Thursday, February 05, 2015

Are bigger recruiting classes better for BC?

In his first two full recruiting classes, Steve Addazio signed 53 players. That doesn't include the six (and counting) 5th years transfers he used in both those classes or the two transfers that came in his transition class (Louie Addazio and Matt Patchan). That sort of roster churn is very familiar to SEC schools, but it is unprecedented at BC.

A host of factors contributed to this churn (most having to do with attrition and neglect under Spaz) but it created a huge opportunity for Addazio to remake the roster. For comparison, the closet BC ever came to the 53 commitments in a two year period were 48 recruits that surrounded Jags' one full class. He recruited 30 in 2008 and the transition classes on either side both had 18 commitments. If you just look at the Rivals database for examples of one BC coach bringing in his own two classes, the most ever brought in during a two year period was 44 commitments ('03-'04 under TOB and '10-'11 under Spaz).

The good news about this much churn is that it enables a sweeping talent upgrade (assuming you recruit the right players). The bad news is that it leaves a team very young and almost perpetuates a cycle of big classes. With big classes, you'll have more attrition. When forced to play young players, you are not spreading out that one scholarship over five years. When you accept more 5th year transfers, you have to replace them annually. Churn works for many schools but is still new to BC. While it may create more challenges in graduation rates and player development there is no reason it cannot succeed at BC.

Assuming normal attrition, Addazio's next class should still be big. It won't be 25 guys, but should be 20 or 21 commitments. Who knows what comes after? Will attrition spike? Will the redshirting finally slow down the churn? As long as Addazio keeping finding talent and winning, I don't think BC fans will mind the big recruiting classes.


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Hoib said...

I think Daz was forced to do this because of the empty cub bard he inherited. Last year we only had 71 scholarship players when u are allowed 85. It was almost like we were on probation. Daz is too smart to not be aware of the benefits of the red shirt. I'm sure he'll start to get to that once we are restocked.

Leather D said...

One ameliorating factor is the 18 guys who played this year. Let's assume because we are starting to build depth that only half of this year's class plays right away, and then next year we're in even better shape and only 8 guys play right away. The 53 is now split into three classes of 18+ (plus prior year RS's who are still around), 22(9 who didn't play last year and half of this year's class who do), and 21 (half of this year's class who RS plus the 8 from next year who don't). As long as we are slowly decreasing the number of true freshmen who play, we'll spread this scholarship lump out. We don't have to have lots of attrition.

Hoib said...

Leather D

Nice analysis.