2012 was an interesting recruiting cycle when it comes to defense. The Buffaloes had a big haul along the defensive line, taking 9 players, and grabbed their only two 4-star players at cornerback, where they took five total kids. And most importantly: no linebackers. Which makes LB a definite position of focus in the next recruiting cycle.
But class balancing is still going to be an issue this time around, plus we're working with fewer available scholarships. As Phil pointed out in the last article, we currently only have something like 14 scholarships slated to open up. But I believe (though I might be counting incorrectly) that we will be carrying fewer than 85 scholarship players in 2012, so I'm predicting a class that is closer to 20 kids than 14.
Okay, lets take a look at how the next year in recruiting might go!
We signed 5 DBs in 2011, so we don't need to sign quite so many this time around. And it looks like we might be in on some pretty good ones, specifically a few safety prospects out of California. But we'll be fighting off the traditional Cali powers for them, and perhaps Stanford as well.
While we may move another cornerback or two to safety in the continued mission to increase team speed, we also may see a safety or two move to linebacker. Will Harlos is the primary candidate, as long as his bulking up is going well. So it may be important for us to take one true safety prospect in 2013; one that can hit and fill against the run. I think we nab one safety this cycle.
Follow the jump because there's cornerbacks to discuss!
And at cornerback, we made some strides in the 2012 class. We needed to sign 3 or 4 and ended up taking 5 (though one of them may be a safety candidate). While we will still have some needs at CB, it's greatly diminished now. Nobody graduates, so we're basically working with the group we have on the roster now (plus the 2012 group). And that's fine with me. I think we have some real talent there, and we know that Greg Brown is a heckuva DB coach. The only reason to take more than one CB in this class is he's also a guy who could come in and compete at safety.
Running Tally: 1 QB, 1 RB, 0 FB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 5 OL, 1 S, 1 CB, 12 Total
We didn't sign any linebackers in 2012, which upset some people. I was hoping for one signed at that spot, but we the guy the coaches wanted ended up choosing another school on signing day. What are you going to do? That's easy. Win more games and get a 4-star linebacker to choose CU on signing day 2013! We need at least three guys in this next class, but we would be fine signing only 3 if Harlos or Tu'umalo can start practicing at linebacker. And we need speedy guys there. We started on that path two years ago with Greer and the aforementioned Tu'umalo, but it needs to continue. We will be replacing two starters next year, so it would be nice to have some options lined up.
Running Tally: 1 QB, 1 RB, 0 FB, 1 TE, 5 OL, 1 S, 3 LB, 15 Total
I know we just signed a huge d-line class, but we aren't quite done. In 2013, we'll be looking to replace our most consistent lineman in Will Pericak. I think we'll be taking two guys here. We lose two DTs to graduation and we have absolutely nothing behind them. Unless Nate Bonsu can rediscover that freshman mojo he had, all we'll be left with is members of the 2012 recruiting class (who will be sophomores and redshirt freshmen) and the prospect of whoever we sign next cycle.
But interestingly, I don't know if we've offered a single DT prospect yet for 2013. Of course, there may be ones out there that haven't been reported, but it could also mean that the coaches like all of the guys we just signed and believe that they will all have early impacts. Which is possible. It was a really talented group of kids, and that wouldn't surprise me at all. So even though I think we should take two guys here, I think we end up only taking one.
Running Tally: 1 QB, 1 RB, 0 FB, 1 TE, 5 OL, 1 S, 3 LB, 1 DT, 16 Total
And here's another interesting position in the 2013 class. We won't lose anybody here, but it looks like we're in on some really talented high school defensive ends. If the coaches really believe that more of the 9 d-linemen we signed in 2012 (including grayshirt candidate Derek McCartney, grandson of Bill McCartney, who may be counted towards the 2013 class) will be able to beef up enough to play inside, than we need to keep feeding the pass rushing pipeline.
The guy I'm keeping an eye on is Alquadin Muhammad. He's a 4-star DE from Don Bosco in New Jersey, another one of those schools we may be developing a connection with. And speaking of pipelines, we're in on an end from Upland, the school that gave us Powell, Abron and Mosley that looks pretty good too. I could see us signing as many as two guys in addition to McCartney, but I don't know if we'll have the space for that.
Running Tally: 1 QB, 1 RB, 0 FB, 1 TE, 5 OL, 1 S, 3 LB, 1 DT, 2 DE, 18 total.
So if you're keeping track, that puts us over the number of seniors we graduate, but I'm going to be stubborn and say we can sign 18-20 kids in this class. And I think we're going to find a way to count McCartney towards the 2012 class. Which means we may even have room for another guy or two in this class.
But we'll keep track of this throughout the next year. Yes, that's right, year-round recruiting coverage here on Ralphie Report!