State of the Hogs: 2017 Class Sexy Enough

Here is a front page column after the dust settled on signing day: … xy-enough/

Very nice read and very interesting regarding the 2017 OL class… I wonder what you think about the 2016 class? All of these guys redshirted, Heinrich, Hays are just Freshman and Malone and Ramirez should start to see some movement to at least a back up role… Clay what are you hearing on the 2016 OL class in the development department?

I’m hearing they like them. All of them. Ramirez and Malone should compete for playing time. Hays was a find and has impressed everyone.

Now that is sweet music! We need to stack OL classes with mean , nasty, workers!

Not sure that was the main problem on offense last year. Experience is a must for offensive line play (far more so than for any other position, although quarterback is perhaps a close second), and we had far too little of that last year. My feeling is that we will be vastly improved this year with our offensive line play and the added depth from more experienced redshirts. If our defense can do a decent job of picking up the change to the 3-4 (should be better in 2018, but can we get close enough this year?), I think that we will see a vastly improved football team. I like the speed of our current signees in the secondary, and hopefully they can quickly contribute without too many mistakes. A dominant 3-4 should be able to compensate for some mistakes in the secondary. Am I being too optimistic (again)? In light of the above, consider our potential for 2018 if the quarterback position materializes.

Aloha Clay,

Could you please explain what CBB stated about his OL recruiting? What does “meat and potatoes” mean? He also stated they went away from the “sexy” (I’m guessing highly rated OL…4 stars??) and went back to basics. Does that mean their evaluation of OL recruits was faulty? If so, what have they changed about their OL evaluations? Any reflection on Sam Pittman? I thought CBB always made the final call/judgement on recruits.

Also, if stars don’t count for OL, then how come CBB brags about signing the Number 1 JC TE and WR? Can’t have it both ways.



Good questions. First, I will say that offensive line evaluations are the toughest. It’s always that way. They don’t have stats. And, raw speed doesn’t always matter, although it does sometimes. What you have with most high school offensive linemen, they can outweigh their competition by 60-80 pounds at times. So you don’t see them against guys their own size. It’s not like any other position in that way.

It sure would seem obvious that evaluations on offensive linemen were faulty. He said they went away from some of the practices that Sam Pittman believed in, and that was probably concentrating on a wider scope of players, and not just a five or a four star. I could go through the evaluations of some that are on campus, but we’ve done that a bunch. If you haven’t been following closely, then you may have missed some of that. But it’s clear that there were a good many misses in the OL over a two-year period, and yes, Sam Pittman was involved in that. And, as you say, so was the head coach. They don’t pull the trigger on anyone without the head coach saying. So of the guys still around, the guy you should blame the most is the head coach. It always starts there.

Yes, sexy means more highly rated and more highly publicized. Without question, Kirby Adcock and Ty Clary are highly respected players within the state. I think both are good gets. I also think Dalton Wagner and Shane Clenin are highly regarded. Tom Lemming thinks Wagner will be an All-American. He was the top-rated tackle in Illinois. All are consenus three star players, meaning that’s their average when adding all of the national services together.

I’m high on this O-line class. Hopefully, that’s what you took out of what I wrote. If you didn’t get that out of it, then I did a poor job of writing.

Aloha Clay,

You are too humble to a fault. You’re writing is exceptional. I understood your original article. It was CBB whom I didn’t understand! I wish CBB would explain in greater detail about OL recruiting. But I guess he doesn’t want to be negative about anyone/ or call anyone out. Thank-you for your prompt response.


I can work on that question. I do read (and listen)! It’s a good question. Might take a bit for me to get some time to talk about it, but I will do it.

This is a very good discussion.

I have looked back and found some who did not pan out, Reeve Koehler, John McClure, and Jovan Pruitt (never made it to campus) are the ones I find… I am not judging the 2015 and 2016 classes, although if Malone and Ramirez don’t make a move this spring, I will call them a bust. And Fro Merrick, and Rogers need to progress because I feel like these are two of the “sexy” ones…

Two things that stand out to me, first is we simply did not sign enough OT’s and second coach B seems to want to move everyone to center…Rogers, Hays, and now Clenin.

We need to sign 2 true OT’s this class…