More recruiting honors for USF coach Patrick
Lots to catch up on this weekend, and we'll start with another recruiting honor for USF defensive line coach Kevin Patrick, who has been named by Rivals.com as the Big East Recruiter of the Year. Patrick, in his first year back in college football after a decade away from coaching, was previously honored as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country.
Here's the full writeup from Rivals -- they included a mugshot of recruiting coordinator Carl Franks with Patrick's honor for some reason. It's also worth noting that Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler -- who interviewed Saturday for USF's defensive coordinator job -- is identified in the same story as one of the top 10 recruiters in the Big 12. That's important, because this is Ekeler's first full year as a recruiter, having served as a graduate assistant and football intern in his previous five years in college football. A big question with any coach with limited experience is whether he can recruit, and this ranking shows that someone sees promise in his ability to land top-notch prospects.
-- There's already some debate as to whether fans prefer Ekeler or former Cincinnati coordinator Joe Tresey to take over USF's defense, so I want to offer up another possibility. What about both? Jim Leavitt has ample experience dealing with co-defensive coordinators -- he and Bob Stoops handled those roles for Kansas State to considerable success from 1991-95. At USF, Leavitt had co-coordinators in Rick Kravitz and Wally Burnham from 2001-05 before Kravitz left the Bulls in spring 2006. I don't think Leavitt knows how he wants his staff to fill out yet, but just wanted to float that as a possibility with plenty of precedent in Leavitt's football history. Tresey has been a Big East coordinator before, so he might not be amenable to sharing the role -- again, just throwing it out as an option.
-- Some interesting new quotes from Burnham as he takes over at Iowa State, one of which has to be taken at something of a dig at the Big East. "I wanted to get back to one of the bigger conferences," Burnham told the Des Moines Register, saying that he sought a chance to return to the ACC, SEC or Big 12. Iowa State has recruited Florida heavily in recent years, and don't expect that to change: "I'll be down in Florida a lot," Burnham said. And how much longer can the 67-year-old stay in coaching? "I might have 10 more years left," he said. And Dan McCarney is right about Burnham power-walking at lunch -- when I drove into USF's athletic facility on signing day a few weeks back, Burnham was already out on his walk, clearly not too worried about any recruits on the fence, and that was before Kayvon Webster sent in his paperwork to the Bulls ... The writeup from Gocyclones.com focused more on the family angle of Burnham coaching alongside his son, Shane.
-- I wasn't able to make it over to Pinellas County this weekend for any of USF's first three baseball games, but there's a good writeup in Baseball America's college blog. Press-box staffer Charlie Terenzio gets a shout-out for his cat-quick reflexes, and there's analysis on USF's slew of sophomore stars. Biggest news of the weekend is that sophomore Ryan Lockwood's 32-game hitting streak ended in a 9-7 loss to Indiana on Sunday, though he was able to reach base and extend that streak.
-- Syracuse football, having seen its average home attendance drop four years in a row, has season tickets as cheap as $12.50 per game, with a ridiculous eight home games in the Carrier Dome this fall.
-- Yes, there's international love for USF basketball, even amid four straight losses. Here's a French sports blog recounting a trip to see the USF-Notre Dame game -- il y avait meme un orchestre!
-- USF's Yohance Marshall is still on roster with the MLS's L.A. Galaxy, and impressed coach Bruce Arena with his play in the Pan-Pacific tournament on Saturday night.
-- Have I mentioned this before? Former USF linebacker Maurice Jones has signed with the Columbus (Ga.) Lions of the American Indoor Football Association ...