[ScienceBlog] Sprint Speed and Physical Size Predict Rankings for High School Football Recruits

Submitted by SchrodingersCat on May 22nd, 2011 at 7:26 AM

This guy sounds like one of the many excellent posters that frequent this blog. He definitely went out and got a lot of data. However, I think this particular insight is a little bit round in the logic department. It is already well known that recruiters and ranking services use height/weight/40 values when assigning ranking values. If the ranking data is already known to be dependent on the height/weight/40 values then studying the ranking values to see if they are corralary to the height/weight values seems pretty pointless. That's what government science grants get you, obvious answers. No one can get money for experiments that are really crazy or groundbreaking :-P 

 

"Sprint speed, height, and weight are the best predictors of how high school football players will be ranked by college recruiting scouts, reports a study in the May issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, official research journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. The journal is published byLippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health."

"The study used scouting data on 2,560 elite high school football players between 2001 and 2009. Factors such as height and weight, sprint time, and vertical height jump were analyzed for association with the players’ “star” rankings, as assigned by a national rankingwebsite (www.scout.com). Dr. Ghigiarelli looked for factors that could differentiate “highly recruited” players (4- and 5-star rankings) from “recruited” players (2- and 3-star rankings). Both groups were considered competitive on the Division 1-A collegiate level."

"The results suggest that height, weight, and sprint speed are the key factors affecting rankings forhigh school football players. The article includes tables breaking down factors related to star rankings for players in ten different positions, which Dr. Ghigiarelli believes could help to guide trainingregimens for players who are at—or trying to reach—the elite competitive level. “These physical characteristics can be used as obtainable training goals,” he writes. “If these goals are reached, it’s plausible a player may increase the likelihood of obtaining more Division 1-A scholarship offers.”

Source

Edit:

This is a link to the whole paper. I don't want to read through a bunch of stats right now, but I'm hoping someone else does :-)

Original Paper

Comments

TheOnlyOne

May 22nd, 2011 at 9:38 AM ^

True, I had the same thought. The recruiting sites give every other skill player under the sun a 4.4 forty, when in reality many of them barely have 4.5 or even 4.6 speed. The fact that different sites often have different height/weight numbers takes away from the credit as well.

Philbert

May 22nd, 2011 at 8:29 AM ^

and then you always have guys like mike hart who wasn't big or fast. he was a damn little bowling ball that ran through people and had an eye for finding the holes. its more about the intangibles IMO

Wolverine318

May 22nd, 2011 at 8:48 AM ^

For success in college I agree, intangibles does play a more important role. However, the study is about which attributes play a higher role to get a scholarship at a top D1 university. 

I do find it disturbing this study has funding while my last grant was rejected by the NIH. 

Jasper

May 22nd, 2011 at 10:15 AM ^

Were we watching the same guy? I thought Mike Hart had very good power for a 5'8" 190 (or whatever he was) guy, but I don't remember him running over too many on-balance people. (There was one famous play where he whacked a linebacker, but on review of the film you could easily see that the guy was off-balance.)

Also, I think Mike did way more than just find holes. You didn't mention how awesome he was "in space." He should get credit for his otherworldly moves. Maybe not Barry Sanders level, but not that far away.

Zone Left

May 22nd, 2011 at 5:29 PM ^

The star averages of All-American and All-Conference players say it's a lot more about athletic ability. Remember, to be a really elite recruit, kids typically have to be extraordinarily dedicated as high schoolers. Some people can get bye on talent, but it's rare to be a top 100 type player on talent alone.

Also, Mike Hart is really, really talented. He has elite footwork and vision, which are really, really hard qualities to measure in high school players. The only reason Michigan's zone attack worked was his ability to see creases and make the first guy miss. I think Michigan averaged something like 1.5 ypc less when he didn't get the ball. He worked hard, but his talents made that offense run.

Dudeski

May 22nd, 2011 at 9:13 AM ^

the earth is round. 

 

I hate it when scientists do nothing but recover common knowledge. Waste of time, money and ink. 

Dudeski

May 22nd, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

But I don't understand how this was flamebait. I was just clarifying my position, which really doesn't seem that inflamatory. Maybe the posting ethics of mgoblog is too foreign to me, but if that's the case, then I'd like someone to tell me what was so wrong about what I posted?

Sextus Empiricus

May 22nd, 2011 at 11:20 AM ^

perhaps.   If this used NIKE Sparq results or Elite camp numbers this analysis would be  a little more accurate.  This study pulls from ... scout.com.  So there you go...

I do think - the premise is true.  Unfortunately getting the real numbers from a fan's perspective at least - is impossible.  

There is probably some best metric/metrics for  every position.  40 and size don't  mean the same thing for a CB vs. a WR.  

40 and size and whatever don't tell you how a player is going to develop either.  Regardless of ideal metric there is going to be some judgement when looking at 17 y.o. and younger talent.

With the depth of coverage - at least the cream is allowed to rise to the top.  Players are drafted from non D-1 schools every year.  If a player is dedicated and talented they can pay for their school in today's CFB world.

maizenbluenc

May 22nd, 2011 at 4:58 PM ^

they used Nike Sparq or Elite Camp numbers yes. But then would they have enough "recruited" results.

It also would be interested if they added (or to go back and add) other factors like regional location to the analysis.

Interesting data anyway.

Zone Left

May 22nd, 2011 at 6:54 PM ^

 

"The results suggest that height, weight, and sprint speed are the key factors affecting rankings forhigh school football players. The article includes tables breaking down factors related to star rankings for players in ten different positions, which Dr. Ghigiarelli believes could help to guide training regimens for players who are at—or trying to reach—the elite competitive level."

Demetrius Hart set his goal this summer to grow four inches. It's an intense training regimen.

No shit players want to be bigger, faster, and stronger.

 

Lloyd's Boy

May 23rd, 2011 at 12:14 AM ^

I guess Terry Richardson had better hit a growth spurt if he is going to reach that 5th star... although then again it could be further evidence that he is a monster on the field and made up for his height to obtain 4 in the first place!