College Football Recruiting 2012: 10 Weakest Classes from the BCS
As we continue to count down the days until national signing day on Feb. 1, it's becoming more clear which schools will end up with the highest-rated classes of 2012.
Annual recruiting juggernauts such as Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, Florida State and Notre Dame are once again going to be bringing in some of the top classes in the country, but the same can't be said for a few less prominent BCS schools that have really struggled on the recruiting trail this year.
Here's a look at the 10 weakest 2012 recruiting classes among BCS teams.
New Kansas coach Charlie Weis knows that his predecessor Turner Gill left him with plenty of work to do in order to turn the Jayhawks in the right direction, and Weis knows that his team is going to have to show some signs of life on the field before he'll be able to start landing notable recruits.
After a terrible 2-10 season in 2011, Weis has only been able to field commitments from 12 recruits so far, and the only real notable name in the class up to this point is 3-star tight end Jordan Smith out of Reicher Catholic High School in Waco, Texas.
There's already some intriguing offensive talent for Weis to work with at Kansas, but there are also some major holes to fill—especially on defense—and his first recruiting class doesn't look like it's going to offer up much more than a few key backups down the line.
Boston College Eagles
After a disastrous 4-8 season, Boston College coach Frank Spaziani's seat is going to be one of the hottest in the country going into the 2012 season, especially since Spaziani hasn't done a lot to win over the fanbase with his recruiting efforts this year.
Boston College has once again picked up a bunch of players from the Northeast that most other BCS schools simply didn't want, and while there are a few quality prospects mixed in, especially the intriguing offensive line trio of Win Homer (Christchurch School, Pennsylvania), Jim Cashman (Haddonfield HS, New Jersey) and Frank Taylor (Archbishop Wood HS, Pennsylvania), for the most part, it's not exactly a class that Spaziani can really hang his hat on.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest has never been known as a recruiting powerhouse, and their 2012 class doesn't exactly seem like it's about to change people's perceptions.
The Demon Deacons may have found their quarterback of the future in 3-star prospect Tyler Cameron, who hails from Jupiter, Florida—but besides Cameron, there really isn't a whole lot to get excited about.
Luckily, Jim Grobe has proven he can mold unheralded recruits into successful and competitive college players, and there are definitely a few prospects such as LB Dominique Gibson (Glades Central HS, Florida), TE Zach Gordon (Carrollton HS, Georgia) and WR Jared Crump (Bartram Trail HS, Florida), who all look like they should develop into reliable starters over the next few years.
The University of Connecticut isn't located in prime football recruiting territory, and the fact that the Huskies currently only have two commitments from prospects that hail from the state of Connecticut is proof of that.
The problem for the Huskies is that coach Paul Pasqualoni hasn't been able to really tap into his old recruiting hot spots from back in his days at Syracuse.
UConn has been able to reel in a few intriguing prospects from the Northeast such as QB Casey Cochran (Massak, Connecticut) and DT Mikal Meyer (Newburgh Free Academy, New York), but overall, this class is shaping up to be the weakest one in the Big East this year.
Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State's surprising 10-win campaign this past season definitely catapulted the Wildcats back onto the national scene—however, coach Bill Snyder hasn't been able to translate the team's success on the field this past season to the recruiting trail. Kansas State's 2012 recruiting class not only lacks star power; with just 13 current commitments, it also lacks depth.
Snyder's bringing in a few junior college prospects like WR Marquez Clark (Navarro JC, Texas) and DT Wesley Hollingshed (Trinity Valley CC, Georgia), who should be able to contribute right away, but the high school recruits he's set to bring in aren't really all that noteworthy.
Duke Blue Devils
Duke's on-the-field struggles continued into this past season, as the Blue Devils were only able to muster up three victories for the second season in a row in 2011. Because of their constant poor performances, the Blue Devils are never truly able to really build a lot of momentum through recruiting, and what makes things tougher is the school's strict admissions policy.
This year, coach David Sutcliffe ventured outside of the Carolinas to places such as Florida, California, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York to land commitments. However, he once again failed to land any truly big-name recruits, and while this class should provide some solid depth for the future, it's also going to be one of the weakest in the ACC this year.
Going 1-11 isn't usually going to buy you a lot of success on the recruiting trail, but Indiana hasn't actually done all that bad this year, given the circumstances.
Coach Kevin Wilson has already picked up 23 commitments for the 2012 class. The only problem is that most of them were leftovers that no other Big Ten teams showed much interest in.
If Wilson wants to turn the Hoosiers around, he has to start stealing away recruits from the schools in his own conference, instead of just outbidding a bunch of MAC schools.
After going 8-5 in coach Doug Marrone's second year on the job, Syracuse took a big step back in 2011, as the Orange failed to keep building on their success, ultimately finishing just 1-6 in the Big East and 5-7 overall.
The team's struggles on the field have obviously had an impact on recruiting as the Orange have failed to bring in many big-name prospects this year.
TE Ron Thompson, who played for Southfield High School in Michigan, is the only notable player who is considered one of the top prospects in the country at his position.
Besides Thompson, though, there really aren't a lot of prospects in Syracuse's 2012 class that are worth talking about.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
With a brand new stadium and a new head coach, many Minnesota fans were expecting the recruiting aspect of their favorite program to start picking up, but it only takes one look at the team's 2012 recruiting class to see that just hasn't happened yet.
Yes, Jerry Kill did a great job landing two highly touted and highly coveted recruits like OL Issac Hayes (Saint Thomas Academy, Minnesota) and WR Jamel Harbison (Mallard Creek, North Carolina), but the rest of the class isn't exactly stocked full of great talent.
The Golden Gophers may have 28 current commitments, but very few of those recruits appear to be anything more than just future role players.
Iowa State Cyclones
Paul Rhoads is trying his hardest to build Iowa State into a winner and a factor in the Big 12, and while there were definitely signs of encouragement in 2011, there's still a lot more work that needs to be done before the Cyclones can start competing with the likes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas in the Big 12. It starts with recruiting, where you have to bring in the type of players that can reshape the program into a consistent winner.
While Rhoads has snatched up some intriguing prospects who look like they have future starter potential with guys like WR Quan West (Willis HS, Texas) and OL Duaron Williams (Jones HS, Florida), he hasn't been able to find those impact type of players that can really turn a program into a contender.