TTB poll results: Best recruiting site?

Submitted by Magnus on July 14th, 2013 at 12:07 PM

I have seen this argument/discussion pop up quite a bit recently with 247 Sports making some advancements, offering free trial memberships, etc. They came out of nowhere a couple years ago to make a splash after some guys split with Rivals.

Anyway, I posted a poll asking: Which recruiting site do you prefer overall? If you follow the link, you'll see the results of the poll, and I included some pros and cons about each of the sites. Obviously, there's no magic bullet for picking the "right" recruiting site, but I thought the results were interesting and might provoke some discussion. (LINK)…



July 14th, 2013 at 12:23 PM ^

I think you analysis is spot on. I would add the Sam Webb seems to know when people are going to commit and, once you decifer his coded language, really tips you off when something is happening. I think that alone is worth the subscription. For message boards, this site is better than any of the four mentioned.


July 14th, 2013 at 12:37 PM ^

The problem with most of the sites is that if they have a writer that I love, they also have a writer that I hate.  For example, I'd love to throw all my money into Sam Webb's pockets, but I don't want Beaver to get a nickel.


July 14th, 2013 at 4:48 PM ^

Sam's now the Senior (or managing) editor, so he's in charge of content planning now. Beaver is still around because I think FoxSports had to keep him since he was the original publisher of the site.

The other, more under-appreciated, change that took place was the addition of Kyle Bogenshutz as he really knows his basketball analysis, and is a very good writer. He's not bad at football content, either, and is typically pretty perceptive in what he offers as his opinions/analysis.


July 14th, 2013 at 12:54 PM ^

One of them has to go out of business or merge with another one within the next couple years, right?  I mean, if the US can't support 4 major legacy airlines, how can we support 4 paid recruiting sites?


July 14th, 2013 at 1:18 PM ^

I think it's going to be fine for now as a wide following of recruiting like this is fairly new. Plus, isn't each service linked to a higher up? Scout: Fox, Rivals: Yahoo, 247: CBS Sports, and ESPN. As long as those big players have an interest in college football, I think someone will be proping up these four sites at the very least

I Like Burgers

July 14th, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

I could see Scout going away soon.  With Fox dumping all of their money into their FS1 and probably FS2 networks and the rights and talent fees its going to take to get those up and running, they might look to dump their relationship with Scout to save a few million.  And if that happens, I could see them just folding, or getting bought out by a competitor.


July 14th, 2013 at 3:54 PM ^

Scout also seems to be falling behind in the arms race. Along with their poor site design, Rivals is hooked up with Yahoo! and the 5-star Challenge. ESPN has its own network(s), the Under Armour game, The Opening, the NFTC tour, etc. And 247 Sports (backed by CBS Sports) is the new affiliate of the U.S. Army game.

Scout's affiliated with Fox, which is working on its own sports network but doesn't have any other marquee events. If you go to Scout's website, you're basically looking at the entirety of the company.


July 14th, 2013 at 12:54 PM ^

How long has been around?  I seem to recall surfing around on their page when I was in law school, which puts it at least in the late '90s.

 I feel like the newer sites are better-designed and have a lot more features, but I've always respected Scout for being kind of the bridge between when recruiting was something you could only follow through print magazines and newsletters to the modern internet era.

Phil Brickma

July 14th, 2013 at 12:55 PM ^

My preference is 247. Lorenz is right up there with Webb and TomVH in my opinion and their site is easy to navigate and has a lot of great features. I don't waste my time on the board, but overall I think 247 is the best value.


July 14th, 2013 at 4:54 PM ^

has only been doing the recruiting work for a couple years, dating back to his free site. I used to read his stuff, and he would always "happen" to post interviews with recruits a day after Scout or others would post inside information about them being of interest. I have no doubt in my mind that he was reading other sites to determine where he should go next for content. I wouldn't be surprised if it's still happening, as there's no way he can become one of the top "insiders" in the Michigan market without a little "help" from Sam, TomVH, and Tim Sullivan.


July 14th, 2013 at 7:40 PM ^

I recently joined 247 with their free offer, and Lorenz works his butt off.  He provides a ton of Michigan specific information on many recruits.  He seems pretty ethical and I don't see him taking other guys info.

Sam Webb is still the king, however, for anything that requires insight from the Michigan program.  Nobody else is even remotely as connected to the coaching staff and Sam is a pretty straight shooter.  I don't subscribe to Scout, but I regularly catch the WTKA podcast.


July 15th, 2013 at 8:51 AM ^

Eh, I see Lorenz reporting some stuff before ESPN and Rivals do. If he did it when he first started his site, then everybody needs to start somewhere. It's not like he can go from nowhere to being the insiderest of insiders. Everyone who starts a career is somewhat derivative of their mentors, heroes, etc.

Now it seems like other guys are playing catch-up with him a lot of times. I don't have a subscription to Scout, but Sam Webb seems to have set the bar for recruiting info. Everyone else is playing from behind, but I think it's TomVH/Lorenz tied for second and Rivals running fourth.

Steve Lorenz

July 16th, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

This is so far from the truth. 

The ironic thing about Tremendous is that when it started, I didn't even have any interest in recruiting, let alone have a subscription of any kind. 

Still, it's clear you're making an uninformed blanket statement without following my body of work. Haters always gonna hate. 

the Glove

July 14th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

Well done sir, I've always leaned towards rivals, but I have enjoyed the crystal ball at 24 /7 lately. Even if they're completely wrong sometimes. Maybe I'm a victim to not liking change and that's why I can't get past having rivals over 24 /7.


July 14th, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

If Scout would pull their website layout out of the late 90's they might have something, but everytime I go there, their website is unnavigable. Spend some money and update it, Scout! Everyone else is leaving you in the dust. They must see this, right?


July 14th, 2013 at 1:16 PM ^

What you wrote about Tim while possibly true is quickly changing. The guy has been on a tear lately with info. The nightly notebook is a great feature. I have subscriptions to rivals, ESPN, and 247 and I prefer Rivals, mgoblog, TomVh, and 247 in that order.


July 14th, 2013 at 3:48 PM ^

Tim's Nightly Recruiting Notebook is a great idea in itself, but it's often rehashed information...and frankly, it's not really "insider" stuff. Tim's also a little too emotional to trust completely. He lets stuff get to him, and it comes across in his writing and his responses to readers/commenters on the site. Between him and Balas, The Fort isn't exactly a pleasant place to have a conversation.


July 14th, 2013 at 9:06 PM ^

I find all of your points to be valid. I find the notebook very useful to "catch up" on which way recruits are leaning if I've missed something. ITF is pure gold though. I agree with you that the Fort isnt the best place to converse, but you could make thag argument about mgoboard too. Too many OT Nazis and people that take it waaayyy too serious. Side note Magnus, I really respect your site and thoughts on there as well as mgoblog.


July 14th, 2013 at 1:22 PM ^

The problem with 247 and ESPN is that they have no information about the football team and they really don't have any coverage of non-revenue sports. Rivals does a good job of covering sports besides football.

Tony Soprano

July 14th, 2013 at 1:52 PM ^

I generally visit 3 sites:  Scout, Rivals, and this one.  Scout has the best, most reliable inside information.  Rivals has the most content.  Mgoblog is the most fun. 



July 15th, 2013 at 8:57 AM ^

I don't think Scout's website is particularly nice, but I don't find it any harder to navigate than Rivals or 247.  What I like is that everything is generally accessible from the forum.

And in terms of overall information and content of the message board, I still think Scout is far better than any of the others. I'd put Rivals second, and 247 a distant third because its info is much weaker than Scout or Rivals.


July 14th, 2013 at 2:13 PM ^

but I'm not a paid subscriber to Scout, or Rivals, or 247, and never will be, so I can't really say what the full user experience is.

Given that I don't pay for online recuiting content, then Sam Webb (primarily on WTKA but also the occasional Det News article he writes), plus TTB and the occasional free stuff on Scout or Rivals, and MGoBlog satisfy any conceivable recruiting info need.

However, if I had only one source of recruiting info on Michigan football and basketball, then MGoBlog would by my choice. There are enough people here to routinely report on what Webb and other analysts say, Magnus supplies his opinions often enough, so I don't know why I'd need anything more.


July 14th, 2013 at 4:59 PM ^

I would say that outside of pay sites, I find WTKA to be one of the most informative places for news. Sam's recruiting roundups and their weekly content in-season and their specials they do throughout the year are very knowledgeable and offer a lot of insider-type information.


July 14th, 2013 at 10:19 PM ^

I've had a subsciption a few times over the years there and I agree the layout is very outdated and not user-friendly.  Anyways, are they planning to update it anytime soon?  Because I swear I've been reading for the last 2-3 years about them updating it.


On a side note to this thread, I quite enjoy my ESPN subscription as besides Michigan Recruiting Nation /M-Den, I use it a lot for fantasy info (Karabell, Keith Law), Buster Onley's pay-walled blog (very solid writer if you ask me), and the ESPN the Mag that comes with it (everyone of courses bashes the mag here but it's gotten better than what it was 5-10 years ago).  Quite good value even if you missed out on the deal that was posted here and just paid the 1 or 2-year subscritpion through ESPN.