NCF Nation: Ryan Stanchek
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
The Cincinnati Enquirer's Bill Koch has an interesting look at how building a signature athletic hub on campus has both helped and hurt Cincinnati financially. The Bearcats are facing a budget shortfall and have had to cut three men's sports teams.
In addition to the debt from the facility that must be financed, Varsity Village costs approximately $1.1 million a year to operate -- $700,000 for utilities and $400,000 in maintenance and custodial costs, [athletic director Mike] Thomas said.
UC, compared with the seven other Division I football schools in the Big East, is ill-equipped to absorb that kind of debt year after year. According to Thomas, the average combined revenue produced by the men's basketball and football programs among the eight Big East football schools is $26 million per year. UC ranks last in that group at $14 million.
• Greg Paulus was in Syracuse this weekend and apparently met with Orange football coaches on Sunday night, Donnie Webb writes in the Syracuse Post-Standard.
In draft news ...
• Pat White was thrilled to be drafted by the Wildcat-running Miami Dolphins, Mike Casazza writes in the Charleston Daily Mail. Within this story, there is word that undrafted offensive linemen Greg Isdaner (Dallas Cowboys) and Ryan Stanchek (Atlanta Falcons) have signed free-agent deals.
• UConn's Julius Williams and Tyler Lorenzen signed with Jacksonville, while Dahna Deleston signed with the Bears and Keith Gray inked with Carolina, Desmond Conner writes in the Hartford Courant.
• Louisville's Hunter Cantwell signed with the Carolina Panthers, Mike Grant says in The Courier-Journal.
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
The grandson of former Syracuse coach Dick MacPherson will be playing for the Orange, Donnie Webb writes in the Syracuse Post-Standard. Richard "Macky" MacPherson, center and long-snapper in the class of 2010, accepted a scholarship offer from Doug Marrone on Thursday.
"It left me speechless," MacPherson said. "Deep in my heart, I knew I wanted to go to Syracuse. Syracuse has pretty much been my whole life. I was a ball boy when Coach Paul Pasqualoni was here. I got to see everything and how it worked. I fell in love with the place."
• Pitt got a commitment from a highly-regarded defensive tackle, Paul Zeise writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
• Ryan Stanchek, who was one of the best offensive linemen in the Big East, may not hear his name called in this weekend's NFL draft, Mike Casazza says in the Charleston Daily Mail.
• The Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner takes a look at the draft prospects for UConn's Julius Williams, Cody Brown, Will Beatty and Dahna Deleston.
• Jamaal Westerman, who nearly jeopardized his NFL chances by playing through a torn biceps last year for Rutgers, is recovered now and waiting on some good news, Jenny Vrentas says in The Star-Ledger.
My Pac-10 counterpart Ted Miller did this earlier in the week, and I'm blatantly stealing the idea. Want to know how accurate recruiting rankings are? Let's take a look at this year's All-Big East team and see how each player was rated by the two major star-system recruiting services (where the two differ, I note the high and low end):
QB Pat White (two to three stars)
RB Donald Brown (two to three stars)
RB LeSean McCoy (four to five stars)
WR Mardy Gilyard (two stars)
WR Kenny Britt (three to four stars)
TE Nate Byham (four to five stars)
OT Will Beatty (one to two stars)
OT Ryan Stanchek (two stars)
OG George Bussey (zero to one star)
OG C.J. Davis (two stars)
C Eric Wood (two stars)
DL Connor Barwin (two stars)
DL Cody Brown (two stars)
DL George Selvie (one to two stars)
DL Arthur Jones (three to two stars)
LB Scott McKillop (three stars)
LB Tyrone McKenzie (two to three stars)
LB Mortty Ivy (two stars)
CB Mike Mickens (two stars)
CB Darius Butler (one to two stars)
S Brandon Underwood (three stars)
S Courtney Greene (one to two stars)
Big East teams don't get a lot of "five-star" guys, but plenty of four-star players make their way into the league. I find it very interesting that the only two players on this list to reach that level were McCoy -- a no-brainer -- and Byham, who had a solid but hardly spectacular year in a league without many productive tight ends.
Offensive linemen are probably the hardest guys to evaluate, and whoever was evaluating the Big East prospects proved that. Not one of the All-Big East first team offensive linemen earned more than two stars, and the former walk-on Bussey and left tackle Beatty were rated the same as your average throw-in prospect. This isn't a bad crop, either; Wood, Beatty and Stanchek should all get drafted, with Davis and Bussey having a shot, too.
And, yes -- someone really watched Selvie and Butler play and rated them as one-star prospects. That really happened. To be fair, Selvie played center in high school and his best quality -- desire -- is hard to measure. But we're talking about a two-time All-American. And Butler's athleticism is hard to deny.
I get that White was hard to judge as a quarterback, and that a lot of teams were recruiting him as a receiver or just an all-around athlete. But for him to garner only two or three stars is absurd. Here are some of the players who were ranked as the top dual-threat quarterbacks in 2004: Robbie Reid, Kirby Freeman, Nick Patton, Larry Lerlegan and D.T McDowell. Would you trade any of them for Pat White? Heck, would you trade all of them for Pat White?
There are always going to be can't-miss prospects, and there are going to be players who improve greatly through sheer hard work and maturation. Recruiting rankings can be a useful guide and fun to look at, but if you think they predict which players will turn out to be the best in their leagues, think again. Keep this list in mind come next Wednesday, and remember to curb your enthusiasm.
Here are my selections for the 2008 All-Big East team:
QB: Pat White, West Virginia
RB: Donald Brown, Connecticut
RB: LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh
WR: Kenny Britt, Rutgers
WR: Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati
TE: Nate Byham, Pittsburgh
OT: Ryan Stanchek, West Virginia
OT: Anthony Davis, Rutgers
OG: C.J. Davis, Pittsburgh
OG: Greg Isdaner, West Virginia
C: Eric Wood, Louisville
DL: Cody Brown, Connecticut
DL: George Selvie, South Florida
DL: Connor Barwin, Cincinnati
DL: Arthur Jones, Syracuse
LB: Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh
LB: Tyrone McKenzie, South Florida
LB: Mortty Ivy, West Virginia
CB: Mike Mickens, Cincinnati
CB: Darius Butler, Connecticut
S: Carlton Williams, South Florida
S: Courtney Greene, Rutgers
P: Kevin Huber, Cincinnati
K: Pat McAfee, West Virginia
KR: Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati
PR: Jasper Howard, Connecticut
Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly's name is starting to pop up in connection to various vacancies, including Tennessee. Kelly shrugs it off, Bill Koch writes in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"It's inevitable," he said. "But it's not a distraction because I deal with it all the time. I just move to the next thing.
"If we get to a position where every year it becomes the same thing, then maybe we have to say something definitive. To me, it's all hypotheticals. I've never dealt with them. I've kind of moved on and not answered the questions."
More from around The Big East:
- Left tackle Ryan Stanchek is West Virginia's "wise warrior," Chuck Finder writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And he'll play his hometown team this week in Cincinnati.
- Brett McMurphy of the Tampa Tribune takes a look at what went wrong for South Florida. He has this amazing stat: the Bulls are 8-7 in their last 15 games and have been the favorites in each one. Some more:
"Each USF loss seems like the last one. A never-ending Groundhog Day: offense sputters, defense gives up a big play or three, undisciplined play, erratic special teams and poor clock management (has USF ever entered the final two minutes with all three time outs?). Even (Jim) Leavitt's patented halftime motivational tactics appear to be getting stale. Some players admitted the constant head-butting "is nothing new."
Neither is this season. Once again, so much early promise is gone by Halloween. All tricks, no treat."
- Louisville is hoping Heinz Field is in better shape than the last time they played there, C.L. Brown notes in The Courier-Journal.
- Redshirting freshman D.C. Jefferson -- all 6-foot-6, 240 pounds of him -- looks forward to competing for the Rutgers' quarterback job next year, Tom Luicci writes in The Star-Ledger. He'll have to hold off incoming hotshot freshman Tom Savage, along with some veteran backups.
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
Where else could we start the links but with West Virginia's win over Auburn? It wasn't just that the Mountaineers won but how dominant they looked in the second half. And get this: The game lasted just two hours and 52 minutes.
West Virginia got its groove back, Mitch Vingle writes in the Charleston Gazette. Perceptions changed dramatically in just three hours, Dave Hickman says in the same paper. The offensive line deserves a lot of credit for the victory, Jack Bogaczyk says in the Charleston Daily Mail. Here are a couple of quotes from Chuck Finder's story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Offensive lineman Ryan Stanchek: "It's huge for the program. Huge for everybody. Especially for confidence. I think everybody needed a little confidence. Everybody."
Head coach Bill Stewart: "Tonight I did see that swagger back. I saw confidence oozing from everyone."
• Trevor Canfield has slimmed down, grown up and turned into one of the best offensive linemen in the Big East, John Fay writes in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
• Safety Elijah Fields could start seeing some time at cornerback, Kevin Gorman writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
• All the indications are that Cody Endres will start at quarterback for UConn on Saturday, Neill Ostrout writes in the Connecticut Post.
• Matt Grothe is off to the best start of his career, Gregg Becnel says in the Tampa Tribune.
• Rutgers' constantly shuffling offensive line may get some more new wrinkles for the Pittsburgh game, Tom Luicci says in The Star-Ledger.