Last week, Eric broke down all the offers to uncommitted 2013 prospects with the March Big Board.
Taking into account Whiskey’s latest positional number crunching, it appears that there are 62 scholarships accounted for moving forward, with the remaining 23 split between 5th year seniors and incoming freshman.
Moving forward, I am operating under the assumption that Tyler Eifert and Cierre Wood will not return for a 5th year of eligibility. That leaves Watt, Z. Martin, Calabrese, Fox and Tausch as likely 5th year scholarship candidates.
Based on those numbers, I think the 2013 class ends up around 20 (plus or minus one).
In order to arrive at the numbers needed at each position, let’s first review how many I think the staff needs at each position and who is already accounted for.
A breakdown to follow after the jump.
Offensive Line (15 Needed – 6 OT/6 OG/ 3 OC):
Tackle (5): Z. Martin, Nichols, Lombard, Prestwood, Stanley
Commits (1): Elmer
Guard (5): Watt, Hegarty, Hanratty, N. Martin, Carrico
Center (2): Heggie, Harrell
With the uncertainty around Zach Martin’s return, two offensive tackles are a must this cycle. Overall, I think the staff would be fine with 3 to a maximum of 4 offensive linemen total.
Offensive Skill (23 Needed – 4 QB/5 RB/4 TE/10 WR):
Quarterback (4): Rees, Hendrix, Golson, Kiel
Running Back (6): Roberson, McDaniel, G. Atkinson, Carlisle, Russell, Mahone
Tight End (3): Welch, Koyack, Niklas
Wide Receiver (8): Jones, Smith, Massa, Daniels, Farley, Ferguson, Brown, Neal
I am going out on a limb here and making two controversial statements: the staff doesn’t need to take a QB or a RB this cycle. One of the most glaring needs is at TE, where they absolutely need to land one big play-maker. The staff needs at least two WRs here as well.
Defensive Line (11 Needed – 7 DE/4 NG):
Defensive End (5): Schwenke, Tuitt, Lynch, Hounshell, Jones
Nose Guard (3): Nix, Springmann, Day
Once you look at the numbers, it is very clear that the staff needs to pick up two DEs and a NG this cycle. If they miss, it means shifting around players to positions that aren’t a natural fit—something that needs to be avoided at all costs.
Linebackers (13 – 7 OLB, 6 ILB):
Inside LB (6): Calabrese, Fox, Moore, Utupo, Grace, Rabasa
Outside LB (5): Shembo, Spond, Williams, Councell, Okwara
While it looks like the staff is okay numbers-wise, I think LB is a huge need for this cycle. I think Calabrese and Fox are either/or but not both for 5th years, and overall the ILBs will be upperclassmen by the time the 2013 season rolls around. I think they need two true ILBs and another two OLBs in 2013.
Secondary (13 Needed – 6 CB, 6 S, 1 DB):
Cornerbacks (5): Wood, Jackson, Brown, J. Atkinson, Shepard
Safeties (6): Collinsworth, Hardy, Badger, Baratti, Prosise, Shumate
Defensive Backs (1): Turner
First, I put Turner at DB because I think he can play either position. I think it is likely that Hardy moves to CB based on his size relative to some of the incoming players. Either way, the staff probably needs three defensive backs total in this class, though many would say more based on missing pure corners (aside from Tee Shepard) in 2012.
Special Teams (5 – 2 K, 2 P,1 LS):
Kicker (1): Tausch
Punter (1): Brindza
Long Snapper (1): Daly
I realize that special teams are the last place anyone wants to use scholarships, but it would appear that the staff needs to take a punter and a kicker. They can get by with one who can do both (a la Brindza), but it will leave them pretty thin in 2013 if they do.
As a recap, here are the numbers needed at each position for the 2013 recruiting class:
Offensive Line: 3-4
Running Back: 1
Tight End: 1
Wide Receiver: 2
Defensive End: 2
Nose Guard: 1
Inside Linebacker: 2
Outside Linebacker: 2