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Akron competing for many top players

By mrasor Published: July 29, 2006


Akron is now in the hunt for 17 three-star-or-better players, reports

That compares favorably to other MAC schools...

  • Temple has 10

  • Miami, 8

  • Bowling Green, 6

  • Northern Illinois, 5

  • Eastern Michigan, 4

  • Central Michigan, 4

  • Kent State, 3

  • Toledo, 2

  • Western Michigan, 1

  • Buffalo, 0

If you're skeptical of Scout's anaylsis, here is what reports (Sorry, links won't work here.) ...

  • Temple, 16

  • Miami, 12

  • Bowling Green, 12

  • Akron, 10

  • Northern Illinois, 9

  • Toledo, 5

  • Central Michigan, 5

  • Eastern Michigan, 4

  • Kent State, 3

  • Western Michigan, 2

  • Buffalo, 2

Looking at that list, the teams that stand out are Temple and Toledo. Temple also has the nation's 15th best cornerback, Daryl Robinson, a four-star athlete who verballed with the Owls. Maybe the move to the MAC has helped.

Temple's 2006 class was very average, with only a couple three-star players. Nine three-star players had interest in Temple last season, says.

Toledo, meanwhile, is clearly struggling. The Rockets don't have a 2007 commitment yet, either.

As far as the Zips are concerned, upgraded several of their targets, including ...

  • Sean Fobbs, 3 Stars, is a 6-foot-1 safety from Miamisburg, Ohio. Akron has offered him a scholarship, as have Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and Kentucky, says. Michigan State looks to be his favorite, one story says. gives Fobbs two stars and doesn't list Akron as a candidate. My outlook: bleak.

  • Phillip (P.J.) Shirdan, 3 Stars, is a 6-0 safety from Drexel Hill, Pa. Akron and West Virginia seem to be the leading suitors for Shirdan, who has earned offers from both schools, as well as Temple. Virginia, Rutgers and North Carolina are also schools of interest, says, who gives Shirdan a two-star rating.

  • Cornelius Ward, 3 Stars, is a 6-1 cornerback from Fort Washington, Md. His offers include Akron, Connecticut, Illinois, Marshall and Vanderbilt, says. adds Buffalo and Miami (Ohio) and also gives Ward three stars. Rivals calls him a "lock-down corner." He is one of possibly eight Fort Washington players who may have a future in Division I. Akron commit Vincent Hill is one of them.

  • Pete Rolf, 3 Stars, is a 6-4 linebacker from Piqua, Ohio. Running a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash, it seems Rolf has great athleticism. named Rolf as Ohio's fifth-best linebacker, which is good considering how deep the state is with LBs this season. Growing up in Utah, Rolf would like to return to the West. Rivals gives Rolf two stars. His top three include Oregon, Eastern Michigan and Akron, the site says, at least until the bigger western schools offer a scholarship. He told he'd like to add more weight to his 220-pound frame.

  • Mark Wetterer, 3 Stars, is a 6-5 offensive tackle from Cincinnati. He is's No. 2 offensive lineman because he is such a dominating run blocker. Unfortunately for Akron, J.D. Brookhart's scholarship offer might be a periphery concern. Wetterer is mainly worried about getting offers from Clemson and Ohio State -- his two favorites. His other offers include Cincinnati, Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia, according to Wetterer will probably choose Maryland or West Virginia if he doesn't get the offers he wants. gives him three stars.

Here is a disclaimer on all of this recruiting information: It's not as reliable as everyone would like.

That is no fault of these recruiting Web sites, which have a daunting task. The problem, according to my colleague Jeff Rabjohns at the Indianapolis Star, is that football players are rarely matched against each other. You won't see the top offensive tackle from Maine play against the best defensive end from Texas.

That is different in men's basketball, said Rabjohns, a recruiting expert. Heading into a recruiting season, everyone knows who the top 20 players are and what they can do against top competition. That means there are fewer busts and fewer pleasant surprises than in football.

So maybe, Toledo's coaches are better recruiting analysts than Temple's. If this were basketball, that would be a less likely explanation.

  • Captain Kangaroo reported some news nuggets about the team on -- the site he helped to found. In this post, he says Zips coaches expect a couple more commitments before the end of the summer. There's plenty of other good information, too. As I have said before, I can't confirm anything from a message board.
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