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MAC East’s class of 2020 football recruiting needs

Teams in the division have to account for departures and needs in the upcoming recruiting class.

MAC Championship - Buffalo v Northern Illinois Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With the 2019 recruiting class in the books, it’s time to move on to next year’s class as teams in the MAC will need to address some areas of need. These needs are caused in part by key departures that were unplanned or previous recruits that didn’t pan out at the position. We will break down the recruiting needs of each team in the MAC starting with the East Division, where the race for Detroit is wide open every year and the team with the deepest roster has a really good chance of making it.

Akron Zips’ Needs: TE, DL, DB

Tom Arth and company will have to bust tail on the recruiting trail for 2020 as Akron has three players graduating from each of these positions. For recruiting purposes, it will be interesting to see how Arth uses his senior tight ends in his Air Raid offense while the Zips only have eight defensive lineman on the roster, which is an awfully low number for a Division I football team. The numbers are low for defensive backs too with 12 players (including three seniors), so look for these numbers to be addressed in some fashion next season.

Bowling Green Falcons’ Needs: WR, OL, DL, LB, DB

Meanwhile, BG doesn’t have an issue with low numbers in a certain position but it will have to account for attrition in 2020 via graduation. Scot Loeffler needs to identify a couple of receivers and offensive linemen that he and his staff can develop in his new offense. On the other side of the ball, the defense is going to be losing 10+ seniors (including five defensive backs in BG’s 4-2-5 defense) so the depth at all levels need to be shored up this year.

Buffalo Bulls’ Needs: DL, DB

Despite all of Buffalo’s successes last season, they are going to be thin at some key defensive positions in 2020. By the time 2020 rolls around, the Bulls will have 14 defensive linemen (when four-down teams typically carry 16) and 12 defensive backs (nickel-heavy defenses like the ones in the MAC usually carry 15-16) on the roster, so these needs will have to be addressed so that a potential injury bug can’t totally derail UB’s season.

Kent State Golden Flashes’ Needs: WR, LB, DB

Sean Lewis and his staff did an excellent job of filling some needs in 2019, but the numbers in some of the skill position still need to be addressed. In 2020, there will only be nine receivers, eight linebackers, and 13 defensive backs on the roster, which is not conducive for an up-tempo offense or a modern 3-4 defense. If Lewis can shore these areas up with recruits that he can develop for 4-5 years, KSU could end up being a major player in the MAC East.

Miami RedHawks’ Needs: RB, OL, DL

Getting a bunch of defensive skill players (especially defensive backs) has been one of Chuck Martin’s strengths at Miami, but 2020 can present a challenge to get the right guys for other key positions. Having potentially six running backs at most in 2020 seems low with Miami’s willingness to use multiple backs in various situations. Teams should strive to have at least 15 offensive linemen and 16 defensive linemen on their rosters, and Miami is projected to have 14 and 13 respectively in 2020. Having low numbers here means that there’s less guys who are getting developed to win in the trenches, so these positions need shored up ASAP.

Ohio Bobcats’ Needs: DL

Perhaps the most underrated recruiter in the MAC, Frank Solich has built the Bobcats into what they are due in part to having a lot of depth on both sides of the ball. The only position where the numbers are concerning is the defensive line, where there are only 14 projected returners in 2020. Ohio can certainly fill that spot with some recruits that they can develop and can support their depth with guys at position with high attrition, such as offensive line and defensive back.