CHAT TRANSCRIPT: Bobby Burton talks recruiting

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Bobby Burton is the recruiting director of college recruiting for Rivals100 and a contributor to Be sure to check out Bobby Burton's for all the latest recruiting news, the list of the nation's top recruits and the Rivals100 Prospect Database for the full scoop on over 3,000 recruits.

Events_Moderator: Hello & Welcome to Lycos Live Events. This is your chance to personally interview your favorite sports writers. Got a burning question you want to ask? If so, send it to me (the moderator) and I'll see about getting it answered.

Events_Moderator: Okay everyone! It's time to get started! Let's welcome Bobby Burton to the chat!

Events_Moderator: Hi Bobby, welcome to Lycos Live Events! How's it going?

rhino_rulz: Hey Bobby!!!

Bobby_Burton: Its going great, how are you doing today?

uclabrian: Welcome, Bobby!!

uclabrian: What do you make of the Winston Justice saga? He seems to vacillate between UCLA/USC every hour or so....Is he supposed to announce today.

Bobby_Burton: He could announce today, but its likely to drag into tomorrow. He's obviously really torn between the two LA schools.

Events_Moderator: What are your thoughts on athletes accepting money? Do you think the rules are too stiff?

Bobby_Burton: I think athletes accepting money at college level opens up a Pandora's box.

cm03: How much of a drop-off in recruiting has the Gators suffered with Ron Zook?

Bobby_Burton: I think the issue with Florida right now is that Steve Spurrier had set it up for a strong January push. But it took some time, maybe a little too much time, to get Zook in place. Now he's done some good things over the past few weeks, but I think he's going to fall short of the normal top ten recruiting class that Gator fans have come to expect.

canesrule21: how would you rank the Miami Hurricanes class right now and how much can they improve after signing day?

Bobby_Burton: I think Miami is going to wind up with a top 5 class. They are really the X factor right now, because they are waiting on some key players to make a decision. I think that tomorrow they could wind up the third or fourth class. This wide receiver class of theirs is something special.

cm03: How much is Miami benfiting from FSU's off year, and UF's coaching troubles?

Bobby_Burton: I think Miami is making its own way, regardless of what Florida St. or Florida are doing. Miami won the national championship, and are doing very well in their own backyard.

Events_Moderator: DID YOU KNOW - Did you know you can get the complete scoop on over 3,000 recruits at the Prospect Database at

TexTrey: Which conference is having the best recruiting season?

Bobby_Burton: That's hard to say... You look at the conferences where the most talent exists, thats the SEC, obviously, the PAC 10, the Big 10 and the Big 12. And then you look at the Big East and the ACC. I'm not sure that I could name one conference better than the other right now, but I'd say the SEC and the Big 12 are doing very well in that the PAC 10, Big 10 and Big East and ACC are top heavy.

uclabrian: Are we any closer to having an early signing-period for football? It would only make sense as every other sport has one, and so many kids are committing early now...

Bobby_Burton: Its my understanding that there are some people trying to put forth that sort of legislation, but to be honest, that's nothing new. Would I like to see a new, two tiered signing system? Yeah, I think that's what's best for the kids.

Events_Moderator: What do you do at Rivals exactly?

Bobby_Burton: I am the director of college recruiting for Rivals. I do everything including sweeping the floors! We cover college football and basketball recruiting throughout the country.

TexTrey: What factors do you consider when making your rankings?

Bobby_Burton: Talent is the number one factor. Either you have it, or you don't! But after that you start looking for the intangibles, the heart, the mind, the mentality and the work ethic. And the answer to some questions like can this guy improve at the next level and possibly beyond. But the number one factor remains talent.

rhino_rulz: How important is it really to grab those players who are rated in the top 50? Can schools still build quality teams even without getting the top-notch talent in the country?

Bobby_Burton: There's no question that teams that don't necessarily sign top 50 or top 100 talent can build sucessful teams. For years, Nebraska usually ended up between number 10 and 20 in the recruiting team ranking, but every year they are a power on the field. I think the same thing is happening in Oregon right now, they have become the Nebraska of the west coast.

Events_Moderator: DID YOU KNOW - Did you know you can check out Bobby Burton's Recruiting Roundup at

cm03: what defines "talent" in your mind?

Bobby_Burton: {laughs} Talent is a combination of factors, speed, quickness, agility, overall athleticism, and what type of talent - the biggest factor - strictly on what position you are playing. But I would say the one thing you look for in football in every position except maybe QB is what I call "explosive power".

corneil0: Bobby, how special are Haloti Ngata and Ben Olson?

Bobby_Burton: I think you're talking about the top pro-style QB prospect and the top defensive lineman in the country. There's good and then there's special and Olson and Ngata are special. Ngata made mincemeat of the East offensive line in the All American game.

Events_Moderator: For those of you just joining us, welcome! We're chatting with Bobby Burton. He has the inside track on who will be the NFL's next Super Star. Join in!

TexTrey: Michigan seems to always have a Top 10 class. What has happened this year?

Bobby_Burton: Look at their class of 98. They signed Drew Henson, Marquise Walker, David Terrell, Larry Foote, Justin Fargas, Peyton Epstien and Cato June. That's a terriffic class, probably the best skill position class of the last ten years. But when the two best players, Henson and Terrell leave school early, there's bound to be a drop off.

warriorkod: Gator's players usually do well in the NFL ... any good prospects there at the moment?

Bobby_Burton: I'm more into college football recruiting, not NFL draft prospects.

Events_Moderator: DID YOU KNOW - Did you know tonight Darrell Waltrip from NASCAR On FOX is chatting? His chat starts @ 8PM ET/5PM PT. We also have Matt Stevens & Petros Papadakis chatting @ 11PM ET/8PM PT to talk about college recruiting. Who are their top draft picks?

canesrule21: If you had to pick one between the state of Texas or Florida to recruit from where would you go?

Bobby_Burton: Whoo! Tough choice! I'd think that I'd probably have to pick Texas, because it has more offensive lineman than Florida tends to do. But in a skill position, Florida would probably be better, year in and year out.

Events_Moderator: Who is the best player coming out of high school this year?

Bobby_Burton: Vincent Young, he's a QB from Houston. He can do it all, he has a great arm, great mobility, and knack for the game.

TexTrey: How many games do you see in a year, either in person or on tape?

Bobby_Burton: On tape, I'd say upwards of 1000, in person, obviously I'm a bit more limited, so about 40 or 50, maybe 30.

Mark: What do you think of the UVa recruiting class? Does Al Groh have what it takes to be a good recruiter?

Bobby_Burton: I think UVA's class this year is outstanding, and yesterday was a blockbuster. They picked up 3 of the top 25 players in the country yesterday alone. I think its interesting how he's made the transition from the pro game to the college.

rhino_rulz: Is it hard to put together player rankings if you haven't gotten a chance to see all the players?

Bobby_Burton: Absolutely! It's a very difficult process. We rely heavily on our network of scouts and coaches.

Events_Moderator: FUN FACT - Bobby is also the editor-in-chief of, a nationally recognized online publication covering college football recruiting.

corneil0: Are there any dark horses in this class who are'nt getting the kind of hype they deserve, that you feel are 'special'?

Bobby_Burton: I think Jim Unis, from MA, is going to be a great player for Boston College. We just added him to our national Top 100 list this week. T. A. McLendon, another player who I think is going to be a real star, he's gotten a lot of press in the state of North Carolina, but I think he deserves more on a national basis.

TexTrey: How is Ty Willingham doing recruiting-wise at Notre Dame?

Bobby_Burton: The biggest difference between Notre Dame today and Notre Dame under Bob Davie is the level of skill position athletes that have interest in Notre Dame. Guys like Maurice Stovall, Rhema McKnight. I doubt those guys would have ended up there if Tyrone Willingham not been named head coach for the Irish.

Mark: Why do you think so few D-1 football players come out of New England?

Bobby_Burton: I don't think the area is as football-focussed as the rest of the country.

corneil0: Do you think Gary Crowton at BYU will be able to duplicate his recruiting success next year and in years to come?

Bobby_Burton: I would say its going to be hard to duplicate the success he had this year, especially at the top of their class, but I think Gary Crowton is going to be able to do a lot of great things at BYU.

TexTrey: Which team is winning the recruiting battle?

Bobby_Burton: Right now I'd say Texas, Ohio State, UCLA, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Virginia, those are the top 6 or 7, and you'd have to make sure you put Miami in there.

Events_Moderator: I hate to say it, but we have to wrap this up in a few minutes . Our time with Bobby is almost up! We'll take a few more questions & comments.

corneil0: What single player in this class has the most potential to win the Heisman trophy?

Bobby_Burton: That's impossible to say. There's about 250 - 300 guys who have the talent or ability to win that type of award. So much of an award like that depends on timing, how your team is doing, and if the breaks fall your way.

dacof: Bobby, where do you think Paul Mosely and Reggie Banks will sign?

Bobby_Burton: That's interesting... I think Paul Mosely will sign with one of two schools - either Oklahoma St. or Baylor, and I really don't have much insight more than just that. Banks could go to Tech, he could go to Arkansas, he's another guy that we won't know until the ink is dry.

Events_Moderator: Is Greg Schiano finally getting some decent players to go to Rutgers?

Bobby_Burton: I think its unfortunate that he wasn't able to capitalize on the good start he had last year, but when you lose games like Rutgers did this year, not so good things are going to happen. They did do well in Florida, and I think that may be the key to his plan three or four years down the road.

volstitans: Was Tennessee banking on Ahmad Brooks and Kai Parnam from Virginia to sign with the Vols ? Did it affect the Vols recruiting ?

Bobby_Burton: I don't think Tennessee was banking on it, but certainly they were hopeful. Phil Fulmer has been around the block before, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. You have to think that the Vols are going to be fine regardless, even though they would have like to have had those two.

Events_Moderator: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us this evening, Bobby. It's been fun! We'll have to do this again sometime!

Bobby_Burton: I enjoyed it as well. I hope to be back soon! And thanks for having me.

Events_Moderator: Great questions everyone. Ya'll are the best!! I hope everyone had fun!! We sure did!!

Events_Moderator: OK everyone, it's time to go to our customized FOXSports Club. Here is the URL ... enjoy!! (If clicking does not work, make sure to cut & paste the whole URL into your browser) Customized club!

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