There have been some discussions on this and other blogs lately regarding whether or not Rich Rodriguez has signed too many small, speedy, three-star athletes. I've been thinking about this lately and had a few thoughts. I think this topic has softened some since we just signed two stud defensive ends, but outdated as it may be I'll post it anyway.
- First of all, the change in offensive philosophy requires a collection of athletes that weren't already on the roster. Therefore we need to stock the cupboards and signing a bunch of them in these first two classes is important.
- I think too much has been made of the class size, which is becoming apparent. Originally we all thought the class would be 17-18 players. Now we're seeing that the available scholarships have grown. With a couple of more unexpected departures before next season the total number will be around 22-24. Therefore it is easier to afford a few spots reserved for the smurf-like track stars.
- There is no way the coaching staff is going to turn away 5-star recruits if they come knocking on their door. Even without resorting to Saban-like tactics they'll find room in the recruiting class.
- Not too long go a discussion was sparked on www.umhoops.com about whether the basketball team should sign mid-level recruits or save scholarships for the hope of future high-level recruits. My feelings on that subject are the same as with the football team - you don't "save" scholarships for the hope of the 5-star recruit the next year. There will always be spots available in the next class. You fill the scholarships you have available, you keep the depth chart full, and you take a gamble on the occassional underrated prospect.
I don't have any problem with the recruits that have been signed so far. I am wondering how the situation is going to shake out at running back with McGuffie and Shaw seeming to have it locked up for four years. I'm also wondering whether how the staff will approach recruiting the following year when they've establish more of a presence and have the ability to recruit the five-star variety early in the process - will they actively pursue that or will they settle for system guys that are less heralded?