Best Class: Toledo Rockets
Toledo’s run of postseason appearances looks to continue well through the coming years under second-year head coach Matt Campbell. UT has the highest average star rating among the MAC’s recruiting classes at 2.35 behind the strength of eight three-star commitments.
Florida prep recruit Rodney Adams should fit nicely into the Rockets’ high-powered passing attack. Defensive tackle Rob Zimmerman is a space eater at 340 pounds, and defensive back Delando Johnson scored one-tenth of a point shy of reaching four-star status.
Worst Class: UMass Minutemen
UMass suffered through a trying first year in the FBS, going 1-11 with an average margin of defeat of 30.5 points. The Minutemen head into 2013 with the lowest average star rating in the MAC. Charley Molnar’s sole three-star prospect is Miami running back Lorenzo Woodley.
Most Surprising: Eastern Michigan Eagles
Eastern Michigan’s consistent struggles appeared at an end, coming into 2012 off a 6-6 campaign and returning several key players. But EMU floundered again, finishing 2-10. Ron English needs a big bounce back in 2013, and he certainly got a strong start with an impressive signing class.
EMU welcomes the only four-star prospect in the conference, Brogan Roback, as well as a pair of three-star commits in offensive lineman Dwayne Brown and defensive back Jaleel Canty.
Most Disappointing: Northern Illinois Huskies
Coming off the first BCS bowl appearance in MAC history, Northern Illinois had a rare opportunity to parlay a national stage into a stepping stone to the next level. However, a change in coaching staff put NIU at something of a disadvantage and the Huskies’ 2013 haul is very much program status quo.
Just two of the Huskies’ 2013 signings scored three star: defensive back Mycial Allen and running back Argeros Turner. Overall, NIU recruits average 2.08 stars. Whether Jerry Kill or Dave Doeren, Huskie head coaches developed recruits above their star ratings. This season was the program’s third consecutive season with at least 10 wins, and fourth such campaign in less than a decade.
Still, this was an unprecedented opportunity to move into the truly elite.
Top Prospect: Brogan Roback, Eastern Michigan
The only four-star signee in the MAC is Eastern Michigan’s Brogan Roback, the No. 17 ranked Pro Set quarterback by Rivals.com. The Toledo St. John’s product might need a year of seasoning and college weight room condition at 185 pounds standing 6-foot-4. But with both a four-star rating and Tom Lemming certification as an elite prospect, he’s easily the steal of the MAC.
Names to Know
1. Toledo Rockets: Rodney Adams, Kareem Hunt, Delando Johnson
2. Eastern Michigan Eagles: Brogan Roback, Dwayne Brown, Jaleel Canty
3. Central Michigan Chippewas: Wesley Thomas, Corey Willis, Derek Edwards
4. Miami RedHawks: Zach Smierciak, Tommy Tupa, Randy Heideman
5. Bowling Green Falcons: Fred Coppet, Isaiah Gourdine, Marcus Levy
6. Western Michigan Broncos: Caleb Bailey, Khairi Bailey, Cameron Thomas
7. Akron Zips: Keontae Hollis, Jerome Lane, Anthony Lauro
8. Kent State Golden Flashes: Demetrius Monday, Nathan Strock, Chris Overton
9. Northern Illinois Huskies: Mycial Allen, Argeros Turner, Jordan Huff
10. Ohio Bobcats: Zachary Murdock, Dorian Brown, Justin Wyatt
11. Buffalo Bulls: Jamarl Eiland, Dubois Ross, James Coleman
12. Ball State Cardinals: Calvin Blank, Teddy Williamson, Jack Milas
13. UMass Minutemen: Lorenzo Woodley, Shaquille Harris, Todd Stafford