October 10, 2012

In this week's edition of the Recruiting Roundup, analyst Mike Farrell examines the resurgence of Florida after its win over LSU and how that could shake up the recruiting landscape in Florida among a litany of topics.

Deep Thoughts

Chomp, chomp: It's no surprise that the Florida Gators are hot on the recruiting trail following a huge 14-6 win over LSU in The Swamp and an undefeated start. Facilities, location, playing time and other factors are important, but nothing helps you recruit more than winning. With the Gators in the national top five at 5-0, Will Muschamp could be on his way to luring some of the nation's top talent. With players such as Montravius Adams and Marquez North showing genuine interest, the intriguing part will be see if Muschamp can flip commitments just like Urban Meyer did while he was in Gainesville.

Jalen Ramsey (USC commit), DeMarcus Robinson (Clemson), David Dawson (Michigan), Ira Denson (FSU), Alex Anzalone (Notre Dame) and Elijah Daniel (Clemson) all showing significant interest, Muschamp could be picking and choosing from other commit lists if the success continues.

Two QBs at LSU? Tough call: Even with a loss to Florida, LSU will still be fine on the recruiting trail, but they sure need to upgrade the offense. The issue is that the Tigers may not have significantly upgraded at wide receiver or running back. However, the offensive line class has a lot of potential and there are two very good tight ends. The big question is -- can either Anthony Jennings or Hayden Rettig pan out and be the leader at quarterback this team needs down the road? My opinion on two four-star quarterbacks in the same class is clear --it never works out for one of them. LSU has to hope that the one who emerges can solve a quarterback problem that has plagued the Tigers for years. However, the last time two four-star quarterbacks had real success at the same program was in Baton Rouge with JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn.

Palmetto Presence: Georgia has long had the luxury of being the big "dawg" in a talent rich state with little resistance, recruiting-wise, from Georgia Tech. But now the Bulldogs have a new competitor in state, and it's the team that just thumped them 35-7 on national television. You can bet Steve Spurrier will remind recruits of South Carolina's destruction of the Bulldogs during his in-home visits in December and January. He will sell that it appears the best chance for prospects in the Peach State to reach the SEC title game lies in Columbia, S.C. That's three straight wins over the Bulldogs for Spurrier. South Carolina may soon have the most in the state of Georgia as it has ever had.

El Diaco: Is Notre Dame for real as a top-10 team and national title contender? Dominating Miami was a big win, but we all suspected the 'Canes defense was not good. And it's clear that No. 10 Michigan State (at the time) and No. 18 Michigan (at the time) were both overrated to start the season. Stanford should be a true test for the Fighting Irish, and Notre Dame is the real deal, at least defensively. From a recruiting standpoint, I think defensive prospects should be lining up to play for Bob Diaco. The issue here is if Notre Dame continues its defense, can it keep Diaco from being a head coach elsewhere next season. And if he does bolt, how would that affect recruiting? Diaco is suddenly one of the hottest young coaching names in college football.

Foster down to two: Monaca (Pa.) Central Valley wide receiver Robert Foster is apparently down to Pitt and Alabama as his final two. From the outside looking in, you'd question why he doesn't jump all over the Alabama offer. However, Foster reminds me of Aliquippa (Pa.) Hopewell running back Rushel Shell from last year. What puzzles me is why Foster isn't looking at West Virginia as a local option. Either the Mountaineers are all in with Tyler Boyd or Foster is not interested in catching lots of passes in Dana Holgerson's offense.

Quick Hitters

• If Ohio State goes undefeated, and that could very well happen, what will Meyer's recruiting look like next year and beyond? If there is one head man who can recruit like an SEC coach outside the conference, it's Meyer, and he could take the Buckeyes national with a special year, sanctions or not.

• It's unclear if Penn State will be able to land major recruiting classes with such crippling sanctions, but Bill O'Brien has masterfully navigated his opening season. After an 0-2 start, this team has showed a ton of heart and he has shown he can be a very good head coach at the college level. If he continues to be successful, what happens when another team without sanctions comes calling with a job offer?

• I disagreed with Wisconsin's Bret Bielema firing offensive line coach Mike Markuson after two games this season. I felt recruits, especially offensive linemen, should question the quick trigger. However, after six games and a 2-4 start where the defense gave up an average of 46 points and 573 yards in three straight losses, I can't argue with the firing of Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh. Many defensive recruits raved about Groh and his former head coaching experience in the NFL and in college, so it will hurt recruiting in that regard, but not as much as losing to teams like Middle Tennessee State will.

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