Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Football [Print without images]

Friday, February 4, 2011
USC stacking QBs; ND loads up on DLs

By Tom Luginbill
ESPN Recruiting

Here is a look at which schools loaded up at specific positions.

Quarterbacks

USC Trojans
Between Max Wittek (Corona Del Mar, Calif./Mater Dei) and Cody Kessler (Bakersfield, Calif./Centennial), the Trojans are already preparing for life without Matt Barkley if he decides to forego his senior season. There are conflicting views on which guy is the best. We believe Wittek is the best fit for the Trojans, but Kessler is the better athlete and gunslinger of the two. The reality is that it is rare to have two quality signal-callers sign in one class at a high-profile program, so kudos to Lane Kiffin and his staff.

Others loading up
Ohio State: On top of adding Braxton Miller (Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne), who could see early playing time with the suspension of Terrelle Pryor, the Buckeyes added in-state, three-star signal-caller Cardale Jones (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville).

Running backs

Florida State Seminoles
If you count James Wilder Jr. (Tampa Bay, Fla./Plant Senior), the Seminoles are loading up in the backfield along with Devonta Freeman (Miami, Fla./Miami Central), who really came on as a senior, and the stout, powerful Eric Beverly (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast). Jimbo Fisher knows you better have a stable of backs just like he had at LSU on the 2003 national championship team. Downhill power is coming to Tallahassee.

Others loading up
Pittsburgh: Five of Pitt's 20 signees are running backs, led by Malcolm Crockett (Washington, D.C./Collegiate Academy) and Jeremiah Bryson (Smyrna, Texas/Smyrna).

Texas Tech: The top two prospects for the Red Raiders are backs that provide Tommy Tuberville with that 1-2 punch he had at Auburn. Kenny Williams (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) could be special.

Tennessee: The addition of Marlin Lane (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland) raises the total to three for Derek Dooley, which was a significant need position in this class for the Vols.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights have three backs, highlighted by in-state prospect Savon Huggins (Jersey City, N.J./Saint Peter's).

Wide receivers

Alabama Crimson Tide
Five wide receivers are sprinkled throughout the class, led by speedy Bradley Sylve (Port Sulphur, La./South Plaquemines) and red-zone target Marvin Shinn (Prichard, Ala./Vigor). The Crimson Tide have been recruiting with the expectation that Julio Jones would leave early. Alabama is adding speed and athleticism, and hopefully some guys who can stretch the field.

Others loading up
Clemson: You could argue that there is no team in the country that has a better pair of wide receivers coming in than Charone Peake (Roebuck, S.C./Dorman) and Sammy Watkins (Fort Myers, Fla./South Fort Myers). Clemson was in dire need of playmakers on offense.

Arkansas: Four wide receivers are added as the Razorbacks realize that Joe Adams, Cobi Hamilton and Greg Childs won't be around for long. Keante Minor (East Saint Louis, Ill./East Saint Louis) and Quinta Funderburk (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Frommel Smith) lead the way.

Georgia: Four total and three of the Bulldogs' top 10 prospects are out wide. Malcolm Mitchell (Valdosta, Ga./Valdosta) highlights the group with his speed and elusiveness.

TCU: Two BCS-caliber players, LaDarius Brown (Waxahachie, Texas/Waxahacjie) and Brandon Carter (Euless, Texas/Trinity) lead the Horned Frogs' incoming quartet.

Tight ends

Arkansas Razorbacks
In the mold of D.J. Williams, the Hogs love guys who can stretch the seam and create mismatches. Two of their top five prospects, Demetrius Dean (Fayetteville, Ark./Fayetteville) and Jervohnte Riles (Bessemer, Ala./Jess Lanier) are excellent pass-catching tight ends.

Others loading up
Ohio State: The Nos. 6 and 7 ranked tight ends in the class belong to the Buckeyes in Jeff Heuerman (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) and Nick Vannett (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central).

Wisconsin: The Badgers have three tight ends on the way led by Sam Arneson (Merrill, Wis./Merrill).

Offensive linemen

Auburn Tigers
Perhaps no other team has met needs in this area as well as Auburn has theirs, luring Christian Westerman (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) away from Texas and adding Reese Dismukes (Spanish Fort, Ala./Spanish fort). That gives the Tigers at least two guys who will be expected to play right away. On top of those two, two top-10 guards and OT Shon Coleman (Olive Branch, Miss./Olive Branch) are on their way. Coleman is out of the 2010 class, but was struck with cancer last spring and is now in remission.

Others loading up
Georgia: The middle and bottom third of this class is loaded with six offensive line prospects.

Texas: Outside of Auburn, Texas needs upgrades in the offensive line and this class features five. The sixth ranked OG Sedrick Flowers (Houston, Texas/North Shore) leads the charge.

FSU: Eight offensive line prospects, including converted TE Jordan Prestwood (Plant City, Fla./Plant City) are heading to Tallahassee. Bobby Hart (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Saint Thomas Aquinas) is just 16 years old and has huge upside as our No. 4 ranked OT.

Arkansas: This is a top-heavy class for the Hogs up front with the likes of OGs Brey Cook (Springdale, Ark./Har-Ber) and Mitch Smothers (Springdale, Ark./Springdale) leading the group of five prospects.

Clemson: Seven total lineman round out the middle and bottom third of this class, which is highlighted by guard Spencer Region (Cullman, Ala./Cullman).

Penn State: Not a big class for the Nittany Lions, but three of the top four rated prospects are offensive lineman headlined by our No. 2 ranked OG Angelo Mangiro (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury).

South Carolina:- Six total offensive linemen are littered throughout this class from top to bottom with top-20 OT Brandon Shell (Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek) leading the way.

Defensive linemen

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Well finally! This may be the group that helps get Notre Dame back to prominence. The three top dogs include DE Aaron Lynch (Cape Coral, Fla./Island Coast), DE Ishaq Williams (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) and DE/DT Stephon Tuitt (Monroe, Ga./Monroe Area). Add DE Anthony Rabasa (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus), and that is four ESPNU 150 defensive lineman.

Others loading up
California: You could argue the Golden Bears had the best defensive front in the Pac-10 last year and Jeff Tedford wants to maintain that status. The likes of Todd Barr (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood) and Viliami Moala (Sacramento, Calif./Grant) make for a formidable tandem.

Alabama: Seven defensive linemen lead the way, and many feel that juco DT Jesse Williams (Brisbane, Aus./Arizona Western College) may be Bama's next Terrance Cody. Time will tell, but Xzavier Dickson (Griffin, Ga./Griffin) has the long-term ability to become an excellent pass rusher.

Oklahoma: All four of the Sooners' defensive line prospects in their top seven, including three tackles led by Jordan Wade (Round rock, Texas/Stony Point).

USC: A couple of USC's defensive line prospects are developmental guys, but the Trojans just need bodies right now. DT Antwaun Woods (Woodland Hills, Calif./Woodland Hills-Taft) and DE Greg Townsend Jr. (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills) are headliners.

Arkansas: Bobby Petrino knows he must keep up with his competition along the defensive line in the SEC. Eight defensive lineman are scattered throughout, led by exciting DE Lonnie Gosha (Lake Butler, Fla./Union County).

Linebackers

Clemson Tigers
The top inside linebacker in the country, Tony Steward (St. Augustine, Fla./ Pedro Menendez), and top outside linebacker in the country, Stephone Anthony (Wadesboro, N.C./Anson Senior), highlight the Tigers' five incoming linebackers, along with fellow ESPNU 150 linebacker Lateek Townsend (Bennettsville, S.C./Marlboro County).

Others loading up
Oregon: If you consider that Colt Lyerla (Hillsboro, Ore./Hillsboro) and Christian French (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/John F. Kennedy) will likely land at the linebacker position, Oregon is stocking up at a position of need. Anthony Wallace (Dallas, Texas/Skyline), Tyson Coleman (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lake Oswego) and Rahim Cassell (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood) add speed and athleticism. There are seven potential linebackers either on the inside or outside heading to Eugene this fall.

Michigan State: As long as Lawrence Thomas (Detroit, Mich./Renaissance) stays in the middle, he will remain at linebacker. Darien Harris (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha Catholic) is undersized, but can really run.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes lured Ryan Shazier (Plantation, Fla./Plantation) away from the Gators when Urban Meyer stepped down. Curtis Grant (Richmond, Va./Hermitage) was also a big get on signing day for Ohio State.

Texas: Steve Edmond (Daingerfield, Texas/Daingerfield) and Chet Moss (Cedar Park, Texas/Cedar Park) are flanked by OLB Kendall Thompson (Carthage, Texas/Carthage).

UNC: Travis Hughes (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) could end up being one of the bigger steals in this class.

Defensive backs

Florida State Seminoles
This incoming class of defensive backs is almost unfair. Four of the top nine prospects in the class are in the secondary, including S Karlos Williams (Davenport, Fla./Ridge Community), whom we feel may be the most college-ready prospect in the class, and cover corner Nick Waisome (Groveland, Fla./South Lake).

Others loading up
Texas: Quandre Diggs (Angleton, Texas/Angleton) and Josh Turner (Oklahoma City, Okla./Millwood) upgrade the Longhorns' secondary.

Auburn: Four secondary prospects will add to an already young group at Auburn. Robenson Therezie (Miami, Fla./Miami Jackson) could be a safety or OLB. CB Jonathan Rose (Leeds, Ala./Leeds) is tall and rangy, similar to Neiko Thornton.

Georgia: While Damian Swann (Atlanta, Ga./Grady) could play offense, we like him on defense too. Corey Moore (Griffin, Ga./Griffin) and Devin Bowman (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) add playmakers at safety and corner, respectively.

Ohio State: Four secondary defenders, three at safety, are led by CB Doran Grant (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. mary), whom we feel could jump in and handle playing right away.

Michigan: The Wolverines' top two prospects are CB Blake Countess (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) and CB Delonte Hollowell (Detroit, Mich./Cass Technical).

Tennessee: The Vols' four safeties are led by Patrick Martin (Greenville, S.C./J.L. Mann) and Geraldo Orta (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes).

Specialists

USC Trojans
The first and seventh ranked kickers, Andre Heidari (Bakersfield, Calif./Stockdale) and Kristopher Albarado (Lake Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) are on board with the Trojans. They are joined by a phenomenal long snapper, Peter McBride (Paradise Valley, Ariz./Chaparral).

Tom Luginbill is ESPN's national director of football recruiting.