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Found 7 results

  1. Welcome everyone to the first MAC Recruiting Recap show! I am your host Tim Timms, and I am happy to be with you for my first appearance on the Network! After the first round of signings, the MAC had a total of 27 recruits commit, and some of these players are almost guaranteed to become big names in the MAC, and maybe take their talents to the pro game. Only two teams didn't have a signing, but these teams don't have too much to worry about, as they are 3-0 Miami (Best!Miami) and 2-1 Toledo . A couple of trends that seem to be coming through are the desire for a strong rushing presence in the conference, with 4 4-star or higher backs already signed, and 3 of these of are strong between the tackle runners, possibly taking the torch from veterans of the conference like Mamadou Wynn. Also, it seems that there was a strong need for outside backers, particularly in the City of Good Neighbours, where they grabbed 3 early on. Below is a chart of all teams recruits so far by potential, ranked by highest average potential. Total Recruits Team 2.5-Star 3-Star 3.5-Star 4-Star 4.5-Star 5-Star Total Tot. Stars Avg. Stars 1 Ohio 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 5 2 Eastern Michigan 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 8.5 4.25 2 Kent State 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 8.5 4.25 4 Central Michigan 0 0 2 1 1 0 4 15.5 3.875 2 Ball State 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 7.5 3.75 4 Buffalo 0 0 3 0 1 0 3 15 3.75 1 Western Michigan 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3.5 3.5 6 Akron 1 1 3 1 0 0 6 20 3.33 3 Bowling Green 0 2 0 1 0 0 3 10 3.33 2 Northern Illinois 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 6.5 3.25 0 Miami (OH) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Toledo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Luckily for me, I was able to talk to a few coaches about their thoughts on the early days of this recruiting cycle. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we could only fit one interview into the program, so here is Jieret, coach of the Western Michigan Broncos. Tim Timms: Good to have you here coach, welcome to the first recruiting recap show for 2020! Coach Jieret: Thanks for having me here Tim. Tim: Now, lets get into the questions. What was your strategy going into the recruiting season? Coach Jieret: Filling positions of need, definitely. Most recruits aren't ready to contribute until year two at the earliest, so you have to look ahead and see the roster holes at least that far away. Tim: Where do you think your recruiting efforts rank compared to the rest of the MAC? Coach Jieret: I think the overall caliber of player I'm going for is a little higher than most of the MAC, but that's a bit misleading. I feel my roster is in the upper half of the conference, so I can aim a little higher. Tim: Did you have any goals for this class in terms of when they will impact your roster? Coach Jieret: It's about building into the future. I have a good roster now, but I ultimately want a roster that is competitive year in and year out. I'm not at the point that I can just grab one or two impact players and go for it next year. Tim: Has your plan and strategy changed much from your initial goal? Coach Jieret: No, not yet. Tim: Finally, are you happy with how recruiting is shaping up for you? Coach Jieret: For the most part, yes. I do regret wasting a couple of scholarships early, and I believe I have the least amount of committed players at this point. But I expected most of my recruiting to be a long-term process, so I'm not too worried yet. We thank coach Jieret for his time and wish WMU the best for the season. Now, a quick look at some major recruiting battles over highly touted prospects with MAC teams involved. WR Jordan Barnes, Target, 1.5/4.5 Top Teams: , The Bobcats are looking to bring in another fantastic recruit in Barnes to complement their 5-star DE, Nicholas Blackwell. They look to be in the lead over the Buckeyes, and with visits coming up and the Bobcats having a stronger recruiting department, it looks like Ohio will be addressing a major need, as their top 4 receivers are upperclassmen. A very solid start to recruiting for Beeznik. OT Isaac Decker, Run Blocking, 2.0/5.0 Top Teams: , Toledo are just unstoppable on the recruiting path it seems, as they are on their way to adding another 5-star recruit in Decker, who could quite possibly start next year at Right Tackle. The main weakness of this Toledo squad is their o-line, but already they have one young and talented bookend, getting two would make this a scary team in years to come. Next year they would have Ciamo and Thompson ready to dominate with a better line than this year. #Toledo2021 OLB Bradley Lloyd, Coverage, 1.0/4/0 Top Teams: , This could be very interesting, with CMU in the lead for a player who could get a lot of playing time in a few years, with both starting outside linebackers on the depth chart being upperclassmen. The only problem is that they are competing with Michigan, who always have the draw of being a big school. This could be a very important battle for the Chips to win, and will require some strong persuasion to get Llyod to Mt. Pleasant. WR Ajani Jennings, Target, 1.0/4.0 Top Teams: , A very tight battle here, and one that EMU is clearly keen to win, as Daniel Lentz will have just graduated if Jennings is redshirted, giving the Eagles a strong future number 1 receiver to work with. However, the Spartans are always going to have the advantage being the bigger school, so EMU will have to make a strong push to secure Jennings. And to finish the program, some MAC recruiting battles QB Misu Curtis, Hybrid, 1.5/4.0 Top Teams: , Having dominated the rushing scene in the MAC for years, the Broncos are looking to get a local signal caller to take over for Chase Sims after his graduation, and Curtis would have time to sit and develop. Meanwhile, at NIU, Charlie Sanford has been benched after some poor performances, and Coach Noobie is already looking for his successor in Curtis. A battle like this could have significant impacts on the future of the MAC, definitely one to keep an eye on. CB Cooper Rainey, Man Coverage, 1.0/4.0 Top Teams: , As discussed in the preseason previews for each MAC team, the lack of strong cornerbacks in the MAC is a major issue for many teams, and Beeznik is looking to get a future rock. The only team with any depth past their number 1 is the Broncos, and they are looking to add to that, and if they can continue adding to their perennial strength and depth at corner while denying other conference teams, it will be a huge win for Jieret. ILB Gregory Wilkins, Will, 1.0/4.5 Top Teams: , Ball state's star recruit is receiving some attention from Coach Darkage, and it looks like Wilkins is showing a bit of interest back. If Akron could manage to get Wilkins, it would be huge for them, with both starting ILBs graduating in the next 2 years, and they could give him a redshirt season without a major loss at the position. While this would be great for Akron, chances are Wilkins is going to Ball State, who have some young linebackers, but a player of Wilkins quality can't be passed up, and with a strong class last year, this signing could set up the Cardinals for a strong team in the near future. Thanks for tuning in to the MAC Network, Goodbye from me, and good luck to all MAC teams playing this week!
  2. Obviously it's too early to see where we get to plug in all our shiny new croots - we still have championship games, bowl season, and progressions/transfers to go! But just judging the recruiting classes on merit? Sure, we can do that! It will be totally accurate too, ignore that we're not looking at depth chart/playing time fits! /s The link to the complete spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NIR50g8n1M_yDk4NaNWtI-IE7iYEKUcIeYb0n3FN53c/edit?usp=sharing Please let me know if you see any mistakes. tl:dr Chart. NOTE: The first column counts ALL recruits regardless of rating, while the last three columns only count 2.5+ potential recruits because if you REALLY have to depend on that 1.5 of 2.0 guy... oh boy. Not that a 2.5 is that much better but it's depth that can be worked with, especially if the player is a 2.0 of 2.5 or something similar. Committed Recruits (by potential) Total Recruits (all *) Team 2.5-Star 3-Star 3.5-Star 4-Star 4.5-Star 5-Star Croot Total Tot. Stars Avg. Stars 10 Buffalo 0 0 7 0 2 1 10 38.5 3.85 20 Toledo 2 2 6 0 4 3 17 65 3.82 16 Central Michigan 4 0 1 4 2 1 12 43.5 3.63 20 Western Michigan 3 5 5 2 2 1 18 62 3.44 17 Ball State 3 6 3 1 1 2 16 54.5 3.41 11 Miami (OH) 1 4 5 0 0 1 11 37 3.36 18 Ohio 5 5 3 4 0 0 17 54 3.18 25 Northern Illinois 13 1 3 4 2 0 23 71 3.09 14 Bowling Green 5 4 0 1 0 1 11 33.5 3.05 20 Kent State 3 5 3 0 0 0 11 33 3.00 18 Eastern Michigan 6 4 3 1 0 0 14 41.5 2.96 11 Akron 3 6 1 0 0 0 10 29 2.90 Class Rankings (* denotes JuCo): Toledo (3.85 avg, 20 total recruits, 17 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: C Vic Troutman 6-1 288 Fr Wauseon (Wauseon OH) 1.0 of 5.0 [Pass Blocking], OG Vincent McCabe 6-5 287 Fr Bath (Lima OH) 1.0 of 5.0 [Run Blocking], CB Levern White 5-9 162 Jr Gogebic Community College (Ironwood MI) 3.5 of 4.5 [Man Coverage]*, ILB Ryan Carr 6-3 264 Fr Ada (Ada OH) 1.5 of 4.5 [Mike], WR Justin Evans 5-11 168 (So) Gavilan College (Gilroy CA) 3.5 of 4.5 [Speed]* -Not a surprise that Toledo's at the top of the list. They have a big advantage most of the other MAC schools don't; consistent coaching (deathcpo is only one of two MAC coaches to be with their program since inception). I alluded to Toledo's 2021 playoff timeline, and the two JuCo commits will be here long enough to aid in that. They signed as many 4.5 and 5-stars as the bottom eight schools on the chart combined. By MAC standards anyway, it's an embarrassment of riches. Let's put it this way - Toledo flipped 1.0/3.5 CB Jerraud Bynum in the last week from Ohio, who badly needed him. On Toledo's roster? He'll redshirt and maybe be the nickel back in two years. Central Michigan (3.63 avg, 16 total recruits, 12 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: QB Byron Suggs 6-0 195 Fr Pewaukee (Pewaukee WI) 1.5 of 5.0 [Scrambling], K Trent Michaels 6-3 194 Sr Rochester Community & Technical College (Rochester MN) 4.5 of 4.5 [Power]*, OG Ethan Bennett 6-3 312 Fr Dominican (Whitefish Bay WI) 1.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking], ATH Joseph Aikman 6-5 227 Fr Alma (Alma WI) 2.5 of 4.0 [Target] -llamas has new man-crush on board in the highly-rated Suggs, and even a nice target for him to throw to in ATH Aikman. A kicker doesn't seem like a big deal, but Central lost a couple of games this year to shanked field goals - it could have been them playing for the MAC Championship instead of Toledo with a steadier kicker. The rest of their higher-rated commits are at a smattering of positions around the field (OT, LS, CB, FB). Buffalo (3.85 avg, 10 total recruits, 10 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: QB Blair Holcomb 5-11 207 (Jr) Hudson Valley Community College (Troy NY) 4.0 of 5.0 [Pocket]*, OLB Alexander Moffett 6-2 224 Fr Southside (Elmira NY) 3.0 of 4.5 [Coverage], RB Alec Self 6-1 226 Fr Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn NY) 1.0 of 4.5 [Power] -Whoa. Buffalo has the higher star total than Central Michigan, and their number of 2.5+ commits isn't markedly smaller than CMU. So why do they slot in behind the Chips? It's because of Holcomb. Now I'm not saying that it was a mistake to recruit him, it clearly wasn't. What I AM saying is that Buffalo is firmly rooted in their smashmouth style of football, and the QB gets to throw the ball MAYBE 10 times a game. Quite simply Holcomb will have less chances to impact the game than someone like Byron Suggs will. Know who WILL get to impact the game? OLB Alexander Moffett who will likely start from day one, and Alec Self gets to redshirt a year and soak up gamma rays from MAMADOU SMASH, just in time to take over as Wynn graduates. Fun! Western Michigan (3.44 avg, 20 total recruits, 18 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: ATH Kualii Umaga 6-3 255 Fr Brandywine (Niles MI) 1.0 of 5.0 [Pass Blocking], OT Avery Curley 6-3 292 Fr Napoleon (Napoleon MI) 1.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking], OT Marc Allen 6-6 281 (Jr) Dutchess Community College (Poughkeepsie NY) 4.0 of 4.5 [Pass Blocking]*, SS Lardarius McAfee 6-2 187 Fr Owendale Gagetown (Owendale MI) 1.0 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage] -The Broncos focused on beef this recruiting cycle. Their three highest-rated commits are all offensive lineman, and six of their 3.5+ recruits play in the trenches (seven if you count a long snapper... but come on). With Gabriel Shields (and DeSean Madison behind him) as the centerpieces of Western's offense, the plan seemed to be getting superior blockers for the RB stable. The rest of the class was primarily about reloading; unfortunately they really missed out on a position of need, losing out on OLB Beckman in the last week. Ball State (3.41 avg, 17 total recruits, 16 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: RB Damani Laws 5-9 189 Fr Northridge (Middlebury IN) 1.0 of 5.0 [Speed], TE Steven Moya 6-5 199 Fr Alex Monroe (Alexandria IN) 1.0 of 5.0 [Receiving], WR Sebastian Amato 6-3 152 Fr Alex Monroe (Alexandria IN) 1.0 of 4.5 [Speed], FS Geno Atkins 6-1 208 Fr Taylor (Kokomo IN) 1.0 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage] -I flip-flopped Ball State and WMU several times; I REALLY like the Cardinals' top end of the class, but the Broncos had a deeper overall group. Ultimately Western took fourth due to a logjam of guards in Ball State's class (four of them, although one is a field-ready 3.0/3.5. The others are 3-star or lower). Those skill players, though... Damani Laws will be ready to take over for Austin Laws (no relation) in a couple of years and coach lrickar1 gave Marquis Causey quite a few weapons to grow up with and throw to. Ohio (3.18 avg, 18 total recruits, 17 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: DT Aaden Prince 6-3 296 Fr Gilmour Academy (Gates Mills OH) 1.0 of 4.0 [2-Gap], OG Drew Platt 6-1 289 Fr Notre Dame-Catherdal Latin ( OH) 2.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking], OT Derek Satterfield 6-3 330 Fr Wauseon (Wauseon OH) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking], QB Austin Lowe 6-5 233 Fr Madison Plains (London OH) 3.0 of 4.0 [Pocket] -Austin Lowe is what pushes Ohio's class above Miami(OH) and NIU. It's no secret that the Bobcats' QB position was their weak spot, and Lowe provides an immediate upgrade over Stephen Peters. Another nice thing is that quite a few of their recruits already come in at a 2.0 current rating or higher so they can step in right away if needed, and some of them probably will. Ohio also got some good depth on the offensive line, but losing CB Bynum to Toledo really hurts. Northern Illinois (3.09 avg, 25 total recruits, 23 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: SS Antonio Weeks 5-11 199 Fr Canton (Canton IL) 2.0 of 4.5 [Zone Coverage], FB Akeem Mims 6-0 215 Fr Roxana (Roxana IL) 2.0 of 4.0 [Run Blocking], OT Jermon McCullough 6-1 330 Fr Dodgeville (Dodgeville, WI) 2.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking], SS Jordan Harley 5-10 215 Sr Milwaukee Area Technical College (Milwaukee WI) 4.0 of 4.0 [Man Coverage]*, WR Maxwell Rider 6-2 178 Fr John Marshall (Chicago IL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Speed] -The largest recruiting class in the MAC slots here. Even though prized recruit Weeks could step in right away, the Huskies have the luxury of redshirting him because of Jordan Harley's presence. Mims and McCullough are also ready to play immediately if needed, and that may be a tempting thought for coach robcarlson77. NIU focused heavily on the defensive front seven; a full 40 percent of their class play there! Almost all of them are 2.5 potential or less though, so this may be throwing defensive players spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks. Miami (OH) (3.36 avg, 11 total recruits, 11 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: DT Morris Jackson 6-7 302 Fr East Technical (Cleveland OH) 1.0 of 5.0 [2-Gap], DE Josiah Ornelas 6-7 248 Fr Garaway (Sugarcreek OH) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz], OT Ronny Sparks 6-5 258 (So) Chipola College (Marianna FL) 3.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking] -The clear jewels of the class are Jackson and Sparks. Jackson is a huge talent that will make life miserable for centers and guards, and the Redhawks badly needed players of his caliber on the defensive side. Sparks will do good work protecting the FLAMETHROWER ZACK CERA's blindside from the jump but doesn't look to progress very far past good. Despite Jackson, Miami slots here due to the small size of their class; they needed more players than they got. Eastern Michigan (2.96 avg, 18 total recruits, 14 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: SS Ibrahima Griggs 6-0 181 Fr Holland Christian (Holland MI) 1.0 of 4.0 [Man Coverage], ILB Leo Forrest 6-3 210 Fr Blissfield (Blissfield MI) 1.0 of 3.5 [Will], OLB Marlon Grier 6-0 228 Fr Monroe (Monroe MI) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz], QB Jacob Gardner 6-3 232 Fr Muskegon (Muskegon MI) 1.0 of 3.5 [Hybrid] -At this point, it's as much about quantity as it is quality. A 3.5 commit at EMU is much more valuable than he would be at Toledo, for example, and the Eagles have more of them in their class than anyone below them on this list. Eastern is also clearly wanting to shore up their back seven; there are six linebackers and four secondary players of 2.5 or higher led by SS Griggs. Kent State (3.00 avg, 20 total recruits, 11 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: OG Leon Humphrey 6-3 332 Fr Hudson (Hudson OH) 1.5 of 3.5 [Run Blocking], OLB Abraham McCormack 6-0 242 Fr Eastmoor Academy (Columbus OH) 1.0 of 3.5 [Blitz], OT Kenneth Hildebrand 6-3 261 Fr Sylvania Northview (Sylvania OH) 1.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking], C Sam Walsh 6-2 299 Fr Greenville (Greenville OH) 2.5 of 3.0 [Pass Blocking] -Quantity, but without the 4-star. They also have the highest amount of recruits 2-star and lower. The Golden Flashes badly need a coach that will stick around for the long haul, because if this class is the meat of their roster in 2-3 years? Yuck. Bowling Green (3.05 avg, 14 total recruits, 11 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: FS Brody Grimes 6-2 218 Fr Wayne Trace (Haviland OH) 1.0 of 5.0 [Zone Coverage], LS Gregory Dubose 6-1 249 Fr Troy (Troy OH) 1.0 of 4.0 [Traditional] -I know, putting a longsnapper as a key commit? He is a traditional style, so maybe he can fill in at C if needed? But after Grimes and Dubose we go straight to 3.0 players. Also, four TEs in a total class of fourteen players? Not great. Akron (2.90 avg, 11 total recruits, 10 2.5+ recruits). Key commits: RB Mike Cazares 6-0 172 Fr Blanchester (Blanchester OH) 1.0 of 3.5 [Speed]. -"Oh man. You should have seen the one that got away!" Akron was pretty much putting all their eggs in blue-chipper ILB Nazir Flowers (1.0 of 5.0), but Ohio State flipped him at the last possible moment. Coach darkage has to be gutted, but now his focus has to be on his current players. The next recruiting cycle, however, will be critical - Akron can't afford to miss out on replenishing their overall talent.
  3. Because I don't know, I created a spreadsheet that shows signed MAC Recruits as well as recruits that a MAC school is leading on (as per Inspiral's Week 15 Recruiting Shakedown post.) It also shows breakdowns by recruit potential. It does not separate by position, so if your school signed 4 5-star Punters you're "winning" on this list!* After Bowl Season and progressions more in-depth analysis of recruits/depth charts will (probably maybe) occur. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NIR50g8n1M_yDk4NaNWtI-IE7iYEKUcIeYb0n3FN53c/edit?usp=sharing tl;dr charts: Committed Recruits Team <3-Star 3-Star 3.5-Star 4-Star 4.5-Star 5-Star Croot Total Tot. Stars Avg. Stars Toledo 0 0 0 0 4 2 6 28 4.666666667 Central Michigan 0 0 0 1 2 1 4 18 4.5 Ball State 0 0 1 1 1 1 4 17 4.25 Buffalo 0 0 0 0 2 1 3 14 4.666666667 Bowling Green 0 1 0 1 0 1 3 12 4 Ohio 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 12 4 Western Michigan 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 8.5 4.25 Northern Illinois 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 8 4 Kent State 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 7 3.5 Eastern Michigan 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 4 Miami (OH) 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3.5 3.5 Akron 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 3 Leading Recruits Team <3-Star 3-Star 3.5-Star 4-Star 4.5-Star 5-Star Croot Total Tot. Stars Avg. Stars Akron 0 4 1 0 0 1 6 20.5 3.416666667 Ball State 0 5 2 0 0 1 8 27 3.375 Bowling Green 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 9 3 Buffalo 0 0 7 0 0 0 7 24.5 3.5 Central Michigan 0 0 1 3 0 0 4 15.5 3.875 Eastern Michigan 0 4 3 0 0 0 7 22.5 3.214285714 Kent State 0 5 1 0 0 0 6 18.5 3.083333333 Miami (OH) 0 4 4 0 0 1 9 31 3.444444444 Northern Illinois 0 1 2 1 0 0 4 14 3.5 Ohio 0 5 4 1 0 0 10 33 3.3 Toledo 0 0 4 0 0 1 5 19 3.8 Western Michigan 0 1 3 1 0 1 6 22.5 3.75 Comments: At a rough glance the average class looks to have 9-10 players. I don't know what recruiting class sizes were under the old system, but I'd guess they were about the same size if not a little smaller. deathcpo's goal is, IIRC, to make the playoffs in 2021. I don't know about the playoffs yet, but he is very clearly building to have his team peak then with two JuCo players as part of his signed class. As one of the few MAC teams that is looking to fill in holes versus raising their overall talent floor, Toledo could afford to aggressively go after blue-chippers early. Thus they will likely end up with the highest-rated MAC class. Ball State is quietly looking to sign a solid class, with a 5-star RB already committed and a 5-star TE likely to sign next week as the headliners. After the top five recruits the quality does fall off but depth is depth. Bowling Green is a good example of how inactive coaches seriously hurt recruiting efforts. The Falcons' signed players include an excellent 5-star FS, but there's only three of them and -most importantly- only three recruits they're leading on, all 3-stars. Think an active coach would have more irons in the fire than that? Ohio is on track to have the largest recruiting class (13 players projected). Five 3-stars won't get anyone excited but again, they (like most of the MAC) are still working on raising the talent floor. Meh depth < no depth. Ongoing MAC Blue-chip battles (CHALLONGE) in no particular order: ILB Nazir Flowers 6-3 206 Fr Brecksville-Broadview Heights ( OH) 1.0 of 5.0 [Will] (AKRON, OSU) TE Steven Moya 6-5 199 Fr Alex Monroe (Alexandria IN) 1.0 of 5.0 [Receiving] (BSU, PUR, UND) DT Morris Jackson 6-7 302 Fr East Technical (Cleveland OH) 1.0 of 5.0 [2-Gap] (MIA, OSU) SS Antonio Weeks 5-11 199 Fr Canton (Canton IL) 2.0 of 4.5 [Zone Coverage] (NIU, NW) ATH Dean North 6-0 238 Fr Morgan Park (Chicago IL) 1.0 of 4.5 [Specialized] (NIU, NW) ATH Sam Painter 6-4 159 Fr Horatio (Horatio AR) 1.0 of 5.0 [Accuracy] (TOL, ARK) ATH Kualii Umaga 6-3 255 Fr Brandywine (Niles MI) 1.0 of 5.0 [Pass Blocking] (WMU, EMU) OT Avery Curley 6-3 292 Fr Napoleon (Napoleon MI) 1.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking] (WMU, EMU) P Jonah DeVries 5-10 173 Fr Mt. Abraham Union (Bristol VT) 1.0 of 5.0 [Accuracy] (ODU, CMU) *you're really not you should be ashamed of yourself. punting is winning my -
  4. Hello! Anders Anderson here with Mountain Men News Network, your home for all things Mountain West! I would like to welcome back all of our faithful viewers as we were on a brief hiatus when we briefly ran out of funds. But now we've found sponsors and we're back on the air! Today we're sitting down with the Head Coach of the New Mexico Lobos, dml1, to talk about this past JUCO recruiting cycle in a segment called "The JUCO Round-Up" brought to you by Monsanto: "bringing frivolous lawsuits against America's farmers so you don't have to" and by HSBC: "a bank that no longer gives a f***." AA: Thanks for joining us dml1! dml1: Pleasure to be here Anders. It's great to see you guys back on air. AA: Tell me about it. My wife almost took the kids and left me. <sigh> Anyways lets talk recruits, specifically those coming out of Junior College. What's quick rundown of what happened this year? dml1: Well, there were a limited number of good JUCO recruits out there and really only a couple of teams were able to capitalize. But the ones that did definitely picked up some good talent. AA: Alright, let's get into to the nitty gritty. Who had best the JUCO class? dml1: That's pretty easy. Boise State. The Broncos are bringing in a trio of talented interior defensive linemen with a combined weight of 952 lbs. (feed them some of those potatoes and they'll hit half a ton in no time). And it couldn't be better timing. The Broncos are losing their entire front four to graduation and three of those seniors are going to draft. So this incoming class of will slide right in and continue that dominance in the trenches. AA: Talk about leaving a gift for the coach behind you. Who's next? dml1: I'm going to say San Diego State. Coach Wooden is bringing a guy I think will do really well. Patrick Mitchell is a really undersized corner. But he's got a massive chip on his shoulder. I actually attended one of his high school games. As you can imagine, he was passed over by every D1 program because of his size or rather lack thereof. However, he went to Mesa and made a name for himself. Now, Coach Wooden is finally going to give him that shot. And it's a great fit for both parties. Mitchell fits the scheme and will start immediately. AA: Great, moving on... dml1: Actually now that I think about it, I think Coach Wooden has a soft spot of those undersized corners. He's also got a HS recruit, Cayden Washington, coming in that's not that much bigger than Mitchell. Maybe Wooden wants Mitchell to come in a be a mentor too. Maybe show Washington how to succeed as a smaller corner. How tall is Wooden himself? Oh sorry Anders didn't mean to cut you off there. AA: It's all good. We'll be back with the rest of teams right after a message from our sponsors.
  5. The Crystal Ball With Sage and GRV After two important recruiting deadlines, many teams have their classes filled for 2017. Here at The Crystal Ball, we are going to analyze the top stars that haven't committed yet. The guys that the recruiting battles going onwards will be about. Sage: Now I think the biggest battle will be for QB Tanner Bowman, who I have ranked as the 2nd best QB in the class behind Oklahoma commit Graham Burnett. Bowman has narrowed down his choices to between Michigan and Penn State. All season long I've had Michigan as the frontrunner, but now, I'm starting to change my mind. Penn State looks like the #1 team in the nation, and if I were in Bowman's shoes, I'd be very tempted to be a NIttany Lion. I have Bowman to Penn State right now as my projection. GRV: This one is such a crap shoot to try and pick. Neither situation allows him to start right away (barring anything unseen from Jones or Jennings, but I don’t see either leaving) which helps him a lot in the development department. Both coaches are pretty good and have been able to develop pretty good NFL talent. Both have pretty good wide receivers to build around in the future. I think I’m going to have to give this one to Penn State though. Penn State’s recent success are going to end up being the deciding factor for Bowman. I’ve been wrong before, but as of now, I have Bowman suiting up for the blue and white next season. (Tanner Bowman dropping back for a pass) Sage: Now defensively, the biggest player left on the board has to be DE Josiah Harden. Personally, I have him ranked as the best defensive player in the class, and the number 2 player in the nation behind WR Luke Cobb. Harden is a type of player all coaches dream about. An insane motor, coupled with unbelievable strength, Harden is a pass rusher than can bullrush an offensive lineman just as well as he can move around them. At the beginning of the season, I had him projected to go to Pitt, but it seems that his top two teams currently are Boston College and UNC, the top two teams in the ACC. Right now, I think he goes to UNC. I think Coach Pat, who’s already picked up a commit from the nation’s top OLB Martin Whiting, will land the best defensive player in the class as well. The Tar Heels graduate top DE Richard Hicks, and it seems Pat is focused on getting an elite replacement. GRV: I’m gonna have to put Harden in Boston with star corner Andrew Boyd. I really thought Harden was going to Pitt as well. Coach Jumbo must have seen something he didn’t like in Harden to let the local boy go. Both BC and UNC are great places to be for Harden. In Chapel Hill, he has Whiting right behind him, and in Boston, he’s got Boyd on the outside. I think Boyd is much more enticing to him than playing with Whiting. Whiting might steal some stats from Harden, and I think Harden is looking for the pros, so he’ll want those stats Whiting would steal. You heard it hear first, Harden to Boston. Next we are going to look at athlete Justin Way out of North Carolina. Way is an interesting player. He’s one of the top athletes of this class and he’s incredibly quick. He’s a pass blocking guy and is definitely going to start immediately for whatever school he ends up at. Sources are telling me he can play anywhere on the line, but I see him as a center. Seems to be the right size for one, and he has the ability to lead an offensive line. Right now, the battle is between Penn State and Marshall. Originally, I thought he was going to be staying in state with the amount of schools in North Carolina, but apparently they overlooked him. That being said, I think he ends up in the blue and white next year. Coach Soluna is trying to bring in the best players he can to protect what I believe will be his next quarterback in Tanner Bowman. I know Marshall could really use a guy of this caliber, but I’m not sure they have the ability to land him. Although a 7-0 season does look pretty nice to a high school senior. Sage: I’m with you, even though Way can play any position on the line, I think he shines best as either a guard or a center. Rumor is, Marshall’s coach is a bit of an unknown factor. He’s been at Marshall for less than a year, and even though the Thundering Herd is unbeaten, there’s been news circulating around that Coach Thatfunk may want out. For this reason, I think he goes on to join the Nittany Lions. One very intriguing thing that I’ve heard from other coaches is Way’s potential at tight end. Yes, he’s a massive player, and it isn’t very realistic, but it isn’t often that you see a player this versatile. He could be used as a definite wild card, because as you’ve said, his speed is just something you don’t typically see in offensive linemen. After the Wyoming - Air Force game, there was a bit of a verbal spat between Coach Descreto and Coach Acewulf. Top WR prospect Reginald Lattimore was at this game, and Acewulf accused Descreto for running up the score to impress the top wide receiver in the Rockies. Acewulf has since departed Wyoming, but quickly hired former high school coach Stuffer. Personally I don’t know what scheme Stuffer is planning on running at Wyoming, but Air Force is well known for its running attack. Right now, I have Lattimore as the #1 blocker in this class of Wide Receivers, and I think he joins the Air Force Academy. GRV: This is a tough one to pick. There are so many ways Wyoming could go with building their team which is the huge wildcard in this one. I think building their team around Lattimore is going to be very enticing to their new coach though. Even bringing him in and having him red shirt to get a decent quarterback in is an option. Air Force isn’t even a much more enticing school because of their lack of a passing game, unless they plan to build it on Reginald. Taking that into account, I actually think Lattimore joins the Cowboys in Laramie. I think he’s going to want to be a superstar, and Wyoming allows him the best chance to do that. At Air Force he is going to be limited by their running game. The next player we are talking about hits really close to home. Cornerback Cameron Marshall is in competition with Central Michigan and Penn State. I think he could be the best cornerback we’ve ever seen. He’s an interception machine and really intelligent when it comes to reading the quarterback. Originally, I thought he’d be a Terrapin, but I know their coach was scared to put too many resources into him when Penn State was threatening and when depth was a bigger issue for the Terps. That being said, I think Marshall ends up a Chippewa actually. They really need someone to build around, and Marshall will do work in the MAC if he ends up there. At Penn State he won’t be able to be a superstar. (Cameron Marshall at the line of scrimmage) Sage: At the beginning of the season, I had Cam Marshall going to Maryland. Personally, I ranked Boston College commit Andrew Boyd as the #1 CB, but Marshall was a close 2nd. Unbelievable speed is his calling card, and he’s just a lethal ballhawk. He may be one of the most college ready players in this class, and it says a lot that I think he reminds me of Detroit CB Keyshawn Thompson. That being said, I think he lands up with Coach Soluna at Penn State. Its just hard to turn down the #1 team in the nation. Going to switch the gears to ILB Tyrese Thompson from Elba, Alabama. He is a prototypical MIKE, and any team that lands him will get an automatic defensive leader. Right now, Auburn, LSU, and Mississippi State are his top three, and all three coaches are sweating it out to see who gets Thompson. Personally, its no news that I am good friends with Coach Rome at Auburn. I just don’t see him giving up a top in-state prospect to conference rivals. I think Thompson will be a great defensive star to match up with the offensive firepower of QB Jacory Kessler. (Tyrese Thompson calling an audible) GRV: This kid is a little small for my taste, but I think he’s going to be good wherever he ends up. He’s got good athleticism and no running back can get through him. He’s also pretty quick and has shown some pass coverage ability. I do not think he stays in state though. Coach CrimsonChin at LSU has told me he has a serious need for a good ILB. He’s going to do everything in his power to get Thompson on his team. Without Thompson, LSU is going to be hurting a lot at that position. Coach Rome spread himself out too far, and I don’t think he’s going to be able make up the ground he lost to some of these other coaches in convincing Thompson to go to Auburn. Going out west now, let’s talk about tight end Chance Billingsley. At 6-3 224, he is the perfect size for a run blocking tight end. On top of it all, his hands are god sent. This kid is a pass catching machine. He doesn’t drop anything and makes catches that really have no business being caught. It also lists him at 6-3, but he has an insane vertical for a tight end. He’s almost a hybrid wide receiver. Any team to get him is going to have some pretty solid offensive production from the tight end position. I think Fresno State is the leader for him at the moment. He’ll be able to catch passes alongside Sam Hiller-Weeden, which is a benefit in itself. He’ll also be a little closer to home in Fresno opposed to San Diego. Sage: Billingsley was one of my favorite prospects of this class. Tight End is one of those positions that just lends itself to be a matchup problem. Athletic Tight Ends like Danny Patrick or Spec Davidson have been utilized to cause problems at the pro level, and I think Billingsley is a player of the same mold. Now, I got a different opinion than you. I think he ends up at SDSU, and here’s why. Fresno State already has its superstar in SHW, but SDSU lacks that big time playmaking receiver. I expect Coach Wooden to make this kid an Aztec. DT Omar Adcock was my #2 DT in the nation, behind Oregon’s Christian Okonkwo. Now he’s in a 4 way struggle between BYU, Boise State, Colorado State, and Fresno State. I think he joins Coach Notorious at Brigham Young. Currently, BYU has struggled big time this season, coming off of a disastrous game against Fresno State. Not just that, they only have 9 recruits for the upcoming season. Notorious needs to show the fan base that there will be some improvement in the future, and I fully expect him to go all in for a player like Adcock. GRV: I really like Adcock as a 3-4 DT. He’s a big gap stuffer which is a huge factor in the run stop, even though his speciality is stopping the pass. I think he might actually finish his career better than Okonkwo, it’s just going to take longer for him to develop. Coach Notorious can put all the effort he wants into this kid, I don’t see Adcock committing to them this season. They went from a possible playoff team to I don’t really know what. That’s going to play into his decision. He wants to see success and the team that offers that to him right now is the Rams of Colorado State. Coach Slaughter there has expressed a serious interest in claiming this kid and he’s going to use his 6-1 season as a big selling point. Another intriguing player still uncommitted is athlete Marquise Reed. Reed is tall at 6-1, but very undersized at 173. He’s got great hands and is really intelligent. Some people think Reed is going to be a wideout, but I think he’s a little too small. I see him being a pretty solid corner. He won’t have anywhere near the interception level of Marshall or Boyd, but he is able to completely shut down another team’s top target very easily. I don’t see this kid leaving Austin. Coach Caballero was very insistent that he would be wearing the right color orange next season (that being burnt orange). Sage: Personally, I have Reed down as a free safety at the college level. This is a guy who knows the mental game, and makes it work for him. He’s not very big, weighing only 173 lbs, but he’s very smart. He thrives off of learning the opponents schemes, and exploiting them. He’s being tightly contested between Clemson and Texas, but I don’t see him becoming a Tiger. He stays with Coach Caballero, and becomes a big piece of his defense right now. Again, he’s probably the 3rd or 4th best corner in this recruiting class, but I think he’s the best free safety. Center Dean Strauss is an intriguing player currently being courted by Auburn, Ole Miss, and Tulane. The south was very rich in centers this season, and Strauss may be the best one. I’m going to go against the odds right here. Many others have Strauss going to Auburn, but I think he goes to Tulane. Strauss will come in and instantly be the best player on the Green Wave, and will be a piece for Coach Issac to build around for years to come. GRV: Strauss is a very good player. He’s smart and knows how to lead an offensive line. He doesn’t back down from outside distractions, and will fit very well in the SEC dealing with raucous opposing crowds. This kid is going to Auburn. He’s exactly what Jacory Kessler needs to succeed in the long run and could be a key building block in leading Auburn to an SEC Championship and maybe beyond. I don’t see Coach Rome passing up the opportunity on a player like that. Heading out to the Hawaiian Islands, we are going to look at our first special teams player. Punter Patrick Wolff from Kealakekua, Hawaii has an absolute boot of a leg. He can punt it ridiculously far, and will be a great addition to any team able to get him. Right now, he’s being looked at by Oregon State and Washington. I think Washington has the lead now though. They are having a fantastic season and it’s rubbing off on Pat. The recent hiring of Coach Acewulf discouraged Wolff from really moving forward with the Beavers, but that could change if Acewulf is able to convince Wolff that Corvalis is better than the beautiful beaches of Hawaii. Right now I have him as leaning towards the Huskies though. Sage: Wolff is a freak. He is a rare talent that reminds me of Steve “Boomin” Noonan. Honestly, I think Wolff has the potential to be the greatest punter of all time. At this level though, I wouldn’t be surprised if Wolff occasionally makes highlight reels for booting 60+ yard punts. I am going to disagree with you on where Wolff ends up. Coach Acewulf is someone Wolff really looks up to. Many have said Acewulf’s personality reminds Wolff of his own father, and that is one of the reasons he’s so interested in Oregon State, and thats why I think he ends up there. Back to the south for another top receiver, WR Daniel Hobbs was the best in his position in the Ozark and #2 in the region. Now, there is strong competition, between two Georgia teams, two Tennessee teams, and Missouri. Out of these five, I think Hobbs ends up a Bulldog. Georgia has a huge need at receiver. After this season, they graduate speedster Al Divito, which leaves their team very shallow at wide receiver. Hobbs is not polished, and not very likely to start immediately, but he’s a major need for Georgia, and I don’t see Coach Kafka not landing Hobbs. GRV: Hobbs is a great prospect. He’s going to do wonders wherever he goes. I personally compare him to Cap Christian out of Georgia Tech. He’s a big target receiver with great hands. I think once he develops he’s going to challenge Luke Cobb of Florida State. It’s hard to say where he’s going to go to be honest. So many teams want him. I think he ends up at Missouri though. Aaron Shea is a great quarterback, and they just got a great replacement for him in this recruiting cycle, which is going to allow him to develop and learn with this quarterback for all four years. There’s a lot of uncertainty everywhere else. Hobbs will be a Tiger once the visit stage is over. Next we are going to move up to the midwest to talk about free safety Jeremy Easter. For some reason, he went over looked for the first couple months of recruiting. Once the first round of commits starting coming through, coaches realized how much potential this kid actually has. He’s a great leader and can play all over the field. His real ability in playing man to man. You don’t hear this very often, but he’s basically a shut-down safety. When he’s playing on a receiver, that receiver does not see the ball all game. I see him staying in state. I think Coach Dean and the Buckeyes will be able to convince Easter to stay at home. (Easter looking on as his team puts together a drive) Sage: Easter’s has skyrocketed lately, and I am not surprised. Many teams need a free safety, and it seems many teams have put their chips on the table for this hot Ohio prospect. He seems like an indecisive kid off the field, currently shortlisting six universities. However, he is the exact opposite on the field. With incredible footwork and great instincts, he’ll be a star wherever he lands. The hard part is trying to figure out where he goes, and I think he leaves the state to join Coach Taffyowner at Wisconsin. Wisconsin has been trying to build an elite defense for years, and who better the shore up the back end than this 6’1”, 195 pounder who is just as good against the run as he is the pass. Last but not least, lets take a look at offensive tackle Joel Snow. This is a young man who is currently deciding between Kent State and Michigan State. More than anything, I’m more surprised that he’s snubbed hometown team Cincinnati. This tells me that he’s trying to get out of the area, and so I am going to lean with Kent State. The talented run blocker will start on an offensive line that blocks for MAC phenom RB Emmett Spears, who has been the star of that conference thus far. GRV: I see this kid going into the MAC as well. Michigan State has not been stellar this year, and blocking in front of Spears will be a huge boost to his NFL potential. He might look raw on paper, but this kid really wants to start right away, which is a big reason why he wants to go to Kent State. Apparently Coach Slinky Jr. cannot offer this kid the playing time he wants. Unless something changes in the next couple days, this kid is going to be a Golden Flash.
  6. Welcome to The Independent Report, I am constapatedape. This episode of The Independent Report is brought to you by RC Cola. Round 3 Recruiting results have been posted and its time to take a look at how the Independent programs faired during the round and see what other recruits might be coming for these programs after Round 4. First let's take a looks at Notre Dame. The Irish came into Round 3 as the top ranked class of the independents despite missing out on any Juco recruits for the second year in a row. The Irish were fighting for many great prospects still after the first two rounds so let's look at the recruits that committed to the Irish after round 3. P Hunter Smallwood 68 158 Richmond (Richmond IN) [Accuracy] 1.0 of 4.5 CB Antonio Early 70 161 Georgetown Ridge Farm (IL) [Man Coverage] 1.0 of 4.0 OLB Tyler Michaels 72 254 Sandwich Community (Sandwich IL) [Run Man-to-Man] 1.0 of 4.0 DT Oscar Leggett 74 304 Sonoma Valley (Sonoma CA) [Pass Stop] 3.0 of 3.5 OG Robert Cordova 74 285 Portage (Portage IN) [Pass Blocking] 1.0 of 4.0 The rich seemingly got richer. The Irish got 4 recruits with 4.0 potential or great this round and a 3/3.5 who could possibly step right into a starting role for the Irish. The stand out here is Hunter Smallwood the 1/4.5 Punter. The Irish have completed their Special Teams revamp with this commit as the now have a 1/5 K and a 1/4.5 Punter coming out of this class. With these five commitments, The Irish now have 17 commitments from recruits ranked 3.5 and above, 8 of which are 4.0 and above. The Irish are still not done yet for this cycle as they are still in contention for the following recruits. The Irish jumped back up into the Top 10 of recruiting rankings landing at #9 after an 11 place jump after Round 3. Moving down the rankings let's take a look at BYU BYU comes out of Round 3 ranked 50th, a gain of 3 spots in the rankings. The Cougars have been competing for a lot of top prospects out West so let's look at who they signed during Round 3. C Sailo Sofara 73 281 Gabbs (Gabbs NV) [Run Blocking] 2.5 of 4.0 C Terrell Lyles 76 251 Idaho Falls (Idaho Falls ID) [Pass Blocking] 1.5 of 4.0 The Cougars signed two very good Centers this round, which basically assures them an anchor on their OL for the next 4 or 5 seasons of CFBHC. One of these Centers is very likely to get a redshirt, more likely Lyles as he is behind Sofara in current development which will give the Cougars a great Center for the foreseeable future. These commits bring the Cougars calls up to 17 total, 10 of which are 3.5 and above, the Cougars also got a Juco Commitment. BYU is still battling for the following recruits, if they get a handful of these guys they should improve their ranking a bit. The Cougs seem to be playing a very high risk/high reward strategy this cycle, but if they can pull it off in Round 4 they should jump up the board. The next program we are going to look at is the Naval Academy Navy comes out of Round 3 ranked 55th in the recruiting rankings, a drop of 6 spots. Despite missing Round 1 due to Congressional approval issues the Midshipmen have pulled in quite a few prospects. So let's take a look at their haul from Round 3. OG Brady Mckee 75 327 Norwich Tech (Norwich CT) [Run Blocking] 1.0 of 3.0 C Tristan Herrington 75 252 Bedford (Bedford MA) [Pass Blocking] 1.0 of 3.5 DT Makai Ross 76 291 Horseheads (Horseheads NY) [Pass Stop] 1.0 of 3.5 The trenches were the focus of this round for Navy and they were able to pull in 3 recruits that should help bolster the lines on both sides of the ball. I think the stand out here is Makai Ross who should be able to help get a better pass rush going for Navy in the near future. He has decent size and is a stand out student. Sadly Navy is not in any more battles so these are the last recruits of this cycle for them. Their final total comes to 23 commits and 2 Jucos, 4 of these regular commits are 3.5 and above. And that Brings us to Army Like their fellow service academy Navy, Army also had congressional approval issues for Round 1 and enter this cycle during Round 2. Despite that, Army also was able to pull in a class that is almost full, and currently ranks 65th in the rankings, a drop of 1 spot. Let's see how the Black Knights did for Round 3. ILB George Ennis 71 243 Castlewood (Castlewood VA) [Pass Man-to-man] 1.0 of 3.5 Well, at least the Black Knights weren't completely shut out during this round. Ennis brings a good presence to the Linebacking corps that Army is working on building up. With that commitment, Army now has 21 commits and a Juco, 4 of which are 3.5 and above. However unlike Navy, Army is still in contention for a lot of good recruits, including one of the most sought after RBs that was available after Round 1, Jamir Hurt-Braxton. Army can significantly improve their ranking if they can get commitments out of a good number of the recruits that are considering them below, especially if they can get Hurt-Braxton to come to West Point. That concludes our Round 3 Recruiting Review. Round 4 is just around the corner and we can take a look at the full classes for all of these schools once that concludes. Until then this has been a special recruiting edition of The Independent Report. I would like to thank all of our sponsors RC Cola, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Cricket Wireless, All Sport, Brawny Paper Towels, Daewoo, Touchtunes The General auto insurance, and Seattle's Best Coffee Remember to think independent, live independent and read independent.
  7. I'm constapatedape, and this is The Independent Report brought to you by our new sponsors Touchtunes. Recruiting Round One results have dropped and everyone on the site is going crazy because we all love croots. So to help full the fire for Round Two and beyond here are The Independent Report's rankings of the four independent programs classes. Let's begin with the easy ones... Army and Navy. Neither school could get Congressional Approval for any of the recruits in time to submit bids for Round One. Could be some lean years ahead for both of these programs if neither one manages to get in bids for Round Two. Ranks: F Now let's take an in depth look at BYU's recruiting class. Commits: WR Ahmed Head (2/3.5) from Deary, ID TE Kristian Jackson (1.5/4) from Pleasant Grove, UT Considering RB Jeffery McAfee (1/4) from Denver, CO WR Kevin Garvin (2.5/5) from Stirling, CO OT Walter Alley (1/4) from Salem, OR OG Edward Mesa (1/4) from Pleasant Grove, UT OG Chris Stinson (1/4) from Salt Lake City, UT C Salio Sofara (2.5/4) from Gabbs, NV C Terrell Lyles (1.5/4) from Idaho Falls, ID ILB Phillip Gillis (1.5/4.5) from Provo, UT OLB Jake McCann (1/4) from Deary, ID P Amir Johns (2/4) from Centennial, CO The good news for fans of the Cougars is that they have a ton of great talent considering coming to BYU to play football. The Cougars are still in on what was their likely top target in WR Kevin Garvin so this class has a lot of room to grow. The downside of this is that the Cougars only have two players that have committed to their program so far. Both commitments are from solid players. Ahmed Head could make an impact next season as he comes in already at a 2/3.5 and Kristian Johnson could be a playmaker in the future for the Cougars. One thing to give hope to the Cougar faithful is that BYU is recruiting teammates of their two commitments, which could give them an edge on both of those prospects. Even if the Cougars are able to pull in half of the people currently considering them, this class will not be a very large one for them, but could be filled with top talent. I'm not sure of the Cougars point status right now for Round 2, but if they don't have any points they will really need for things to shake thier way to get a good class. Overall Right now I'd rank the Cougars with a D+/C-, but check back after Round 3 as that rank can climb dramatically depending on how many of these considering recruits commit to BYU. That brings us to Notre Dame. Commits: K Vincent Comer (1/5) from Moville, IA SS Jamir Foy (1.5/4) from Sylvania, OH QB Owen Sorenson (1/4) from Morrow, OH TE Tyler Dotson (1/4) from Alma, WI SS Thomas McNair (2/3.5) from St. Philip Catholic Central (MI) QB Dominic Blair (1/3.5) from Notre Dame-Catherdal Latin (OH) OG Harrison Knight (1/3.5) from Elyria, OH OLB Marcus Barfield (2.5/3) from Midland, MI FB Ayden Hassan (3/3) from Midland, MI Considering P Hunter Smallwood (1/4.5) from Richmond, IN OG Robert Cordova (1/4) from Portage, IN OLB Tyler Michaels (1/4) from Sandwich, IL SS Constantine Richards (1/4) from Eden Prairie, MN CB Antonio Early (1/4) from Georgetown Ridge Farm (IL) K Aaron George (1/4) from Elizabeth, IL OT Pati Peko (3/3.5) from Portage, IN SS Ibrahim Love (2.5/3.5) from Breese, IL RB Hunter Banks (1.5/3.5) from Joliet, IL RB Jacob Paige (2.5/3.5) from Wonewoc, WI P Jasper Stark (3/3.5) from Ashtabula, OH FB Nick Tubbs (2/3.5) from Posen, MI DT Adam Skinner (3/3) from Normal, IL CB Kapueo Fatu (3/3) from North Branch, MI C Jonah Schaffer (3/3) from Barnesville, OH Notre Dame currently has one of the most impressive classes in the nation. The Irish landed the top Kicker in the nation as well as 3 4.0 talents to go with some high current skill players at 3.5 and below. The depth of this class can really expand after Round 3 and 4 also as the Irish are still on 15 players lists, including 6 at 4.0 and above and another 6 at the 3.5 level. This could very well turn into the best class for the Irish so far. The Irish went after a mix of higher end talent along with high current skill types and it has seemed to pay off so far as the Irish have the 12th ranked class currently in the nation according to inspiral's recruiting rankings. Currently I'd rate the Irish's class at a B+ with plenty of room to expand with 15 more prospects considering the Irish and some Round 2 points to play with. That's all for this special recruitment edition of The Independent Report brought to you by Touchtunes and our other sponsors, Cricket Wireless, All Sport, Brawny Paper Towels and Daewoo. Remember to think independent, live independent and read independent.