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June 3, 2011

Roundtable: Michigan must be smiling

MORE ROUNDTABLES: May 27 | May 13 | May 6 | Apr 29

Rivals.com football recruiting analysts weigh in on topics in a roundtable format.

What major school currently in hot water with the NCAA should be most concerned recruiting-wise right now?

Mike Farrell: I'd have to say Ohio State because more and more seems to come out about how little control Jim Tressel had over his players during his tenure. The feared "lack of institutional control" will surely come into play here and I expect a loss of scholarships as well as the potential for loss of bowl eligibility as things keep cropping up. We all know Ohio State will still be Ohio State and will be attractive to in-state recruits for sure, but I think this could hurt out-of-state recruiting. It will all depend on who is hired to replace Tressel.

Adam Gorney: By far it's Ohio State. Now that USC has had its appeal denied the Trojans at least know what they're dealing with for the next few years. The ramifications for the Buckeyes could be extensive and so there are serious questions moving forward with the program. Not only are there those implications but Ohio State is currently without a full-time coach. I can't believe they're going to keep interim coach Luke Fickell for the long term so there are real coaching staff questions among many others coming up in Columbus.

Chris Nee: I'd have to go with Southern Cal simply because the NCAA has ruled on the Trojans and will enforce scholarship limits. A limit in scholarships will force them to get creative in their recruiting classes, due to a lack of available numbers. Also, a postseason ban will lead to some youngsters looking elsewhere.

Keith Niebuhr: Until we know how things will shake out at a few other places, you would have to say Ohio State. Regardless of whether the Buckeyes get put on probation, they've already been dealt a serious blow by losing the face of the program. People say Ohio State will be fine, that the program is bigger than the coach. Maybe that's true, but I'm still not convinced Ohio State will continue to get every big-name recruit inside its own state while this storm continues to brew. Long term, Ohio State should be fine (this program has been good forever). Short term, I'm not so convinced of that.

Brian Perroni: Other schools are bound to point out the possibilities of NCAA sanctions to recruits but I don't think high school prospects take it into account too much. Therefore Ohio State would seem to be the obvious choice here. It isn't because of possible sanctions, though. It is because the Buckeyes do not have a true head coach at the moment and, from everything that has come out so far since Tressel resigned, it does not appear they will have one for quite some time. It could set the Buckeyes back an entire recruiting class if they go close to a year without a head coach.

What school will benefit most on the recruiting trail from Ohio State's current troubles?

Mike Farrell: Obviously Michigan will as OSU's biggest rival and I think Nebraska will as the new power addition to the Big Ten. I think Penn State will benefit as well if it wins. It will all come down to which team steps up and grabs the Big Ten title away and there's no guarantee anyone will. I think some of the Florida schools and SEC schools that lost out on some of those top Sunshine State prospects over the last many years could benefit the most.

Adam Gorney: I would think the obvious ones such as Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State will have many opportunities to take those players that don't want to deal with Ohio State's uncertainty and mess. I think probably the Wolverines will be most aggressive to go into Ohio and pick up some commits that probably would have otherwise gone to Ohio State. I also think it will benefit teams in states Ohio State recruits such as Virginia and Florida. Could you imagine if five-star linebacker Curtis Grant came through a year later and had other options now? Or if some of the players from the state of Florida could have stayed closer to home without so many issues now? Things could be a lot different recruiting-wise in a few years.

Chris Nee: Since Ohio State doesn't have any in-state rivals, I don't see there being one clear winner with regards to benefiting from the current troubles. Numerous major BCS programs will head to the fertile recruiting ground of Ohio and try to lure some of the state's best away, and Ohio State's troubles may lead to one or two more than normal looking elsewhere. But I don't expect that you see a major change in that program's success in recruiting.

Keith Niebuhr: With the Ohio State program in limbo, this situation very well could benefit its rival to the north. Throughout the years, many of Michigan's top players have come from Ohio. And this just might be the opening the Wolverines need to start giving Ohio State a run for its money again. I don't expect Michigan to clean up in the state of Ohio, but the cherry picking of a stud here or there could be significant. The Ohio State staff will have to work overtime to keep that from happening.

Brian Perroni: Ohio State and Michigan seem to recruit many of the same players so it would seem that U-M probably stands to benefit the most. With a new head coach in Ann Arbor, there is some excitement building around the Wolverine program and they will likely to be able to use OSU's troubles to bolster their stock even more. Other schools in the region such as Cincinnati and Kentucky would likely benefit some as well if any players are scared away from Ohio State.

What's the single best camp/combine event coming up this summer?

Mike Farrell: It's a toss-up between Gridiron Kings down in Orlando, which always has the best skill position kids, and The Opening in Oregon. Now that a big man element has been added to the event in Oregon, that could be the one.

Adam Gorney: The B2G Elite Camp, Seattle NIKE Camp and Elite 11 will all be great but I'm most looking forward to the NIKE 7-on-7 in Beaverton, Ore. I was really impressed with the abundance of players from across the country there last summer and it should be equally good this year. Not only that, but there is another event going on simultaneously called The Opening which is loaded with talent. It should be an outstanding couple days in the Pacific Northwest and I'm really looking forward to it.

Chris Nee: Early indications are that Nike's The Opening is going to be a great event stockpiled with many of the nation's best. As a new event, it will be interesting the manner in which the event is put on by organizers.

Keith Niebuhr: It has got to be the Elite 11 finale in California. Every QB there desperately wants to be known as the best on hand. That not only is a great motivator but something that puts on awful lot of pressure on them. For some of these players, it will mark the first time in their competitive lives that they haven't been numero uno on the field. Don't underestimate how shocking - and humbling - that can be for a 17-year-old kid.

Brian Perroni: I think that the Gridiron Kings event in Orlando is a great chance to see a lot of talent from all over the country. Last year I was able to see dozens of Army and Under Armour All-Americans all at the same place. There are only about 64 total prospects in attendance so you are able to see plenty of every player. In my region the best event left is the Texas 7-on-7 State Championships in July. Texas is a huge state so it saves a lot of driving when 128 schools from all across the state are all in one place for three days. There aren't elite travel teams in Texas so players play with their school teams and it doesn't turn into ugly "AAU style" football.



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