Wednesday, November 6, 2013
B1G 2014 recruiting by the numbers
By Tom VanHaaren
The Big Ten only has two teams within the top 20 of ESPN’s class recruiting rankings for 2014. That number isn’t too surprising if you break down the numbers and look at where there have been holes on the recruiting trail.
Here is a look at a few numbers based on how the conference has recruited for this class.
WHERE THEY’RE FROM
Big Ten programs recruit across the country, so it’s no surprise to see commitments from all over. The Midwest is usually where the foundation is laid, but there are still some interesting numbers when you look at where commits in the 2014 class are from.
The state of Ohio has been popular with Big Ten recruiters. The Buckeyes have commitments from three of the top-10 prospects in Ohio, led by Akron linebacker Dante Booker.
Thus far, Big Ten teams have only landed one prospect from California, one of the more talent rich states in the country. Ohio has a ton of top prospects year in and year out, so it’s not shocking to see the state at the top of this list.
WHO’S GETTING OFFERS
Those numbers above will naturally lead you to wonder how many offers are going out in each state and what the success rate is for the conference.
There are some interesting numbers hidden in the amount of offers that go out in each state.
Big Ten offers by state:
Florida: 158 offers (60 of which are uncommitted)
Texas: 104 offers (14 are uncommitted)
Ohio: 75 offers (15 are uncommitted)
Georgia: 75 offers (20 are uncommitted)
Illinois: 43 offers (10 are uncommitted)
Virginia: 24 offers (Five are uncommitted)
New Jersey: 24 offers (Four are uncommitted)
Kansas: 24 offers (11 are uncommitted)
Pennsylvania: 22 offers (Seven are uncommitted)
Maryland: 22 offers (Five are uncommitted)
There are a lot of numbers there, but we can break those down into what they actually mean.
Florida is home to a huge amount of prospects every year, so the number of offers shouldn’t be too alarming. However, looking at the fact the Big Ten landed only seven commitments from the 98 prospects who have received offers and made their commitment, that number stands out.
That’s a success rate of seven percent in one state. Between the states of Florida, Texas and Georgia, the Big Ten is running a success rate of only 11 percent.
Compare that to Ohio, Illinois and Michigan where the percentage of commits to offers is at 54 percent. That seems obvious given the geographic location, but recruiting those southern states where there isn’t a ton of success costs a lot in resources and money given the few commitments that come from those efforts.
HOW THE B1G COMPARES
What those numbers ultimately mean is that the conference isn’t having a ton of success outside of the Midwest. A lot of the prospects who are being targeted aren’t committing to Big Ten schools.
In the end what matters is landing the right prospects and signing top prospects who will help each team win. So how does the Big Ten stack up in that category?
ESPN 300 Commits:
Pac 12: 26
Big Ten: 25
Big 12: 25
That’s right, the SEC has 93 ESPN 300 commits for the 2014 class. That’s an astonishing number, but it’s also not that surprising.
The Southeast is home to 148 of the prospects within the ESPN 300. The West has 43, the Midlands has 46 and only 36 come from the Midwest.
Part of the problem within the Big Ten is that 12 of those ESPN 300 prospects from the Midwest have committed to schools outside the conference. To add insult to injury, seven of them are committed to SEC programs.
Another issue for the conference is that 16 of the 25 ESPN 300 commitments are with Michigan and Ohio State. So two of the 12 teams are responsible for 64 percent of the top commitments.
WHO CAN HELP?
There are still some big targets on the board for Big Ten teams. Roughly 20 ESPN 300 prospects are still considering a Big Ten school in some fashion, so there is potential to add more for the 2014 class.
The biggest prospect left is No. 6 ranked Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge), who has Michigan in his top three. Adding another top-10 commit, along with Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic), would be a huge boost to the Wolverines and the conference.
Linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), the No. 12-ranked recruit, is considering Ohio State as well and would be a key cog to the Buckeyes' class.
Outside of those two teams, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State and Wisconsin all have the opportunity to land ESPN 300 prospects in 2014. Landing the top remaining targets will be difficult, but could help the conference tremendously.