Friday, February 4, 2011

National Signing Day Roundtable

Today's topic on the Friday Round Table concerns National Signing Day. BC turned in a decent class, which could have been a lot better had Spaz been able to keep Graham Stewart in the fold. So the question becomes, are you ultimately disappointed with the class the Eagles were able to sign, or are you cautiously optimistic that this will turn into yet another under-rated class that contributes in a big way to the Eagles down the road?  As always, let us know what you think in the comments. Each Around the Res member shares his thoughts after the jump:

Mike: I'm going with disappointment on this one. While this class is better than usual, it really had the chance to be something special going into the final two weeks. Had we held onto Graham Stewart and added another solid recruit things would be looking a lot better today. That being said, the staff did an excellent job building a very solid class, albeit one without a running back, and figured out a way to keep Suntrup in the fold. For me, Suntrup was simply a must. I think the kid is a can't miss recruit and we're lucky that Miami or Michigan didn't steal him away from us. Hopefully the next OC can help him mature into a future NFL quarterback.

Ralph: I'm gonna take the opposite view of Mike and say I'm pleasantly surprised & impressed with this class. As much as it pains me to say this as a frequent Spaz critic, I think Spaz did a great job (though a lot of the credit goes to his staff). After a rough, forgettable year in which many questioned Spaz's coaching ability not to mention a boring, impotent offense that could have easily turned away offensive recruits, he overcame this to sell 23 recruits that fill needs in the program. Not the easiest thing for a 63 year old coach that has no OC in place.

My other reason for optimism for this class is the type of players that committed to the program. The staff rightfully placed a strong emphasis on the "trenches" with almost half the class (11 of 23) filling spots on the offensive or defensive line. This is hopefully a move to go back to "O-Line U" and to shore up a weak defensive line. I also like that 15 of our recruits were team captains as that speaks to their character and leadership.

Finally one point I want everyone to take away. Notice I didn't say one word about rankings. Why? As National Media Day explodes (i.e ESPN gets more involved), these rankings are over-hyped and lose meaning. As I said on Twitter, you don't win titles in February. For example hasn't Clemson had a top 20 class 6 of the 7 past years? They have one ACC championship game loss to show for it.

Alex: I think Ralph’s dead on with his point about rankings.  Recruiting rankings do have value, but for the most part too much emphasis is placed on them.  One of my biggest frustrations with ranking recruiting classes is the disconnect between the kids being brought in and the needs of the program they are brought into.  Recruiting is not done in a vacuum.  Take the hypothetical example of two programs A and B.  Program A has an experienced and talented senior running back and 2 promising underclassman at the position.  Program B has two serviceable senior running backs and not much else.  A recruiting class of 3 “4-star” running backs would be significantly more valuable to program B.  Perhaps a recruiting class with 2 “3-star” quarterbacks would be more valuable to program A.  I worry that recruiting rankings fail to take this into account.

On that note, I’m pleasantly surprised with this year’s recruiting class.  The reason being, this class seems to do a good job filling our needs. Would it have been nice to bring in a stud running back? Yes.  Was it necessary?  Probably not this year.  I am significantly more worried about the offensive and defensive lines at this point, and as Ralph explained that was a big focus of this year’s class.  Last point is the highly touted Graham Stewart.  Yeah, it would have been nice to throw a cherry on top of this year’s class.  That said, we’ve got the best linebacker in the country and a very promising start from true freshman Kevin Pierre-Louis, not to mention some real good looking recruits.  Graham Stewart can have his fun doing the Gator chomp.  I’ll take Keeks, KPL, and the new boys.

Nick: I'll say I'm neither surprised nor disappointed with this year's class. You can't really blame a four-star recruit from eschewing the Heights for Florida, especially given the fact Stewart probably wouldn't have gotten much playing time early on thanks to our already deep linebacking corps. I also don't mind a lack of a running back, given that we still have Montel for a year and then the improving Andre Williams for two more after that. 

As far as rankings go, I think they have the most value when used to compare amazing recruiting classes like USC and Georgia. In those cases, the addition or subtraction of a single four or five star recruit might make a huge difference. Once you start looking at the more middling schools like BC, however, I think they lose a lot of their value. In other words, I think it's easy for scouts to determine who the absolute best high school players are, but as the talent level go down it seems increasingly hard to determine a player's future in the college game. That's all a long way of saying I think BC did what it had to do this year, and we'll have to take the usual "wait-and-see" approach to really grade this recruiting season.

1 comment:

  1. Im not sure I understand how one 4 star recruit is more valuable to UF UA USC type of school, theyre considerably less valuable. If they dont get them this year they can nail 15 next year. BC level schools losing one is pretty much losing a guaranteed multiple year starter. Luckily Stewart was at a position that has decent depth now and a pretty solid class coming in without him.

    The class isnt terrible, but it certainly doesnt really make it even into the level of good. A couple of disturbing signs for the future: Spaz has seemingly lost Oline U reputation and the number of flyers taken.


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