Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another glimpse into the crazy world of recruiting...

I've tried to explain my opinion on recruiting many times on this blog and offline with others. Let me clarify things a bit since recruiting will be a hot topic for the next three weeks.

1. I think recruiting is very important. Talent is the life blood of a program. The team with more talent will win more often.

2. I don't trust the recruiting rankings. Others have successfully argued both sides elsewhere on the internet. You can find those debates if you are interested. I think the stats are misleading and as anyone who has a good BC education knows, there is a difference between correlation and causation.

3. I think talent development and nurturing your players is underrated. Projecting a player from one level to another is very difficult (high school to college, college to NFL). I think seeing something in a kid and then working with him and keeping him in your program for four or five years is an undervalued and hard to measure aspect of winning.

Why restate that now? Because of the growing interest around Nick Klemm. Klemm is an Atlanta-area kid that committed to BC in December. To say he is a under the radar, late bloomer, project would be an understatement. Supposedly a good kid, he played on a team in one of the most heavily recruited high school football leagues in the South. I would safely assume that at least one coach from every SEC team and half the ACC has been to at one of his games this year too see other players. Yet he generated very little interest. When BC started recruiting him, recruitniks who follow the stuff more closely than I do panned the offer and said Jags and Co. were scrambling and terrible recruiters. Now -- seven weeks later -- Maryland has interest and we might lose this kid that no one wanted! If he was so terrible why does he have other options now? If some BC fans didn't want him last fall, why the concern now? Funny how things play out.


Brian said...

Anyone else cringe when major newspapers and sports writers refer to Boston College as the "Golden Eagles"?

That is Southern Miss.

What gives?

Jeff said...

Good post despite the myriad of typos.

ATL_eagle said...

Sorry Jeff. Tried to clean it up. I fly solo here and often rip stuff out on the fly.

Jeff said...

Let me reiterate that I thought it was a very good post. Too many people are overreacting to certain headlines and as you know recruits magically become 4 star when teams like Florida, USC and Notre Dame have interest and kids get demoted if they're only recruited by schools that have stadiums which hold less than 50,000. That's not exactly evaluation of talent.

Brian said...

ATL - the irony is that I usually clean up a lot of Jeff's typos. :)

eagleboston said...

Herzlich (3 star), Ryan (3 Star), Silva (2 star), Cherilous (3 star), Kiwanuka, Raji (2 star)....I rest my case. Not a 4 or 5 star in the bunch but they were definitely 5 star college football players.

By the way, I love how we are going through the annual "BC is all doom and gloom" news. Every year the prognosticators predict death for BC football and yet every year, BC ends up at or near the top of the Atlantic.

Big Jack Krack said...

I have actually talked to a few knowledgeable fans (including UNC fans)who say that Tranquil might (longshot) work out FOR A TEAM LIKE BC.

I took it to mean more dedicated, more focused - in school and on the field to develop themselves to their full potential - not a bunch of prima donnas, etc.

We can only wait, hope and support at this point.

Atl - we ought to write a(n) (open) letter to Captain Mike McLaughlin in support and encouragement of our team and our players.

Adam M. said...

eagleboston, I agree. You should read the comments on HD's blog report about the special teams coach leaving. It's like the sky is falling or something (though it is snowing today in Chestnut Hill), and it's all from people who don't know a lot about the program (FSU fans, VT fans, etc.) It's pretty funny. I don't think they realize how atrocious our kick coverage and kick blocking was this past year. Like ATL said in an earlier post, it was awful this year and cost us at least the Clemson game. I know Bick (and even Logan) leaving was a big deal, but I think it was inevitable that out of the big 3 candidates (Logan, Bick, and Spaz), the two who didn't get chosen as HC would leave. Logan was a Jags' guy, and Bick and Spaz both thought this was their huge chance to be the BC HC (Spaz got passed up last time, and Bick was under the impression that he was next in line as HC). I don't know why these coaches resigning are coming as such a shock though. I hope we get picked last or something in the Atlantic, and then surprise everyone with a first (or more likely) second place finish in the division.

mmason said...

A few months ago Charlie Weis came out L.A. way to visit Loyola High's junior offensive back Anthony Barr--definitely a big deal as a high school football player--and ND would like to steal him away from USC. So Charlie came on campus to speak with Anthony. Why? Because A-Barr, as he's known in the media here, is not only a big time back, but he is a good student. BC hasn't done zip to check in with this kid.

What I don't get is this--in all the years I've been at Loyola as a teacher and coach, I've never seen a BC recruiter come near our kids--ND, Northwestern and Colorado, and SC and Cal, Arizona & UCLA are always around, and the usual Ivy people,too, but never BC--for football, anyway--and that's too bad because kids like Loyola's Matt Ware of UCLA (in this Sunday's Super Bowl--his second appearance) and more recently Thomas Weber--a kicker that went on to win the Groza Award as a soph, at ASU year before last, and DB George Hypolite at Colorado, who's NFL bound in this year's draft, are all great Loyola kids who would have loved to visit BC. But no one from The Heights had an interest.

Al Skinner at least seems to know the West Coast exists--with some great results--but football: nada. And forget sending a note or an email to the coaches--nobody reads that stuff in the Athletic department that I've ever hard of.
As you know, Bill, the process is always more complex than most people realize, but the Catholic High School angle could work anywhere. Loyola sends lots of kids to BC annually--there are probably 30 Loyola guys there right now, and we did have a soccer star there a few years back.

Is this about money? Is it too expensive to come into SoCal and go after a student athlete? Are there hidden protocols? Are we gun shy of taking on some of these kids because we've failed before? What's the history on this? I know ND is never afraid to travel anywhere to take a shot at a kid playing for them--Are we looking at a provincial attitude in our recruiting style that's being passed down from staff to staff?
What's the deal?

mod34b said...

Jeff --

Your typo point is unwelcome nonsense. Must you be such a downer. Who really cares about a typo. ATL is awesomwe. He's does a heck of a lot of work and its high quality! Hats off to ATL; soles of our shoes, middle east style, to be flung at Jeff!

But Jeff, wouldn't a typo-obsessed and overly-exacting weinie, such as you, also have prefered to drop the "of" after myriad.

Jeff said...

ATL is the man. Sorry for mentioning typos. Being that we do correspond periodically and have spoken in person before I hope ATL realizes I appreciate his work as much or more than most.

eaglephile said...

I have to agree with mmason.

As a former player, teacher and coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, I am baffled by the consistent lack of recruiting attention from BC at the competitive Jesuit high schools across the country.

Strake Jesuit is a competitive 5A team in Texas with a strong emphasis on discipline and academics in the Jesuit tradition. BC would be a great fit for a good number of the athletes I played with and coached (see Chris Ogbonnaya among others).

However not once in my 7 total years at the school did I see the recruiting rep from BC.

Now I understand that recruiting means building a connection with a school over time. But BC won't ever build a connection with these types of schools schools if they don't bother to contact the coaches year in and year out.

Big Jack Krack said...

Adam M and mmason - great points.

I have always felt that we should go after talented players from Catholic Schools - all over the country.

Deputize a local coach or something - but make contact and establish communication.

Big Jack Krack said...

Another great point, Eaglephile.

This isn't rocket science, as they say. Some common sense about recruiting in Catholic Schools, and especially Jesuit Schools seems pretty basic.

Add in "Christian" Schools while you're at it - like Montel Harris, Trinity Christian in Jacksonville, who Jags found almost by accident - if not by pure luck. These plyers come from strong families or the equivalent, and they are actually looking for a school like BC for the foundation to help them reach their potential on the field and in the classroom.

"You don't ask, you don't git"

BCNorCal07 said...


Actually, "myriad of" is the more grammatically correct usage. Myriad is primarily a noun. Its use an adjective developed very recently and is still frowned upon in some usage dictionaries and style guides. Just so you know. And no, I don't really care.

mod34b said...

'Myriad' vs. 'Myriad Of'

BCNC07 -- I believe that you may have it exactly backwards.

"Myriad" is the traditional and preferred usage; "myriad of" is a new usage that is frowned upon by purists.

Any English prof or "A" students out there who can assist?

Joe Bags said...

Recruiting rankings are for losers.

EAGLE_IN_LA said...

I agree with MMASON 100 percent. He knows what he's talking about.

Loyola High School in LA, for one, is a lot like BC. It takes pride in its Jesuit heritage, it takes extreme pride in its academics and it excels in athletics (not just football). The two biggest differences in the schools are probably the tuition (LHS aims to keep costs relatively low) and the weather (it doesn't get better than L.A.).

Hopefully we can get one of the assistant coaches assigned to some Western states and start to take a look at some kids out here. BC is a helluva' school and it shouldn't be hard to recruit there, even to folks from the warmer portion of the country.

At least Al got Craig, Sean Marshall and Jared to swing out East from the land of milk and honey.