Rivals.com’s Clint Cosgrove tackles three recent topics and gets the take from others around the Rivals network in today’s Fact of Fiction.
MORE FACT OR FICTION: Sanders is NJ’s most underrated
1. Pat Narduzzi’s recent criticism of Deion Sanders was warranted.
Clint Cosgrove: FACT. While I actually believe coach Prime’s approach to overhauling the Colorado program is necessary for the Buffs to reach new heights, and I don’t understand why Pitt‘s head coach would publicly target Sanders, I do believe there is substance to what Narduzzi said when he criticized Sanders’ use of the transfer portal. Many new head coaches would love to take the same approach as Sanders, but few would have the guts to do it and even fewer would publicly push players out of the program with little regard to their future. A total overhaul of the culture, players and program was necessary for Colorado to succeed, but I understand where Narduzzi is coming from and believe the way Sanders is currently building the program could set a bad precedent for the future of the transfer portal. Kudos to Sanders for having the guts to do things his way, being incredibly transparent about his intentions and taking advantage of the portal created by the NCAA. But, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should and there is definitely credence to what Narduzzi said.
Matt Moreno, Rivals.com’s Pac-12 analyst: FICTION While the approach Deion Sanders is taking in nearly completely rebuilding an entire roster is certainly worthy of skepticism, calling out another coach in a program that’s in a different conference just seems like a bad look. There are coaches who have pushed players out of programs across the country and have done so with a more delicate hand, but you almost have to appreciate how up front Sanders has been about his method. It was never a secret that he planned to overhaul the roster in Boulder, and he has done just that by bringing in players he feels will help the Buffaloes win. Colorado had one of the worst Power Five teams in recent memory last season, and in the end all that matters is turning that around. He’s found a method to do that in a hurry. By the way, it’s the NCAA that invented the transfer portal, not Deion Sanders. So maybe any negative feelings about what’s going on in Boulder are being pointed in the wrong direction.
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2. New Penn State quarterback commit Ethan Grunkemeyer deserves a rating bump when our updated rankings are released.
Clint Cosgrove: FACT. Grunkemeyer flew under the radar for a long time prior to Penn State swooping in with an offer and his initial ranking is a product of that. I love him on film and believe he has every tool to become a four-star recruit and future pro, but his evaluation is limited and we are going to need to see more of him before we can go all in. That being said – the more I dive into Grunkemeyer and the more I learn about him, his pedigree and skill-set, the more I like him. He’ll likely, and deservedly, get a bump come our next rankings release and while I’m not sure if he will earn the extra star(s) yet – I can definitely see him landing in the four-star range or higher as the rankings progress.
Richard Schnyderite, Happy Valley Insider: FACT. Ethan Grunkemeyer is a very talented quarterback who flew under the radar a bit due to his lack of camps and his high school football team also not being all that great. When you watch his tape, you see Grunkemeyer is an accurate quarterback and takes his time whenever he is given a clean pocket. On top of that he has a solid arm and has no problem hitting those first two levels of the field and even has a nice touch with the deep ball as well. The biggest thing I noticed about Grunkemeyer is his consistency, no matter what type of pickle he gets in he still maintains a good base, throws an accurate ball and makes sure that he doesn’t zero in on one receiver, and goes through his progressions. I can’t say for certain what his final ranking will be but I can say for certain he is much better than the current ranking we have on him. Great find by OC/QBs coach Mike Yurcich.
3. Indiana’s increased recruiting efforts in the Midwest will pay dividends.
Clint Cosgrove: FACT. Indiana has had some great success recruiting the state of Florida where Tom Allen was once a head high school coach, but devoting the majority of its resources to recruiting the South was never going to be sustainable long term. A philosophical change was needed for Indiana to have consistent success on the recruiting trail and it is already paying early dividends. There is plenty of talent within 400 miles of Bloomington making it easy to get those players on campus and kids from the region grew up watching Big Ten football so they are familiar with the Indiana brand. The tweak in philosophy was necessary and is likely the only way for Indiana to compete for high caliber recruits on a yearly basis. This doesn’t mean that Indiana needs to totally abandon its recruiting efforts in Florida, but focusing on the home region while spot recruiting Florida is likely the best path to success for Indiana.
Alec Busse, TheHoosier.com: FACT. I think it’s important for every program to have strong connections to high schools throughout their state, but particularly for college programs that aren’t going to be consistently competitive in national recruitments. It’s easy for Georgia to land a top 100 recruit from California because of the Dawgs’ brand, but it’s much harder for Indiana to land a three-star kid from Florida when competing against Florida schools and every other Power Five school that values Florida talent. Securing talent from in-state is important for Tom Allen’s staff, and the Hoosiers look to be getting back involved with more Hoosier State prospects.
Clint Cosgrove, National Recruiting Analyst