Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Nebraska

One of my semi-favorite pastimes is looking at and analyzing past recruiting classes. Having basically memorized UofM's past recruiting classes [2002+ as rivals/scout data doesn't go past that] I've turned to other universities. One team in particular just seems to beg for a more in-depth analysis. Or at least a bunch of hodgepodge words throw together on a football blog written by someone who had to take pre-english 101 as a UofM freshman. That team would be Nebraska.

[Note, the ramble of words below really only comes about as a result of a visual perusal of Nebraska's signing class and only rarely has actual real-world input (such as Carriker).]

Starting out in 2002, the first name that pops out is of course Adam Carriker:
Initial stats: 3-stars, 6'6", 235lb., 4.7sec 40
Now: still 6'6" but has packed on 60 pounds! That's right, 60 pounds. And still runs a 4.7 40.
Adam Carriker

Carriker just seems to embody exactly the type of player that college football coaches dream about recruiting. Someone who can come in with raw abilities/talent, and be sculpted into a 13-sack a year monster. There aren't a lot of folks out there that can pack on 60pounds of muscle AND keep the same 40 time.

Matt Herian: 3-star TE, 6'5", 220lb., 4.6 40
Matt's still 6'5" but now 245lb. A quick look at Matt's stats back in 2002 from someone with my experienced eye (mostly based on stats) really points to a potential all-conference TE. 6'5" is a nice height for a TE and the combo of 220+lb and 4.6 40-time really complete the package. I can point out a ton of TE's in the 2007 commitment lists that don't come close to those initial stats. Sure, the rivals/scout info (especially 40-time) don't always match real-world but still those initial stats have all the makings of a great TE if his coaches can do their job.

Jay Moore: 4-star WsDE, 6'4", 235lb., 4.5 40.
Jay is 280lb. now but holy crud, 4.5 in the 40? Even if he's now 4.6 that's still an insane speed for a 280lb. DE.

Andy Birkel: 3-star WR, 6'3", 180lb., 4.41 40.
Doesn't look like he's still around but a 6'3" WR that runs in the 4.4 range just visually looks like a great recruiting catch.

Corey McKenon: 3-star LB, 6'3", 210lb., 4.45 40.
LB with 4.4 speed? Corey tore up UofM last year with his speed and instincts. Corey is probably #2 on this list in terms of needing more words about him. Corey still runs like a 4.5 and is now 225lb. A 225lb. LB with 4.5 speed is absolutely fantastic. Package that with Corey's proven instincts and you get a GREAT 3-star steal on the recruiting side.

Lydon Murtha: 4-star OT, 6'8", 315lb., 4.9 40.
Just great stats for an OT. The 4.9 40 should indicate that he can move and with the kind of arms you find on a 6'8" body he 'should' turn out to be a great OT.

Barry Turner: 3-star WsDE, 6'3", 248lb., 4.5 40.
Holy bejesus, 4.5 in the 40 at ~250lbs? Not only that, but this is another case where visual perusal of #'s meets real-world action. Barry made Rivals 2005 freshman all-american team even though he was really only used as a pass-rusher on passing downs.

Ok, so the above is 2002-2005. Note that I've left out a ton of 4.4 speedsters that seem to all come from Juco-land.

2006:
Will Henry: 3-star WR, 6'6", 195lb., 4.5 40.
At 6'6" he's 5-6 inches taller than most DB's that he'll be going up against. 4.5 speed is about what Braylon Edwards has/had so Will has all the makings of a potential WR stud a-la Sydney Rice. If the coaching staff can beat into him proper route running then at the very least Nebraska's QB's will have a Braylon Edwards-esque jump ball bail-out receiver.

2006 also features a Juco-rich bevy of potential studs.

Overall the message I'm trying to convey is that Nebraska has a bunch of unhearalded recruits that not only have the potential for kicking ass but, in the case of a few (Carriker/McKenon/etc), are already kicking ass. I've left out a number of WR's and DB's that are 6'0" and above with 4.4 40 speed as their seem to be a number of them in past Nebraska recruiting classes. Plus, most of tohse again seem to be Juco. Next weeks assignment will be to do a quick Juco % for each recruiting class as that % for each Nebraska class seems to be in the range of 30-50%.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Pre-season 2006 top5

In order to really make myself look like a fool it's time for me to throw out my pre-season 2006 top5 list. Most folks by now have thrown theirs out so it's high time I throw mine in the mix:

1) OSU
Yeah, hate to do it but I really feel that the defense is going to reload. With Larry Grant (best Juco LB last year) coming over and Laurinitais(sp?) and D'Andrea the LB's could conceivably be even better than last year. Probably not but it's possible. tOSU has more DB skill and depth than most teams. Plus the d-line returns 2 starters and has decent depth. Even if Troy Smith happens to get injured they do have Zwick as a nice 5-th year senior (i think) backup. Plus Pittman is set for a breakout year having what the quietest ~1300? yds last year. And Chris Wells looks set to contribute as a true freshman. Couple that with Tressel's blind eye towards alcoholic 6'8" 315lb. 5-star stud linemen and you've got the makings of a NC team.
2) LSU
Why? Um...probably Matt Flynn's performance against Miami.
3) Nebraska
What?!? Yeah, Nebraska. The why is that they just have a ton of 3-star studs like Carriker and others that are going to ride their 2005 bowl win to a great season. Plus Taylor seems to perform pretty well under pressure.
4) Florida
I'm not as sold on this as my other picks but had to throw someone in there. Didn't want to put USC (not sold on both sides of the ball), WVU (sophomore jinx for White/Slaton), Texas (I think QB will be an issue, sorry folks), Auburn (too many holes in the lines to fill).
5) Notre Dame
This probably hurts more than putting tOSU at the top.

Others:
Oklahoma: Just don't think Bohmar is going to be great this year.
Miami: A definite possibility as long as the new team comes together.
Georgia: Again, too many holes to fill.
Michigan: A possibility as long as a) henne isn't injured and is above ~65% b) the LB's get their act together c) the o-line doesn't contract strange illnesses and freak injuries and d) our DL gets decent pressure on the qb. So yeah, a 'possibility'.
Florida State: Another possibility and maybe more of a possibility than Michigan.