UT position previews: Linebackers

McCoy says UT's production won't stop

Rico McCoy on the incoming freshmen

Linebacker Rico McCoy, left, of Tennessee rams into UCLA’s Ryan Moya too late to prevent a go-ahead touchdown on a
3-yard pass in the final minute of regulation as the Bruins defeat the Vols 27-24 in overtime during the teams' season-opener of 2008.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Linebacker Rico McCoy, left, of Tennessee rams into UCLA’s Ryan Moya too late to prevent a go-ahead touchdown on a 3-yard pass in the final minute of regulation as the Bruins defeat the Vols 27-24 in overtime during the teams' season-opener of 2008.

Rico McCoy has heard the chatter.

Two starters are gone from a defense that led the SEC in total defense last season. Their potential replacements are learning a new scheme and have just one career start between them.

McCoy, a two-year starter at weakside linebacker and the most experienced player on Tennessee’s defense, has definitely heard the concerns about linebacker.

He’s just not buying it.

“It is kind of weird to me,” McCoy says. “I know the guys we’re playing with this year, and I know their abilities. All those guys can play ball. It’s just like another year for me. I know those guys are hungry, been waiting for their chance to shine. It’s their time. I’m not worried about it at all.”

That Tennessee’s linebackers are a concern this season is a bit out of the ordinary.

One of the strengths of former defensive coordinator John Chavis was his ability to get consistent production from his linebackers. Just last season, Ellix Wilson led the Vols with 89 tackles (in just 11 games) in his first year as a starter. He replaced Jerod Mayo, who went on to be the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year after being taken in the first round of the 2008 draft by the New England Patriots.

Much of Chavis’ success in finding replacement players, though, stemmed from continuity.

And while Tennessee’s offense has become accustomed to scheme changes with four new coordinators in the last five seasons, the Vols spent spring practice learning a completely new defense for the first time since 1995. It’s a race against the clock that began with 15 practices in the spring, continued over the summer and will ramp up again when fall camp begins next week.

Coach: Lance Thompson

Lettermen Lost (3): SLB - Adam Myers-White, Nevin McKenzie; MLB - Ellix Wilson.

Projected Starters: WLB - Rico McCoy (Sr., 6-1, 220); MLB - Nick Reveiz (Jr., 5-10, 220) or Herman Lathers (R-Fr., 6-1, 213); SLB - LaMarcus Thompson (Jr., 6-1, 221).

Watch For: Savion Frazier and Jerod Askew. Those two currently play behind McCoy at weakside, but either one could be on the move in fall camp.

Key Stat: Last year, McCoy averaged 7.2 tackles a game, which ranked ninth in the SEC. Absent from his statsheet, though, were forced fumbles, recovered fumbles and interceptions.

The Series: Sunday -Quarterbacks; Monday - Defensive backs; Tuesday -Offensive line; Today - Linebackers; Thursday - Special Teams

Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is optimistic, but he’s also realistic when it comes to the Vols’ first season running his scheme.

“We have to start from scratch and get the whole thing going,” he said. “The players are all anxious to do it, but there’s only so much you can do in a short period of time. The first year, we can get all these guys on defense to just know the system like the back of their hand.

“Once you get in the system, it’ll be so much easier the next year. We just have to do as much as we can as quick as we can and hope for the best.”

McCoy has a few reasons for hope, including juniors Savion Frazier and Nick Reveiz.

Frazier, who is listed as McCoy’s backup at weakside, could be a factor at strongside linebacker, where McCoy also worked some this spring. Despite the fact that Frazier hasn’t started a game, McCoy said the 6-foot-2, 221-pound Frazier has plenty of experience.

“He played in every game (last season) and got 20-30 snaps in the Alabama and South Carolina games,” McCoy said. “No stars, but a lot of experience if you actually watch the game film. He’s a guy that’s going to play a lot this year.”

That could also be the case for Reveiz, a former walk-on from Farragut High School who took little time to impress UT’s new coaches this spring.

Reveiz saw significant time backing up Wilson last season at middle linebacker and earned his first career start against Northern Illinois when Wilson was out with a shoulder injury.

Junior LaMarcus Thompson left spring with the inside track at strongside, while redshirt freshman Herman Lathers could push Reveiz in the middle.

The arrival of true freshmen Jerod Askew, Robert Nelson and Greg King could also provide contributors, too.

McCoy has taken Askew under his wing since he arrived on campus earlier this month. Askew will begin his career at weakside.

“I took the role of his big brother,” McCoy said. “We’re getting him caught up. He has a motor. He’s going to work hard. From watching his film, he likes to hit people. I can’t wait to see him in pads.”

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 46

2407westTN_VOLSfan writes:

Go BIG ORANGE, got the shirt, got the tickets, just gotta find a place to stay, BECAUSE IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!

ALL_VOL75 writes:

not worried about these guys

RockyTopBoy writes:

Hope Monte can get our Mike 'backers ready to play in Tampa-2. Still can't believe Chris Donald is not rising to the occasion. Can't wait for the season to begin.

txvolsfan writes:

Ready for some BALL!!!
TXVOLSFAN

jeremyinitalia writes:

Spent the last 30 minutes watching VOLS highlights and listening to the Pride on youtube...I can smell football time in Tennessee!!

LiveFaith writes:

in response to RockyTopBoy:

Hope Monte can get our Mike 'backers ready to play in Tampa-2. Still can't believe Chris Donald is not rising to the occasion. Can't wait for the season to begin.

RTB, good point. This guy was the #1 rank ILB in 06'. Where is he?

dkdkdk writes:

I played LB in highschool for the first time reposition from DB in 1996 for west high you got to obsevre the formations also you got to play with bad intention out there on the feild u look forward to hurting somebody and anticapate and smarts to be successful ask MAYO or AL WILSON

oldsmokey67 writes:

I think this is a make or break year for chris donald.and this article never mentioned marlon walls.he could have a huge impact this year.

lowman4vols writes:

in response to oldsmokey67:

I think this is a make or break year for chris donald.and this article never mentioned marlon walls.he could have a huge impact this year.

marlon walls moved to DE

Chomp writes:

July 27, 2009 Jeremy Crabtree Recruiting Editor Rivals.com has released its first official team rankings for the class of 2010. While signing day is still six months away, there definitely has been a group of schools that have jumped out of the gate and proven they're well on their way to having elite classes.

TEAM RANKINGS TOP 25

1. TEXAS
Headliner: DE Reggie Wilson Mack Brown has the Longhorns in a familiar spot. Nobody in the nation recruits better early on than Texas, and the UT class is loaded with 16 four-star prospects that features many of the top players in the state of Texas.

2. LSU
Headliner: S Eric Reid The Tigers' group of 20 commitments features some major players from their own backyard and even more of an impact from the Lone Star State. Les Miles has made Texas a priority and it's paying off again.

3. FLORIDA
Headliner: ATH Matt Elam In the past, Florida has taken a little bit more slower of an approach, but with the Gators red-hot on the field they've been aggressive early on. It's paid off with a tremendous early class of 15 that has one five star and 11 four-star prospects.

4. OKLAHOMA
5. ALABAMA
6. GEORGIA
7. TEXAS A&M
8. PENN STATE
9. MICHIGAN
10. NOTRE DAME
11. Stanford
12. USC
13. Cal
14. Florida State
15. BYU
16. Virginia Tech
17. Miami
18. Ohio State
19. South Carolina
20. Georgia Tech
21. Washington
22. Michigan State
23. Pitt
24. West Virginia
25. Auburn

DennisVols writes:

Under Fulmer a lot of these guys didn't get playing time, not because of their talent level, but because unless you were the senior member at that position you just didn't get the opportunity.

Rebuilding the Reputation of a team and a coach
Lane Kiffin and the UT Volunteers
http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/Denn...

chad_t31 writes:

I'm still waiting on chris donald as well. I realize AA football in TN isn't that great but this guy was a 5 star and a helluva football player. It's time to put it all on the line for him. Being from west tn, I was hoping he'd do well..considering we told patrick willis that he couldn't play in the SEC (that one still bothers me).

tennezz writes:

in response to oldsmokey67:

I think this is a make or break year for chris donald.and this article never mentioned marlon walls.he could have a huge impact this year.

Walls has added a lot of weight, They are talking about moving him to d-line!

Volition writes:

defense will be fine.

i'm guessing Rico said "Not a lot of starts...", instead of "Not a lot of stars..." when referring to Frazier's playing time.

utvolz#637682 writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

From your handle I assume you fly T-37s?

xvolx writes:

never been sold on mccoy. linebacker will be a weakness. no run stopper def. ends and two def. backs with no experience. could be a long year.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Chomp:

July 27, 2009 Jeremy Crabtree Recruiting Editor Rivals.com has released its first official team rankings for the class of 2010. While signing day is still six months away, there definitely has been a group of schools that have jumped out of the gate and proven they're well on their way to having elite classes.

TEAM RANKINGS TOP 25

1. TEXAS
Headliner: DE Reggie Wilson Mack Brown has the Longhorns in a familiar spot. Nobody in the nation recruits better early on than Texas, and the UT class is loaded with 16 four-star prospects that features many of the top players in the state of Texas.

2. LSU
Headliner: S Eric Reid The Tigers' group of 20 commitments features some major players from their own backyard and even more of an impact from the Lone Star State. Les Miles has made Texas a priority and it's paying off again.

3. FLORIDA
Headliner: ATH Matt Elam In the past, Florida has taken a little bit more slower of an approach, but with the Gators red-hot on the field they've been aggressive early on. It's paid off with a tremendous early class of 15 that has one five star and 11 four-star prospects.

4. OKLAHOMA
5. ALABAMA
6. GEORGIA
7. TEXAS A&M
8. PENN STATE
9. MICHIGAN
10. NOTRE DAME
11. Stanford
12. USC
13. Cal
14. Florida State
15. BYU
16. Virginia Tech
17. Miami
18. Ohio State
19. South Carolina
20. Georgia Tech
21. Washington
22. Michigan State
23. Pitt
24. West Virginia
25. Auburn

Class ratings this far out are like pre-season polls. It's not about where you start out, it's where you finish. I think we will be right up there by the time all is said and done and SIGNED in February.

orangebloodgmc writes:

Vol linebackers -- Good article, but didn't mention our coach Lance Thompson who coached freshmen into star linebackers at Bama before we brought him here. All these guys are gonna be traditional Tennessee linebackers, with most of them first coached by Chavis, then Monte and Thompson. They'll be ready.

PMC2726 writes:

I'm much less worried about the offense than the defense this year -- the offense can only get better. The defense was stellar last year. If Monte truly believes it takes 2 years to get his system in place (something Dave Clawson said about his offense last year!), then will Berry thrive this year in it? Or would it serve Berry better to have him learn the system this year and then thrive in it in his senior year. As much as I want Berry to do well, I would love for his numbers to be good, but not great this year, and give him a little motivation to come back for his senior year. Tebow will be gone and Berry would be the talk of the SEC his senior season. And if someone can get his parents a job that would be nice too.

Chomp writes:

Some of you apparently felt there was some self serving reason for my top 25 recruiting post. There wasn't one. My point was to point out that at media days Tennessee was picked to be 4th in the East. My response to that was that none of the preseason polls mean a thing at the end of year. In other words I agree with johnlg00#206211, or he agrees with me ... whatever.

tweetdriver63#346474 made the clever comment that 2 out of three of the Florida verbals will probably decomit and sign with UT. I don't have a problem with that, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Some of you folks are way to jumpy. Calm down, you're on the way back. Act like you've done this before instead of acting like it's all a new experience.

CRFVols writes:

I hope our defense and linebackers stay as consistently good as they have been under Chavis. But of course I think our defense being ranked so highly last year is partly due to our offense not staying on the field.

Sep 5th can't come fast enough!

ColeTrickle writes:

in response to Chomp:

July 27, 2009 Jeremy Crabtree Recruiting Editor Rivals.com has released its first official team rankings for the class of 2010. While signing day is still six months away, there definitely has been a group of schools that have jumped out of the gate and proven they're well on their way to having elite classes.

TEAM RANKINGS TOP 25

1. TEXAS
Headliner: DE Reggie Wilson Mack Brown has the Longhorns in a familiar spot. Nobody in the nation recruits better early on than Texas, and the UT class is loaded with 16 four-star prospects that features many of the top players in the state of Texas.

2. LSU
Headliner: S Eric Reid The Tigers' group of 20 commitments features some major players from their own backyard and even more of an impact from the Lone Star State. Les Miles has made Texas a priority and it's paying off again.

3. FLORIDA
Headliner: ATH Matt Elam In the past, Florida has taken a little bit more slower of an approach, but with the Gators red-hot on the field they've been aggressive early on. It's paid off with a tremendous early class of 15 that has one five star and 11 four-star prospects.

4. OKLAHOMA
5. ALABAMA
6. GEORGIA
7. TEXAS A&M
8. PENN STATE
9. MICHIGAN
10. NOTRE DAME
11. Stanford
12. USC
13. Cal
14. Florida State
15. BYU
16. Virginia Tech
17. Miami
18. Ohio State
19. South Carolina
20. Georgia Tech
21. Washington
22. Michigan State
23. Pitt
24. West Virginia
25. Auburn

Who's Jeremy Crabtree? I dont see Ole Miss up there, whats up with that? Didnt they beat you guys last year?

"While signing day is still six months away...."

Miami 17th... LMAO they wont break .500 this year.

Chomp writes:

in response to ColeTrickle:

Who's Jeremy Crabtree? I dont see Ole Miss up there, whats up with that? Didnt they beat you guys last year?

"While signing day is still six months away...."

Miami 17th... LMAO they wont break .500 this year.

If you had read the first sentence in my post it tells you who Crabtree is.

You made my point for me. Thank you.

Tenn_Dawg writes:

If there is such a thing as one Rico McCoy is one of my favorite Vols along with Berry. As a rival fan I appreciate their attitude and how they play. Whatever happened to the monster JC LB that was suppose to be all-everything (Williams ??). Not heard much about him since preseason last year. Is he still a LB?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Chomp:

Some of you apparently felt there was some self serving reason for my top 25 recruiting post. There wasn't one. My point was to point out that at media days Tennessee was picked to be 4th in the East. My response to that was that none of the preseason polls mean a thing at the end of year. In other words I agree with johnlg00#206211, or he agrees with me ... whatever.

tweetdriver63#346474 made the clever comment that 2 out of three of the Florida verbals will probably decomit and sign with UT. I don't have a problem with that, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Some of you folks are way to jumpy. Calm down, you're on the way back. Act like you've done this before instead of acting like it's all a new experience.

Since your screen name is relatively new to me, I didn't know what purpose you had in posting those rankings; surely you can see how a screen name like "Chomp" could be taken as a Gator handle. No offense intended; after all, even a Gator fan could agree that pre-season polls are mere opinion. With all the trolls on here, the list could have been taken as a statement that UT's recruiting is not "all that". However, as you explained your purpose, I surely agree that such pre-season rankings are all but meaningless.

ColeTrickle writes:

in response to Chomp:

If you had read the first sentence in my post it tells you who Crabtree is.

You made my point for me. Thank you.

I was being sarcastic. the only point that was made is that you are a lame azz for wasting your time posting on a Vol website.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Tenn_Dawg:

If there is such a thing as one Rico McCoy is one of my favorite Vols along with Berry. As a rival fan I appreciate their attitude and how they play. Whatever happened to the monster JC LB that was suppose to be all-everything (Williams ??). Not heard much about him since preseason last year. Is he still a LB?

Last I heard, Gerald Williams had been moved to DE. However, he, along with Chris(?) Donald, is one of the unknown stories of this off-season. Both came in with glowing credentials, but neither has made a measurable splash to date. Just goes to show that you can't always trust those "star" ratings from the recruiting services. Can't argue with your opinion of those two guys we HAVE all heard of, though(;-})!

Weatherman writes:

in response to 2407westTN_VOLSfan:

Go BIG ORANGE, got the shirt, got the tickets, just gotta find a place to stay, BECAUSE IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!

I feel ya...got my tickets and looking forward to making the drive from Nashville this fall...get to come home and spend time with family and watch football in Neyland:)

Chomp writes:

in response to ColeTrickle:

I was being sarcastic. the only point that was made is that you are a lame azz for wasting your time posting on a Vol website.

So let me make sure I understand.

If a person comes in here and makes a good faith attempt to enter into a dialogue on football, and that person is not a Voluteer fan, then they are not welcome? All you want are people with whom you agree? Seems pretty narrow minded to me, especially since I've not said anything out of line.

Chomp writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Since your screen name is relatively new to me, I didn't know what purpose you had in posting those rankings; surely you can see how a screen name like "Chomp" could be taken as a Gator handle. No offense intended; after all, even a Gator fan could agree that pre-season polls are mere opinion. With all the trolls on here, the list could have been taken as a statement that UT's recruiting is not "all that". However, as you explained your purpose, I surely agree that such pre-season rankings are all but meaningless.

John, you're right, I am a Gator. I wasn't trying to hide it. My point was with respect to SEC Media Days and how the media chose their rankings. The polls do the same thing as do magazines etc. The pre-season polls don't count for squat. Look at Georgia last year. The same rule of thumb applies to the rankings I posted that were put out by Rivals ... it's not relative. Who cares what Rivals, or the media thinks before the season begins. I sure don't like being pre-season number 1. All it serves to do is put a target on our back.

oldsmokey67 writes:

I thought dexter moody was checking us out a few months back.what happend with that.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Chomp:

John, you're right, I am a Gator. I wasn't trying to hide it. My point was with respect to SEC Media Days and how the media chose their rankings. The polls do the same thing as do magazines etc. The pre-season polls don't count for squat. Look at Georgia last year. The same rule of thumb applies to the rankings I posted that were put out by Rivals ... it's not relative. Who cares what Rivals, or the media thinks before the season begins. I sure don't like being pre-season number 1. All it serves to do is put a target on our back.

For what it's worth, I think you are off to a good start on here. Some Vol fans' heads just explode whenever someone comes on here with a different opinion. It's not the contrary opinions the rest of us dislike so much as the gratuitous slams and other irrelevancies that mark the true troll, of which we have a generous plenty on here, and of course, there are plenty of Vol fans who seem to enjoy wallowing in the same mud. As long as you do not aspire to join those pathetic ranks, you are welcome on here, though not everyone is as tolerant as I am. Just be warned(;-P)!

givehim6 writes:

Is there another AL WILSON in this group?

dkdkdk writes:

we will we see givehim6 rico is the close

johnlg00 writes:

in response to givehim6:

Is there another AL WILSON in this group?

None that have stepped up so far, but that IS a pretty high standard to meet. Our LBs are mostly young and inexperienced, but I think some play-makers will emerge. Rico can really play, Nick will be steady, the other upperclassmen will provide decent depth, and both King and Askew could well be difference-makers by the end of the season if not before. This could be a special year for the defense; unfortunately, it may have to be special to make up for the still rather questionable offense.

VolFanNC writes:

in response to Chomp:

Some of you apparently felt there was some self serving reason for my top 25 recruiting post. There wasn't one. My point was to point out that at media days Tennessee was picked to be 4th in the East. My response to that was that none of the preseason polls mean a thing at the end of year. In other words I agree with johnlg00#206211, or he agrees with me ... whatever.

tweetdriver63#346474 made the clever comment that 2 out of three of the Florida verbals will probably decomit and sign with UT. I don't have a problem with that, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Some of you folks are way to jumpy. Calm down, you're on the way back. Act like you've done this before instead of acting like it's all a new experience.

Interesting poll. Oddly enough they ignore the the 3 UT JC commits or give them 0 Stars. While Scout rates them as 2 4 stars and 1 3 star.

So should we believe that the JC guys like John Brown are worthless or is this just a UF guy finding a favorable poll and displaying it on a UT fan site....Personally the poll you are displaying to me is only worthwhile if you want to solely track high school commits. UT will add a few more JC's to fill in some gaps on our line and will probably have a disparity between rivals and scout.

UT is 13th in the scout poll while UF is 5th.
http://tennessee.scout.com/a.z?s=7&am...

StnMtnVol writes:

Would not worry too much about the LBackers. Unfortunately under Chavis you typically hit the field only as an upper-classmen or if you were lucky enough to be recruited by him. The LB's pushing for PT now were recruited by Trooper Taylor, who we all know was top notch at picking talent. Chavis did very little recruiting in his later years. Trooper & Chavis were like oil & water and rarely agreed on anything. These guys have been victims of who they were recruited by, not the fact that they were not talented. Chavis wanted to prove his point.

Adam Meyers-White (converted safety)spent many years watching before landing the starting position, not because he was better than the others, but because SAM under Chavis' system called defensive plays, he knew the system well just like Ryan Karl. McKenzie stepped in when he grasped the system. Frazier, Thompson, and Reveiz were clearly better athletes and bigger hitters.

Thompson and Reveiz both will prove to be good backers, both can run and hit. Both have led Special teams tacklers over the last two seasons but just didn't get the opportunity under Chavis. Thompson was the kid that knocked the heck out of the Bama returner last season and caused the fumble near the goal line, big hitter. Reveiz has made play after play, perfect motor for Mike, dont worry about his height, he can play. Coaches are so confident that Reveiz will be calling the defense for the field. McCoy (227 lbs. 4.57 forty), Thompson (236 lbs. 4.52 forty), and Reveiz (235 lbs.) have all picked up speed and strength. For those that might refer to depth chart stats, understand that nothing has been updated, including the media guide. This is first hand knowledge.

The two deep will be fine also. Frazier is more than adequate at Will but unfortunately has McCoy in front of him. Herman Lathers will push at Mike and may get some split duty. Askew will likely play inside and is learning quickly. Depth at Sam is wide open, the likely winner will be Vereen. Donald could play a role at Mike or Sam but does not appear hungry, all he needs to do is step up his intensity. Has all the tools but has not yet impressed the staff. If he has a good camp Sam will be well outfitted.

The new system fits perfect for these guys. The Mike makes the read and is the brut, the outside guys use their speed to make the plays. Not many balls will be thrown underneath beleive that. I wouldn't want to be a slot receiver against this D. Also look for some amazing blitz's. This group is strong, fast, and athletic, great fit for the "Rocky Top-2" defense. They know the system, seven-on-sevens since may. If there is a concern it should be depth up front not the LB's.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

If your aunt had balls, she'd be your.....

The only stats that count are noted by the bulbs on the scoreboard or at least my bookie used to say.

Go4Two writes:

in response to DennisVols:

Under Fulmer a lot of these guys didn't get playing time, not because of their talent level, but because unless you were the senior member at that position you just didn't get the opportunity.

Rebuilding the Reputation of a team and a coach
Lane Kiffin and the UT Volunteers
http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/Denn...

This is one of those myths that is just not true. Coach Fulmer played tons of underclassman. Please don't make me start listing names. Tennessee started a freshman QB for the season opener a few years ago first time that had happen in the SEC since 1947.

allvol32 writes:

Chomp dude...this article is about UT's linebacker corp for this season...if you're going to post at least make it on topic. Why would you post something about next season's recruiting class rankings here? (Yep, I know - that's a purely rhetorical question) Stay on topic if you can...if you can't then don't post.

gohawks1 writes:

Fall camp begins next week!

37 days!!!!!!!!!!!

reidtownriverrat writes:

stud d-linemen make LBs look good. def. sarts on the front line

hilltopper writes:

stop picking on the gator fans They have a right to post on here Now with Bama fans...they need to stay off Florida and I hate em are the cream of the crop and will be so for a few more years. They may never go back to the years in which they were just above 500 year in and year out. Ah I loved those days. Lets admit that it-Florida-has become the all around best college for sports in the nation and then get to work knocking them off one sports at a time

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Go4Two:

This is one of those myths that is just not true. Coach Fulmer played tons of underclassman. Please don't make me start listing names. Tennessee started a freshman QB for the season opener a few years ago first time that had happen in the SEC since 1947.

Fulmer played freshmen when he felt he had absolutely no other choice! Otherwise, it was the old-school attitude that you had to be patient and wait your turn; the older guys had earned their spots by sticking with the program and paying their dues. There are many positives to this system and, for the first half of CPF's reign, results on the field seemed to prove it worked. Those positives include stability, loyalty to the program, and the rewards of patience.

In recent years, however, our opponents have attracted elite HS players by promising them early playing time and then USING them to beat our brains out. Their attitude--and Kiffin's, apparently--is that if you are good enough for us to recruit you, you OUGHT to be good enough to PLAY for us. The positives of this system are that the best PLAYER ought to be on the field, regardless of age or class; that competition for positions is ONGOING, so there is no room for slacking off in practice; it is more attractive to the elite players who have their eye on possibly leaving early for the pros; and it gets more playing time out of the guys who DO leave early.

As I said, both approaches have their advantages, but the latter one seems more in tune with the times, for better or worse.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Iam a little confused with this recruiting poll..Last I looked we've got commits from 5 of espnu's top 150 list..We will also add 2 top o-line guys from that list..The 2010 class is looking real good to me especially as far as position needs go. It's funny that you rarely see Va. Tech listed high in these recruiting polls but Beamer always fields a stellar team..What does that tell you?? Hope he stuffs that up Bama's butt in Sept. It still baffles me how Saban keeps landing these great players. He's got as much personality as an oyster and being from Miami I saw first hand that his word is for s@@t.As a young recruit how could you believe anything coming out of his mouth!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Iam a little confused with this recruiting poll..Last I looked we've got commits from 5 of espnu's top 150 list..We will also add 2 top o-line guys from that list..The 2010 class is looking real good to me especially as far as position needs go. It's funny that you rarely see Va. Tech listed high in these recruiting polls but Beamer always fields a stellar team..What does that tell you?? Hope he stuffs that up Bama's butt in Sept. It still baffles me how Saban keeps landing these great players. He's got as much personality as an oyster and being from Miami I saw first hand that his word is for s@@t.As a young recruit how could you believe anything coming out of his mouth!!!

I don't study the recruiting services as much as some on here, so maybe someone will correct me, but my impression is that those class rankings are heavily biased toward programs that sign fair numbers of "multi-star" skill players. They rarely take into account how well a program is addressing its needs. Our class so far has been about addressing our well-known need for linemen on both sides of the ball. O-linemen in particular are difficult to rate, with D-linemen a close second, especially those who are mainly run-stoppers. Linemen don't have as many stats as skill players by which they can be rated. These ratings are largely for entertainment purposes anyway. The true test is ALWAYS how well players perform on the field, and predicting those in advance will always be an inexact science, to say the least.

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