Lessons from the Dillon Quinn departure
Dillon Quinn left the team and left BC for "personal reasons." While Spaz deserves his fair share of blame for problems with the team, Dillon Quinn's disappointing career is not one of them. In my opinion Quinn represents a different issue facing our fanbase and fanbases around college football: the expectations created by the recruiting ratings.
I am not opposed to the recruiting sites. I worked for one in the past and know good people at Rivals, Scout and 247. I do think there is some predictive value to the rankings. In football "bigger, stronger, faster" remains important and if you bring in multiple highly-recruited players, you are likely to succeed. But like any forecasting system, these things are not fool proof. Collectively the rankings work, but individual teams, individual recruiting classes and individual players can all be rise above or fall below expectations. There are outliers in any statistical model, but even more in college football where the volume of data and recruits cannot be captured by the ratings sites. That volume also forces shortcuts that lead to misjudgement and that is what happened with Quinn.
Dillon Quinn should never have been a four star recruit. He wasn't on many radars until he showed up at a Rivals camp with a friend of his prior to his senior season. The friend was the invitee. But upon seeing him, the Rivals Camp Directors invited him too. Quinn was a massive specimen and Rivals knows their customers. His strength and speed also impressed and a buzz started. Rivals slapped four stars on him and let the meteoric rise begin. What Rivals didn't account for in their ranking is why Quinn arrived on the scene so late and why his workouts were so impressive. I obviously have no proof, but even in the early days there were whispers and allegations about Quinn's use of performance enhancers. No one seemed to care about his lack of four star productivity prior to his "growth spurt" or his technique. But given his abilities, if he were truly four star, he should have been dominating his league. As a reference point Alex Amidon played in the same league and was even better, but no one ever considered giving him four stars.
Once Quinn arrived at BC and the whispers continued. Outside of the gossip, he also wasn't ready to be a ACC DT. He needed to learn more and get better. He played with mixed results in his second year on campus. From my perspective his efforts seemed mixed and he was never a special players. Certainly not four star. Now his career is over and BC has another player to add to the "four star" bust list. But at this point we should really be making a list of four star guys who were misjudged by the systems.
As for this season, Quinn's departure doesn't mean much. The positive aspect of the outcome is that it frees up one more scholarship for our new coach