ESPN The Magazine has undertaken a research project focused on high school football talent and where they attend college.
Heather Dinich’s blog entry today at ESPN.com highlights the struggles that NC State and Georgia Tech have had since Chuck Amato left Raleigh.
When it comes to keeping top talent at home, Georgia Tech and NC State have come up short, according to research from ESPN The Magazine and RecruitingNation. The data came from the 18 states that produced at least 10 ESPNU 150 recruits from 2007-11. The BCS programs inside those states were then ranked by the percentage of local recruits they signed. Among the 10 BCS programs that missed out on elite homegrown talent, Georgia Tech ranked No. 2 and NC State ranked No. 5.
According to the report, Georgia Tech signed just two of 74 ESPNU 150 recruits since 2007, and NC State two of 24. Both trailed in-state rivals Georgia and North Carolina. NC State fans will be quick to point out, though, that those numbers haven’t affected the Wolfpack’s win-loss record against the Tar Heels under coach Tom O’Brien. He might not have five stars next to his recruits, but he’s won five straight against UNC.
Here’s an excerpt from what ESPN The Magazine’s LaRue Cook had to say about NC State:
In terms of recruiting, we’re as perplexed with the Wolfpack’s lack of production as we are with Georgia Tech’s. Two ACC programs that can’t sign top local talent? (Okay, make that four. Duke nor Wake Forest has signed a single ESPNU 150 prospect from any state, so we didn’t bother ranking them.) Clemson, Georgia and South Carolina have gone in to North Carolina and lifted a combined eight prospects over the last five years — even Cal grabbed two. This year, the state’s five ESPNU 150 recruits are committed to Georgia, Florida (two) and Clemson (two).
^THIS issue is one of the MAIN issues that I think needs to be very clearly understood when the theory of NC State potentially moving to the SEC is discussed and debated.
The argument of the static thinker is something along the lines of: NC State can’t compete in the weak ACC, how/why in the world would you ever want to try to compete in the SEC (other than the money and the national prominence, of course)
What is lost in this simplistic ‘analysis’ is that EVERYTHING CHANGES if NC State were to make a move to the Southeastern Conference. You see, all of sudden NC State’s value proposition changes tremendously. Why would someone be so blind as to presume that the opportunity to attract larger numbers of the state’s top high school talent would not significantly increase recruiting to a program that has the SEC to offer as opposed to the ACC to offer?
I’m not saying that NC State would be competing for National Championships if such a move were ever made. But, why couldn’t the Wolfpack just move proportionally up the talent scale with our new offering and therefore achieve? something around a .500 record in the SEC (just like we have the last ~20 years or so in the ACC)
We would be an obviously better program.
Let me put it to you like this — if NC State played an SEC schedule and then scheduled Duke, Wake Forest, UNC & ECU for an out of conference slate, would you take 4-4 in the SEC and 4-0 in the out of conference every year?
Another way to crystallize this issue is to think about it as follows — Do you think NC State would have a better chance of going 4-0 against our rivals (Wake, Duke, UNC, ECU) by recruiting to program that resides in the ACC or to one that resides in the SEC?
When you really think about it like that…you may be surprised how your long term view of things may change and where your conclusions may lead.