Ranking the Big East (Classes 1-4)

The top three classes in the Big East were obvious, as were the bottom two. It was spots four, five and six that were as hard as the dickens to judge and that is where the Scarlet Knights fall in this year's evaluations. I rank the 2002/2003 recruiting haul for the Big East in this article and discuss how the eight Big East recruiting classes met (or did not meet) each teams needs.

1 Miami

Overall

The rich get richer. It is enough to make you vomit. The Hurricanes pick up the top defensive lineman in the nation and the top quarterback prospect in the nation. Add to that a ton of "stud" lineman" and you can see Hurricane dominance continuing.

Meeting their needs

What needs?

Players of note

Nate Robinson, Bryan Pata, and Vegas Franklin are the tip of the defensive line iceberg. Miami will terrorize opposing quarterbacks for years with this awesome crew. Robinson is probably the best DL in the nation, Franklin has 4.6 speed and is currently a DE but will grow to a size big enough to play DL, he blocked nine kicks last year. QB Kyle Wright has thrown for over 50 touchdowns and over 5000 yards in his career. He is almost never intercepted. Being brought in to protect Wright will be a trio of consensus HS All Americans. They are offensive linemen John Rochford, Andrew Bain and Cyrim Wymbs. Tavares Gooden with 6-2, 220 size and 4.5 speed is Miami's next great linebacker. For good measure the Hurricanes added Brian Monroe, a punter with a 45 yards per punt average.

I hate them !!!

 

2. Virginia Tech

Overall

A typical Tech class. Very, very good but not great with a lot of talent that Frank Beamer will mold into a winner.

Meeting their needs

Tech's problem is that they can run but they can't pass the ball. Beamer did not especially help himself on either end of the passing game. QB Cory Holt was ranked as the 20th best player overall in the State of North Carolina. There'll be no Michael Vick comparisons. On the receiving end, the Hokies picked up TE Josh Kinzer and Duane Brown and WR Josh Hyman. This will bolster the receiving corps but not dramatically. Hyman wasn't highly recruited, picking up only one other offer (Syracuse). Kinzer was recruited nationally but is more of a power guy at 6-3, 255 and with 4.8 speed. Brown, on the other hand, will be an impact player in the future. He is 6-5, 245 with 4.7 speed and still growing.

Players of note

JUCO linebacker James Griffin has size and 4.4 speed. He is a terror to opposing quarterbacks. In high school in Tennessee he had the record for quarterback sacks in a season with 29. Another aggressive linebacker is Vince Hall who finished the season with 28 tackles for losses and 11 sacks. Not content there Tech got linebacker Xavier Adibi, 6-3, 214, 4.48 out of Hampton, Virginia, He chose Tech over Tennessee, Maryland and NC State. Tripp Carroll is an outstanding offensive lineman out of Jacksonville, Florida who was nationally recruited. Defensive end Michael Brown 6-4, 210, 4.9) chose the Hokies over Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Boston College. Running back Kenny Lewis (5-10, 185, 4.4) is a burner who spurned Tennessee, Maryland and Virginia for the Techsters.

 

3 Boston College

Overall

Rutgers fans might not like Boston College but hand it to their head coach, Tom O'Brien, because he is getting the job done. Did anyone meet their needs better than O'Brien did with this class? If you know of someone who did better, drop me a line.

Meeting their needs

Boston College's power running game ran into a problem this year. With the graduation of Willie Green, the Eagles found themselves having to go to the air more and that is something that they just haven't done well.

Enter wide receiver Dorien Bryant, the fastest player in the league since Quadry Ismael. Bryant won't stretch defenses, he'll break them. I don't see any defensive back in the league fast enough to cover him. Kevin Challenger and Ryan Glasper were brought in to add depth to the wide out spot but Bryant will be the star.

QB Matt Ryan out of Philadelphia choose the Eagles over Purdue, Iowa and Georgia Tech. He is 6-5, 202 with a cannon. Expect the Eagles to start airing it out big time .... or at least starting airing it out once in a while.

They didn't forget the running game either.

To bolster a running game that didn't meet BC expectations, O'Brien grabbed Andre Callendar, arguably New Jersey's top running back this year. Jo-Lon Dunbar is another speed/power back and he is considered one of the top 30 players in the Atlantic region.

Players of note

The Eagles love huge lineman. They got a great one in 6-7, 260 Gosder Cherilus who chose the Eagles over Iowa, Michigan State, South Carolina, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Another top offensive lineman choosing BC was 6-6, 295 Ryan Poles who was also offered by Michigan State, Tennessee, Georgia and Syracuse. Other  top OL's choosing BC were 6-6, 280 Ty Hall and 6-6, 275 Tom Anevski who chose the Eagles over Minnesota, Northwestern and West Virginia.  Defensive end Nick Larkin (6-5, 250, 4.8) turned down offers from Georgia Tech, Virginia and Wake Forest.

 

4. West Virginia

Overall

Rich Rodriguez had an outstanding year at Morgantown but this recruiting class would have bombed absent a couple of outstanding JUCO additions who added big time talent to an otherwise average class.

Meeting their needs

How do you replace Avon Cobourne?

 Ever hear of Kay Jay Harris?

No? Well, you will. The 6-2, 240 running back runs a 4.45 and averaged almost 9 yards a carry when he was a freshman at Garden City Community College. Expect Harris to come in and start.

West Virginia was last in the league in sacks last season. This coming year JUCO Joe Sykes should have something to say about that. Sykes is 6-4, 235, 4.6 and he hates quarterbacks. Noted for his aggressive style of play he chose WVU over 30 other suitors. He will make an immediate impact.

Players of note

Milt Collins is 6-2, 175, 4.35 was one of the south's better WR prospects. Linebacker James Alford (6-2, 215, 4.5) chose WVU over Auburn and Colorado. Fernandez McDowell (6-3, 202, 4.45) is a physical player who is comfortable at either safety or corner. He chose the Mountaineers over Indiana and Colorado. Speedy Davonzo Tate (5-10, 180, 4.3) choose WVU over offers from Pittsburgh, Maryland and Syracuse. Rugged Keilen Dykes, 6-4, 245, 4.7 (DE, TE) had offers from Missouri and Louisville. Defensive back Mike Meggett was a first team All NYC player. Powerful Chris Malamet (6-4, 265, 4.8) was an early signee for the Mountaineers, he was perhaps the top tight end prospect in the State of Maryland this season.

 


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