WV Law Geek's Twitter Updates
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
- West Virginia
- South Florida
The next four teams on my list are interchangable but I decided not to take weakling way out and call them tied for 2nd. (though the Big East is notorious for multiple teams finishing in the same spot.) I just really like what Charlie Strong is doing in L-ville. I am glad that we get them at home this year. USF is pretty much universally settled in at the 1 or 2 spot in all the other rankings. They certainly will be a player in this process to settle the Big East Crown. It is apparent that Skip Holtz is recruiting very well. Until, USF wins a conference title they will remain undervalued by me. Yes Bulls fans I know you have our number in Tampa. The next incarnation of Panther Football may prove to be impressive, however, unlike WVU where component parts were plentiful for the new staff, Pitt has a long way to go in terms of fitting that system with the right type of player. There placement here is more due to a stout defense than what they will produce on the offensive side of the ball. Though I think they will improve throughout the season and will likely give WVU, Pitt's best shot. Syracuse is definitely moving in a positive direction and Coach Marrone is doing the right things, but I still think they are a long way off in terms of talent.
Cincinnati may very well have the best or second best offensive unit in the league, so why do I have them so far down the list. It is my contention that they will have the worst defense in the league. They will win some games outscoring their opponents, but they will also give up more points than any other defensive unit in my humble opinion. It does not appear that the bad defense of last year is doing anything to remedy that problem this year. Thus they fall to 6th in my power rankings.
Rutgers is a bit of an enigma. They are killing it on the recruiting trail. They have solid coaching. They have talent on the line. So what is going on in Piskataway? I think that they will win some games this year and may even move up in my Power rankings rather quickly as the year progresses, but it is hard to start this team up the power rankings when they did what they did last year. Thus, they are my big wait and see team this year.
Finally, the defending Big East representative to the BCS, resides at the very back of the bus. A bit harsh on my part, maybe, but please tell me where the offense is coming from. They have a new coach, they have mass player replacements to make, they have problems. I see this team on a free fall from the top of the Big East to the very bottom.
A disclaimer on these power rankings. You see that they are a pre-camp evaluation. Once camp starts and injuries and depth charts are stabilized this Power Ranking could look very different. Stay tuned. I know I will.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Some background on her. She graduated from Florida, interned at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. That led to a job covering the University of Miami from 1999-2001. As you can tell from the date her last year covering the Canes, they won the national championship as a Big East member. After that, she moved on to The Associated Press in New York, where she covered the New York Jets until 2006. Most recently she became an enterprise reporter for the Orlando Sentinel and eventually became a college football columnist and blogger. She left for ESPN in 2010 to be the college football nation blogger. And now she is the ESPN blog voice for the Big East.
Since she has taken over for Brian, she is has made herself aware of the Big East players, coaches and staff. She is well versed in the Big East administrative going on(s) and has been willing to listen to the input of others regarding improving her blog site. She is not a Big East Apologist, but she isn't a hater either. She is willing to publish the great and small for Big East Football. Most recently she has indicated that Tavon Austin is the best at his position. I for one most certainly recommend this ESPN blog to you for your daily diet of Big East reading. You will find a direct link to the blog on the link side of this blog.
Monday, July 18, 2011
"Let both [the weeds and the wheat] grow together until the harvest..."-Mathew 13:30
I was inspired in church yesterday to look into the concept of recruiting/developing of student athletes both in Basketball and Football. Who are the weeds? Who grows into the wheat? Do we as a fan-base jump the gun in our evaluations of student athletes? Do we "weed" the field pulling up the "wheat" as well and burn it prior to the true harvest time?
I think WVU is similar to most Universities in the major conferences. The coaching staffs are called to make evaluations of 17 year old students and then reevaluate these students on a year to year basis. A student athlete's scholarship is renewed or discontinued from one year to next. Sometimes the walk-ons turn out to be much more valuable to a programs success than the most sought after athletes out of high-school. On other occasions a player may prove to be a poison to an entire team. When do you cut the bond? Or to keep with my parable, when do you pluck the weed from the field of wheat and bind it to fire? A head coach and by extension his staff must determine what value a given athlete has to the program. This person must also determine who to take a chance on in terms of time to develop. So how do the successful ones do it? Well I believe he does this by determining who fits his system now and who can in the very near future.
The truth is that John Flowers had always been a tough defender, but it wasn't until his Junior season that we caught glimpses of what he could do to lead a team. And he didn't develop a free-throw-shot until the summer before his senior season. Coach Huggs determined that John was his guy long before anyone else could see it. In the football world I would use Mike Lorello as an example. He was a 2 or 3 star (depending on recruiting source) out of high-school and Coach Casteel and Coach Rod saw something in this undersized safety/linebacker that proved to be very special. He developed into one of the best safeties and hardest hitters to ever don the uniform. I only know this with the benefit of hindsight but these coaches have to do this "betting on the come."
When the harvest comes is a little cloudy too. I realize that we have a season every year so the evaluation of a given recruit/walk-on may be premature. But we as a fan-base choose to make those evaluations with very little evidence. One such athlete who has proven to be special is Keith Tandy. If you asked most Mountaineer fans while exiting Ray Jay stadium 3 seasons ago what type of Corner Keith would be I think the almost uniform position would be negative. But Coach Casteel and Coach Stew stood by their cornerback. He is now one of the preseason all big east d backs. My point is that Mathew's gospel commanded in God's followers to render the judgement of man to God as he was the only one who was qualified to make the determination. My point in this post is that with the benefit of hindsight we are able to say who is a bust and who is not. But we needn't jump to these conclusions prematurely. Patience is providence in this process.
With all of this said, I realize that we as a fan-base will come to judge some of these athletes justly both in negative and positive I just hope we do so with a little more patience. Otherwise, I think you will find this cool-aid drinking Eer fan posting mainly positive things about my favorite team and my favorite athletes.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Geno Smith and Tavon Austin named to the best QB-receiver tandem, Pony Express Award Watch List
Congrats to Geno and Tavon for the continued preseason pub.
From Center Joe to Geno to Tavon for 6. Mark it down this shall happen.
He runs a 4.45 40 and looks to be exactly the type of talent to plug and play in any of the WR positions. It is something to see, this change in offensive philosophy and what it means in terms of recruiting specific types of talent.
I don't think I have posted anything about momentum in this class, okay maybe I have made mention of that. WVU now has received verbal commitments (I know worth paper signature is written on) from 7 offensive players and 6 defensive players. The class is shaping up nicely and is taking a preseason form like few others before it. I am loving what these Coaches are accomplishing in this transition year.
Welcome home Devonte!
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense of defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, and linebackers who set up no father than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. All candidates also must be eligible to play college sports under the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The candidates earned a place on the Official Watch List by earning All-American honors last season, by being named to their respective all-conference first team last season as selected by the conference’s head coaches, by being projected to be an All-American or first team all-conference player for the coming season, or by nomination approved by the nominations committee.
No question all of these fellows deserve the pub they are receiving. And big things are expected from these 3 big men. Congrats Julian, Bruce and Don.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I am excited that a ready-made player is in this class for the offensive line as it seems that this position is one that requires the most development. A plug and play guy in the interior next year will add immediate depth if not starting clout. Anyway, another good get for this impressive class of recruits.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Alex will be joining a staff that has already had some success in generating interest in our program. The recruiting coordinator won't actually be in the field recruiting but will be coordinating the visits for athletes and make sure that the Coaches are in the right places at the right times to bring home the bacon. I am excited by this hire as it is yet another example of the direction Coach Holgorsen is traveling with his staff. He wants professionals with a singular understanding of success for our football program. It is appearent that AD, Luck was pleased with this move as well. “Alex is an excellent addition to not only our football staff but also our athletic department,” WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck said in the release. “Aside from being a well-educated and smart guy, what attracted him to us was his experience with the NCAA. He will be an important asset to the football program, coach Holgorsen and the athletic department.”
Welcome to the staff Alex. Big expectations come with your title.
- Public reprimand and censure.
- Two years probation from July 8, 2011, through July 7, 2013.
- Reduced the total number of scholarships awarded for football during the 2010-11 academic year by two.
- Elimination of two noncoaching graduate assistant positions, resulting in a reduction from seven to five noncoaching graduate assistant positions. Noncoaching graduate assistants are not permitted to attend or observe any coaching or athletically related activities or meetings.
- The coordinator of recruiting operations (formerly director/ coordinator of high school relations) position was restricted from attending or observing meetings involving coaching activities and all athletically related events, including sideline attendance at all home and away games through the 2010-11 academic year.
- Prior to its elimination, from February 10 through June 30, 2010, the position of director of player development was restricted from attending or observing any meetings involving coaching activities and all athletically related activities.
- The program declined the opportunity to use 10 coaches during its designated "off" week, resulting in just seven coaches recruiting for the week of Sept. 26, 2010, through Oct. 2, 2010.
- Eliminated one off-campus recruiter for the 2011 spring recruiting period, bringing the total from seven to six.
- Reduced the amount of countable athletically related activities for football student-athletes by a total of 46.25 hours or 23 percent.
- Reduce the total number of scholarships awarded for football during the 2011-12 academic year by one.
Oliver Luck issued a statement regarding the sanctions imposed by the NCAA. They are as follows:
"WVU is in receipt of the NCAA's final report of an investigation into violations committed from 2005-2009 related to participation and monitoring of noncoaching staff members in drill and meeting activities reserved for countable coaches within our football program. We appreciate the hard work the Committee and the NCAA staff put into this process, particularly moving cooperatively to the summary disposition process.
I am pleased that the Committee accepted the self-imposed penalties the University proposed, without imposing any additional ones. The University has already taken corrective action and put new systems in place to address all the issues raised.
It is also important to note that probation does not affect our bowl eligibility or ability to compete for conference or national championships. It does, however, require annual reports over a two-year period, which we will complete.
We have taken this case very seriously from the beginning and, as we've said, will move forward with a complete commitment to compliance in all that we do. We now look forward to an exciting football season and putting this process behind us."- Oliver Luck press release on Friday.
While this is not the death penalty some folks were predicting it is still a significant penalty and one that can have a negative effect on the football program. What I am most happy about is the fact that the AD's office did self impose these penalties and therefore were prepared to operate under these constraints. Now is time to move on and just do what is necessary. Score a lot of points and win a lot of games.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Congrats to Tavon for making this watch-list. With accolades come expectations. I know Tavon can deliver. Now is time to make that happen. The grind in the Summer makes for excitement in the Winter.
(Oh and Stedman Bailey don't be too surprised if your name creeps up in the conversation before the season ends.)
Season is shaping up to be a good one. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Two Mountaineers from defensive side of ball Keith Tandy and Bruce Irvin are mentioned on the Bednarik award list. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the nation's top defensive player since 1995. Chuck Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.
Tis nice to see our Mountaineers getting all of the preseason pub. If they are writing about us someone (I E recruits and parents) is reading about us. Congrats to all three.
The expectations are high. The efforts need to be even higher. I am confident Geno, Keith and Bruce are up to the task.
Marshall has a grand total of 3 commits one of which is a Rivals 3 Star QB Trenton Norvell. The other two are OL Tyler Combs and LB Devin Johnson. Looks like "recruiting guru", Doc Holiday has some work to do or this class leaves something to be desired. Doc has made some late closings in his time so I am sure that we shall see more talent be amassed in the near future.
Maryland has 11 Commits there highest rated player being Rivals 4 star OL Mike Madaras. Rivals 3 star commits: DE Roman Braglio, OL Nick Brigham and LB Brock Dean . The rest of the class shakes out this way: WR Malcom Culmer, DB Alvin Hill, QB Perry Hills, WR A.J. Liddell, Ath Shawn Petty, Ath Joe Riddle and QB Caleb Rowe. Well looks like the revolving Maryland continues to bleed talent elsewhere at least for now. I am confident that the new leadership will do something to reroute that pipeline of talent back home. Coach Edsell is looking to build this team into a running power. It looks like this class is moving in that direction.
LSU demonstrates what recruiting looks like when you are an SEC perennial powerhouse: This class of 15 is lead by Rivals 4 star recruits: Ath Davante Bourque, DE Torshiro Davis, DE Ronnie Feist, TE Dillon Gordon, WR Avery Johnson, Ath Lamar Louis, and Dwayne Thomas. The Rivals 3 star commits in this class are as follows: WR Travin Dural, LB Trey Granier, DE Jerald Hawkins, WR Kavahra Holmes, DB Derrick Raymond, DB Jerquinick Sandolph and TE John Thomas the rest of the class is OL Reid Ferguson. Even with what I said about star ratings above I am quite impressed with this collection of youthful talent.
Connecticut boasts a Rivals Four Star Recruit, SG Omar Calhoun, however that is the only member of this recruiting class. Sorry that was basketball lol. Actually what they have on the hopper in Storrs is the following 12 recruits headed by Rivals 3 stars: WR Neally Cunningham, DT Mikal Myers, LB Jason Sylva, the rest of the class is as follows: DE Brendan Battles, RB Montrell Dobbs, WR John Green, LB Jon Hicks, DB Chauncey Lanier, Ath Michael Ellis Marder, DB Obi Melifonwu, LB Elija Norris and OL Tyler Samra.
Cincinnati’s class of 13 commits is lead by Rivals 3 star recruits: RB Deionte Buckley, Ath Alx Dale, WR Jeremy Graves, DE Ryan Leahy, DE Josh Posley, and OL Kyle Williamson. The rest of the class is as follows: OL Deyshawn Bond, DB Kevin Brown, DB Drake Bruns, DE Jonathan Burt, DB Marcus Foster, DB Andre Jones, and WR Vincent Miller. Coach Jones is doing what he does best, finding the athletes that will fit his system so I am confident that these “cats” will probably exceed their advertising value.
Louisville’s class of 8 commits is lead by Rivals 3 stars: OL Sid Anvoots, DE Larry Jefferson, OL T.C. Klusman, DT Teko Powell, and WR Brandon Snell. The rest of the class rounds out as follows: K Joshua Appleby, Ath Demetrius Frazier, and DB Kevin Houchins. Coach Strong is known as a good closer so this class could end up looking pretty solid at the February signing date.
Pittsburgh’s class of 6 commits is headed by 3 stars: WR Trento Coles and DE Myles Hilliard the rest of the class shapes up this way: OL Brandyn Cook, DB Marzett Geter, DB William Parks, and LB Alkwan Williams. I don’t know what to say about this class except that progress appears to be slow in the moving.
Rutgers Class of 8 is an impressive one lead by Rivals 4 Star recruit, OL Chris Muller, the rest of the class are Rivals 3 stars: WR Carlton Aqudosi, Ath Davon Jacobs, LB Steve Longa, WR Ruhann Peele, RB Desmon Peoples, DE Julian Pinnix-Odrick and QB Blak Rankin. Looks like these guys are chopping wood on recruiting trail at least.Syracuse’s Class of 8 includes Rivals 3 stars: Ath Devnate McFarlane, TE Joshua Parris, and LB James Washington the rest of the class is as follows: DE Poncho Barnwell, DE Ben Barrett, WR Alvin Cornelius, Ath Ben Lewis and OL Omari Palmer. It is hard for me to evaluate this class at all. Syracuse is looking much better but I don’t know what this class represents to them.
South Florida’s Class of 8 touts the most Rivals Four Star glitter in the Big East with these two gems: Ath LaMarlin Wiggins and TE Sean Price, the rest of this class includes Rivals 3 stars: DB Chris Bivins, OL Reno Henderson, WR Rayshawn Jenkins, DE Daniel Perry, Ath Jalen Spencer and DB D.J. White. No doubt Skip has this class moving in the right direction. This school is blessed by geography and it appears that the Bulls are going to keep some South Florida talent right at home.
Finally as it is relevant in 2012 I thought that Texas Christians recruiting class of 13 might be of interest to you. Coach Patterson has committed 4 Rivals 4 Stars: DE Devonte Fields, QB Tyler Matthews, DE James McFarland, and DB Edward Pope, the Rivals 3 stars in this class include: RB LaDarius Anthony, QB Austin Aune, RB B.J. Catalon, TE Griffin Gilbert, DT Joey Hunt, DB Daje Johnson, and Ath Kolby Listenbee. The class is completed to date with RB Rashodrick Linwood, and K Jaden Oberkrom. Wow for a future opponent this team has a fertile recruiting ground and the ability to get some verbals from it. From the x’s and o’s to the Jimmys and Joes this team looks to be a handful in the future for all Big East comers.
At the recruiting 1/2 way point, with really just two exceptions, WVU's recruiting class is on pace with, or out distancing our opponents in terms of numbers and glimmer. We shall see who in each of these classes sticks and more importantly who will perform on the field.
Look forward to your thoughts.
Welcome home Bret.