<
>

Big East recruiting primer

2/5/2013

ESPN RecruitingNation has signing day covered. Follow ESPNU’s coverage, chat with analysts and get breaking news on our Signing Day Live page beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET through 7 p.m. ET. For more on what to expect on signing day, check out the Big East conference breakdownInsider.

Bold Prediction for the Big East: The conference will continue its descent toward obscurity as fewer high-end prospects consider the Big East an attractive first option.

Cincinnati

Biggest need: The Bearcats need help in the secondary, at receiver and on the defensive line, where they lost anchor Dan Giordano at end.

Biggest recruit: Florida-bred quarterback Tyler Cogswell was recruited to play tight end for the Bearcats. Cincy landed him after Arkansas pulled its offer late.

Connecticut

Biggest need: Seniors Jory Johnson and Sio Moore are gone from the corps of linebackers. Depth is also needed at running back.

Biggest recruit: Outside linebacker Jalen Stevens is a steal for the Huskies, who went into SEC country and found a defensive playmaker who looked at schools from the South to the West.

Houston

Biggest need: The Cougars were young last season at most spots but lose a lot up front on defense, including three of their top four tackles. And they want another quarterback.

Biggest recruit: Joseph Glenn has a typical Texas running back pedigree. He’s productive, quick and he’s got a burst that makes him a threat to score from anywhere on the field.

Louisville

Biggest need: Star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater returns for his junior year, but the Cardinals must find an heir apparent. They need to restock at running back, too.

Biggest recruit: A top athlete from one of the nation’s best prep programs in Charlie Strong’s backyard, receiver James Quick was a necessity for the Cardinals. He had offers from Alabama and Ohio State.

Memphis

Biggest need: The Tigers, moving to the Big East from Conference USA, are looking to replenish the secondary and the offensive line, where they return only six players with experience.

Biggest recruit: Quarterback Brayden Scott, a midterm signee, picked the Tigers over Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee, among others. He has a chance to be the future in Memphis.

Rutgers

Biggest need: The Scarlet Knights boasted plenty of experience at receiver and in the defensive backfield. Not next season.

Biggest recruit: Athlete Nadir Barnwell possesses the skill set that Rutgers will need to stay ahead in the Big East. He’s a difference-maker in the league’s best recruiting class.

South Florida

Biggest need: Under new coach Willie Taggart, the Bulls prioritized finding help at running back, in the secondary and at quarterback after the loss of top recruit Asiantii Woulard.

Biggest recruit: Eric Mayes’ long list of offers illustrates his potential. As a defensive end, he may mark the Bulls’ best athlete since Jason Pierre-Paul.

SMU

Biggest need: Running back Zach Line leaves a big hole for the Mustangs as they shift from Conference USA. Help is also needed up front on defense.

Biggest recruit: Running back Traylon Shead will play immediately out of junior college. He’s big, runs downhill and signed in December.

Temple

Biggest need: The Owls were young at receiver and on the offensive line last season but need depth in both areas. Lots of experience is gone from the secondary.

Biggest recruit: Running back Zaire Williams showed excellent big-play ability in New Jersey and should compete right away for time at the next level.

UCF

Biggest need: A Conference USA transfer, the Golden Knights want bodies on the defensive line and depth at quarterback.

Biggest recruit: Defensive end Seyvon Lowry fills a need and sends a message that UCF can compete for prospects in the Big East and even occasionally beat an SEC team.