The Lost Recruiting Classes of BG Football (not about hoops)
We've already chronicled that this team is young, with an unusually low number of juniors and seniors on the depth chart. This, of course, is not how football is supposed to work. If you recruit well, then you should have juniors and seniors rising at most positions most years.
Add to this allusions Coach Brandon made last year to some lost classes during Meyer II and the Meyer transition, and you have a certified question. Where did all the juniors and seniors go.
FTR, here's the Brandon quotes:
"In the grand scheme of things we had some recruiting holes. We had some depth issues that I thought were going to manifest themselves last year but Omar shows up and goes off that charts. We were able to mask some of those because we out scored everybody. Eventually the lack of depth, caught us. I think it showed up in special teams. Not to say those kids aren't good players but some of them were not ready. We finished the season the way we started the season, struggling to stop people but still outscoring people."
Let's go back and look at the recruiting class for each year, starting with the class that would be 5-Seniors this year, if they progressed as normal through their career. This was Urban's second and final recruiting class.
Players in Green did not redshirt/were JUCO and have completed their eligibility.
Players in Red are no longer with the program.
Players in Blue are with the program, but not on the two-deep.
Players in Black are with the program and on the two-deep.
(That should simplify things.)
So, we brought in 26 players. One reason we don't have fifth year seniors is that 7 of them never redshirted, and three of them were JUCOS. So, you're down to 16.
9 of the 26 simply never made it this far. I don't know if that's a lot or not, but it seems like it is. Now, Omar (pro) was one, and Steve Navarro (medical) was another, so you have plausible explanations on two. Still, if you want to know why you don't have more fifth year seniors, you can start with the 7 you didn't redshirt, the three JUCOS and the 9 who didn't complete their eligibility. You're down to 7 right there.
(By the by, Reggie Corner intercepted a pass against us in the Akron game, and has won one more MAC title than his recruiting class here has to date).
Then you have one player (Will Myles) who is still on the roster, but not on the depth chart.
Which leaves you with six players on the two deep. Now, this really isn't the place to go into the fact that Brantley and Jones have been passed on the depth chart a few times, and aren't really contributing like seniors you would expect. So, with this class, that's the story. I thought you'd find more players surviving but not making the two-deep, but alas, there was only one.
|Tim Arnold||DB||5-9||196||Clinton, MD/Friendly HS|
|Kenneth Brantley II||WR||5-11||180||Shreveport, LA/Evangel Christian|
|Jay Cochran||OL||6-3||300||Dayton, OH/Belmont HS|
|Monty Cooley||DL||6-2||260||Carter, GA/Cass HS|
|Reggie Corner||WR||5-10||165||Canton, OH/McKinley HS|
|Jason Hollingsworth||LB||6-3||190||Marietta, GA/South Cobb HS|
|Omar Jacobs||QB||6-4||215||Delray Beach, FL/Atlantic Community HS|
|Jamien Johnson||LB||6-1||223||Ft. Washington, MD/Friendly HS|
|Van Johnson||QB||6-1||180||Union City, GA/Creekside HS|
|Brandon Jones||WR||6-0||170||Gahanna, OH/Lincoln HS|
|Jelani Jordan||DB||5-10||175||Atlanta, GA/Riverwood HS|
|Jason Kaminski||LB||6-3||220||Woodbridge, VA/Hargrave Academy/C.D. Hylton|
|John Lanning||OL||6-3||275||Alpharetta, GA/Milton HS|
|Matt Leininger||DL||6-3||260||Napoleon, OH/Liberty Center HS|
|Derrick Markray||OL||6-5||334||Detroit, MI/Cody HS|
|Terrill Mayberry||DB||5-11||170||Farmington Hills, MI/Harrison HS|
|Vardan Mkhitarian||OL||6-3||285||Burbank, CA/Burbank HS/Pasadena CC|
|Will Myles||QB||5-11||185||Chicago, IL/St. Rita HS|
|Steve Navarro||TE||6-2||230||Orland Park, IL/Carl Sandburg HS|
|Ted Piepkow||LB||6-0||205||Clark Lake, MI/Lumen Christi HS|
|P.J. Pope||RB||5-9||210||Fairfield, OH/Wyoming HS|
|Jeff Runnells||LB||6-3||210||San Dimas, CA/San Dimas HS/Pasadena CC|
|Raishaun Stover||RB||5-10||190||Cleveland, OH/St. Edward HS|
|Dexter Wallace||DL||6-3||285||Williston, FL/Williston HS|
|Brad Williams||DL||6-3||215||Middletown, OH/Lakota East HS|
|Jesus Yanez||OL||6-3||320||Los Angeles, CA/Keppel HS/Pasadena CC|
(Note, at one point this was accidentially posted while still a draft and a commenter corrected two errors. Thanks).
Now, for the next class. These are players who would be seniors or redshirt juniors this season. This, more than anyone else, is the class that has been referred to as having problems. Its the class that Coach Brandon signed when Urban left in the middle of December, and where there may not have been enough attention as the previous coach had other things on his mind.
23 players. Two JUCO players have finished their careers. Among the remaining 21, 11 of them left school without finishing their eligibility. In my opinion, that's a lot. The ten we did get were solid players--there's a couple All-MAC performers there--but when you want to know why we're so young, this helps to answer the question. There was quality, but not necessarily a ton of quantity.
Also, note that among the 11 who left, 3 were WR--intended to be the next generation after the Sharon/Sanders class left, and part of why we look thin at WR.
|Jack Battle||Defensive Line||6-2 1/2, 255||Lovejoy, GA/Lovejoy HS|
|Robert Browning||Defensive Back||6-0, 175||Springfield, OH/South HS|
|Jimmy Carson||Wide Receiver||5-10, 155||Ft. Pierce, FL/John Carroll HS|
|Melvin Cole||Running Back||5-10, 200||Memphis, TN/Briarcrest HS|
|Cameron Durham||Defensive Tackle||6-4, 270||Richmond Heights, OH/Richmond Heights HS|
|Loren Hargrove||Defensive Back||5-11, 193||Berea, OH/Berea HS|
|Kevin Huelsman||Offensive Line||6-5, 275||St. Henry, OH/St. Henry HS|
|Gregory Hutcherson||Wide Receiver||6-3, 185||Vandergrift, PA/Vandergrift HS|
|Benjy Kennedy||Quarterback||6-1, 185||Morris, IL/Morris HS|
|Korey Lichtensteiger||Offensive Line||6-3, 295||Van Wert, OH/Crestview HS|
|Dan Macon||Running Back/Linebacker||6-1, 205||Sagamore Hills, OH/Nordonia HS|
|Edmond Massey||Offensive Line||6-3, 300||Lorain, OH/Amherst Steele HS|
|Ryan Newble||Defensive End||6-4, 256||Brownsville, TN/Haywood HS/Ft. Scott CC|
|Kevin Norris||Wide Receiver/Quarterback||6-2, 188||Detroit, MI/Martin Luther King HS|
|Drew Nystrom||Offensive Line||6-5, 285||Crystal Lake, IL/Prairie Ridge HS|
|Sean O'Drobinak||Tight End||6-4, 245||Crown Point, IN/Crown Point HS|
|Devon Parks||Defensive End||6-3, 248||Libertyville, IL/Libertyville HS|
|Deaudre Perry||Defensive Back||6-1, 195||River Rouge, MI/River Rouge HS|
|Jenkins Reese||Linebacker||6-3, 215||Indianapolis, IN/Warren Central HS|
|Virgil Robinson IV||Defensive Back/Wide Receiver||5-10, 185||Akron, OH/Buchtel HS|
|Josef Timchenko||Punter||6-4, 212||Glendora, CA/Arroyo HS/Pasadena City College|
|Nick Thurman||Quarterback||6-4, 232||Warren, MI/Warren Mott HS|
|Patrick Watson||Offensive Line||6-5, 265||Naperville, IL/Central HS|