Category Archives: Recruiting

Now you don’t talk so loud. Now you don’t seem so proud.

Vol fans were so cute last spring, crowing about Pruitt’s recruiting prowess. Let’s check in on that now.

You hate to see it.

43 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Recruiting

Today, in doing it for the kids (and then some)

The NCAA punts again.

The NCAA Division I Council announced Wednesday it was extending the recruiting dead period for all sports through May 31, continuing a ban on in-person recruiting that has been in place since the coronavirus pandemic began last March.

The council said it will provide an update on a potential return to in-person recruiting no later than April 15, meaning there’s a chance coaches will be able to attend events during the June and July live periods in men’s and women’s basketball.

With the dead period potentially ending in June, it will have been at least 14 months since there were official campus visits for prospects or in-person evaluations by coaches.

I mean, WTF here?  Conditions are healthy enough to let players practice and face off on a football field, but there’s no way to create safe conditions for a recruiting visit so coaches and recruits can get a better feel for evaluating each other?  Texas A&M’s AD thinks there is.

Hmmm… if I didn’t know any better, I’d suspect there are a bunch of ADs out there who are perfectly happy to shave a few bucks off their recruiting budgets.  Zoom’s a helluva drug and it costs a lot less than chartering a helicopter.

15 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

Rising and falling, preseason 2021 edition

To give you an idea how thin a reed some of these rankings rest upon, note that 247Sports has adjusted its preseason rankings in part by moving Ohio State past Georgia into fourth.  How come?

Ohio State did get a surprise, however, with the announced return of Chris Olave as well as the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class.  That sees Ohio State pass Georgia for the No. 4 spot.

This, despite losing what is likely a top five pick in the NFL draft in Justin Fields.  And here I thought quarterback was the big deal in college football these days.

One other thing that gets me — check out the Georgia analysis.

The Bulldogs drop one spot in the updated 247Sports poll. Georgia finished 2020 in a strong way, not losing a game since the transition to JT Daniels at quarterback. Daniels returns for 2021 with some other interesting quarterback names in the conversation. Five-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff is one of the headliners of the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class and Gunner Stockton is already committed for 2022.

“Here’s what’s fascinating,” Josh Pate said in his review of Georgia’s recruiting class. “If you were to be an Oregon State fan, let’s say, and you were watching recruiting as a whole. You look at the way Georgia recruits, and they are top five every, top three every year, you would think, I can’t even imagine – that’s on a different planet than anything I’ve been used to. And yet, if you’re a Georgia Bulldog fan, you’re looking at your class and you’re thinking, this is really good, this is really good, then you cut your eyes over to Tuscaloosa, and you cut your eyes up to Clemson and you cut your eyes up to Columbus.

“Again, when we were talking about Ohio State, Georgia lives in that same world and so you can look at it as being totally elite which they are every year, but Trey, you know, because we write about it all the time, we talk about it all the time on the college football daily you’re mentioning it all the time. It’s about where we are in relation to where they are. And right now as good as this class is, I mean it’s not even the top class of the SEC, just to give you an idea of what the waters in the SEC are like.”

I confess that I cut my eyes over to Tuscaloosa, because what Saban brought in was insane.  But I’m not sitting here with tears in my eyes because Smart’s had to settle for the fourth-best signing class in the country.  (Besides, how much are any of these classes going to make a difference this season, anyway?)  Especially when he’s done such a good job digging out of the hole that was his quarterbacks room a year ago.  And you?

41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

The rich, still getting richer

In light of yesterday’s post about how the top tier recruiting talent is becoming more concentrated at the top programs with the 2021 class, I thought this was an interesting data point.

In fact, the top ten programs took a slightly higher share of elite talent in the year 2000 than 2020. Granted, there was a smaller share of elite talent in that year, which throws off the metrics. However, since 2002, the share of elite talent going to top 10 teams has hovered around 45%. From 2001-2013, the top 10 programs signed 45.9% of the elite recruits. Compared to the CFP era 2014-2020, this same tier of programs signed 44.2% of elite recruits.

Which begs the question — is the 2021 class an outlier, or the clear demarcation of a trend?  Someone raised a good point in the comments yesterday, that top recruits are looking for sure things right now, something that favors the big boys.  Part of that has to be a result of what COVID hath wrought, namely the lack of opportunity for in-person visitation and evaluation.  (To be fair, that sure thing cuts both ways.)  And, with the news that the NCAA is leaning towards extending the recruiting dead period again, the uncertainty is going to remain, at least for a while.

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Filed under Recruiting

Blue chip recruiting graphic, 2000-21

The chart at this link is mesmerizing to watch, but it also explains a lot about the falling fortunes at places like Tennessee and Miami, and, of course, the rise of Alabama.

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Filed under Recruiting

Concentration

For those worried about how player compensation would cause the best talent to flow to the top programs…

… that’s already happening.

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Filed under Recruiting

The difference between accumulation and implementation

I will be curious to see how 247Sports’ Team Talent Composite shapes up for 2021 when it’s released in late summer (Georgia was #1 in last year’s).

In the meantime, here’s how the five-year average of recruiting classes, including 2021, looks.

Screenshot_2021-02-10 College football recruiting rankings Teams with the best classes over a five-year average entering 2021

Now, that list probably isn’t quite as nuanced as it could be.  For one thing, it doesn’t take into account how dominant Alabama’s 2021 class is.  Still, it’s pretty clear that Saban and Smart have been recruiting at a higher level than any other coach in the country.

However, there isn’t as much hardware on display in Athens as there is in Tuscaloosa.  Might be a good time to work on that, Kirbs.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Where did all the signees go?

This is a pretty amazing statistic.

FBS college football teams signed more than 400 fewer recruits to scholarships in the class of 2021 than they did in the classes of 2020 and 2019. In 2021, FBS teams signed 2215. In 2020 they signed 2622, and in 2019 they signed 2671.

That’s… a lot.  What gives?

The article suggests a couple of things.

  • “A lot of teams elected to sacrifice the potential upside of recruits for the relative certainty of existing college players via the transfer portal.”  COVID made it harder to evaluate high schoolers (don’t forget, several states cancelled high school football completely) and the transfer portal offered an option with less uncertainty.
  • “The NCAA ruled that the 2020 season does not count against a player’s eligibility clock.”  That, in turn, meant some programs were reluctant to overload their 2021 rosters.

The short to medium term consequences of this should be interesting to watch.  The bulk of those 400 some odd players are still going to play college ball somewhere.  You’d have to think FCS programs are going to be buoyed somewhat by an influx of players from that group.  And the D-1 programs that didn’t take their usual fill of signees this year?  In two or three years, watch them raid those same FCS programs for the kids they passed on initially who worked out at the lower level.  It might very well turn out to be an efficient approach.

10 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, Transfers Are For Coaches.

So, how’s that recruiting gap coming along, Gators?

Shot.

SEC East

1. Georgia Bulldogs

The bar is set at a ridiculously high level for Georgia recruiting, and Kirby Smart and his staff hit it. There’s the normal array of four and five-star guys with a little bit of something for every spot, but it’s all about Brock Vandagriff. If he’s not the best quarterback recruit of the 2021 season, he’s close. As long as he’s close to being as good as advertised, this is a class to keep the program’s national title expectations high.

2. Florida Gators

It’s not as good a class as the last few, but it’s close enough. No, this isn’t as strong as what Alabama and Georgia brought in, but it’s more than fine for what it needed to do. There isn’t a superstar quarterback signing – Carlos Del Rio is a good prospect, though – and there isn’t a ton for the skills spots, but the defense is loading up with a slew of excellent defensive backs to throw at the pass D problem.

Chaser.

They don’t call Dan Mullen the Portal Master™ for nothing, peeps.

20 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting

Post signing day, SEC tally

Here’s how the 247Sports Composite shapes up after yesterday:

Screenshot_2021-02-04 2021 SEC Football Team Rankings

And, a few observations:

  • Alabama’s class, not to put too fine a point on it, is obscene.  For perspective, the gap between Alabama’s class points and Georgia’s (third nationally) is the same as the gap between Georgia’s and Florida’s.
  • Saban signed seven five-star recruits.  The rest of the SEC combined signed eight.
  • Speaking of Georgia, only three teams in the conference signed fewer players than the Dawgs’ 20.
  • One of those is South Carolina, which, in signing only thirteen, managed to finish behind Vanderbilt.  I can only assume Shane Beamer is going to be hitting the transfer portal hard.
  • You know who’s thrilled about early signing day?  Josh Heupel is thrilled about early signing day.  At least for now, as two of UT’s top signees from then want releases.
  • The point gap between Alabama and Auburn exceeds 122.  Every team in the West finished above the Tigers.  South Carolina won’t be the only program scouring the transfer portal, methinks.

Anything you guys want to share, share in the comments.

30 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football