Recruiting Q&A: A Look at the Mid-Atlantic with Adam Friedman
With National Signing Day less than a month away, SI exchanged emails with the seven Rivals.com regional recruiting analysts to get their perspectives on the major storylines between now and February. Mid-Atlantic analyst Adam Friedman breaks down the current regional recruiting landscape:
SI: Name your top three "sleepers," either committed or uncommitted, and explain why you think they will impact the next level.
Curtis Cothran from Newtown (Pa.) Council Rock North: This future Penn State Nittany Lion is very athletic with a big frame. As he continues to develop his understanding of the game and fills out, Cothran could be a solid hybrid defensive end-outside linebacker.
Braxton Pfaff from Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian Academy: It might take a year or two in Blacksburg before he is ready to play, but Pfaff could end up being the best offensive line prospect in a pretty good Virginia Tech class. Pfaff has good pass-blocking technique and should get better at run blocking as he gets stronger and more aggressive.
Delton Williams from Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep School: Michigan State is getting a very versatile player whose future is probably at safety. Williams is a very vocal, physical and enthusiastic leader with good speed and instincts. When he masters defensive schemes and understands what an opposing offense is trying to do, Williams should be a solid player for the Spartans.
SI: Which recent coaching departure (or new hire) will have the most influence on your region's recruiting landscape?
The only D-I coaching change in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast occurred at Boston College, but the coaching moves that had the most influence on recruiting were Bill O'Brien's and Paul Chryst's decisions not to leave Penn State and Pittsburgh, respectively. These coaches staying put kept two pretty good recruiting classes together and really kept western Pennsylvania from being a total free-for-all.
SI: Name three teams whose stock is rising and three others whose is falling.
- Rutgers: It is moving to the Big Ten and has a top-40 recruiting class.
- Maryland: It is moving to the Big Ten and had a good year despite losing all of its quarterbacks to injuries.
- Pitt: It has a top-40 recruiting class and showed it can compete.
- Virginia Tech: It fell far short of expectations this season.
- Virginia: Another year like this and Mike London could be looking for a job.
- Syracuse: After returning to relevance this season, the Orange lost their coach and are back to square one.
SI: Who is the best remaining uncommitted player in the region?
The answer is easy: Derrick Green. The nation's top-rated running back from Richmond, Va., wants to decide in January. Michigan is the slight favorite, with Tennessee in second and Auburn, Miami, Florida State and USC still in the mix.
SI: Which player in your region will have the best opportunity to contribute immediately?
Green's toughness, physicality, size and speed make him the type of back who can come in as a freshman and make an instant impact. He is ideally suited for a pro-style system with a big offensive line and downhill rushing attack. He has improved his catching ability so that he can be a part of the passing game as well.
SI: Which player in your region impresses you so much that you'd be willing to guarantee success on the next level?
There are no guarantees in this business, but Virginia Tech commit Kendall Fuller is the closest thing to it in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. His size, speed, athleticism, technique and playmaking ability are some of the best in the country. Fuller has experience against great competition, having played at Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel against the likes of former five-star Stefon Diggs. He also has three brothers who have played or are playing at Virginia Tech.