Four coaches that need to bounce back after a rough 2019 class
Recruiting never stops. Most coaches were on to the class of 2020 well before the National Signing day 2019 concluded and some programs are in desperate need of a bounce back cycle after disaster struck, for one reason or another, this time around. Below, Rivals.com takes a look at four head coaches that need things to go better in the year ahead.
Note: Coaches that are in so much trouble from a job-security standpoint that they may not get a chance to sign a 2020 class were not considered for the list,
CHIP KELLY, UCLA
The fanfare that once surrounded the Bruins' hiring of Kelly has official vanished dead and some semblance of doubt has filled the void it left. A 3-9 debut season combined with a reserved approach to recruiting have many wondering if Kelly still has the magic that led to the wild success he experienced at Oregon. UCLA’s 2019 recurring class ranked ninth in the Pac-12 and 46th nationally. We’re just one season into the Kelly Era in Westwood, so everything may end up being fine in the end. No matter how you spin it, however, a solid recruiting cycle in 2020 would help alleviate some of the growing concerns. By all accounts, the Bruins should be able to capitalize off of uncertainty at USC, but have proven unable to do so thus far. Everyone knows Trojans head coach Clay Helton will be coaching for his job next season and Kelly was still unable to out-recruit his crosstown rival. Next year needs to be a different story.
WILLIE TAGGART, Florida State
The Seminoles’ 2019 class has its high points. In fact, a lot of schools would kill for Florida State's haul. That doesn’t mean it’s good enough to meet the lofty expectations that exist in Tallahassee, however. In fact, Taggart’s 15th-place finish is FSU’s worst in a decade. For every recruiting victory (Akeem Dent, Brendan Gant, Nick Cross, etc.), there was a frustrating loss. Even with impressive tackle Donte Lucas signed, this class is unlikely to completely a fix a broken offensive line. Question marks continue to surround the Seminoles’ thin quarterback room going forward, as the program failed to sign a quarterback for the second-straight year. Point is, Willie Taggart needs to upgrade the talent on his roster if he hopes to challenge Clemson at the top of the ACC standings. Another relatively mediocre recruiting cycle in 2020 will turn up the anxiety level among an already restless fan base. It’s not time to panic by any means, but the sweat could start dripping at this time next year.
BARRY ODOM, Missouri
Regardless of whether or not you think Missouri’s upcoming bowl ban was warranted (it wasn’t), it certainly didn’t help this recruiting class and may lead to a transfer or two. The Tigers finished 13th, above only Vanderbilt, in the SEC recruiting rankings and could use a bounce back season in 2020. Of course, limits on scholarships and visits will make things a bit more difficult, so whatever Odom does on the trail needs to be viewed through the lens created by current circumstances. Mizzou’s head coach is by no means on the hot seat, but the upcoming recruiting cycle now seems crucial as the program attempts to weather the storm. Odom doesn’t need to land the league’s top class in 2020. Instead, he simply needs to avoid a total disaster.
SCOTT SATTERFIELD, Louisville
Satterfield lands on this list for different reasons than the others. The Cardinals’ mess of a 2019 class certainly isn’t his fault, as he took over late in the process. The reason he needs a bounce back year in 2020 has nothing to do with his job security, either. Instead, it has to do with his program’s talent level, which is in danger of dipping to a dangerously low level. Louisville followed last season’s 2-10 debacle by signing the ACC’s worst class, making the 2020 cycle pivotal to the program’s long-term future. The Cards’ recruiting should be just fine if Satterfield, as expected, manages to show some semblance of improvement on the filed this season. As long as the 2019 recruiting shortcomings don’t begin to compound, things should straighten out at Louisville.