The day is finally here. Some of you may actually be excited to see the final version of the MWCConnection MWC Team Recruiting Rankings for the 2018 rankings. This list is sure to be as divisive as our Top Ten Recruits and MWC All-Recruit lists were. Although I can assure you that all these lists are made as unbiased as possible, of course some people will still disagree with them and that’s okay. Please let us know what you would change by discussing it in the comments section.
Also, ready or not, 2019 recruiting is already under way and many teams have been putting out offers for weeks now. A few teams were particularly busy this week, which can be seen below.
1. Boise State
- With 4 players rated as 4-stars, the Broncos lead the conference in recruiting by a wide margin. They also have a number of “high” 3-stars that give them a really strong foundation in this class. They also hit on almost every position, addressing key needs. With 6 players in our top 10, it was an easy choice.
2. Colorado State
- The Rams were also an easy choice for the 2nd pick. They too have the high-end talent at the top of the class and have great depth with not much drop off in talent in the rest of the class. The middle and bottom of the class rival Boise State’s in terms of depth and not much drop off. In most years, the class would arguably be good enough to land a top rankings. However, this is not most years. There really isn’t much not to like here.
3. San Diego State
- The Aztecs are able to boast both one of the top players in the conference as well as many solid players in the rest of their class. They recruit players to fit their system perhaps as well as any team and it is evident yet again in this class. Specifically, they are adding some much needed offensive firepower to their team, while at the same time being able to sign defensive players that fit their 3-3-5 scheme well. This is possibly one of their better classes, which is saying something.
- The Wolf Pack had a goal of recruiting players to come in and fit their new offensive (the air-raid) and defensive (3-3-5) schemes. Mission accomplished. They were able to secure a plethora of athletes, especially at the skills positions on both sides of the ball. Even better, they fit their scheme extremely well. It was a big win for Norvell and his coaching staff as they keep building to get “their guys” cemented in the program.
- The Rainbows Warrior made up quite a bit of ground between the December Signing Period and now, adding a group of quality players. While they may lack a true headliner, they have many players at the top who are comparable to the level of quality as the schools listed above them. Getting recruits to come to the islands and even getting some to stay on the islands is no easy task, but Rolovich and his staff pulled it off. They may have struggled on the field this season but balanced it out with strong work on the recruiting trail.
6. San Jose State
- While the Spartans struggled on the field this year, it didn't show in recruiting. They finished off this class with an extremely productive last month, securing a number of players who at one time held P5 offers. There a quite a few players who could play right away and more who project to be strong players. The talent is plainly evident in this Spartan class.
7. Fresno State
- The Bulldogs are somewhat the opposite of the Spartans. Having a season that successfully surpassed pre-season expectations, their recruiting season left something to be desired. To clarify, they still secured a talented class. But normally, after a great season, teams see a bump in recruiting that didn’t come this year for Fresno State. Still, they brought in a few guys who have the talent to play next year and become 4-year contributors. This class is also full of sleepers who went a bit unnoticed on the recruiting trail. There’s a chance many in this class will end up playing above their recruiting rankings.
- 8th seems low given the quality of their class but at the same time, it was tough to justify them be higher. The Rebels made a great use of their incoming JUCO talent, which will allow them to develop their new freshmen talent. They brought in players at almost every position, allowing them to check off lots of boxes as they build for the future. Although they only brought in two players from in-state, they recruited eight other states, searching far and wide for talent.
9. Utah State
- Another team that seemingly should be ranked higher, given the talent found in their class. While it could be argued the class lacks a true headliner, the sum of the class is greater than any individual part. The talent at both the lines and linebacker is looks especially good. The Aggie recruited very well in the state of Idaho and have a few players who could push for time right away, especially the JUCO talent they brought in.
- In many ways, the Cowboys are “SDSU light” in terms of doing a great job recruiting players who fit their system extremely well, turning under the radar recruits into very productive college players. However, they aren’t quite at the point the Aztecs are. They made their best gains at WR and in the secondary, bringing in several players who project well. Without a doubt, the Cowboys got more athletic in this class and with the track record their coaches have, developing them shouldn’t be an issue.
11. Air Force
- The Falcons were easily the most difficult to place. As discussed last week, their recruiting looks a bit different from every other school in the conference. As an academy school, there are technically no athletic scholarships and therefore, they can sign well over the traditional 25 player class limits. That being said, when looking at a triple option team, it’s important to look at if they are bringing in players who fit their scheme. They are, especially at QB, RB, and OL. There are many players to like, even if overall they are lacking some of the talent other schools have.
12. New Mexico
- The Lobos, king of the JUCO players once again. Similarly, it’s difficult to know how to accurately assess them. Many of the JUCO players have talent, especially in their OL, but having an average of 2 years of eligibility left negates some of the impact they are able to have. Also, most teams use JUCO players to supplement their classes but the Lobos use it to make up the majority of their class. Though this strategy may lead to wins on the field, it doesn’t lead to wins in recruiting rankings.
As many of you know, I also like to regroup the rankings into tiers. Tiers can sometimes better point to the gap or closeness between teams. If someone wanted to have a team in a different order but within the same tier, they would have a descent argument. For example. we felt there was little separation between Hawaii and SJSU, thus they are in the same tier and many could make a good argument for their rankings to be flipped.
Tier 1: Boise State
Tier 2: Colorado State.
Tier 3: SDSU and Nevada.
Tier 4: Hawaii and SJSU.
Tier 5: Fresno State and UNLV
Tier 6: Utah State and Wyoming
Tier 7: Air Force and New Mexico
The Rams in a tier by themselves shows how well they closed the gap between them and BSU since the early signing period and although there still is a divide, it’s not very big. Tiers 3-5 and especially 4, show how close the calls were between 2nd and 3rd, 4th and 5th, and 6th and 7th were in the rankings. Tier 6 and 7 are much closer to one another than 5 and 6 are. Less confused? Good. More confused by this? Sorry.
Each team will get a more detailed breakdown, with a post premiering each weekday, in order from 1 to 12, starting tomorrow. Up first: Boise State
(Only looking at the 2019 recruits)
- ATH Joshua Youngblood was offered by Air Force
- ATH Tarik Luckett was offered by Colorado State
- DE Duke Clemons was offered by SDSU
- OL Lokahi Pauole was offered by SDSU
- 2020 ATH Daniyel Ngata was offered by SDSU
- 2020 QB Aidan Atkinson was offered by Boise State
- RB Jordan Wilmore was offered by Boise State
- CB Zahran Manley was offered by Boise State
- OL Dohnovan West was offered by Boise State
- QB Maverick Mcivor was offered by Boise State
- QB Ryan Hilinski was offered by Boise State
- LB Tyron Hopper was offered by Boise State
- QB/DB Cameron Williams was offered by Boise State
- RB Austin Jones was offered by Boise State
- ATH Demarcus Griffin was offered by Boise State
- S J.L. Skinner was offered by Boise State
- DB Jaxen Turner was offered by Boise State and Nevada
- TE Quentin Moore was offered by Nevada
- DB Isiah Rutherford was offered by Nevada
- ATH Willie Harts was offered by Nevada
- ATH Zachary Larrier was offered by Nevada
- CB Clark Phillips was offered by Nevada
- RB Jamaal Bell was offered by Nevada
- CB Zahran Manley was offered by Nevada
- 2021 QB Hayden Peery was offered by SJSU
Your turn: Do you agree or disagree with the rankings? What would your rankings look like and why? Talk about it in the comments section. Also, follow @Mike_SBN on Twitter for all MWC Recruiting news.