Transition periods are always tough — particularly in the world of recruiting, which hinges on essentially nothing but projections. The sport of college football features perpetual turnover between assistant coaches jumping at promotions, and the players only getting to ball for four seasons. To bridge these gaps, we look at the Head Coach — mainly through successful recruiting.
Make no mistake about it, Dan Mccarney’s biggest shortcoming was in recruiting. What Todd Dodge was to game-day coaching, McCarney was to recruiting. Whether it was filling up half his first full class of 2012 with players with no other FBS-level offers, to failing to capitalize on the HOD Bowl victory the subsequent Spring and Summer with quality recruiting, or believing he could almost completely forego early recruiting in 2016, Mccarney was simply not cutting it.
As a result of the above (and other things), he is gone, and leaves behind just a small group of 2016 commits. While the timing isn’t ideal, this can be a good situation for the new coach. He now has the opportunity to sign about 21 of his own recruits in “Class Zero.”
The class a coach signs between when he is hired and his first signing day a couple months later used to be a free pass. It still generally is, in that he won’t be heavily criticized for not bringing in a bunch of headline recruits in such a limited time if he is unable to. However, coaches start getting pressure if they aren’t winning by year 3, so at least this way he should have a good amount of these guys making or breaking his team by then, rather than guys he didn’t recruit.
Here’s a preview of what we should see between when the hire is made and signing day.
- Decision made on current commits:
Right now we have about 4 commits. San Antonio RB Tyrone Middleton (also offered by Colorado State), Fort Worth ATH Deion Hair-Griffin (also offered by SMU, Army, and ULM), Austin Westlake WR Chase Cokley (no other offers), and 2015 grayshirt* LB/DE Joseph Ozougwu (no other offers) out of Houston. It’ll be interesting to see who out of this bunch the staff wants, and who they encourage to look elsewhere. Ozougwu is set to be on campus next semester.
The new coach is supposed to be a good recruiter:
Recruiter, Texas ties, young and can relate with the modern-day kiddos, all that stuff. We keep hearing that’s probably the main criteria for the next head coach. If we truly do get that in a head coach, it should be fun to watch. What this school and program has to offer should make getting solid CUSA-level prospects easy. A good recruiting head coach could really get quality prospects in here quickly. Sorry, Coach Mac.
Inevitable recruiting bump for a new coach:
Any time a school hires a new coach they inherently get a recruiting advantage. Being able to tell kids they’ll get to come in and help turn this around, they’ll be part of his first class, they’ll have a good shot at early playing time, etc. can help offset the time constraint. A good coach can take advantage of this, especially with as many spots as we have.
It’ll be a busy recruiting season:
Recruiting season is always hectic, even when you think your class is just about complete. We are in the exact opposite situation, with a new coach to boot. With about 20+ spots to fill in about a 10-week period, the new coach is going to have to be ready to hit the road almost immediately after meeting his new team. If the coach wants junior college signees, he’ll have about 2 weekends to bring them in on officially visits before mid-term signing day. I wouldn’t expect many juco signees this class, but I am expecting a very busy January. Should be fun.