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December 10, 2010

Ask Mike: Effect of coaching moves

Mike Farrell is a national football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly Ask Mike feature.
Previous mailbags
Dec 3: Which players stick with Miami?
Nov 19: Georgia still battling
Nov 12: Tennessee needs to rally

Got a question? Click here to send it to Mike Farrell

Who will benefit in recruiting from the coaching change at Florida this year?

How will sanctions affect USC recruiting this year and beyond?

Will Demetrius Hart stick with Michigan?

These questions and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell in this week's mailbag.


Poaching Gators

I was wondering if the Urban Meyer situation could have a negative impact on this year's recruiting class. And if so who do you think re-considers based on the coaching change? Also, who are the big winners if certain recruits leave?

- Doug from Parma, Idaho

I think without a doubt it will have a negative impact on recruiting this year. I think it would have happened last year had Meyer not decided to come back. There's no way they would have landed every guy down the stretch, especially guys like Sharrif Floyd, Dominique Easley and Matt Elam. This year there is no way that they close as strong and get as many five-star prospects on board following this resignation.

The Gators will keep most of the class and it's impossible to predict which players will jump if any, but guys like Mike Blakely, A.C. Leonard, Louchiez Purifoy, Ryan Shazier, Nick Waisome and others are ones to watch. I think Auburn, Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, South Carolina and of course Florida State could all benefit this year and beyond.


Sticking with Michigan?

What are the chances that Demetrius Hart actually sticks with Michigan?

- Rob from Marine City, Mich.

I think it's very doubtful if Rich Rodriguez is fired and Jim Harbaugh is hired. Obviously Harbaugh is a great recruiter and will try to keep Hart in the fold, but his offense isn't a fit for the nation's No. 1 all-purpose back.

That means Alabama, Auburn and Florida (if they offer) are more likely destinations. However, if Rodriguez stays at Michigan then Hart will probably stay with the Wolverines as well as he's perfect for the current Michigan offense.


UConn's success

With UConn's recent success and making it to the Fiesta Bowl, can we see coach Randy Edsall start going after bigger recruits and/or more players being interested?

- Frank from Bethel, Conn.

I'm not sure if the BCS bowl bid will change coach Edsall's recruiting style but I truly think more and more highly-rated prospects will be interested in UConn after this season. They're still in the mix for top guys like Brandon Clemons and Donovan Smith as well as Terrance Plummer, Brandon Reddish and others, but Edsall has always landed guys without a ton of offers or rankings hype, coached them up and turned them into players.

I'm sure recruiting will get a boost following a BCS bowl season and fans will expect a higher-rated recruiting class, but what coach Edsall is doing works just fine and I know he thinks all the guys he signs each year are big-time recruits.


West Coast Cornhuskers?

Does Nebraska have a good shot with the West Coast defensive tackles Todd Peat Jr. and Christian Heyward? How about Wayne Lyons?

- Alan from Lincoln, Neb.

They don't lead for any of them and are out for Heyward. Peat favors Stanford according to sources followed by Arizona State and Nebraska while most feel that Heyward will end up at either USC or Arizona (UCLA can't be counted out either) with Nebraska out of the picture. And Lyons has long been linked with both Florida and Stanford ahead of Nebraska, Notre Dame and others.

Nebraska hosts Lyons this weekend so we'll see how that goes and with the resignation of Urban Meyer and the rumors of Jim Harbaugh to Michigan, the Huskers could be in a good spot to steal him away. The same can be said for the Irish as well. With Peat, he's already taken his official to Nebraska and liked it and if Harbaugh bolts for Michigan (or the NFL) then Nebraska will be in the thick of things even more.


Big finish?

Washington got off to a hot recruiting start before the season started but has been pretty quiet of late. Can we expect a surge at the finish? What big prospects do the Huskies have a legitimate shot at?

- Ike in Seattle, Wash.

With 20 commits, Washington isn't looking for so much as a surge as a few nice pieces to round out a quality recruiting class. It's well known that running back Brendon Bigelow could switch to Cal or possibly another program so that opens up another spot but there still isn't much room left.

The Huskies could take another quarterback with Michael Eubank being one of the top choices. Eubank has also been offered by Arizona State and Vanderbilt but with his athleticism and throwing ability could be a good fit in Steve Sarkisian's offense. Defensive tackle Danny Shelton would be a major prize but watch out because Oregon is pushing really hard. Cornerback Stefan McClure already visited but many believe UCLA is the team to beat for him. Linebackers Rodney Hardrick and Thomas Tutogi are also options. Hardrick plans to start seriously focusing on his recruitment after this weekend's state title game. Tutogi is a fast-riser out who lists USC, UCLA and Washington offers.

Another player that has spoken highly of Washington is defensive tackle Uriah Grant, who could step in right away and play early on. But even if they whiff on everyone, Sarkisian and his staff have already hit the jackpot by landing in-state studs Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams and Corey Waller also has superstar potential as does Bigelow if he recovers from his two knee surgeries.


Instant impact?

What kind of impact do you see Kiehl Frazier having at Auburn next season? And will Mike Blakely de-commit from UF and commit to Auburn after Meyer's resignation?

- Tom from Birmingham, Ala.

I think Frazier can be a very good quarterback for Auburn. He won't be Cam Newton but no one can really be expected to fill those shoes. However, I think he has the talent, arm and upside to be a three-year starter for Auburn and will develop each year.

As for Blakely, he could certainly re-think things as Meyer and Stan Drayton were a big part of his decision to head to Florida. Auburn was at one point his leader and you can bet they will reach out to him, but he will probably take his time and see what happens with the Gators coaching situation before doing anything. Blakely has gone quiet and isn't talking much so he's hard to read.


The team to beat

With the Urban Meyer resignation, do you think Virginia Tech has a shot at Stephone Anthony?

- Tony from Roanoke, Va.

I think Virginia Tech is now the leader followed by Clemson and this could turn into an ACC battle between the two. NC State and North Carolina are in the mix and Florida could get back in things as well, but the Hokies have become the team to beat according to sources.

Anthony loves Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster and the program but it will come down to visits in the end. NC State gets the last visit here and I think they are really a darkhorse, it wouldn't be stunning to see them pull the upset with the job Jim Bridge has done recruiting him. It looks like Anthony is at the very least ACC bound barring a surprise.


Steals for Stanford?

Can Stanford land Colt Lyerla and Nick Menocal and Todd Peat Jr. and also can we get some recruits from Miami and Pitt since there coaches are not there?

- Moses from Stamford, Conn.

As mentioned above, Stanford leads for Peat and they are trying to get Menocal on a visit, but I think Menocal sticks with Miami in the end and likely won't take the trip out west if the 'Canes hire a coach in the next few weeks. As for Lyerla, I don't see him going to Stanford. Oregon probably leads with USC and Cal in the mix, but I haven't heard much about Lyerla and Stanford. Of course all of this changes if Harbaugh bolts.

Mike Farrell is a national football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Click here to send him a question or comment for his mailbag.



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