Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lessons from the Recruiting Class of 2003

[Before I get too far into the class of '03 let me quickly explain how I think recruiting factors into winning. I think a third of a program’s success is about recruiting and evaluating players. I think another third of a program’s success is training and coaching the players once they get on campus. The final piece of the puzzle, in my opinion, is the actual gameday coaching and strategy. Obviously this theory cannot be confirmed but something has to explain programs like Ohio State, Virginia Tech and even BC, outperforming their recruiting rankings.]

The Class of 2003 is BC’s winningest and produced numerous contributors who have helped BC football over the last five seasons. Looking closer shows that even our best recruiting class still had misses and that they were not the sole reason for our 2007 success. (Only 70% of the recruiting class even played this season and you could argue that a handful of them regressed).

So remember this chart as we gush about Jags’ first full class in a couple of weeks. Clear lessons:

1. One class does not make or break a program.
2. It is often very hard to project who is going to be a star and who is not.
3. The recruiting rankings are not perfect indicators.

Scout ranked this class 27th nationally. Rivals ranked BC 24th

Player Rivals
Played in 2007Comments
Tom Anevski33YesContributor and part-time starter in 2006 and 2007.
Justin Bell32NoBattled injuries throughout his career.
Dorien Bryant43NoNever played for BC. Went to Purdue after a stint in prep school.
Andre Callender43YesContributor for three seasons. Blossomed into great player as a Senior.
Kevin Challenger32YesStarted as a Junior and Senior. Solid possession receiver his final three seasons.
Gosder Cherilus34YesStarted all four seasons.
Jo-Lonn Dunbar33YesTwo-time captain. Critical player his final three seasons.
Ryan Glasper32NoFour year starter. Used up eligibility prior to 2007.
Ty Hall33YesContributor and part-time starter over four years.
Trey Koziol33NoBattled injuries.
Ray Lankford32NoRarely played.
Nick Larkin33YesImportant contributor. Three-year starter.
Taji Morris32YesRare contributor as a FR, SO or JR. Very nice season in 2007.
Brad Mueller33NoRarely played.
Paul Peterson32NoCritical part of 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Ryan Poles43YesAnother late bloomer who was having a great season until getting hurt at Notre Dame.
Tyronne Pruitt32YesTwo-year starter. Important part of 2007 season.
Matt Ryan33YesKey leader for the past 2.5 seasons.
Kevin Sheridan32YesStarted in 2006. Rarely played in 2007.
Jamie Silva22YesContributed as a redshirt freshman. Key starter his final three seasons.
Ryan Thompson33YesContributed throughout his career. Diminished role in 2007.
DeJuan Tribble33YesKey starter his last three seasons.
LV Whitworth32YesStarted his first three seasons. Diminished role in 2007.
Danny Zepp32NoRarely played.

A few more thoughts on this class…
-- Ryan and Peterson were both fall back plans. TOB and staff swung for bigger fish and missed. And both were expected to sit behind Quinton Porter. They embody how hard it is to evaluate QBs and how important a Quarterback can be to a successful season.
-- Even once a kid gets onto the field you cannot always predict how they will develop year to year. Sheridan, LV, Challenger and Thompson all saw diminished roles this season. Gosder regressed. Callender and Poles looked like new players as seniors.
-- There is something to be said for managing your roster. Dunbarr was brought in as a RB and moved to LB. Remember this when our 2008 recruiting class is filled with a bunch of QBs, RBs and DBs. Some of those guys will play other positions.
-- Redshirting is not fool proof. Everyone loves to tout redshirting. We’ve benefited from it, but did an extra year of seasoning help Zepp or Mueller or Lankford? If a guy can play, he can play. And not everyone gets asked back for a 5th season.

In the offseason I may dig deeper into recruiting and try to make sense of this inexact science.


Big Jack Krack said...

Thanks Bill - this is eye openning, really.

When we spoke of the strength of this Senior Class, perhaps many of us didn't realize the exact picture until you just drew it for us.

Big Jack Krack said...

Opening - sorry

EagleInTheCuse said...

To the surprise of no one, Corso and Herbstreit both picked MSU over us.

At the beginning of the season, the failure of these two to acknowledge us as a legitimate team kepts us down, and I'm sure it'll be right back there next season too. I hope that at least for one game this will add a little fuel to our fire. Go Eagles!

BCNorCal07 said...

I think the lesson we've all learned from Corso and Herbstreit this season is that they're both hacks who don't watch nearly as much game film as they let on. Seriously, both picking a team that finished 7-5 in a conference as lousy as the Big Ten? Should we even be surprised anymore? I don't put much stock in it. It seems that everyone out there is playing the dissapointment card in picking State over us. I have a feeling that all the seniors won't let that happen. And MSU really relies on the run. I don't think this game will be a cake-walk, but we're still the more talented, better coached team. Something tells me that things like that matter.

tow2nd2none said...

Nice to see the players are being rewarded for their hard work.

luch said...

About Corso and Herbie...these guys do not always make public their true picks. I was in the Home Depot trailer on the Game Day set one time with these guys and talked with them and they will sometimes make picks to stir up interest in games or to appeal to the fans, etc, especially Corso.
I actually talked with Corso about BC, this was a few years ago when BC played Wake and was down like 3 touchdowns or something and came back and won but anyway, we were watching the game on one of the monitors and BC was down big in that game when we were talking and he was like "don't worry kid, BC will come back, they'll be alright...".
Totally unrelated to these guys- everyone knows that when you make picks you have to pick upsets because if they come true you look like a genius.

Sebastian said...

Wait... so you're saying TV isn't real???