Interesting piece from Ian Boyd you might want to check out here. I’m not sure, but it may be more accurate to say Southern recruits are overexposed, compared to their peers in other parts of the country more than overrated. Why so? Well, some of that’s commercial…
The recruiting services are incentivized to invest more time and scouting into the south
There are a solid number of reasons why this would be the case. The first is that the south, Texas, and Florida legitimately produce a higher number of players per capita than do the Midwestern states so it makes sense to allocate most of your focus on those regions.
Another is that interest is higher there and it’s easier to sell #content on the top players to SEC fans then to try and figure out which Pennsylvania kids might be better than anyone currently guesses.
But even beyond that, if you’re spending most of your time scouting the well known blue-chippers in Georgia then you’re going to be more aware of different gems that show up and explode onto the scene from other parts of Georgia than you’ll be of players from less heavily scouted areas.
… and some of that is more resources, better utilized.
There are more opportunities to scout and evaluate kids in the South
Nike currently has eight SPARQ events scheduled for 2018. They’ll be taking place in:
-San Francisco, CA
-Los Angeles, CA
-New York/New Jersey (the Jets facility)
That’s where you can get laser timed 40s and the rest of the Nike tests done rather than relying on hand times or trying to look up track records, it gives players a chance to do drills against the other best athletes in a region, and it creates hype and evaluation opportunities for recruiting writers.
The South also has more 7on7 camps and other events because football is more of an intense, year-round sport in that region than in the cold of the Northeast, Midwest, or greater western US.
With all of the extra hype, attention, and overall product coming out of those hotspots there’s little doubt as to why they’d tend to get overrated in terms of how many NFL players they are actually producing.
The south also tends to coach up talent more than in the north. Coaches love snatching up kids from Texas because they’ve been well coached and proven their stuff against real competition with real stakes, but that also means that some of the players from Texas are much closer to their ceilings than a kid from a less intense football culture like the Michigan high schools. When you compare them side to side it appears that the Texas kid is much better but that gap can shrink or disappear after three years or so of college coaching.
With regard to that last point, the most interesting part of Boyd’s piece is one Urban Meyer, who appears to have shifted his recruiting approach from developing those three-star kids into chasing top-tier talent in highly competitive locals like Florida and Texas.
As far as Boyd’s “The better players out in nowhere Wisconsin or up in Bismarck are often as good or better than the players in Atlanta or Houston…” point goes, I’d argue Kirby may have the best of both worlds going for him in that regard, as Georgia’s got a little bit of both nowhere and big city.