Anyone seriously know how good a recruiter he is? I have no doubts that he's a top notch offensive mind and will be a huge UPGRADE. But what about recruiting?
He was fired from Ol'Miss. The team he left was in terrible shape due to lack of recruiting. Anyone read "Meat Market"? It basically follows the life of Ol'Miss head coach after Cutcliff was fired. Doesn't seem to paint a favorable picture of Cutcliff in terms of recruiting.
If you want more information, search DBR for the multiple threads which have discussed these two points at length.
Hopefully, he surrounds himself with excellent coordinators that can recuit the heck out of the Carolinas.
Why doesn't Eli Manning count? Is that not the most important position on the field offensively?
And did he not recruit more than quarterbacks? It just so happened that Manning was his "top" prospect.
He also did the yeoman's work for some guy named Michael Oher, and Ed Orgeron finished the job.
Manning does count.... but let's look at something:
1) Where did Manning's dad play?
2) Who coached his older brother, Payton?
Those two things give Cutcliff a huge advantage, and while that's great if your an Ol'Miss fan.... these kind of advantages are very rare.
As you know Ed Orgeron got fired from Miss. Orgeron, as you know, is known as a big time recruiter that is largely responsible for building up USC's major talent of stockpile in the early 2000s.
If he can get the best quarterbacks, don't the best offensive players usually like to follow?
What's your favorite beer? "The fifth one, I think. That's the one that makes me handsome and fearless."
"These were the Dark Ages. Ages darker the anyone had ever expected."
Further, Orgeron's an outstanding recruiter, no doubt. But he was asked to leave outright. Consider that Cutcliffe only was dismissed because he refused to terminate his assistants.
That all aside, many Mississippi faithful bemoan the recruiting job that Cutcliffe supposedly did while he was in charge there. But the bottom line is that he brought Mississippi more success than anyone had in quite some time, and more so than Orgeron did during his brief tenure.
Cutcliffe's got a great staff in Durham now, and he has been the first to say that he is infinitely more prepared to be a head coach now than he was during his first go-around.
He's already brought one four-star quarterback to campus, drew enough respect to make Duke at least a minimal possibility for the best college prospect since Adrian Peterson, and will be spending every waking moment he's not coaching his current team to earning the right to be called a "good recruiter."
I appreciate the points you're attempting to make, but I humbly submit that a review of Mississippi's recruiting rankings under Cutcliffe are actually quite respectable, and that he's more than worthy of being given the opportunity to recruit at Duke before being shrugged off as an unproven recruiter.
Sure, there were "ins" that he had with Eli Manning. But he made the most of them.
There are ample examples out there of coaches buttressed by similar connections that are unable to capitalize. Cutcliffe did. That says something, IMO.
Cutcliff is going to find it even harder to recuit at Duke compared to Miss. What happens in 1-2 years when he no longer has the Tennessee badge to whip out. I guess we shall see. Hopefully, he has learned from his mistakes and becomes a monster recruiter.
To be fair, it doesn't sound like you truly were asking a question, but merely are seeking to disagree with those that do not share your previously-reached conclusion that Cutcliffe is an "average recruiter." And that's fine, I respect your opinion, just want to get that out of the way before responding further.
I did not say that Archie's connection to Mississippi didn't have an impact on Eli's ultimate decision. I did say, however, that it clearly wasn't the only item of significance in Eli's recruitment. I tend to think that Cutcliffe had a great deal to do with that. Of course, the best way to resolve this would be to speak with Eli himself, and perhaps once he's finished with his current season, I'll attempt to do just that.
That aside, you've asked me to justify my conclusion that his recruiting was "respectable."
Here's the best I can do in a few minutes:
Rivals.com, which has at least a modicum of respectability when it comes to football recruiting rankings, has team recruiting rankings tabulated from 2002 on.
Ole Miss was rated as 33rd in 2002, with one five-star recruit, eight four-star recruits and seven three-star recruits.
2003 brought a less impressive haul, with Cutcliffe's class ranking 38th, with zero five-star recruits, two four-star recruits and 14 three-star recruits.
And in 2004, Cutcliffe brought in the 30th-best haul in America, with three four-star recruits and 11 three-stars.
If that doesn't qualify as, at least, "respectable," I'm not sure what does.
To be thorough, let's also consider the team rankings from Scout.com, another football recruiting outlet that has, at least, a modicum of respectability with regards to rankings such as these. Its records also begin in 2002.
2002: 26th - 1 five-star; 5 four-star; 9 three-star
2003: 32nd - 3 four-star; 7 three-star
2004: 39th - 1 four-star; 11 three-star
For good measure, I think it's also worth noting the 2005 recruiting class, of which Cutcliffe and his staff undoubtedly did a great deal of work. Yes, that classes pair of five-star recruits committed after Cutcliffe had been forced out. So with the caveat that I reserve the right to be proven wrong by someone privy to the ins and outs of Ole Miss recruiting in '04-'05, I think it's fair to give Cutcliffe at least a scintilla of credit for laying the groundwork for that class.
All that said, who failed to capitalize on all of that talent post-Eli? It wasn't Cutcliffe--he wasn't given the chance.
I'm thrilled that Cutcliffe has the chance to prove his mettle--both as a coach and as a recruiter--at Duke.
Cutcliffe had some less than stellar recruiting by SEC standards, but pulled in teams that Duke would be thrilled to have. Recruiting at the 2 Mississippi SEC schools is a very very difficult job. There isn't alot of in state talent and what is there is constantly raided by the border states.
Cutcliffe got a screw job the season after Eli left. But Orgeron was an unmitigated disaster. He had no control over the team and used Cutcliffe's failure to recruit as an excuse for his inability to get the team to execute -- especially on offense. If Cutcliffe's recruits were really the reason Orgeron couldn't win, he'd still be there.
Orgeron is a great assistant, but a joke of a head coach. Check out http://everydayshouldbelemsday.blogspot.com. It's a pardoy site but not far off. It's based on the portrayal of Orgeron in "The Blind Side." Great stuff. Better yet - check this song out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nACZJ5x_wBY
Cutcliffe can recruit. He's not Nick Saban or Pete Carroll in that respect, but offensive talent wants to play for him, and hopefully his defensive staff will be up to the challenge as well.
Ole Miss didnt have the luxury of offering a free ride to a Duke education..
A related question:
At the game last night, Coach Cut announced his staff, including his recruiting coordinator whose name I don't recall but came from Cornell. Academically it seems like a good hire, as he would presumably know how to find student athlete that can succeed in the classroom at a school like Duke. Athletically, though, I have no idea.
Is there anyone here that follows Ivy football closely enough to wager a guess at whether or not this is a good hire?
Seriously, though, I'm excited. Cutcliffe is a name guy, who has had success. Those Eli Manning led teams were well coached. It wasn't all Eli, although he was ver very good.
I'm hoping for some surprises on 2/2, but even if not, I bet we start hearing some surprising verbal commits over the next year for class of 2009.
Supposedly, Ole Miss has the one of the best female looking coed groups around. Never under estimate the power of the female gender.
Duke might be able to recruit more nationally then Ole Miss. But that doesn't mean it gets any easier. In fact Cutcliff would probably be smarter to recruit South and not North (PA, NY, NJ). Still tons of talent in FL who never get picked by the big three. These are the kids Duke could really build a very competitive and successful program with.