Big East team recruiting needs

Signing day is fast approaching, and every team is scrambling to put together or keep intact this year's class. So let's look at what each Big East team's pressing needs are going into this year's recruiting season.


Receiver: Mardy Gilyard is gone, Armon Binns is a senior and Vidal Hazelton and D.J. Woods will be juniors. It's time to bring in the next wave of playmakers for the spread offense.

Defensive line: The Bearcats lose both starting defensive ends and their hybrid outside linebacker in the 3-4. The end of last season showed the need to get bigger and tougher up front.


Receiver: UConn made great strides in the passing game this year but still needs more reliable targets at wideout, especially with Marcus Easley and Brad Kanuch graduating. The Huskies brought in young receivers last year like Dwayne Difton, and they need to stay on that path.

Defensive back: Connecticut doesn't lose a whole lot off the 2009 team, but the secondary is one place that needs some restocking. Corner Robert McClain and safety Robert Vaughn were both seniors. Redshirt freshman Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Dwayne Gratz showed promise at corner late in the year, but more depth would help.

Linebacker: The Huskies will have an experienced linebacker corps next year, with Scott Lutrus, Lawrence Wilson and Greg Lloyd -- the latter may move to defensive line -- all seniors. Since Randy Edsall likes to redshirt as many freshmen as possible, this would be a good year to begin finding their eventual replacements.


Depth: The Cardinals may have had the least amount of overall talent of any Big East team this season and have few pro prospects on the roster. First-year coach Charlie Strong's first order of business is simply to stock the cupboard.

Quarterback: Of the three players who started under center for the Cardinals last year, two (Justin Burke and Adam Froman) will be seniors, while the other (Will Stein) was a walk-on. None are considered pro prospects. Strong needs a major talent upgrade at that position.

Trenches: Louisville loses both starting defensive tackles, and three of its starting offensive linemen will be seniors. The team needs better players on both lines in order to compete consistently.


Cornerback: Starting corners Aaon Berry and Jovani Chappel were seniors, presenting one pressing need to a team that is otherwise well stocked. Pitt has signed a junior-college corner to help bridge the gap.

Receiver: Jonathan Baldwin will probably go to the NFL after this season. Which means the Panthers will need to start identifying the next great player at a position that's been manned in the past by Antonio Bryant and Larry Fitzgerald.

Quarterback: Tino Sunseri and Pat Bostick will battle it out for the starting job this spring. But there's little depth behind them, especially with last year's signee, Kolby Gray, moving to safety.


Offensive line: The Scarlet Knights lose three starters from this year's O-line: center Ryan Blaszczyk, left tackle Anthony Davis and right tackle Kevin Haslam. That makes finding some young guys up front a priority.

Defensive back: Star corner Devin McCourty and starting safety Zaire Kitchen are gone. Rutgers has some promising young players in the secondary, especially at corner, but could use some future help at safety and more depth overall.

South Florida

Defensive line: The Bulls didn't expect Jason Pierre-Paul to bolt for the NFL after one season when they signed him. That loss, along with the graduation of George Selvie, exposes the need for a big-time pass rusher, though last year's top signee, Ryne Giddins, could become that.

Linebacker: Middle linebacker and leading tackler Kion Wilson was a senior, as was weakside starter Chris Robinson. The Bulls love rising sophomore Sam Barrington, but they need some future stars around him.

Running back: The past few years, South Florida has always had a lot of tailbacks but no true standout. With Mo Plancher graduating and Mike Ford a senior, new coach Skip Holtz may want to locate a true No. 1 running back for the future.


Depth: Like Louisville, Syracuse needs bodies. The roster was decimated by injuries and departures last season, and Doug Marrone's program won't take off until it has enough depth to compete week to week.

Linebacker: The position should be in decent shape this year, but there isn't much behind the projected starters. It's telling that Marrone already has commitments from six linebackers.

Playmakers: Once Mike Williams quit, the Orange struggled to do much in the passing game. Marrone needs receivers, running backs and tight ends in order to employ a more wide open, multiple offense like he oversaw with the New Orleans Saints.

West Virginia

Linebacker: West Virginia's needs for 2010 aren't plentiful since a ton of starters return. But the Mountaineers lost middle linebacker and defensive stalwart Reed Williams to graduation, and they could start three seniors there this season. Time to restock.

Receiver: Jock Sanders' return was a boost, but the team also lost Alric Arnett and Wes Lyons and is still looking for a dependable No. 1 wideout to complement an increased passing game.

Defensive line: Depth was an issue up front this past season, with Scooter Berry in and out of the lineup and junior college signee Tevita Finau never showing up. Berry and nose tackle Chris Neild will both be seniors this season.