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Signing day a whimper for Karl Dorrell

So today was signing day ... the super bowl for college football fanatics who follow recruiting. For the BruinsNation today not much to be excited about as no big named (5 star) recruits signed with the Bruins down the stretch.  Dorrell struck out pretty much every big named recruit down the stretch except for wide receiver Austin. We missed out on Bradford, Hagan, Gerhart, Slocum to name a few. Of course the excuses you will hear Dorrell apologists will be making is the academic one - which of course is not a problem for Tedford at a school like Cal.  Right now Dorrell finished the recruiting class with a ranking somewhere between no. 17 (rivals) and 20 (scout), finishing behind USC and shockingly Arizona.  Then again - it probably wasn't shocking considering those are the two teams that savaged and humiliated Dorrell down the stretch sending him to a hair care product bowl, that no one except for few die hard college football junkies watched.

Anyways - perhaps we should be encouraged when we read this bit from Brian Dohn, who unlike exercises some due diligence in reporting by looking up stuff beyond cutting and pasting paragraphs from Morgan Center press releases:

Through various skill-testing camps, visits to UCLA practices and games, as well as the California-Florida Bowl, the paths of Jake Dean, Andy Keane, Brandon Bennett, Sean Sheller and Sonny Tevaga criss-crossed.

As each one gave oral commitments to UCLA, the players spoke more frequently to one another.

Those five Southern California linemen - along with already-enrolled junior college transfer Nick Ekbatani and highly-regarded prospect Micah Kia of Mililani (Hawaii) High - are the backbone of a 22-player recruiting class, which will come together with today's national letter of intent day.

"We saw each other at the football games and then playing with each other at all-star games, and we all became pretty close," said Dean, who played at Paraclete of Lancaster. "It's pretty cool to already know the guys you're going to be playing with. You already have a bond with them. I'm going to get there the first day having known a lot of these guys for the last year. And we have each other's back already."

Under NCAA rules, coaches are prohibited from speaking about recruits until a letter of intent is received. However, Bruins coach Karl Dorrell spoke in general about the class, which will also include five defensive linemen, led by 6-foot-4, 315-pound tackle Darius Savage of San Diego Morse High.

"It's the best class we've had," Dorrell said. "It's a core class. It's a class we wanted to make the biggest impression with our line positions. I believe that's the difference with a lot of the teams we play, is how we're playing in the trenches. That was the mandate a year ago, to get ourselves in better shape (in the interior)."
Yes we need those bodies in our trenches considering how badly we got manhandled at DL this season. Hopefully they will learn to properly tackle and play in a fundamentally sound defensive unit while they are time at Westwood. Some of these guys may be called upon to contribute next season right away considering sorry state of depth at DL (which begs the question WTF Dorrell and his coaching staff were doing last three years besides blaming Toledo?).

However, Dorrell and his staff missed badly on filling some of the more dire needs in our depth chart - getting LBs and RBs. After the departures of Havner and JLo, we are left with a dept chart which features a core group of Whittington, Hale, Taylor, Holmes, RS soph Reggie Carter. That is not very good. And I don't care much about how they were able to tackle bunch of scholars from the Big-10 in the Hair Cair Product Bowl. Also we needed running backs after departure of MJD, and we totally whiffed on Slocum and Gerhart. Again it's nice that Markey and Bell ran for bunch of yards against a shitty Northwestern defense (which is almost as horrible as ours - and that is saying something), but that's not enough to have confidence in our running game. Perhaps KD is thinking if we have a solid foundation laid in by a strong/solid play from OL - then it doesn't matter who is taking the snaps at TB. We will see - this offense last year stagnated somewhat without McCloskey and it is uncertain how they are going to with a center like MM who anchored this line for last few years.

Lastly, is this is the "best" Dorrell can do? Bringing in a recruiting class that barely finished in the top-20 behind Arizona (not even taking into account how many blue chippers USC signed) even after the so called "10 win" season. If that is so - then its not a good sign considering Toledo was able to haul in top-5 (if not top-2) classes in back to back seasons by taking advantage of that 20 winning streak. It looks like that the elite recruits were not that impressed with this "10 win" season - perhaps telling us something that we already knew. Anyways - again not much to get all that fired up about if you are a Bruin football fan. Anyways back to basketball. Thank God for Ben Howland. GO BRUINS.