looking at how Alabama's O-Line plays, you wouldnt think they recruited one 4 star and one 5 star during the past couple of years.
Rivals 100 - 4 Year Analysis
I dug into the Rivals 100 for the years 2010 - 2013 today, originally to try and see if there were any State by state or Regional trends by position. I was inspired to check some data on the well worn "elite"-skill-player-recruiting-meme that popped up again in the Treadwell thread. While it may not be breaking news to everyone else, I thought I'd dump some data here in case others want to check it out.
Rivals 100 by Position:
|DUAL (Threat QB)||5||2||2||2.25|
Rivals 5 Stars by Position:
|Count of Location||Column Labels|
|Row Labels||2010||2011||2012||2013||Grand Total|
|# OF RECRUITS (ACTUAL)|
|TX, MO, KS||55||25||4||4||11||9||-|
|# OF RECRUITS (ACTUAL minus PROJECTED BY % of Total)|
|TX, MO, KS||-||6||(4)||(2)||(1)||2||(2)|
Footnotes: "Skill" - RB, APB, WR, TE, ATH. APB - All Purpose Back
While we all know the Southeast has a major advantage in recruiting ratings (some say this reflects not just talent but also bias), what surprised me was the positional breakdowns. Perhaps some of this is small sample size, but some bullets:
- The Southeast has a significantly higher % of the DBs than any other position. Given they have 153 out of 400 total recruits, you would expect them to have about 23 DBs of the 59. They actually had 33, 10 more than that! This is felt in the Midwest and Texas, where elite DBs are more scarce.
- A tiny sample, but the West Coast has been more successful at getting QBs elite status on Rivals.
- The Midwest is significantly overrepresented in Offensive Lineman recruits, with LBs also making a strong showing.
- The Coastal Region (MD, VA, NC) also has strong LBs.
- Texas jumps out for its offensive Skill players
- There's no discernable deviation from trend on DLinemen, the SEC meme is probably more depth related due to different roster management techniques
- One minor thing I thought was weird was the state of Georgia (not charted) produced 11 DL but only 1 OL in the last 4 years. However once the data is summed up to the regional level, the trend disappears.
- Neither Nebraska nor Oklahoma (the states) have a single recruit over the last four years that is in the Rivals Top 100. Not to say they can't have #101 every year, but the CFB playoff analogy is if you're not in the top 8, you probably can't claim to be number 1.
And now for some top recruiters by position group:
Rivals 100 RB/APB Commits (2010-2013 Total)
Remember these are not all 4 star, only rivals top 100
|Top Programs||4 Star||5 Star||Total|
(Michigan has one 4 Star, Justice Hayes)
Rivals 100 WR Commits, does not include listed as ATH (2010-2013 Total)
|Top Programs||4 Star||5 Star||Total|
(Michigan has zero)
Rivals 100 OL Commits (2010-2013 Total)
|Top Programs||4 Star||5 Star||Total|
(FWIW Alabama is way down the list with one 4 star and one 5 star.)
I imagine they have many more 4 stars at OL, just no other 4 stars in the top 100...
Considering how long it takes OL to develop, starting with the 2010 class is just a bad sampling bias.
I originally pulled this data to examine skill position recruiting and recent history and then I expanded it. Looks like I didn't expand it far enough to compare to current rosters, especially for OL. It was more about who has been pulling in top recruits most recently.
These do a much better job of representing current rosters, but they're not broken out by position group:
When 40% of the Rivals 100 comes from one region, either there are steroids in the water or the Rivals 100 is full of crap.
The players down here just might be "that good." They have spring practice down here, and people are much more serious about HS football here than in Michigan. There are probably at least five HS teams in FL that could beat your standard GLIAC team straight up, and I'm pretty sure Valdosta GA could, too.
You really need to experience HS football down here to fully understand how big it is, and how talented the players are.
I'm not denying that it isn't bigger than what you see in Michigan, but High School football is equally as big, if not bigger, in Texas. When an area that claims 15% of the country is producing 40% of the "elite" talent, something is fishy.
I bet if you looked at Rivals subscription numbers you would find that more people in SEC country pay for their service, so inflating their rankings would help with their business. Also, for the longest time Rivals didn't have a Midwest analyst, and weren't in any rush to fill that position. Every recruiting site has some sort of bias, just comes with the territory.
There are also more people in the Southeast and a higher percentage of the population are African-Americans, who tend to be more naturally athletic. It's hard to claim they are bias when the teams with the highest composition of players from the southeast are also doing pretty well the past few years.
False. If you look at their current starting OL, both their starting tackles were the #1 OT in the nation in their classes and 5 stars. Additionally, Jones was also a top-100 four star.
..that 15% of the country has produced a majority of the team members on the last 6 National Championship winning team. I'm not sure that 40% of the kids coming from there is really that unreasonable.
And claiming bias based on subscription numbers when you don't have those subscription numbers isn't really that convincing.
US Population (2011 Estimates from Wikipedia) vs % of Rivals Top 100 by region
|SUBTOTALS||POP %||TOP 100 %|
|TX, MO, KS||34,556,607||11%||14%|
Well considering they've won 100% of the national championships (and over 40% of the past 35 or so years), it makes a lot more sense doesn't it.
Too many numbers!!
Definitely should be bumped to diaries. Thanks for the effort, interesting read.
place it up above.
Regardless of whether or not this is a diary or a board topic it was a great read!
Thanks for the research and thought!
DJ Fluker and Cyrus Kouandjo (sp?) were both 5 stars.
Fulker was indeed 5 stars and in fact #3 In the nation. However he was also class of 2009. Barrett Jones was also top 100 but he was class of 2008 as well.
However, hard to comment that you would "think alabama would have more" based on their offensive line play when indeed 3/5 starters are Rivals 100 kids and another was just outside the top 100 at 117. The chart kind of manipulates the stats
My bad, underlying data doesn't match what I did with it for current OL quality.
You'd need to include older classes '08 and '09, and weight upperclassmen heavier like the Mathlete does. I only pulled the most recent 4, because I was really only concerned with Hoke/recent history (I know '10 was Rodriguez and '11 was split) + wanted a reasonable amount of years.
Also since OL starts 5 guys, having a lot of 4* depth is probably more important than a couple top rated prospects. Landing 1 of the top 12 WR or 1 of the top 11 RB "should" have a greater impact than 1 of the top 13 OL.
Thanks for the clarification on the data set you chose, makes sense now.
This is some pretty good work here, OP, and thanks for sharing it.
One thing that is interesting about this to me actually is that, for all the fanfare that seems to surround players at certain skill positions, in the sample of 400 players in the first table, the numbers on offense and defense work out to an almost even split. Discarding the ATH category for just a moment, it comes out to 186 for offensive positions and 188 for defensive positions. It seems like if you just went from who gets a lot of the attention in various class, one might not estimate that these would be nearly equal - some positions seem to get much more attention than others.
Thanks for this, very interesting. I don't know much about the various recruting sites and how they group the top recruits, but I wonder if it would be possible to replicate this exercise with other recruiting services' data. It might help suss out whether Rivals is indeed biased toward the Southeast.
I have to ask why?
Just "big 12" country, but OK and NE have zero rivals 100 kids the last 4 years
I thought the limit was 25 new scholarships per year. How can Texas A&M sign 34 and Georgia sign 30? Are they simply taking like 5-10 early enrollees? And, if so, what's stopping any team from doing that? Why did the NCAA reduce the number to 25 if schools can still take more than 25? Can someone enlighten me?
This is excellent work. It seems a foregone conclusion that the south has more athletes, but it's great to have different metrics to illustrate that point. Also, holy DBs batman.
I'm surprised that Midwesterners struggle with the SE "dominating" the recruiting ratings - the middle schools & high schools are football factories (8th grade son in GA has 8 months of offseason speed & agility interrupted by 4 weeks of spring football). Look how little Bball talent exists in GA, AL, MI and LA.
Highest concern for the B1G should be the poaching of top 100 players from PA, MD, KY, IL, etc by Bama, USC. Smaller talent pool and the cream bolts for programs outside B1G.
I'm surprised as well. Look at all the national championships won by "Southern" teams over the past 35 years. It doesn't take a genius to know they're doing it with better players.
Strange seeing almost half of the running backs and apb's were 5 stars, while at other positions around a quarter or a fifth of top 100 recruits are 5 stars. Seems like to Rivals you're either a 5 star back, or you're out of the top 100.