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Retrospect: Texas Tech Recruiting

We've already detailed the following classes here at Double T Nation:

Now it's time to take a closer look at some of the numbers. The initial thought for all of this was to see if I could determine the success rate of a particular recruiting class. I realize that success is a very subjective standard, but we can take a look at a player and determine if he contributed or if he hasn't. Thus, my threshhold for success is very low. In fact, I categorized Crabtree and Potts as successes, although very premature for both, I feel fairly comfortable with labeling those two as successes despite never playing a down, however, I think that these are the only players I've done this.

With all other players I've categorized, success depends on playing time or if they've contributed. So, I've gone through the 2004, 2005 and 2006 classes and labeled each player as a success or failure. First, some perspective. If a player has redshirted then I'm considering that failure. I know that's not fair, but each year I'll re-adjust these numbers so things will change as the years progress. The main purpose is to identify if players are actually contributing. I have also said the following regarding these figures in the 2006 post:

First, offensive linemen, for the most part, are not going to have an impact until their junior or senior year. So the likelihood that they can impact a team quickly is not as realistic for other positions so it's important to take into consideration the number of offensive linemen in each class, in the case of 2006, it there were 7 offensive linemen. Second, the success rate of more recent classes will naturally be less because fewer players are afforded an opportunity to play because there are players with more experience in front of them. Obviously, as each year passes, the percentage of players who contribute "should" increase (I say should because you expect players to continue to develop and not digress or quit the team).

Let's take a look at the numbers:

Total Recruits:

Stars 2004 2005 2006 Total
5 1 0 0 1
4 4 1 4 9
3 6 13 21 40
2 14 7 7 28
Total 25 21 32 78

Successful Recruits:

Stars 2004 2005 2006 Total
5 1 0 0 1
4 1 0 2 3
3 4 8 9 21
2 9 2 1 12
Total 15 10 12 37

Percentage of Successful Recruits:

Stars 2004 2005 2006 Total
5 100% - - 100%
4 25% 0% 50% 33%
3 66% 61% 42% 52%
2 64% 28% 14% 42%
Total 60% 47% 37% 47%

First, please realize that these numbers are not intended to be absolutes. They are based upon a subjective point of view (mine) of contribution. I would think that most of the percentages would be fairly accurate, but the overall them of couse is to get a general idea of the state of the program.

So what can we gather from these statistics? Well, the 2004 class seems to be a fairly productive class, especially with the 3 and 2 star recruits. The 2005 class has had some success but mostly with the 3 star recruits. The same goes for the 2006 class, the 4 and 3 star recruits have done the most thusfar. Those figures make sense. What makes the most sense that the 3 star recruits have contributed most to this team (52%).

Of course, there was a time, not so long ago, that 2 star recruits made up a majority of Tech's class (14 of 25 in 2004). Take a look at the 2002 class and the 2 star recruits:

  • Joe Filani
  • Jarrett Hicks
  • Chris Hudler
  • Glen January
  • Seth Nitschmann
  • Brandon Jones (no star rating)

That group made up a large part of our football team this year (Gabe hall and Ramirez were 3 star recruits), but these guys really used their time wisely and developed into respectable (in some cases very good) players. So does this mean that we have to give these lesser rated recruits time to develop into players? Absolutely. I think that we realize that the 2 star recruits take a little longer to become a player, because they are project types, which is why it's so hard to grade a recruiting class until there's ample time to review their work.

Looking closely at the number of stars for each recruiting class, it appears that the coaching staff made a decision in 2005 that they would no longer recruit or sign so many 2 star recruits and started to really concentrate on the 3 star recruits. 2004 is such an interesting year. It's seems quite obvious that in this recruiting class they tried to hit the homerun with one 5 star and four 4 star recruits, but maybe suffered and with the remainder of the recruiting class and had to recruit 2 star players to fill the remainder. But it seems quite clear that in 2005 they took a different approach. In fact the trend continues in 2007 as Tech signed only 8, 2 star recruits and 17, 3 star recruits.

As a Tech fan, that's encouraging. The fact that Tech is no longer willling to settle for 2 star recruits. And I should be careful here. Just because a kid is a 2 star recruit is not indicative that he's not a player, rather, it simply may take a longer period of time for that kid to develop. To get back to the point at hand, it goes without saying that the more highly rated the recruit the more likelihood of sucess for a player. I would imagine with more 4 star recruits to have a sample size the same could be said for them.

In regards to the 4 star recruits, it seems like most of these kids have been boarderline recruits. In otherwords, most of them are probably immensely talented, but have some sort of issue which precludes them from making an impact on the field (academics usually). So the fact that Tech has recruited and signed 4 star recruits does not necessarily translate into success. This of course depends on the quality of 4 star recruit Tech is going after.

I think the coaches have determined that it's about getting good kids, who make their grades. The more talented the kids are the more probability of success, but the kids have got to be on the field.

I would also imagine that the longer Leach is in place at Tech, then the more likely he'll be able to recruit these 4 and 5 star recruits. It's a process. It takes time for kids to make it through the system (remember a majority of the kids from the 2002 class are just now making it through the program) to get drafted and for new recruits to notice these sorts of things. I'm tempted to say with the more talented recruits playing each year, the likelihood of success (I don't know if I'm talking about wins and losses or a rating system anymore) increases.

I do think that Tech has to take the next step sooner rather than later. But I'm also willing to be patient. I really like Leach as a coach and I think it's just a matter of time before he's able to recruit some of the more talented players. Of course, I'm biased, but I think it's going to happen.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions in the comments section below, I'd really like to hear what you guys think about some of these numbers.