BarkBoard.com takes a look at both starting lineups and figures out each player’s star rating coming out of high school. We then add them up, divide them out, and break down the offensive and defensive side of the football.
Of course, star ratings aren’t everything, but they can be an indicator of what to expect. We also look at how long these athletes have been in their respective program to be developed. Considering Saturday’s matchup is a battle between two Group of 5 programs, this breakdown gives a closer look at how closely matched these Mountain West and American Conference teams actually match up.
Overall Tulsa holds the advantage in star rating of their starters’ high school evaluations.
Tulsa - 2 stars
Fresno State - 1.91 stars
Overall Tulsa also holds an advantage when it comes to having starters that have been in the program longer.
Tulsa - 3.87
Fresno State - 3.09
Here are the players who were offered by both schools:
Fresno State reserve safety Alan Wright - two-star recruit
Tulsa starting offensive lineman Willie Wright - two-star recruit
|Fresno State Projected Offense||Tulsa Projected Offense|
|QB||Chason Virgil||* * *||2||QB||Dane Evans||* * *||5|
|RB||Dontel James||* *||3||RB||D'Angelo Brewer||*||3|
|WR||Aaron Peck||* *||5||WR||Josh Atkinson||* *||5|
|WR||KeeSean Johnson||* *||3||WR||Justin Hobbs||* *||3|
|WR||Jamire Jordan||* *||3||WR||Keevan Lucas||* * *||4|
|LT||Christian Cronk||* *||1||RT||Willie Wright||* *||3|
|LG||Aaron Mitchell||* *||3||RG||Blake Belcher||* * *||5|
|C||Jacob Vazquez||*||3||C||Chandler Miller||* *||3|
|RG||Micah St. Andrew||*||3||LG||Tyler Bowling||* * *||3|
|RT||David Patterson||* *||4||LT||Evan Plagg||*||4|
|TE||Chad Olsen||* *||3||TE||Chris Minter||* *||2|
|Fresno State Projected Defense||Tulsa Projected Defense|
|DE||Nate Madsen||* *||4||DE||Jeremy Smith||* *||3|
|NG||Malik Forrester||* *||1||DT||Jerry Uwaezuoke||*||5|
|DE||Nick Kristofers||*||2||DT||Hayden Carman||*||5|
|LB||Brandon Hughes||* *||5||DE||Jesse Brubaker||* *||4|
|LB||Jeff Camilli||* *||4||LB||Matt Linscott||*||5|
|LB||Robert Stanley||* *||4||LB||Trent Martin||* * *||6|
|LB||James Bailey||* * *||2||LB||Craig Suits||* *||4|
|CB||Tyquwan Glass||*||2||CB||Kerwin Thomas||* *||3|
|CB||Jamal Ellis||* *||5||CB||Keanu Hill||* *||1|
|S||DeShawn Potts||* *||3||S||Jordan Mitchell||* *||4|
|S||Stratton Brown||* *||3||S||Jeremy Brady||* *||5|
2016 DEPTH CHART (With recruiting rating)
*Years = Years in the program
**Ratings are based on high school evaluations. If a transfer was not evaluated as a high school player, the most recent star rating will is accounted for.
*** Scout.com does not give recruits one star, but players who were not evaluated at all will be given a one-star rating rather than nothing at all for the purpose of this breakdown.
The numbers would indicate two things. For one, that Tulsa has recruited a slightly more talented team; and two, that Tulsa has had much less attrition and much more time to develop. The Golden Hurricane have done all this in the midst of a coaching change and losing seasons too. Head Coach Philip Montgomery took over in 2015. The team won just five combined games in 2013 and 2014, following eight winning seasons in 10 years.
Meanwhile, Fresno State Head Coach Tim DeRuyter has led the Bulldogs since 2012 and has a team of his own players, but comes into Saturday’s game undermanned based on Scout.com’s recruiting evaluations and starters’ time spent in the program.
When it comes to top-end talent, the Bulldogs only have two three-star recruits in their starting lineup in quarterback Chason Virgil and linebacker James Bailey - they are both underclassmen. Meanwhile, Tulsa has five three-star recruits, four of whom have been in the program at least four years.
Looking specifically at a unit-by-unit basis, the only perceived talent disparity between the two teams based off of recruiting evaluations would come in the trenches. Tulsa has two three-star recruits on its offensive line while the Bulldogs have three two-star recruits and two linemen who went under the radar. Tulsa also has a much more experienced defensive line on the other side of the ball.
Despite Fresno State's recruiting efforts in Texas, the Bulldogs and Tulsa have not crossed paths often when it comes to recruits that actually committed to either of the two programs. Offensive guard Willie Wright had both Fresno State and Tulsa in his top five as he took his official visits, but decided on Tulsa. He started as a redshirt freshman and continues to start in his sophomore season. Alan Wright held six total offers coming out of junior college and chose the 'Dogs. Wright has been a second-team safety for the 'Dogs.
The prized recruit that considered both schools is likely James Bailey. Bailey started games as a true freshman for the Bulldogs last season and has already become one of the team's better players. Tulsa did not reportedly offer Bailey, but was reported to have recruited him and shown interest.
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