As far the the Massachusetts football team goes — there is a whole lot going on these days. Yet, when I write about the team here, one topic seems to permeate everything. Recruiting.
I’ts going to be a huge part of a successful transition to 1A. Obviously. Molnar can talk. He’s damn slick. Thus, I have no choice but to think he is going to be a helluva recruiter.
Yes, 2012’s class is Molnar’s. However, the 2013 class will be the first one this coaching staff will have time to really sink their teeth into.
What’s the plan?
Maroon Musket has a rather exhaustive list of the recruits Molnar and company are going after. However, what is not readily available is what the overall quality of these recruits is.
The recruiting sites ratings and rankings for 2013 are not close to finalized. Thus, in that regard, it’s hard to gauge the quality of the recruits.
In lieu of that; one of the best ways to measure a recruits potential is by what schools are targeting and offering him. So, who are these guys really? And what’s the difference between pre-2012 and post-2012 recruiting?
The top-tier guys:
Molnar has his foot in the door with some top recruits. For example; Tim Kimbrough. He’s a top-5 linebacker. He is certainly not the kind of guy UMass was offering pre-2012. He’s a four star guy and is from Indiana and has no known ties to Massachusetts. He’s what we call a “long shot.”
What we don’t want to see is too much of these reaches. We don’t want the Isaac McDonald situation to be a common on. He gets a UMass offer and promptly chooses Clemson. Did we really have a shot with him?
Then there are the local top-tier guys. John Montelus comes to mind. He’s an Everett kid, and can basically pick what conference he wants to play in at the next level. If things go according to plan, soon some of these kids will truly consider “staying home.”
The local guys:
There will be a bunch of local kids getting UMass offers this spring. Of course there will be. That’s not different. But take Jack McDonald for instance. He’s a BC High kid with an offer from BC. How great would it look to build a little pipeline right into Chestnut Hill? That’d be different.
Guys with other offers in the northeast:
Like Tevin Montgomery who holds offers from UMass, Uconn, BC, Rutgers and Temple. Those are some of the models for our program. To be mentioned in the same breadth as them, when it comes to recruiting, would be good. No more out recruiting UNH and URI.
“Early offer” northeast guys:
These are the kids getting “looks” from programs we want to compete with, but the offers aren’t there yet. It seems Molnar, in some instances, anticipates these kids getting offers later and wants to build that early offer credibility with the recruit.
An example is John Van Allen from CT. UMass offered him about a month ago. There are no other reported offers on the table. However, he has been recruited by both BC and Uconn. He has also garnered interest from Rutgers, Maryland and Penn State.
These are the teams UMass would love to be competing with for talent.
Lets also take UMass’ first 2013 verbal — Todd Stafford. He has no other offers, but is getting a lot of attention from the beat guys. He has had interest from BC, Duke and Miami. Upon further analysis you might be able to see why the hesitation exists from these schools. Stafford has had multiple knee injuries.
That’s never a good thing, but UMass must take risks like this and hope they pan out.
Guys with offers from the northeast and beyond:
An example of this is Rashad Kinlaw. He’s a NJ kid with UMass, BC, Rutgers and Temple offers. But he also has offers from Notre Dame, Iowa and NC State. Any new England recruit that a Big Ten or even ACC team wants is one that Molnar needs to reach out to. There are selling points to staying in the northeast now. Numerous selling points, actually. Another example is Anthony Averett.
Guys with MAC offers:
This was absolutely huge for the class of 2012. Molnar poached a small portion of Buffalo’s class. And some of the other commits also had multiple MAC offers.
The entire city of Tampa, Florida:
I joke, but Molnar and his staff have been doing work down in Florida. This is the Allen Suber effect. Florida is not a new territory for UMass. Since I was in Amherst, in the mid-2000s, Florida was a major pipeline. And I’m sure it was prior to that time, too.
Just as it has been in the past, as much as we want to focus on local kids, Florida is still key. Picking out a few recruits that are getting sporadic BCS offers and getting them to want to come to Amherst will help supplement the teams talent base. This is seen, for example, with Nigel Harris.
So, overall, you can see where things have changed for Massachusetts football. Molnar and his staff have a tall task ahead. However, now that we are in mid-March we can see who they think they can get and thus who the future Minutemen might be.
As far as the offers go; it’s an impressive list. It’s exactly what I’d hope Molnar would do.
However, we will have to see who buys into Molnar’s pitch. That’s the next (monumental) task. Of course, UMass’ play on the field this fall can accelerate or slow this process.