Illinois Football Recruiting Thread

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Cincinnati, OH
I'm confused by this argument. It's important to recruit Illinois, it's important to prioritize certain recruiting hotbeds, such as Texas and Florida. There's no point in arguing the value of each because it isn't a binary relationship (e.g., give up recruiting Illinois to focus on Texas).

I can't speak for out-of-state recruiting (besides general location, such as DFW area), but high school and location within the state of Illinois has been a strong indicator of Illinois football's chances of getting a specific recruit. Using the 2021 recruiting rankings for the State of Illinois, there are at least five recruits in an area that Illinois has a ~0% chance of securing commitments (JJ McCarthy (La Grange), David Davidkov (Winnetka), Athan Kaliakmanis (Antioch), Mac Uihlein (Lake Forest), Bryan Sanborn (Lake Zurich)). I'd also make an argument that one more recruit are in an area that Illinois is facing an uphill battle (Mar'Kiese Irving (Country Club Hills), but there is less history on that area for support and more of a projection of surrounding communities. This means Illinois has a plausible chance on four of the remaining recruits in the state (Sam Jackson (Naperville - committed to Minnesota), Dominic Bass (Chicago), Justin Johnson (Edwardsville), and Dominic Lovett (East St. Louis). The coaching staff has a choice of making progress. Start really hitting on the areas of high likelihood, or start making in-roads in these areas that have not been kind to Illinois in the past 15+ years (North suburbs, West suburbs, private schools, quad cities). It also wouldn't hurt if Illinois would find a pulse in any neighboring states besides St. Louis (specifically Indiana). Having an improved season in 2019 will hopefully have some tangible improvement for in-state recruitment, but as I mentioned above, the map isn't great and a number of 2021 in-state recruits have already committed elsewhere. Getting someone like Willie Shaw would be a nice start. It's very early with national rankings, almost so early it's foolish to mention, but the 247 rankings for Illinois in-state prospects show a very deep state. Securing 5-6 of these recruits would be a great keystone for future team improvement and in-state recruiting success.
 
I'm confused by this argument. It's important to recruit Illinois, it's important to prioritize certain recruiting hotbeds, such as Texas and Florida. There's no point in arguing the value of each because it isn't a binary relationship (e.g., give up recruiting Illinois to focus on Texas).
They are very much binary.
 
Cincinnati, OH
Getting someone like Willie Shaw would be a nice start. It's very early with national rankings, almost so early it's foolish to mention, but the 247 rankings for Illinois in-state prospects show a very deep state. Securing 5-6 of these recruits would be a great keystone for future team improvement and in-state recruiting success.
Just as an example (again, it's absurdly early and this will change substantially):

2020 Illinois in-state recruits ranked nationally:
Top 100 - 1
Top 200 - 4
Top 300 - 4
Top 400 - 6
Top 500 - 7
Top 600 - 8

2021 Illinois in-state recruits ranked nationally:
Top 100 - 1
Top 200 - 2
Top 300 - 7
Top 400 - 10
Top 500 - 14
Top 600 - 19
 
Cincinnati, OH
Looking deeper at the Illinois in-state recruiting list, there is a much healthier list of schools/areas in the 15-25 range for Illinois. TFWIW.
 
Cincinnati, OH
They are very much binary.
I'm talking about exclusivity, the essence of binary. Illinois is always going to recruit in-state and out-of-state. They are not required to give up one for the other. You can argue how to split the time commitment "pie" between the two, but we do not have that information on the coaching staff (maybe some insiders have some general themes?), but until then we are either arguing about something that doesn't matter (it's not binary) or we don't know how it's split (which isn't really being effectively discussed, but it's a message board, so go crazy).
 
I'm talking about exclusivity, the essence of binary. Illinois is always going to recruit in-state and out-of-state. They are not required to give up one for the other. You can argue how to split the time commitment "pie" between the two, but we do not have that information on the coaching staff (maybe some insiders have some general themes?), but until then we are either arguing about something that doesn't matter (it's not binary) or we don't know how it's split (which isn't really being effectively discussed, but it's a message board, so go crazy).
I do know how the staff is allocated which is probably why my cart sits before your horse. As such, we’re likely circling two arguments that don’t fully relate to one another. My apologies.
 
Can I ask a maybe stupid question? If “Joey Football” is the #200 recruit in the nation, would his location matter?

I’m having a hard time seeing the correlation between national ranking and state.
 
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Cincinnati, OH
I do know how the staff is allocated which is probably why my cart sits before your horse. As such, we’re likely circling two arguments that don’t fully relate to one another. My apologies.
Understood, and yes, we are talking about two different points. I would love to hear more about time/location allocations, if you're allowed to discuss those themes. I also think that would help others understand their argument with you (and others) on this discussion with in-state/out-of-state. I know you made some points earlier, like recruiting Indianapolis, but further details as this conversation has continued would be fruitful for others.
 
Understood, and yes, we are talking about two different points. I would love to hear more about time/location allocations, if you're allowed to discuss those themes. I also think that would help others understand their argument with you (and others) on this discussion with in-state/out-of-state. I know you made some points earlier, like recruiting Indianapolis, but further details as this conversation has continued would be fruitful for others.
Fair point.

Not today and I’m on the road tomorrow through the next week. Discussion for another time.
 
Likes: KevinC
Just as an example (again, it's absurdly early and this will change substantially):

2020 Illinois in-state recruits ranked nationally:
Top 100 - 1
Top 200 - 4
Top 300 - 4
Top 400 - 6
Top 500 - 7
Top 600 - 8

2021 Illinois in-state recruits ranked nationally:
Top 100 - 1
Top 200 - 2
Top 300 - 7
Top 400 - 10
Top 500 - 14
Top 600 - 19
And, I am confused with "absurdly" and "foolish".

Do you really think MI, ND, MN, etc would trade the kids that committed to them for kids that UoI MAY sign in 2021 from Illinois? (I hope people are aware that UoI offered at least 3 of these kids (2 opted for MI and 1 for MN)).

That would be the true test?

The above stats you posted is known to every school. It would be a travesty if we call it "foolish" and other schools opt to fight for these kids.

And, if UoI had got a commitment from JJ, the OT (MI) and the Naperville kid (MN), hey, we would be jumping up and down. And not caring for who commits from TX or FL.
 
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Lo
High school coaches have been very negative towards the school in the state tho. Coaches in Fl and Texas/MO don’t have the same negative views. That is why I don’t care about in state recruiting as much.
Lovie needs to continue to repair that relationship with those coaches. He didn’t start off well.
 
High school coaches have been very negative towards the school in the state tho. Coaches in Fl and Texas/MO don’t have the same negative views. That is why I don’t care about in state recruiting as much.
Why does Lovie offer IL kids then?

19 in 2020 and so far 13 for 2021.
 
Lo

Lovie needs to continue to repair that relationship with those coaches. He didn’t start off well.
It's not just about the relationship with Lovie. It's about the HS coach egos, and whatever program strokes their ego the best gets the push for their players. They may like Lovie and even respect him, but when a HS coach making $120K for 180 contact days in Illinois (plus about a $9K coaching stipend) who's pretty much guaranteed about $80K pension at 55 their networking isn't so much about getting college work in sports after retirement. They're pretty much set and don't want the incredible work load of a P5 assistant.

It's about ego and status of their peers. It's about having Harbaugh, Franklin, Fleck and Kelly dropping in and sucking up to you.

Lovie hasn't had a lot of status in Illinois for quite some time now, and him visiting in no big deal. He's just a utility player to Illinois HS coaches, as are many others. They want the status of sending a player to ND, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin or Penn State to crow about, and perhaps "recruit" top players to come to his program from other schools. Getting a schollie to Illinois for one of your marginal D1 players is a good HS coach recruiting tool for such players, but he needs to get schollies from the big programs to attract other top prep players. Sunkett at ESL is a prime example of this. Most of his top players could play elsewhere by just renting an apartment in another district if they wished. Being a schollie machine for good preps and getting attention from top college programs is the way the steady stream of stars keep finding their way to his door....

College coaches need to "recruit" the HS coaches as well, and trust me, if a college coach treats them as somehow inferior (hard not too when you're being grossly overpaid at $5 million per year!) they'll blackball generally mediocre programs all day long except for "reaches" not worthy of P5 schollies.
That's why a HC needs to hire top recruiters who already have a relationship with the HS coaches when you're building a program. The assistants bring beanding the program doesn't have. Unsuccessful programs trying to build such relationships starting from scratch is just a recipe for recruiting failure, and that's exactly what Lovie did when coming to Illinois, and why IMHO his prep recruiting has been so substandard to build a competitive program.
 
Why does Lovie offer IL kids then?

19 in 2020 and so far 13 for 2021.
It's no big deal to offer a top player. It's all about closing. As they said in "Glengary-Glenross", "first [sales] prize is a new Cadillac. Second place is a set of steak knives....third place is you're FIRED!" Interesting how college sport recruiting is so much like selling timeshares, isn't it?lol
 
Depends on what you mean.
Basically, I feel like we’re saying that recruits get a “bump” in their grade because they play in Texas or Florida. So the #200 Nationally ranked guy from Florida would be ranked worse if he was from Illinois.

I get the idea that the #20 guy in Florida is likely the #5 guy in Illinois (when talking about state rankings), but nationally I would assume all of that is meaningless.
 
Fair point.

Not today and I’m on the road tomorrow through the next week. Discussion for another time.
That rod moved to Indiana and southern Illinois because he didn’t have an area with two coAches in Florida (his old territory) gives some insight into allocation of resources that azbob is vehemently lambasts
 
Cincinnati, OH
And, I am confused with "absurdly" and "foolish".

Do you really think MI, ND, MN, etc would trade the kids that committed to them for kids that UoI MAY sign in 2021 from Illinois? (I hope people are aware that UoI offered at least 3 of these kids (2 opted for MI and 1 for MN)).

That would be the true test?

The above stats you posted is known to every school. It would be a travesty if we call it "foolish" and other schools opt to fight for these kids.

And, if UoI had got a commitment from JJ, the OT (MI) and the Naperville kid (MN), hey, we would be jumping up and down. And not caring for who commits from TX or FL.
Those comments are because the rankings are going to change significantly before the start of their senior season and a currently “deep” in-state recruiting crop may look worse in eight months (or maybe even better?) a lot of kids will be ranked for the first time when they go to camps, which will bump a number of these recruits down in the rankings.
 
Naperville
That rod moved to Indiana and southern Illinois because he didn’t have an area with two coAches in Florida (his old territory) gives some insight into allocation of resources that azbob is vehemently lambasts
Who is recruiting North Carolina then? I’m guessing it is McClain?

The discussions about recruiting Indiana are interesting to me but the bottom line is that I don’t see us offering/targeting any players from that state in this cycle up until now. That means it’s going to be very difficult for us to break through there anytime soon.

I see far more offers to recruits from North Carolina and South Carolina. Some of those offers appear to be to guys who we don’t have a realistic chance at landing but some of them have visited or are planning on visiting soon.

Georgia is a interesting state to me. I know we haven’t signed a recruit from there in the past couple of cycles but we came close with Clark, Dixon and Wiggles. The amount of P5 talent there is extraordinary. Someone like Dixon wasn’t in the Top 40 in Georgia but could have been one of our top recruits in this class.
 
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And, I am confused with "absurdly" and "foolish".

Do you really think MI, ND, MN, etc would trade the kids that committed to them for kids that UoI MAY sign in 2021 from Illinois? (I hope people are aware that UoI offered at least 3 of these kids (2 opted for MI and 1 for MN)).

That would be the true test?

The above stats you posted is known to every school. It would be a travesty if we call it "foolish" and other schools opt to fight for these kids.

And, if UoI had got a commitment from JJ, the OT (MI) and the Naperville kid (MN), hey, we would be jumping up and down. And not caring for who commits from TX or FL.
I think he is referring to the history of Illini recruiting. We have to choose where we spend our resources, those suburbs have not bore fruit for Illinois, is it worth spending the time there or in Tampa? Or St. Louis metro? That is what I gather his point was
 
Who is recruiting North Carolina then? I’m guessing it is McClain?

The discussions about recruiting Indiana are interesting to me but the bottom line is that I don’t see us offering/targeting any players from that state in this cycle. I see far more offers to recruits from North Carolina and South Carolina. Some of
I think that comes back to a prior relationship McClain has. But I don’t know.

For rod, Lovie wants him closer to Illinois and wants the assistants laying most of the ground work. We likely won’t pull any from that area this cycle, but those relationships are important to build to strengthen in state ties. Rod will still be taking trips to sign recruits and prioritize. But he will focus on relationship building in Indiana and southern/central Illinois.

Ultimately, I pass on info I receive. But I’m on the money side of colleges (connected to alumni networks), not in hs recruiting nor do I have connections within Illini football. All info I get is 2nd or 3rd hand info in regards to recruiting. Most of my friends know I went to Illinois and share what theyhear.
 
It's not just about the relationship with Lovie. It's about the HS coach egos, and whatever program strokes their ego the best gets the push for their players. They may like Lovie and even respect him, but when a HS coach making $120K for 180 contact days in Illinois (plus about a $9K coaching stipend) who's pretty much guaranteed about $80K pension at 55 their networking isn't so much about getting college work in sports after retirement. They're pretty much set and don't want the incredible work load of a P5 assistant.

It's about ego and status of their peers. It's about having Harbaugh, Franklin, Fleck and Kelly dropping in and sucking up to you.

Lovie hasn't had a lot of status in Illinois for quite some time now, and him visiting in no big deal. He's just a utility player to Illinois HS coaches, as are many others. They want the status of sending a player to ND, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin or Penn State to crow about, and perhaps "recruit" top players to come to his program from other schools. Getting a schollie to Illinois for one of your marginal D1 players is a good HS coach recruiting tool for such players, but he needs to get schollies from the big programs to attract other top prep players. Sunkett at ESL is a prime example of this. Most of his top players could play elsewhere by just renting an apartment in another district if they wished. Being a schollie machine for good preps and getting attention from top college programs is the way the steady stream of stars keep finding their way to his door....

College coaches need to "recruit" the HS coaches as well, and trust me, if a college coach treats them as somehow inferior (hard not too when you're being grossly overpaid at $5 million per year!) they'll blackball generally mediocre programs all day long except for "reaches" not worthy of P5 schollies.
That's why a HC needs to hire top recruiters who already have a relationship with the HS coaches when you're building a program. The assistants bring beanding the program doesn't have. Unsuccessful programs trying to build such relationships starting from scratch is just a recipe for recruiting failure, and that's exactly what Lovie did when coming to Illinois, and why IMHO his prep recruiting has been so substandard to build a competitive program.
Lovie rubbed several the wrong way according to several I know that attended a clinic or camp. I agree some egos of HS coaches need checked. But he has to bridge the gap in order to get in state kids and coaches excited about Illini football.
 
Cincinnati, OH
Lovie rubbed several the wrong way according to several I know that attended a clinic or camp. I agree some egos of HS coaches need checked. But he has to bridge the gap in order to get in state kids and coaches excited about Illini football.

I agree that the solution likely falls on Lovie's shoulders. It's frustrating to read this because the same comments were made with Zook and Beckman on this board. I've also heard stories about Turner's "lack of focus" on Illinois. Just seems like a constant complaint irregardless to who is the Illinois head football coach. This might be a side effect of recruiting that can only be subsided but never extinguished.
 
Why does Lovie offer IL kids then?

19 in 2020 and so far 13 for 2021.
Because you still have to offer those kids even if they aren’t coming. Look what sunket did with the Powell kid. No other school in the country would get called out like that. Nebraska and Purdue pulled their offers are well but he didn’t tag them. Because Illinois is seen as a backup plan to most coaches if they can’t get Iowa, migh or wisc in to see their kids.
 
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