Since I'm seeing a lot of stuff on the boards about how we should fire Coach Trickett, I decided to put together a post evaluating the 08-10 classes he was involved in recruiting and developing.
Who we signed:
08 – Datko, Faircloth, Sanderson, Snider, Spurlock, Tonga, Zebrie
Sanderson and Snider MDQ, Tonga was JUCO. Spurlock, Datko, Sanders, and Faircloth – Spurlock lost a lot after his concussion issues, Datko’s had chronic shoudler problems, we hear Zebrie is having issues with RT, and Faircloth is decent at best. 2 current starters from this class are Zebrie & Faircloth/Spurlock.
09 – Orelus, Philips, Prior, Stork
Orelus is hurt. Philips transferred to Auburn, because of RT - but he should have signed there to begin with. Prior left to be close to home, his mother, though some point at RT on this also. Stork is only current starter. 1 current starter from this class.
10 – Dan Foose. Is the entire class. Trickett had a long list of targets for this class.
In that 3 year cycle we brought in 12 guys, lost 2 to MDQ, 2 to transfer, 1 was JUCO. 7 guys from the 08-10 cycle are still on roster. Of those 7, 3 got hurt this year (Datko, Spurlock, Orelus).
Your remaining 4 healthy OL recruits from the 08-10 cycle that should have given us our current 2 deep line – Zebrie, Faircloth, Stork, and Foose.
The way I see it, the line should be composed of Sophomores and Upperclassmen, and should be 2 deep with people of that experience level. This means that after everything, you should have 9-12 guys from the 08-10 cycles playing this year. Even if you don't lose Sanderson & Snider to MDQ's, you're still on the short side.
Evaluating the size/choices of each class:
The 2008 class was a great class. We all expected to have Datko, Spurlock and Zebrie be shining stars this year. Hit tough luck losing Sanderson and Snider. Then Datko's shoulder gets worse this year, and Spurlock hasn't been the same since his concussion issues. No problems with recruiting, or development, though Faircloth should be farther along after grayshirting. Both personnel and numbers were good, but class got killed this year by injuries.
I don't see any problems with having a light haul in 2009. You had a large 2008 class with guys showing potential, and another year of McMahon and Hudson. The line looked amazing at that point and looked to have a good future.
The biggest problem was not recruiting enough in numbers in 2010. Even though you still had a lot of numbers from the 08 class, you need to start thinking about filling holes in the next few years. Considering Philips and Prior didn't even make it to camp, you had 3 signees in 2 years of 09-10. At the time, you still had 8 guys from the 08-09 classes that looked to be serviceable until the end of their eligibility. We could have used 3-4 more at a minimum to bolster depth. This is on Trickett for not recruiting enough guys.
The other possibility - this 10 class had 25 signees and only 1 OL signee. Trickett simply may not have been given enough scholarships. If that's the case, the entire staff involved with recruiting is at fault. At that time OL wasn't seen as a major need, partly because the current line was good, and because there were enough healthy bodies at that point. Too much of our depth was dependent on not having injuries to the 08 class. Then the injury bug hit that 08 class. Hard.
The current problems stem from both bad luck (massive injuries), and poor numbers in the 2010 class. If anyone can answer how many spots Trickett was allowed in the 10 class, that would be great.
I really don't think it's reasonable to consider firing a position coach unless player development is the true issue. Should we have recruited more OL? Definitely. Is Trickett at fault for pushing 1-2 kids too hard and leaving program? Sure. Will losing 5 Juniors and Seniors affect any OL in the country? 100% yes. But we didn't have enough depth with experience to make up for it.
I think giving more time to Trickett is appropriate. If the 2012 line isn't serviceable, or the 2013 line isn't elite, then player development is the failure and Trickett hasn't proved his worth. But he's had elite lines here. There's no reason to fire him over a year where his unit is decimated by injuries.