Wednesday, November 23, 2011
A look at recruiting: what we got, and what we need
We've got 61 returning recruited scholarship players. A couple may depart this off season, like Hutson Mason (playing time?), Carlton Thomas (can't stop being suspended?), or Kwame Geathers (NFL?), among others. You've got a handful of rewarded walk-ons like Brandon Harton, Blake Sailors, Reuben Faloughi, and Ty Frix, but those guys are told when they get scholarships that they are temporary and can go away at any time.
Either way, with the usual handful of defections for a multitude of reasons, we should have room for a full 25. So that's the math we're gonna do, trying to add up to 25. To save time on linking each name, see here for commits and here for potential targets.
QB-1 Faton Bauta fills this spot. With Murray a sophomore, as well as Mason, and a redshirting Lemay with Brice Ramsey slated for 2013, we could have gone with 0. But if Mason is considering moving elsewhere for playing time, Bauta fills the void of keeping at least a 3rd QB on scholarship.
FB-1 Quayvon Hicks fills this spot. The Pierce County product is big, strong, and looked like a helluva LB. But we're putting him at blocking back, and since we run the pro-set I, you need good FBs in line joining Xander Ogletree and the walk-ons. Don't count out our walk-ons, as we've had some good ones fill this spot in JT Wall and Jeremy Thomas, among others.
TB-2+ With the issues around Crowell, Thomas, and others, we need 2 good ones here. Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley are a nice start. If Boo Malcome and Carlton Thomas end up departing over the off season, adding a JUCO like RJ Robinson wouldn't be a bad idea either. But we've already gone over this.
WR-2 With the way Bennett and Conley are stepping up, along side Malcolm Mitchell, this isn't that huge a need. We'll return Tavares King and Marlon Brown too, as well as Rantavious Wooten and redshirting freshman Sanford Seay and Justin Scott-Wesley. MLK's Blake Tibbs is already on board, and one more big timer should be more than enough to keep us well stocked in playmakers out wide. We may be good with just Mr. Tibbs.
TE-1 or 2 Ty Smith is already on board. If Orson Charles leaves early, adding one more would be a nice tough to keep us well stocked, along with Jay Rome and Arthur Lynch. But if he sticks around for his senior year, Smith will be more than enough.
OL-5 John Theus gives us our star LT target. Greg Pyke and Chester Brown seem slated as Gs. A C target, to fill in behind David Andrews once Ben Jones leaves would be a good idea, although Chris Burnette, Hunter Long or Dallas Lee might be able to slide inside and fill that gap. And of course, another T along with Theus would be a good idea, and we've targeted some good ones for that bookend spot like Avery Young, as well as some JUCOs hopefully capable of making a more immediate impact.
DL-3 With Jalen Fields supposedly unable to qualify, this becomes a bit bigger need than expected. Jonathon Taylor gives us a nose, and John Atkins another DT outside of him. No idea who we'd look at to join them, but if some of our bigger LBs like Sterling Bailey or Ray Drew end up sticking their hand in the ground as Jordan Jenkins alluded to two weeks ago, it may not be that big a deal. Still, one more space eater up front would be a good idea to keep the cupboard full. You can never have enough good DL.
LB-3 With Jarvis Jones saying he's definitely on the return, we're not losing anyone here. And considering how great this group has been, we're just filling depth and not looking for immediate impact. Kent Turene is ready to enroll early, and adds great depth inside. We're still looking at a Freak in the above mentioned Jordan Jenkins, who would be a special player off the edge. We've got Dodge County's Leonard Floyd as another potentially special OLB on board. And James Deloach, a teammate of the NG Taylor and Jenkins County, could be a LB or DT/DE depending on how big he gets. So we don't really need much more here, but one more elite playmaker, like Jenkins would help keep this unit going strong for the long haul.
DB-3 or 4 If Bacarri Rambo goes pro, or Branden Smith goes pro, we could use 4. If we can find 4 good ones, we have room. Right now, we have 0 commits for the defensive backfield, so expect Lakatos and crew to target several hard down the stretch, and we've got some good ones we've been working like Chaz Elder, Nelson Agholor, Trae Elston, Yuri Wright, and Tracy Howard, among others.
K/P-2 We lose Blair Walsh, Brandon Bogotay, and Drew Butler, so we need kickers. We've had success with walk-ons, like Billy Bennett and Gordon Ely-Kelso, but we'll guess Richt wasn't that comfortable going that route. So we got commits from Marshall Morgan out of Ft Lauderdale to replace Walsh, and Cartersville's Collin Barber to fill Butler's departed spot.
So long story short, we've already got a good core of commits. The big needs are adding DBs and TBs, while rounding out the other areas with a few special players. It's kind of nice that way, so that the staff can go all out working about two dozen kids, a baker's dozen that is, to fill the remaining dozen or so spots available. We'll miss a couple, as that's the nature of the beast, but we only need 10-12 more young men to keep this thing rolling in the right direction.