Commentary

Pitt places top-25 class

Updated: February 7, 2008, 11:49 AM ET
By Tom Luginbill, Craig Haubert, Billy Tucker and Bill Conley | Scouts Inc.

• Complete Big East signing lists

Four ESPN 150 prospects
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.

No ESPN 150 prospects
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.).

No ESPN 150 prospects
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).

No ESPN 150 prospects
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.

No ESPN 150 prospects
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).

No ESPN 150 prospects
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.

No ESPN 150 prospects
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.

No ESPN 150 prospects
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).