Thursday, February 03, 2005

National Signing Day

I love national signing day. Simply love it.

This year’s class clearly is not as good "immediately" as the one Scelfo pulled in last year. First, last year’s class had five guys who simply looked to be able to play quickly- and then contribute at a high level over their career in a C-USA style league. Second, it featured a solid quarterbacking prospect who would have been welcome at just about any BCS school- plus, in a way, another (Ricard) sort of on the sly. I agree with the Skull of Mike IV here; I don’t think any incoming class, without a solid qb prospect, can get higher than a “C+” at Tulane.

Anyway, an amalgamation of what I know, think and hear:

Right now, the position I am most excited about is the offensive line- where Olexa and Landa are apparently guys who attracted interest from a lot of places. On orders from the Skull, Scelfo has seemed to put a premium lately on the lines; I guess five years of being bludgeoned senselessly has made an impression. For whatever reason, a secret success story of Tulane the past three years is the steady talent acquisition on the OLine. Tulane has increasingly good players and startling good depth here. It was, and projects to be again, the best unit on the team. Last spring, there are so many guys wearing numbers in the 60s and 70s it makes you warm just looking at them. So you have to be bullish on these guys.

I will go out on the proverbial limb- and say when this is all said and done, Ducre will be the best of the lot. I've seen him play- and I assure you- he's destined to be a real C-USA player. One look and you'll like the kid Ducre- if just for his size and position. Eight backs got votes for “All C-USA” last year, six were named to the team- and Tulane didn’t have a single one. Okay, this position is a sore spot for me. But you can cry and moan, but facts are facts- and when you don’t have a top-eight tailback in a weak league that features cartoonish numbers on offense… well, it still is a problem position for Tulane. Anyone who put up big numbers, and look at those catches (almost thirty), in a pretty good high school league, is a plus in our league. And he got offered from USM!! Put it this way, I believe USM knows they are doing in the offensive backfield because everyone they bring to New Orleans absolutely kills the Green Wave.

I’ve seen Brian King play twice. I suppose the knock on him is he’s a step slow. But in C-USA, with all the terrible corners- and the spread offense- which rewards route running over speed- a guy can contribute here. Scelfo has done great work with kids in this exact body type (tall) and high school career (lots of catches). I like high school players with lots of catches; high school quarterbacks normally aren’t carrying mediocre wide-outs with great throws. High school receivers have to go and catch it. So big catch totals almost always equal good hands- and good hands transfers to the next level.

Matt Slocum comes with some buzz- and you know the story of Tulane, every DL with any sort of ability is treasured here. He’s small- but that is why he is here rather than Texas. Let's put thirty pounds on him this summer and see what we have then. Apparently he can run- as with that size- he has to bring something in that department in order to even be here. And again, C-USA is a league where a slightly undersized DL who can run can be real successful- particularly since there is such a premium on getting pressure on all these mobile quarterbacks from the edge.

None of the linebackers seem interesting; in fact five is a lot of scholarships to “spend” on a position and not get one guy you are sure can play I-A.

The DB Harding excelled in a great league- Class 5A in Texas is rock’em-sock’em- and South Garland sends good players to I-A. I’d love to get more players from that league and area. So his paper credentials are superb. If I had to pick one guy from the class who could start next year, it is this kid. Our defensive backfield lost some guys, the ones left are not very good- and this guy brings a pedigree- arguably the best in the class.

Everyone else I know nothing about.

Lastly, this whole quarterback disaster with Frank’s kid is proof that the Scelfos have a little too much sway over there.