This weekend some of the nations best recruits are in Beaverton, Oregon, performing at Nike’s The Opening Finals. SB Nation is there providing live updates on the latest developments and highlight which prospects are standing out.
Unlike the last few years where a few prospects at The Opening were considering Group of Five programs - just Houston really - this year hardly any are seriously interested in G5 teams. Nearly Half of the participants have already committed to a school, with a few more announcing this weekend.
With the new early signing period many recruits are trying to secure their spot and go through their senior year of high school pressure free (relatively speaking).
On the first day of July a few programs already have around 10 commits. Cincinnati has the best G5 class so far and they have 13 commits. Houston has 19 commits! LSU has freaking 22! By the looks of it, recruiting classes could be nearly done come December.
Usually evaluating recruiting classes in the summer is silly as we’re still months away before anything can be official. But with an early signing period I think it’s fair to get concerned if a school has yet to get on the board. However, each case is different.
Here are a few schools who have yet gain any commits: FIU, Idaho, New Mexico State, UTEP. One of these schools is not like the other.
Idaho and NMSU usually bring in classes filled with prospects from Junior Colleges. These two schools not having any commits around this time isn’t too strange. With Idaho dropping down to the FCS level starting next year, perhaps the Vandals aren’t too concerned with recruiting at the moment.
One might be concerned about UTEP not having any commits given that they reside in Texas but their remote location makes it virtually impossible for recruits to get there. I’m assuming recruits wait until the season starts to take official visits. Plus with Sean Kugler on the hot seat recruits could be taking a wait-and-see approach with the Miners.
That leaves us with FIU and first-year head coach Butch Davis. When the coaching carousel ended everyone recognized how hard it was going to be to recruit Florida with the G5 schools having established names at the helm.
UCF had the best G5 class last year and Scott Frost currently has eight commits. USF has four commits under Charlie Strong. Lane Kiffin brought in the best class in Conference USA last year and has two commits. Butch Davis, despite his reputation for dominating South Florida recruiting, has zero commits right now. *FIU actually has one commit in three-star athlete Darius Brown. 247 doesn’t list him, but Scout does*
I know it’s only July but that’s pretty shocking. According to 247 Sports, FIU has been trying to pursue some big time local athletes and have been going against several P5 programs on the trail. Butch looking to land at least one huge recruit in his backyard will probably be the norm going forward.
But it’s going to take Butch some time to repair FIU’s perception on the recruiting trail in South Florida, similar to what Charlie Partridge had to go through for FAU after the Carl Pelini era. The 2017 class was a step in the right direction as FIU landed some talented prospects who held P5 offers. It appears Butch is going to go in that direction again, but with an early signing period it’s fair to worry if FIU is punching above their weight right now.
With five months to go before things can become official, FIU fans should probably start panicking if the Panthers are still without multiple commits at the start of the season.