Fiesta Bowl Recruiting Breakdown

Oklahoma the Big 12's best, Rodriguez's departure hurting West Virginia's efforts

Dec. 30, 2007

By Tom Lemming

Special to CSTV.com



TOM LEMMING

Tom is CSTV's college football recruiting analyst, and writes for CSTV.com regularly. E-mail here!

 

Oklahoma (Recruiting Log)

 

The Sooners' Class of 2008 is shaping up to be a very good one despite some setbacks.

 

They had a top 5 class just a couple of months ago but they've lost a number of guys that have decommitted and gone elsewhere. In particular there's WR Jeff Fuller (No. 58 ranked senior overall), who switched his commitment to Texas A&M. For some reason they've lost about four very good players from this class, but it's still very good especially with the kids from Texas like RB Justin Johnson (No. 64), OL Stephen Good (No. 41) and RB Jermie Calhoun (No. 7).


 

 

 

They started out great, had a little swoon in November, but now they're starting to pick up the pieces. Sometimes those decommitments just come down to changes in other programs. Texas A&M brought in Mike Sherman as its new coach and he's starting to come after some kids who committed.

 

But it's still Oklahoma and Texas who are fighting for the title of the premier Big 12 destination.

 

I think Calhoun, even though they've got some talented running backs, will have a big impact next year. And they have a quarterback out of New Mexico who is a very good player - Landry Jones (No. 48) - but he will probably redshirt.

 

Bob Stoops is an underrated recruiter. He's meticulous, aggressive and doesn't miss anything. He's very knowledgeable and persistent. Barry Switzer was flamboyant, but Stoops is just very consistent.

 

West Virginia (Recruiting Log)

 

The Class of 2008 might have been led by the No. 1 rated senior overall QB Terrelle Pryor had Rich Rodriguez stayed and not taken the Michigan job. Now the best player they had a verbal commitment from, OL Josh Jenkins (No. 73), has re-opened his recruitment and is considering Ohio State, Florida State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and the Mountaineers.

 

So the class could be really hurt by Rodriguez leaving. It was going to be an excellent class if they got Pryor, who is one of the best ever prospects in some time. Now they're going to be lucky to hang on to some of the guys they have and the big name guys could very easily leave.

 

But it all depends on who they bring in. If Doc Holiday comes in, he's such a great recruiter that he can talk those guys into staying. If it's somebody with a great recruiting rep and has some face value nationally, they won't be hurt as much. If not, it's not going to be a good class. In fact I think it's going to be a bad class.

 

West Virginia has lost a good staff, starting with Rodriguez. He knew West Virginia, knew New Jersey. They weren't everywhere, but the places they were at, they were effective.

 

West Virginia could be lucky to stay in the middle of the road in the Big East recruiting game this year. Again, things can change quickly with a high profile coach coming in. 

 

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