Here’s an in-depth look at this year’s football recruiting class beyond simple star-rankings. Instead, we looked at three key evaluative variables, breaking down the group by measurables, geographic location and offer list.
Football is all about having bigger, stronger and faster athletes than the other team. Tech’s focus with this class was clearly to get bigger along the line of scrimmage and in the defensive secondary. While we don’t have access to every recruit’s 40-yard-dash time, we do have physical measurements as provided by Tech athletics. Here are the averages by group/position:
Defensive front seven: 6-4/290
Defensive backfield: 6-0/182
Offensive line: 6-5/307
Receivers/running backs: 5-10/180
The average weight of the front seven jumps out immediately, especially when you consider that you only had one such player on your roster last season who topped 290. This year, you get three. In the defensive backfield, four of the eight players taken in this class are over six-feet, which is a dramatic improvement from last year as well.
Location, Location, Location
The best football recruits come from the great state of Texas, followed closely by Florida and California. Within those states, the best recruits come from the more populated areas, with the thinking being that higher populations cause only the best athletes to make their high school teams. Conversely, in towns with lower populations, there’s less competition. Here’s a breakdown of where these recruits are coming from (out of high school):
Everywhere else: 6
Major metropolitan area: 19
Rural area: 6
From a star-ranking perspective this may not be such a big deal. But when you think about it from a competition standpoint, you’re getting a lot of recruits that had to rise above stiff competition in high school.
This is assuming coaches at other major college football programs know how to evaluate talent. Certainly there are cases of big-time schools recruiting players that have no business being on a college football field (Case McCoy), but those are the exceptions. Here’s a breakdown of all the offers from major programs received by all the recruits in this class:
ACC offers: 6
B1G offers: 11
Big 12 offers: 32
Pac-12 offers: 19
SEC offers: 19
Offers from Top 25 teams: 28
Offers from teams who finished Signing Day with top 10 classes: 6
Tech had to fight off a lot of good schools to get what they got. Several players had opportunities to join teams that finished last season in the Top 25 or sign with top 10 recruiting classes.