Talking FSU, OSU, SEC in #AskLoogs
We're back with another edition of the #AskLoogs Twitter mailbag. If you missed last week's discussion, check it out here.
As always, make sure to use the hashtag #AskLoogs to get in on our discussion. I'll try to answer fan questions on player rankings and scouting each Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. ET on Twitter, with the five best making it to this weekly mailbag, but you can send questions in anytime and I'll get to as many as I can.
This week, I'll tackle questions about which school has it toughest in the SEC, how FSU is doing on the recruiting trail, Ohio State's future and much more. No more delaying, let's get right to your questions.
The easy answer here is Vanderbilt. That's almost entirely due to its stringent academic standards, which can limit its player pool far more than its competitors, both within the conference and out. However, Kentucky has challenges as well. The "basketball school" perception and limited in-state talent base forces the Wildcats to have to go into the backyards of their competitors to steal players, which is very difficult. Recruits' perception of a program plays such a big role in how hard or easy it can be for a program to recruit given its individual resources, finances, facilities, etc. In other words, do recruits perceive the program as being competitive, high profile and/or capable of winning championships? If they don't, that can create challenges for coaches to have to overcome.
FSU has done a great job meeting needs in the early going particularly, at linebacker and wide receiver. Kain Daub (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) and Jacob Pugh (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby) can also fill the pass rush role for their new defensive scheme. The Seminoles currently sit at No. 4 in the class rankings, so yes, they can compete for the No. 1 overall rank, but they don't have many scholarships left. WR Markell Pack (Purvis, Miss./Purvis) could be a gem for them. We would like to see them add a defensive lineman and cornerback, if possible. Running back is still a need as well. If they can hit on those three down the stretch with some high profile guys, the Seminoles have a chance to really shoot up.
Maybe an even better way to ask this question is whether Ohio State will be the school able to land defensive linemen out of the South because that is what needs to happen for Ohio State to win and compete against the SEC for a national championship. Urban Meyer knows this all too well because he knows the caliber of player needed to win titles. Ohio State is already a place players want to be, with or without Meyer, because it is such a prestigious program. Meyer and his staff only add championship proof to the pudding which only enhances the perception of the program in the minds of prospective student athletes.
Yes, every year. We do it with player rankings too. Right before February's signing day, we looked back at our 2009 player rankings as well as re-ranking our 2009 class rankings. As everyone knows, this is an inexact science. As difficult as player rankings are to compile and be right on, class rankings are even more difficult because while on paper everything looks rosy, the reality is that you likely won't know who pans out for at least two to three years. One thing I can say about class rankings and player rankings when looking back is that if we miss, often times it is likely due to something we didn't know, have the ability to know or is off-the-field related. That's not to say we are always right on players, but when guys don't pan out in this day and age, rarely is it because they aren't good enough physically. It's usually some other factor. If you have too many of those factors with prospects in one class, you can get in serious trouble. Auburn is a great example of this. In 2010 and 2011, the Tigers recruited some great players, but maybe not great people. As a result, many of those prospects are no longer with the program, which has really hurt both their depth and talent.
Having a crystal ball to project down the road! All joking aside, there is some truth to that. One luxury smaller programs have in this age of college football is the ability to redshirt every single player they bring in to develop that player over time instead of having to play guys too early. This allows a program like Boise State to identify a Doug Martin or Kellen Moore, among many others, who might have been on the shorter side, or leaner side, or a half step slower to blossom into totally different players once three years removed from high school. Many of those players grow two inches or gain 40 pounds and improve speed. Also, another key is having the ability as an evaluator to project that a player is going to play another position three years down the road in order to maximize their ceiling and talent level.
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