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I absolutely love this time of year. After 15+ years in this business, I've seen it all and have developed a lot of opinions over that period of time. Following are just some general thoughts -- some random, some opinionated and some just thrown out for debate.
(1) You want to take a big step in cleaning up the whole recruiting process? My first step would be to reduce the number of "official" visits from 5 to 3 schools. Prospects do not need to officially visit 5 schools before making a decision. Prospects get the opportunity to take as many unofficial visits as necessary and most do take advantage of this by attending junior days, summer camps and games during the season. And the majority of the prospects just have 1 or 2 and sometimes 3 favorites in the process, even though they list so many schools/favorites. One example of abuse is when a prospect commits to a school early in the process and is truly committed to that school, but decides to take a "fun" trip in December/January because a school still has trips available and the prospect wants to have some fun. This is a waste of time, money and there's nothing good comes out of this for the school or the prospects.
(2) I'm the minority in that I do not think the NCAA should have two national signing periods. Its the popular opinion of most right now that an early period is needed to take some of the pressure off of coaches and the prospects. In my opinion, you can't have an early period without opening up the evaluation window. Also, you are opening up pandoras box for waivers and hardship transfers. Additionally, it is not that difficult to set a plan in motion to be a December signee these days. Most recruits know going into their junior campaigns that they are a Division I athlete. They can set the academic plan in motion to be able to enroll in January. So, essentially, we already have two signing periods.
(3) When an assistant goes to another school late in the recruiting process, don't let them recruit prospects from that recruiting class -- make them only recruit juniors and below. Its a simple way to bring some integrity to a situation. Here you have a coach for 3 years telling Player A that University X is the best place on the planet, then he gets a new job with greater responsibilities and double the salary and starts recruiting Player A for University Y, and all of this happens during a 30 day window. It just doesn't make sense and puts the recruit in a position to make a rush and emotional decision. Players sign with Universities not coaches.
(4) Its the time of year for many media members to say stars don't matter. Do we really need to address this? Just because an NFL roster, or even a Super Bowl team roster, is loaded with 2 and 3 star players it doesn't disprove the fact that stars do matter and the teams that year end and year out sign the most highly rated 4 stars and 5 stars when BCS championships. Over the past decade, teams like Florida, USC, LSU, Texas and Alabama will be the first to tell you that stars matter, otherwise their recruiting budgets would be a tenth of what they are today. There's always going to be exceptions and outliers, but the teams that consistently posts top 5 to top 10 recruiting classes play for the Crystal.
(5) The recruiting services are getting better every passing year. Recruiting rankings as a whole are better than they have ever been. Services like 247Sports, Rivals, and ESPNU have the resources and opportunities to see prospects live and on tape in situations to make highly educated projections. Camps, combines, the internet, 7 on 7s and the list goes on and on .... As a whole, there's a tremendous amount of integrity in this industry and the evaluators from all the services work hard to give readers the most accurate evaluation possible. Fans scream bias, but almost all of the guys in this industry from all of the major services are credible, accountable and truly do their best for their constituencies. And the bottom line -- like it or not -- the product is more accurate than it has ever been and it will show in the future. 247Sports is just a little bit better than everyone else, because we've hired the best of the best ;-)
Have a great Sunday.
This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by Lucky 2 years ago
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Thanks for the post Lucky...
Great post Lucky, and next to college football season, recruiting is my favorite time of the year. What a great privilege and opportunity for these young men to be able to just pick and chose which university they will attend.
"Character" is doing the right thing when nobody is looking.
The last point is right on the money. I think this is something that some writers do to calm down a fan base if that teams recruiting is struggling. I do believe though, like you said, some guys develope into great players, even if they are rated low. More often than not the recruiting services get it right though.
I agree on the OVs...3 is a good number as that ia all most ever seriously consider. I would like to see some restraint on the dog and pony shows many recruits put on when announcing. If you want to announce then announce, no use to have a press conference and risk the fiasco we saw with Collins and his Mom. It will only get worse if you have something like Spencer Region did and commit to one school while your family is dressed in colors of the other school. Hold a simple announcement, not have a fiasco worthy of Jerry Springer.
Lucky, I was hoping to get your take on this, but they were talking on ESPN the other day about how a majority of recruits were complaining about the recruiting process because of the bombardment of calls and texts they got from media outlets, in particular recruiting services, and that it only gets worse the closer it gets to signing day. Do you think this is something that needs to addresses, and if so, how? Just wondering what your perspective is on this issue? Thanks.
It is definitely a problem and always has been. However, I would say that ALL of the recruiting services honor the wishes of the recruit. If a prospect wants to remove themselves from the process, generally speaking all they have to do is make that known and the calls will stop. I promise. It does happen. In most cases, the kids love the attention until the end and then they are overwhelmed. But it is up to the parents and the recruits themselves to determine what level is acceptable for them.
I'm not Lucky, but I can tell you that talented athletes need to get used to the attention at some point, because it's never going to go away.
"You don't always get what you want, but you always get what you deserve"
You make a very valid point, but at the same time, it can be hard for some of these kids to be that assertive with adult strangers who call them out of the blue. In a perfect world, these recruits would have an adult (hopefully parent) looking out for their best interests and helping them screen calls, but that's not always the case.
This post was edited by BreakingTheCap 2 years ago
I think the grayshirt process could be formalized, to do up to 3 per year. The recruit would get a full 4-year academic scholarship and can enroll immediately as a full-time student, plus with an option to receive two more years of academic support for a master's degree. This could get rid of the oversigning stigma, so those kids who are #26-#28 will end up going to school for free and get a head start on the "real world" with a master's degree if they never pan out on the field. Same offer should be given for medical redshirts to get access to a master's degree for free. I know Alabama has done this for folks such as Charlie Kirschman and the other kids featured in that WSJ article.
Lastly, I would expand the full scholarship roster to 100 schollys, so a coach doesn't have to force attrition to the players already enrolled.
What about somebody like Gunner Kiel? Flirts with Alabama, then commits to Indiana, abandons IU, re-flirts with Alabama, commits to LSU, ditches LSU on the day he was supposed to show up on campus and ends up at ND. Meanwhile LSU had to get rid of an OT to make room for Kiel who never shows up. And you could make a point that Alabama placed a priority on GK over Winston, causing us to lose Winston. Rules are in place to mostly protect the recruit, but I think there may need some rules or at least policies in place to protect the schools.
great post Lucky! Well Said!
My opinion on the "Rating-Star System" for recruits is it does not guarantee anything, but represents a "percentage" for a kid to make it as a starter in college football, how quickly he will make it as such & if he'll be an All-American as well as being a potential NFL player or even a Star. There is a greater percentage of kids that are 5 Stars that will make it as starters in college or be a NFL player, then 4 stars & especially 3 stars. It doesn't mean a 3 Star can't be a NFL Superstar or a 5 Star can't be a BUST.
Saban wants an early signing period and I think it would work well. Also push up the time official visits can be taken.
Limit to 3 is a good idea.
NCAA biggest problem IMO is all the 7 on 7s and the "handlers". I am afraid some kids get taken advantage of and it is not in their best interests.
Agee big time on the official visits
If I am not mistaken...There was a vote recently to limit schollys to 80 to reduce economic costs to Universities..Anybody else remember this vote by the NCAA?
Yes, it was vote down...
I agree with most everything you said Lucky, minus the early signing period. I think an early signing period in November would be ideal. Make it where early enrollies have to sign by that period to come in January on scholarship.
It would allow players and coached to know where each other stand. A guy who has been committed for a 1+ year who gets injured during the season would at the very latest know by November that he is going to be gray shirted, if that was going to be the case.
It would allow teams to better manage their recruiting time/money by not having to follow up on guys who have been committed for a couple months by allowing them to end the process early.
It would allow smaller schools a chance to clean up on "lesser" recruits. If the Alabama/Texas's of the world have 15-20 signed early, they would probably only be targeting 10-15 recruits for those last spots, which would let recruits hoping for that offer to make better decisions and smaller schools know who might be available now.
If you add this rule in conjunction with limiting official visits to three it would go a very long way in saving money and benefit both the recruits and schools by knowing who is serious and who is playing games.
"Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places you have to look at it right."
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