ask taylor lewan
landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
ask taylor lewan
Taylor Lewan. His junior year he played on the DLine and got no recruiting hype or offers. Once he switched to OT for his senior year, he dominated and then blew up recruiting wise. He racked up like 15-20 offers and then committed to Michigan. Highly rated prospect (top 20 OT to all 3 recruiting sites).
I would say it depends on the person. For an established star, like the one you describe above, their senior may not be as important. But it is possible to gain notice during your senior season, especially after a position switch such as Taylor Lewan who went from DT to OT.
On the flip side, Vlad Emilien had a great junior year campaign and was racking up offers left and right. He was close to committing to OSU, and then he had a knee injury in his senior year. Michigan was one of the few schools to stick with Emilien and kept courting him hard. We signed Emilien and he enrolled early; reports from spring camp indicate that he will be very good at the safety position. Good pickup for us. So yeah, the senior year is still very important for the kids.
Was good for UM...but only because he got hurt.
The key point is, with some exceptions, the key years now appear to junior year and camps before senior year. Things are going so fast in recruiting now it will soon be how did you play as a frosh...
What this means is that there will an opportunity to find some kids late because they are later bloomers and/or slower to development - which could also suggest that they have not hit their peak...
The senior year does matter for kids. It provides the opportunity for late bloomers to earn offers and for those who tail off to "lose contact" with the schools that they have offers from/committed to
I really think that most of the judging on most kids is done by the time they start their Senior year. I realize that does not include late bloomers and what not but I think that it is good that it is set up that way. It leaves most kids that are good enough to get these offers their senior year the ability to focus more on keeping their grades up and ensuring eligibility to the school of their choice. Not to be misunderstood I am not saying they do not have to work hard on the field, and maintain what they have achieved but they do not have to focus as much energy on their on-field performance and it does leave more room for studies. Although this could be completely disproven by the 2 kids that just barely made it in this year (Turner and Gallon IIRC).
Think about it this way. Students apply for college at the beginning of their Senior year. And are generally accepted sometime between October and December. The enrollment, however, is still contingent on the student graduating, continuing to maintain a certain GPA, and not getting into any trouble.
There are also those that get wait-listed and are accepted/rejected based on how many spots are still available and how they did their senior year of high school.
The same is true for football.
I would definitely say it does matter but it will have different degree of relevance depending on person to person.
I know most big programs have huge lists of names at the beginning of the year with each name put into separate categories normally split between "offered", "need more information" and "will not offer". Obviously the "offered" are going to have less to prove to a potential school, but may be much more driven by their national ranking which will be different from recruit to recruit. Ego Ferguson is a prime example of wanting to be "the #1 recruit in the nation" and has changed schools to do just that, but then you can take Tommy Rees who only tried out at particular schools to get his offers and doesn't appear to be too interested in how anyone ranks him.
Then the "Need more information" will have the most to gain or lose depending on how they do at a camp or their senior year. Turner Baty is a good example of this cycle of a QB who just transferred to a new school as a junior and is yet to do anything but practice. Many coaches told him that they needed to see him play before they were willing to offer. And he is a name that is pretty well known but kids that no recruiting sites have even heard about are the ones at an obvious huge disadvantage.
Now you can look at coaching staffs and how they project a player from one position or another, and then you can go to the fans who all want to say they have the best players in the nation coming in to their school and blah blah blah.