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TSM College Football Recruiting Spectacular
Posted by Matt Toal on Feb 5, 2006, 08:00

Hello readers, I am Matt Toal. With these columns I�m going to attempt to entertain you and inform you. My writing will mainly focus on sports but there will be music, wrestling, movies and all sorts of other stuff tossed in there when the mood hits.

Now that the awkward introduction is out of the way, let�s get down to business. The hottest story in sports right now not named Superbowl XL is College Football recruiting. I consider myself a bit of a recruiting aficionado, so this is always a fun time for me.

National Signing Day is one of the biggest days of the year for College Football fans, because it is the day when all the endless message board discussion about who�s going where ends and the future stars of football sign their name on their Letter Of Intent to go to the school they have chosen.

For those unfamiliar with the process, recruits are ranked on a star system by various scouts after tons of film study and meetings with the players, with one-star prospects ranked lowest and five-star prospects being the best. After all the recruits are signed, the schools are ranked on the strength of their class based on how many recruits of each star ranking they got, and total recruiting points.  So, without further adieu, it�s time to find out the winners and losers of the 2005-2006 recruiting war.

The Top 10 Classes

The Good: For the 4th straight season, Pete Carroll has hauled in the #1 class in the nation. He didn�t let the crushing Rose Bowl loss to Texas stop him from racking up an impressive class that included an amazing seven  players and thirteen . USC in total brought in no recruit less than . With the losses of Reggie Bush and Lendale White, the Trojans came to the table with a major need for help at the Running back position. They got just that with Stafon Johnson, Kenny Ashley, Emmanuel Moody and CJ Gable all committing. Stafon Johnson at 6-0 200 lbs is the perfect combination of size and speed, and will challenge for the starting job from day 1. Gable is currently listed as an Athlete and can play both offense and defense, so it will be interesting to see what Pete Carroll does with him. USC brought in major secondary help with safeties Taylor Mays and Antwine Perez, as well as corner Shareece Wright. They continued their Wide Receiver dominance by bringing in David Ausburry, Travon Patterson, Vidal Hazelton and Jamere Holland.

The Bad:  There is a little bit of controversy surrounding Hazelton. He had signed the letter of intent to attend USC, but his father refused to sign, and a player needs the signature of a guardian for it to be official. Hazelton�s father Dexter has been trying to push him into committing to Penn State for about a month now, but it never materialized. According to latest reports, Hazelton will fly home to New York to discuss his future with his father this weekend. For now he�s still listed until a USC commit until I hear otherwise.

Overall: With a class like this, it�s safe to assume that the USC �dynasty� isn�t over, and may just be getting started.
Total Signings: 24 - 7 , 13 , 4
Top Players: Taylor Mays, S/WR (). Stafon Johnson, RB (). Vidal Hazelton, WR ()

The Good: Urban Meyer�s first season as the head ball coach in FloridaFlorida back on top. Urban Meyer brought in five , including southpaw Tim Tebow, the nation�s #1 ranked dual-threat QB. Tebow should be able to provide the type of scrambling ability and instincts that Chris Leak wasn�t able to last year. Of course, for every great QB you need a great WR, and Meyer found just that with Percy Harvin, the nation�s #1 ranked prospect. Harvin is a 5�11� 188 pound WR who is just simply a burner, he runs a 4.35 in the 40 yard dash and is expected to contribute immediately within Meyer�s offense. was seen as a disappointment by some fans, mainly because of a stinging loss to former Gator legend Steve Spurrier. His recruiting class, however, is far from a disappointment. Meyer compiled what was the nation�s top class for much of the year, until USC�s strong final push on Wednesday to squeeze into the top spot. Nevertheless, this is a class that will put

The Bad: Florida took a huge hit on signing way when hometown boy C.J. Spiller shocked everyone by choosing Clemson over Florida. The battle for Spiller came down to USC, Florida and Clemson, and after USC received a commitment from Stafon Johnson, Spiller eliminated USC and it was thought to be a lock that he�d attend Florida. The Gators did pick up a good back in Mon Williams, but Spiller, who was the 4th rated back in this class with a sub 4.4 in the 40 yard dash would have been able to challenge for the starting job immediately.

Overall: After a somewhat rocky first season in Gainesville, this is exactly the kind of class Meyer needed to calm the storm.
Total Signings: 27 � 5 , 16 , 5 , 1
Top Players: Percy Harvin, WR (), Tim Tebow, QB (), Brandon Spikes, LB ()

The Good: With the loss of DJ Shockley, Mark Richt knew he needed a Quarterback in this class, and he got one with the #2 ranked pro style QB in the nation, Matthew Stafford, whom they plucked right out of Texas. Stafford provides all the physical tools and intangibles you want in a Quarterback, and will be given every opportunity to nab the starting job from day 1. Richt also picked up a commit from a top ranked
Safety in Reshad Jones and the 4th ranked Defensive End in the country in Brandon Wood.

The Bad: Georgia could have used some help up front at Defensive Tackle. They picked up a few solid DT�s in Ricardo Crawford, Geno Atkins and Michael Lemon, but no real stud nose tackle. In the SEC, you can never have enough of them They picked up a good RB in Knowshon Moreno but missed out on #2 ranked Stafon Johnson, who chose USC over Georgia on the day before signing day.

Overall: This was a great class for Mark Richt, and is even made more impressive by the fact that Mark Richt was able to hold onto commitments after a very disappointing Sugar Bowl loss to West Virginia.
Total Signings: 27 - 3 , 12 , 12
Top Players: QB Matthew Stafford (), DE Brandon Wood (), S Reshad Jones ()

The Good: This may be the most well rounded class any school got. Charlie Weis carried over the momentum and hype he gained in the regular season to the off-season to pull in a very good class for the Fighting Irish. He cleaned up where it matters most, up front. He got the best Offensive Line class in the nation, and it was headed by getting mammoth 6-8 Offensive Tackle Sam Young, from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Young is the top ranked tackle in the country and should anchor the Notre Dame line for the next 4 years. Add to that O-Linemen Matt Carufel, Dan Wenger, Chris Stewart, Eric Olsen and Bartley Webb. Needless to say, whatever QB gets to play behind that line in the future is going to have a pretty clean jersey. Weis� specialty is offense, and he loaded up at a few key skill positions, by bringing in RB James Aldridge, Tight End Konrad Reuland and Quarterback Zach Fraser.

The Bad: Weis would have liked to get a blue chipper at Wide Receiver. They got a few solid receivers but nobody that really jumps out at you. With Maurice Stovall entering the NFL and Jeff Samardzija entering his senior year, they could have definitely used a big time receiver in this class. That is a position Charlie Weis will be recruiting heavily next year. ND also missed out on top QB prospect Mitch Mustian, although the blow is softened by the commitment of Zach Fraser and possible 2007 commitment of Jimmy Clausen, it�s never fun to lose out on a talent like Mustian.

Overall: Weis cleaned up along the O-Line and got his QB and RB of the future. This was an excellent first year for Charlie Weis and staff.
Total Signings: 27 - 3 , 9 , 14 , 1
Top Players: OT Sam Young (), RB James Aldridge (), TE Konrad Reuland ()

The Good: Les Miles pulled in an excellent class this year for LSU, but the late commitment of RB Keiland Williams was really the icing on the cake. With Alley Broussard and Justin Vincent being Senior�s next season, Williams will get a year to watch and then in 2007 should be LSU�s next great Running Back. LSU picked up one of the top Defensive Tackles in the nation in Al Woods, a huge body in the middle who is also versatile enough to play on the offensive line if the need arises. Charles Deas is another big physical DT that LSU was able to grab. He should team up with Woods to form a wall on that defensive line for the next 4 years. They also shored up the Cornerback spot by getting Jai Eugene. He has all the physical tools to become a lockdown corner on the College level. Miles made some great pickups along the O-line by getting players Steven Singleton, Matt Allen and Zhamal Thomas.

The Bad: While LSU got a couple of great players at defensive tackle, they weren�t able to find the same type of talent at the defensive end spot. They did pick up a couple of solid ends, but there is no true dominant pass rusher in the class that will strike fear into opposing offenses.

Overall: LSU continues its recruiting excellence with another superb haul, there isn�t really anything major that you can complain about in this class.
Total Signings: 25 - 3 , 11 , 11
Top Players: RB Keiland Williams (), DT Al Woods (), CB Jai Eugene ()

The Good: One of the main concerns for Texas was getting a Quarterback to replace Vince Young, and the �Horns brought in two great ones. Sherrod Harris and Jevan Snead are both dual threat QB�s who are expected to compete for the starting job right away. While both are listed as dual threat QB�s, Harris is much more cut from the Vince Young mold. He�s an exceptional athlete who runs a 4.45 in the 40. He�s only an average passer at this point in his career though, and is going to have to greatly improve his accuracy if he wants to beat out Snead. Jevan Snead is a dual threat but not quite the athletic freak that Harris is, Snead compares more favorably to someone like Alex Smith. He�s much farther along as a passer than Harris and that will no doubt help him in the spring. Where Mack Brown really did his finest work this year was defense, where he brought in the nation�s #1 ranked Defensive End Eddie Brown, the #1 ranked Inside Linebacker in Sergio Kindle.

The Bad: All but 2 Texas recruits are from Texas. Now, that isn�t necessarily a terrible thing considering the type of talent in the state of Texas, but unlike Pete Carroll and Urban Meyer, Mack Brown wasn�t able to go out of state and get any big time players. It�s especially disappointing considering Texas did win the Rose Bowl, but still failed to turn that victory into a recruiting tool to pluck some blue chippers out of other states.

Overall: As the much overused saying goes, �defense wins championships�. If that quote holds true, expect to see Texas on top for the foreseeable future.
Total Signings: 25 � 2 , 11 , 12 ,
Top Players: Eddie Jones, DE (), Sergio Kindle, LB (), J�Marcus Webb, OL ()

The Good: Joe Paterno is officially back. After brushing off the doubters last year and delivering a BCS victory to the Nittany Lion faithful, Paterno has brought in another great recruiting class. The gems of the class are offensive guard Antonio Logan-El and defensive back A.J. Wallace. Logan-El is a versatile player who can play any spot on the o-line, he originally committed to Maryland as a junior but then re-opened his commitment, Penn State then got in the mix and it was all over. A.J Wallace is considered a top 3 Cornerback by most scouts. After the bevy of Wide Receivers that Penn State got in last years class, you wouldn�t think they needed anymore, but Joe Pa still managed to nab Chris Bell, who has great size and should contribute right away. Throwing him the ball in the future might be Pat Devlin, the 5th rated pro-style Quarterback in the nation. He will get the chance to duke it out with 2004 prized recruit Anthony Morelli for the starting job.

The Bad: Penn State missed out on Hargrave Military Academy 5-star teammates WR Vidal Hazelton and RB Keiland Williams. Both decisions came down to the wire, Hazelton between USC and PSU, and Williams between USC, LSU and PSU. Hazelton ultimately chose USC, and Williams on Friday chose LSU. Although with the commitment of Chris Bell, and the WR class PSU brought in last season, Hazelton isn�t nearly as big a loss as Williams is. With Tony Hunt and Austin Scott entering their senior seasons, the Nittany Lions could have really used a stud RB to take over next year. They did get commits from a couple of solid backs, but Keiland would have been the prize of their class.

Overall: Paterno delivered for the Nittany Lion faithful this year. He brought in top players at key positions and this team is set to return to prominence for the long haul.
Total Signings: 24,- 2 , 12 , 8 , 1
Top Players: OG Antonio Logan-El (), CB A.J. Wallace (), QB Pat Devlin ()

The Good: The Sooners were surprisingly average last season, although they did close out strong with a Holiday Bowl victory over Oregon. Bob Stoops hit the recruiting trail hard this year and has brought in a class that should bring OU back to the top of the heap. Headlining the class is DT Gerald McCoy, he is the #1 rated Defensive Tackle in the nation. I�ve always said Tackle is the most important position on the defense, because if you have a dominating line that can occupy blockers, everything else behind them will fall into place. McCoy does just that. His stock shot up after looking like a man among boys in the Army All-American game, he�s been described as a �bigger Tommie Harris� and should dominate from day 1. The Sooners got a huge pickup in Running back DeMarco Murray out of Las Vegas. He�s a 6 ft 180 lb all-purpose back who has drawn comparisons to Reggie Bush. Even if he doesn�t live up to THAT kind of hype, he should still provide an excellent 1-2 punch with Adrian Peterson, and eventually take over the job when Peterson goes to the NFL. They also picked up a stud receiver in the 6-5, 200 lb Adron Tennell

The Bad: There�s nothing major to really frown upon here, as this was a well rounded class brought in by Bob Stoops. Oklahoma has built quite a tradition of great Linebacker play though, and I was a little disappointed in the Linebackers they brought in this year. They brought in a solid �backer in Chris Patterson, and a couple of , but nobody that really jumps out at you.

Bob Stoops is one of the best recruiters in the nation, and even though this class may not rank up there with some of his previous ones, it is still one that just about any school would be proud to have.
Total Signings: 28, - 2 , 11 , 10
, 5
Top Players: DT Gerald McCoy (), RB DeMarco Murray (), TE Jermaine Gresham ()

The Good: Tommy Tuberville went out and got talent where it matters most, in the trenches. Top ranked Defensive Tackles Greg Smith and Bart Eddins were huge pickups for Tuberville, but he wasn�t done there. He went out and got DE�s Bryant Miller and Raven Gray. Auburn is going to bet set along the D-Line for the foreseeable future with a haul like that. They didn�t forget the other side of the line though, AuburnAuburn also addressed the Quarterback position by picking up Neil Caudle, and getting a few targets for him to throw to in the 6-3 Chris Slaughter and 6-2 Tim Hawthorne. made sure to take care of the hogs up front by getting commits from offensive lineman Lee Tilley and Jemarcus Ricks.

The Bad: Even with the great defensive line talent brought in, they still could have used some help in the secondary, as Auburn failed to bring in any top flight Cornerbacks for the second straight year. Mario Fannan is a good athlete who could end up on offense or defense, and if he ends up on defense he should end up being a solid corner, but they could have used a little more help here.

Overall: When you bring in that kind of talent up front, it�s hard to complain. Expect to see more of the same from Auburn with this recruiting class; smash-mouth football all day long.
Total Signings: 25 - 1, 14 , 7 , 3
Top Players: DT Greg Smith (
), DT Bart Eddins (), QB Neil Caudle ()

The Good: Despite the fact that rumblings calling for Lloyd Carr�s resignation in Ann Arbor are beginning to surface, he was still able to pull down a very good recruiting class for the Wolverines. Carr only used 19 scholarships this year, but he put them to good use. The big coup was Stephen Schilling, the 2nd ranked offensive guard in the nation out of Bellevue, Washington. He is the type of player that can anchor an offensive line for you. Joining him on that line will be another top flight lineman, Center Justin Boren. Despite being stacked at Running back with Michael Hart and last season�s top Running back recruit Kevin Grady, Lloyd Carr was still able to convince two more RB�s to don the Maize and Blue in Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown. On defense they grabbed the #2 ranked Inside Linebacker in the country in Brandon Graham; a hometown boy from Detroit, Michigan and Safety Jonas Mouton out of Venice, California.

The Bad: Michigan is known for having great Wide Receivers, and they were in on many of the top WR�s from this year�s class but didn�t manage to grab any of them. They got some good ones last year though, so that does make up for it a bit. They picked up a great DT in Adam Patterson but could have used some help at Defensive End, where the best they could get was John Ferrara.
Overall: Quality of Quantity works for Michigan as Lloyd Carr hauls in another great class, just edging out Ohio State and Florida State for my #10 spot.
Total Signings: 19 - 2 , 9 , 7 , 1
Top Players: OL Stephen Schilling (), LB Brandon Graham (), S Jonas Mouton ()

Where The Top 10 Went

1.) Percy Harvin, WR, 6'1" 190 - Florida
2.) Mitch Mustain, CB, 6'2" 190 - Arkansas
3.) Chris Wells, RB, 6'1" 225 - Ohio State
4.) Myron Rolle, CB, 6'2" 215 - Florida State
5.) Taylor Mays, ATH, 6'3" 220 - USC
6.) Eddie Jones, DE, 6'3" 240 - Texas
7.) Gerald McCoy, DT, 6'4" 305 - Oklahoma
8.) Sergio Kindle, LB, 6'4" 225 - Texas
9.) Anwtine Perez, S, 6'1" 200 - USC
10.) Sam Young, OT, 6'8" 305 -
Notre Dame

The Top 10 for 2007

1.) Jimmy Clausen, QB - 6-3, 200, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
2.) Josh Oglesby, OT - 6-7, 315, Milwaukee (Wis.) St. Francis
3.) Noel Devine, RB -  5-8, 175, North Fort Myers (Fla.) North Fort Myers
4.) Chris Galippo, LB - 6-3, 232, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite *verbal committment to USC*
Ben Martin, DE - 6-5, 220, Cincinnati (Ohio) LaSalle
Lee Ziemba, OL - 6-7, 295, Rogers (Ark.) Rogers
7.) Eric Berry, DB - 6-0, 180,
Atlanta (Ga.) Creekside
8.) Deonte Thompson, WR - 6-0, 180,
Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central
9.) John Brown, DT - 6-2, 290,
Lakeland (Fla.) Lakeland
10.) Mark Tyler, LB/RB - 6-0, 215,
Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian

And that's that. If you have any questions/comments about this, or about your school, shoot me an e-mail at [email protected].



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