Friday, February 8, 2013

What Can the #1 Recruit Do For Your Program?

Is landing the #1 recruit in the Nation a good thing?  We all know recruiting is a major benchmark when measuring the success of a program and its future.  However, it is not the only important thing.  For example see Auburn’s downward spiral from National Title to winless in the SEC in 2years after landing 3 top 10 classes!  Can you say player development? (I have to take my jabs when I can) So can one player take you from mediocrity to a top notch program?  It definitely works in basketball but it takes a lot more in Football.
The last 7 #1 recruits (I will use Rivals ratings for simplicity) have gone to Ole Miss, Missouri, USC, Florida, Tennessee, and Ohio St.  Only 4 of the teams have finished the season in the top 5 the last 4 years.  Ohio State(they don’t play anyone) finished #4 or #5 in 2009, 2010, and 2012 and Florida finished #3 in 2010(AP poll).  The best way to test the ratings is to look all the way back to 2008 – 2010 because these players should have passed their prime or be there now.
In 2008 Ohio State landed the next Michael Vick or Vince Young.  The same speed and much better passing ability. Terrelle Pryor took his 8,500 total yards of High School Offense to Ohio State.  While I can’t knock his ability to lead a team(see their finishes above), I can take a shot at his off field performances.  He lead his team(few players) and coach into the sights of the Once Mighty NCAA.  He not only put his team on probation but also managed to get the coach fired.  He even ruined Ohio States chances of a National Title this year and he wasn’t even on the team.  Had Ohio State not let these thugs play in a bowl game in 2011 then they would have been playing Notre Dame in the National title Game this year.
In 2009 Tennessee landed the #1 recruit and running back in Bryce Brown.  We all know what happened there.  He was a complete failure on and off the field and took part in the continual embarrassment Tennessee has been lately.
In 2010 Florida landed Ronald Powell.  While Powell can’t truly be graded up or down as he had a good sophomore year but was out all of his junior year with an injury., he should be someone to watch in 2013 though.
This gets us back to the question?  Is landing the number recruit a good thing?  I say yes but the history shows that just because his High school talent may have him at the top, his character means a lot more. It only takes one bad egg to spoil the whole dozen, and the #1 recruit has just as much if not more potential to poison a program.  So the lesson is you better be damned sure you don’t buy into the hype and recruit the player!
As a closing the, last #1 recruit (rivals) to win the title? Percy Harvin #1 in 2006 title in 2008.  And before that, Vince Young #1 in 2002, title in 2005.  Can Nkemdiche, Green-Beckham, Clowney or Powell do it?
Stay tuned for a look at how the #1 Classes have finished!
Go Explorers, Roll Tide, and Go Panthers!
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