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365Duke
02-06-2008, 11:15 AM
Here is a good breakdown on the class.

http://rivals100.rivals.com/commitlist.asp?sport=1&school=19&year=2008#page3


Best I can tell, 7 out of the 18 signers committed since Coach Cut came.

Congrats young men, you made the right choice:D

Acymetric
02-06-2008, 01:41 PM
Plus we stole Lee Butler back from GT!

Acymetric
02-06-2008, 01:44 PM
http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=19168

Chat with one of our recruits, Donavan Varner. I like his attitude!


Them being an underdog exciteds me. I like to start from the bottom and grind my way up. Everyhting that shine ain't a dime.

365Duke
02-06-2008, 02:03 PM
http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=4200&ATCLID=1383630

I cant wait!

grc5
02-06-2008, 02:16 PM
So let me get this straight:

To resuscitate our dreadful kicking game we're bringing in...Zack Asack's brother???

ESPN gives him a good grade, (77 out of 100, our 3rd highest recruit) but I'm skeptical that nepotism is the best way to tackle this problem (pun intended).

johnb
02-06-2008, 02:19 PM
The recruits look very solid, and I'm reminded that, in the midst of the lacrosse mess, more than one professor made a point of extolling the virtues of our football players.

In terms of their fooball rankings, Duke and Wake were the only teams in the ACC not to get a 4 star player, and many of the other teams got a bunch of 4 stars and the occasional 5 star. Hope the conditioning program works...

365Duke
02-06-2008, 02:26 PM
So let me get this straight:

To resuscitate our dreadful kicking game we're bringing in...Zack Asack's brother???

ESPN gives him a good grade, (77 out of 100, our 3rd highest recruit) but I'm skeptical that nepotism is the best way to tackle this problem (pun intended).

From Goduke, here (http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=4200&ATCLID=1383630)



Paul Asack
Kicker • 6-2, 215
Westwood, Mass. • Xaverian Brothers

* Three-year letterman at Xaverian Brothers under Charlie Stevenson
* Charted as the No. 15 kicker and No. 8 overall prospect in Massachusetts by Rivals.com
* Listed as the No. 14 kicker in the nation by Scout.com
* Ranked as the No. 11 kicker in the country by ESPN.com
... (see article for the rest of the list)

Devil in the Blue Dress
02-06-2008, 02:28 PM
So let me get this straight:

To resuscitate our dreadful kicking game we're bringing in...Zack Asack's brother???

ESPN gives him a good grade, (77 out of 100, our 3rd highest recruit) but I'm skeptical that nepotism is the best way to tackle this problem (pun intended).
Nepotism works for the Mannings. It's just a matter of genes and training.

Acymetric
02-06-2008, 02:42 PM
So let me get this straight:

To resuscitate our dreadful kicking game we're bringing in...Zack Asack's brother???

ESPN gives him a good grade, (77 out of 100, our 3rd highest recruit) but I'm skeptical that nepotism is the best way to tackle this problem (pun intended).

He's supposed to be pretty good...and Asack wasn't all that bad, especially relative to the rest of the talent around him. I think if we'd played him more instead of that senior guy a couple years back we would have done better that year.

formerdukeathlete
02-06-2008, 02:43 PM
The recruits look very solid, and I'm reminded that, in the midst of the lacrosse mess, more than one professor made a point of extolling the virtues of our football players.

In terms of their fooball rankings, Duke and Wake were the only teams in the ACC not to get a 4 star player, and many of the other teams got a bunch of 4 stars and the occasional 5 star. Hope the conditioning program works...

Renfree is ranked the 10th best overall qb by scout; he is a parade all-american, one of 7 qbs selected. He is 4 star by scout. so is randez james a 4 star.

renfree is ranked very highly, especially relative to TL who was ranked by scout 45th best overall qb in 2006. zack asack was ranked 35th overall best qb in 2005. delle donne, quite a good qb get in 2005 was ranked 31st overall best qb.

Paul Asack is a highly ranked kicker, I think 14th by scout.

there is not nepotism here in the sense we wanted to be good fellows and offer him a scholarship because his brother is one of our qbs and his dad played football for Duke. We landed him because of these facts - we were lucky for the connection.

Likewise, we landed Asack who was offered by Notre Dame (because his dad went to Duke) and Delle Donne who was offered by Notre Dame (because his dad played for Columbia and liked the idea of a top school) because we were lucky.

We will be much better this fall, and when we land higher ranked recruits in the next class it will because of a number of factors, including that we are offering a good football program. Luck will less and less a factor.

jimsumner
02-06-2008, 02:45 PM
Some interesting points from the press conference.

Lots of these signees may play as freshmen. Cutcliffe doesn't think Duke has the luxury of redshirting good players. Says the best players will play regardless of class.

Cutcliffe says that the skill-position players average lower then 4.5 40 speed. None of the linemen are huge but they can run. He really likes speed.

Cutcliffe praised Scottie Montgomery for keeping the class together during the interim.

Duke will make North Carolina the base for future recruiting efforts. DC is trying to build bridges with NC high school coaches.

He really likes Renfree. Says he has fast feet and a fast mind. I suspect Thad isn't going to be grandfathered into the starting QB spot; he's going to have to win it on the field.

With the exception of Renfree (QB) and ASack (K) the remainder of the recruits are listed as just linemen or backs. This is by design. DC not afraid to move people around, change positions, anything to get the best players on the field.

Randez James is the only recruit currently in school. He played against the UT J-V this year, so Cutcliffe got to see him play and was impressed.

Matt Daniels came in for special mention for his leadership. Apparently Daniels helped keep the Roof committments on board. DC calls him a "glue" guy.

DC says that Duke's strength and conditioning is way behind where it needs to be but there is time to catch up. Duke has added a s/c position that concentrates on football.

Duke appears to be finished with recruiting this season although DC says he wouldn't turn down a really good player at this point.

Cutcliffe has a quite arrogance. He used the word "train" a lot, as in "we know how to train quarterbacks" or "we know how to train place-kickers."

johnb
02-06-2008, 02:49 PM
Rivals gave those guys 3 stars, while scout gave 'em 4. The number of stars doesn't matter all that much, since we saw what Wake did recently with guys who weren't highly rated in high school.

OldPhiKap
02-06-2008, 02:52 PM
Cutcliffe says that the skill-position players average lower then 4.5 40 speed.

By lower, you mean faster I assume?

formerdukeathlete
02-06-2008, 02:58 PM
Some interesting points from the press conference.

Lots of these signees may play as freshmen. Cutcliffe doesn't think Duke has the luxury of redshirting good players. Says the best players will play regardless of class.

..........

He really likes Renfree. Says he has fast feet and a fast mind. I suspect Thad isn't going to be grandfathered into the starting QB spot; he's going to have to win it on the field.

With the exception of Renfree (QB) and ASack (K) the remainder of the recruits are listed as just linemen or backs. This is by design. DC not afraid to move people around, change positions, anything to get the best players on the field.

......................

DC says that Duke's strength and conditioning is way behind where it needs to be but there is time to catch up. Duke has added a s/c position that concentrates on football.

Duke appears to be finished with recruiting this season although DC says he wouldn't turn down a really good player at this point.

Cutcliffe has a quite arrogance. He used the word "train" a lot, as in "we know how to train quarterbacks" or "we know how to train place-kickers."

I guess you mean that Cut has a "quiet arrogance."

Sounds to me more like he is a take charge guy who knows what he is doing, big time. I like virtually everything he said. This is good stuff.

Bluedog
02-06-2008, 03:06 PM
From Goduke
Paul Asack
Kicker 6-2, 215
Westwood, Mass. Xaverian Brothers

* Ranked as the No. 11 kicker in the country by ESPN.com


Eh, I'll reserve judgment until we see what he does on the field...Joe Surgan, our current kicker, was ranked #4 in the country and was a 4-star recruit. Recruiting services never know how to rank kickers.

jimsumner
02-06-2008, 03:07 PM
Yes, quiet arrogance. And I mean that in a good way. He exudes confidence that he knows what he's doing.

And yes, lower than 4.5 means faster than 4.5. One kid, Jordon Byas, was Florida 400-meter champion and Florida has a lot of people who can run.

Byas, btw, pronounces his first name Jor-don, not Jor-den.

JG Nothing
02-06-2008, 03:07 PM
Thanks for the summary. I was hoping we would suck it up and redshirt the entire entering class. I would take one more awful season for the long term benefits.


Lots of these signees may play as freshmen. Cutcliffe doesn't think Duke has the luxury of redshirting good players. Says the best players will play regardless of class.

365Duke
02-06-2008, 03:15 PM
Cutcliffe has a quite arrogance. He used the word "train" a lot, as in "we know how to train quarterbacks" or "we know how to train place-kickers."


I'll also assume your meaning "quiet arrogance", and say this; I am super excited about having a coach who has a past that warrants arrogance. In no way am I trying to disrespect CF or TR, I appreciate what they did.

I have no problem whatsoever with a little chip on his shoulder attitude. He knows what he is doing, and it shows. I had grown tired of the "well, we will go out there and give it our best and see what happens" attitude. Again, I'm not saying anything in disrespect, just happiness:D


PS- Thanks for the review Jim!

Devil07
02-06-2008, 03:31 PM
I was hoping we would suck it up and redshirt the entire entering class. I would take one more awful season for the long term benefits.

I actually disagree. I think it's more important for us to show clear signs of improvement (ie wins) now so that we can build confidence in the program and bring in more recruits. Redshirting talent is frankly a luxury that I don't think we can afford at this point. We need something tangible to build support, and if the freshmen can help now, I say we've got to use them.

OldPhiKap
02-06-2008, 03:37 PM
Yes, quiet arrogance. And I mean that in a good way. He exudes confidence that he knows what he's doing.

And yes, lower than 4.5 means faster than 4.5. One kid, Jordon Byas, was Florida 400-meter champion and Florida has a lot of people who can run.

Byas, btw, pronounces his first name Jor-don, not Jor-den.

Many thanks for the posts, Jim.

I find it hard to believe that I am posting about football on the day of a Duke-UNC game. I find it even harder to believe that I check these threads first! GO DEVILS!!!

OZZIE4DUKE
02-06-2008, 03:41 PM
I too attended today's signing luncheon. To say that I am impressed with Coach Cutcliffe and his staff is an understatement. And we have a very decent talent coming in in this year's recruiting class. They can all run and are all willing to put in the conditioning work that is necessary to win. And with some success on the field and a full year to do it, next year will be even better.

As for Asack, the film we saw had his kickoffs sailing through the end zone. That's about 30 yards farther than we kicked the ball last season.

Renfree has a great arm and excellent speed. Brian Moore (OL) had some of the most impressive "pancake blocks" I've ever seen on film, and the guys he did it to were not "tiny". Our backs and receivers look fast, and the DB's are top notch. These guys bring good talent to the team. Wish we could redshirt them, but as mentioned above, not many will.

And of important note, Coach Cut has learned that we have one main rival, and acknowledged that we play them tonight. He ended his speech with

GO TO HELL carolina!
Gotta love it!

TheTrain
02-06-2008, 03:43 PM
Likewise, we landed Asack who was offered by Notre Dame (because his dad went to Duke) and Delle Donne who was offered by Notre Dame (because his dad played for Columbia and liked the idea of a top school) because we were lucky.



For the sake of historical accuracy, Delle Donne attracted interest from ND but was not offered.

devil84
02-06-2008, 03:46 PM
I went to the Iron Duke Signing Day luncheon. I really like Coach Cutcliffe. He is confident, and he knows what he wants. He's quite congenial and affable, and know how to talk to his audience. He commands respect, and gives it back. He got a bit of good ol' boy in him, and throws around a lot of "dad gums" (much, much differently than the coach down the road, IMHO). He's assembled an impressive staff. I was quite impressed.

He showed some game footage of each of the signees. Asack's kicking form looks mighty fine. Some other of these recruits can run. He seemed genuinely excited about each and every recruit, and the assistant coaches sometimes interjected their excitement from their seats at the luncheon tables, too. I loved the enthusiasm of all involved. It was contagious. And it wasn't just enthusiasm -- there's a plan to use this talent, and to win some games.

One thing Coach Cutcliffe asks of his players, coaches, managers, trainers, timekeepers -- anybody associated with the program -- is that they end the game/practice better than they started. He has asked us, the fans, to do that too. We should be cheering better in the fourth quarter than in the first. He asked, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, they both kinda came along at the same time. It needs to be the same with Duke Football fans -- if we cheer hard and fill the stadium, the team will be ready to provide us with something to cheer about, and they'll draw off our energy.

He closed the luncheon with the most wonderful phrase a Duke fan can hear: "Go to hell, Carolina, go to hell!"

For the first time since I've been a Duke fan (1976), I'm really excited about Duke Football.

buddy
02-06-2008, 04:03 PM
I also made the luncheon, and was quite impressed with Coach, and talked with several assistants, who comprise a very impressive group. I have been a fan for so long that I try not to get too excited, but for the first time since Spurrier I think we have a plan. And I don't think DC will bolt as soon as he wins the way Spurrier did (although we all knew he would). I think it is impossible to judge the future on signing day for most programs, but so far we are undefeated under DC. GTHC.

watzone
02-06-2008, 04:46 PM
Check this link out which tells of how Butler came to be a Devil at the midnught hour (http://www.independentmail.com/news/2008/feb/06/butler-picks-duke-over-ga-tech/)

dukerev
02-06-2008, 04:52 PM
I am very excited about Coach Cutcliffe coming on board as our Duke coach. I'm tired of having to sheepishly chuckle on Sunday morning when my SEC friends ask (because they honestly don't know...because Duke gets NO coverage) if Duke lost again. However, I'm not so sure that this is a great recruiting class. Aren't we supposed to be a D-I school? How is it that we signed (according to the rivals link) not one kid who even weighs 250 pounds? I'm all for athleticism and speed. But where's the beef? This is not a slight on the kids that we did sign - only a question as to why we didn't sign any big guys for the trenches (and perhaps LB).

dukerev
02-06-2008, 04:55 PM
Sorry - I went back to double check and saw that I overlooked Brian Moore (6'3", 275). I'm still concerned that there isn't MUCH beef, but withdraw my previous question.

OldPhiKap
02-06-2008, 04:58 PM
Check this link out which tells of how Butler came to be a Devil at the midnught hour (http://www.independentmail.com/news/2008/feb/06/butler-picks-duke-over-ga-tech/)

Lee, if you're reading this -- we are glad you chose to join us and look forward to having you as part of the Duke family!



Re: "where's the beef": I'm not up with FB recruiting but Coach Cut got into the game late so I'm not sure this class is a reflection of all that he intends to bring to Duke. Also, I think if he has a choice of size or speed, he wants speed. So I don't discount what you posted but I'm not sure it means too much until we see how they perform.

Acymetric
02-06-2008, 05:10 PM
Lee, if you're reading this -- we are glad you chose to join us and look forward to having you as part of the Duke family!



Re: "where's the beef": I'm not up with FB recruiting but Coach Cut got into the game late so I'm not sure this class is a reflection of all that he intends to bring to Duke. Also, I think if he has a choice of size or speed, he wants speed. So I don't discount what you posted but I'm not sure it means too much until we see how they perform.

Exactly. You also have to consider the positions we got in the class.

1 QB
2 RB
2 WR
2 TE
2 O-Line
1 DE
1 LB
5 CB/ATH/WR
1 K

Of those, only the o-lineman should really be that big, and we have one at 275 and one at either 245 or 250 depending on whether you trust rivals or scout. We do have a couple undersized players (Donavan Varner), but size isn't everything, and we're definitely focusing on speed with Cutcliffe. I don't think we lost many lineman this year anyway, so I wouldn't worry too much about or size. This is a good class, especially considering it happened during a coaching change. Future classes can only be better (remember, Renfree and Butler are two key recruits, and both chose Duke based on Cutcliffe).

duke74
02-06-2008, 05:26 PM
Exactly. You also have to consider the positions we got in the class.

1 QB
2 RB
2 WR
2 TE
2 O-Line
1 DE
1 LB
5 CB/ATH/WR
1 K

Of those, only the o-lineman should really be that big, and we have one at 275 and one at either 245 or 250 depending on whether you trust rivals or scout. We do have a couple undersized players (Donavan Varner), but size isn't everything, and we're definitely focusing on speed with Cutcliffe. I don't think we lost many lineman this year anyway, so I wouldn't worry too much about or size. This is a good class, especially considering it happened during a coaching change. Future classes can only be better (remember, Renfree and Butler are two key recruits, and both chose Duke based on Cutcliffe).


My ignorance..sorry...but what's "ATH"?

365Duke
02-06-2008, 05:28 PM
Athlete/ multiple positions. sometimes happens when someone is big so he is a linemen in HS but probably a LB in coll. for example

Acymetric
02-06-2008, 05:33 PM
Athlete/ multiple positions. sometimes happens when someone is big so he is a linemen in HS but probably a LB in coll. for example

Yep! Troy Smith was also recruited as an athlete. Depending on size, they can usually end up as any position other than a lineman, from what I know. I imagine ours would be defensive backs or receivers.

watzone
02-06-2008, 05:43 PM
My ignorance..sorry...but what's "ATH"?

Attila the Hun;) ATH = Athlete

duke74
02-06-2008, 06:16 PM
Attila the Hun;) ATH = Athlete

Thanks all.

OrangeDevil
02-06-2008, 11:22 PM
Excellent post by Jim Sumner. I agree that Renfree has a real chance to play early. The most promising position in this class appears to be defensive back. Both Randez James and Matt Daniels have the cover and closing speed to log major minutes if not press for starting roles.

gotham devil
02-07-2008, 01:11 AM
Excellent post by Jim Sumner. I agree that Renfree has a real chance to play early. The most promising position in this class appears to be defensive back. Both Randez James and Matt Daniels have the cover and closing speed to log major minutes if not press for starting roles.

Butler and Varner (ESPN had as our "top recruit") will also add to the depth of our secondary.

RelativeWays
02-07-2008, 06:43 AM
Tony Foster is from my old high school. Good for him. Burlington is one of the biggest pro UNC towns that its always encouraging to see someone with impeccable taste and good decision making.

Olympic Fan
02-07-2008, 09:42 AM
Please don't get too hung up on ratings. Rivals, especially, is about as untrustworthy as it gets. You should remember that Notre Dame ALWAYS has a top 10-15 class -- and they were as bad as we were last year (just a little better coached). Wake Forest won an ACC title and went to the Orange Bowl a year ago without ever having a class ranked better than 10th in the ACC.

I've seen highly rated kids drop in the ratings once they sign with Duke. I don't take Rivals any more, but I saw on one bulletin bowl that Lee Butler was a Rivals three star player until he committed to Duke ... then he dropped to two star. When he decommitted and said he was going to Georgia Tech, he immediately rose to three stars again (the poster wondered if he'd drop to two stars again now that he's going to Duke). Rivals dropped Sean Renfree from four stars to three after he committed to Duke.

Cutcliffe and his staff never had a highly rated class at Ole Miss, but he recruited the players who won the SEC West title in 2003 (in his sixth year). By my court at profootball-reference.com, he and his Ole Miss staff (which is basically his Duke staff) signed 11 future NFL players ... including guys like Patrick Willis -- the NFL rookie of the year was a two-star recruit. Plus a five-star QB named Eli Manning.

I trust this staff to find the players it needs. I love the quote from Cutcliffe when asked about the ratings: "I know what a football player looks like." I also loved his response to a question about tough Duke's academic standards: "There are a lot of guys who are good enough players and good enough students -- they've just been going to other places."

Finally, a few props for Ted Roof. Say what you want about his coaching (I think he was a terrible game coach, but a good program manager and the kids obviously loved him), but the guy could recruit. It's amazing the groundwork he laid for this class in the wake of all those zero and one-win seasons. Roof and his staff lined up Randez James, Matt Daniels, Brian Moore, Paul Asack, and Lee Butler. Props to Coach Cut and his new staff for landing Renfree and re-recruiting Butler.

Devil in the Blue Dress
02-07-2008, 09:54 AM
Please don't get too hung up on ratings. Rivals, especially, is about as untrustworthy as it gets. You should remember that Notre Dame ALWAYS has a top 10-15 class -- and they were as bad as we were last year (just a little better coached). Wake Forest won an ACC title and went to the Orange Bowl a year ago without ever having a class ranked better than 10th in the ACC.

I've seen highly rated kids drop in the ratings once they sign with Duke. I don't take Rivals any more, but I saw on one bulletin bowl that Lee Butler was a Rivals three star player until he committed to Duke ... then he dropped to two star. When he decommitted and said he was going to Georgia Tech, he immediately rose to three stars again (the poster wondered if he'd drop to two stars again now that he's going to Duke). Rivals dropped Sean Renfree from four stars to three after he committed to Duke.

Cutcliffe and his staff never had a highly rated class at Ole Miss, but he recruited the players who won the SEC West title in 2003 (in his sixth year). By my court at profootball-reference.com, he and his Ole Miss staff (which is basically his Duke staff) signed 11 future NFL players ... including guys like Patrick Willis -- the NFL rookie of the year was a two-star recruit. Plus a five-star QB named Eli Manning.

I trust this staff to find the players it needs. I love the quote from Cutcliffe when asked about the ratings: "I know what a football player looks like." I also loved his response to a question about tough Duke's academic standards: "There are a lot of guys who are good enough players and good enough students -- they've just been going to other places."

Finally, a few props for Ted Roof. Say what you want about his coaching (I think he was a terrible game coach, but a good program manager and the kids obviously loved him), but the guy could recruit. It's amazing the groundwork he laid for this class in the wake of all those zero and one-win seasons. Roof and his staff lined up Randez James, Matt Daniels, Brian Moore, Paul Asack, and Lee Butler. Props to Coach Cut and his new staff for landing Renfree and re-recruiting Butler.
Excellent comments on our recruits, Coach Cutcliffe and Coach Roof.

I liked hearing Coach Cutcliffe say that his staff would be making recruiting in NC a top priority because there are good players developing here...... smart getting some good ones who play for us and not UNC or NC State, developing the regional fan base and serving notice that Duke football is the real deal.

Mark your calendars for April 19 when the spring scrimmage is scheduled and plan to attend. It's the big reunion weekend; this year the classes are those with class years ending in 8 or 3.

TheTrain
02-07-2008, 10:03 AM
Please don't get too hung up on ratings. Rivals, especially, is about as untrustworthy as it gets. You should remember that Notre Dame ALWAYS has a top 10-15 class -- and they were as bad as we were last year (just a little better coached). Wake Forest won an ACC title and went to the Orange Bowl a year ago without ever having a class ranked better than 10th in the ACC.

I've seen highly rated kids drop in the ratings once they sign with Duke. I don't take Rivals any more, but I saw on one bulletin bowl that Lee Butler was a Rivals three star player until he committed to Duke ... then he dropped to two star. When he decommitted and said he was going to Georgia Tech, he immediately rose to three stars again (the poster wondered if he'd drop to two stars again now that he's going to Duke). Rivals dropped Sean Renfree from four stars to three after he committed to Duke.

Cutcliffe and his staff never had a highly rated class at Ole Miss, but he recruited the players who won the SEC West title in 2003 (in his sixth year). By my court at profootball-reference.com, he and his Ole Miss staff (which is basically his Duke staff) signed 11 future NFL players ... including guys like Patrick Willis -- the NFL rookie of the year was a two-star recruit. Plus a five-star QB named Eli Manning.

I trust this staff to find the players it needs. I love the quote from Cutcliffe when asked about the ratings: "I know what a football player looks like." I also loved his response to a question about tough Duke's academic standards: "There are a lot of guys who are good enough players and good enough students -- they've just been going to other places."

Finally, a few props for Ted Roof. Say what you want about his coaching (I think he was a terrible game coach, but a good program manager and the kids obviously loved him), but the guy could recruit. It's amazing the groundwork he laid for this class in the wake of all those zero and one-win seasons. Roof and his staff lined up Randez James, Matt Daniels, Brian Moore, Paul Asack, and Lee Butler. Props to Coach Cut and his new staff for landing Renfree and re-recruiting Butler.

Olympic Fan.....it was Scout, not Rivals that downgraded Butler when he signed with Duke. Scout is far more political and inaccurate than Rivals...not even close. And while you can point to ND as an example of a team whose talent may from time to time be overrated...the usual suspects in recruiting rankings USC, UGA, UF,LSU, Texas, Michigan, Ohio State also usually field the better teams. While not 100% indicative, the rankings are more accurate than you give them credit for.

Olympic Fan
02-07-2008, 11:47 AM
Olympic Fan.....it was Scout, not Rivals that downgraded Butler when he signed with Duke. Scout is far more political and inaccurate than Rivals...not even close. And while you can point to ND as an example of a team whose talent may from time to time be overrated...the usual suspects in recruiting rankings USC, UGA, UF,LSU, Texas, Michigan, Ohio State also usually field the better teams. While not 100% indicative, the rankings are more accurate than you give them credit for.

Train ... obviously you follow football recruiting closer than I do, so I'm sure your opinion is right ... although there is a thread on the State board that suggests that Miller Safrit, the Scourt regional "expert" has a strong UNC bias -- they cite three cases where player rankings rose after they committed to UNC. They also assert that one reasons Buntings classes were ranked so high (and achieved so little on the field) was Safrit's built-in UNC bias.

I don't know enough to comment ... however, I do know that all recruiting services are biased towards the traditional superpowers -- kids that are targeted by Ohio State, Michigan, Texas and Southern Cal must be good because those schools go after them (and I'm not saying it's a bad system ... those schools do tend to recruit the best players). The same effect boosts Duke and UNC basketball recruiting targets.

I do know that I'd have a lot more respect for the recruiting services if they had any success in projecting the rise of a non-traditional power. I cited Wake's rise to ACC contention without ever landing a top class -- or even a near-top class. I read once that when Barry Alvarez built Wisconsin into a dominant Big Ten power in the early 1990s, he never had a class rated higher than seventh in the Big Ten -- until he won the Big Ten title and went to the Rose Bowl. THEN his rankings rose. There was no hint in the recruiting rankings to Northwestern's explosive climb to back-to-back Big Ten titles in the mid-1990s.

I'm not saying that such things are useless, only that they should be viewed with extreme caution. A Notre Dame is never going to have a terrible recruiting ranking (even when they deserve it) because they are Notre Dame and if Notre Dame is going after a kid, they must be good. And at Duke Cutcliffe could built a team capable of competing at the top of the ACC without ever having a class ranked in the top 25 nationally.

Cutcliffe was asked about the ranking system yesterday and said something like: "There are 5-star guys my 13-year-old daughter could identify as great prospects. Beyond that, it's all opinion and a lot of those opinions are wrong."

TheTrain
02-07-2008, 12:55 PM
If you have read my rants on the Devils Den, I have taken on Miller Safrit on more than one occasion. I don't hold his opinion in high regard because I believe he and his colleagues at Scout are influenced by site masters in arriving at their conclusions. I pay very little attention to what he says.

But there is a pretty decent (but not perfect) correlation between Rivals rankings and the who are the best teams. There will always be teams that have staffs that are outstanding at developing talent (e.g., Wake) or run a creative system (e.g., Utah under Urban Meyer) that can get around talent disparities. There will also be teams that recruit talented players (e.g., UVA and FSU) that underachieve. But there is no getting around the fact that typically USC, OU, Texas, UF, UGA, LSU, OSU and Michigan have great classes and they consistently have highly ranked teams. I also think you can see the rise in certain programs through the rankings...Cal and Oregon are decent examples.

ugadevil
02-07-2008, 01:22 PM
Football Signing day is something else at an SEC school. It's on the front page of the paper, mentioned on radio shows (not just sports radio), and is all over the TV News. I work with people who took the day off so that they could be at the athletic building to get updates about how the recruiting class was looking. It worked out for me because no one cared if I left early to prepare for the real sporting event that took place in hell last night.

Cutcliffe has experience with this type of culture and he knows the importance of recruiting and making it a big deal for the incoming players. It's a good sign for your program when people start to circle the dates of signing day and the spring scrimmage.

RPS
02-07-2008, 01:47 PM
But there is a pretty decent (but not perfect) correlation between Rivals rankings and the who are the best teams. There will always be teams that have staffs that are outstanding at developing talent (e.g., Wake) or run a creative system (e.g., Utah under Urban Meyer) that can get around talent disparities. There will also be teams that recruit talented players (e.g., UVA and FSU) that underachieve. But there is no getting around the fact that typically USC, OU, Texas, UF, UGA, LSU, OSU and Michigan have great classes and they consistently have highly ranked teams. I also think you can see the rise in certain programs through the rankings...Cal and Oregon are decent examples.I have more than a passing interest in PAC-10 recruiting (and especially Cal) and want to validate what you say here. But remember too that despite the rough justice of the recruiting sites (and I agree that Rivals is better than Scout), they have inherent problems. Kids who were injured as juniors or who really come on as seniors often have trouble getting ranked in a timely way and are often undervalued. Kicker and punter rankings are fraught with inaccuracy (compare any Groza nominee list with the rankings). Players recruited by the football factories are presumed to be good or are deemed especially good based as much upon the schools that recruit or sign them as upon their actual talent and potential. Rankings also don't reflect which players actually enroll, how they will fit in and what role they will be asked to play in a given system. Coach's answer asserting that he and his staff know what a football player looks like is exactly the right one, especially since they seem well qualified and well positioned to start backing it up. All the early signs of that the Cutcliffe era are promising. Yesterday was a very good day.

SoCalDukeFan
02-07-2008, 03:20 PM
Are any coaches or fans saying that they are disappointed in their recruiting class?

It seems to me with so many players and so many positions, every team finds something to feel good about.

I do feel much Duke football under Coach Cutcliffe. This is a more general question/comment and not aimed at Duke.

SoCal

ugadevil
02-07-2008, 03:34 PM
Are any coaches or fans saying that they are disappointed in their recruiting class?

It seems to me with so many players and so many positions, every team finds something to feel good about.

I do feel much Duke football under Coach Cutcliffe. This is a more general question/comment and not aimed at Duke.

SoCal

I'd like to hear a Georgia Tech fan persuade me as to why their recruiting class is good.

watzone
02-07-2008, 03:36 PM
Olympic Fan.....it was Scout, not Rivals that downgraded Butler when he signed with Duke. Scout is far more political and inaccurate than Rivals...not even close. And while you can point to ND as an example of a team whose talent may from time to time be overrated...the usual suspects in recruiting rankings USC, UGA, UF,LSU, Texas, Michigan, Ohio State also usually field the better teams. While not 100% indicative, the rankings are more accurate than you give them credit for.

I asked him the question about star ratings and think his answer shedded light on what most of us know to be true in that it is political.

RPS
02-07-2008, 04:00 PM
Are any coaches or fans saying that they are disappointed in their recruiting class?Yes, absolutely. Many Cal fans are upset that this year's class is only ranked #31, for example (which they attribute to the late-season collapse). USC fans think they had an off-year (they slipped out of the top 5). Oregon State is perennially disappointed that relative on-field success doesn't translate to "better" recruits. The list goes on....

gotham devil
02-07-2008, 07:03 PM
Olympic Fan.....it was Scout, not Rivals that downgraded Butler when he signed with Duke. Scout is far more political and inaccurate than Rivals...not even close. And while you can point to ND as an example of a team whose talent may from time to time be overrated...the usual suspects in recruiting rankings USC, UGA, UF,LSU, Texas, Michigan, Ohio State also usually field the better teams. While not 100% indicative, the rankings are more accurate than you give them credit for.

Exactly, he's also wrong about the last two classes of Willingham at Notre Dame. He was the laziest recruiter this side of Jeffrey Lebowski. They were well below ND's normal standards. Weis had them as his upperclassmen last season. They will be back very quickly.

SoCalDukeFan
02-08-2008, 10:37 AM
Yes, absolutely. Many Cal fans are upset that this year's class is only ranked #31, for example (which they attribute to the late-season collapse). USC fans think they had an off-year (they slipped out of the top 5). Oregon State is perennially disappointed that relative on-field success doesn't translate to "better" recruits. The list goes on....

It may all be spin but Pete Carroll seemed very happy with the class which he calls a "big" class, big players, not big with lots of players. He noted that he thinks everyone in the class could be a major contributor. This guy at the USC Rivals Board thinks this could be Carroll's most effective class. http://usc.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=521&mid=110888705&sid=995&tid=110888705&style=1

I know that Cal fans are disappointed, but am not sure what their coaches are saying.

SoCal

RPS
02-08-2008, 11:28 AM
It may all be spin but Pete Carroll seemed very happy with the class which he calls a "big" class, big players, not big with lots of players. He noted that he thinks everyone in the class could be a major contributor.It's impossible to tell the spin from the true feeling (I assume it's typically a mixture of both). Plus, the rankings factor quantity of players into the mix (a smaller class is necessarily marked down irrespective of quality, need, etc.) and no recruiting class stands on its own -- it has to be seen in context to the rest of the program (needs, depth, etc.).


This guy at the USC Rivals Board thinks this could be Carroll's most effective class. http://usc.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=521&mid=110888705&sid=995&tid=110888705&style=1He could be right or he could simply be shilling the company line. Besides, you asked about "fans" too and many of them are whining.


I know that Cal fans are disappointed, but am not sure what their coaches are saying.They (the two I spoke with) told me they're basically pleased, but some of that my have spin too....