Commentary

Big East recruiting breakdown

Updated: August 26, 2011, 10:49 AM ET
By Dave Hooker | ESPN Recruiting

Here's a look at how programs in the Big East are faring on the recruiting trail.

Cincinnati Bearcats

Commitments: 18
ESPNU 150 commitments: 0
Who they have: The Bearcats' 2012 class is highlighted by one four-star prospect: safety Marcus Foster from Troy (Ohio) High School. The Bearcats have a solid foundation with 12 three-star commitments, led by quarterback Bennie Coney from Tampa (Fla.) Plant City. Coney was a huge pickup for Cincinnati as it secured him over several SEC and ACC schools. Linebacker Lester Liston from Grand Blanc, Mich., defensive back Alex Dale from Memphis University and defensive end Jonathan Burt from Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central should bolster the Bearcats' defense, while offensive tackle Kyle Williamson from Cincinnati (Ohio) Madeira and receiver Jeremy Graves from Cleveland Heights (Ohio) Maple Heights should help offensively.

Who they still want: The Bearcats are looking to shore up their linebackers with Ey'Shawn McClain from Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines and teammate Kenneth Bynum. McClain seems likely. Bynum looks like more of a long shot. Offensive tackle Ryan Brodie from Long Branch, N.J., and Port St. Lucie (Fla.) Treasure Coast tailback Shadrach Alexander are also top targets.

Connecticut Huskies

Commitments: 16
ESPNU 150 commitments: 0
Who they have: Connecticut hopes to have landed its quarterback of the future in Casey Cochran from Monroe (Conn.) Masuk. The Huskies also have landed commitments from six other three-star prospects: linebacker Jon Hicks from Palmyra, Pa., defensive tackle Mikal Myers from Newburgh (N.Y.) Free Academy, offensive tackle Zach Rugg from Johnstown (Pa.) Bishop McCort, running back Montrell Dobbs from Ansonia (Conn.) Milford, offensive lineman Tyler Samra from Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco and receiver Neally Cunningham from Palm Bay (Fla.) Bayside.

Who they still want: Athlete Malik Golden from Cheshire (Conn.) Academy would be a significant pickup. So would Jordan Floyd from Baltimore (Md.) Loyola. Tailback Elijah Hughes from Elizabeth, N.J., is also considering the Huskies.

Louisville Cardinals

Commitments: 12
ESPNU 150 commitments: 0
Who they have: If Louisville can land some blue-chip prospects this fall, it can secure a top class thanks to a solid commitment base. That, however, might not make skittish Cardinals fans rest easy at night. Four-star cornerback Devontre Parnell from Winnsboro (S.C.) Fairfield Central is the highlight and is followed by seven three-star commitments, led by quarterback Will Gardner from Douglas (Ga.) Coffee.

Who they still want: Defensive back Kevin Houchins Jr. from Brush (Ohio) High and defensive tackle Shaquille Huff from Covington (Ga.) Eastside would be a great way to fortify the Cardinals' 2012 class. Outside linebacker Nick Dawson told ESPN this summer Louisville was in the lead for his services. However, the Charlotte (N.C.) Phillip O. Berry prospect hasn't committed and has scholarship offers from several other BCS schools.

Pittsburgh Panthers

Commitments: 13
ESPNU 150 commitments: 0
Who they have: Pitt may not have a huge class but it certainly has some talent, led by quarterback Chad Voytik from Cleveland, Tenn. The nation's 13th best signal-caller turned down several high-profile offers to commit to the Panthers in July. Fellow four-star athlete Demitrious Davis did the same that month. Pitt also has seven three-star commitments.

Who they still want: Pitt is in a tussle with Florida for offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty from Pittsburgh (Penn.) Fox Chapel. Keeping the four-star prospect in state is a key priority. The Panthers are also in the running for linebacker Jhalil Croley from Cincinnati (Ohio) Princeton.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Commitments: 14
ESPNU 150 commitments: 0
Who they have: Rutgers certainly has some versatility atop its class with two four-star athlete prospects in Davon Jacobs from Wayne (N.J.) De Paul and Steve Longa from Saddle Brook, N.J. The Scarlet Knights also have a solid offensive tackle prospect in four-star commitment Chris Muller from Boyertown, Pa. In addition to its highest-rated prospects, Rutgers also has 11 commitments from three-star prospects and none committed with two stars or fewer.

Who they still want: Given coach Greg Schiano's ties to South Florida, it's reasonable to think Rutgers could benefit from Miami's issues. The Scarlet Knights are after two prospects from Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco -- four-star prospect Darius Hamilton, who is considered the sixth-best defensive end in the country, and cornerback Yuri Wright. Rutgers is also in the hunt for offensive linemen Duaron Williams from Orlando (Fla.) Jones and Ryan Brodie from Long Branch, N.J.

South Florida Bulls

Commitments: 9
ESPNU 150 commitments: 0
Who they have: South Florida still has a long way to go with just nine commitments. It's hard not to wonder how challenging it is for the school to recruit with Florida and Florida State undergoing a recruiting renaissance nearby. Perhaps Miami's struggles will give South Florida an opportunity to lure some prospects to Tampa. USF still has some solid commitments it can brag about, such as tight end Sean Price from Citra (Fla.) North Marion and cornerback Chris Bivins from Gainesville (Fla.) High School. Both are rated four-star prospects. Quarterback Tyler Cameron from Jupiter (Fla.) gives USF a solid signal-caller.

Who they still want: Defensive end help would benefit USF. Luke Adams from Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic and Eric Lee from Daphne, Ala., are possibilities. USF is also after offensive lineman Duaron Williams from Orlando (Fla.) Jones.

Syracuse Orange

Commitments: 18
ESPNU 150 commitments: 0
Who they have: Syracuse has solid offensive line prospects with three-star guard commitments Kyle Knapp from Portage (Mich.) Central and Jason Emerich from Schuylkill Haven (Pa.) Blue Mountain. Linebacker play should also benefit from the signing of James Washington from Winter Park, Fla., and Myles Davis from Pittsburgh (Pa.) Milford. Tight end Joshua Parris from Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson gives Syracuse a versatile athlete and a tie into a very talented area.

Who they still want: Syracuse is still looking for that elite prospect to commit. Defensive end Alex Pace from Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville would be a good pickup, as would linebackers Corey Griffin from Miami Coral Reef, Abner Logan Jr. from Newton (Mass.) Dexter or Josh Glanton from Haines City, Fla. Defensive tackle Yoshoub Timms from Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is also worth keeping an eye on.

West Virginia Mountaineers

Commitments: 19
ESPNU 150 commitments: 1
Who they have: West Virginia's class is strong at the top and solid throughout. Four-star quarterback Ford Childress from Houston Kinkaid gave the Mountaineers a prospect to build on when he committed in April. Linebacker Devin VanDyke is a hard-hitting four-star prospect from Lorton (Va.) South County. Four-star linebacker Sam Lebbie was an elite prospect from Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha before academic concerns lowered his stock. If he's eligible, he should be an impact player.

Who they still want: West Virginia is already starting to focus on the 2013 class while polishing up this year's group. Some size would help. Watch Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic offensive lineman Logan Dietz and Trenton Saunders from North Palm Beach (Fla.) Benjamin.

Dave Hooker covers Southeast and Atlantic Coast recruiting. He has covered recruiting and college football for more than a decade. Email him at davehookerespn@gmail.com.

Dave Hooker

Reporter, RecruitingNation