Coaches are out in full force visiting high schools all over the state and region trying to find just the right talent that will fill holes left by graduation. Constantly trying to improve, recruiting is just one way the college coach will work for the betterment of his team. So going into 2010, if you have to recruit, you first have to know what your talent base is coming back. This is not as easy as it may appear. A coach can only recruit based on where he thinks his needs are. If some underclassmen, that coaches expect to return, decide otherwise, then the coach and team are left in a precarious position.
In researching the information for this post, I am solely looking at rosters that will indicate where vacancies will occur.
Averett will lose 13 players to graduation, and among those, Anthony Squillini will be a major loss for the Cougars. Squillini was a triple threat as he was used as a receiver, and a kickoff and punt return specialist. Averett will also lose running back and return specialist Dontavious Watson. On defense, the Cougars will lose two linebackers in Mario Huffman, and Zane Cooper.
While Averett is losing 4 or 5 players that were key to their success this past season, several of those listed did not see significant playing time.
Grade for recruiting needs: B-
Christopher Newport University
Tunde Ogun leads a short list of graduating seniors at CNU. Ogun, the all time leading rusher at CNU is joined by WR Tony Spradlin, and DE Trevor Wagner. Overall the Captains only have 9 Seniors listed on the roster.
Grade for recruiting needs: A
The Panthers will loose 14, but within this group goes a significant amount of talent. Most noticeably, the offensive backfield loses Matt Dobson, Matt Lucas, and Quintel Banks. Major loses on the offensive line, linebacker corps, and in the defensive secondary will keep the off season recruiting in high gear.
Grade for recruiting needs: C-
Of the 12 players that the Pride are losing, the talent in these twelve is immense. Graduation will take a toll on the roster as 9 of the players are defensive, and they will also lose Quarterback Matt Caparaso. Look for the recruiters to be busy in Greensboro.
Grade for recruiting needs: C-
Maryville will lose 13 Seniors, and among those are their outstanding running back Rommel Hightower. Also the Scots will lose All American linebacker Kyle Chewning. Overall, Maryville will lose 8 offensive, and 5 defensive players.
Grade for recruiting needs: C
Methodist, after another disappointing season, will have 19 Seniors departing. Among those is Quarterback Erik Teague. The Monarchs will also lose 9 defensive players, 5 of which appeared in the majority of the Methodist games. The Monarchs O-Line will be hit hard by graduation, and this will likely be the main recruiting focus for the Monarch coaches.
Grade for recruiting needs: D
North Carolina Wesleyan
The Bishops will enter the 2010 season as the defending champions, but will lose a lot of their talent on offense to graduation. Quarterback Bo Jordon, and Running backs Teron Bush and Bryan Haywood are gone in 2010. WR Orlando Webb, and TE Alonzo Washington will also be gone. On the Defensive side, The Bishops will lose Joel Creef, LeeRon Boykin, and Scott Cooper who all saw significant playing time. While these are big losses, the roster suggests that they still have plenty in the tank to make them competitive.
Grade for recruiting needs: B
The Hornets will only lose 10 to graduation, but some players played pivotal roles in 2009. QB Vern Lunsford, WR E.J. Brown, and P/K Nic Hoover will all be lost to graduation. While these are significant, Shenandoah looks like they will have a number of reserves to step up in 2010.
Grade for recruiting needs: B+
So the recruiting needs run the gamut from Offense to Defense, to Special Teams. This is the norm in D3 football. Who will have the best success on the recruiting front? We will have to wait and see, but I think you will see a close race this season....my picks will come much later, but here is who I think will have the easiest to the most difficult recruiting responsibilities based on anticipated roster vacancies.
1. Christopher Newport University
2. Shenandoah University
3. North Carolina Wesleyan
4. Averett University
5. Maryville College
6. Greensboro College
7. Ferrum College
8. Methodist University