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Big East Signing Day Blitz

Ranking each conference team's 2007 recruiting class

Posted: Thursday February 8, 2007 2:40PM; Updated: Thursday February 8, 2007 4:59PM
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For the second straight season, Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt compiled a top recruiting class.
For the second straight season, Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt compiled a top recruiting class.
Damian Strohmeyer/SI
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By Mike Farrell, Special to SI.com, Rivals.com

After his second full year, Dave Wannstedt has put together another impressive recruiting class at Pitt. Running back LeSean McCoy was a big get and is the every-down running back that Wannstedt needs in his offense.

1. Pittsburgh

Headliner: McCoy, who has excellent vision and great balance.

Sleeper: Tight end Jordan Gibbs has a huge frame. The 6-foot-7, 290 pounder has excellent feet that will likely make him a talented tackle in a few years.

Overview: After his second full year, Wannstedt has put together another impressive recruiting class. McCoy, the No. 9 prep player in the country, is the centerpiece. However, he'll be surrounded by a lot of talent. Quarterback Pat Bostick and fellow running backsGreg Williams, Shariff Harris and Henry Hynoski will help add depth with McCoy. Players like Maurice Williams, Aundre Wright, Dom DeCicco and Kyle Hubbard should allow the Panthers to stretch the field in the future. On defense, the line got a major upgrade with defensive end Tony Tucker and tackle Tommie Duhart.

2. West Virginia

Headliner: Running back Terence Kerns runs low to the ground, has thick legs and excellent quickness. Kerns brings a bit of power to the speedy West Virginia running game.

Sleeper: Linebacker Will Johnson brings speed and athleticism to the Mountaineer defense. He's the kind of high-motor, undersized linebacker that makes plays in their system.

Overview: After an impressive year capped by a Gator Bowl victory, the Mountaineers stocked up on recruiting talent at key positions. To go along with Kerns, coach Rich Rodriguez also got a speedy quarterback in Bradley Starks to continue the option offense. The Mountaineers added plenty of help on the offensive line, too. The addition of Chad Snodgrass, Gino Gradkowski and Donny Barclay should help up front. On defense, West Virginia vastly improved at defensive back with pledges from Anthony Wood, Eain Smith, Evan Rodriguez, Sidney Glover and Derek Knight. Do-everything athlete Brandon Hogan could play many positions and has great quickness.

3. Rutgers

Headliner: Anthony Davis, a 6-5, 341-pound offensive guard, will help to continue the grind-it-out style of offense for coach Greg Schiano. Davis is one of the highest-ranked players from New Jersey to commit to Rutgers.

Sleeper: With his unique blend of size and speed, defensive end Jonathan Freeny could be a force off the edge for the Scarlet Knights. He could be another South Florida sleeper.

Overview: After a remarkable season, Schiano capped it with an impressive recruiting haul. The Scarlet Knights have a lot of depth, and focused especially on solidifying their defense for the future. Leading the way is four-star linebacker Manny Abreu. Four more linebackers will join him in Piscataway: Jourdon Brooks, Alex Silvestro, Al-Ghaffaar Lane and Joe Lefeged. The defense added further help up front with pledges from tackle Wayne Thomas and ends Desmond Wynn and Keith Newell. Versatile athlete Mason Robinson should make an impact as well.

4. Louisville

Headliner: The nation's top junior college prospect, cornerback Woodny Turenne, should create nightmares for Big East offenses in the future. He is ready to play immediately.

Sleeper: Running back Bilal Powell could be part of a strong 1-2 punch for the Cardinals running game. He has good size and runs with power.

Overview: Louisville added key skill position players in this year's recruiting class. The centerpiece of Steve Kragthorpe's offense of the future could be quarterback Matt Simms, the No. 14 pro-style quarterback in the nation. He'll have plenty of help joining him in running backs Victor Anderson and Dale Martin. In addition to that, the offense landed a speedy receiver in Doug Beaumont and a slew of talented linemen like Mark Wetterer, Greg Tomczyk and Zach Kiernan. Meanwhile, the defense added a couple top recruits in former Miami Hurricanes linebacker Willie Williams and Rivals250 safety C.J. Peake.


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