With quarterbacks dropping like Brett Favre's pants with a good texting plan, you would think that I would have more to talk about in terms of recruiting. Unfortunately, it has been very quiet so far. With a small class of seniors this season we were not going to have a big class anyway. Remember, Keith Smith's potential return (if approved) next season also costs us another scholarship. Kyle Adams, Keith Carlos, Dan Dierking, Jeff Lindsay, Jeff Panfil, Justin Pierce, Ryan Prater, Cortez Smith, John Humphrey, Ryan Kerrigan, John Finch, and Jason Werner are the only scholarship seniors that leave after this season. That leaves only 12 spots, thus making for a small class.
It also means there is little surprise we're struggling. Of those 12, only five are regular starters (Dierking, Lindsay/Adams, Kerrigan, Werner, and C. Smith). That means we have a lot of young guys playing in key roles, plus the underclassmen with experience are injured. That's even more reason that any kind of bowl game should be viewed as a great accomplishment. Basically, this roster is worse than last year with less experience, but we're doing slightly better.
The small senior class means there isn't a ton of help on the way, especially in terms of immediate impact players. We're already playing a ton of freshmen. Normando Harris, Sean Robinson, Gabe Holmes, Reggie Pegram, O.J. Ross, Ricardo Allen, Bruce Gaston, Will Lucas, and Cody Webster are the true freshmen that have played this year. That doesn't count all the redshirt freshmen. Again, combined with the injuries, this is an incredibly young team, and we have to be patient.
So our class is small for next year, and will continue to be very small. It is rated fairly well though. Everyone is rated as a three-star recruit according to Rivals (save Randy Gregory, who remains unranked). This is a step forward from three years ago when we had an influx of fringe two stars. While I don't expect these guys to have a huge impact next season, they will serve a role of restocking depth and may even jump ahead of those established two stars.
A.J. King - WR - Seffner, FL (Armwood HS) - Filed under "You have got to be F***ing kidding me!" King tore his ACL about a month ago and is out for the season. I wish I was making this up.
Russell Bellomy - QB - Arlington, TX (Martin HS) - At the rate we're going, I expect us to contact the NCAA and see if we can get Bellomy on the team now, because he'll have to start the Bucket game if his team is done in the high school playoffs down in Texas. This will be after we have started Robinson, Justin Siller, Skyler Titus, Ryan Kerrigan running a triple option, and begged Chris Kramer to come back only to have him get hurt as well. Bellomy has led Martin High to a 6-2 overall record and, more importantly, is actually healthy. He has thrown 994 yards and nine touchdowns against two picks, while running for 533 yards and seven scores. He has even caught a touchdown pass. Martin is on a 6-game winning streak and should make the state playoffs.
Bellomy in action
Brandon Cottom - ATH - Newton, PA (Council Rock North HS) - Cottom has shaken off an early injury but his team is a miserable 0-8 on the season. He only had 21 yards and a touchdown against another pretty bad team last week, thus not instilling me with confidence. His limited stats only have him for 132 yards on the season.
Randy Gregory - DE - Fishers, IN (Hamilton Southeastern HS) - With some massive upsets in the Class 5A State tournament this weekend Hamilton Southeastern has a real shot of winning the state championship if it can get out of its sectional. HSE beat Noblesville 38-0 this week, and gets 1-9 Lafayette Jeff at home this week, which is a near sure win. They would then play either rival Fishers or Carmel in the sectional final. Gregory is averaging 10.4 tackles per game and .6 sacks per game. Offensively he has caught three passes for a pair of touchdowns.
Robert Kugler - TE - Pittsburgh, PA (N. Allegheny HS) - Kulger only has stats listed for one game, and that is when he caught a 12 yard touchdown pass last week. He's mostly been playing defense, where he has 31 tackles.
Taylor Richards - DB - Lake Mary, FL (Lake Mary HS) - I don't have much in the way of stats for Richards, but I do have a link to video of Friday's 36-0 win for Lake Mary.
Michael Rouse III - DT - Flossmoor HS (Homewood Flossmoor HS) - I am excited about Rouse, since MaxPreps lists him as a top 20 defensive tackle for this year's class. He's already listed at 6'4" 300 pounds, and he has Bruce Gaston and Kawann Short to learn from over the next few seasons.