Comparative Recruiting by the Numbers

Following up on last year's post, I went back through and added all of this year's signed players into my spreadsheet and ran the the numbers (based on 247 composite) through 2007. Without further ado,

Best Recruit by Position Group (by Fuente)
QB: Taylor 2007, .9914, (Evans 2016, .9109)
RB: RMFW 2008, .9787, (King 2019, .8925)
WR: Payoute 2019, .9326
TE: Hodges 2013, .9049 (Mitchell 2018, .8914)
OL: Nester 2019, .9519
DE: Ekanem 2012, .9285 (Proctor 2017, .9235)
DT: Settle 2015, .9512 (Pollard 2019, .8622)
LB: Hollifield 2018, .9376
DB: Fuller 2013, .9923 (Hunter 2017, .9799)

By Position Group as a Whole (minimum 2 players per group unless QB or TE) [Last Year] {2017}
QB: .8315 (10th of 11 qualifying years) [3] {7}
RB: .8780 (4th of 8 qualifying years) [6] {8}
WR: .8971 (1st of 10) [2] {6}
TE: .8647 (6th of 11) [2] {4}
OL: .8999 (1st of 13) [5] {7}
DE: N/A [7th of 9] {2}
DT: .8530 (5th of 9) [N/A] {6}
LB: .8533 (8th of 11) [1] {6}
DB: .8743 (5th of 13) [3] {2}

Position Grouping Notables:
RB: #7, and #15 (24 total prospects)
OL: #1, #4, and #17 rated prospects in date range (50)
WR: #1, #4, #5, and #12 rated prospects (35)
TE: #8 (16)
DB: #7 and #11 (58)

Class as a Whole:
1. 2018 (.8779)
2. 2009 (.8770)
3. 2019 (.8757)

Summary:
Fuente has put back to back classes of the 1st and 3rd highest ratings.
DBU has seen unprecedentedly consistent recruiting with 3 of the 5 highest ratings coming in the last three years.
We have seen consistent improvement each year for WR, OL, and RB.
Had we not taken any JUCO players, the class rating would have been .8811.

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Comments

This post is quality. As is our recruiting under Fuente.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

Fuente seems pretty good by this data.

You're really killing the negative off-season narrative here.

I think Fuente is doing a good job, but the last line......"if we didn't take any JUCO's" shouldn't be in this discussion. We did take Juco's and had to because of the lack of recruiting in certain areas. If we had recruited these areas properly then we wouldn't need the Juco's (at least not 4 of them).

Also, if you do throw the juco line in, then what was our avg if you take out the long snapper that brought our avg down last year? And what were the avg if you take punters/kickers/Juco's out in the previous years?

Edit: great job putting this data together. I should have led with that.

I didn't factor special teams. Most of the time I've seen them listed, they either don't get rated at all, or don't get rated before well after Signing Day.

I included the No JUCO part mainly to point out the potential for longer term contribution to the team

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

If we had recruited these areas properly then we wouldn't need the Juco's (at least not 4 of them).

1) I'm not sure that invalidates the results, and
2) JUCOs might be a stop gap, but if they help the team, we should use 'em.

I'm not sure I can go along with "if we had recruited properly". I don't think recruiting is that easy a process.

Recruiting is more like "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need."

You're really killing the negative off-season narrative here.

Only way to do that is for the results to translate on the field.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Give it time, then.

The people who expect a perfect team after 3 years with no hiccups are bound to be disappointed.

Agree that perfection (@ this point & for this upcoming season) is unreasonable. Expecting a better performance & results than this previous season (possibly the '17 season) is not unreasonable.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

IMHO, we should be going for long term results in a coaching change, not short term ones. We need to look at the big picture.

Yes, this year was a bust. But it's part of a bigger process. Give it the time it needs.

I agree. A year ago Fuente was being heralded for his handling of being the guy following the guy. Some of the shortcomings of the transition (partly from both the new and old regime) caught up to us this past season. I am optimistic for what the future holds for this team.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Hey if you think another 6-7 (or worse) season is reasonably acceptable, that's you. I absolutely agree with your point about long-term. That said, there does need & require to be some (a small reasonable) amount of immediate results. Winning at least 9 games next season is a good display of short-term/immediate improvement. Winning a minimum of 8 games (while an improvement) doesn't carry the impact that 9-10 Ws will, but I think it is stomachable (barely). I say anything less than 8-9 Ws & MOST (not ALL) of the backlash & flak from the fanbase is deserved and consequential. IMOP, most of the fanbase has already adjusted (lowered) their expectations.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Hey if you think another 6-7 (or worse) season is reasonably acceptable, that's you.

Did I argue that? If I did, then I'll buy you a pizza.

What I argued was that if we want to reach our aspirations of taking the program to another level, it will require a rebuild that isn't going to happen in three years, but will ultimately be worth it. I say we give Fuente a little time to figure it out before replacing him with another guy who won't be able to do it in three years.

I think Fuente is a good fit at VT. I'm willing to see the experiment through to the end rather than get upset halfway through it and start another one. Yes, even if we have a bad year.

I say we give Fuente a little time to figure it out before replacing him with another guy who won't be able to do it in three years.

This is my biggest fear. Generally speaking, I would much rather be patient with an existing coach that is wiling to evolve and progress versus hitting the reset button every time the fanbase's patience runs thin.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Fake news. We all know AAC coaches can't 'cruit

Great stuff, thanks for putting it together!

Apologies for the ESPN reference, but this seemed relevant to your topic - Using recruiting data to predict the next champion.

Please forgive the double post if this had been discussed elsewhere.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

ESPN didnt list QP as a QB so we got screwed on round too early.

Also it's kind of useless in that we dont have a lot of data points. So basically if your name is Clemson or Alabama you have a great shot at winning the title. If 5 different schools won it then we might have more data.

USA Today > ESPN.COM

JP

Lol they give Illinois the QB check mark because they have Dwayne Lawson. Stopped reading there.

Always choose joy.

They don't even have him, I don't think he qualified out of JUCO

I'm not sure what's more embarrassing- listing Quincy Patterson as an athlete or crediting Illinois for Dwayne Lawson when he never even enrolled there.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

So this is like an even more mythical version of the mythical national championship?

Quick correction - Hodges was recruited as a QB, not an ATH or TE.

Also, I'm not sure how to read your 'By Position Group as a Whole' section. If I look at this line:

DT: .8530 (5th of 9) [N/A] {6}

I'm interpreting this as:

  • Our average 247 composite ranking for DT recruiting for the 2019 class was .8530
  • The 2019 class was the 5th best group of DTs (only counting years we recruited at least two DTs, of which there were 9) since 2007
  • The 2018 class had less than 2 DTs
  • The 2017 class was the 6th best group of DTs (only counting years we recruited at least two DTs, of which there were 9) since 2007

Do I understand correctly?

Twitter me

That is correct.

I know Hodges was originally recruited as a quarterback but I placed him at tight end because that is where he actually contributed. Similarly, I have Aiden Brown at defensive tackle now that it is expected that that is where he will be seeing the field for the rest of his career, and I have Caleb Farley as a defensive back instead of wide receiver which was where he was originally recruited.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Would you be able to table this? Years on the top, position on the side, and position ranking/# of recruits in the middle? I would be a lot easier to digest.

Kind of like this, but for every position group/year?

Position 2019
DE .8533, 2

Twitter me

I've been having trouble embedding my spreadsheet using the same embed code from last year, otherwise my data would be in more a easily digestible format.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Do you have a google sheet you can share? I've gotten decent at converting tables to HTML.

Twitter me

Cool - I think I can work with this.

Twitter me

Can we also consider the evolution of recruiting rankings? The last 10 years have seen a lot more exposure for a lot of players (i.e. hudl).

I'm not entirely sure some of our rankings 10-15 years ago are valid. We probably had a number of players (back in the day) that would be ranked at all, or higher, if the "state" of recruiting was the same as it is now.

I've harped on this a lot. It becomes increasingly difficult to compare modern recruiting rankings to those of the 2000's. 247's composite, for example, gets less and less reliable the further you go back. They weren't the premier recruiting service of the 2000's, Rivals was, and 247 has applied a bunch of "blanket grades" (.8, .85. 9) to players and retroactively graded a bunch of older players. The results skew the older classes if using 247 composite.

That's before we even get into how many more camps, more consolidated databases of film, social media, and how many more bodies are employed in the world of recruiting high school football players.

I appreciate work like this, but I always end up with more questions than answers, and I just can't draw definitive conclusions trying to compare a class from 2007 or 2008 to a class in 2017 or 2019.

Same could probably be said for all teams though. Not just VT specifically.

Recruiting success is also relative to the competition. Is VT improving with respect to what other ACC schools, regional, and national programs are doing?

Clemson: 56 recruits over last 3 years (not counting ST) Average rating went up from .9211 to .9412, then fell to .9015. Sidenote: 10 OL with average rating of .8868. VT had 11 @ .8731 BUT Vice outrecruited the National Champions for OL recruits (4 x .8999 to 4 x .8684)

Miami had 60 prospects. Average rating dropped from .8914 to .8745, then rose to .8866. 10 OL with average rating of .8824 with all 3 of this year's recruits rated lower than any Hokie OL recruit

UNC also had 60 prospects rising from .8687 to .8719, before falling this year to .8672. They have 12 OL averaging .8825 with the Hokies getting the advantage this year 4 x .8999 to 4 x .8649

Now comes the part where we throw our heads back and laugh.

Ready?

UVA has 67 recruits with average ratings increasing every year from .8304 to .8438 to .8571. They've had 13 OL recruits averaging .8354 with only 2 OL recruits rated higher than our lowest over the 3 year window.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Couple things, I liked espn formula for championship team. Getting one 5* every year.
Etc, etc. etc

Also getting a balanced recruiting cycle by position. is key so we don't have holes to fill at any one particular position.

Then we still have to work on developing some key players.

Having said that, I'm still wondering the role of some coaches, namely Lecternberg, Nix and Mitchell

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

I'll see if I still have the Hokie Sports Magazine we just got sent but he is listed as the recruiter for at least 2 of this years recurits (Lectenburg)

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Transfers are damn near impossible to keep track of. Would I have to go back and delete anybody from the team who transferred out? What about general attrition? I don't mean to be argumentative, but I just wanted to explain why I didn't include transfers.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Plus, are transfers even rated anywhere?

You can't go by a rating of several years ago, because it's a rating of where they were in terms of readiness at the time of the rating.

I thought 247 in their transfer portal list had both high school and recent grades for players?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Really? I didn't know that.

They've assigned some grades for transfers. It lists their old recruit rating for all of them, and for a lot of them have a second transfer rating. The transfer ratings seem a little arbitrary but it's a pretty cool idea. Having a place where you can see all the transfers sorted by position is cool enough on its own.