Friday, November 03, 2006
Recruiting: What the Dogs are in Dire Need of
Today on the George Takada show recruiting seemed to be a hot topic with respect to Fresno State football. I have to say this probably should be an area we as fans focus on right now. Our secondary and defensive line is absolutely terrible and our two best tacklers on defense graduate (Shirley and Andrews). We are going to be weak in the secondary, and the Linebacker corp is not exactly mind blowing with talent. So what are the areas of biggest concern for the Dogs and what type of players should we be targeting? I have a few suggestions with respect to recruiting. I realize Pat Hill may not listen to me but I feel like these are our definite areas of need for next season.
1) Secondary - Sherley, Mays, Simmons, and McCauley all graduate this season. I realize we have Owens, Jefferson, Harris, and Haynes. But all of these guys are young and have very little college experience. You are telling me that the most experienced secondary player next year will be Jenkins? In no way can that be a good thing for the Bulldog secondary. I would urge Pat Hill to go after some junior college players to step in as Juniors and help bridge the gap between this year and the younger players we currently have. JC players have the experience in college and will be much more ready than any high school player we could possibly find right now.
2) Linebackers - There is no way around it, our linebackers lack the speed we need to keep the opposing team from getting to the outside when running the ball. Most teams Tight Ends can outrun our LB's leaving us in a bad position right from the start. Not to mention these LB's currently have to cover receivers as well, just look at the Hawaii game. If our secondary is already going to be troubled the LB's are going to have to step up and give these guys help throughout the season.
3) Defensive Line - Yes I could have written entire defense but that would not have been fair to you who read this. Yes the cogs in the middle have been very good. Of course the same problem we have seen for the last couple of years has reared it's ugly head. We do not get any pressure on the QB and we do not stop the run outside. Chris Lewis if he bulks up will be a very strong defensive end and of course Tyler Clutts is not going anywhere. If we could find some diamonds in the rough to help on the defensive line the Dogs may be able to pressure the QB enough to take a little pressure off of the secondary.
4) New Offensive Scheme - Alright this really doesn't have to do with recruiting players but this will be a great lead in to what is good at Fresno State. Our offensive scheme is so fu*%@# up right now that it doesn't matter who steps into the the system, they will fail. Our QB's are relied on to complete third and long to many times throughout the course of the game and we have no trick plays. We are the single most obvious offense in America. With the offensive players we have there needs to be a change. This teams needs to take chances down field. This team needs to distribute the ball better to it's receivers. This team needs to throw the ball more period. Without a new scheme it will not matter who returns on offense, it will be horrendous regardless.
5) What we Don't Need - Our offense is fine. We need to figure out how to block better. We have the parts on offense to become explosive if the damn coaching ever gets their sh*% together. I feel terrible for all of the seniors and younger players who are being held back by this horrific offense. Steve Hagan and Pat Hill have been the biggest disappointment this season for the Bulldogs. Their offensive gameplan is one of the worst I have ever seen. Not only do they have no genius, they at the same time do not know what the word creative means. We have good receivers returning in Moore, Crawley, West, Ciccone, and Ajirotutu. Bear Pascoe is coming back as an outstanding pass catching Tight End. Both Sean Norton and Tom Brandstater will return wanting to completely forget how bad 2006 was to them. Lonyae Miller will be our feature back with Harding having the skills to be very good as well. Kinter and Padilla may end up being our FB's of the future. On the offensive line we have Masse, McDowell, Popovich, and Wendell returning with experience. I know that Kyle Young is leaving but he has not shown me enough as this offensive line leader to feel that this will hurt us horribly. If the coordinator and coach can figure out that we have plenty of of offense to open it up we will score plenty of points and help the defense out quite a bit. Lastly we do not need any kicking help with Zimmerman and Stitser returning for their senior seasons.
If Fresno State does not address the defense first and foremost their is a problem here in Bulldog land and it won't change anytime soon. Somehow the George Takada show said we have depth at safety and DB. I am guessing they have not been paying attention because if they had wouldn't the Dogs be stopping someone on defense? You can blame the line all you want but our defensive secondary is terrible as well. I urge Pat Hill to look into some JC's because our future might depend on how we bridge the gap between this season and 2008.