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Thread: Judging recruits and classes

  1. #1

    Judging recruits and classes

    During the JT era and before, we judged recruits and our recruiting classes for the most part by their rating agency stars and evaluations. We assumed that the recruits' size, strength, coordination, etc. were more or less reflected in the number of stars. The higher the average number of stars, the better. And, for most big time teams, that assumption proved true - the higher the average number of stars on your team, the more wins/the better your team would be.

    But, in the immortal words of Lee Corso, "Not so fast." There are and have been a perplexing number of teams who have more wins and better teams with players whose average stars are much lower. Boise and the Beavs come to mind among others. These teams are considered to be "system" teams for which the recruits are evaluated for their "fit" in the system, number of stars be damned.

    I'm wondering if we will become one of those teams. Sonny certainly appears to have a "system" that differs from the traditional pro-set or even standard spread. Although he has said that he molds the playbook to fit the players' abilities, I suspect that is still within the parameters of his "system."

    If this is true, we are likely to have to change our way of judging whether recruiting classes are "successes." Like other "system" teams, we may end up with "2 and 3 star" players who contribute to team success much more than 4 and 5 star players would have.

    We have precious few clues as to the accuracy of this, so far. The only statement I have seen is Sonny's observation that we need bigger and stronger OLs. And, looking at the tapes of La Tech, I didn't see any world beaters among them, yet they won (at least within their level of competition and certainly gave A & M all they could handle).

    I'm sure we'll all still enjoy discussing the "star" ratings of our recruits, but maybe we should be ready to suspend final judgment until we see on the field performance of the team, even more so than before. And, maybe we will have to develop new criteria to better predict it.

  2. #2
    Loyal Bear mbBear's Avatar
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    I understand your point, and the fact is, seeing on-field performance was always the key if for no other reason than it allowed for the Mike Mohammeds of the world, as the coaches saw something the scouting services didn't. But I get your Boise/Beavs example, though Boise recruits aren't winning game in and game out in a major conference.
    But yes, we enter an unknown as far as "systems" go. However, would anyone rather have a WR who is 6-2 and runs a 4.3 vs. a 5-10 4.6 guy? Of course, you don't have to imagine too hard to see the difference in stars there, and yes, you want bigger/faster. Okay, maybe the smaller guy is somehow a better "fit," but I think it can also be a case of "making do with what you have" for the Oregon States et. al. I guess we will see...

  3. #3
    Boise would much prefer to have 5tar players if they can get them. So no, our recruiting evaluations should remain same. And my guess is Boise would have trouble surviving in major conference with its current roster. Look at Utah.

    And neither Boise nor Oregon st. Run systems. Both run pro style offenses.

    Oregon st relies on jc players.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by RealDrew2 View Post
    Boise would much prefer to have 5tar players if they can get them. So no, our recruiting evaluations should remain same. And my guess is Boise would have trouble surviving in major conference with its current roster. Look at Utah.

    And neither Boise nor Oregon st. Run systems. Both run pro style offenses.

    Oregon st relies on jc players.
    Agreed. And it's particularly true on the defensive side of the ball.

  5. #5
    If we are to take some of Dykes' own words seriously how THE University of California is a national brand and can open doors, etc - then I believe one of the big attractions about the Cal job (in his mind) would be the ability to recruit 4* and 5* guys into his system.

    When the various 'spread' systems (some pass more, some run more) began to crop up, it was first thought of as a gimmick offense to compensate for lack of physical talent. I think that is beginning to change as Oregon's classes are steadily improving (in terms of star rankings) and Ohio State with Urban Meyer will continue to pull in highly regarded classes.

    I think Dykes/Franklin are eager to see how their version will work at a level with top athletes as well. Will hopefully be an exciting process to see their offense work at the highest collegiate levels of play.

    We may be competing more often with different programs for the best athletes that FIT our system (for instance, we may be going up more often against Oregon and Arizona instead of USC and Stanford), but I believe if successful, we can build a 'brand' that regularly attracts highly ranked recruiting classes.

  6. #6
    When any program starts to become very successful like Cal did around 2004, a cornucopia of 4+ star talent becomes available. At this point, I think its imperative to try to separate the players based on their inner motivation, despite the urge to gleefully dangle a scholly to every 5* player willing to make a recruiting visit.

    Its unfortunate, but innate athletic genius has the dangerous potential to ruin people who are 'blessed' with it just as often as it provides them a ticket to success.

  7. #7
    Its unfortunate, but innate athletic genius has the dangerous potential to ruin people who are 'blessed' with it just as often as it provides them a ticket to success.[/QUOTE]

    love your quote. it doesnt just have to be athletic genius as well.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mbBear View Post
    would anyone rather have a WR who is 6-2 and runs a 4.3 vs. a 5-10 4.6 guy? Of course, you don't have to imagine too hard to see the difference in stars there, and yes, you want bigger/faster. Okay, maybe the smaller guy is somehow a better "fit," but I think it can also be a case of "making do with what you have" for the Oregon States et. al. I guess we will see...
    Ask Tom Brady. I would imagine that he would have a hard time agreeing to substitute a good many higher rated WRs in the League for his runts. Although he could make most any of them better than they are with their current QBs.

    Now, players of the Dez Bryant and Charles Johnson caliber would be a different story, but there are precious few of those.

  9. #9
    This is the old stars don't matter riff neatly packaged to excuse poor recruiting. Sorry, I don't buy it.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Darby View Post
    This is the old stars don't matter riff neatly packaged to excuse poor recruiting. Sorry, I don't buy it.
    Typically appears after a poster looks at the stars of his team's current recruiting class and says, "Oh, s#!t, our rankings are not very high." Can occupy boards for some time, and often splits true believers and nega-(fill in team mascot). In the end it is just a gap between people who understand the difference between "rules" and "exceptions" and those who don't.

    We are likely to see it a couple more times in the next 2 months, especially of we don't get some big time OLs.

  11. #11
    I don't know how "stars" are assigned by position. We have seen in the NFL "stars" (i.e. draft spot) remains a crap shoot. I think first round draft picks have a 33% chance of panning out (or pro-bowl... I can't remember which) and a 2nd and 3rd rounder have around 20% chance of panning out.

    I think most of our QBs have been at least 4 star recruits. And one couldn't even start at Cornell after transferring. The Seahawks QB probably didn't have 4 or 5 stars heading into college either because of being short. What I guarantee you is not measured in these "stars" is a person's work-ethic. Frankly, the high school football field probably does not provide a good yard stick of a person's capacity for success. There are guys on the field who barely (or don't) shave yet. Many of these 4* and 5* guys likely shaved in middle school. It is men vs. boys. Hence the JC assessment probably is a better place to get "known" entities.

    As an interesting aside, I heard some say once that a high percentage of the great hockey players have January-ish birthdays. As kids, these were the most mature (often around 1 yr older) than their peers and stood out. Then they received all the attention and extra-training and were told over and over that they were "stars" and kept with it whilst the others were dismissed, ignored and/or told to play other sports.

    I am a big believer in having a "system" for recruiting and looking beyond stars. And I think that is what Riley's "system" is. He looks at guys who play with a chip on their shoulder and have an innate drive to get better and work harder than their more "gifted" athletes recruited elsewhere.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by NJCalFan View Post
    I don't know how "stars" are assigned by position. We have seen in the NFL "stars" (i.e. draft spot) remains a crap shoot. I think first round draft picks have a 33% chance of panning out (or pro-bowl... I can't remember which) and a 2nd and 3rd rounder have around 20% chance of panning out.

    I think most of our QBs have been at least 4 star recruits. And one couldn't even start at Cornell after transferring. The Seahawks QB probably didn't have 4 or 5 stars heading into college either because of being short. What I guarantee you is not measured in these "stars" is a person's work-ethic. Frankly, the high school football field probably does not provide a good yard stick of a person's capacity for success. There are guys on the field who barely (or don't) shave yet. Many of these 4* and 5* guys likely shaved in middle school. It is men vs. boys. Hence the JC assessment probably is a better place to get "known" entities.

    As an interesting aside, I heard some say once that a high percentage of the great hockey players have January-ish birthdays. As kids, these were the most mature (often around 1 yr older) than their peers and stood out. Then they received all the attention and extra-training and were told over and over that they were "stars" and kept with it whilst the others were dismissed, ignored and/or told to play other sports.

    I am a big believer in having a "system" for recruiting and looking beyond stars. And I think that is what Riley's "system" is. He looks at guys who play with a chip on their shoulder and have an innate drive to get better and work harder than their more "gifted" athletes recruited elsewhere.
    That's Malcolm Gladwells take on success. It is to some extent a matter of luck. He was talking about when hockey players were born - jan, feb, and march and therefore are ahead their peers who are born Oct, Nov, and Dec in maturity and its reflected in how they are able to play. They thus get more attention from coaches and the others are left behind.

    I think OSU and Boise succeed due to the easier academic requirements at those two schools. A lot more focus on football with fewer intrusions. But it is less prestigious to attend those schools than a Cal, Furd or UCLA. It matters.
    Last edited by 6bear6; 12-26-2012 at 09:39 AM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by NJCalFan View Post
    I don't know how "stars" are assigned by position. We have seen in the NFL "stars" (i.e. draft spot) remains a crap shoot. I think first round draft picks have a 33% chance of panning out (or pro-bowl... I can't remember which) and a 2nd and 3rd rounder have around 20% chance of panning out.

    I think most of our QBs have been at least 4 star recruits. And one couldn't even start at Cornell after transferring. The Seahawks QB probably didn't have 4 or 5 stars heading into college either because of being short. What I guarantee you is not measured in these "stars" is a person's work-ethic. Frankly, the high school football field probably does not provide a good yard stick of a person's capacity for success. There are guys on the field who barely (or don't) shave yet. Many of these 4* and 5* guys likely shaved in middle school. It is men vs. boys. Hence the JC assessment probably is a better place to get "known" entities.

    As an interesting aside, I heard some say once that a high percentage of the great hockey players have January-ish birthdays. As kids, these were the most mature (often around 1 yr older) than their peers and stood out. Then they received all the attention and extra-training and were told over and over that they were "stars" and kept with it whilst the others were dismissed, ignored and/or told to play other sports.

    I am a big believer in having a "system" for recruiting and looking beyond stars. And I think that is what Riley's "system" is. He looks at guys who play with a chip on their shoulder and have an innate drive to get better and work harder than their more "gifted" athletes recruited elsewhere.
    Russell Wilson was a 2-star unranked dual threat QB coming out of high schoo.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by StillNoStanfurdium View Post
    Russell Wilson was a 2-star unranked dual threat QB coming out of high schoo.
    So were Lucas King and thousands of other guys you never heard of. What is your point?

  15. #15
    Paging Nate Silver...

    Too many liberal art majors around here I guess.

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