The spring evaluation period begins Monday, during which college coaches will spend many days through the end of May on the road scouting prospects.
West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen has yet to capitalize on an Orange Bowl rout.
Of course, teams have increasingly ratcheted up their recruiting efforts and pushed their cycle calendar back, to the point targets have been determined so they can attend junior days and spring practices.
Six schools already have at least 10 commitments for the 2013 class, while 28 programs have at least four pledges.
Just as noteworthy are the programs that have been quiet during the first stages of the ’13 cycle.
Here is a look at several schools standing out for their slow starts:
West Virginia (0)
There is no doubt the 70-33 Orange Bowl drubbing has damaged Clemson’s typical success in offseason recruiting. But such a lopsided public evisceration should have built more momentum for the Mountaineers, who are sitting on a goose egg in the commitment department despite the likelihood of a top-10 preseason ranking.
To be fair, though, a significant number of early commitments tend to come from in-state prospects. And you really have to mine for gems annually to yield much prospect talent in this state, where 247Sports’ only rated prospect there has chosen North Carolina.
Oregon has but one pledge, yet it's a doozy in five-star back Thomas Tyner.
Oregon likewise suffers from the same supply and demand shortfall locally. Yet that isn’t a comparable excuse because of the Ducks’ vast national appeal – they are one of the more popular programs among prospects on the East Coast because of their branding.
That noted, the one they do have so far is stellar: five-star Aloha (Ore.) running back Thomas Tyner. Plus this pace tends to be the Ducks’ mode of operation; they only had one commitment on board through April of last year, too, adding 11 of 21 signees from November on.
The Razorbacks had a pair of skill position commitments before the Bobby Petrino scandal culminated in Tuesday’s dismissal.
The profile of Petrino’s replacement will dictate how long it will take before more names are added to this list.
Oklahoma State (1)
For as much success as Mike Gundy has had on the field the last handful of seasons, the Cowboys seem to be a study in squeezing more from less. Their last three recruiting classes have been ranked No. 34 (2012), 27 and 36 in the 247Sports’ standings.
It’s this writer’s theory OSU must tend to have to wait for Texas and Oklahoma to pick its share of prospects from the area, leaving the Cowboys to patiently sift through the remains and compete with TCU and Baylor for the best remaining three-stars, sleepers and late academic qualifiers within the Longhorn State.
The Big East (11)
This so-called power conference, set for a major facelift as programs abandon ship the next two years, is feeling the effects of its football floundering. The eight teams that comprise the 2012 field own a total of 11 commitments, with Louisville accounting for four of them.
The Cardinals and South Florida are arguably in decent shape, relative to the norm. But Pittsburgh (1), Rutgers (1) and Syracuse (0) are sputtering amid staff turnover, among other reasons.