Anatomy of a Recruiter: Chalmers "Bump" Elliot

Submitted by DoubleMs on July 23rd, 2009 at 1:25 AM

After my preliminary Diary, "Anatomy of a Recruiting Class: Bennie Oosterbaan's Last Class", I decided that I was going to take a different route in writing these.  I am bunching teams together by coach, in order to give an idea of how each coach operated.  I smoothed out my method of class analysis, as well.  I am only considering freshmen, not walk-ons that start in their Sophomore or later seasons.  As such, I actually wind up skipping a couple of early All-Americans.

The standard calculation I use for the capability of a recruiting class is the ratio of man-games started over total possible games played.  Prior to 1965, there were 11 man-games played per game played, and after 1965 there were 22 man-games played per game played. Higher the ratio, better the class.  In totaling how good a class was, I am using the formula:

            M-G Ratio + .025 * All-Americans + .01 * Drafted Players  + .1 * Heisman Players + .0001 * 3-year Players

From what I've come up with, a ratio of over .5 is considered to be a great class.

Chalmers "Bump" Elliot coached from 1959 to 1968, so his recruiting classes spanned the 1960-1969 Freshman classes.  In his time as head coach, he only made one bowl game, in 1964.

 

1960

             1960:  60 Freshmen

            1961:  24 Sophomores, 9 starts in 9 games.

            1962:  23 Juniors, 37 starts in 9 games.

            1963:  16 Seniors, 16 starts in 9 games.

            1964:  4 Seniors, 10 starts in 10 games.

           

            10 players made 72 starts, for a man-game ratio of .2136

            15 players played for all 3 years of their eligibility.           

            0 All-Americans

            1 Drafted:

                        Tom Keating, DT, Buffalo Bills, 1964

            Class Score:  .2251

 

1961

            1961:  61 Freshmen

            1962:  25 Sophomores, 21 starts in 9 games.

            1963:  21 Juniors, 48 starts in 9 games.

            1964:  16 Seniors, 53 starts in 10 games.

            1965:  0 Seniors

 

            12 players made 122 starts, for a man-game ratio of .3961

            14 players played for all 3 years of their eligibility

            1 All-American: 

                        Robert Timberlake, QB, 1964

            3 Drafted:

                        Robert Timberlake, K, New York Giants, 1965

                        Arnold Simkus, DE, Cleveland Browns, 1965

John Henderson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles, 1965

            Class Score:  .4525

 

1962 

Note: 1965 was the first year that offense and defense were separated, doubling  the number of man-games played.  There also were 10 regular season games from 1965 onward. 

 

            1962:  50 Freshmen

            1963:  34 Sophomores, 25 starts in 9 games.

            1964:  29 Juniors, 29 starts in 10 games.

            1965:  27 Seniors, 46 offensive and 50 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1966:  5 Seniors, 14 offensive and 23 defensive starts in 10 games.

           

            16 players made 187 starts, for a man-game ratio of .3535

            25 players played for all 3 years of their eligibility

            3 All-Americans: 

                        William Yearby, T, 1964&1965

                        Jack Clancy, E, 1966

            4 Drafted:

                        Jack Clancy, WR, Miami Dolphins, 1966

                        Thomas Mack, G, Los Angeles Rams, 1966

                        Steve Smith, OT, San Francisco 49ers, 1966

                        William Yearby, DE, New York Jets, 1966

            Class Score:  .4710

 

1963

            1963:  48 Freshmen

            1964:  28 Sophomores, 18 starts in 10 games.

            1965:  27 Juniors, 47 offensive and 45 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1966:  25 Seniors, 54 offensive and 33 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1967: 2 Seniors

           

            17 players made 197 starts, for a man-game ratio of .2814

            24 players played for all 3 years of their eligibility

            1 All-American:

                        Richard Volk, DHB, 1966

            6 Drafted:

                        Mike Bass, DB, Green Bay Packers, 1967

                        Jim Detwiler, , Baltimore Colts, 1967

                        Frank Nunley, LB, San Francisco 49ers, 1967

John Rowser, DB, Green Bay Packers, 1967

                        Rick Volk, DB, Baltimore Colts, 1967

Carl Ward, DB, Cleveland Browns, 1967

            Class Score:  .3688

                                               

1964

            1964:  53 Freshmen

            1965:  28 Sophomores, 18 offensive and 15 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1966:  24 Juniors, 26 offensive and 28 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1967:  21 Seniors, 39 offensive and 52 defensive starts in 10 games.

           

            11 players made 189 starts, for a man-game ratio of .2625

            20 players played for all 3 years of their eligibility

            0 All-Americans

            3 Drafted:

                        David Porter, , Cleveland Browns, 1968

                        Ray Philips, , New Orleans Saints, 1968

                        Rocky Rosema, LB, St. Louis Cardinals, 1968

            Class Score:  .2945

 

1965

            1965:  55 Freshmen

            1966:  31 Sophomores, 15 offensive and 16 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1967:  24 Juniors, 35 offensive and 23 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1968: 22 Seniors, 41 offensive and 33 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1969: 1 Senior, 9 offensive starts in 11 games.

 

            12 players made 172 starts, for a man-game ratio of .2522

            21 players played for all 3 years of their eligibility

            1 All-American:

                        Ronald Johnson, HB, 1968

            3 Drafted:

                        Ronald Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns, 1968

                        Tom Stincic, LB, Dallas Cowboys, 1968

                        George Hoey, DB, Detroit Lions, 1968

            Class Score:  .3093

 

1966

            1966:  50 Freshmen

            1967:  30 Sophomores, 23 offensive and 25 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1968:  33 Juniors, 40 offensive and 34 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1969:  26 Seniors, 43 offensive and 44 defensive starts in 11 games.

            1970:  3 Seniors, 2 offensive and 6 defensive starts in 10 games.

           

            14 players made 217 starts, for a man-game ratio of .2924

            22 players played for all 3 years of their eligibility

            2 All-Americans:

                        Thomas Curtis, S, 1969

                        James Mandich, E, 1969

            6 Drafted:

                        Brian Healy, , Minnesota Vikings, 1970

                        Thomas Curtis, DB, Baltimore Colts, 1970

                        Garvie Craw, , Boston Patriots, 1970

                        Barry Pierson, , St. Louis Cardinals, 1970

                        Cecil Pryor, , Green Bay Packers, 1970

                        James Mandich, TE, Miami Dolphins, 1970

            Class Score:  .4046

        

1967

            1967:  36 Freshmen

            1968:  23 Sophomores, 13 offensive and 20 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1969:  17 Juniors, 39 offensive and 32 defensive starts in 11 games.

            1970: 16 Seniors, 32 offensive and 34 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1971: 1 Senior

 

            11 players made 170 starts, for a man-game ratio of .2408

            16 players played for all 3 years of their eligibility

            2 All-Americans:

                        Dan Dierdorf, T, 1970

                        Marty Huff, LB, 1970

            6 Drafted:

                        Jack Harpring, , New York Jets, 1971

                        Jim Betts, , New York Jets, 1971

                        Don Moorhead, , New Orleans Saints, 1971

                        Marty Huff, LB, San Francisco 49ers, 1971

                        Pete Newell, , Detroit Lions, 1971

                        Dan Dierdorf, T, St. Louis Cardinals, 1971

             Class Score:  .3524

 

1968

            1968: 52 Freshmen

            1969: 28 Sophomores, 24 offensive and 34 defensive starts in 11 games.

            1970: 26 Juniors, 58 offensive and 56 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1971: 21 Seniors, 81 offensive and 86 defensive starts in 12 games.

            1972:  3 Seniors, 22 offensive starts in 11 games.

 

            17 players made 361 starts, for a man-game ratio of .4826

            21 players played for all 3 years of their eligibility

            5 All-Americans:

                        Thomas Darden, DB, 1971

                        Reggie McKenzie, OG, 1971

                        William Taylor, HB, 1971

                        Mike Taylor, LB, 1971

                        Paul Seymour, OT, 1972

            12 Drafted:

                        Paul Seymour, TE, Buffalo Bills, 1973

                        Fred Grambau, , Kansas City Chiefs, 1973

Thomas Darden, DB, Cleveland Browns, 1972

                        Mike Taylor, LB, New York Jets, 1972

                        Reggie McKenzie, G, Buffalo Bills, 1972

                        Glen Doughty WR, Baltimore Colts, 1972

                        Tom Beckman, DE, St. Louis Cardinals, 1972

                        Mike Keller, LB, Dallas Cowboys, 1972

                        William Taylor, , Atlanta Falcons, 1972

                        Mike Oldham, , Washington Redskins, 1972

                        Guy Murdock, C, Houston Oilers, 1972

                        John Seyferth, , New York Giants, 1972

            Class Score:  .7297

                 

1969

            1969:  36 Freshmen

            1970:  23 Sophomores, 8 offensive and 4 defensive starts in 10 games.

            1971:  19 Juniors, 36 offensive and 35 defensive starts in 12 games.

            1972: 16 Seniors, 44 offensive and 47 defensive starts in 11 games.

            1973:  3 Seniors, 10 offensive starts in 11 games.

 

            15 players made 184 starts, for a man-game ratio of .2323

            15 players played for all 3 years of their eligibility

            1 All-American:

                        Randy Logan, DB, 1972

            6 Drafted:

                        James Coode, , Atlanta Falcons, 1974

                        Larry Cipa, QB, New Orleans Saints, 1974

                        Randy Logan, DB, Philadelphia Eagles, 1973

                        Bo Rather, WR, Miami Dolphins, 1973

                        Clinton Spearman, , Los Angeles Rams, 1973

                        Bill Hart, , Chicago Bears, 1973

            Class Score:  .3188

 

 

In order, the scoring of Bump Elliot’s classes is as follows:

            1968:  .7297

            1962:  .4710

            1961:  .4525

            1966:  .4046

            1963:  .3688

            1967:  .3524

            1969:  .3188

            1965:  .3093

            1964:  .2945

            1960:  .2251

 

Bump had 193 of 501 Freshman players use their full eligibility, 16 All-Americans and, 49 Drafted Players.  His best recruiting class saw 5 (!!) All-Americans (1968), though they were awarded under Bo.

Tune in next time for an analysis of Bo’s classes, and their placement in the rankings.

Comments

Thorin

July 23rd, 2009 at 4:07 AM ^

Probably not a coincidence that his best players are the ones who never played for him. That said, he was a true MICHIGAN MAN who would have had an EXCELLENT APR.

Tater

July 23rd, 2009 at 5:46 AM ^

It's worth remembering that the Big Ten still had their rule that the only bowl they could play in was the Rose Bowl. In retrospect, Elliott wasn't the greatest coach, maybe not even a very good one, but he did win that one Rose Bowl, 35-7. As a player, he was one of the "Mad Magicians," who went undefeated and beat USC 49-0 in the Rose Bowl.

It would be really nice to see UM beat USC 49-0 in my lifetime.

bouje

July 23rd, 2009 at 9:24 AM ^

I think that using this analysis might finally put some numbers behind the "Lloyd could recruit but he couldn't develop his players" meme.

Excellent work

ChalmersE

July 23rd, 2009 at 9:52 AM ^

who were recruited late in his tenure, you can see why Bo was successful right off the bat. I wonder how Lloyd's last couple of classes compare and how that impacted RRod's first season (and perhaps the coming one as well).

rdlwolverine

July 23rd, 2009 at 10:48 AM ^

John Henderson (Eagles and Bills 1965)
Mel ANthony (Browns 1965)
Chuck Kines (Bears 1966)
Paul Staroba (Browns 1971)
Bill Laskey was not drafted, but had a long NFL career, making the Pro Bowl one year. Bill Keating was also undrafted but played in the NFL.

In the early 60's Michigan ran separate offensive and defensive platoons (with occasional guys playing some on both sides of the ball). It wasn't until 1965, though that the starts were assigned separately. So, in 1964, for example the number of starts listed seems to depend on whether the offense or defense played first (with the exception of qb, where Timberlake is listed as starting all 10 games). Ward, Detwiler, Anthony, Mack, and Patchen only played offense and Yearby, Volk, Rindfuss, Laskey, Cecchini, and Nunley only played defense.

DoubleMs

July 23rd, 2009 at 6:05 PM ^

I must have missed a few in my draft lookup on the NFL site then. Some people walked on after Freshman year. I excluded those. I'll look into those names later today to see why I missed them. If they didn't show up in my search on the NFL Draft History page, they aren't here. I'll do that tonight and make adjustments as necessary.

Edit: I added Henderson, had missed him, but the rest either do not show on the NFL history site or were walk-ons after freshman year. I'm only included drafted people that show up on the NFL site.

rdlwolverine

July 23rd, 2009 at 10:46 PM ^

Mel Anthonhy doesn't show up on the official NFL site. It seems it is incomplete for late rounds in that era. He was taken by the Browns in the 16th round in the 1965 draft (actually held on Nov. 29, 1964).

Here is a link to a contemporaneous newspaper page which gives the entire NFL draft for that year and shows Anthony to the Browns. http://probaseballarchive.com/Viewer.aspx?img=17591891_clean&firstvisit…

rdlwolverine

July 23rd, 2009 at 2:39 PM ^

I think you are overweighting starts. If a coach brings in 3 crummy classes in a row, some of those guys have to start. If he brings in 3 great classes in a row, no more can start than in the previous situation.

Oosterbaan recruited 4 guys that played in 6 pro bowls - Barr, Kramer, Morrow and O'Donnell. Elliott inherited none of them.

Elliott recruited 7 guys that played in 26 pro bowls - Laskey, Darden, Dierdorff, Ron Johnson, Tom Keating, Mack and Volk. Bo inherited 2 - Darden and Dierdorff.

Bo recruited 10 guys that played in 23 pro bowls - Bostic, Dave Brown, Carter, Jumbo Elliott, Haji-Sheikh, Harbaugh, Hicks, Hoard, Desmond Howard, and Kenn. Moeller inherited 1.

sjs1984

July 23rd, 2009 at 2:55 PM ^

is that it does not include a metric/variable for on the field performance... which was the typical gripe with LC... he had the players, they were drafted, played in the NFL.... but he did not use them on the field, especially in his last 6 years.....

but like any other metric driven analysis, your analysis provides good directional information and provides good perspective.

thanks

tomhagan

July 23rd, 2009 at 4:20 PM ^

really blossomed under a new and presumably better coach...

My father used to tell me that Bump Elliot detested recruiting and felt that a player would come to Michigan on his own accord, or not...it was up to the player to decide and the coaches shouldnt have to recruit him.

Ryan

July 25th, 2009 at 5:07 AM ^

I understand you're trying to apply a universal strategy to a very diverse set of recruiting classes, but I'd like to see some sort of justification to the weighting you chose. I'm not necessarily arguing with it, but you don't provide any reasoning to justify it either.

DoubleMs

July 26th, 2009 at 3:49 PM ^

I chose the weighting for the following reason:

Starts generally defines how good a player is relative to the rest of the team. If one class is full of excellent players, they will have more starts than those classes surrounding them. I can't think of a better way to do things than what I've come up with, really, except to add the ratio. I'm trying to think of a good way to ratio in the record of the team in a year to how many starts were made... but I do feel like my assessment works at least fairly well.

Ryan

July 31st, 2009 at 2:26 AM ^

I'm not saying you're wrong, but there are a couple of ways I'd change the computation (I'd be interested in obtaining your dataset.)

In summary, I'd eliminate the arbitrary weighting. I'd acknowledge that the Heisman is heavily biased towards offensive players. I'd also acknowledge that the college game is sufficiently different from the pro game, and that the pros recruit players that fit their system.

I like your idea of rewarding starts, but I'd measure a different metric; effective wins (ie, season wins * ratio of starts to available starts.) I'd sum of each class's effective wins over their four (or five) seasons and determine an overall class score that could be used to compare classes.

In actuality, we should probably normalize to the number of games played (total wins * ratio of starts / games played) to account for the fact that the modern football season is longer than it used to be. There are a lot of interesting ideas to play with provided you have the data.