Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Concerns about Spaz's recruiting class

About a year ago on the rubber chicken BC fundraising circuit, both Gene and Spaz said this recruiting class would be the best one yet. Because of its size and the staff's years together, the two claimed that BC would be able to hone in on the players they wanted. While the quantity would be down, the quality would be up. It didn't really turn out that way. I don't mean to disparage the incoming recruits at all. My concern is that so few of BC's initial targets signed, that we had a high percentage of decommittments and that we were scrambling late to fill the class. That speaks to mismanagement.

Here are my big concerns:

1. Scholarship management. Here is how most schools handle things. They have a certain number of open scholarships. They then pad in an additional two or three into their count. Once their class is signed, they deal with fifth year players and walkons. The goal is to get to 85 scholarship athletes. Over the past few seasons BC has been under that number. Blame transition. Blame Spaz kicking kids off in the summer. Regardless of who is at fault, BC was never drastically out of sync on scholarships. In his interview with Around the Res Gene mentioned that BC would recruit 18-19 players this year. Spaz just signed 16. Assuming Momah comes back and you invite back all of your fifth years, that still leaves BC a few athletes short. Maybe Spaz doesn't plan on losing any kids to attrition. Maybe he wants to reward multiple walk ons. Who knows but just to get to 16, he had to offer several last minute, totally under the radar recruits. And he lucked out with a Rutgers guy falling into his lap.

Every college football scholarship is a precious commodity. While rewarding a walk on is nice, the winning method in football is to find an impact player who can make a difference to your team. Not using two or three every year on recruits or banking them or whatever strategy you have is a self-imposed sanction.

2. No defensive tackles and no running backs. Spaz brushed this off by saying they were only looking for elite guys at those spots. I would be more concerned with depth. Last year we saw how quickly things can get thin at running back. At DT we just need more talent for future seasons.

3. Not landing more of Massachusetts's best players. Spaz can talk about process and evaluation but he cannot deny that he offered numerous kids from Massachusetts scholarships and they selected other programs. That doesn't speak well to BC. Location is the single biggest factor in recruiting yet BC can't seem to leverage that with the majority of our Massachusetts targets.

4. Not taking better advantage of the chaos at other programs. Rutgers, Penn State and Pitt all had chaotic coaching changes. We pulled one recruit from the rubble. Yet we also lost recruits to Penn State. How does that happen? Why can't this staff connect with more of our targets or sell the value of BC vs the problems at other schools?

I'll have the good news on this class later after BC sends out its press release.


eagleboston said...

I typically wait 3 years before assessing a recruiting class. Look at the current group of redshirt/freshman and sophomores. That class was highly panned, but several players in this class have performed very well for BC.

BC is not going to get the elite athletes. Those players go to Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Notre Dame. BC needs to get the unappreciated and overlooked and develop them. Given the # of players in the NFL, I think the program has done a great job of this over the past 15 years.

JBQ said...

Slip sliding away!

eagle1331 said...

Eagleboston, there is no reason we can't get those elite athletes though. We need a coach and an AD that want them at BC and are willing to sell the program to them first. It all goes back to ATL's post yesterday. Temple was a sht-show before Golden went there and it's a hole lot better now... look at what Addazzio has been able to do there this year. Rutgers wasn't anything special before Schianno either.

Look at Houston this year, Boise State before Chris Petersen, Baylor this year, or even Northwestern though they fell off. The coaches came in and made those programs what they are and most of their recruiting classes are a heck of a lot better than ours

eagleboston said...


I respectfully disagree. Go back to 1984. BC has never had a top 10 recruiting class. NEVER. For various reasons, the top tier players will simply not choose BC. True, we will get a 4 star here and a 4 star there, but this institution is not designed to attract top level recruits on a regular basis.

By the way, Temple and Rutgers are not routinely getting top tier recruits either. They also get the diamonds in the rough and develop them. And I'm fine with that for BC. I don't want BC to give up its values and be just like 'Bama or Ohio State. Get me smart players with a chip on their shoulders and BC can live off that.

In your examples, Boise State is a large state school (enrollment is twice as large as BC with horrible academics). Houston, same as Boise only 3 times larger than BC. Baylor, like BC, is private and their enrollment is not much larger than BC. However, their academics are not as stringent and they are located in the football hotbed of Texas. All 3 schools are set-up to get better recruits than BC from the get-go.

EL MIZ said...

not using all of the schollies is completely illogical. there is only one reason to give them to walk ons (who have less eligibility obviously than a kid coming out of HS): you weren't able to convince enough HS kids to commit.

spaz can start the excuse engine again (its only february 1 and already we're getting excuses for the season!) but the fact of the matter is we had, what, 4 kids decommit (jaxon hood at DT, akeel lynch at RB, a TE who went to oklahoma, and i think one other) and were scrambling on signing day just to get kids.

also, how did we not address the issue of the d-line? i've watched BC football since the mid-90s and can't remember really any stand out WRs (was rich gunnel the best BC WR of the last 15 yrs?). that was a position of weakness last year but it always has been; so be it. that being said, we have had good d-line men. BJ raji, one of the most marketable players in the NFL (how many guys have commercials, let alone DTs?) went to BC just a few years ago, as did kiwanuka, who's suiting up for his second super bowl. not to mention we have basically the same defensive staff in place with spaz and mcgovern. how did we not address the problem of the D-line? it was bad last year and certainly won't get better if you don't add any new talent to it.

Knucklehead said...

In reference to point #1. Each scholarship is worth at least $200,000 grand also. If BC "decides" not to sign 5 players that they "could" sign then they save themselves $1million. Unless I am not aware of something in the rules.

A conspiracy theorist might say that Gene is trying to save some $$$$$'s.

Would you put it past him?