Football signing day was this week and NC State signed a class of 20 players, choosing not to waste scholarships just to reach the maximum number of 25. State’s class was ranked #41 in the country by Scout.com. This ranking did NOT include the impact of the transfer of highly touted Tight End, Jonathan Hannah from South Carolina, which would easily elevate the class into “Top 40” stateus.
Most Wolfpackers recognize this class for what it is — not great, but certainly not bad. Before Chuck Amato arrived in Raleigh, a “Top 40 Class” was close to the peak of what the program could achieve; after 5 years of elevated recruiting, today many fans paint #41 as disappointing.
But, we all know that the game is played on the field and not in the recruiting rankings. I could care less where our recruiting ranks as long as we win football/basketball games. Unfortunately for Chuck Amato, the “great” recruiting rankings of the past 5 years have NOT translated into proportionally similar results on the field. Conversely, Amato’s best years were produced with large portions of players recruited in generally accepted ‘weaker’ recruiting classes than Amato’s big ones.
For the record, the following represents State’s recruiting rankings as assessed by Scout.com in recent years:
Unfortunately for State, Rivals.com does not paint as rosy of a picture for this recruiting class because 3-star defensive back Darin Baldwin has not signed his Letter of Intent as of yet. Scout gives State credit for Baldwin while Rivals does not. Rivals ranks the Wolfpack’s recruiting haul currently #54 in the country.
For the record, the following represents State’s recruiting rankings as assessed by Rivals.com in recent years:
IMHO, the true key in recruiting is insuring that your specific needs are addressed. Many teams can boost their recruiting rankings by hording too many players at a single position, usually skill position players that tend to carry higher rankings, that can’t all play (see Bobby Washington). With this in mind, I give the class an equally tepid passing grade as I give the overall class.
* After signing a number of linemen last year (which rarely makes large impacts on recruiting rankings), State only signed three high school linemen and two linebackers, instead stocking up on skilled players and defensive backs this year.
* According to ESPN’s rankings, State’s three highest rated recruits this year were wide receiver Carlos Everett, LaMarcus Bond, and Owen Spencer (followed by Justin Burke).
* The Pack landed two kickers to backfill needed depth at the position.
In the end, this class will not kill NC State’s program; but the odds are that it won’t elevate us out of the “almost .500 funk” that we are currently experiencing. Dave Glenn provides this piece of advice in a longer entry:
“If your goal is simply for Hometown U. to become or remain competitive, you probably won’t have to sweat the details on Wednesday. Historically speaking, it’s still a better sign to be ranked near the top of the ACC than near the bottom, but as long as your team signed mostly prospects who also were offered scholarships by several other BCS-conference programs, it probably will maintain an adequate talent level that will allow it to compete on the field.”
In football, a single class can be compensated for by solid classes before and after. Some players may ultimately surprise and become stars…but, every school has those sleepers. If every school has an equal proportion of ‘sleepers’ who emerge as great players, then the general recruiting rankings of teams isn’t necessarily impacted greatly by the sleepers.
A Look Around
As important as the focus State’s recruiting is a focus on how State’s recruiting compares to our competitors.
* Scout.com has the Wolfpack’s class at #8 in the ACC
* Rivals.com has the class clicking here.
* ESPN.com gave the Wolfpack a grade of C+ grade that translated to a #7 ranking in the ACC.
* Dave Glenn & ACC Sports Journal listed the Wolfpack’s class as #9 in the ACC.
* I liked Rivals.com “10 surprising classes” that included discussions of Clemson and Carolina’s recruiting classes.
* DaveSez comments on the conference’s down recruiting.