Chat with Bruce Feldman
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, college football Insider Bruce Feldman stops by to chat about the season. Check out his picks for this weekend.
Feldman is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. He joined ESPN in July 1994 as a writer for ESPNET (now ESPN.com) and in May 1998 came to ESPN The Magazine. He spent much of the past two years in the South working on his book, "Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting."
Send your questions now and join Feldman Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Bruce (2:04 PM)
Sorry I'm a few minutes late. Just got a call from a coach.. Am ready to talk some football, recruiting, etc.
Is there any reason to keep Ron Zook if he can no longer recruit at Illinois?
Bruce (2:05 PM)
Tough question. He is on arguably the hottest seat in the country. He has to win now and that is tough to sell against.
Jimmy K (Toronto)
Love the info you provide for all of us diehard college football fans. As a Texas alum, it's now time to move on from the 2010 recruits and onto Junior Day on the 13th. How many commits do you anticipate by February 15 for 2011?
Bruce (2:06 PM)
Wow, that' a fast turnaround. With the way things go at UT... I dunno, a dozen?
Bruce (2:07 PM)
Most amazing thing I heard on Signing Day: Texas offered 30 scholarships, had 25 official visits and signed 25 players.
Alex ki (Ithaca)
What do you think of cornells new hc hire Kent Austin? What was his rep at ole miss
Bruce (2:08 PM)
Everyone around Oxford spoke about how bright Austin is. Hard to predict how he'll do as a head coach though.
Scott Arogeti (Atlanta)
Now that George Edwards left UF, will Georgia finally be able to beat Florida on a consistent basis?
Bruce (2:09 PM)
Ha.. Well, UF beat them without Edwards so who knows. I do think if UGA has a shot to get this, this would be the year to do it cause if you buy into the recruiting rankings at all, it seems like the talent gap is about to widen again.
How come the media isn't making a bigger deal about USC not being able to get Seantrel Henderson signed due to their possible NCAA punishments. ESPNU talked about USC and Seantrel all day yesterday, but once the news became negative PR for USC it seems ESPN has decided not to cover it. Is this the USC "hollywood" affect?
Bruce (2:11 PM)
Keep in mind the timing of all of this. Word circulated that Henderson wouldn't actually be signing the LOI late at night, hours after coverage had gone off the air. It's not like people knew this at 4 PM ET. If he had explained that while he was on TV I guarantee that gets discussed and hashed over plenty.
Bruce, how would you feel if Texas was asked to join the Big10?
Bruce (2:12 PM)
I'd be shocked. Texas already has a pretty sweet deal in the Big 12.. why separate from OU and A&M?
I saw your twitter comments on the Justin Wilcox for Tennessee's defensive coordinator. I take it you approve and what can I expect to see from his defense at Tennessee?
Bruce (2:14 PM)
Wilcox is really well respected in the coaching world... And even though he comes from the WAC, his teams do have a lot of experience containing spread offenses. (Keep in mind they did a great job shutting down Oregon last year)... that'll help in Knoxville.
Where did George Edwards go, I have not heard of him leaving the Gators. Was Scott referring to Charlie Strong?
Bruce (2:14 PM)
He's leaving to take a job with the Buffalo Bills.
Will USC see any type of sanctions in the near future?
Bruce (2:16 PM)
Not sure what the NCAA will do. If it's just take away wins from five years ago and cut a few scholarships over a 3-4 year period, that won't sting USC. If they were to really hit them it would mean a post-season ban, but I wonder if the NCAA would be reluctant because that would also punish the Pac-10 too.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
SHouldnt Texas play TCU every year? why no rivalry?
Bruce (2:17 PM)
I would love to see it, but sometimes deals like these aren't that simple.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
what did coach say?
Bruce (2:19 PM)
It was David Cutcliffe from Duke. I talked to him for my blog today. He told me something that almost knocked me off the couch.
C. One (Spur, Texas)
Aside from Corey Nelson bolting on Signing Day, what are your thoughts on Texas A&M's class? Seems like a good foundation was built with what was arguably the best OL class in the nation.
Bruce (2:20 PM)
I do like the OLinemen with Joeckel and Matthews, but defensively is where they need a lot of help and it doesn't sound like they're closing the gap on UT and OU.
Jim (Grand Junction, CO)
Zook's on a hotter seat than Dan Hawkins? Surely that is a tie at best.
Bruce (2:22 PM)
Yeah, Hawk's on it too. So is Friedgen, Paul Wulff, Rich Rodriguez, Mike Sherman and Erickson.
Tim (Kansas City)
Do you feel any of the WR's OU signed yesterday will be good enough to step in and play as true freshmen to provide some help for Landry Jones and give him someone else to throw to reliably other than Broyles?
Bruce (2:23 PM)
Austin Haywood the TE is a guy everyone seems to like.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
who is the team to beat next year?
Bruce (2:24 PM)
Darrin (Chattanooga, TN)
What do you think of the Vols possibly hiring Chuck Smith as Defensive Line coach?
Bruce (2:25 PM)
He wants to be there and he's been an NFL guy. Seems like a good fit on the surface.
Dion Lewis had better number than Mark Ingram LAST year. What are his Heisman chance this year?
Bruce (2:25 PM)
He has a decent shot. He had a great first year.
With letter of intent day behind us, which coaches do you think consistently do the best with the least big name talent? Mike Riley at OSU comes to mind out here...
Bruce (2:26 PM)
Put Jim Grobe and Gary Patterson in there too, along with Frank Beamer (although VT does get it share of highly touted recruits too).
Nick (Illinois State Uni)
Was Notre Dame's class surprising to you or was it disappointing?
Bruce (2:29 PM)
About what I expected. They got Matt James the big OT and signed three QBs which was such a big need for them. The big key for Kelly in this month plus he said was ID recruits who really love to play football... In the new coaches story I did last night for ESPN.com, I wrote that ND fans disappointed by not having more 4star guys should ease back because this guy has such a track record for winning with unheralded recruits, he really deserves the benefit of the doubt... Mardy Gilyard and Dan LeFevour were both 2-star recruits by the way.
Bernard (Princeton, NJ)
Penn State brought in two of the top QBs in the country with this class. Do you see either Jones (already on campus) or Bolden starting for PSU next year?
Bruce (2:30 PM)
Saw Bolden at the Elite 11 this summmer. Really think highly of his talent.. Big arm, good feet. Just raw. It depends on how fast he can grasp their system and handle the position.
Why is everyone so hyped on Bama? They lost 8 guys on defense 10 counting there regular backup who get time. I understand Ingram, he is phenomenal but without him that team is less than average. Their defense was the key to winning not their offense.
Bruce (2:33 PM)
Less that average??? McElroy and Julio Jones are also back, so is Trent Richardson and a host of good young OL.. On D, people may forget Dont'a Hightower because he was injured for much of the season but they guy was an impact player in 2008 and could be the next McClain. Marcel Dareus may not count technically as a starter but he was the star of the national title game and in the secondary Mark Barron could be an all-American and Robby Green has played a lot too.
Now that Edwards is gone who does UF get to be a DC?
Bruce (2:34 PM)
Maybe Steve Addazio should call his BFF Chris Rippon the new Marshall DC and recruit him to Gainesville.
While uf's class is great, isn't it a bit much to be calling it the best of all time as ESPN is continually doing? They weren't even the #1 class for all the major recruiting sites... just some of them.
Bruce (2:36 PM)
Take all of the recruiting talk with a lot of salt. It's all on paper for now. None of these guys have done anything for their teams. Wait five years then let's see if it's GOAT. We could call it the most hyped for now but that's about it. Plus, recruiting rankings have only been around for less than a decade with the star system so it's hardly comprehensive.
Tell me about Teddy Bridgewater...
Bruce (2:37 PM)
Live arm, really savvy kid from what coaches have told me.. supposedly one of the top 5 QBs in the class of 2011 down in Miami.
David (Chicago, IL)
What do you make of Uche Nwaneri's comments about Tim Tebow?
Bruce (2:39 PM)
I honestly didn't even know who he was when I saw that story. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Tebow is a very polarizing subject as we lead up to the draft.
Thoughts on Lache Seastrunk in Chip Kelly's Offense?
Bruce (2:40 PM)
He's fast and elusive, which means he should be a factor in that system. Kelly's offense is great at stretching people out. They play so fast and make it like defenses are playing on a CFL field.
What time will the blog be up by?
Bruce (2:41 PM)
I try to file by 8 AM PT. I had to wait to hear back from Coach today and now the chat so I won't file till probably a half hour after we're done here.
What do you think are the chances of one of the service academies being ranked at the end of next season?
Bruce (2:42 PM)
I think those chances are good. Watch for Navy and AFA which was so solid on D has a chance too.
Matthew (Alpharetta, GA)
Besides Cameron Newton & Michael Dyer...which new recruit do you see as a significant contributor this coming year?
Bruce (2:44 PM)
In the SEC, Da'Rick Rogers at Tenn, in the Pac-10 I think Owa Odighizuwa could spark the pass rush for UCLA and I think Ahmad Dixon could be a star for Baylor fast.
Glenn (Red Oak, Iowa)
Is it more important for some schools to recruit well than other schools? Case inpoint, Iowa always has a recruiting class that is rated usually in the 30's or 40's but no one really expects Iowa to be the 40th best team in the nation.
Bruce (2:46 PM)
I kinda follow. I think it's probably better to say it's less of an issue if those classes aren't highly ranked. I'll bring up that Bob Sanders/Nate Keading class from a decade ago.. that proved a lot better than the hyped up class from 4-5 years ago with Tony Moeaki and a lot of guys who were plagued by injuries.
Why does UCLA keep getting top recruits? They have had good classes for several years now but Neuhiesel never seems do anything with the talent he brings in.
Bruce (2:47 PM)
He's only been there a couple of years and last season was his first really strong class. And they keep getting good recruits now because he is a charismatic guy and a relentless recruiter.
Bradford (Boise, ID)
Hey Bruce, what are your thoughts on the Boise State class? It sounds like we got some good ones in Matt Miller, Grant Hedrick, Jeremy Ioane, Troy Ware, and others. Thanks.
Bruce (2:50 PM)
It's a solid class. Getting Ioane when most thought he'd end up at ND was big.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Bruce I think people put to much stock into recruiting classes. They need to remember that every class has players like Colt McCoy over looked out of a 2a highschool who had not yet grown. Or Michael Crabtree a QB in highschool who was not heavily recruited as a WR.
James (Harleyville, SC)
Bruce can you or another writer tell the story of Jake Nicolopulos that signed with Clemson yesterday. It was truly an inspiring story that shows wonderful character and commitment by the Clemson family.
Bruce (2:54 PM)
Good idea. He had suffered a stroke and Clemson signed him and honored their commitment to him. Classy move by the school.
Mike ((Mission Viejo, CA))
Is there any chance that Henderson doesn't play for USC next year or is his not signing just a formality?
Bruce (2:55 PM)
Anything is possible with recruiting.
Bruce (2:55 PM)
Three more questions...
thomas (los angeles)
bruce, i just started re-reading meat market. we trojans fans love coach o and are glad to have him back. any chance you do a meat market II set at usc?
Bruce (2:57 PM)
Hahaha... No, there won't be a Meat Market II. One, I don't think any school would allow a reporter to spend a year following a staff thru the recruiting process. And I don't have the energy and patience to go through that again. I feel like I took five years off my life just being around him that year.
Michael (Long Beach, CA)
What will you and Schlabach write about next year now that Tebow is gone?
Bruce (2:58 PM)
If there was no required military service, do you think that Ricky Dobbs could be an effective player in the NFL?
Bruce (2:59 PM)
I wouldn't bet against him to be a slot receiver perhaps.
Bruce (2:59 PM)
Thanks for all of your questions. If I didn't get to yours send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN.