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May 5, 2008

USC proves recruiting pays off in draft

We're a week removed from the NFL Draft. While most folks have been trying to figure out how their favorite NFL team's new players will fit in, we've been looking back at past recruiting classes and crunching some numbers.

Here's a look at schools that have recruited well of late and/or had at least five players drafted this year. The columns are broken down by recruiting class and the figures denote recruiting rank that year, how many players from that recruiting class were drafted this year and how many total draftees there have been from that class. For instance, using Arkansas as an example: The Razorbacks were 29th in recruiting in 2003, with one player from that class drafted this year and three total draftees from that class. A dash () signifies no one from that class has been drafted yet.
Arkansas29th: 1/322nd: 3/424th: 2/2
Auburn11th: 3/521st: 1/213th: 1/1
California14th: 2/623rd: 1/29th: 2/3
Florida2nd: 1/77th: 1/315th: 0/1
Florida State21st: 1/53rd: 0/12nd: 2/2
Georgia 6th: 1/56th: 2/310th:
Louisville35th: 1/564th: 4/445th:
LSU1st: 2/62nd: 6/722nd:
Miami5th: 1/54th: 1/17th: 1/1
Michigan17th: 3/65th: 3/46th: 1/1
Ohio State41st: 1/49th: 1/312th:
Oklahoma4th: 1/28th: 0/13rd: 5/6
Tennessee18th: 1/411th: 2/24th:
Texas15th: 2/510th: 1/120th: 2/2
Texas A&M10th: 4/413th: 8th: 1/1
USC3rd: 7/121st: 3/51st:
Virginia Tech27th: 4/541st: 4/414th:
NOTE: This includes players who originally signed with a school, then transferred and were drafted. If a player signed with a school twice, he is counted in his second class.
Almost all the players in this draft come from the recruiting classes of 2003 (players would've been fifth-year seniors this past season), 2004 (true seniors or juniors who redshirted) and 2005 (true juniors or sophomores who redshirted). Four schools were in the top 10 in recruiting in each of those years: Georgia, Miami, Oklahoma and USC. Five others were in the top 10 twice: Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan and Texas A&M.

(There were 10 players in Rivals.com's top 100 junior college rankings of 2006 who were selected in this draft. But we didn't want to include the 2006 signing classes because the high school players signed that year can't be drafted until 2009.)

Of the schools mentioned above, USC had the most players selected this year, with 10 (actually, USC led the way among all schools). LSU had seven draftees, Michigan had six, Texas A&M had five, Georgia and Oklahoma each had four, Florida State and Miami each had three and Florida had two. (The accompanying chart breaks down figures from the 2003, '04 and '05 recruiting classes for those schools plus a few more.)

Let's take a closer look at the 2003 signing class; all the players signed in that class should be out of college by now. Note that these figures include players who originally signed with a school, then transferred and were drafted. And if a player signed with a school twice, he is counted in his second class.

LSU was No. 1 in recruiting that year, and two players from that class were drafted this year: QB Matt Flynn and TE Keith Zinger. Four players from that class were drafted in 2007, all in the first round. There were no draftees in 2006. There was one five-star prospect (RB Justin Vincent) in the class, and he wasn't drafted. The final tally: Six picks.

Florida was No. 2 in recruiting that year. One player, WR Andre Caldwell, from that class was drafted this year. Four players from that class were drafted in 2007, including two first-rounders, and two others were drafted in 2006. There were five five-star prospects (Caldwell, DL Joe Cohen, WR Chad Jackson, DE Jarvis Moss and CB Dee Webb), and each was drafted. The final tally: Seven picks.

USC was No. 3 in recruiting that year. Seven players OT Sam Baker, QB John David Booty, DT Sedrick Ellis, DE Lawrence Jackson, CB Terrell Thomas, TB Chauncey Washington and LB Thomas Williams from that class were drafted this year, including three in the first round. Two were drafted in 2007 and two others in 2006, including one first-rounder. One player from that class, DT Fili Moala, did not enroll until later; he will be a senior at USC this season and is seen as a likely first-rounder. There were two five-star prospects (RB Reggie Bush and WR Whitney Lewis), and one wasn't drafted. The tally so far: 11 picks.

LSU coach Les Miles' decision to dismiss quarterback Ryan Perrilloux from the team means that five of the top 16 prospects in the 2005 Rivals 100 either have quit or have been kicked off their teams.
4thDE Melvin AlaezeMaryland
The skinny: Maryland revoked Alaeze's scholarship after he was arrested on marijuana charges. He played one game for Illinois early in the 2006 season before leaving the team a month later for personal reasons. He was sentenced to eight years in prison last November after pleading guilty to a first-degree assault charge.
6thWR Fred RouseFlorida State
The skinny: Rouse spent one season at Florida State before being kicked off the team for "conduct detrimental to the welfare of the football team," coach Bobby Bowden said. He later was charged with stealing electronic equipment from the home of former teammate Lorenzo Booker. Rouse transferred to UTEP, where he caught 25 passes for 379 yards and two touchdowns last fall. But Miners coach Mike Price announced in March that Rouse wouldn't be back with the team this season.
14thDT Callahan BrightFlorida State
The skinny: Bright failed to qualify academically and never played for Florida State.
15thRB Jason GwaltneyWest Virginia
The skinny: Gwaltney was a backup running back at West Virginia in 2005 before ending up at Long Island Community College. He reportedly is working toward getting the credits necessary to re-enroll and perhaps return to the Mountaineers as a walk-on.
16thQB Ryan PerrillouxLSU
The skinny: Perrilloux was named the most valuable player of the Southeastern Conference Championship Game last December after playing in place of an injured Matt Flynn, but he was kicked off the team Friday after a series of legal and disciplinary problems.
Oklahoma was No. 4 in recruiting that year. One player from that class TB Tashard Choice, who transferred to Georgia Tech was drafted this year. There were no draftees in 2007 or '06. One player, a junior college transfer, was drafted in 2005. There were no five-star players in the class. The final tally: Two picks.

Miami was No. 5 in recruiting that year. One player, LB Tavares Gooden, from that class was drafted this year. Two were drafted in 2007 (both first-rounders), one in 2006 and one in 2005 (a JC transfer). There were three five-star players (ATH Devin Hester, TE Greg Olsen and QB Kyle Wright), and one wasn't drafted. The final tally: Five picks.

Georgia was No. 6 in recruiting that year. One player, DE Marcus Howard, was drafted this year. Two were selected in 2007, one was taken in 2006 and one, a JC transfer, was drafted in 2005. There were two five-star prospects (CB Paul Oliver and RB Kregg Lumpkin), and one wasn't drafted. The final tally: Five picks.

North Carolina State was No. 7 in recruiting that year. No players were drafted this year. One was drafted in 2007 and two were selected in 2006. There was one five-star prospect (OT Derek Morris), and he wasn't drafted. The final tally: Three picks.

South Carolina was No. 8 in recruiting that year. One player, RB Cory Boyd, was drafted this year. One player was drafted in 2007, one in 2006 and one (a JC transfer) in 2005. There was one five-star prospect (RB Demetris Summers), and he wasn't drafted. The final tally: Four picks.

Mississippi State was No. 9 in recruiting that year. No players was drafted out of the class. There were two five-star prospects (DB Quinton Culberson and DE Deljuan Robinson). The final tally: Zero picks.

Texas A&M was No. 10 in recruiting that year. Four players DT Red Bryant, OT Corey Clark, DE Chris Harrington and C Cody Wallace were drafted this year; those were the only draftees out of the class. The final tally: Four picks.

Players from the 2004 and '05 classes still are in school. Already, though, 19 of Rivals.com's top 100 players from 2004 have been drafted: 13 this year, with seven of those being five-star prospects, and six in 2007, inclding two five-star prospects. Among the top 100 players in 2005, 13 were drafted this year; six of those were five-star prospects.


The SEC led the way with 35 draftees. The Pac-10 was second with 34, followed by the ACC (33), the Big 12 (29), the Big Ten (28), the Big East (19), the WAC (10), Conference USA and the MAC (nine each), the Mountain West (seven), independents (five) and the Sun Belt (three).

The ACC had the most first-round picks, with seven. The Pac-10 and SEC had six each, followed by the Big Ten (four), the Big East (two) and the Big 12, Colonial, Conference USA, Ohio Valley, Sun Belt and WAC (one each). Two I-AA players went before the first picks from the Big East and Big 12.

USC had the most selections, with 10. Virginia Tech had eight, LSU had seven and Arkansas, California and Michigan each had six.

This is the second time in three seasons USC has had the most selections. Florida had the most in 2007.

Ten years ago, in 1998, Washington had the most players selected, with 10. This year, there were no Huskies picked.

Notre Dame had four players picked, giving the Irish 465 all-time draft picks. USC is second with 460. No other school has more than 400.

Thirty-nine of the 53 underclassmen who declared were drafted.


Was there too much beer advertising during the NCAA Tournament? A letter to NCAA president Myles Brand, signed by more than 100 college presidents and athletic directors, said there was. The Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C., helped organize the letter, which said the "embarrassingly prominent" beer advertising broke the NCAA's policies. That policy supposedly limits beer ads to no more than two minutes per broadcast; the CSPI said there was 4 minutes and 30 seconds of beer ads during the final game. "Given the persistent problems caused by underage and excessive college drinking, much of it in the form of beer, we find it inconceivable that the NCAA's profiting from beer promotion during the telecasts of college basketball games comports with the best interests of higher education, sports, or student welfare," the letter said in part. The NCAA said the guidelines were followed because the policy covers only the game itself; an NCAA spokesman told USA Today that pre-game and halftime shows do not count toward the limit.

The Atlantic Coast Conference again is going to consider going to an 18-game league schedule, from 16. The league has played a 16-game schedule since the 1991-92 season.

Oh, the perils of being a coach these days. Buffalo had to indefinitely suspend leading scorer Andy Robinson for something he posted on Facebook, a social networking Web site. Robinson posted a message offering to pay someone to read a book, then write an assigned paper. Robinson admitted he placed the "ad" and apologized in a statement released by the school.

The field for the third annual Old Spice Classic was finalized last week, and it's a good one. Five of the eight teams in the field were in the NCAA tourney this past season: Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State, Siena and Tennessee. The other three: Maryland, Oklahoma State and Wichita State. The tourney, held at Disney World in Orlando, is scheduled for Nov. 27-30.

We missed this earlier: Tony Harvey was named coach at Texas Southern, which went 7-25 this season. That name might sound familiar, as Harvey is a former Missouri assistant under Quin Snyder who resigned under pressure in 2004 after being accused of breaking numerous NCAA rules. Texas Southern's interim athletic director is Johnnie Cole, who has had run-ins with the NCAA himself while he was a football assistant at Alabama State and Tennessee State.


So, we were keeping track of spring-game attendance figures when we're told that a Web site bigrednetwork.com has all the information. Great. Anyway, here is the top 10: 1. Nebraska: 80,149; 2. Alabama: 78,200; 3. Ohio State: 76,346; 4. Penn State: 73,000; 5. Florida: 61,000; 6. Texas: 43,000; 7. Arkansas: 40,200; 8. Auburn: 35,000; 9. LSU: 33,624; 10. Texas A&M: 32,000

New Nebraska coach Bo Pelini was looking for more speed on defense, and converted tailback Cody Glenn showed well at linebacker during spring drills. Glenn, who will be a senior this fall, was used sparingly as a reserve last season, playing in five games and rushing for 78 yards.

Ohio State will play host to just the eighth night game in Ohio Stadium history this season when Penn State visits on Oct. 25. It'll be the first night home game for the Buckeyes since 2005, when they lost to Texas.

Louisiana Tech lost its starting quarterback from last season when Zac Champion graduated, but the Bulldogs may have found their new one in Georgia Tech transfer Taylor Bennett. He started for the Jackets last season (throwing seven TD passes and nine picks) but decided to transfer after Paul Johnson was named coach. Bennett has graduated from Georgia Tech, and he'll be eligible this fall. He qualifies for immediate eligibility under an NCAA rule that allows players who have graduated to transfer without sitting out as long as the new school offers a graduate degree in a program that the old school doesn't offer. Bennett, who was an international affairs major at Georgia Tech, will be going for a master's degree in Information Systems Security at Louisiana Tech.

The Liberty Bowl will be played in January for the first time in its 50-year history this season; the game which matches teams from Conference USA and the SEC will be Jan. 2, a Friday, at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Other bowls that day are the Cotton at 2 p.m. Eastern time and the Sugar Bowl at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

Louisville has received the go-ahead from the state of Kentucky for the planned expansion of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The stadium is set to expand from 42,000 seats to 60,000 by the start of the 2010 season.

I am glad to welcome Tom Dienhart aboard as another college football writer for Rivals.com. Tom and I worked together at The Sporting News in the mid-1990s. He's a good guy and a passionate follower of college football.

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.

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