It looks like Nevada football coach Chris Tormey is taking the right approach to recruiting junior college players.
While looking for JC players who can fill immediate needs, it doesn't appear he's looking for a quick fix to turnaround a program that went 2-10 this past season by bringing in a bunch of JC transfers.
Nevada signed three JC transfers on Wednesday and while the signings won't blow anybody away, it does appear that all three will have a chance to make an immediate impact in 2001. But that's what JC transfers are expected to do.
David Ah Sue, a 311-pound offensive tackle from Long Beach City College, Dan Bythwood, a 6-5 receiver from Hutchinson, Kansas, and Bill Lynch, a 6-4, 250-pound tight end from Foothill College in California, all will be expected to fill immediate needs.
Recruiting JC athletes is a crap shoot. Many schools, including Oregon State this year, have been able to realize short-term success by recruiting JC players. The Beavers have gone 10-1 this season by relying heavily on JC players.
Let's face it, schools like Oregon State and Nevada are not going to battle the Florida States of the world for the blue chip high school athletes. So they have to look for those diamonds in the rough - JC athletes who have fallen through the cracks - who hopefully will pan out.
But schools like Fresno State have also been burned by relying heavily on JC transfers. In the mid-90s, the Bulldogs had what was considered to be the nation's top JC class one season. The end result was three mediocre years and head coach Jim Sweeney deciding to retire after a 4-7 season in 1996.
It does look like that Tormey will rely mostly on high school players to make the Wolf Pack program competitive in the Western Athletic Conference. While saying he could sign a few more JC transfers when the national letter of intent period begins Feb. 7, high school players should make up the bulk of Nevada's recruiting class.
OUTRECRUITING THE BULLDOGS?
Part of becoming competitive in a conference involves going into a conference rival's own backyard and trying to recruit several of its area players. With that in mind, Nevada is recruiting several players in the San Joaquin Valley, which is Fresno State's territory.
The Bulldogs have always had a hard time keeping Central California's blue chip players from going to Pac 10 schools. But it's likely that Nevada will be hard pressed to take any Central California players away from Fresno State.
Nevada is looking at two players from Monache (Porterville, Calif.): Running back-defensive back James Sanders and receiver Tim Sawyer. Both players are scheduled to make visits to Nevada.
Sanders, who will likely be a defensive back, is leaning to Fresno State, so the Bulldogs have the inside track on him. Sawyer could fit in as a possession receiver with the Wolf Pack who has good size and excellent hands.
Nevada is also looking at players from Tulare High, which won this year's Central Section Yosemite Division small schools title. Among the excellent athletes that Nevada is recruiting from Tulare is defensive back Awan Diles.