Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Year of the Tigers

Unless you have been under a rock in the middle of the desert you know the type of season Auburn had this year. Whether it is because of Cam Newton or because of the National Championship, Auburn has been in the media all year. Well if a great season wasn't enough, the recruiting showed because of it.

The reason I really like Auburn's class is because of all the areas in which they improved, especially on the defensive lines and offensive lines. I think they also improved at the skilled position with a couple of underrated athletes.

My favorite of this class is linebacker Kris Frost. This high school wide receiver has the speed and skill set of a safety, but all the makings of an NFL caliber linebacker. Kris is excellent in passing situations which make him a versatile option that never needs to come off the field. With added coaching on solely the defensive side of the ball the sky truly the limit for Kris.

Another underrated threat I love is Quan Bray. This athlete who will play running back at the next level is an amazing athlete that can make an immediate impact at any spot on the field. I say just get the ball in his hands and watch out. The biggest thing for Auburn is that this is the perfect type of offense for Quan's abilities. The Auburn offense always seems to adapt to its talents! I see Quan having an immediate impact from day 1.

In the end I think that the biggest improvements are creating depth on the offensive and defensive lines, while continuing to attract athletes to fill other positions. To me this formula is the key to continued success in today's college world.

Kris Frost (Outside Linebacker)

Quan Bray (Running Back)

Christian Westerman (offensive lineman)

Gabe Wright (defensive lineman )

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tiger Team

One of the biggest surprises in my 5 team break down has been the Clemson Tigers. The Tigers who barely made the Top 25 last year, as far as recruiting, set the bench mark with four 5 star rated players. The guys who headline the class: are 2 linebackers in Tony Steward (6'2 225 lbs) and Stephone Anthony (6'3 220 lbs), Mike Bellamy (5'10 185 lbs), and Sammy Watkins (6'1 180 lbs).

Clemson pulled out all the stops by signing mostly in-state talent which is always considered first priority. I look at the talent and the defensive upgrades that the Tigers brought in to keep pace with the top recruiting class of Florida State. What I think will stand out the most for the Tigers from this recruiting class is Mike Bellamy. A few years ago we all say what a speedy C.J. Spiller provided. Mike Bellamy has that type of impact, he is extremely fast, and combines that with great vision and the ability to make quick cuts. Bellamy will make an impact from day 1 even if it is not in the backfield. As a return specialist, Bellamy will inject more excitement especially since Clemson has talent in its current backfield.

When it comes to impact overall, I think the biggest difference maker in the entire defensive freshman class will be the Tigers 5 star linebacker, Tony Steward. Tony is an amazing athlete that looks like and ideal player as well as playing like one. Tony is a speedy 6'2 225 lbs outside linebacker. Tony is one of the most talented linebackers I have seen since Ernie Simms. As soon as you put the tape on you will see the impact he has.

In the end Clemson had a huge impact recruiting wise and it will show in the coming future. If they can find some consistency at the quarterback position and protect the QB then they along with Florida State will be the two teams to beat in the ACC.

Tony Steward (outside linebacker)

Mike Bellamy (running back)

Sammie Watkins (wide receiver)

Cortez Davis (defensive back)

A Dream Deferred

As I continue to keep my readers up to date with all the biggest signings in the Southeast, the highly coveted Junior College defensive nose guard, Jonathan Jenkins has signed. Jonathan decided to join the Dream Team at the University of Georgia. This is a huge signing for the UGA defense, which has been looking to sign a difference maker on the defensive line than can play the first day. Well Jenkins can, and should have an immediate impact.

Check out this mammoth of a man's video and make sure to observe his quick and agile feet as he displays a knack for running the ball on his highlight tape as well as stuffing the run.......

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What A Day!

Like all major league sports the draft only comes along once a year. The difference with national signing day is that the players have all te say in what school they will attend. Today was a great day for these young men to decide their future's and have a chance to hand pick through tons of offers.

As I look at the Top 5 or so schools over the next few days I will make sure to highlight the instant impact players and what expectations we can see from the young men that look to make a successful jump to the next level.

I will start things out with my #5 team the University of Georgia. UGA really surprised a lot of people with the talent that they picked up today. The headliners were #1 ranked running back Isaiah Crowell, #1 weakside defensiv end Ray Drew, the top 2 defensive backs Malcolm Mitchell and Damian Swann.

This class is loaded top to bottom. UGA got help on the defensive line in order to solidify a pash rush for this new 3-4 defense. The secondary got a highly underated Nick Marshall who is one of the best athletes in the country. UGA bolstered the offensive line as well as adding talent to a wide recieving corp that losses the likes of A.J. Green. The biggest signing was Isaiah Crowell, who I think will start from day 1 and give the offense a running game that will further assist a very talented true sophomore Qb Aaron Murray.

The most impactful recurit may have yet to sign in Jonathan Jenkins. This massive man at 6'4 330 lbs is perfect for the 3-4 defense and essential in really making the 3-4 successful. His talent, if signed would pay dividends the very first game of the season.

I see this without a doubt beeing the best signing class in at least a decade for UGA. What I will be looking for is an infusion of talent on the defensive side of the ball with talented linebackers coming in as well as defensive line help and corners that are deference makers. Offense needed to add depth on the offenive line and get a game changer in the running back position. I see UGA being the under dog to win the SEC East as Florida transitions to coaching changes.

Make sure to click on the videos below of a few of the headliners and maybe some you have not seen.....

Jonathan Jenkins (uncommited but leaning towards UGA)

Damian Swann (Defensive back)

Kent Turene (Linebacker)

Jay Rome (Tight End)

Christian LeMay (Quarterback)

Signing Day Updates

Right now not much has changed with few signings thus far that were not expected. The power conferences are still leading in the Rankings. The SEC has 4 schools in the Top 10 (Alabama, LSU, Auburn, and Georgia). Yet, two of the more surprising teams thus far and coming into today come from the ACC; Florida State and Clemson. Clemson has a pair of 5 star linebackers and a wide receiver, that had a huge influence on their current position.

Despite these current rankings there is a lot of top talent that has yet to sign with a college. The big names that have yet to decide are Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina), Curtis Grant (LB, Virginia), Tony Steward (LB, Florida), Isaiah Crowell (RB, Georgia) to name a few. All of these players should sign today except Clowney who will wait until his birthday Feb 14.

I will continue to watch all the big signings and give an overall update later on this evening. I will give out my preliminary grades as well, and highlight a few individuals and signings that might surprise you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is There an "I" in Team...?

When I look at the recruiting process and see how much money is dumped into programs it blows my mind! When you see individual recruiting of big names it is even more amazing how much time and effort is dedicated in order to impress these 17 and 18 year old boys. As I look back at former top recruits I started to wonder if those recruitment's were worth it in the end, was the impact worth the effort. Recent recruitment's of top players such as; Micheal Dyer (2010), Marcus Lattimore (2010), Bryce Brown (2009), Matt Barkley (2009), Terrell Pryor (2008), Darrell Scott (2008). As I look back I see both pros and cons in all of these players. Most of the players have done well in college, but some don't quite live up to the high billing once on the college scene. As I look at this years top recruits I see a lot of players that can make an instant impact. One of the players that I am looking at today is Isaiah Crowell.

Some have this five start prospect a can't miss and a player that if signed at the University of Georgia could have an instant impact. Much like Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina, RB) and Micheal Dyer (Auburn, RB), who were the number 1 and 2 running backs in the country, Isaiah has a chance to start at a contending program in a power conference. Marcus Lattimore took an under achieving South Carolina ball club and put them over the hump by making them a threat to run and pass. Isaiah is a top flight running back that checks in at 5'11 210 lbs. and is a very versatile every down back. He does a great job of catching the ball out of the back field. I see him making an instant impact right now, and if he chooses UGA over Alabama then he will have a greater chance of starting day 1. Although, Isaiah is talented I do not see why he would be a make or break decision. Washaun Ealey and Caleb King are both capable backs that together can carry the Georgia running game. That along with improvements to the offensive line will improve the running game. The thing is Isaiah Crowell is that good that without blocking he will add a dynamic that will instantly improve the offense much like A.J. Green did.

When I see a can't miss prospect that is bigger than the (I) in team it is because they are well balanced and versatile player that can and should start from Day 1. Isaiah has that type of impact in my mind. Even if he goes to Alabama he will get playing time as a kick returner and spot duty at running back but I think the pro style environment of the University of Georgia is ideal. Crowell has NFL caliber talent and reminds me of Joseph Addai with his ability to jump cut and explode through holes. Either way I think he is a can't miss prospect that will make a difference if healthy. Check out his video and see if you think he is a can't miss player.

Stay Tuned

Tomorrow is the big day so stay posted for all the updates on Southeast moves that will be coming up. University of Georgia is making a push to go from being right outside the Top 10 to probably Top 5 in recruiting rankings with a couple of key pick ups.