How Strongly is Recruiting Correlated with On-Field Success in College Football

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allenja7's picture

Good article, but the ranking for 2019 has a lot to do with class size rather than the rankings for the players. If I'm remembering correctly they were in the top 3 for that. OSU bias aside outside of the organization it looks like 2019 was a failure but that shorter list of names is unbelievably talented. 

Joshua a allen

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LawClub's picture

Yeah. You'd think the sky is falling: "We were only 14th in 2019 and lost Bijan."

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BucksHave7's picture

Buckeyes are 6 years running for avg top 3 class based on stars.  Thats all that matters.   

Class ranking  =  STARS   *    #SCHOLYS

The SEC always oversigns because their student-athletes flunk out higher.    

BucksHave7

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Gotta be able to coach that talent up. I dont think Day can rely on Urban's strategy of just out-talenting everyone. Day will have more Iowa and Purdue debacles if he doesnt coach the talent he already has. That was why I was psyched about some of his coaching hires, he actually went out and hired the best assistants he could. If that coaching can meet the talent level we should be more than ok.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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Big Horn Buckeye's picture

One that can be taken from the article is that, so far. the recruits need to be elite, just to give yourself a chance.

Always and forever, Go Bucks!

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ashtabulassassin's picture

I think the take away here is actually that Urban's teams, despite amazing recruiting classes, actually outplayed their class rankings. On the unpopular opinions thread, probably the most popular unpopular opinion was that Urban simply relied and recruiting prowess and pound for pound his teams actually didn't play better,

As we can see in the chart though, OSU is way above the line. Further that opinion doesn't jive with history given the 2012 team, 2016 team (youngest in d1) and also all of his teams at bowling green and utah, not to mention his first few years at florida.

Buckshots... always there for you if you missed the news last month

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cledaybuck's picture

I dont think Day can rely on Urban's strategy of just out-talenting everyone

Except, he didn't do that, as evidenced by this article.

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

Development>Recruiting, and oddly enough, the first item there is what leads to the second one getting better and better until you're recruiting on the level of Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State. You can't have the latter without the former.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

Are you suggesting that good players want to play for good coaches?!

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BucksHave7's picture

tOSU 6 years running now in the top 3 for an avg class by STAR RATINGS. 

BucksHave7

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BrutusB's picture

The headline on the front page was written by someone who doesn’t know how correlation works. Recruiting and wins are obviously very correlated - but that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be occasional exceptions. 

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Knarcisi's picture

“Don’t Always” = Exceptions 

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twotimebuck's picture

Do you know how r square works? 

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

I think the headline was very clear, and it was right. You must recruit well to make CFP. But recruiting well is only one factor and does not always correlate to playoff appearances. 

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SaltyD0gg's picture

Can't we have 5* guys AND player development?

Pain of Discipline

Pain of Regret

Take Your Pick

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Buckfrombirth's picture

Especially behind the D-line at least.

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

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fritziebuck's picture

Disagree that recruiting doesn't correlate to success. Alabama is an example of recruiting directly correlating. Over the last 10-15 years Bama has recruited better than anyone and during this time they have many NC trophies to show for it. While there are other important areas, development, etc, recruiting is most important.

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buckslan's picture

And the opposite can be said for Wisconsin. Which means recruiting doesn't always correlate to success.

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JBucks88's picture

That is true but you don't see Wisconsin winning National Championships either. Most of the times the teams going to the playoffs are teams that recruit real well nationally.

I was born a Buckeye, I'll die a Buckeye

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buckslan's picture

Okay, but Clemson has won 2 of the last 3 championships and their classes weren't even as good as ours or LSU or Bama or some other programs. Sometimes development and coaching is needed to win, and most of the time it's all 3 together.

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RaleighBuckeye's picture

Here is the missing link on this, Clemson started landing incredible qb’s. Watson then Lawrence, this is required, so a hybrid might eventually change the model, too 15 at a minimum but a top10 qb 

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stxbuck's picture

Exactly. First round QBs and first round DL are a potent combination and Clemson has had both in spades recently. OL, LB, and TEs can be “coached up” with good health and requisite physical capabilities. Great DL basically develop themselves-according to an anonymous SEC defensive coach no less. Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence are two of the best QBs ever from Georgia who lived up to their hype coming out of HS-most QBs don’t-it’s the toughest position to be great at.

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Moo Strength's picture

True, and it also helps when you play in a laughable conference like the ACC

If I must choose between peace and righteousness, I choose righteousness! -Theodore Roosevelt.

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Bucks19's picture

Wisconsin hasn’t done a damn thing. Few west titles but that’s it. 

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stuckupnorth's picture

How many titles bama have? 5th place finishes don’t matter.

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

“Doesn’t” is not the same as “doesn’t always.” The article doesn’t even make the point that it doesn’t matter. It says that you can recruit very well and still not make the CFP. That’s true.

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Lighteyes's picture

I would like to see how the trendline changes if you looked at more than a single year. Because a single year's results can be highly variable based on in-game luck, the talent mix, etc.

A team like Syracuse is a perfect example: They look like a monster outlier, going from about 6 wins all the way to 4. Wow! Four extra wins! Except...if you look at their past five years, they've averaged five wins, which suddenly puts them right near the trendline. Has Syracuse really turned the corner to become a perennial Top 25 power? Or did 2018 just happen to hit on a nice mix of luck, veteran returnees, and coaching to suddenly leap from a team that made three bowl games from 2005-2017 to their successful year?

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Knarcisi's picture

Agree. You’d have to look at previous 5 year win totals previous ~10 years recruiting (maybe cut the last year or two since those kids are not contributing for the most part yet).  You’d still see the Florida Sts and Miamis out there that have drastically underperformed for their recruiting classes. I’d bet programs like Texas and LSU would be there too. 

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ChicagoBuckMD's picture

That would be awesome and I hope they run that analysis

"Why be around average?" - UFM

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Dillon G's picture

Willie needs to go at FSU. But who replaces him? 

#walkaway

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Buckfrombirth's picture

I'm torn on this. They're a rival recruiting-wise and I can't stand FSU, so part of me wants them to suck. The other part of me wants someone in the ACC to challenge Clemson.

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

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Bucksfan0214's picture

FSU isnt challenging anything with Taggert as their HC. 

"Its gonna be cold, its gonna be grey, and its going to last you the rest of your life!".

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stuckupnorth's picture

Bingo, FSU is a good coach away from being a staple in the playoff talk. Talent never a problem at those Florida schools. If Miami and FSU don’t get up to speed fast Florida is gonna own that whole state.

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Dillon G's picture

College football needs villains. 

#walkaway

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Byaaaahhh's picture

Not to be overly blunt, but did anybody not know this?

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kmp10's picture

No matter whose fault it was, whether there was a core group underperforming, or peripheral leaches and malcontents circling around the periphery of the program creating strife, Meyer underachieved at Ohio State relative to the talent level. He clearly had the best teams in college football in both 2014 and 2015. Outside of those two years, having imbalanced teams (when eligible for the postseason) seems to have played a major role in Meyer being unable to win second title at OSU.

In 2013, the defense was bad. The team won the B1G East in spite of Fickell's group, but it made Taj Boyd and Sammy Watkins look like the best QB/WR combo in football history in the Orange Bowl loss. In 2016, the offense was the side of the ball that was the albatross... they were impressive on the ground, but inadequate through the air Vs upper level competition, and it showed in spades when getting their doors blown off by Clemson in OSU's last playoff appearance under Meyer. In 2017, the offense again wasn't good enough through the air, Meyer was enamored with Barrett while Haskins sat the bench, and the playoff committee knew that the Ohio State offense with Barrett under center simply was too one dimensional to win games Vs Alabama and/or Clemson (the linebackers were also starting to crack in '17, which only added to the overall perception of the team). In 2018, the passing offense was record setting despite a nonexistent ground game through the middle of the season, but the defense was historically bad... plus, Courtney Smith. When Meyer had complete teams, 2014 and '15, they were the best in college football. When one side of the ball or the other underperformed, the side that was playing well wasn't playing well enough to carry the entire team Vs elite competition (Bama/Clemson).

Honestly, when last season's defense was combined with last season's o-line problems and the Zach Smith / Courtney Smith / Urban Meyer disaster, it's a wonder they achieved to the level that they did, and it speaks volumes to Haskins' natural talent and ability that he was able to carry the team to B1G and Rose Bowl championships. 

When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's 

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stxbuck's picture

Damn fine analysis. Keith Byars was talking about how many fans-and media members-fail to realize how one bad matchup-tOSU OL vs. Purdue front 7-last year, can sink a team-even one that is clearly superior in overall roster talent.

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BucksHave7's picture

Makes Mike Leach look like one hell of a coach (guess doesnt say much for his recruiting though).

BucksHave7

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stxbuck's picture

2 things about Leach and recruiting, aside from his excellence as a coach and humor/intellect in general.

1-Leach has been a HC in Lubbock, Texas and Pullman,Wa. Kids with offers from Bama or USC or tOSU or Texas aren’t going to be excited about getting offers from those places. Columbus, Austin, and Tuscaloosa pretty much recruit themselves with a competent hand on the wheel. Leach himself has always been intrigued by the Miami job, b/c he loves S. Florida-he lived in Key West between his Tech and Wazzu, and realizes being the man in S. Florida would give him a level of talent he could only dream of in his previous and current gigs.

2-Everyone thinks of Leach as the crazy fun n’ gun pirate-and he is, but he is also a no nonsense hard ass regarding academic responsibilities and doesn’ necessarily suffer fools gladly or silently-whether from a dumbazz player or booster types. He has more than a touch of Bobby Knight in his character-and I mean that in a good way. Bottom line, he knows deep down it probably wouldn’t end well for him at an SEC school or somewhere like USC.

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BucksHave7's picture

Was wondering if the Craig James's son thing that happened is an issue for him to get a job at a blue chip program.

BucksHave7

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BadApple's picture

I am surprised Michigan State is not above the line, I always thought Dantonio did more with less. Lots of B1G teams on the low side of the line. They need to up their game!

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Snake64's picture

I mean they did... up until 2015. Since then it's pretty much been a dumpster fire as OSU, PSU, and TTUN got back to winning regularly. MSU did all it's damage during those down years. 

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analyticalguy's picture

It appears that top-level recruiting is a necessary but not sufficient condition for top-level on-the-fiekd success.

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

Well said. Thank you for clarifying far better than I did.

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BucksHave7's picture

Right.  Also Strength of Schedule is left out.   

A win vs FCS school is shown as the same vs a top 10 win.  It would be really interesting to see the same chart with # of top 25 wins (not all wins). 

BucksHave7

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Bucks19's picture

Give me 4 and 5 stars everyday and twice on Saturday’s. I’ll take my chance. 

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buckeye phi's picture

The gist of it is - sure, you can out-recruit most programs and still fail to have very much success.  However, it is virtually impossible to consistently play at a national championship level without recruiting at a very high level (according to the rankings). 

The only two playoff qualifiers that did not average a top twenty finish in the recruiting rankings over the previous four cycles were absolutely stomped in their playoff games. 

And no - Clemson is not an exception.  Even before they were recruiting at the level they're at now, they were still always at least in the top fifteen classes leading up to their playoff appearances (usually, much better than that). 

The link is simply undeniable

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

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stxbuck's picture

This is true-to win an NC, you need to recruit from the same pond-pool of players-as top schools-tOSU, PSU, the Florida schools, SEC West schools, Oklahoma,etc. The rankings of said players within this pool mean very little, imo.

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buckeye phi's picture

That's my point.  A team has to be within that pool to have a realistic shot at a NC.  And a NC is almost always one of Ohio State's goals, is it not? 

But I'd agree - among teams regularly appearing in the top ten rankings, or so - there's not necessarily that much difference -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

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CieGrant_Blitz's picture

Fitting that Olave is the featured photo.  He was an unheralded late addition to the '18 class out of CA and looked amazing at the end of his true frosh season culminating in a huge performance against TTUN... great example of finding kids who are talented AND fit your program AND get developed by what sure looks like a great WR coach vs just blindly recruiting the highest rated kids.

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Buckfrombirth's picture

Kind of like how the Patriots work, to draw an analogy to the NFL. They're "good enough" all around and develop the hell out of a lot of guys that other teams didn't want.

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

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Chicago Connection's picture

Fortunately, the Buckeye's roster for 2019 will still be the most talented overall this century. For that reason alone, while I wouldn't say this OSU team is underrated in general, because they're still expected to be a top team by nearly everyone, I do believe they're flying under the radar in terms of winning a National Championship.

IMHO, the question marks surrounding their transition are legit, but so is this team's potential to be absolutely great. And if that happens, the 2020 and 2021 classes may be our best ever, while the #14 ranked class of 2019 (which was lower rated in large part only because it was a relatively small class in quantity vs. qualty), will be a distant memory.

In short, the table has been set for Ryan Day to prove that he's everything that we think he could be, whether good or bad, and speaking for myself, I'm putting my money on...

Shocking the nation with a National Championship.

Personally, I think OSU fans have had it so good for so long, it's difficult to fully realize the full level of excellence we're about to witness.

chicagobuckeye

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BucksHave7's picture

Agreed completely.  Add in people discount Day as a new HC, Justin Fields as a non returning starter, very high returning tackles on D and I honestly believe in B10East only us and MD improved year over year.  We have a very manageable schedule. And last year we finished #3 with the worst defense in our history!

BucksHave7

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Bucks19's picture

Preseason 5 and winning the NC wouldn’t be shocking the nation. Our roster stacks up with almost anyone 

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huffdaddy's picture

The best example of failed development is Tennessee. They had zero players drafted in 3 of the last 5 drafts, after landing great recruitment classes most years. That takes extraordinarily bad coaching. 

"I don't think you necessarily have to get a trophy to be a winner." - Nick Saban 1/2/15.

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ashtabulassassin's picture

now this is true. The coach hiring at tenn has been bizarre. Its as if they believe they are a tier 2 or 3 job. I don't think any school has undrerecruited thier HC position so badly. Tons of hot coaches would jump to be there but they keep hiring people that just make no sense at all

Buckshots... always there for you if you missed the news last month

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stxbuck's picture

Do you seriously think UT hired Dooley and the new dude b/c they didn’t realize Urban or Jimbo Fisher or Dabo we’re dying to come to Rocky Top. Top coaches don’t want to make a lateral move to Knoxville.

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stuckupnorth's picture

I guess it all depends on how you define and feel about success? If success is top 10 then maybe. I define it as winning. Whether it’s monopoly or pickup basketball. I want to win it. I imagine most players are same way. I hope OSU never gets to the point where they are satisfied with not winning the title. If winning a national championship is the end goal, then recruiting matters most. Alabama and Clemson are about winning titles. There records and recruiting reflect that.

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stuckupnorth's picture

Please more downvotes. I love them

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stxbuck's picture

So currently, is everyone else besides Bama and Clemson NOT about winning tiles? Were Bama and Clemson NOT about winning titles in the 90s and 00s, and Florida, LSU, and USC were but suddenly forgot?

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SteelCurtain 59's picture

I think using only wins could be misleading, some teams have much tougher or easier schedules (like say an SEC East team vs an ACC Coastal team). Also 1 year is a small sample size, kind of has to be an average over a period of time to get any real data.

Also, every single national champion in the modern recruiting era (when recruiting websites like 247 and Rivals started) has had a blue chip ratio above .500 (in other words, more 4 and 5 stars than 3 stars or lower) And only a handful with a blue chip ratio below .500 even made the championship game/playoffs. Sure recruiting has less of an effect on performance of mid tier or lower schools where you can get by with just great coaching, but if you look at the top 10 or so in the final playoff/BCS rankings every year, the overwhelming majority of those teams have highly ranked recruiting. Having a lot of talent doesn't automatically make you a top team, but to be a top team you need a lot of talent

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aerobuck's picture

look at some of the below the trend line teams:  UCLA, USC, Nebraska, and FSU all with new coaches.

Auburn looks like an under-achiever till you look at the talent of the teams they lost to.

It would be useful to see what the last three years avg wins were agint the last 5 years recruiting.

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TJG32's picture

You win with people......I heard that somewhere. 

TG Proud Buckeye alumnus.

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HiFiver25's picture

I don’t follow other teams’ recruiting and couldn’t care less. The trend that I see in terms of our recruiting, regardless of ranking, since winning the championship in 2014 is worrisome to me. We are a freakin’ finesse team now. We haven’t recruited well enough to play smash mouth (I’ll elaborate) below) football and that has directly attributed to our on-field performance. Dwayne Haskins’ heroics in the air last year were great but we couldn’t hunker down and run the ball on those rare occasions when our passing game was not enough to carry the day.

over the past few years, our OL recruitment has been weird. We primarily recruit only tackles and try to slide  them indiscriminately inside (not all that dissimilar to beefing up defensive ends and turning them into tackles). Most of our OL guys are tall, but don’t carry enough bulk, especially in the lower portion of the body, to be able to stand up to stout DTs. We have pitifully neglected (or failed to recruit) the OG position. As a result, our running game has become increasingly dependent on misdirection plays or outside the tackle runs as opposed to simply lining up and moving the opposing DTs backward in order to create running room for RBs. I see Eleven Warriors often building our OL recruits as “athletic”, “versatile”, “agile”, “quick on his feet”, etc which are wonderful if you eternally want to run a pass happy offense but having our entire OL manned by this type of guys don’t bode well for the run game at all. A prototypical OG would be somewhat shorter (6’2” to 6’5”), but heavier (at least 310lbs, preferably closer to 330lb) with a naturally low center of gravity. There can be exceptions (such as Alex Boone, whose talent was sadly wasted in college due to playing at the wrong position) but those exceptions only reinforce the norm.

At the end of the day I couldn’t care less about the recruiting ranking much of which is for bragging rights but I would like to see us recruiting the right personnel to play right positions. DT was another position where we were forced to play cheeseburger fed DEs, I’m hoping that will change with out DT recruiting this past couple of years. D’remont Jones was perhaps the best DT we had since Jon Hankins but his mo was to rather squeeze through gaps than to stand up and stop the run. The team that won the championship had Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkinson, not D’remont Jones. Anyway I’m excited to see what Taron Vincent, Togiai and Heskill Garret can bring to the table once they become starters.

I’d also like to see a heavier set between the tackle runner at RB rather than an APB. But I’m not as stringent on this one as strong OGs (if we ever have them) can make an otherwise APB into an effective 3rd down ball toting TB.

Bdutta

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stxbuck's picture

Agree on the OL take-hopefully with Meyers, Davis, and Miller in the thick of things this year the trend will change.

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NOBLUE's picture

who cares about all this SHIT just...WIN!!!!

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gobucks1966's picture

I took a hit in a thread and don't have thin skin  but many young fans on here and you just don't get what recruiting is all about and what the most important thing is when you recruit. I will probably be  a reader instead of throwing my opinions out there. My last post here so having the best recruiting class is not important but filling positions of needs is first and foremost. Do you turn away a game changer if a position is stacked on your team no you never do. Recruiting Ohio kids because they will play harder is flat out nuts who doesn't play hard and want to win. Kids out of state that don't know how important the ttun game is could be true but they will learn and quickly get it when they are here after a couple weeks. Good luck to all and GO BUCKS

Denny

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