Illinois Football Recruiting Thread

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#51
Sitting in a dive bar with 12-15 guys one day last week and with me is my good friend who works Dade County and another older FL guy. The older guy has been in the game for a long time, is extremely well connected (If you’re a coach at a school in FL you know his name) and has a fantastic eye. I’m resigned to the fact that he sees and projects OL far better than I do. I don’t communicate with him much but respect his opinion greatly. Anyway, I’m running down the kids IL got over the finish line and what I think with a full run down, the whole works and the older guy tells me “You’re missing the mark with one of them”. I asked him if that was good or bad and he said “I’ll send you couple tapes, the kid’s a lot stronger than you’re giving him credit for”. When I asked him who this mysterious better player was, he put his drink down (Sidenote: Staying our all night with a veteran tequila drinker will likely not end well for you), looked dead in my eyes and said “Cooper Davis”.

Take that for whatever you think it’s worth.
 
#52
There's a very difficult criticism to levy towards Lovie and the staff. To accurately judge our recruiting efforts, those efforts must be judged in relation to those of our peers. ASU may be a point of discussion but the other schools you have mentioned are most definitely not our peers.
They weren't intended to be, T, but the point I was making is that a handful of programs get the lion's share of difference makers, but teams with new coaches that are rebuilding assemble staffs focused on immediate recruiting results as well as on-the field momentum. Some coaches understand the necessary strategy to build a program, and some don't. Some HCs are incredible motivators, some are just technicians.

Take ASU for example. I follow the program since I live about a half hour away from Tempe and two of my kids are recent graduates from there from the WP Carey school of business.

Let's do a little "compare and contrast", shall we?

Head Coach
ASU-Herm Edwards-former NFL HC who took two NFL teams to the playoffs in his first year. No college coaching experience. Highly sought after motivational speaker. TV FB commentator.
UIUC-Lovie Smith-Former NFL head coach who took a team to the Super Bowl. No college coaching experience.
Notes: Equivalent HC experience, but Coach Edwards has the edge as a recruiter due to being an energetic speaker.

Offensive coordinator
ASU newly hired away Zak Hill, OC from high powered offense at Boise State. Young guy who worked his way up from Eastern Washington. Noted for developing passing games, balanced offenses and quarter backs.
IL Rod Smith who worked in the shadow of Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, Arizona and West Virginia with background at South Florida.
Notes: Both pretty good with experience. The big question here is how much of Rod Smith's success came from coach Rodriguez. That's still an open question.

Defensive Coordinator
ASU-Tony White also CB coach and previously passing game coordinator. Previously at San Diego State, a prime recruiting area for ASU. Impressive results improving defenses and secondary performance.
IL-Lovie Smith, also HC. Good at coaching for turnovers, but overall defensive performance and making key stops to win games questionable. Has not shown successful innovation or "coaching edge" in defense, and defenses have a lot of problems with technique an knowing assignments.

For the rest of the staff, ASU has Dave Christenson for OL and has 30 years experience including head coaching at Wyoming, Utah, Toledo and Texas A&M. Illinois has McClain who's in his first year of P5 position coaching At DL ASU has Jamar Cain who successfully coached at Fresno State, FCS champ North Dakota State. Illinois has Austin Clark in his first job as a P5 position coach. For LB ASU has former pro-bowler Antonio Pierce, who recruited all freshman team Merlin Robertson who we also recruited. IL LB coach is Lovie's son Miles in his first college coaching job.

WR/TE at ASU is still in flux for upgrading with the new OC.

It should be noted than none of Coach Edwards staff previously coached or worked for him. His approach is to hire the best talent available for the job.
 
#53
Sitting in a dive bar with 12-15 guys one day last week and with me is my good friend who works Dade County and another older FL guy. The older guy has been in the game for a long time, is extremely well connected (If you’re a coach at a school in FL you know his name) and has a fantastic eye. I’m resigned to the fact that he sees and projects OL far better than I do. I don’t communicate with him much but respect his opinion greatly. Anyway, I’m running down the kids IL got over the finish line and what I think with a full run down, the whole works and the older guy tells me “You’re missing the mark with one of them”. I asked him if that was good or bad and he said “I’ll send you couple tapes, the kid’s a lot stronger than you’re giving him credit for”. When I asked him who this mysterious better player was, he put his drink down (Sidenote: Staying our all night with a veteran tequila drinker will likely not end well for you), looked dead in my eyes and said “Cooper Davis”.

Take that for whatever you think it’s worth.
Funny thing, T. I looked at his film online and thought the same thing. There's certain things that go beyond coaching like instincts for what moves to make and field vision, and this guy seems to have it. He just seems to always know ways to get to the play and make it. He needs more muscle and arm strength, but I'm sure he'll get it with Lou. I can't see how this guy isn't playing next year and starting as a soph. He also seems to understand the game much better than some of the better DE athletes we have and knows how to contain at the edge and the path to take to the RBs and QB. Going out on a limb here, I'd wager that Newton, Spann and Davis will be the cream of this class in two years, passing more touted WR recruits.
 
#54
I guy that I really like in the class that I think is a little under the radar is riggins. I think he was way overrated as a 4* early in his career and then his ranking crashed after he de-commited from Miami. I think he should be a little higher than his current ranking. Also I think Gardner is a very intriguing prospect. He has legit speed.
 
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#55
Sitting in a dive bar with 12-15 guys one day last week and with me is my good friend who works Dade County and another older FL guy. The older guy has been in the game for a long time, is extremely well connected (If you’re a coach at a school in FL you know his name) and has a fantastic eye. I’m resigned to the fact that he sees and projects OL far better than I do. I don’t communicate with him much but respect his opinion greatly. Anyway, I’m running down the kids IL got over the finish line and what I think with a full run down, the whole works and the older guy tells me “You’re missing the mark with one of them”. I asked him if that was good or bad and he said “I’ll send you couple tapes, the kid’s a lot stronger than you’re giving him credit for”. When I asked him who this mysterious better player was, he put his drink down (Sidenote: Staying our all night with a veteran tequila drinker will likely not end well for you), looked dead in my eyes and said “Cooper Davis”.

Take that for whatever you think it’s worth.
I can see that watching Davis' highlights. He uses his hands really well, pretty quick off the ball and, has natural size. A lot of good things to work with. Get Davis in with Lou and some good coaching, he could be really, really good.
 
#56
Captain 'Paign
Phoenix, AZ
They weren't intended to be, T, but the point I was making is that a handful of programs get the lion's share of difference makers, but teams with new coaches that are rebuilding assemble staffs focused on immediate recruiting results as well as on-the field momentum. Some coaches understand the necessary strategy to build a program, and some don't. Some HCs are incredible motivators, some are just technicians.

Take ASU for example. I follow the program since I live about a half hour away from Tempe and two of my kids are recent graduates from there from the WP Carey school of business.

Let's do a little "compare and contrast", shall we?

Head Coach
ASU-Herm Edwards-former NFL HC who took two NFL teams to the playoffs in his first year. No college coaching experience. Highly sought after motivational speaker. TV FB commentator.
UIUC-Lovie Smith-Former NFL head coach who took a team to the Super Bowl. No college coaching experience.
Notes: Equivalent HC experience, but Coach Edwards has the edge as a recruiter due to being an energetic speaker.

Offensive coordinator
ASU newly hired away Zak Hill, OC from high powered offense at Boise State. Young guy who worked his way up from Eastern Washington. Noted for developing passing games, balanced offenses and quarter backs.
IL Rod Smith who worked in the shadow of Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, Arizona and West Virginia with background at South Florida.
Notes: Both pretty good with experience. The big question here is how much of Rod Smith's success came from coach Rodriguez. That's still an open question.

Defensive Coordinator
ASU-Tony White also CB coach and previously passing game coordinator. Previously at San Diego State, a prime recruiting area for ASU. Impressive results improving defenses and secondary performance.
IL-Lovie Smith, also HC. Good at coaching for turnovers, but overall defensive performance and making key stops to win games questionable. Has not shown successful innovation or "coaching edge" in defense, and defenses have a lot of problems with technique an knowing assignments.

For the rest of the staff, ASU has Dave Christenson for OL and has 30 years experience including head coaching at Wyoming, Utah, Toledo and Texas A&M. Illinois has McClain who's in his first year of P5 position coaching At DL ASU has Jamar Cain who successfully coached at Fresno State, FCS champ North Dakota State. Illinois has Austin Clark in his first job as a P5 position coach. For LB ASU has former pro-bowler Antonio Pierce, who recruited all freshman team Merlin Robertson who we also recruited. IL LB coach is Lovie's son Miles in his first college coaching job.

WR/TE at ASU is still in flux for upgrading with the new OC.

It should be noted than none of Coach Edwards staff previously coached or worked for him. His approach is to hire the best talent available for the job.
I agree with a lot of what you said (FWIW I live about 15 minutes from ASU and went there for grad school so follow both them and UI closer than any other schools). I do agree that Herm is doing it the right way. He didn't let loyalty to certain coaches, etc cloud his vision when making his hires, and it's worked out pretty well so far, but I will say that it's a bit easier to recruit coaches to a place like ASU that has a more recent history of success and also a pretty good location (with a lot less competition for recruits within the state. I mean, ASU is basically the only game in town (yes there's U of A, though Arizona has always had a pretty moribund football program being primarily a bball school throughout most of it's history) and the closest other major football school is 6 hours away (USC). What I'm saying is I'm sure Lovie may have tried to get some more heralded assistants but may have had to rely on his existing connections and relationships more than Herm had to when making his assistant hires.
 
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#57
I agree with a lot of what you said (FWIW I live about 15 minutes from ASU and went there for grad school so follow both them and UI closer than any other schools). I do agree that Herm is doing it the right way. He didn't let loyalty to certain coaches, etc cloud his vision when making his hires, and it's worked out pretty well so far, but I will say that it's a bit easier to recruit coaches to a place like ASU that has a more recent history of success and also a pretty good location (with a lot less competition for recruits within the state. I mean, ASU is basically the only game in town (yes there's U of A, though Arizona has always had a pretty moribund football program being primarily a bball school throughout most of it's history) and the closest other major football school is 6 hours away (USC). What I'm saying is I'm sure Lovie may have tried to get some more heralded assistants but may have had to rely on his existing connections and relationships more than Herm had to when making his assistant hires.
Another thing to consider with ASU is that it has a pretty good border state, in which few other major P5 programs are close and drawing from the talent. Add to it that Cal schools have been poor at recruiting of late and it makes ASUs job a bit easier to recruit. We are picking from Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, etc. Less of a hotbed and more schools in a smaller geographic area.
 
#59
I would, happens every year and like all other occurrences it’ll be forgotten with equal swiftness.

You’re a smart guy. Paying as much attention to twitter as you are is a waste of your time. There’s got to be more to discuss than a twitter non-fight fight and Lovie Smith’s like history.
Maybe.
The Lovie like is just out of left field is it not? It's not like I believe he is going to leave IL and coach at Texas or anything. It's weird.
Plus, I don't have cable, and I only joined twitter to follow IL recruiting. So must stuff like that catches my eye
 
#61
Sitting in a dive bar with 12-15 guys one day last week and with me is my good friend who works Dade County and another older FL guy. The older guy has been in the game for a long time, is extremely well connected (If you’re a coach at a school in FL you know his name) and has a fantastic eye. I’m resigned to the fact that he sees and projects OL far better than I do. I don’t communicate with him much but respect his opinion greatly. Anyway, I’m running down the kids IL got over the finish line and what I think with a full run down, the whole works and the older guy tells me “You’re missing the mark with one of them”. I asked him if that was good or bad and he said “I’ll send you couple tapes, the kid’s a lot stronger than you’re giving him credit for”. When I asked him who this mysterious better player was, he put his drink down (Sidenote: Staying our all night with a veteran tequila drinker will likely not end well for you), looked dead in my eyes and said “Cooper Davis”.

Take that for whatever you think it’s worth.
Dude had one hell of a Senior season! For all the excitement Seth Coleman got from us, we should be equally pumped about Davis
This makes me happy
 
#62
Maybe.
The Lovie like is just out of left field is it not? It's not like I believe he is going to leave IL and coach at Texas or anything. It's weird.
Plus, I don't have cable, and I only joined twitter to follow IL recruiting. So must stuff like that catches my eye
Lovie doesn’t control his own twitter.....
 
#64
I didn't think so. I figured it was an IL employee. And if so, it is even weirder
Lovie is a calm, cool and collected coach. That approach will help more than hurt. I like having a coach who isn't sitting around puking out his thoughts on social media. Trust those who represent him on Twitter, I certainly do.
 
#65
Lovie is a calm, cool and collected coach. That approach will help more than hurt. I like having a coach who isn't sitting around puking out his thoughts on social media. Trust those who represent him on Twitter, I certainly do.
I believe my original post of my thoughts have been blown out of proportion.
No I do not think there is any chance Texas is going to hire a coach with such a lack of success in the coaching profession. Nor do I think Lovie was trying to tell Texas he was open for the job if they fired Herman.
A college coach's twitter account liked another colleges tweet about being proud to be a long horn (or whatever it was). I find it odd and I wanted to know if anyone knew any backstory to it, if there even was one
 
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#69
21. I don't know that we'll get in on anyone else in 2020 that doesn't fit a Devon Witherspoon type profile (Which doesn't mean a Devon Witherspoon type talent either). I haven't heard anything at least, 0440 may know better than I.
This getting commits so early seems so foreign to me. Is this what an average power 5 program feels like


I like it
 
#71
Fair enough. I'm more interested who we sign as opposed to when they commit but I see what you're saying.
I would assume there is some relationship between getting early talent committed and final class tally. Can't see the staff taking players they are not high on at this point in 2021. So I can continue that by thinking these must be good players
 
#72
I would assume there is some relationship between getting early talent committed and final class tally.
This was a big topic last week and I’m curious to know myself. It’s well established that the flip market is targeted as aggressively as any by most every program now, 25% of our current signees are flips. It’s difficult to say without seeing any research what the retention rate for prior to mid-season commitments really is.
 
#73
South Carolina
This was a big topic last week and I’m curious to know myself. It’s well established that the flip market is targeted as aggressively as any by most every program now, 25% of our current signees are flips. It’s difficult to say without seeing any research what the retention rate for prior to mid-season commitments really is.
So are these 2021 players good or not?
 
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