Tru and Ken have done their usual wonderful job of trying to console those of us here in the BBN that have been ready to shave our heads and put on bedsheets and start a quest to try and solve the football team's problems. As per usual.....I ain't convinced, so I decided to do exactly what Tru told me to and read all of the info out there about where the recruits come from and who gets them. I sampled www.Rivals.com, and ESPN.com as well as several of the in state services about the existing class of the top 150. And then went back and took a look at the historical data as well as next year's recruits also.
Here is what I have found, and although this is a translation of the data I gathered, it is verbatim and without modification by myself.
Of the top 150 recruits available for next year, only 104 are at this point signed to a commitment letter. Their locations are along the same lines that Tru, as well as KSR.com's Matt Jones have shown, but not completely.
Approximately 19% of those 150 individuals are from the State of Florida. While about 18% are from Texas, 14% from California, 11% Georgia, 5% South Carolina,4% Virginia, with the other 39% scattered throughout the continental U.S.
So, does Florida get all the best recruits, well, no, but they get more than their fair share. (By the way, I have petitioned the U.S. Congress to start a bill banning Florida from all sports competition at the collegiate level. It will probably never see the light of day, but I had to do something.)
So it would seem that at first glance geography is the key in getting those prime recruits, however, I found another telling statistic that means even more in this situation. Of those recruits committed, Florida has signed more than any other school in the country, so they got them because they were close right, well, not so fast......it appears as though they got them as much because they got out there and recruited them early. Texas is right there with Florida, but some of their recruits are not from Texas.
Florida, Texas, Bama, Georgia, LSU,Penn St, Ohio St,Oklahoma,and wait for this one....Tennessee have the most recruits signed, sealed, and delivered. By the way FSU and Miami together have less than any of the schools mentioned above. Anyone want to guess who amongst those schools listed has the biggest Athletic Dept. budget going to football??? I'll give you three tries and the first 2 don't count.
What about those other hotbeds of recruiting that the other schools seem to get to before us? Well, Ohio only has 3 in the top 150, South Carolina has 8,Georgia has 16,Tennessee only 3, Mississippi has 2,Louisiana has 3,and vaunted Bama only has 5. The southeast does dominate in this area, but it is the entire southeast, not just Florida, and not just Florida is getting those recruits. Kentucky just for grins had 0 players in the top 150, so we know that we are going hunting if we want the best there is out there.
So that leads us to the next step......Anything But Gatorade called this a "vicious cycle" I believe of" we are lousy so we don't get the recruits, and since we don't get the recruits, we are lousy". So how do we change that? Some have stated that Coach Brooks while having had success has taken us as far as he can. I am going to go out on a limb here after doing my research and say that does not completely hold water. It seems according to ESPN, that it is much more about who you have up in the booth than it is about the head coach. All of the men listed in that article are recruiting gurus who are not head coaches at their prospective universities.
But we can't hire someone away from a top 25 school to recruit for us you say??? Why would they want to come here and do for us what they are doing at Florida and USC and Texas? Well that is the key.....we have to make this situation attractive to some of these guys, and some of these names may surprise you.
- Shane Beamer, S. Carolina, Special Teams Coach
- Doc Holliday, West Virginia (he helped build Florida)
- Ed Orgeron, Tennessee
- Eddie Gran, Tennessee
- Giff Smith, Georgia Tech
- John Blake, N.Carolina
- Those are in no particular order, by the way, and there are 19 more names included in the article. These are the guys that can get anyone, anywhere, anytime. They have no boundaries as to where they recruit, and they back down from no one. They are all highly regarded at what they do, and well-respected by their peers.
- Can any of those names come in and help? I believe they can, and it probably wouldn't take replacing our head coach to do it. Maybe we have reached that point where Mitch should go to Coach Brooks and ask him to look at bringing in one of these top-notch recruiters to get us to that next level. When Tubby Smith left, the story was that we wanted to keep him but he didnt want to replace anyone on his staff with big time recruiting guys. I would hope that could be avoided, but as everyone has pointed out, we are not going anywhere until we get the recruits. All of those people in that article are big time recruiters who do not necessarily want or need to be the head coach at our program.
- Remember that there are 46 recruits still out there for next year. It's not too late to go after some of the very best top talent out there. Of the top 15 only 3 had committed so far. Shouldn't we at least take a shot at making these guys Wildcats??