College Football

5 College Football Teams in Need of a Big Junior Day

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IFebruary 17, 2014

5 College Football Teams in Need of a Big Junior Day

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Junior days have become a big part of a program's recruiting plan. Former Texas head coach Mack Brown is the de facto pioneer of this important recruiting event, as he started bringing in high school juniors right after national signing day to tour Texas' campus and immediately foster relationships with them.

    Today, just about every college football coaching staff has some sort of junior day. While many schools have already had their events, some have not, and other programs are having second editions.

    Three SEC teams need to impress as many prospects as they can, while a new head coach at a Big 12 powerhouse needs to use this time to foster good vibes to recruits.

Arkansas

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    Danny Johnston/Associated Press

    Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has had some turnover on his staff this winter. Ace recruiter Charlie Partridge is now the head coach at Florida Atlantic University, while several other assistants have also left.

    The Razorbacks are having a second juniordDay on Mar. 1, according Danny West of HawgSports.com (subscription required). Bielema needs to make sure that 2015 recruits understand that the turnover on his staff will not impact Arkansas' future in a negative manner.

    Deon Stewart, a rising non-rated receiver, will be in attendance.

Vanderbilt

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Vanderbilt hired Derek Mason as its head coach a few weeks ago, and the Commodores lost some commitments before national signing day.

    Mason, who was previously the defensive coordinator at Stanford, is a great recruiter.

    To get Vandy off to the recruiting start it wants for the 2015 class, Mason and his staff must pull out all the stops to introduce themselves and broker relationships with the prospects who will be at their first junior day. According to Vanderbilt's site on Rivals.com, it's this weekend.

Rutgers

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    Mel Evans/Associated Press

    After losing more than 10 commitments during the 2014 recruiting cycle, Rutgers likely feels the 2015 cycle could not have started soon enough.

    Head coach Kyle Flood and his staff do not have the best perception on the recruiting trail right now, so they need to use this time to change that. While it may or may not be a junior day, Rutgers is hosting several recruits for a whole weekend in March, per Todderick Hunt of NJ.com.

    Either Flood and his staff will do everything they can to charm their guests next month, or their 2015 class will be even worse than their 2014 group. 

Auburn

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    Auburn just signed a terrific recruiting class after it played for the national championship. So head coach Gus Malzahn isn't under any type of pressure.

    However, the Tigers did lose a certain 5-star linebacker from their own backyard to the folks in Tuscaloosa. Rebounding with a huge junior day, which Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports says is taking place on Saturday, would be a strong way to show recruits and the state of Alabama that Auburn remains a recruiting power.

    Although the list of recruits that are set to attend is somewhat confidential, it's expected that a large contingent of elite 2015 prospects will be on The Plains for this event.

Texas

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Texas absolutely belongs on this list. Head coach Charlie Strong is having a junior day on Feb. 22 and another one of Mar. 1, according to Blake Monroe of Horns247.

    With the state of Texas being, well, the state of Texas, Strong and his staff must make an outstanding first impression on everyone. Between high school players, their families, high school coaches and recruiting services and analysts, a ton of eyes are on the Longhorns' new coaching staff right now.

    Both junior days will provide prime platforms to show what the Longhorns are about and how they'll operate on the recruiting trail.

    Monroe wrote the following about Strong and his staff's 2015 recruiting efforts: "It's a cycle that's going to be vital in establishing Charlie Strong and his staff as power players on the recruiting scene in the state of Texas."

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.

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