizik and his staff at Auburn have killed it. To have a chance to finish in the top five with all that Alabama has done and the success of programs such as Florida, Georgia and others on the recruiting trail in the SEC is amazing. He's put together a great staff, and we are starting to see the results already.

Greg Ladky's answer:
Auburn definitely is the answer here. What that staff has done in a short amount of time is amazing. They have commitments from five of the state's top 10 prospects. The previous two classes had a combined zero of the top 10 prospects. Their out-of-state performance is even more impressive. Five-star prospects Shon Coleman and Michael Dyer come from Mississippi and Arkansas, respectively. In addition, quarterback Cameron Newton is coming in as the nation's top junior college prospect. Trovon Reed, Antonio Goodwin, and Eric Mack are out-of-state four-star prospects heading to Auburn.

Jamie Newberg's answer:
The best second-year run has to be at Auburn. First, Gene Chizik put together a really good staff in terms of recruiting. The Tigers' staff went a bit unnoticed because all the attention with the coaching changes last season went to Tennessee. Assistants such as Trooper Taylor, Curtis Luper, Tommy Thigpen, Ted Roof, etc., are big-time recruiters. And it's not like they walked into an easy situation. Alabama has killed it in recruiting under Nick Saban, with back-to-back top-rated recruiting classes. Along the way, the Crimson Tide owned the state. I wouldn't say the pendulum has swung to Auburn in the state of Alabama, but the Tigers have gotten some players they didn't in the past and they are making things a little harder for Saban and Co. Auburn has scored on both sides of the ball, has filled needs and has a balanced class. They also still have some major out-of-state battles brewing with running back Marcus Lattimore, defensive tackles Bryan Jones and Jeffrey Whitaker and defensive end Corey Lemonier.

Barton Simmons' answer:
Though he technically has presided over three recruiting classes, the 2010 class is only the second that Mike Sherman has had a full timeline to work with at Texas A&M. It is hard to crack the in-state dominance of the Texas Longhorns in recruiting, but Sherman's staff has put together a great effort in the class of 2010 -- most notably on the offensive line. Four of the top six offensive linemen in Texas will be heading to College Station and should continue to build on the recent offensive recruiting success at A&M. The Aggies still have some work to do just to hang on to some commitments, but if they can, a class that is knocking on the door of the top 10 is a positive sign in Aggieland.

2. WHICH CONFERENCE, AS A WHOLE, HASN'T RECRUITED AS WELL AS YOU EXPECTED?

Jeremy Crabtree's answer:
I see quite a few ACC programs behind teams from outside the non-Big Six conferences. Granted, Wake Forest never is going to rank in the top 25 nationally and Virginia went through a coaching change, but I still thought that those programs -- along with Boston College -- would have better classes. I think Virginia will rebound next year, but this year, it's a little surprising to see Wake, BC and UVa. behind some of the schools they're behind.

Barry Every's answer:
I would have to say the Big Ten. Penn State has done a nice job. Considering that the heat is on Rich Rodriguez, Michigan has done well. But Ohio State needs to finish strong or it will be considered a slight disappointment considering they are coming off a Rose Bowl victory.

Mike Farrell's answer:
This year, it's the Big Ten for me. Penn State has done well but likely will fall outside the top 10, and Ohio State and Michigan have struggled. I don't expect the Big Ten to have a program in the top 10 for the first time in a few years. The ACC would have been my choice had Florida State not rebounded so well under Jimbo Fisher.

Greg Ladky's answer:
The Big Ten. Thankfully for the league, Penn State has been good this year, and Michigan is closing strong. But it looked pretty bad for a while. It is possible that seven of the Midwest's top eight prospects will not commit to a Big Ten school. Ohio State should have a monster class in 2011, but the Buckeyes are taking a smaller class this year. Michigan took some head-scratchers early in the process, but have closed strong with four-star prospects Cullen Christian and Richard Ash. The Wolverines also have added a nice group of Ohio prospects. Michigan State will sign a solid class in 2010, but a top-20 finish may be out of reach. No other teams in the Big Ten will threaten the top 25.

Jamie Newberg's answer:
I think I would say the Big East, but I think that will change next year. I think Charlie Strong will work wonders at Louisville. The same thing with Doug Marrone at Syracuse. I expect Skip Holtz next year to take USF's recruiting to the next level. Those three teams can really pick up the league in the future. But as things stand now, you only have one Big East team in the top 25 and that's West Virginia at No. 25. As a Big Six conference, it has to do better. I have no doubt it will, especially with the coaching hires made in the past year.

Barton Simmons' answer:
The Big Ten as a whole has to be considered a relative disappointment. Penn State is the top-ranked team in the conference, but the Nittany Lions have had a decommitment out of Dominique Easley and missed on Philadelphia native Sharrif Floyd -- both five-star prospects and the top two defensive tackles in the country. With the arrival of Rich Rodriguez, Michigan's recruiting was supposed to get a boost. Though the Wolverines have a solid class, they are nowhere near the top 10. The conference's perennial power, Ohio State, barely is sitting inside the national top 25. With six SEC teams currently in the top 10 and the other Big Six conference -- except the Big East -- dominating the top 25, the Big Ten is lagging.

3. HAS THE PROLIFERATION OF THE SPREAD OFFENSE AT THE COLLEGE LEVEL HAD AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE NUMBER OF PRO-STYLE QUARTERBACKS COMING OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL?

Jeremy Crabtree's answer:
We saw a great example of this at the U.S. Army All-American Game, when not a single quarterback on the West roster knew how to take a snap under center. That was something that blew away the coaches. It's also clear if you watch high school football in Texas how prevalent the spread has become. When I started covering the state 12 years ago, we saw few teams passing the ball and the running game still was very much a part of what was done. Now, it's the exact opposite on almost every level of football in the state. This is not just a Texas thing, either. You know when you see spread offenses in Nebraska and Iowa, it's something that's a nationwide situation. I think we're starting to see more and more of this hinder the pro-style quarterback crop nationally, and it will be a factor moving forward. Unless there's a swing back toward more traditional offenses, these quarterbacks coming out won't know how to do the simple things: take a snap under center, take a five-step drop, etc. That could eventually hurt their chances of playing pro football.

Barry Every's answer:
I did four games in Texas my first week out this year, and seven of the eight schools ran the spread exclusively. I don't think there is any doubt that the spread offense is taking over at the high school level. I also think the summer passing leagues have made it easier for high school coaches to make that move. That means colleges are going to find it harder to find quality quarterbacks that know how to even take snaps under center without fumbling. College quarterback coaches are going to have their hands full teaching the basics, because these kids sure are not getting them at the high school level. Footwork also has fallen by the wayside, further hurting good throwing mechanics.

Mike Farrell's answer:
Personally, I think it's ruining quarterback play. Some of these kids coming out of high school have no clue how to take a snap under center, and the NFL still wants guys who can run play-action, who can work under center and don't need to work out of the shotgun to be effective. It's why guys such as Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Matt Ryan and others have been selected so high in recent drafts. These guys went into pro-style offenses in college and learned how to be well-rounded. The spread quarterbacks can have success in college, but they will suffer when it comes to the NFL. I much prefer a traditional offense to the spread or other offenses.

Greg Ladky's answer:
Yes and no. Yes because so few kids know how to take a snap under center now. Plus, the teaching of drops is becoming less and less frequent because so many quarterbacks are working out of the shotgun. It is a bad era for pro-style or traditional quarterbacks. Still, kids who play in the spread in high school can be projected as pro-style quarterbacks. So, the number of prospects will still be there. Let's just hope the pro-style kids learn how to take a snap and make a drop somewhere along the line.

Jamie Newberg's answer:
I think we need more time to access the situation. I know it's painfully obvious from what we see at camps and combines. Many of these high school quarterbacks are uncomfortable playing under center, making their drops, going through their progressions and making the accurate throws. It's a mind game, and playing under center and having to make a three-, five- or seven-step drop makes these kids real uncomfortable because they are just not doing it at the high school level. I will be real curious to see what happens in the future with the NFL. How will quarterbacks from college spreads do in the NFL? I think there will be a longer adjustment period and learning curve because a lot of these guys did not play under center at all in college. In many ways, they will have to start over in the NFL because they will be under center more than they will be in the shotgun. There is no doubt in my mind that the spread is going to greatly affect the NFL.

Barton Simmons' answer:
The proliferation of the spread may have cut down on pro-style quarterback prospects, but it has also opened the door to a variety of quarterbacks that fit any number of variations of the spread that probably wouldn't otherwise find success. A Todd Reesing, a Chase Daniel or even a Pat White didn't have the opportunities to be successful 10 years ago that they have now.



Michigan State NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines:


 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos SpartanMag.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.