With signing day tomorrow, this seems a proper time to remind fans about a hard truth in college football: most recruits won’t stick.
It’s easy to get excited about this new crop of Red Raiders signing National Letters of Intent tomorrow, and rightfully so. Assuming no surprises, coach Kingsbury will bring in a solid class in his second go-around.
However, a sobering trend emerges when you look back at the last four recruiting classes.
2010: Four of the 26 signing day commits are still on the team. Three exhausted their eligibility.
2011: Seventeen of 31 are still on the team. Four exhausted their eligibility and one is going pro.
2012: Twelve of 26 still on the team. Five exhausted their eligibility this year.
2013: Twenty-one of 24 still on the team. Two never made it to campus and one was just dismissed.
Tech signed on average 27 players per class in the last four years. Eight-eight percent of the 2013 class are still Red Raiders just one year later, while a staggering 27 percent of the 2010 class are either still on the team as seniors or exhausted their eligibility. Average it out, and just over 50 percent of each class will stick with Tech through graduation.
That’s not even taking into account how many of those 50 percenters will actually contribute meaningfully on the football field. Think about how often you’ve sat at the Jones on senior day and asked yourself or a friend, “who’s that guy?”
Granted, we’ve seen three different head coaches in four years and a host of different assistants. However, those kinds of changes and upsets in continuity, while disruptive, aren’t completely to blame for a nearly 50 percent attrition rate. Most of those players were dismissed or transferred for playing time.
The sad truth is that half the guys who sign NLIs tomorrow won’t finish their college careers at Tech. Even less will be recognizable on game day, and maybe one or two will be household names when it’s all said and done.