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February 12, 2011
Ranking the Big East by position
MORE POSITION RANKINGS: Big Ten | SEC | National offense | National defense
Rivals.com analyst Mike Farrell ranks the Big East 2011 recruiting classes by position.
Both Rutgers and Cincinnati signed two quarterbacks in this class, giving them a slight edge over Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, who is clearly the highest-ranked signal-caller in the Big East for 2011. Gary Nova and Mike Bimonte give Rutgers the top spot over Cincinnati's duo of Patrick Coyne and Stephen Weatherford but not by much. West Virginia, Connecticut, Syracuse and South Florida also added three star quarterbacks as well with the Mountaineers pulling in two to finish in the top half of the conference. Pitt was the only school that passed.
Rutgers got the biggest fish in Jersey stud Savon Huggins, but Cincinnati and West Virginia rank ahead of the Scarlet Knights because they also landed four-star backs and better depth at the position. The Mountaineers signed Andrew Buie as well as Vernard Roberts, while the Bearcats got Jameel Poteat and Ralph David Abernathy to finish second in the conference. Pitt lost Poteat in the coaching change but rebounded well with two three-stars and four backs total. Syracuse is happy with Adonis Ameen-Moore as the only pure running back in this class.
Louisville dominated this position in the Big East and finished very high nationally thanks to Eli Rogers and Charles Gaines Jr. in Florida, and in-state star DeVante Parker. Cincinnati and Syracuse both signed six wide receivers while Rutgers once again landed the biggest name in the conference in Miles Shuler. South Florida and West Virginia each had multiple three-stars to round out this group.
For Pitt to finish atop any category after the nightmare coaching carousel it endured is amazing. Tight ends Sam Collura and Devin Cook both bring different things to the table. Tyler Kroft for Rutgers could be a sleeper. South Florida and West Virginia also added players who could surprise. Cincinnati, Connecticut and Louisville took a pass on the position this year.
If there was one position of need for Rutgers, it was along the offensive line and while they landed only three prospects, they are quality players with excellent upside. Junior college lineman Dallas Hendrikson could play right away, local lineman Keith Lumpkin is one of the best-looking prospects and landing Kaleb Johnson was huge after losing Marquis Lucas late to West Virginia. South Florida brought in six linemen with three of them ranked as three-stars. Louisville, West Virginia and Connecticut also added multiple three-stars as well.
Rutgers and South Florida both added four-star defensive tackles to their class late as the Scarlet Knights signed Marquise Wright in-state over some major offers and USF beat Florida and others for Elkino Watson. Pitt also landed a four-star in Khaynin Mosley-Smith, who remained loyal to the Panthers from the start. West Virginia inked two three stars. Cincinnati and Louisville, like Pitt, only took one defensive tackle each but added quality.
Rutgers once again owns another category with another four-star leading the way in prep standout Djwany Mera. Throw in Kyle George, who could be one of the most underrated players in the Big East, as well as former Pitt commitment Max Issaka and it's clear that Rutgers cleaned up. Louisville may have two fewer three-stars than Cincinnati but both of its defensive ends were ranked nationally. All three schools added depth and skill. Connecticut, West Virginia and South Florida added quality but lacked numbers.
Once again Pitt tops a category despite the coaching turmoil. It has the conference's only four-star linebacker in Ohio's Nicholas Grigsby. West Virginia wasn't far behind with four three-star prospects, while South Florida, Syracuse, Rutgers and UConn also added double-digit three-stars at linebacker. Keep an eye on Syracuse 'backer Cameron Lynch, who has big-time ability and was just a couple inches short of major offers.
Louisville dominated this category with four-star teammates Gerod Holliman and Andrew Johnson, both former Ole Miss commitments, as well as four three-stars in the defensive backfield. West Virginia also did very well with four-star cornerback Vance Roberts and four-star safety Terrell Chestnut. Pitt has a potential star in Lafayette Pitts, a former Rutgers commitment. Syracuse and South Florida also added good depth at the position with Ritchy Desir's national ranking giving the Orange the edge.
Five schools added athletes, led by Cincinnati's two three-star signees in Demetrius Alston and Trenier Orr. Syracuse added three athletes with Ashton Broyld, who can play anything from quarterback to linebacker. Connecticut athlete Sean McQuillan is a former quarterback who could be a big-time tight end in college.