Monday, August 06, 2007

Recruiting – No Need, nor Reason, to Panic

With the 2008 National Signing Day not until April 1st, recruiting commitments seem to have come fast and furiously this year. In looking at the verbal commitments on, several schools have already have a large number of commitments. Further, of the top 100 players per Scout, only 33 remain uncommitted as of early August 2007.

When you look at the team rankings on Scout, the Gators come in a seemingly alarming 46th overall, with only 5 commitments at this point.

I’ve already seen some suggestions from (mostly) rival websites and writers that Florida is in trouble.

There is no need for concern.

Florida is not going to sign one of the top recruiting classes in 2008 for 2 reasons –

1. We don’t need to
2. We can’t

Dealing with each –

1. We don’t need to

Using’s rankings, the Gators have the most total points of the past four year trailing period of any school in the nation. The top 10 classes for the past 4 years, with total points are –

1 Florida 12265
2 USC 11780
3 Texas 10376
4 LSU 10084
5 Tennessee 10050
6 Georgia 9726
7 Michigan 9689
8 Miami (Fl) 8861
9 Oklahoma 8417
10 Florida State 8362

There are big, big differences in the points here. Although separated by only 9 spots, Florida's total is 47% better than FSU's.

To get to the 2008 total classes we drop the 2004 graduating class from the rankings and get -

Florida 10097
USC 9334
Texas 8528
Tennessee 8137
LSU 7681
Georgia 7499
Michigan 7419
Auburn 7004
Ohio State 6502
Miami (Fl) 6479

Even though Florida has 5 commitments at this point, let’s assume we sign only those 5 this year (385 points), so the 4 year trailing goes to 10482. And, lets say the SEC teams listed here sign the exact same level of classes they did last year (UT 4312, LSU 4212, AU 3770, UGA 2791). Using these assumptions, the 4 year trailing classes for the SEC teams would be –

Tennessee 12449
LSU 11893
Auburn 10774
Florida 10482
Georgia 10290

Of course, the above is a ridiculous-beyond-worst-case scenario, but it would still leave us very competitive in the SEC, with experienced as opposed to newer talent.

2. We can’t

Florida has absolutely loaded on talent in the past two seasons, with the best and second best recruiting classes. In doing so, we have used the majority of our scholarships. Assuming all the new freshman enroll this fall, Florida will only be 17 scholarships below the limit. Compare this number to the number of signees the past 2 seasons –

2006 – 27
2007 – 27
2008 – 17?

The way the recruiting services score classes is points based on total players. With perhaps only 12 positions left to give, a high score (and a “top rated” class) may be all but impossible.

Going back to our SEC example, Tennessee and Auburn signed large classes last year (32 and 30 respectively), so big classes won't be forthcoming.

At this point in the 2008 recruiting, the 5 previously mentioned schools have the current points per Scout -

Georgia – 2445
LSU – 938
Tennessee – 443
Florida - 385
Auburn – 170

However, Georgia’s big lead is easily explained by the number of commitments –

Georgia – 17
LSU – 15
Tennessee – 7
Auburn – 7
Florida – 5

Thus, updating the 4 year trailing totals with the current commitments finds –

Florida 10482
Georgia 9944
LSU 8619
Tennessee 8580
Auburn 7174

Even with Georgia’s current early signees, the Dawgs and all the SEC schools still trail Florida over the past 4 years.

It appears Georgia can sign between 19-23 players this year, so at 17 that class is mostly full. LSU is filling up fast at 15 signees.

In other words, if Florida signs just a few more quality players, the other SEC schools cannot catch us in accumulated talent.

And there is a lot of talent left. Of the remaining 33 top 100 players per Scout, 21 mention Florida as a possibility. Even more amazing, 18 of those are players NOT FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA!

With perhaps no more than 17 slots to offer, the Florida coaching staff is focusing on quality and not quantity. Florida won’t have the top class in 2008, and perhaps not in the top 10. With the scoring systems the recruiting systems use, it simply can’t happen.

It also doesn’t matter, because we don’t need to.

The others will still be playing catch-up.


jamie a. said...

it's crazy to start judging classes this early. for writers to suggest the might gators are 'in trouble', recruiting-wise, is extremely ignorant.

curly, moe, and larry could recruit at florida. i'm not 'worried' one bit.

go gators!

SD Gator said...

Ahhh, but do the writers have an agenda? The more FUD they can generate about Florida, the easier it will be to pry some recruits away.

Scotty #13 said...

Isn't NSD in Feb, not April?

The Gators will do just fine. First, the assigned points to the players we have will go up, because 2 of them are underrated. Second, they're targeting the best players, and they'll get quite a few of them.