With recruiting season starting earlier than ever, one of the most important skills for a coaching staff may be the ability to predict future success not only from graduating high school players, but sophomores or juniors who are still lacking that next growth spurt and have not played their final season of football. Don't misconsure my intent with the post, I am more than happy to have 10 commits at this point, it puts pressure on other schools we compete with. An earlier recruiting cycle just introduces more risk into an evaluation process that now necessitates that major programs accept that risk in order to get in early with top talent.
A great example of doing this well is Coach Beilein, who has proven many wrong by spotting talent much earlier than many others and subsequently benefitting by locking that player up only to have them greatly improve later in High School (e.g. Hardaway, Robinson). Alternatively, Texas had their recruiting class finished by Junior Day in the spring the last few years and have experienced mixed results. They have subsequently changed their recruiting philosophy to slow recruiting down for better evaluation (also of note is they changed their coaches as well so is may have not been a talent evaluation issue alone). Texas also has the luxury of having 10 of the Rivals Top 250 already locked up with just in state prospects alone so they can be a bit more choosy.
We won't know the results for a few year or how good our early evaluation skills are, but I am just glad the new staff has been aggressive early. I would rather roll the dice on the early big names and get momentum rather than sit back and have the pressure build as others announce commits.