Thursday, July 26, 2007

On the Recruiting Trail

After the hoopla surrounding the landing of stud RB Josh Haden, BC has hit a bit of a slow period in recruiting over the last few weeks.

While this is due in large part to the fact that the coaching staff has spent part of the month on vacation, we do need to step it back up. With about 25 scholarships available, the consensus among BC fans seems to be that we need to have about half of our class filled out by the opening of the season; with 9 verbals already in hand, this is certainly doable but we do need to step it up over these next few weeks.

Overshadowing this month's recruiting adventures has been the controversy regarding prized Florida offensive tackle Mike Goodman. Goodman seemed, by all accounts, to be a heavy BC lean--until's Mike Farrell strongly hinted on that site's message board that the lineman had already committed to BC. Obviously, this upset Goodman, who has now opened his recruiting back up. While BC still appears to be right in the thick of things, he is not the slam-dunk he seemed to be a few weeks ago, particularly with his hometown Hurricanes having come on strong over the past two weeks. I have confidence that the kid will at the end of the day see the light, but it's far from a sure thing. Bill's distaste for Farrell's tactics is well documented, and it appears in this case that irresponsible journalism may end up costing BC one of our top recruiting targets (a similar situation happened last month when Rutgers' Rivals site reported that QB DC Jefferson, also a BC target, had committed to the Scarlet Knights, leading Jefferson to likewise re-open his recruiting).

As much as I hate giving Farrell my money especially when he pulls crap like this, at the end of the day I'm going to have to keep doing it. Rivals' recruiting database is simply far superior to Scout's, and just as important is the insight gained from reading premium message board posts from individuals with insider access to the program, most notably Mark Herzlich's father. But while I'll be doing it, I won't like it; and if BC ends up losing out on Goodman as a result of this then I think we as BC fans should evaluate the reasons behind his decision. Already I'm expecting this to result in far less access to the program for Rivals, which I welcome, even if as a fan I'd prefer to read as much insider info as possible.

The Goodman saga aside, BC's recruiting also took a hit this week with the loss of OG Tyler Sands to Illinois. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried here. I firmly believe that we need 5-6 OLs in this class, including 3-4 interior linemen, and so far we're standing on 1 and 0. As bountiful as last season's haul was at tackle, we're still thin on the inside. Sands would've been a huge pickup, and we now need to start looking at other options. A guy I expect us to offer pretty soon is Quinton Sales, a high school teammate of Haden's who visited BC with him last month. Sales currently does not hold a BC offer, according to Rivals, but with the loss of Sands I expect that to change. Despite being a 3-star recruit, his current offer list is limited to Wake Forest and a handful of MAC schools. However, I think he would be a great fit in Jags' zone-blocking scheme, both for his smaller, more athletic build and for his intelligence. He's a guy I feel we will offer in the next week or two, and could lock up before opening day.

As for who BC's next verbal will come from, there's no clear leader. Illinois LB Nick Clancy had appeared to be nearing a decision, but recently expanded his final two of BC and Purdue to include Wisconsin and Northwestern. Whatever his final decision may be, those are all excellent schools and the kid clearly has his priorities straight. NJ TE Chris Pantale would be an excellent get and has listed BC in his final three along with Virginia and Michigan. Many have tabbed him as our likely next commit. Another possibility is two-star local RB/DB Mike Cox, who favors BC over offers from Maryland and UConn but appears to be holding out for a possible offer from Michigan or Penn State. It's unlikely that the staff will wait much longer for Cox, who would likely play cornerback at BC, to make a decision before moving on.

Finally, for those who are worried about Haden de-committing if he has a blowup senior year, I wouldn't worry too hard:

Now THAT'S a commitment, folks.



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