Monday, September 28, 2009

Wolfpack pulls away from Heels in in-state recruiting

The commitment of Cary defensive end Fre’Shad Hunter over the weekend virtually gives the in-state recruiting title to N.C. State, and is a direct slap in the face to North Carolina coach Butch Davis, known for his own high-powered talent gathering.

While Tar Heel fans defend their in-state struggles by saying that Davis and his staff are working on better national recruits—and thus paying less attention to players closer to home—there are two major flaws in that theory.

First, the in-state players the Wolfpack is landing are as good as any in the country, and grew up in the backyards of both schools. OT Robert Crisp (No.2 on The Observer’s Top 25 Prospects list), WR Anthony Creecy (No.6) and Hunter (No.5) are all prep all-Americans on someone’s list, the kind of talent capable of lifting a program into the top ten.

And second, North Carolina is simply not getting the national recruits Butch and his boys are going after. There was a brief, fast start with the early commitment of OL James Hurst, but that was as good as it got--there has been precious little follow-up.

The Tar Heels currently have landed one member (Charlotte Christian LB Ty Linton) on our NC 25-best list.

And it can’t get much better for North Carolina in-state, since the remaining three players in that top six we mentioned — DE Gabe King, S/WR Keenan Allen and DL Alfy Hill — are all expected to play their college football out of state.

Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien has to be celebrating, if quietly for the moment. And next year, Davis would be advised to protect his home turf first.

--Stan Olson

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

We dominated the state last year and as for this year it is a down year in the state hence the reason he is recruiting more out of state. He is already getting an early start on a loaded 2011 class so I am not worried at all. And trust me, don't be suprised when Hill pulls a Greg Little come signing time in Feb.

Anonymous said...

Curious to. Where did you have Erik Highsmith in your top 25 ranking last year?

Anonymous said...

Long time until signing day (which is FEBRUARY). But congrats on getting a few more hits for your pet-lining excuse of journalism.

Scott said...

What a joke of a blog entry...Heels wanted Crisp, didn't want Creecy or Hunter...Down year in-state, plain and simple...And I'll trust the UNC staff's player ratings over the recruiting analysts' any day...

Anonymous said...

The only joke is UNC's complete lack of any semblance of offense. Maybe Butch should think about recruiting a QB.

Anonymous said...

Actually I would take TOB eye for talent better than Butch. Butch recruits players, TOB coaches players. Example Russell Wilson was a 2 star recruit. Amato had great classes and so did Bunting, both are out of a job. Rankings mean nothing to either side.

Scott said...

Just took a look at your Top 25 List. Love to know who compiled it. Putting aside its merits for the moment, of the Top 10, UNC was interested in King, Crisp, Allen, Hill, Leifheit, and Farmer. The Northern Guilford situation made King and Allen problematic options, to say the least. As for Crisp, unlike N.C. State, Carolina wasn't interested in getting involved with his adoptive brother, Singer, for both on and off the field reasons. The staff would love to have Hill and he hasn't signed a Letter of Intent for anyone else yet. UNC is still very much in it for both Leifheit and Farmer. The two current NC commits for the Heels are Ty Linton and Reggie Wilkins. The staff rates them both as among the ten best in NC and the Observer ratings don't even have Wilkins in the Top 25. I think I'll go with the coaches on that one, lol. As for "precious little follow-up, get back to us in February...

704Champ said...

"I'll trust the UNC staff's player ratings over the recruiting analysts' any day..."

Hahaha thats a good one. Trust the same guys who didn't even play Willie Parker when they had him.

Scott said...

Russell Wilson is indeed a great example of how recruiting ratings aren't the end-all, be-all. Lay that one at the feet of Bunting. Wilson was dying to be a Tar Heel, but John screwed that up.

Scott said...

Well, if Willie had listened to the coaches with regard to running the correct play and following blocking schemes, not put the ball on the ground constantly, and played at the weight he was supposed to, he might have excelled at UNC too. And he was at UNC a wee bit before the current staff, btw...

Anonymous said...

Its funny how all you Hole fans have an excuse for everything. The sooner you realize that Butch Davis is a used car salesman the better off you all will be. He tries to out recruit everyone to hide his lack of coaching ability, except now he is having problems out recruiting teams. All the Holes talk about winning instate recruiting last year but what about the year before that? This gives NC State 2 out of 3 but you guys enjoy being the youngest team in the country for the fourth straight year and handing out raises to for 4 win seasons.

Anonymous said...

UNC has outrecruited GT on a national level for the last 3 years, how did that work out for them? The game is still played on the field

Scott said...

LOL...You wuffies certainly would know about used car salesmen...At least you now have a football coach who won't throw a parade for finishing fourth in the conference...

Warrior4NCSU said...

Blah Blah Blah....recruiting rankings and all that sounds great...but I doubt anyone thought Russell Wilson was going to be a monster QB in college. He was only a 2-star athlete coming out of HS. And the Highsmith kid at UNC is a big time player. Heck, not many if any recruiting sites even knew about Jerhanie Boyd much before his Senior year. But it all comes down to RESULTS on the FIELD when they get to school. UNC has made huge progress from the Bunting days and my beloved Wolfpack are definitey heading in the right direction as well. I'm happy to see UNC doing well, it makes it more interesting when both major in-state colleges are doing well. I just look forward to Nov. 28th and I'd like to see both UNC and NCSU win every game up to that point...but come gametime...both teams strap it up and see who is the best between the two. No hate for UNC...it bodes well for both schools for eachother to do well.

Anonymous said...

Most of Visor Boy Jr's prize recruits from last year didn't make it onto the UNC-CH campus. If I were a Ram's Club member, I'd ask for a refund. Butch Davis is a fraud! Go Hoos!

Hugo said...

Extremely pointless to compare recruiting classes in September. Besides, Olson is a complete novice when it comes to covering recruting. So, putting any stock in what he writes is foolish.

Anonymous said...

Color it anyway you like, Hole fans. In the end, you're getting beaten in in-state recruiting right now and you're being beaten on the field. Please try to get within 31 points of us this year, mkay? We'd really like for this game to actually start meaning something on the national scene and you guys just aren't holding up your end of the bargain.
41-10

Anonymous said...

Since King is gone, this gives the Wolfpack 3 or the top 5 (Crisp moves to #1 where he should have been). Not sure why the papers are still running Crisp as #2 given that King is not playing football in NC and now doesn't even live in NC.

TOB won the state two years ago in recruiting and was the state champ last year on the field. 2009 is going to be like 2007 - he is going to win on the field and with in-state recruiting .

This is a huge year for NC talent, as evidenced by all the recruits that are receiving national attention and regional interest. Allen, King, Crisp, Creecy, Amerson, etc. etc. I haven't seen this much interest by national and regional schools in a long time, certainly much different than last year.

The loss of Thigpen is a major to blow to UNC in what is one of the best years for in-state talent in recent memory. Any statement to the contrary is simply sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

Stan I've always been a fan of yours but don't you think you've beat this drum enough? State got a great recruit and that's great for them, so why not focus on that rather than using it as another chance to bash Carolina on in-state recruiting which you have done several times lately.

Been hanging out with Giglio and Tudor have you?

Anonymous said...

Bunting states "he could have had" Russell Wilson, and it immediately becomes fact. Nevermind the fact NCSU was recruiting him much earlier. That is plain arrogant to make a statement or believe something that foolish. Reminds me when Heel fans used to say Alabama and Auburn "coulda had" Rivers. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. While are are at it, stop blaming your Offense for losing to GT. Your defense didnt give the Heels much of an opportunity to win either. So much for all that "Swagger".

J said...

And exactly when did NC become the be-all-end-all of HS football players? None of the NC or SC top 5 would even make the top 50 in Florida, California, Texas or many other states. I know NC natives would like to believe otherwise, but landing an NC or SC top 25 football player just isn't that great on a national scale. True, UNC isn't landing the national recruits, but concentrating on just NC players isn't going to get them into the national picture.

41-10 said...

Wolfpack fan here. Looking at the comments objectively it's pretty funny. When NC State excels at recruiting NC, UNCCH claims talent level in the state is down. When UNCCH does well recruiting NC, NC State fans claim the talent level in the state is down.

One side needs to come up with a new excuse.

Anonymous said...

Greetings fom the west coast. Let me tell you how this looks to the rest of the football nation: The Wolfpack's star is rising and the Tar Heels' sun is setting. Not only is NC State a better-coached team, they are a much more talented and disciplined team, as well. Butch Davis appears for all intents and purposes to be just another Al Groh. He seems to land good recruits, but he doesn't turn them into winners. Insead of counting his inflated paycheck each week, he needs to come out and consult with Pete Carroll on how to build a top program. Until then, Tom O'Brien will continue to hand the boys from Chapel Hill their asses in a basket every season. In fact, last year's 41-10 disaster may look mild compared to the whippings yet to come.

Anonymous said...

Im a Tennessee alum and fan, so I am saying this without a bias to either school. Butch Davis went out and signed 30 recruits last year and has few seniors on the charts this year. This hurts recruiting for a year as their are fewer scholarships to go around, and even less desire for top recruits to sign without a clear path to the top of the depth chart. I would say NC State did a nice job signing the guy but its not as if they are blowing UNC out of the water.

Anonymous said...

"And exactly when did NC become the be-all-end-all of HS football players? None of the NC or SC top 5 would even make the top 50 in Florida, California, Texas or many other states."

Right - because no NC player is on anybody's top 100 list. I mean, it isn't like Crisp is one of the top 10 players in the country. He wouldn't be in the top 50 in FL, Cali, TX or many other states. No way he could be because nobody has him ranked in the top 20 players and Hunter and Creecy are national level recruits with offers from LSU, Southern Cal, or others. Good, good point you make. Excellent insight.

Anonymous said...

And as a side note, Leifheit made his second trip to UT in 2 weeks this past weekend and is very pleased. So when an in-state player gets recruited my an sec team it doesn't bode well for either of the instate schools. Granted I would say the reverse is the case in bball look at Brandon Wright and Eliot Williams.

Anonymous said...

In Butch, we trust.... TOB can have the little NC fishies, we are a National Program BABY!!

Anonymous said...

41-10 may have had the best post yet. Why is it that whenever UNC gets beat at the NC recruiting table, somehow it's a "down year" for talent in the state? Looks like you Tar/Cry Babies found some sour grapes to go along with that delicious crow you are eating....

Anonymous said...

"In Butch, we trust"

Good. That is what State fans said about Amato. The similarities don't stop there.

"We dominated the state last year"

How many of those instate kids last year actually enrolled?

Anonymous said...

Wow, Crisp isn't top 100 on anyone's list? Are you kidding me? He's #39 in the nation on Scout, regardless of position not to mention the #5 OT, and on Rivals he's #11 in the nation, regardless of position, and the #3 OT.

Obviously you guys will say it was a down year, just like we did last year and you did the year before that. It's only natural. But to think that none of the NC guys would be even in the top 25 for Florida, California, AND Texas, is just ignorant and ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

^HAHAHA. What's up Wal-Mart fan? Glad you're self-aware.

Charles Boyer said...

There's nothing more entertaining than watching supposedly grown men arguing like schoolchildren. The reality of it is that both schools have about a nickel's difference between their football programs and both are a pretty long way from scaring the likes of Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, or even a TCU.

Here's a simple truth for you to get your head around: being the best college football program in NC is like being the tallest midget.

Anyway, not long ago, the News and Observer posted that top prospects were leaving the state for the likes of Notre Dame and Florida schools. (www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/113668.html)

Now, the story is that NC State is dominating in-state recruiting.

Since the sports departments are one and the same, which is it?

Anonymous said...

UNC won the state recruiting LAST year, but State has beaten them in-state 2 of the 3 years TOB and Butch have been employed. State's class is shaping up quite nicely, and the season still has some good potential. State will probably have to win scoring contests most of the season, but they have the offense to do it.

Anonymous said...

"There's nothing more entertaining than watching supposedly grown men arguing like schoolchildren."

Actually, I am a school child. We have internet access too.

"Wow, Crisp isn't top 100 on anyone's list? Are you kidding me? "

Your ability to discern sarcasm is prodigious.

Stan Olson said...

To the guy who asked why I keep bringing this up; I do so because North Carolina and N.C. recruiting are of major interest in this area. It becomes a story again each time it changes, as when a Hill gets away or a Hunter commits to NCSU.
An interesting debate from both sides, though...

Anonymous said...

You might want to go easy on terms like "prodigous", since there are a lot of UNC SIDEWALK ALUMNI in here. (You know the type- they never finished HS, but are always yelling how much Duke, NCSU and Wake suck, blah blah blah.) Words like that are just going to sail over their heads, with all the precision and accuracy of a T.J. Yates pass attempt!

Scott said...

Would have told you that the talent level was down this year in NC long before State got their first recruit. As for Wilson, his family approached Carolina themselves looking for a scholarship. The OC at the time thought he was the best high school QB he'd ever seen. Bunting was scared that an offer might cause his more highly-rated QB recruit Paulus to decommit. When he declined to offer Wilson a scholarship, he went to the State camp and the rest is history.

Anonymous said...

State has a great program going. I'd love to see them in the top 10, along with Duke and Wake, as long as my Tar Heels are at the top. If not the Heels, then another NC school, or at least an ACC school. Carolina will get there (as it has in many other sports--best athletic department in the ACC), and I hope Davis is the coach to take us there. Recruiting analysis is just a pass-time until the games are played on the field, and State won the battle last year.

Anonymous said...

"Would have told you that the talent level was down this year in NC long before State got their first recruit."

Except you would have been wrong. Objective evidence, i.e. the number of national and regional high-major schools offering NC kids this year, clearly indicates not only is it a great year for NC talent but also a very deep year.

Rivals has up to the top 13-15 kids in NC as four start recruits! Each of those recruits has offers from major regional and national programs. Rivals #24 player in the state is going to OSU. Of the top 30 players, all have committed to high-major programs and the remaining kids have not committed yet. Just a fantastic in-state year for football talent.

Anonymous said...

Wilson begged to come to unc?? Lol..what a joke. Kid grew up a fan of richmond spiders since his bro played there. Last year was his first trip ever to kenan, yey he went to see state play in middle and high school to watch rivers. Kid wasn't a big fan of anybody. Not vatech, uvan and certainly not unc..what a joke.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for "letting" us have Russell Wilson, you generous bunch. I guess we're about 1/100 of the way even for us "letting" you have Jordan.

Anonymous said...

Some expect a top 20 NC player, T. Brosius, to switch from UVA to NC State in coming weeks. He has already decommitted from UVA according to UVA sources. In addition to UVA, he had offers from Pitt, Maryland, and Central Florida before committing very early in the recruiting process. 4 star David Amerson is also close to making a decision after visiting NCSU and ND.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments about the relative quality of recruits in NC and FL, TX, Cal., etc. If I recall, it was the NC State fans that fell for that trick with Amato. Didn't work out too well. I also recall Mac Brown saying that cornering the market on instate recruits was the key to his success at UNC. And make no mistake, he was successful at UNC. So, based on that track record I would have to say that UNC fans are following snake oil salesman and that NCSU is building a program. Oh, the irony.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow.. I love the guy who said they would not take Crisp becuase of Singer's background, which had not even came out at the time. Yet they were licking their chops to recruit Gabe King who had such a bad history that TOB refused to offer him a scholarship. Anyone who thinks you handed us our tail in recruiting last year, did not see the huge impact our true freshman had in the last goal line drive in the Pitt game. Most of your good recruits from last year are now wearing ECU uniforms because they couldn't get into the Hill..

Bottom line is State recruits and different caliber of play than Caroliona and if they are not quality young men, it doesn't matter how many stars they have.

41-10 and it might not be that close this year. Wait to you put Yates against the current #1 defense in the country. Yes, you read that right.

GO Pack.

Anonymous said...

Look, the reality is that NCSmoo fans, alumni, and players aren't even worthy to carry the jock straps of anyone associated with UNC.

It's cute that you redneck farmers show pride in your program, but at the end of the day, you're a glorified community college while UNC is an Ivy League caliber school in a public system.

T. said...

Big State fan here, class of '93

Facts are facts, Wilson did want to go to UNC.

Frank Cignetti was that OC (and QB coach) at UNC that wanted Wilson. He begged Bunting to offer him... Dum bass Bunting wouldn't offer though 'cause Paulus' daddy would be upset. Paulus Sr wanted a guarantee that UNC would not sign another QB in that class.

Irony all over this... Curt Cignetti, Frank's brother, was the QB coach at NC State at the time, and he got Wislon instead of his brother.

Frank Cignetti is the current OC at PITT, who Wilson and NC State just beat. The same PITT where Curt Cignetti was QB coach before coming to NC State.

Bama Jake said...

Anonymous said...
Look, the reality is that NCSmoo fans, alumni, and players aren't even worthy to carry the jock straps of anyone associated with UNC.

It's cute that you redneck farmers show pride in your program, but at the end of the day, you're a glorified community college while UNC is an Ivy League caliber school in a public system.

September 28, 2009 8:08 PM


LOL - and you wonder why your fans aren't hated? I'm a Bama fan and hate whoever posted this. I hope LSU knocks the arrogance out of your pompus @ss next year.

Anonymous said...

"you're a glorified community college while UNC is an Ivy League caliber school in a public system."

Very funny, did you make that up yourself?

BTW, what does athletics and academics have to do with each other?
Nothing.
And another BTW: UNC recruits the exact same dummies, and even DUMBER dummies, that State does. Dwight Jones ring a bell?
If an athlete can't get into UNC, his only other stop is ECU....UNC's admissions standards for football players is about a half a notch above them.

Anonymous said...

This is not a down year for NC recruiting....it's actually better than last year.

Oh, and for you UNC fans: Doesn't do any good to recruit all those top-rated recruits if they never make it to campus.
And think, just how pitiful do these guys have to be to not be admitted into UNC-PQ. (partial-qualifier)
UNC, the only ACC school in NC that admits partial-qualifiers.

UNC...hey kid, fail a core class in high school? No problem, we'll have "you" take an online makeup course and you'll have a passing grade in two weeks.
Don't laugh, it's happened several times with UNC recruits already.

Matthew said...

Crisp, Hunter, and Creecy will all be contributors sooner than later. David Amerson is also a name to watch out for. He is a talented Safety that really likes the Pack. If we land him then we have 4 guys that are all good enough to play as freshmen. Not saying they will because we are relatively deep already but they are good enough.

The excuse that Butch "goes national" is a BS excuse. Outside of Marvin Austin what highly ranked recruit has Butch Davis reeled in from outside of NC?

If TOB wins for a 3rd straight year over BD then expect panic in Chapel Hill. They will never win another recruiting battle in NC if O'brien and the Pack continue to beat up on them...

Anonymous said...

"And exactly when did NC become the be-all-end-all of HS football players? None of the NC or SC top 5 would even make the top 50 in Florida, California, Texas or many other states."

Ok, so take a second and watch some SEC football. Then tell me how many kids from NC are starting on these power house teams you describe. I would say you would be pleasantly surprised, but it looks to me that you would honestly rather have NC recruits suck to support your notion that UNC is recruiting bigger and better outside of the state. Your notion is very wrong.

Anonymous said...

Stan there is one major flaw in your theory. Unc has several freshmen receivers and one de with three soph de. So read between the lines hunter and the wr would not play for three years. Good pot stirring article though.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the battle for Fre'shad Hunter a battle between NCSU and ECU?

Crisp is a great prospect and UNC would certainly love to have him, but he's an ABCer and has been brought up living under the roof of NCSU season ticket holders. No big deal.

Beyond Crisp, none of the NCSU commitments were recruited heavily by UNC. That doesn't mean they are poor prospects, but UNC will make their evaluations, as will NCSU.

This could be a special year for NCSU IMO. This could be the year that TOB scores a .500 in Raleigh.

Anonymous said...

41-10 paying dividends for TOB.

Butch Slapped said...

"Wasn't the battle for Fre'shad Hunter a battle between NCSU and ECU?"

Battle between LSU, FSU, Alabama, TN, and NC State actually. ECU was his second favorite in-state.

"Crisp is a great prospect and UNC would certainly love to have him, but he's an ABCer... No big deal."

And Torry Holt loved UNC and it did turn out to be a big deal to land him.

"Beyond Crisp, none of the NCSU commitments were recruited heavily by UNC. That doesn't mean they are poor prospects,"

Of course not, considering that they all had offers from bigger programs than UNC.

"This could be a special year for NCSU IMO. This could be the year that TOB scores a .500 in Raleigh."

...on the flip side, maybe Butch will figure out how to make the State/UNC game close either statistically or on the scoreboard. Although, from what I've seen, that is highly unlikely.

Anonymous said...

The bottomline is that Butch was once ambitious and wanted to work his way up to bigger things. When he got there, he had panic attacks and quit midseason. He has opted out of the rat race by going to a school with low expectations that will allow him to get in academically suspect players via "online courses." He isn't even getting it done on the recruiting front, which is a real problem given his gameday coaching was always suspect.

Anonymous said...

Butch Davis is a fraud of a coach. Visor Boy Jr. will be run out of town after losing to UVA this week. Go Heels!

704Champ said...

Its easy to be a great recruiter when you're recruting for 1990s Miami Hurricanes teams. The U brings in recruits regardless of who is recruiting (especially in their prime in the 80s and 90s).

After all, what kind of players has Matt Doherty recruited since leaving UNC? Roy is a good coach, and the UNC angle, means he will get good players.

Take Butch out of Miami, and his recruiting power drops significantly, just like taking Doherty away from UNC.

But the bottom line is always results on the field. And while UNC went 8-4 this year, and might win 8 games this year as well (they should be 5-1 in a couple weeks), UNC alums and donors are going to be pretty upset if one of the Heels' losses this year is a 3rd straight to O'Brien.