Tag:Nick Saban
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:52 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 11:55 pm
 

New Level 7-on-7 Day One Updates

Posted by Bryan Fischer

ROSWELL, Ga. -- The recruiting landscape shifted into a higher gear on Saturday as hundreds of players from as far away as Michigan descended upon Centennial High School in suburban Atlanta for the first New Level Athletics Elite 7-on-7 tournament of the year. With 18 teams taking part, the event drew some of the top talent from across the country to show off their skills and allowed several to make a name for themselves, hoping that will translate into scholarship offers down the road.

One player who needed no introduction was Marietta (Ga.) running back and Alabama commitment Tyren Jones. Easily among the 10 best players in the state after a terrific junior year, the speedster was the focal point of Team Georgia's offense as they fought their way out of the round-robin format that made up day one.

"Some people might know who I am but I'm not really worried about it," Jones said. "I just want to go out here and help my team win."

Although he is a multi-purpose back, Jones lined up at receiver for the day and looked like a natural. Though he looks like more a guy that would be utilized out of the slot, he typically was found on the outside against the opposition's top cornerback and still had little trouble finding soft spots in coverage or beating his man deep.

"I just want to prove that I can catch the ball well," he said. "I'm lining up to play receiver even though I'm a running back."

The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder's commitment to the Crimson Tide came after attending a recent Junior Day in Tuscaloosa and picking up an offer from head coach Nick Saban. While the timing surprised a few folks, Jones liked what the program was offering and feels his talents will mesh extremely well within the offense.

"It wasn't really a pitch, they just told me that I fit really well into their system and their system really fits me," he said. "They said I'm an all-purpose running back and that's what they need at Alabama. They watched film and saw me split out some an basically said I'm going to come out of the backfield and catch the ball."

Jones was particularly impressed with the facilities and was sold on how well the program took care of the players in terms of nutrition and weightlifting. Although some might be deterred at Alabama signing the top recruiting class seemingly every year, the tailback is looking forward to the competition and thinks the class of 2013 might come in as the best of the past few years anyway.

"I think it's something special this year," Jones said. "We can win some more national championships. They don't really brag about (winning national titles) but they know they have the talent and the recruiting to win another.

Still, that hasn't stopped a few programs from continuing to make their pitch with plenty of time between now and Signing Day.

"Purdue, Florida and I'd say Georgia," he said of programs still recruiting him hard. "They're all still talking to me and sending letters."

Jones' 7-on-7 teammate - and Georgia commit - Shaquille Wiggins was not with the squad because he was in Athens for the Bulldogs' Junior Day but will return for the championship round on Sunday. The addition not only gives the group a top cornerback but somebody that has been very open about his program being the one everybody should be looking at. Although Jones' recent pledge to Alabama is strong, he still hears it from Wiggins despite him being a bit of a recruiter himself.

"Not really, I talk to him every once and a while but it's not too much," Jones said. "I'm really (recruiting teammate) Brandon Kublanow to come down with me. Other than that, I'm talking to friends and trying to make sure Reuben Foster stays (committed). He's real excited but it sounds like he's going to stay with Alabama."

While recruiting will sort itself out for others, Jones will turn his attention to the field on Sunday with hopes of doing something he's planning on doing a lot in college: winning.

Kamara is cold and hot at the same time

One of Michael Jordan's most memorable games in a career full of them was Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. Most remember it simply as 'The Flu Game.'

While the stakes were significantly (significantly) less on the fields Saturday, Norcross (Ga.) running back Alvin Kamara was channeling his inner-Jordan. Under the weather with flu-like systems he was still one of the fastest players at the event and helped contribute several big plays and victories for Georgia Elite.

"I'm trying to hang in there I'm so sick," Kamara said. "I dropped a few balls. But I'm bouncing back, we'll have to see with these next games."

On top of a fever and his skin a few shades lighter than what it normally is, the cheerful Kamara also was dealing with the opposition's best shot. As one of several players with multiple FBS offers, he had a bit of a target on his back while he was running routes and catching passes.

"A little bit," he said. "Some guys see me and say, 'Oh he's got all these offers and blah, blah, blah.' But that's just going to make me play harder."  

The cold and windy conditions in the Atlanta area were pretty much the opposite of Kamara's recruitment. Holding just a single offer, from Syracuse, at the Rising Seniors Bowl right before New Year's, the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder has turned into one of the hottest prospects in the country.

"It's been crazy," he said. "From one to eleven. It's just crazy."

HIs most recent offer came from the opposite coast and USC, with plenty of other schools close to extending an one. He doesn't have a top group of schools but there have still been a few that have stuck out in his mind and are recruiting him the hardest.

"Alabama and Georgia are up there," he said. "Everybody heard the story about Alabama. With Georgia, their coaches keep up with me real well."

'The story' about Alabama stems from the fact that the school sent him 105 recruiting letters. In one day.

The memorable recruiting strategy certainly left a mark in the running back's mind even if he held the Crimson Tide in high esteem beforehand.

"It was wild, they just fell out of my mailbox and I wasn't even expecting it," Kamara said. "My mom went wild. She was like, 'Can they do that?'"

Kamara doesn't have any unofficial visits planned and isn't counting on going to any junior days in the next few weeks either. In many ways, he's just going with the flow of the recruiting process that he's seen pick up very quickly. Wisconsin and Oklahoma State might be close to adding to his total of offers and while he will add them to his growing pile, Kamara is evaluating all of them based on what he's looking for in a program before making a commitment.

"Just a school that feels like home, coaches that I get along with and somewhere I can just feel like I belong," he said. "I want to fit in. I'm going to make my decision whenever it feels right. I don't have a time frame."

While his timetable for a commitment is still up in the air, Kamara is interested in seeing things outside of his hometown and that means he'll take visits even if he knows where he wants to go.

"I want to get to everywhere I can and see everything," he said. "I don't want to miss anything. Even if I (commit), I definitely will take (official visits)."

Cheek checks in with Cal

Lawrenceville (Ga.) defensive back Trevellous 'Tre' Cheek was one of the standouts from the first day of competition at the NLA Elite 7-on-7. His play between the lines might have had something to do with his good day outside of them after picking up his first offer from California.

"I've always wanted to go to a (school like) Cal," Cheek said. "They're a great school and great at football too. I have family about an hour away."

While it might sound strange for a Georgia corner to be familiar with the Bears and hold them in high regard, there's a reason he is already planning on a visit out West. Cheek has talked with several members of the team already in order to get to know the program better, including McDonough (Ga.) defensive back Avery Sebastian, a 2011 signee from the area. As a result of being the first to offer, Cal has a slight edge at the moment over other schools - including his childhood favorite.

"I grew up a Florida fan since I can remember. I was brought up that way," Cheek said. "Cal beat them (with an offer) though. That first offer is kind of special. Coach (Ashley) Ambrose is a good guy."

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Cheek attended Kentucky's Junior Day last week and enjoyed the trip to see what the Wildcats had to offer. On his way back home, he stopped by Louisville, where their Junior Day had already ended but the coaching staff waited around for his arrival and to talk to him. Cheek believes both are close to offering and is hearing more from Clemson and Arkansas. He will head to the Tiger's April 14th Junior Day and based on the amount of attention schools are giving him, it figures that won't be the only visit Cheek will take this spring.

"West Virginia is close, coach (Daron) Roberts has been talking to me," Cheek said. "Tennessee (receivers coach Darin Hinshaw) said they'll offer me but he was waiting for Coach (Derek) Dooley to sign off on it and it might take a little time. But I'm looking forward to that one."

Though there were no really big wide receivers at the event, Cheek handled just about everyone with ease on Saturday. He often played press coverage and had no problem turning to run after getting a good jam on the line of scrimmage. His ability to play up close to the offense, Cheek said, is one of the reasons several coaching staffs have been talking to him quite a bit.

"Just about everybody is talking to me as a corner," he said. "Most of the coaches I spoke with said that I've very physical and they haven't seen cornerbacks like that. They think that since I'm a very physical corner, they can teach the coverage part. They can teach that, they can't teach the (physicality)."

With an offer from Cal in his back pocket and plenty more sure to come, Cheek's recruitment should be one to follow on the road to Signing Day. At the moment, he has no issues leaving the state to play college football and is looking more at the school than its location.

"Oh no," he said with a big smile and laugh. "As long as I'm getting an education. I want to major in physical therapy and minor in broadcasting or communication."

Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:19 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 12:27 pm
 

Combine 40's: What state is the fastest?


Posted by Bryan Fischer


Ask anybody who has played football (or coached or even watched it for that matter) how many times they have run 40 yards at full speed and they can probably give you the number with one hand. Testing for players has revolved around the 40 yard dash for some time however and at this past week's NFL Combine, no drill received more attention from the public than how fast Robert Griffin III or Dre Kirkpatrick flew down the sideline at Lucas Oil Stadium. While it's probably not something we'll see in a game, it definitely does give us some idea of who's fast and who's, um, average.

With that in mind, the blog crunched the numbers of all of the players who ran in Indianapolis and sorted them in various ways. The Eye on College Football will have a breakdown as to how each conference did in the drill but we're going to focus on where the players come from. Using the hometown listed in each player's bio on their school website, we were able to figure out which state was the fastest in the 40 yard dash at the combine and what area produced the fastest players. It's no surprise to see some of the states near the top of the list but it was to see others in the middle of the pack. Keep in mind this isn't data that is conclusive but let's just say that Nick Saban was not lacking for speed on Saturday's with his skill position group at Alabama.

Below is the list by state. Obviously numbers can be skewed based on the number of linemen invited and other factors such as that. The list above has only states with more than two players who ran the 40 by the way. Skill position data did not include quarterbacks, offensive and defensive linemen. The top official 40 time of each player was obtained directly from the NFL Combine website. CBSSports.com has imported all of this data and made it easily sortable if you want to check out the numbers directly.

40 Average (All players)
State Average
S. Carolina 4.57
Arkansas 4.59
Tennessee 4.65
Michigan 4.67
Florida 4.68
Virginia 4.69
Louisiana 4.76
Ohio 4.78
Georgia 4.79
Nevada 4.79
Texas 4.79
New Jersey 4.80
Pennsylvania 4.83
California 4.85
Mississippi 4.87
N. Carolina 4.90
Illinois 4.95
Idaho 4.99
Alabama 5.01
Washington 5.12
Wisconsin 5.12
40 Average (Skill positions only)
State Average
Alabama 4.51
Arkansas 4.51
Florida 4.57
Georgia 4.57
Michigan 4.57
S. Carolina 4.57
Tennessee 4.57
New Jersey 4.57
Ohio 4.60
Louisiana 4.61
Texas 4.61
Pennsylvania 4.62
Mississippi 4.63
California 4.65
N. Carolina 4.68
Nevada 4.71








South Carolina and Arkansas are obviously helped by the number of skill position players at the combine and lack of linemen in their group that would up the average. On the other end of the spectrum, you can see that Washington and Wisconsin were linemen heavy, including the Evergreen state having one of the five heaviest players ever at the event. Still, if you're on the look out for some fast wide outs or cornerbacks, I'd check out Alabama, Arkansas or Florida first. No surprise when you look at recruiting to see those areas fueling the SEC and others with plenty of speed to burn.

Now, let's dive further into the data. Need a defensive back? Check out Texas and Florida first, as both had an average time of 4.57 among the 19 guys that ran from the two states. Of the five states with more than two players in the DB group, California had the slowest time with an average of 4.62. Fastest linebackers? From Florida (4.74). Here's every position:

Defensive back average: 4.61. By state: Florida (11 players, 4.57 average), Texas (eight players, 4.57 average), Louisiana (four, 4.58), Georgia (six, 4.60), California (six, 4.62).

Linebacker average: 4.75. By state: Florida (five, 4.74), Texas (four, 4.77), California (four, 4.78)

Running back average: 4.58. By state: Florida (three, 4.51), Texas (three, 4.54), California (seven, 4.63).

Tight end average: 4.74. Offensive line average: 5.35.

Wide receiver average: 4.53. By state: Florida (four, 4.41), California (four, 4.46), Arkansas (three, 4.51), North Carolina (three, 4.57), Texas (four, 4.58), Ohio (four, 4.60).

Defensive line average: 4.98. By state: Georgia (three, 4.84), Ohio (three, 4.92), Florida (three, 4.93), North Carolina (five, 5.05), Texas (seven, 5.08), California (six, 5.14).

Let's look at each region now.

State of Texas
State Average
Texas Average 4.79
Texas Median 4.70
Dallas/Ft. Worth Average 4.69
DFW Median 4.73
Houston Average 4.84
Houston Median 4.67
State of California
State Average
State Average 4.85
State Median 4.75
Bay Area Average 4.69
Los Angeles Average 4.92
Orange County Average 4.72
Sacramento Average 4.88

Based on the numbers, Dallas is faster than Houston. There were 11 players from each metro area that ran the 40.

Though the Bay Area is a touch quicker than the Los Angeles basin, you can dive down into the numbers and see that's largely because there were fewer players from up there (just two). Still, overall, NorCal (4.83 average, 4.64 median) was faster than SoCal (4.87 average, 4.87 median). Among the counties in California it went: Bay Area (two players, 4.69 average), Orange Country (five, 4.72), San Bernardino (four, 4.80), Sacramento area (four, 4.88), Riverside (four, 4.90), Los Angeles (six, 4.92).

Palm Beach/Broward/Dade Counties
State Average
State Average 4.79
State Median 4.70
Palm Beach Average 4.69
Broward Average 4.73
Miami-Dade Average 4.84
There's no question that a major talent-producing area for college football players is down in Miami. The three counties that make up the metro area produced 19 players who ran the 40 in Indianapolis and it's no surprise to see each have an impressive set of numbers. The fastest 40 the entire week was run by Syracuse's Dorian Graham (Plantation, Fla.) at 4.32 and UCF's Josh Robinson was a tick behind him at 4.33 (Sunrise, Fla.), giving Broward the two fastest 40's even if Palm Beach took home the title based on average. An impressive 10 players at the combine were from Miami-Dade alone.

The state as a whole had 31 players run, good for third behind California and Texas (36 each). The average statewide was 4.68 and the median was 4.67. South Florida (4.66 average, 4.65 median) was faster than North Florida (4.72 average, 4.67 median).

What does it all mean? If you're looking to recruit some fast players, Florida is the place to be.

















Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:39 am
 

2/27 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Family appeal could help Ole Miss with top recruit Robert Nkemdiche.

 Nick Saban tried to steal a Georgia commit but the Alabama head coach was rebuffed.

 Auburn had a good Junior Day and now leads for quarterback Jeremy Johnson.

 Top offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil will visit Arkansas in the spring or for a game during the season.

 Penn State's name is popping up everywhere on the recruiting trail.

 USC signee Nelson Agholor can throw it down on the basketball court.

 Torii Hunter Jr. will take a look at UCLA's football program.

 Linebacker Garrett Dooley committed to Wisconsin.

Michigan State added two players for 2013 over the weekend in R.J. Shelton and Jalyn Powell.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 5:18 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 5:19 pm
 

Offensive lineman Grant Hill is No. 9 for Alabama

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Another big Alabama commit? Another big Alabama commit.

The Crimson Tide picked up Huntsville (Ala.) offensive tackle Grant Hill Wednesday afternoon as the program continues to move aggressively on the recruiting trail.

The 6-foot-6, 315-pounder was already drawing plenty of interest from programs across the country and held scholarship offers from Auburn, Mississippi State and Tennessee. Hill will be sticking close to home however, having visited Tuscaloosa unofficially last weekend.

"I like how professional they handle everything,” Hill told Scout. “They handle everything so well. They have a great program, atmosphere and fans. Everything about the whole program impresses me. The way coach (Nick) Saban handles everything. He knows how to win."

Hill is versatile enough to play either guard or tackle at the next level and has excellent size already as a rising senior. He becomes the ninth commitment for Alabama's class of 2013 and second offensive lineman to join the program.

Photo by Joe Boyd


Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:37 pm
 

Running back Tyren Jones commits to Alabama

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's not surprising but when Alabama starts rolling, there's no stopping the Tide. Nick Saban added another impressive commitment Tuesday night as Marietta (Ga.) running back Tyren Jones made his pledge known.

"I committed to Alabama tonight," Jones told Scout. "I spoke with Coach Saban, coach Smart and coach Burns. They were very excited about my decision. They told me to keep working hard."

The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder is one of the top backs in the Southwest and held scholarship offers from schools such as Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Vanderbilt. Jones was in Tuscaloosa for Alabama's recent Junior Day this past weekend and the trip seemed to be just what was needed in order to produce a commitment.

"Alabama felt like the best place for me. I had the feeling it was the right school," he said. "I really like the situation there. I like the school and the coaches a lot."

Jones was one of the stars of December's Rising Seniors Bowl, leading the victorious West squad in all-purpose yardage. His junior season was a breakout campaign in which he rushed for over 2,300 yards and scored 38 total touchdowns.

Alabama is now up to eight commitments in the class of 2013, with Jones becoming the second running back in the group to go along with Altee Tenpenny. The former can be lined up in the slot and in various other positions on offense as well.




Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:01 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 1:14 pm
 

Class of 2013 Storylines to Watch



Posted by Bryan Fischer

The class of 2012 is, with one notable exception, signed and done with. That means it is time to turn everybody's attention to the class of 2013 and keep it there. Here are a few storylines to follow on the road to the first Wednesday in February next year - in no particular order.

1. Will Nick Saban be able to close on the country's top prospect?

Nick Saban has certainly earned the title of the country's top recruiter after pulling in the top overall class (or close to it) since arriving in Tuscaloosa. The one thing he hasn't done, however, is land the nation's top recruit. In the class of 2012, he went after Dorial Green-Beckham but couldn't make the final cut. A year before Saban narrowly lost out on Jadeveon Clowney to South Carolina. Is the third time the charm in Grayson (Ga.) defensive end Robert Nkemdiche?

One of the top athletes to play the position coming out of high school, Nkemdiche can play multiple positions in college and has something that you rarely see in some recruits - the drive to be great. At this point, most expect him to sign with the Crimson Tide but in recruiting, as in life, things sometimes have a way of making an unexpected turn. His high school head coach played on an Alabama national championship squad and Nkemdiche has gotten the full court press from the staff for a while. Still, he's listed other schools, taken visits to some like Georgia and has his brother at Ole Miss. It looks good for Saban but we won't find out for sure until next February.

2. Who wins the battle of the Midwest behemoths?

The past year has seen Midwest recruiting go from some yawns and a few eyebrow raises to must-read headlines on a daily basis thanks to Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer recruiting like mad. Hoke had the country's top recruiting class before ever coaching a game and Meyer was able to land an impressive class doing the same. It's been an interesting transformation in the Big Ten over the past few months and turned the conference into two programs and a cloud of dust.

Both are off to a very solid start with the class of 2013 with plenty of momentum from signing top five classes earlier this month. The Buckeyes have landed elite guys like Trotwood (Ohio) linebacker Cam Burrows and are certainly in the mix for plenty of top 100 players. The Wolverines had a monster recruiting weekend to power them to a total of 11 commits, and have a headliner (and one of the top quarterbacks in the country) in Shane Morris. Should be a fun few months as each program jockey's to out do the other on the recruiting trail.

3. Is this the class where being in the SEC really comes into play for Missouri and Texas A&M?

There's no doubt the move to the SEC played a role in the Aggies landing a top 15 class and the Tigers getting a commitment from the number one player in the country but the class of 2013 can really be a selling point for both staffs. More than anything, it gives recruits a chance to watch A&M play Alabama and Florida, see how their fans travel, what the coverage of the team is like and if Mizzou's James Franklin can top Vanderbilt's James Franklin.

Already Kevin Sumlin has jumped out to a big start and has more commitments than anybody in the country right now. He's gotten quality as well as quantity to boot. What remains to be seen is what happens if things take a turn for the worse this season on the field. Will doubts creep into recruits' minds if either school has issues and struggles to get wins? It's something to keep an eye on but, for the moment, things are looking good as each joins the best conference in the country.

4. How will realignment help/hurt West Virginia?

Realignment has made the Mountaineers very interesting on the recruiting trail. There was a lot to like about Dana Holgorsen's first year, capped off with a blowout win in the Orange Bowl and Geno Smith likely entering 2012 as a legitimate Heisman candidate. The staff had a solid effort in recruiting and really got some speedsters out of Florida and from close by (such as Deontay McManus to the right) to sign up for the ride to the Big 12. Yet it's clear that there will be a emphasis on recruiting Texas and the South more with the change in conferences.

As my colleague Bruce Feldman pointed out to me yesterday, all but one of the assistants on staff has ties to the Big 12 footprint and several know the back roads in Oklahoma and Arkansas very well too. Holgorsen's wide open offense will no doubt be a good selling points for kids running the spread across the South and maybe, by hiring defensive staff members with area ties the recruits on the other side of the ball will take a look at the Mountaineers in this cycle as well. Should be an interesting look at how the program handles playing in the Big 12 this year and going forward and whether that translates in terms of recruiting as well.

5. How many does USC sign in year two of scholarship cuts?

If you doubted Lane Kiffin's ability to recruit, well, you must not pay a ton of attention. Despite getting slapped with deep scholarship cuts, the oft-bashed head coach enters 2012 with a preseason top two team and just signed a top 10 class with some elite talent. A pair of All-Americans at wide out were no deterrent to Nelson Agholor, who was lured to USC from Florida. There were a few offensive line targets that the Trojans missed out on late - they still signed a great class at the position - but that might turn out to be a blessing in disguise because they can take a few early enrollees to boost numbers.

Bottom line, who and how many Kiffin's staff sign will be a storyline worth following on the West Coast.

6. Who emerges during the spring and summer camp circuit?

One of the reasons why recruiting evaluation have tended to improve over recent years is the rise in getting a look at top players competing against other top players on the offseason camp circuit. It's also allowed those in the industry to discover more guys who don't back down from a challenge and have the speed and skills to be FBS-caliber talent. Because recruits are not in pads, we don't get a complete picture of a player but we can find out even more about how they play and how their recruitment is going. In many ways, the camps and combines that happen across the country from late February through early July will allow everybody to see who's an elite recruit and who we need to keep an eye on when the pads come on during the fall.

7. What impact will social media have on the class of 2013?

Ask any of the class of 2012 about Twitter and Facebook and they'll say it's changed recruiting. Players from across the country are getting to know each other more and more, going beyond just texting back and forth to DMing and Wall posting as early commitments explain to others why their school is the place to be. Recruiting is becoming more and more interconnected and there is no doubt that the 2013 group will be at the forfront of the new wave of change.

Forget hat dances, keep an eye on how many top 100 guys commit via Twitter. Should be a lot more than last year.

8. Who is the top quarterback nationally?

Upside, production, measurables, arm strength... there are plenty of things that go into deciding who the top quarterback in the country is. The candidates are out there and it will likely boil down to one of Max Browne, Tyrone Swoopes, Shane Morris, Ryan Brurns, Kevin Olsen and a handful of others competing to be the top signal-caller in the final rankings. It's important to keep in mind that quarterback is one position that should see plenty of movement as players go through spring ball, camps, 7-on-7, Elite 11 competitions and finally their senior season.

Olsen, Burns and Browne are your typical pro-style quarterbacks with the size coaches look for and big arms to boot. Swoopes is a dual-threat who some have compared to Robert Griffin III or Vince Young because of how electric he is with the ball in his hands. Morris is the rare lefty that is vying for top billing. Several others are hot on their heels in order to be considered part of the elite QB group in 2013 and will be interesting to see how each does as the pressure mounts each passing week.

9. Can Stanford keep things going?

When was the last time you talked about Stanford recruiting? Prior to the class of 2012: rarely if ever (provided you are not the type that tailgates with wine). All the Cardinal did this year was snag a top 10 class and land one of the best group of offensive line recruits in the modern recruiting era. But can the program keep the momentum going with out Andrew Luck leading the charge on the field? That's a question everybody is asking and at first glance, the answer appears to be yes.

Since David Shaw, a former Stanford player himself, returned to Palo Alto as an assistant under Jim Harbaugh, the program has had a remarkably high success rate when recruiting. If an offer goes out and that player qualifies, there's a very good chance that player will end up signing. The hit rate for Stanford the past few years has been nothing short of remarkable considering the restrictions the staff is under but there's no doubt the education, new stadium, major league and BCS-level success that has happened in the Bay Area has turned the program from doormat to door opener. Should be fun to follow over the next few years.

10. Does somebody finish their class before the season?

Michigan, Texas A&M, Florida and Texas are off to hot starts. The Longhorns are taking a very small class this year so they could wind up filling up with only limited room for recruits based on who leaves for the NFL early. The other schools are recruiting at a pace that will have local analysts taking a vacation much earlier than normal. So, we're left to wonder, could somebody actually get 90% or more of their commitments before the season starts?

Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:04 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 12:24 pm
 

Texas gets top QB prospect Tyrone Swoopes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The biggest thing that has held Texas back from getting back to national title contention has been sub-par play at the quarterback position. Mack Brown and company are hoping they've solved that issue going forward, picking up one of the top players in the class of 2013 as Whitewright (Texas) quarterback Tyrone Swoopes committed to the Longhorns Friday morning, according to Orangebloods.com.

The U.S. Air Force All-American and Maxpreps Top Junior is a dual-threat who can beat teams with his arm or his legs. Swoopes held scholarship offers from schools such as Alabama, Baylor, TCU and recently picked up one from LSU this week. Multiple head coaches had been hotly pursuing what many consider to be the top prospect in the state, including Nick Saban spending a lengthy phone call where Swoopes "only got four words in" according to his head coach.

Swoopes also has quite the family background, as he is the nephew of former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes.

The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder has drawn comparisons to Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton with his big arm and ability to take off running. He has to improve on his throwing accuracy but still show an ability to dominate high school competition while racking up 44 touchdowns and more than 3,500 total yards last season as a junior. He also turned in the top national rushing performance of the 2011 season when he had 540 yards on the ground.

Swoopes visited Texas this past weekend during the Longhorns Junior Day activities and though he was expected to hold off on his decision until later in the recruiting process, the trip to Austin appeared to be enough to win him over and cause an early commitment.

The pledge gives Texas four commitments for the class of 2013, all of whom are among the top players at their positions.

Photo by Kyle Dantzler



Posted on: February 7, 2012 4:40 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 4:44 pm
 

Star bright? A closer look at rankings

Posted by Bryan Fischer

One of my favorite things after each Signing Day is to go back and look at past classes and see how they turned out. SI.com's Andy Staples re-ranks the classes each year and there are plenty of pieces on various sites (here's one on Auburn and one on Tennessee) analyzing how programs turned out talent and others fizzled with five-stars. I stumbled on this study from 2011 on Twitter today and felt it offered some very interesting information.

Among the notable nuggets:

- There's a direct correlation between a team's home attendance and the number of stars on the team. According to the study, for every five-star recruit on the team, attendance will increase by 885 fans.

- There's no relationship between amount of 3+ star players on a team and overall winning percentage in general. However, the study also controlled for schedule/conference and found that more star players on a team usually means a higher winning percentage than those in their conference with fewer star players. 45% of the time a team with the most stars finished with the best or second best winning percentage.

- Not surprisingly, the survey found Boise State's Chris Petersen as the coach to get the best results from good-but-not-great talent.

- USC, Ohio State and Florida were the top three programs in terms of top recruits drafted. Amazingly, nearly a third of USC's players were drafted into the NFL.

- Virginia Tech was the program singled out for developing non-star recruits into draft picks.

- Looking for a coach that will take to you the next level? Bob Stoops, Urban Meyer and Nick Saban are the best active coaches at it while Pete Carroll was the best from 2006-2010.

Again, read the full thing here and see all the details.

 
 
 
 
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