January 18, 2008

Keeping up with Sun Belt recruiting

With all the facts, rumors and inuendo regarding who will sign with Troy in a few weeks, it's easy to forget there are other Sun Belt Conference teams out there stocking their rosters.

Here is a brief glimpse on what some of the league teams are up to on the recruiting trail:

Arkansas State: The Indians seem to be going the JuCo route, but did sneak into Trojan territory to snag one verbal commitment. Mike Timmons of Cullman appears to be taking his game to Jonesboro. He is a 5-foot-11, 195-pound running back. His senior year, he ran for 2,043 yards and 30 touchdowns. He garnered looks from Ole Miss and Memphis before deciding on ASU.

North Texas: Talk about raiding one from the Razorbacks' file. A couple of years ago, Arkansas hired former Springdale (Ark.) High School coach Gus Malzahn as its offensive coordinator. He brought three prized recruits with him to Fayetteville including quarterback Mitch Mustain. A year later, Malzahn was at Tulsa and Mustain has transferred to Southern Cal.

The Mean Green sort of took a page from the Hogs book when they hired Todd Dodge from Southlake Carroll (Texas) High School. A year later, he brings his son, Riley, to Denton. It is probably too much to think he will transfer.

The younger Dodge is Rivals' 47th in the Texas top 100. His final two seasons at Carroll, he threw for 7,673 yards and 93 touchdowns.

He had already committed to the University of Texas as a junior until his father was hired at UNT. He also had offers from Missouri, Tulsa, SMU and Rice.

Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin' Cajuns snuck one past Kansas when they grabbed defensive tackle Ryan Glazer. A 6-3, 290-pound defensive tackle from Grossmont (Calif.) J.C., Glazer runs a 5.0 40-yard dash. He had committed to Kansas, but apparantly had a change of heart.

He also had offers from Oregon and San Diego State.

Louisiana at Monroe: The Warhawks have verbals from a pair of three-star defensive tackles. Alex Ford will transfer from Pearl River (Miss.) C.C.

He is 6-2, 300, runs a 5.3 forty and had offers from Kansas State and Louisiana-Lafayette.

Aaron Williams played at Pearl River as well and the Warhawks wisked him away from Louisiana Tech. He is 6-1, 295 and covers 40 yards in 4.8 seconds.

Middle Tennessee State: The Blue Raiders stayed local for offensive guard Alex Stuart. The 6-4, 285-pounder is from Oak Ridge, Tenn., and had offers from Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Tennessee. He is rated in the the Top 75 prospects in Tennessee.

Wide receiver Marcus Thurmond will head to MTSU from North Augusta (S.C.) High School. The 5-11, 159-pounder (yes, that is not a typo, 159 pounds) played in the South Carolina North-South All-Star Game and had offers from Kentucky and Maryland.

Florida International: Despite just one win in the past two years, the Golden Panthers have picked up verbals from a pair of three-star recruits.

Cedrick Mack is a 6-4, 335-pound offensive lineman from El Camino (Calif.) C.C. A native of south Florida, he mamoth decided South Beach beat the Pacific coast and passed on offers from Southern Miss, Washington State, Kansas State, Kentucky, Oregon State and South Florida.

Linebacker Kambriel Willis will also head to FIU. A product of Miami's Washington High, he is a 5-11, 181-pound outside linebacker. A speed rusher, he amassed 28 sacks as a senior.

Florida Atlantic: The defending Sun Belt champs are bringing in a pair of quarterbacks despite the return of the league's player of the year, Rusty Smith.

Graham Wilbert will travel cross country from Valencia (Calif.) High School. He had a chance to stay on the west coast by heading to San Diego State or Washington, but decided to become an Owl.

Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic quarterback David Kooi will simply go from on end of the state to the other. He threw for 2,300 yards as a senior with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

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