MAC Football Recruiting Power Rankings: June 2014

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Our panel of judges casts their votes this week for our June edition of MAC Football Recruiting Power Rankings. See where each MAC school falls in our second monthly power ranking down below.

Today marks our second monthly edition of MAC ‘Crootin Power Rankings. On the 15th of every month, HustleBelt.com will rank each MAC school according to their success -- or lack thereof -- in the form of verbal commitments during the 2015 recruiting cycle (see what we did there?).

Hopefully you've noticed our recent efforts to begin more closely monitoring verbal pledges throughout the Mid-American Conference. You can find all of our online football recruiting coverage here, and even follow our very own Twitter account here, in order to keep tabs on how each MAC team is doing on the recruiting trail.

This time of the year is all about seizing momentum and building hype in order for coaches to get the kind of recruiting classes they are looking for. You’ll notice a little bit of movement down below due to those factors

Overall, the Mid-American Conference is keeping up nicely with the rest of the nation in terms of number of committed players. With 17 verbal commitments, the Western Michigan Broncos trail only Clemson and Alabama in total amount of players committed. And with five schools with 9 players or more committed (WMU, Toledo, CMU, NIU, Miami), the MAC is one of just five conferences in the country (AAC, Big Ten, C-USA, SEC) to be able to make that claim.

With more than 7 months left in the 2015 recruiting calendar, there's still a long way to go until National Signing Day on Wednesday, February 4th. Without further ado, here are the June Power Rankings:

No. 1: WMU | LM: 1 | Commits: 17

P.J. Fleck has set a pretty ridiculous pace on the recruiting trail ever since he took over at WMU a year and a half ago. Although the Broncos still sit atop the MAC ‘Crootin Power Rankings, the quality of recruits has leveled off some in recent weeks. Losing 3-star tight end Caleb Reams was a small blow, but WMU quickly reloaded. Western Michigan has gone from the "far away favorite" to land the MAC’s top recruiting class, to just "the favorite" for now.

Marquee verbals: (LB) Junior McMullen, (S) Jamal Brown, (OL) John Keenoy, (CB) Richie Kittles, (QB) Jon Wassink, and (RB) James Gilbert.

No. 2: Toledo | LM: 2 | Commits: 10

The Rockets are quietly putting together a nice class, despite a recent de-commitment from wide receiver prospect Tre Tipton after Pittsburgh came calling. Perhaps they’ve been a little overshadowed by the rapid pace in which WMU has been hauling in commitments, but definitely don’t sleep on Toledo. They’re slowly gaining ground and could challenge for the MAC’s best class when it’s all said and done.

Marquee verbals: (LB) Tyler Taafe, (OL) Chandler Cotterman, (OT) Cameron Bell, and (QB) Mitchell Guadagni

No. 3: Miami | LM: 3 | Commits: 9

Chuck Martin and the Miami Redhawks are the only thing breaking up a pretty impressive MAC West recruiting effort so far in the 2015 cycle. After a small gap in momentum in late-May, Miami picked up three commitments in one day on June 2nd and has since been right back in the mix for a top recruiting class. It’s clear the new coaching staff is focused on rebuilding the trenches with 8 of 9 commits playing on either side of the line.

Marquee verbals: (LB) Carter Masek, (OL) Ian Leever, (OT) Ryan Mullen, and (OT) Colton McKivitz

No. 4: CMU | LM: 4 | Commits: 12

The Chippewas were in need of another signature commitment, as their class is already filling up. Well, that’s exactly what they got in Dewitt quarterback Jake Johnson one week ago. Johnson will be CMU’s quarterback of the future, which now allows Dan Enos and the rest of the coaching staff to go out and sell to recruits. It’s unlikely that Central Michigan climbs much higher in the rankings the rest of this year, but this certainly helped them hold strong at number four.

Marquee verbals: (DT) Shahid Bellamy, (QB) Jake Johnson, and (RB) Romello Ross.

No. 5: NIU | LM: 5 | Commits: 9

There’s very little separating #2-5 in these Power Rankings, so one big verbal commitment could easily make an impact in the coming months. Northern Illinois has continued at a slow and steady pace and may be the dark horse here to eventually build another strong recruiting class. Arkansas running back D.J. Brown was a real nice recent pickup for the Huskies.

Marquee verbals: (TE) Daniel Crawford, (RB) D.J. Brown, and (ATH) Sutton Smith.

No. 6: Ball St. | LM: 6 | Commits: 5

After Northern Illinois’ class, there’s a significant drop off beginning with Ball State. The Cardinals have five commitments, but all five are fairly unknown commodities. On paper, Ball State seems to be piecing together what could hopefully be their offense of the future. Now it will be up to Pete Lembo to keep some of these guys from visiting other in-state Big Ten schools like Indiana and Purdue.

Marquee verbals: OT Zac Ricketts, OG Andrew Poenitsch, and TE Kyle Schrank

No. 7: EMU | LM: 9  | Commits: 3

The Eagles are a little slow going as expected, but have gained a little bit of a push with the new coaching staff. Getting into Colerain H.S. in Cincinnati and grabbing a commitment out of linebacker prospect Demetrius Colbert is a good early accomplishment for this staff. Time will tell if it continues, but for now we’ve still got our eye on Eastern Michigan as they slowly creep up our power rankings.

Marquee verbals: OT Rob Pavletich and LB Demetrius Colbert

No. 8: Ohio | LM: 10 | Commits: 3

Frank Solich has always been very quiet on the recruiting trail. The Bobcats got a pair of commits a couple of weeks ago and are slowly beginning to make some noise. Even still, the Bobcats are still a ways down the list right now and could use a few splash commitments to keep up with the rest of the pack.

Marquee verbals: DT DaVon Hamilton and LB Clayton Glasco

No. 9: BGSU | LM: 11 | Commits: 2

If this piece was written a few days earlier, there’s a good chance BGSU would have found themselves down at the bottom of the list. But with a pair of June commitments, Dino Babers and the Falcons are riding high on the recruiting trail. They still have a long ways to go to get near the top, but they’re in slightly better shape than some of the schools down below.

Marquee verbals: DT Jack Kramer and DT Nico Lautanen

No. 10: KSU | LM: 11 | Commits: 2

Like Bowling Green, it took until June for Kent State to grab any sort of a commitment. The Golden Flashes are a close runner up to BGSU, but slightly behind only because their commitments aren't quite as recent. There’s very little information out there about either verbal commitment, but both have good frames and could end up being diamonds in the rough.

Marquee verbals: DT Alex Hoag and LB Troy Dipre

No. 11: UMass | LM: 8 | Commits: 2

The Minutemen have slipped somewhat and fallen in at number eleven kind of by default. With several schools having two or less commits, it’s really kind of a crapshoot between #7-13. There will surely be a lot of movement in the rankings as the summer goes on, and more information is found out about each recruit. But for now, UMass is hanging in there with two verbal commitments in the 2015 class. Like many other schools that fall in this range, UMass has potential to slide up.

Marquee verbals: DT Diasjon Robinson and OT Joe Parsons

No. 12: Akron | LM: 11 | Commits: 1

The Zips recently got their first commitment in Florida defensive end Wayne Clarington, and that’s the sole reason we have them ranked slightly higher than Buffalo. Although it’s marginal at best, Akron has some momentum now. Furthermore, the commitment comes from the state of Florida, a place where Terry Bowden has generally been successful and has established relationships.

Marquee verbals: DE Wayne Clarington

No. 13: Buffalo | LM: 7 | Commits: 1

Buffalo’s first and only verbal commitment came all the way back in April. Since then, it’s been very quiet in Buffalo and presumably the Bulls are struggling to gain some much needed momentum. It’s a little surprising considering Buffalo’s recent success, and well-known roster openings and position battles after graduating one of their better senior classes in school history.

Marquee verbals: WR Brandon Smiley
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