Illinois Football Recruiting Thread

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How was Zook able to attract talent with these terrible facilities?
A decade with very little to know updates is how your facilities become third rate very quickly. Zook had a good recruiting touch was mediocre at a football powerhouse which carried a lot of weight and was one of the first coaches to embrace texting as a recruitment tool which actually sparked discussion about how texting should be ruled in contact time. So a decade ago our facilities weren't as bad as they were 3 years ago, had a decent college rep and inroads, and was on the cutting edge of recruiting at the time is how he did it. Lovie, nor Beans and Wiener, nor Cubit are anywhere close to what the Zooker was right when he go to UIUC.
 
Because he was recruiting 10-15 years ago when the facility was only slightly below average. It's an arms race now and we needed to get involved.
J Leman talked about it on Werner somewhere back this year, said Zook stressed family & steered around facilities as much as possible. But standing pat since then we fell further behind.
 
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How was Zook able to attract talent with these terrible facilities?
I'm fully convinced we used bagmen during the early Zook era. I understand zook has always been a great recruiter but he brought in the type of players we never had before and will never have again.
 
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Because he was recruiting 10-15 years ago when the facility was only slightly below average. It's an arms race now and we needed to get involved.
Fair enough, our facilities were sub-par. Now they are very good. Can we start expecting recruiting classes at least in the top half of the big 10 again?
 
Can someone explain how Justin Macias could be rated a decent amount higher than Joriell Washington, but Washington’s offer list being way more impressive?
 
Fair enough, our facilities were sub-par. Now they are very good. Can we start expecting recruiting classes at least in the top half of the big 10 again?
I think you'll see us consistently get better recruits than we have in the past. Unfortunately, the rest of the B1G got better at recruiting when our facilities got better. However, I wouldn't expect us to have top half of the big ten classes.
 
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Fair enough, our facilities were sub-par. Now they are very good. Can we start expecting recruiting classes at least in the top half of the big 10 again?
I don't think we will ever get a top 35 recruiting class with lovie Smith as the coach which is what we would need to get close to the top half. The highest class we've had under lovie was 46 in 2017. That class had 26 players which probably won't happen again now that lovie has committed to transfers. Lovie did have us 8th in the conference in the team Talent composite last year so he may be able to pull that off though.
 
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Elsewhere, NE IL
Fair enough, our facilities were sub-par. Now they are very good. Can we start expecting recruiting classes at least in the top half of the big 10 again?
I suspect they'll need to get kids on campus for visits for the facility upgrade to have much of an impact. Right now, the situation favors the established programs.

I don't think we will ever get a top 35 recruiting class with lovie Smith as the coach which is what we would need to get close to the top half. The highest class we've had under lovie was 46 in 2017. That class had 26 players which probably won't happen again now that lovie has committed to transfers. Lovie did have us 8th in the conference in the team Talent composite last year so he may be able to pull that off though.
Personally, I think the commitment to transfers could continue to help with winning; which might increase the chances of signing better quality recruits.
 
I suspect they'll need to get kids on campus for visits for the facility upgrade to have much of an impact. Right now, the situation favors the established programs.



Personally, I think the commitment to transfers could continue to help with winning; which might increase the chances of signing better quality recruits.
That has to be the hope.
 
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Fair enough, our facilities were sub-par. Now they are very good. Can we start expecting recruiting classes at least in the top half of the big 10 again?
no, it’s not because of talent. It’s because the coaching staff prioritizes speed and size over other things. The believe they can teach the rest.
Also, to have classes in the top half of the big, we would need to consistently recruit 25 prep recruits, which means we would be creaning players every year. Our staff won’t do that. To the small classes, add fewer prep recruits to hit the transfer market, our ratings won’t be top caliber.
 
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I suspect they'll need to get kids on campus for visits for the facility upgrade to have much of an impact. Right now, the situation favors the established programs.



Personally, I think the commitment to transfers could continue to help with winning; which might increase the chances of signing better quality recruits.
It's a valid approach; it's all contingent on most of the transfers being good enough to make the 2 deep of a top half Big 10 program. We also need some of these guys to be NFL caliber players, particularly since we aren't going to get many out of the prep ranks. If these hold true, then this strategy can work.

People talk about how Mike White took the same approach, and that is true to an extent. We have to keep in mind that a lot of his JC transfers ended up making it to the NFL. Also, he still recruited fairly well instate, and his OL and DL consisted largely of instate kids.
 
Iowa City
Not sure I’ve ever met anyone that likes PJ Fleck but obviously a lot of kids do. I can’t imagine he’s going to be at Minnesota much longer. He has been cleaning up in the state of Illinois which isn’t ideal.
A really close friend of mine played with Fleck at NIU, and has never had anything good to say about the guy. Was a snake even in his playing days.
 
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A really close friend of mine played with Fleck at NIU, and has never had anything good to say about the guy. Was a snake even in his playing days.
I think Fleck is a very similar person as Lane Kiffin and is the type of coach that has to move every 3-4 years to be able to stay ahead of the !!!! storm he creates. He pressures kids into commiting and I wouldn't be surprised if he does other more shady things. Everything I heard from his NIU days from the police and former players is he is quite the !!!!head.
 
no, it’s not because of talent. It’s because the coaching staff prioritizes speed and size over other things. The believe they can teach the rest.
Also, to have classes in the top half of the big, we would need to consistently recruit 25 prep recruits, which means we would be creaning players every year. Our staff won’t do that. To the small classes, add fewer prep recruits to hit the transfer market, our ratings won’t be top caliber.
o_O
 
no, it’s not because of talent. It’s because the coaching staff prioritizes speed and size over other things. The believe they can teach the rest.
Also, to have classes in the top half of the big, we would need to consistently recruit 25 prep recruits, which means we would be creaning players every year. Our staff won’t do that. To the small classes, add fewer prep recruits to hit the transfer market, our ratings won’t be top caliber.
This staff does seem to recruit to their values over rankings & I think most of us can live with the small ding we will take for a bit smaller class, but even without creaming I expect our classes to get back closer to 20 in size, seems like when you start recruiting 1&2 year transfers you are going to need to bring in 25/yr to stay close to 85 & as we start adding some depth I think it will be harder to convince impact transfers that we are the best landing spot. But I’m hoping we can get back to landing an average Ranking number close to Branson/Williams year. We get something close to that in a class Of 20 or so; I’m willing to call that top half of the B1G, doesn’t matter what 247 says. With 3 or 4 in a row of that type of class we should be able to compete in the West. I’m hoping for a good year this year so we can test the winning correlation to recruiting theory.
 
no, it’s not because of talent. It’s because the coaching staff prioritizes speed and size over other things. The believe they can teach the rest.
Also, to have classes in the top half of the big, we would need to consistently recruit 25 prep recruits, which means we would be creaning players every year. Our staff won’t do that. To the small classes, add fewer prep recruits to hit the transfer market, our ratings won’t be top caliber.
This is an issue. The staff turnover does not jive with your “Teach the rest”. The development is a concern with this staff. It’s time to look in the damn mirror and be real, we just ain’t recruiting that well!

sorry, but Fleck kills it on recruiting trail, gets guys drafted, gets the wins : yet gets hammered here. Strange considering he gets results. But I’m sure you’ll create a rainbow for Illini reality👍
 
Cincinnati, OH
sorry, but Fleck kills it on recruiting trail, gets guys drafted, gets the wins : yet gets hammered here. Strange considering he gets results. But I’m sure you’ll create a rainbow for Illini reality👍
Couldn't agree more. We can hate (read as jealousy) on him for his mantra, but you're kidding yourself if you think he hasn't shown to be an excellent college coach. Easy to look back and realize that would have been a slam dunk hire by Illinois for a number of reasons. At this point I am hoping he continues to kill it at Minny so he moves on to a West Coast job or to the NFL.
 
Couldn't agree more. We can hate (read as jealousy) on him for his mantra, but you're kidding yourself if you think he hasn't shown to be an excellent college coach. Easy to look back and realize that would have been a slam dunk hire by Illinois for a number of reasons. At this point I am hoping he continues to kill it at Minny so he moves on to a West Coast job or to the NFL.
There was zero chance that Whitman was going to hire Fleck: https://www.news-gazette.com/sports...cle_07913c52-6f85-57e9-a71a-ca70662049a3.html
 
I can understand trustees not supporting Beckman because even at the time that hire was questionable at best. I also see why they would want to hire a black coach because that could give us a competitive advantage all things considered. It seems a little ridiculous for some trustees to only approve a black coach regardless of qualification though (a nfl RB coach doesn't exactly make you qualified to be HC at a P5).

With that being said at the time lovie Smith was a homerun hire and I would have picked him every day of the week over pj fleck or any other up and coming coach during that time. Whitman made the right hires, unfortunately it didn't turn out exactly how we all wanted it too.
 
im not saying that fleck hasn’t done well.

and, to compare what he got at Minnesota to what Lovie got at Illinois is off base. Fleck took a team that has had positive momentum this entire millennium, and took them from consistent bowl caliber, with an average of more than 6 wins (6.1 with an outlier, 6.5 if you take out the single outlier) to a little better than 7.5 (7.666). If Minnesota can repeat the last season several times, than this becomes a different conversation. But my guess is that Fleck hovers around his average of 7-8 wins a season, which is a 1.5 game jump. This would be great for Minnesota, but this notion that he had 1 great season doesn’t solidify him as anything... yet. The story is still to be written.

I’m not arguing that Lovie has done exceptional, nor has he met anywhere near expectations. He took an Illinois team with an average of 4.75 games this millennium (if you take out the two blips in our millennium, where we qualified for sugar and rose bowls, the average is 4 wins) and Lovie has 3.75 win average. Similar to above, if Lovie continues to maintain this standard of play, it would get us from 4 wins to 6 wins, a two game improved jump. Personally, this is the next step I want. After we qualify for 3 bowl games, I’d love to see 7 to 8 win seasons more consistently.

Could Fleck Have turned Illinois into a bowl team faster than Lovie? I’m not sure. I’m also not sure that Fleck would get nfl offers given his strength seems to be recruits. I’m also not sure his recruiting is other worldly, given the talent composite last year was comparable to where we are and higher average class ratings don’t mean as much as talent composite. To be fair, i do think If fleck were in South Carolina, or the south, I think he would crush recruiting.

also, I’m not sticking up for where we are in the recruiting process. I’m just More sensitive to where we were and where other teams were. If we weren’t bringing in good scouting and good transfers, I’dbe much more concerned. If I didn’t know the staffs strategy and watch it show up the way they predicted, I’d also be more concerned. The staff made a Georgia gamble and all indications are that it will bear fruit. But suggesting it has would be similar to suggesting fleck made it. Weneed more time to make that conclusion
 
So reading between the lines..Fleck is terrible, Lovie is awesome, we have all data we will ever need in order to reach undeniable conclusions, and the Georgia gamble was the best gamble anyone has ever made in the history of gambles!!!
 
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