Thursday, September 20, 2007

OWH: Bursting the Bubble on Recruiting Hype

Mitch Sherman of the Omaha World-Herald asked a question yesterday that's been screaming for an answer now:
At what point is it fair to say the bubble has burst on recruiting hype at Nebraska?
I would argue that the hype meter has long since been burst, but people are just now realizing it. Let's take that legendary 2005 recruiting class. You know, the one that Tom Lemming said was "one of the 'Huskers' deepest classes in recent history." Let's really take a look at it again:

Gone: (11)
Justin Tomerlin (4), Tyrell Spain (3), Brock Pasteur (2), Jeff Souder (0), Robert Rands (2), Dontrell Moore (3), Leon Jackson (4), Jordan Congdon (3), Rodney Picou (4), Craig Roark (3), Harrison Beck (4)

Graduated : (3)
Ola Dagunduro (4), Zac Taylor (3), Barry Cryer (3)

Bench Warmers: (3)
Chris Brooks (4), David Harvey (2), Nick Covey (3)

Backups: (6)
Bryan Wilson (2), Frantz Hardy (4), Jordan Picou (2), Cody Glenn (3), Jacob Hickman (3), Phillip Dillard (4)

Starters: (6)
Barry Turner (3), Ndamakong Suh (4), Steve Octavien (4), Marlon Lucky (5), Zach Potter (4), Zack Bowman (5)

As I see it, Nebraska will get 10 starters out of that 29 person class. (2 did not qualify) Jacob Hickman could eventually be #10. Obviously, the ratings for Bowman, Potter, Suh, Octavien, Dagunduro, Cryer, and Taylor were pretty much spot on. Zac Taylor might have even been a little underrated by the recruiting experts. Marlon Lucky was overrated when you consider what people thought, but he'll still turn out to be a very productive member of this group. Cody Glenn was probably underrated.

Overrated appears to be Frantz Hardy and Chris Brooks, 2 four-star receivers.

So how do those 9 starters from 2005 compare? Well, that "horrible" 2002 recruiting class produced 8 starters (Adam Carriker, Matt Herian, Mark LeFlore, Kurt Mann, Jay Moore, Dane Todd, Fabian Washington, and Demarrio Williams). The equally ridiculed 2003 class produced 10 (Brett Byford, Joe Dailey, Darren DeLone, Tierre Green, Corey McKeon, Josh Mueller, Wali Muhammed, Chris Patrick, J.B. Phillips, and Bo Ruud).

I'd say that the myth of recruiting is BUSTED!


AJ said...

I don't know why...but I absolutely lover her and whatever that show is she does where they do that...stuff...whatever.

PS - Good post

Anonymous said...

So why do teams in the top ten in recruting most always stay in the top ten in polls? That is the question you should answer!


Husker Mike said...

Do they?

Or do teams in the Top Ten in the polls most always get their recruiting rated in the top ten? So often, recruiting rankings are based in large part on which teams are pursuing players.

Anonymous said...

Yeah those 4 and 5 stars the USC, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida guys have mean nothing. You're trying way too hard to prove your own flawed hypothesis. The attrition you are outlining happens everywhere. You still need depth and guys with talent and speed. That's how they evaluate players in the rivals and scout star system.

Joe in Elwood, NE

Husker Mike said...

What about Nebraska's 4 and 5 star guys? My point wasn't the attrition...the point was that many of these 4 and 5 star guys were simply overhyped. Not the player's fault; they didn't hype themselves. This blame goes to the recruiting services who arbitrarily assign stars and fans who swallow these ratings hook, line, and sinker.

You are correct... you want talent and speed (and power). Rivals and scout have attempted to build a system to evaluate those factors, and it's accuracy is somewhat spotty. Some have suggested that no matter what Rivals might say, their ratings are based more on who is recruiting a player than anything else. If a USC is going after a player, he must be pretty darn good. If only San Diego State is pursuing him, then he might not be so hot.

bigredfred said...

Husker Mike said...
Like it or not, Callahan is getting the market rate for a head coach. Tom Osborne couldn't care less about whether he earned $500K, $1 million, or $5 million a year, but I don't think it's reasonable to expect other coaches to share that same philosophy.

That is my point exactly Husker Mike!!! Bill Callahan is here for the 2 million plus a year. So far, he has raped Nebraska for almost 10 million dollars after this year. Previous to Bill, we had coaches who had roots here, and money was the LAST thing in their mind! Don't you think there is a direct correlation between the success of the coach and what motivates them? Do you not know that Dr. Tom, Frank Solich, and Bob Devaney had much more at stake when their teams took the field than a coach who is here only for the money?? Seems obvious to me. Why do you think so many nebraskans scream for us to return to our traditions and true cornhusker coaches?

Husker Mike said...
I also think you have to take Callahan's record with the Raiders with a grain of salt... they are the Raiders after all, run by Al Davis.
September 20, 2007 8:58 AM

Mike, the Raiders organization is what it is! You can't just blow off a coach who was given a super bowl contender his first year, and literally destroyed it in ONE year. In the exact same scenario after getting fired, he took the 2003 program that had gone 10-3 and again literally destroyed it to 5-6 in ONE year. The only difference is that Al Davis had the smarts to know when he should cut his losses. Look up the definition of coach , a good one is somebody who can bring out the best in the players and have them play to their strengths, Bill has to have the ability to coach.... As for recruiting, (which was one of the given reasons for the 2003 change, your own website has debunked the recruiting myth that Bill has used to tout his worth. You may need to justify to your readers your obvious loyalty to Bill Callahan and your defending him against his obvious shortcomings...

Husker Mike said...

First time I've been accused of being an apologist and defender of Billy C. Might want to read up in the archives and read up on some of the things I've said about Callahan.

Anonymous said...

Recruiting is an inexact science,
I agree with the point of the post and the article-

but, to get technical, the 2002 class was ranked 16th at the time by ESPN. not as highly rated as the 2005 class mind you but certainly not "horrible".
and the "equally ridiculed 2003" class was consistantly ranked in the top 25 by the "experts". FWIW.

also, it seems innacurate to give a definitive post-mortem on a class simply by counting the starters it produced. I understand its the popular/easiest method -- but should guys like Joe Dailey or Benard Thomas really count as positive tally marks just because other classes failed to produce better alternatives on the depth chart?

Husker Mike said...

That's interesting... I generally only know recruiting by the information forced down our throats, usually from Rivals. Other services may have different (and likely more accurate) information. Note I used "horrible" in quotes, not because I thought it was "horrible", but because others felt that recruiting that year was "horrible".

And yes, my comparison between the 2002, 2003, and 2005 recruiting classes was simplistic. My goal was to disprove the notion that the 2005 class was the "greatest in 25 years", and when the "greatest in 25 years" looks comparable to a couple of classes that were reviled by some as the worst, it proves my point that the 2005 group was overhyped. Would more analysis prove that the 2005 class was a little more productive than the 2002 group? Possibly, but not necessary in this case. Heck, it might end up showing that the 2002 group was better, consider the NFL pedigree of the 2002 group. We'll have to wait a few more years before we can really evaluate 2005.