Rivals national recruiting analyst Clint Cosgrove with Jason Stamm of BearcatReport.com, Alec Busse of EMAWOnline.com and Tim O’Halloran of EdgyTim.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement to be FACT or FICTION.
Scott Satterfield was the right choice for Cincinnati.
Cosgrove’s Take: FICTION. There are a number of ways to look at this and we won’t truly know if this was the right hire for a few years. I believe the Cincinnati administration made the right choice in hiring a coach with head coaching experience. I typically don’t see experience as being extremely important in most cases, but Cincinnati will face many unseen obstacles going into the Big 12 and having a guy who has led a team before is going to be important.
In the end I believe Cincinnati would have been better served hiring a young and energetic head coach with an incredible football mind like Kent State’s Sean Lewis. Kent State is one of the hardest FBS schools to win at and Lewis quickly took that program to heights it hadn’t ever seen before. I can only imagine what he would be able to accomplish at a place with resources like Cincinnati.
Stamm’s take: FACT. I think it depends on how you look at it. First off, I think everyone not named Scott Satterfield or director of athletics John Cunningham was blindsided by this. I mean, the remaining UC football coaches and staff were just told Monday morning they would be meeting with the new football coach. They didn’t know who it was. And it’s odd for UC fans, when the hire comes from a hated rival, even though the teams haven’t played since 2013 for the Keg of Nails. But when you stop and look at the overall picture, Satterfield checks a lot of boxes. At 49, he’s still pretty young, he has 10 years head coaching experience and he’s helped assemble an impressive recruiting class at Louisville. If he can get even a few of those big names to flip to the Bearcats, that would help. But especially with the move to the Big 12, I think we’ll be a couple of seasons away from knowing if this was a good hire or not.
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2. Kansas State will land at least one more four-star commit in the 2023 cycle.
Cosgrove’s take: FACT. Winning on a national stage can often pique the interest of high-profile players, especially when it is a program like Kansas State that many recruits may have not seen prior to the TCU game over the weekend. Success on that stage can be quite the pull and I see it potentially paying immediate dividends in recruiting.
John Randle is the obvious choice for an additional four-star in the class and even though he is likely a Utah lean, the opportunity to stay close to home and play for a team that has a chance to be really good in the coming years has to make him at least think twice. Should Randle not be the additional four-star, I would like to believe there is another four-star caliber player out there who would like to be a part of what Chris Klieman and staff are building.
Busse’s take: FICTION. K-State’s 2023 recruiting class is the best that Chris Klieman has landed in his tenure at K-State, and while landing another four-star would certainly raise the profile of the class, I don’t think the Wildcats add another one. The biggest name to scout is running back John Randle, but Utah still appears to be the leader there. Potentially, Kansas State could flip someone given the crazy coaching carousel, but I think the Cats are happy with where they are at in many places right now. Big picture, though, it’s good to see K-State targeting more high-profile recruits and earning commitments than they have in the past. It should help them sustain success at a higher rate.
3. The state of Illinois will have at least two five-star prospects in the 2024 class.
Cosgrove’s take: FACT. I am not 100 percent who the recruit will be, but I have seen enough elite 2024 talent in the state to believe that Illinois will produce at least two five-star players by the end of the 2024 recruiting cycle. My top two candidates as things stand today would be Notre Dame receiver commit Cam Williams and defensive end Marquise Lightfoot. Tight end Christian Bentancur is another prospect who could have a chance, but his position value could prevent that from happening.
Williams blew me away with his added size and continued development when I saw him play recently. From a physical perspective he looks like he is ready to play at Notre Dame right now. Lightfoot plays at a position of high value and is virtually unblockable even though he is only scratching the surface of what he will eventually be as a player.
O’Halloran’s take: FICTION. From an overall perspective I can see a handful of names in the Illinois class of 2024 who have the overall physical tools, upside and next level potential to make the Rivals national analyst team at least take notice this winter. Yet can those same names such as Glenbard South receiver Cam Williams, or say Chicago Kenwood defensive end Marquise Lightfoot make the move up to the five-star level in this class? At this time of the year I’ll say no, but the spring and summer camp circuit will be huge in the end for several key names seeking the all important bump up.