Google’s news snoop sent me a link a little while ago where a roundtable of Rivals.com national analysts talked about the college football signing classes that they ranked as the ‘most disappointing’ for the year.
Jamie Newberg’s answer: I think what North Carolina State did was a little disappointing, especially with the way they finished the season on the field. You would have thought they would have had a ton of momentum after they crushed archrival North Carolina and rallied for a bowl bid. But the Tar Heels dominated recruiting in-state, to the extent that the Wolfpack didn’t sign any of the state’s top 10 players and only three of the top 35. NC State finished No. 52 nationally, a big drop-off from last year (No. 31), and the biggest reason is they didn’t get their in-state share.
My first reaction (after rolling my eyes) was to mutter “come back in three or four years and re-rate this class then, Jamie” and my second was that these experts never seem to get Tom O’Brien: he doesn’t recruit stars, he recruits players that will fit into his system.Â Matt Ryan was a three-star QB and ranked #44 coming into college.Â He didn’t graduate that way, and was one of the two best rookie QBs in the NFL last year.Â Just for example.Â Dan Koppen, a Pro Bowl center with the New England Patriots was not blessed by the Jamie Newbergs of the world, but he’s good enough to have started three years for Tom O’Brien and goood enough after college to be rated as an all-star by his peers.Â Â On the other side of the ball, Jeremy Trueblood was another lowly rated recruit that ended up as an All Big-East player by the time O’Brien was done teaching him and is now starting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In Raleigh, Scout.com two-star Russel Wilson certainly seems to be working out under center.Â Four-star Mike Paulus over at UNC?Â Not so much.Â Maybe there is something O’Brien’s ability to recognize good skills when he sees them after all.
I will also add that on the field, O’Brien managed to recruit players into Boston College that were tough on the field and that by the time he left he had built a championship-caliber squad that former head coach Jeff Jagodzinski rode to two ACC Title game appearances.Â Jagodzinski couldn’t replicate O’Brien’s success in recruiting and got out while the getting was good once O’Brien’s players started exiting the BC program.
In other words, Tom O’Brien has probably forgotten more about recognizing coachable talent in prep players than so-called experts like Jamie Newberg will ever know.