Differences in football and hoops recruiting
February, 4, 2011
By Mike LaPlante, ESPN Recruiting
After the insanity of Wednesday's national signing day for college football was finally over, I started to think about how different the whole recruiting process is between college football and basketball for coaches, recruits and fans. College basketball recruiting is a closely followed enterprise that is continuing to grow nationally, especially by the fans of basketball powers whose football programs are not the dominant sport on campus (e.g. Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Connecticut, Syracuse, Indiana and UCLA), but college football recruiting has taken on a life of its own and has become a competition that is followed as religiously as the sport itself. The recruiting processes are very unique in both sports. In football, it seems like it is more of a numbers game with the power schools stockpiling large numbers of four- and five-star recruits. For the most part, except the rare occasion, thre to five highly-rated freshman are not going to have an immediate impact on the number of wins a football program will have in the coming year. It is interesting to go back and look at the number of highly rated (e.g. four-star) players that sign at a high-profile football program, with the hype and fanfare of a coronation, are never heard from again. Football is set up for attrition. Do the math; if a school signs an average of 25 players a year and redshirts the majority of incoming freshmen, which puts them in a five-year cycle, that's around 125 players within a program that has 85 total scholarships.