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Q&A with ESPN recruiting guru Tom Luginbill

ESPN recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill took time out of his crazy week to chat with the GPP about FIU’s 2011 recruiting class.

What are your thoughts on FIU’s efforts this year?

 “I think [Mario Cristobal] has done a fantastic job. The thing is with the program, with the new facility and the fact there’s so many kids in their area, if you do a good job with evaluation, really out there grinding, you’re going to come up with some guys BCS-caliber tweeners that can really upgrade your roster. Of their 24 verbals, I’d say the top one-third are guys capable of winning the Sun Belt. The Giovani Francois, the Dominique Rhymes, the Corey Tindals.”

What’s it going to take for them to start making a play for the four and five-star guys?

“It’s interesting. You want make comparisons to South Florida, the leap that Central Florida has made. To me, the realist vision, for them to make that leap, is they’ve got to have successive title winning seasons. Consecutive 8, 9, 10-win seasons. If that happens, that leads to more resources, more funding, more scholarships and more funding, an upgrade in facilities. It’s a process. It’s not going to happen over night.

“I think what happens, is you can’t go 7-6, win the conference, and the next year not have a quality year. They need to have successive years. When you start getting into the eight and nine-win years, that’s different than 7-6. Are they going to be able to go get that four-star guys right away? Probably not. They need to hit on a couple of those quality players to make it big. It paints a picture. You only need one or two of them of a year. Then all of the sudden, in a stretch of five years, you’ve got a handful guys that are marquee guys. They end up selling your program.”


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