How did the Mountain West teams stack up with their respective recruiting classes? Who had the strongest-looking haul of talent, and who struggled a bit?
2018 Mountain West Recruiting Class Rankings
So how do the 2018 Mountain West 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. New Mexico Lobos
There’s just not a whole lot there to get too excited about, but Bob Davie signed on plenty of versatile athletes to move around where needed. Sheriron Jones is an interesting quarterback, defensive back, or even as a good-sized wideout prospect. Other JUCO transfers are dominant on defense, with the secondary getting the most help.
11. Air Force Falcons
It’s not a horrible class with a few talents who had several other options. Air Force might not throw the ball, but Malik Rodgers is a dangerous target who could be moved into the backfield, and Chris Kane is a talented tight end. If DT Kamakani Crosby can live up to the billing and be an anchor on the inside – along with all the promising linebackers – the class might be excellent for the run D.
10. Wyoming Cowboys
Craig Bohl just doesn’t sign a whole lot of big recruits. There isn’t anyone super-recruit who qualifies as a star, but he’s getting plenty of skill players to work in the depth, a few interesting defensive ends, and with size dominating the defensive backs. Next year, the Cowboys need to bring in bulk for both lines.
9. Fresno State Bulldogs
It’s a top-heavy class, but it’s a good one. Jeff Tedford used his great first season to help land two decent quarterbacks and a couple of nice receivers, but it’s the great defense that’s getting the bulk of the help. Keiti Iakopo is the best of the lot for the interior, while Isaiah Johnson is the star of a solid crop of linebackers. The Bulldogs will have to crank it up for the O line next year.
8. Utah State Aggies
Defense, defense, defense. The Aggies went strongest for options for the defensive side, starting with ends Andy Koch and Seni Tuiaki and JUCO transfer corner D.J. Williams. Last year’s class addressed the offensive side a little bit more, but Matt Wells signed three quarterbacks to groom for the near future.
7. San Jose State Spartans
Brent Brennan landed a fantastic class last season, and it didn’t translate to anything on the field. This year, he and the staff went relatively light on the offensive side, but made a big deal out of securing the secondary with a good mix of options. JUCO transfers Nehemiah Shelton, Jalen Nelson and Bobby Brown will be asked to produce right away, but most of the other defensive parts were brought in to groom for the future.
6. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
It’s good, with the defensive line getting the biggest boost starting with JUCO transfer Justus Tavai from California, and with a whole lot of offensive linemen to try getting more physical with five JUCO transfers signed on. The passing game might have lost QB Dru Brown to Oklahoma State, but it’s loading with with some fantastic receiver prospects.
5. UNLV Rebels
After a light 2016 class, Tony Sanchez improved this year starting by landing a quarterback in Max Gilliam to battle with Armani Rogers, and signing WR Patrick Ballard and RB Chad Magyar to help boost the attack. However, the Rebels are all about gumming up the works on the inside with defensive tackle after defensive tackle, led by Chris Manoa and JUCO transfer Dominion Ezinwa.
4. Nevada Wolf Pack
Jay Norvell improved his class after getting a full year to work, landing a terrific receiver or defensive back prospect in Josiah Bradley, and helping the O line this year with JUCO transfer Jermaine Ledbetter coming in. Finding receivers for the air show was a must, but tight ends are bring brought in, too. Defensively, the line got the best talent, especially on the interior with Tristan Nichols and Kevin Scott out of Arizona Wester CC.
3. Colorado State Rams
And here comes the defensive line. Receivers Jammal Houston and Nikko Hall might be the stars of the class, and LB Dequan Jackson will eventually lead the team in tackles, but the pass rushers are coming. Mike Bobo needs to get more out of his line, and he and the staff are throwing bulk at the problem with Jan-Phillip Bombek and Damion Dickens two JUCO transfers to be a part of the fun from the start.
2. San Diego State Aztecs
After a mediocre recruiting season, the Aztecs came back roaring this year with several versatile players for either the secondary or receiving corps. Rocky Long went after athletes, and he and the staff will find spots for all of them. Zidane Thomas might just be the program’s next great running back, and the defensive line is loaded with promising pass rushing prospects.
1. Boise State Broncos
It’s the best class in the Mountain West, and it’s not all that close. John Hightower, Cameron Thomas and Stefan Cobbs lead a loaded group of receivers, Tyneil Hopper is a future All-Mountain West tight end, and Riley Smith out of Florida is the quarterback who’ll likely get them all the ball.
The other side of the ball isn’t quite as strong, but the linebackers are excellent, and Scale Igiehon is the future anchor of the line. The haul of defensive backs is second only to San Diego State’s class, and the defensive end prospects are terrific.