- Phoenix, AZ
One thing I wonder, and I haven't seen any data on this, but are in-state recruits less likely to transfer out? As transfer numbers continue to escalate, that becomes a point worth analyzing IMO, how do you recruit to retain?Re: In state kids, meh.
We’ve primarily targeted Texas, Florida and California for recruiting. Way more talent in those places on average than Illinois. If Illinois kids want to come, great, but Illinois is hardly the talent rich state for football that it is for basketball.
Yeah, I'm curious to hear the thought process as well.
I've been tracking our recruiting efforts heavily for many reasons over the last 3 years. Not only were those the first full cycles for this staff but we seem to have hit our stride in that time frame and as such I've viewed it through that lens. Over the last 3 years, we're signed 20 kids from the state of Florida and 19 from the state of Illinois. Texas has (For obvious reasons) been a focus but no moreso than the state of Missouri, specifically the St. Louis hub. To say we have or currently are ignoring the IL/MO area to focus "primarily" (Perhaps that word is my hang up) on Texas and Florida is something I find to be inaccurate. I don't care to mention California, our in-roads there are too hit and miss to discuss. We've signed as many players from "here and there" states as we have from the West Coast. We didn't sign anyone from California in last year's cycle and of all the recruiting tidbits I've been dropped from my source, that state has yet to come up in terms of serious 2020 prospects.
As far as the strategy itself is concerned, look no further than the current state of our program. As things stand today, we have more prime, elite level talent in terms of 247's HS rankings (A fair, impartial basis for this argument) today and potentially into 2020 than we've had at any other point in Lovie Smith's tenure. We've gotten most of this talent via transfer (The average HS ranking of the transfers we have added this off-season is hard for even myself to believe) but the point remains, we have an attractive base of high end ability players and as a result our outlook for the future is as positive as it's been in a decade or more. I feel as though we are ascending and while we're not Ohio State or Michigan, continuing to add prime, elite level talent is the avenue for our program to get to where we all want it to be. So, the big question, how do we continue to add that type of talent and from where will it come? I think the obvious answer is the transfer market but much like free agency in the NFL that market can only supplement a roster, it cannot build one. You build your roster through HS recruiting. Adding prime, elite level talent through HS recruiting is not our primary option via the states of Florida or Texas.
Prime, elite level talent based on HS rankings is incredibly subjective but i think a good 4-star ranking, .89 and above is generally accepted. I'll go with that. From 2017-2019, here are the number of players from Florida, Texas, Illinois and Missouri that have achieved that type of ranking:
Big talent discrepancy, right? Right. Here's the problem: How many of those kids signed with either an in-state university or a DIRECT border state university?
Florida: 96 (62.3%)
Texas: 106 (72.6%)
Illinois: 7 (53.8%)
Missouri: 8 (50%)
The story this tells is self-evident. We only have a 28-38% chance of getting a prime, elite level talent from the states of Florida and Texas to sign with a school in our area of the country as opposed to a 50-53% chance of getting that same level of kid from Illinois or Missouri to give like us a look. Actually getting them to sign with our program specifically is a different matter altogether. We've signed 3 of these kids from Texas and Florida, that represents 1% of the total sum of the 4-star kids in those states. We've signed 2 from Illinois and Missouri, which represents 6.8%. From everything I've been told, we are not currently in advanced recruiting discussions with any 4-star kids from Florida or Texas (Very early, much can change). We could, however, potentially sign as many as 4 of these kids from Illinois and Missouri.
No rational person would suggest that recruiting Florida or Texas is a waste of one's time and/or resources. It's not. They have talent and we need talent, they are vital recruiting states but the idea that Illinois and Missouri are to be pushed aside, less prioritized or ignored altogether is one that is, as stated, a poor way of looking at things.
In terms of volume, yes. That’s the difference between having 80-114 kids view programs in our area as opposed to 15-16. Unfortunately, the percentage of those 80-114 kids signing with our university is still simply 1%. That’s 1 kid, or essentially the same number as the Illinois-Missouri recruiting base has produced (Currently committed yet unsigned players excluded).I appreciate the analysis.
The obvious hole in the above, though, is this: 28-38% of the Texas/Florida pie is still substantially larger than 50-53% of the Illinois-Missouri pie.
I recall you saying to the gentleman that said that there was more talent in Texas, FL, and I believe CA, than IL that it was an inaccurate statement. Then, you went out and proved how accurate a statement that it was. Wow!In terms of volume, yes. That’s the difference between having 80-114 kids view programs in our area as opposed to 15-16. Unfortunately, the percentage of those 80-114 kids signing with our university is still simply 1%. That’s 1 kid, or essentially the same number as the Illinois-Missouri recruiting base has produced (Currently committed yet unsigned players excluded).
The evidence I viewed tends to suggest that until we become a player on the national stage, the numbers in Florida and Texas will not trend upward.
The inaccuracy, as covered in my response, was to the comment about our recruiting being “primarily” focused on those 3 states. I thought that was fairly clear.I recall you saying to the gentleman that said that there was more talent in Texas, FL, and I believe CA, than IL that it was an inaccurate statement. Then, you went out and proved how accurate a statement that it was. Wow!