|2011 Recruiting Numbers|
|Unrenewed 5th Year
A look at the team roster reveals that the 2011 recruiting class will likely have 19-22 spots available, with the full 25 possible depending on how certain things play out.
There are currently 15 seniors on the roster whose eligibility will expire. Let's take a look at them after the jump.
Keith Browner, Chris Conte, Mike Costanzo, Donovan Edwards, Richard Fisher, Chris Guarnero, Darian Hagan, Derrick Hill, Cam Jordan, Mike Mohamed, Kevin Riley, Jeremy Ross, Bryant Nnabuife, Jerome Meadows, Jarred Price.
Looking at the juniors, there are 4 who are likely to not be renewed for a 5th year because of limited game experience:
Solomona Aigamaua, Sam Demartinis, Savai'i Eselu, John Tyndall.
I include John Tyndall because it appears likely that either Will Kapp or
Eric Stevens will win the starting fullback spot. So far, this means 19 spots will be available for the Class of 2011.
There are some other juniors who are less likely but still plausible candidates for graduation rather than a 5th year. These include Mike Calvin, D.J. Campbell, D.J. Holt, and Brock Mansion.
Mike Calvin will be an interesting case because he will have the opportunity to compete for playing time at receiver, but given his limited production thus far and the large incoming group of receivers, he'll have some tough competition for playing time.
A new quarterback will be starting in 2011, assuming for now that Kevin Riley starts the entire 2010 season. If Beau Sweeney or Allan Bridgford wins the job and Mansion gets buried on the depth chart, he may decide not to return or Tedford could ask him to graduate to free up a scholarship.
The two D.J.'s both provide depth on defense and seem more likely than Calvin or Mansion to return.
For this analysis, I will assume that the following 10 juniors who are solid contributors will return for the 2011 season. It is possible that some of these juniors could declare early for the draft, but so far there is no clear consensus that any of these players will do so.
Bryan Anger, Sean Cattouse, Justin Cheadle, Ernest Owusu, Mitchell Schwartz, Trevor Guyton, Marvin Jones, Mychal Kendricks, Anthony Miller.
This leaves one big question: Will junior Shane Vereen return for 2011 or will he declare for the NFL Draft?
After the 2010 season, as long as he stays healthy, Vereen will have 1.5 years of starting experience. He also redshirted, so he will have completed four years with Ron Gould. Depending on his performance this season, his NFL stock may peak and returning for another season may not provide any advantage.
Over the past 8 years, we haven't had a starting running back around for more than two years. The best stretch arguably was 2005 and 2006, when Marshawn and Forsett were a dual force for two years. Forsett then had his chance to be the primary running back in 2007 with Jahvid Best serving as the backup. Hopefully a capable 2nd back will emerge this year, which will increase the chances of Vereen returning in 2011.
Then we have other incidentals, which recent history predicts that there will be about two unexpected departures in a given year. This includes academic and disciplinary casualties, early medical retirements, and transfers out of the program. Since these can occur throughout the year, the spots might not open up in time for the current recruiting class.