Pitt places top-25 class
During his three-year tenure, head coach Dave Wannstedt has a losing record and has yet to take the Panthers to a bowl game. Despite that, he has recruited very well, especially in western Pennsylvania. He landed four ESPN 150 prospects, including No. 8-rated wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin (Aliquippa, Pa.). Pitt may have finished near the bottom of the Big East standings, but it is the only program in the conference with a top-25 recruiting class.
Greg Schiano and the Scarlet Knights could not repeat last year's success on the field or in recruiting. The state of New Jersey was not as loaded with talent as it has been in the past, but Rutgers still saw the state's top six prospects leave. Rutgers did land some good talent in New York and Florida, where its top two prospects are from in wide receiver Malcolm Johnson (Bartow, Fla.) and quarterback D.C. Jefferson (Winter Haven, Fla.).
The Bulls notched some big wins in 2007 with players many other programs passed over. With an eye for talent, South Florida has built a competitive program and the resulting increased exposure has helped some in recruiting. The backbone of this program is still grabbing underappreciated talent, though, like running back Demetris Murray (Buford, Ga.) and undersized linebacker Quavon Taylor (Miami/Northwestern).
Brian Kelly is trying to build the Bearcats into a legitimate Big East contender. His "Cat Attack" offense is attracting some solid talent like wide receivers D.J. Woods (Strongsville, Ohio) and Lynell Payne (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee). Kelly's first full class is a big one with 22 signees from six different states.
It has been a year of ups and downs for West Virginia, but new head coach Bill Stewart's first class is not indicative of a team that had the Mountaineers' success. They have several junior college additions and signed in-state No. 7 guard Josh Jenkins (Vienna, W. Va./Parkersburg).
A tough season on the field seemed to lead to a tough year in recruiting. The class is heavy on junior college talent as the Cardinals look for a quick turnaround. The prep talent is solid, but not great. Running back Darius Ashley (Cincinnati/Saint Xavier) was a great sign.
Greg Robinson is still trying to restore the Orange football program. He has landed a large 2008 class, signing 26 prospects led by top-50 running back Averin Collier (Churchville, N.Y./Chili). Wide receivers Trey Fairchild (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin-Coffman) and Marcus Sales (Dewitt, N.Y./Christian Brothers) both fill a need.
The Huskies had a solid year on the field but the recruiting has not gone as well. The state of Connecticut is not deep with talent to begin with and the state's top five prospects signed elsewhere. UConn did beat out several programs for big offensive tackle Jimmy Bennett (Alexandria, Va./West Potomac).
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National signing day 2008
What schools have the best classes? Where are the top undecided recruits heading? ESPN.com and Scouts Inc. have you covered in the final month leading up to national signing day.
• Top 25 class rankings
• Team grades: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | SEC
• Team grades: Big 12 | Pac-10 | Best of the rest
• Lawlor: Pryor's choice is not to choose just yet
• Hudson: Jones stays home to play for Alabama
• Signing day blog
• Signing day chat wrap
• Behind the scenes on signing day
• Tucker: Top uncommitted prospects
• Schlabach: Michigan's future could hinge on Pryor
• Forde: Verbals can be risky business
• Florida climbs to No. 1 in class rankings
• WIR: Pryor announcement could be on hold
• Dinich: Recruiting pipelines
• Lawlor: Proud HS coaches
• Dinich: Long and winding road for assistants
• Conley: What happens on home visits
• WIR: Watching the early entries
• Top 10 undecided prospects
• Conley: The final push
• WIR: Uncommitted prospects hit the road
• DaQuan Bowers tops final ESPN 150
• Pac-10 part one | Part two
• ACC Atlantic | ACC Coastal
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