10 Teams in Danger of a Poor 2014 College Football Recruiting Class
College football starts this week, which means recruiting has hit a halfway point. Coaches are now tasked with the dual role of game-planning and recruiting during the week, boards are being reshuffled and visits lined up.
Some programs enter their first game satisfied with their 2014 recruiting efforts, while others are starting to be concerned they may land a poor class.
A Pac-12 program that was expected to take a giant step on the trail to success in 2014 cannot get prospects to commit. A program on the verge of moving conferences is flirting with a bad class, plus a Big 12 program is also on this list.
The Huskies have not recruited too well under head coach Paul Pasqualoni. Their 2014 class, unfortunately, appears to be a continuation of this recent trend.
UConn has the No. 82 class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Pasqualoni has 11 commitments, and only five are even rated as 3-star prospects. Do not expect UConn to sign a top-50 recruiting class in February.
The Beavers have never been a sexy Pac-12 recruiting school, but after a nine-win 2013 season, they should have been able to pluck better talent from the recruiting trail.
Yet that has not been in the case during the 2014 cycle, as all nine of Oregon State's commitments are just 3-star prospects. Head coach Mike Riley's class is ranked 77th in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Do not expect the Beavers to significantly rise up the rankings.
Early playing time is one of the main attractions Kansas can offer a recruit. However, it does not appear that is enough to lure elite talent to Lawrence.
With only seven commitments, the Jayhawks are ranked 84th in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Head coach Charlie Weis, once considered one of the premier recruiters in the nation at Notre Dame and Florida, has only convinced one 4-star prospect to come to Kansas.
Weis will likely have to heavily lean on the JUCO circuit to fill most of his 2014 class.
As a conference, the Pac-12 is not enjoying a glorious year in 2014 recruiting. A big reason for that is the disappointing start to the cycle by Washington, which was expected to contend for a top-25 class.
The Huskies sit at the No. 58 slot in the 247Sports recruiting rankings, as they have just eight commitments. Although Washington has a chance to land several great talents in this cycle, until that happens the Huskies are flirting with signing a poor class.
Expect head coach Steve Sarkisian, a good recruiter, to increase the Huskies' recruiting totals this fall.
The Hoosiers signed perhaps their best recruiting class in recent memory in 2013. The feeling was that it would serve as a breakthrough class that would lead to Indiana signing better talent.
That sentiment appears to be unduly optimistic, as the Hoosiers have just the No. 71 class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Head coach Kevin Wilson, who previously was an offensive assistant at Oklahoma, has 10 commitments, with only eight rated at a 3-star clip.
He and his staff must get going, or they will be considered a 2014 recruiting disappointment.
The Ducks lost their coach to the NFL, as Chip Kelly now leads the Philadelphia Eagles. New head coach Mark Helfrich faces questions on whether he can sustain Kelly's success on the field.
However, Kelly also was a solid recruiter, so Helfrich has big shoes to fill in that department. Based on how Oregon is doing in 2014 recruiting, he may not be up to the task.
The Ducks have only eight commitments, and their class is ranked 57th in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Helfrich's initial class in Eugene may be a poor haul.
However, if they fail to land their top two recruiting targets, several other programs will surpass them, and Maryland will fall from its No. 63 slot in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.
It is "Tabor-and-Prince-or bust" for the Terps in 2014 recruiting.
The Trojans can usually be counted on to bring in a Top-10 class, sign several 5-star prospects and fill out the rest of their group with elite 4-star talent.
This year that is not the case, and they are in danger of bringing in a poor class. With only eight commitments, of whom just three are 4-star prospects, USC is ranked 49th in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.
However, the Trojans likely will land several highly touted prospects to surge up the rankings before February. Yet, if they swing and miss on their remaining top targets, they could sign the most disappointing recruiting class Troy has seen since the start of the century.
With an early commitment from 4-star running back Jeff Jones, Minnesota was expected to make a more solid impact on the recruiting trail.
However, the Gophers have only six commitments and five are 3-star prospects. Plus, Jones may not sign with them, as he is only listed as a "soft" commitment right now, per 247Sports.
If Minnesota sees Jones sign with another program, being ranked 83rd by 247Sports will be a high note compared to where it will drop in the recruiting rankings.
Perhaps the most disappointing program in 2014 recruiting, UCLA was expected to ascend to elite status with another strong recruiting effort under head coach Jim Mora.
However, the Bruins have just seven commitments, only one 4-star pledge, and the class is a lowly 74th in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Mora has proven to be a good recruiter in Westwood, but things have not gone according to plan during this recruiting cycle.
UCLA needs a big recruiting surge, or it will sign a poor class and take that dreaded step back on the recruiting trail.