Talk Recruiting with Craig Haubert
Craig Haubert (3:59 PM)
Hi, this is Craig Haubert. I'm pumped up about doing my first chat here on ESPN.com, and I'll try to get to as many as questions as I can. First, I'd like to welcome Toryan Smith out of Rome, Georgia.
Toryan Smith (3:59 PM)
Thanks, Craig. I'll answer as many of your questions as I can.
Erik (Monongah, WV)
Toryan, How much has the Notre Dame coaching staff been in touch with you. What will be your final factor in choosing your college? GO IRISH!
Toryan Smith (4:00 PM)
Notre Dame, they contact me at least 3 or 4 times a week. Coach Charlie Weis, he came down, he came to the school and he met with me and we talked about what my role could be on the team. I talked with my recruiting coach awhile also.
Greg (Detroit, MI)
Good to see you (Craig) are not out of a job because the Fury went out of business. But we need a top LB at Michigan State what do you think about the Spartans Mr. Smith?
Toryan Smith (4:01 PM)
The Spartans just now started recruited me. I'm gonna send them my tape just now in the first part of next week.I've heard some good things about them and I'm open to them. We'll see how that goes.
Rob (Las Vegas, Nevada)
What program impresses you the most? What programs are you interested in? Fight on!
Toryan Smith (4:02 PM)
I'm interested in Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, UCLA and Washington.
Brad (Austin, Tx)
Toryan, How strong is your interest in my Auburn Tigers? I know they would love to have you and Tray Blackmon on the field together in 2 years!! WAR EAGLE, TORYAN
Toryan Smith (4:03 PM)
That's what they're pitching at me right now about getting the best two linebackers in Georgia two years in a row. they compare me to him, I'm a little bigger than he is, but we both have that physical style of play. They think we can get them back to that championship level.
Steinbeckford (Austin, Texas)
Hey Toryan. Your stat line from last year is one of the most impressive and I heard you sent Coach Chizik your tape when he was at Auburn. Would you consider being a part of one the best classes all-time here at The University of Texas if Coach Chizik came calling? Where does UT stand with you?
Toryan Smith (4:04 PM)
Coach Chizik he came to the school to see me, he talked to me through my father. We're trying to get it organized right now when I can come and visit them. He saw my tape and he said I was one of the best guys I had seem. He wanted to know if I was as interested in them as he was interested in me. I am interested in them, and I'm going to try to make that trip.
Chris (Detroit, MI)
What will it take to put one of these schools over the others in your mind?
Toryan Smith (4:05 PM)
I'm looking at depth charts and I'm looking at locations of the school, not the location of the school, but how the people are in the town and around there. Another thing that will separate it is the coaching style.
Toryan, What do you think about the Gators? They are thin at LB and are said to be installing a more aggressive scheme this season.
Toryan Smith (4:07 PM)
The Florida Gators you know, they have a great program. I probably talked with Coach Meyer right now the most out of anybody. We see eye to eye, the style they play there, I like their style. Coach Meyer, he's one of the hottest coaches right now, they got a good program and they have a legitimate shot.
JJ (Coleridge, NE)
Toryan, what interests you in the Nebraska program? Knowing how much the program means to the state we would love to have you.
Toryan Smith (4:08 PM)
Coach Callahan told me he's gonna come down and watch me play a game. Right there, that shows me that they really want to get me, so I'm really going to be considering them.
Toryan: How much of a factor is it to play for a contender? Is distance going to be a factor in your decison?
Toryan Smith (4:09 PM)
Distance is not a factor at all. That's why I've been taken so many unofficial visits. I want to expand, I want to see what's outside the region. I definitely want to play for a contender. I want to go somewhere where I can play early and have a legitimate chance to play for a national championship.
John: Nashville, TN
Hi, Toryan...Is Alabama on your list of schools? Bama will have a huge need at the LB position next year.
Toryan Smith (4:11 PM)
I took a visit to Alabama, I talk to Mike Shula now and then. They're going to be getting their scholarships back soon, so they're going to be a program that's coming back on the radar.
Garrett (Manhattan, KS)
ESPN the Magazine ran an article about questionable recruiting sites, and their writers and fans trying to persuade them to their school, while writing an article for their site. Have you seen this at all, without naming names?
Toryan Smith (4:12 PM)
I subscribe to ESPN the magazine and I saw the article about Myron Rolle. I think that's very true. There's some people who are decent writers and trying to their job and they're are definitely some people who go overboard when they're trying to persuade you to their school. I guess it ain't illegal if ain't coaches, but it's a little overboard.
Garrett (Manhattan, KS)
What conference is most appealing to you?
Toryan Smith (4:14 PM)
I think the ACC, the SEC and the Big XII because for the most part it comes down to those 3 conferences except for USC. I think those are the top 3.
Toryan Smith (4:15 PM)
I just want to say that I'm wide open still. I'm going to take all my visits and I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity. Thanks everybody for your questions.
Craig Haubert (4:17 PM)
Thanks Tory. I'll now be answering your questions.
mike cardinal (Louisville)
After UofL wins the Big East this year will they recieve some respect or will everyone just say the Big East is weak.
Craig Haubert (4:18 PM)
It's a little early to say they're going to win the Big East. I'm sure West Virginia and Pitt would have something to say about that. But Louisville has a very high-powered offense and any time you can put points on the board like they do, you have a chance to make waves and quickly get to the top. They have just a legitimate shot to win that conference as anybody.
Ryan (Tampa, FL)
FSU got a big committment in Caz Piurowski this week. How solid do you think that committment is, and how good do you think Piurowski can be?
Craig Haubert (4:20 PM)
That commitment is not a shocker since Caz's dad played at FSU. How solid it is, it's a long time between now and signing day, things can change. But I'm guessing if he gave his commitment this early with the family bond, it's probably a pretty strong verbal.
Craig Haubert (4:21 PM)
As far as he goes, he's a very talented player with great height. He'll be a great red zone target, he goes up and gets the ball. He's a little light in the pants, but he's a feisty blocker, and with additional size, he can become a good all-around TE.
Steinbeckford (Austin, Texas)
Hey Craig, have you seen the sick amount of talent UT has reeled in in the form of commits in such a short period of time. We had like 20 or so before June. If Mustain and Co. would join this class is there any doubt it will be the best in the nation?
Craig Haubert (4:23 PM)
At this point, they are having a great recruiting year. But it's important to note that out of their 21 verbal commitments, 20 of those are from in-state kids. Once again, it's a long time between now and signing day. They're signing a lot of kids at the same position, and some kids might not want to see that and that might not appeal to them down the road.
Craig Haubert (4:24 PM)
But their class so far is great. They may have signed two of the best defensive prospects in the country in Eddie Jones and Sergio Kindle. I really like a kid who's flying under the radar right now -- ILB Dustin Earnest out of Texarkana. Right now in our evaluations, the jury is still out on the receivers they have signed.
Craig Haubert (4:24 PM)
Their receivers may be a tad bit over-hyped by others.
Craig Haubert (4:25 PM)
On the O-Line, they did sign a very good OT in J'Marcus Webb.
ben (Jacksonville, FL)
Who is better Matt Stafford or Mitch Mustain?
Craig Haubert (4:26 PM)
Stay tuned. Both QBs are outstanding, polished prospects and you will see our rankings and grades of these QBs in our ESPN 150 due out in August.
Will Pat Hill continue to find decent recruits to come to Fresno State because of his connection to the NFL?
Craig Haubert (4:27 PM)
Pat Hill's a good recruiter. They've always kind of been on the outside of the big schools, but they always manage to compete with them on the field.
Craig: Although I am pretty sure I know the answer to this, are the Gophers making any noise in recruiting so far this year? We have went through many years of mediocrity (on the field and recruiting) and I wanted to know if there is any hope. Thanks.
Craig Haubert (4:28 PM)
So far they have received verbal commitments from two in-state offensive lineman -- Andy Brinkhaus and Justin Jenson. Jenson is a big boy and a mosnter of a man at 6-7, 340.
What is your take on Jeremy Ricker and his commitment to Maryland?
Craig Haubert (4:31 PM)
Ricker is one of three highly touted QBs out of the state of PA. He's a good fit for the Terps offense because coach Friedgen implements a pro-style passing scheme along with some option-oriented aspects. And Ricker is athletic enough to handle both duties. Out of all three of the QBs from the state of PA, he is the gunslinger out of this group. He's got a swagger about him that you like to see. Not to take away from any of Jeremy's talents as a QB, but he's similar to Mitch Mustain in the fact that he's got outstanding players around him and is joined in the backfield by potential top 5 RB Lesean McCoy.
Craig who do you think is FSU'S best recruit?
Craig Haubert (4:33 PM)
Chad Roark is a solid offensive lineman who is versatile and can play center. We already talked about Piurowski. I haven't seen much of in-state D lineman Clifton Dixon.
Craig Haubert (4:34 PM)
Clifton Dickson, sorry. Spelling mistake.
Christian Rodriguez ((Orlando,FL))
Whats the latest on Taylor Mays is it gonna be between Washington and SC??
Craig Haubert (4:35 PM)
I'm not so sure he's locked into the Pac 10. It would be a huge, huge pickup for the Huskies in their rebuilding process. But Taylor's obviously got a lot of choices and it may come down to how far he wants to be away from home.
JJ (Coleridge, NE)
Who is Nebraska's best player they are recruiting?
Craig Haubert (4:36 PM)
They are on pretty much all of the top players in the country. Earlier, we heard Toryan Smith say how Bill Callahan would be attending one of his games. We also know Callahan has several offers out to top-flight TEs and defensive lineman. They've made a couple of nice in-state pickups including Jeff Souder. He really flies around.
Tony (Atlanta, GA)
Craig, did I miss something, did Lesean McCoy commit to Maryland? . . . referring to your answer about Jeremy Ricker . . . How are the Nittany Lions chances of landing a good class this year?
Craig Haubert (4:38 PM)
Just to clear it up, McCoy plays with Ricker on his high school team. McCoy has yet to commit anywhere. As for PSU, it's too early to tell, but their 2005 recruiting class was extremely strong and surprised many, so there's no reason to think that Coach Paterno and his staff won't do everything in their power to match or improve upon last year's class.
Will Syracuse ever be a power on the national recruting level again, or has the Coach P era doomed the program for years?
Craig Haubert (4:41 PM)
first off, Coach P had 10 good years and produced a bevy of NFL superstar talent and placed Syracuse on the national map as far as recruiting's concerned. Let's not let 2 down seasons overshadow his tenure at Syracuse. It won't be easy, but they'll have the opportunity to elevate themselves with a couple of good recruiting classes. Talent always cures a lot of ills. They have the fan support, and if they win, they'll be a team on the National scene again.
Has Percy Harvin made a decision yet? If so, where?
Craig Haubert (4:45 PM)
No, we don't know where he's going. And he's not committed anywhere yet. I believe he will take his time. He is a rare prospect at the receiver position and he has a lot to mull over in making his decision because he has so many choices.
Dave (Athens, GA)
What is your opinion of the current commitments for Coach Richt at Georgia? Any other prospects strongly considering UGA?
Craig Haubert (4:48 PM)
They have a good class so far. They're doing a good job on the offensive line getting commitments from in-state players Justin Anderson and Ben Harden. Ben's a very good run blocker -- I call him a people mover. They also got Kevin Perez out of Florida. Most importantly, they received a commitment from a prime-time player in the most important position in all of football in Matthew Stafford.
Craig, what does Oklahoma's recruiting class look like so far? What positions are they trying recruit hard?
Craig Haubert (4:50 PM)
They don't have a lot of activity right now. Three of their four verbal commitments are from the state of Texas. They're a national recruiter and are going after each position. As has been documented, they were in very early on CB Myron Rolle out of Princeton and offered him a scholarship after his sophomore season. Rolle has yet to decide on his school.
Mr T (IPITYTHEFOOL)
Is Josh Freeman a quarterback or a tight end prospect?
Craig Haubert (4:52 PM)
Potentially both. It may be important to note that he could fit in somewhere on the defensive side of the ball as an outside linebacker. But I feel he will enter camp competing as a QB and we'll see where it goes from there.
Hey Craig!! Give me an opinion on Clemson Tiger recruiting right now. We have done well with Sapp and a few others. Where do you think we end up with this class??
Craig Haubert (4:54 PM)
Right now, they're to a very good start, particularly on defense. Four of their five commits are out of the state of South Carolina. Both DEs Ricky Sapp and Jamie Cumbie are prized recruits.
Hey Craig, does Chris Wells sufficiently fill the Buckeyes need at RB?
Craig Haubert (4:55 PM)
Yes, I think he does. He is more of a big between the tackles power back who is going to be a bruiser and carry a full load. But he's not necessarily one of those big-play, slasher types that's going to make a lot of people miss in the open field. He is what we would term to be a workhorse.
Steinbeckford (Austin, Texas)
Michael Goodson is going to commit this weekend on TV in Houston. Where do you see him going? USC? A&M? OSU? Any thoughts?
Craig Haubert (4:56 PM)
I believe it will be in-state. I also believe he is potentially one of the top 5 to 10 RBs in the country.
Georgia Tech only has 2 commits so far this year...What is Chan Gailey waiting for?
Craig Haubert (4:58 PM)
Not everbody's philosophy is to go out and offer everybody. They may be just trying to fill specific needs and may be focusing on specific players to help fill those needs. Right now, they're two commitments are helping out their D Line in Ben Anderson and Robert Hall. Please keep in mind that Ga Tech's academic standards are different than many of the other universities that they are competing against, very similar to a Stanford or a Northwestern. They may be waiting for prospect test scores to come in and be sure that the players that they are pursuing qualify academically.
Craig Haubert (4:59 PM)
Thanks everybody for their questions, I'll be back next Thursday. Tom Luginbill will be here on Monday at 4 ET. Thanks, see you next week.