Here’s a special guest post from my boy (and current UA student), HogBlogger Jr.
A new era of ‘Pig Men’ is soon to be upon us. The day known by many a collegiate football fan to be the start of something amazing or the realization of a dismal future is coming. Yes…I am talking about National Signing Day — February’s most important ‘man holiday.’ Well…besides the Super Bowl and February 13th — a.k.a. ‘desperation day.’
Rivals.com first started nationally ranking recruiting classes in 2002. Looking back at the top five classes each year, one will find a laundry list of BCS teams. Texas, USC-West, LSU, Georgia, and Florida frequent the top five year in and year out. And, not surprisingly, come next January we’ll expect to see those teams competing for the national title.
A few years ago, our fan base was happy to be in the top 30. We were led to believe that we were ‘just Arkansas’ by a few once prominent…and now ‘un-prominent’ men.
However, those men have moved on. One currently boasts the #37 class coming off a Cotton Bowl victory over one of the several overrated Big 12 teams. The other celebrated by bearing his name to a lot of grass that, coincidently, our new coach wants to rip up and turn to turf.
In spite of what once was believed, Head Coach Bobby Petrino is proving otherwise. To date, we boast the #14 class in the nation with the potential to crack the top 10 if the ‘stars’ align properly. In addition, there are several noticeable differences in Bobby’s first class and Houston’s last.
During Houson Dale’s last stand — coming off a 10-win season — we took in six two-star recruits, 17 three-star recruits (of which five were lost due to ineligibility or transfer), and four four-star recruits (two of which were tight ends — which would, of course, only be useful in a two tight end set).
Our 2007 class ranked #31 in the country. As of now, Head Coach Bobby Petrino boasts no two-star, 22 three-star, seven four-star and one five-star recruit after coming off a modest 5-7 record. That’s five less wins and over a half point increase in star power.
It appears Bobby Petrino and Thomas The Train hold the same “I think I can” philosophy.
Additionally, we are finally recruiting for need rather than to fill roster spots. In our current class, we have six defensive backs (all flaunting a ‘Florida-esque’ 4.55 or better speed) that collectively have been ranked as the #2 defensive backfield in the nation and #1 in the SEC. As we all recall from last year, outside of Ramon Broadway, our secondary was an issue.
Furthermore, we have realized that Michael Smith (another Thomas The Train follower), while similar to lightning, needs a thunder. Next year, that thunder will likely be in the form of either a 6’0″, 208-pound Knile Davis, 6’0″ 218-pound Jahron Brown, 6’2″ 215-pound Turell WIlliams, or heralded 4-star Ronnie Wingo, Jr. — a 6’3″ 212-pound St. Louis phenom.
Finally, Coach Petrino has understood that our offensive line, while mighty at heart, was small in stature. Correcting this, we now will boast six mammoths between 6’4-6’8 in height and collectively weighing 1,786 pounds. (Luckily I’ve heard our new quarterback is quite tall.)
As the eternal optimist, I believe this class will finish up even stronger, as a few other renowned recruits should be crying “pig sooie” in the next few days. Now all we have to do is sit back and let Coach Petrino continue to mold this team…and maybe wish on a few stars.