How did the MAC teams stack up with their respective recruiting classes? Who had the strongest-looking haul of talent, and who struggled a bit?
2018 MAC Recruiting Class Rankings
So how do the 2018 MAC recruiting classes stack up? Here’s how the rankings are figured out.
1) Bulk. Who gets the most talent? Sometimes, getting lots of good prospects is better than getting a few great ones.
2) Superstars. Yeah, getting the elite guys matters. Who got the supposedly best players?
3) The needs and hole filling. How do the programs manage to do what’s needed to get their types of players, at least compared to the others in the conference?
12. Buffalo Bulls
It’s a small class, and there’s not a lot here to seem all that splashy, but it has the potential to be functional. Two JUCO transfers Atunaisa Vainikolo and DeShondrick Foxworth come in to be factors right away, and the offensive side loaded up on tackles develop for the near future. QB Matt Myers is a local product with good size and a live arm.
11. Miami University
It might turn into a better class than it appears in the numbers – there’s no real bulk in the class. However, landing Michigan transfer Alex Malzone should make the quarterback situation interesting, and the receivers are solid, helped by signing 6-6 TE Maleak Bryant. There’s almost nothing for the defense up front. The secondary has a few prospects, but next year’s class needs beef for the line.
10. Akron Zips
The Zips got to the MAC title game and a bowl, and it translated into … not much. Landing OT Devin Jordan will pay off in a few years when he gains some weight, and there are plenty of good-sized receivers, but that’s about it. JUCO transfers Landon Forman and Bryce Peterson have to be factors right away on the O line, and the running backs brought in might see time right away.
9. Central Michigan Chippewas
There’s no star power to count on, but it’s a class for the defense. There’s some hen-pecking at the offensive skill spots, and there’s almost nothing for the offensive line, but the bulk is taken care of on the other side. The pass rush should be there soon with a host of ends to world with, and corner Montrae Braswell leads a decent group of defensive backs.
8. Ball State Cardinals
Head coach Mike Neu needed something positive, and this class might just be it. Starting with the defensive line, there’s plenty to get excited about with a deep group of tackles and a few interesting ends. Texas A&M transfer Hank Hughes might be a factor early on in the quarterback fight, and JUCO transfer Thomas Lopez should get a starting spot at one guard.
7. Eastern Michigan Eagles
The receivers are the main men, with JUCO transfers Michael Thompson and Arthur Jackson for right now, and Logan Giordano possibly the team’s best signing. The corners aren’t bad for the other side, and the interior will get some help with DT Tyrrel Eddington and LB Tyrone Neal coming in from the JUCO ranks.
6. Ohio Bobcats
It’s not as good as it probably should’ve been for a program this strong. Landing JUCO transfer Zachary Burks along with Bryce Ramer start things out in the defensive interior, but they’re not alone for a good line. The offense isn’t doing much for the ground game, but three decent receiver prospects were signed on along with QB Joseph Mischler.
5. Kent State Golden Flashes
New head man Sean Lewis got his quarterback, and everything else fills in from there. Auburn transfer Woody Barrett has to be the main man to get the O going – finally – but he’s not alone. There are plenty of new receivers coming in who’ll get their chance, and there are other athletes to move to wherever needed. The line got the help for the D – the pass rushers are coming in.
4. Northern Illinois Huskies
Rod Carey found plenty of pass rushers, landed a nice corner in Antwain Walker, and did just enough for the secondary to keep the the shelves stocked. There’s not much for the receiving corps, but Justin Hall leads a nice group of running backs, and ballers Jiya Wright and Jyran Mitchell will fight for quarterback time in the next few years.
3. Bowling Green Falcons
LB Antwuan Johnson might be the big signing, but there’s a whole lot more to get excited about. There’s not a lot of bulk in any one area, but with JUCO transfer tight end Presley Motes and a whole lot of other targets, the passing game should keep on rolling. Pass rushers will be a must in next year’s class that has to go after numbers – more defensive talent will have to come in. However, overall, it’s a good haul considering the problems over the last few years.
2. Western Michigan Broncos
It took a year for Tim Lester to get his footing, but in terms of star power he did as much as anyone in the MAC. Offensive tackle Antwan Reed might be the league’s best get – Georgia, Florida, and a whole lot of other big boys wanted him – and there are a few quarterbacks to develop. There isn’t much for the defensive interior, but the ends and secondary are strong.
1. Toledo Rockets
Jason Candle is still around, and he was able to bring in an impressive group that should keep the MAC champions all going. It’s asking a lot for Carter Bradley to be the next great quarterback, but he’ll have plenty of receiving talent to work with. But this is more about the infrastructure for the O, with a whole boatload of linemen coming in. The linebackers are the stars for the other side, with future all-star talents in Dan Bolden and D’Andre Ragin.